Instant Coffee Is The Added Kick Your Homemade Ice Cream Needs

Homemade ice cream is as fun to make as it is to eat. Doing so allows you to customize your recipe to the extreme, adding a variety of flavors and mix-ins. If you're a fan of coffee ice cream, however, you may struggle to find the right way to incorporate this flavor into your homemade pints since coffee grounds are too coarse to result in the luscious, velvety texture we all expect from ice cream. Adding brewed coffee? You may get icy, less-than-luscious results. Luckily, there is a secret to perfectly smooth coffee ice cream: instant coffee.

Instant coffee is liquid coffee that has been subjected to freeze-drying or spray-drying. These processes remove water from the coffee in a way that leaves behind tiny crystals of concentrated coffee. As moisture is reintroduced to the crystals, they dissolve. When it comes to making your morning cup of joe, this means adding water, but the powder can be used in other ways, including giving flavor to your ice cream. The crystals melt when they come into contact with the warmed cream, providing the final result with a rich coffee flavor but no grittiness and no iciness.

How to add instant coffee to ice cream

You can use instant coffee to flavor your ice cream in just a few steps. Before you get started, though, you will want to be sure you are using the best brand of instant coffee possible. There are countless options on the market, and they can vary wildly in quality — ranging from bitter and greasy to smooth and sophisticated. We've found that Starbucks and Café Bustelo have impressive offerings, but you can select your own favorite to suit your individual preferences.

To incorporate the coffee, simply scoop the powder into the liquid base of your ice cream recipe as it's heating and stir until all of the crystals have dissolved. For a subtle flavor, all you need is about half of a teaspoon; however, you can add more for a more intense coffee flavor. Don't feel limited to using this trick for just one recipe, either. A small amount of instant coffee can add depth and complexity to other ice cream flavors, from chocolate fudge to brown butter pecan.