Mocha Ice Cream


01 Sep Mocha Ice Cream


This is the dessert that helped salvage last week’s birthday fiasco. It’s rich, it’s mocha-y, it’s almost like a truffle. It can stand on its own as a decadent treat, or elevate a mediocre cake to the realm of greatness — providing you like the taste of coffee.

Delicious as this may be, whatever you do, don’t eat this late at night — unless you want to be up until the bars close. This caffeine-loaded ice cream is best consumed for breakfast, or at least early in the day. Now, how could you start the day with a bowl of this and feel grumpy?


A friend requested mocha ice cream for our annual barbecue, so I just had to oblige. As I was making it, the chocolate smelled so intense I was reminded of my grandmother’s favourite dessert — a chocolate sundae with butterscotch sauce. Being on a salted caramel ice cream kick these days, I decided to make some salted butter caramel sauce to drizzle atop my mocha creation. The combination was fabulous since the ice cream isn’t too sweet and the caramel toned down the coffee.

Mocha-Ice-Cream-Square2.jpgI used David Lebovitz’s recipe for the sauce and improvised my own variation on the mocha ice cream. What a team! David, if you’re reading this, have your people call my people and we’ll talk.

David’s recipe for salted butter caramel sauce is no longer available on his site, so I won’t reproduce it here. If you’re keen, you can find the secret to this amazing topping in his new book, A Sweet Life in Paris, or in his ice cream bible, The Perfect Scoop.

Before I give you my half of the equation, I’m curious. Do you have a favourite sundae combination? Or do you like your ice cream naked?


Mocha Ice Cream

Printable recipe

Makes 1 litre


  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream (35%)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole espresso beans (this produces an intense coffee flavour, use 1 cup or even 3/4 cup if you want a more subtle mocha taste)
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Warm the cream, sugar, salt and whole beans in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to the boil, remove from the heat, cover and steep for 1 hour.
  2. Strain the cream mixture to remove the coffee beans then return the cream to the pot and set aside.
  3. Melt the chocolate gently in a small bowl.
  4. Return the cream to the heat and bring just to the boil again.
  5. Whisk in the melted chocolate. Then whisk in the milk and vanilla.
  6. Pour the entire mixture into a blender and puree for 30 seconds so it’s very smooth.
  7. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until cold. I usually do this the day before and then pop it in the freezer for an hour.
  8. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Return to freezer to finish chilling.

Related Post

  • Chocolate Shavings
    Posted at 08:50h, 01 September Reply

    That ice cream sounds absolutely delicious. What a perfect way to indulge!

  • Divawrites
    Posted at 11:16h, 01 September Reply

    That ice cream was absolutely, positively the most awesome and amazing thing I had ever tasted in my life. It was perfect with the salted caramel sauce…and I'm really glad I begged you to make it!

    I'm trying hard not to convince myself that our family needs an ice cream maker…but living around the corner from the $6 a pop ice cream at Marble Slab is making it harder…

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 11:20h, 01 September Reply

    I'll skip the ice cream (not a coffee fan) but I heart that sauce. If I ever make a sundae it must have caramel sauce.

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 11:20h, 01 September Reply

    I'll skip the ice cream (not a coffee fan) but I heart that sauce. If I ever make a sundae it must have caramel sauce.

  • kerry dexter
    Posted at 11:33h, 01 September Reply

    brealfast ice cream! now there's an idea. not a coffe drinker, but this sounds great. has me wondering though, what experiments have you done with tea ice cream? I know there's green tea ice cream, but how abut tea with lemon, lime, even caramel? would it work?

  • Cheryl @ 5secondrule
    Posted at 14:15h, 01 September Reply

    I always eat my ice cream naked at home (wait, you know what I mean), but sometimes — maybe twice a year — i convince my kids that they deserve an ice cream sundae out at the ice cream shop. And then I have to get one, too.

    By the way, just so you know, I have a refrigerator filled with cream for all of your damn ice cream. I've thrown out a pint so far and replaced it. And STILL I have not made good on my promise to make make homemade ice cream this summer. And it's now September! What the hell is wrong with me???

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 14:55h, 01 September Reply

    Only on the hottest day of the summer do I crave orange sherbet with chocolate sauce. Usually I rather have my ice cream "naked" too, but this post may change my mind.
    I guess putting topping on encourages you to use a bowl, and stop pigging out right from the carton, which saves on dishes but precludes much sauce use.
    PS Where is my chocolate?

  • Memória
    Posted at 16:53h, 01 September Reply

    This looks amazing!! I love the photo of the drizzling sauce! I wish I could have the caramel recipe, but I understand. :) I guess I'll have to check out one of the books at the library.

  • danamccauley
    Posted at 18:14h, 01 September Reply

    OMG! I gained weight just reading this post.

  • Cari
    Posted at 20:42h, 01 September Reply

    Oh Christie! That's the final ice cream straw. I have to get an icecream maker now. Which one do you recommend? Until then, do you think you could whip up a Halloween inspired icecream?

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 21:06h, 01 September Reply

    This looks good, but I think I'm gonna have to make a trip to the bathroom. When I see the words "salted caramel" my bowels move really rapidly. Gotta go

  • Ice Machines
    Posted at 05:51h, 02 September Reply

    Wow what a great Mocha Ice Creams………..

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 12:25h, 02 September Reply

    Chocolate Shavings, thanks for dropping by. And may I say, you look marvelous!!

    Divawrites, I'm so glad you liked the ice cream. And at $6 a pop the ice cream maker pays for itself in less than 20 cones.

    Cheryl A, you can omit the coffee if you want just plain chocolate ice cream. And how can you be Canadian and not love the bean???

    Kerry, I have never done tea ice cream. I have recipes for green tea ice cream and I'm sure Earl Grey would make a delightful palate cleanser, but I'm just not into tea flavours. I guess I should try one and see if I'm missing out on the next big thing.

    Cheryl 5 Second, you haven't made ice cream yet even though I posted the salted caramel recipe just for YOU?? Tsk tsk. Drop and give me 20.

    Robin, I haven't made orange sherbet yet and just love it — with chocolate sauce. Next summer. Remind me.

    Memoria, the sauce is amazing and I don't blame David for pulling the recipe. He books are well worth owning if the library doesn't have a copy.

    Dana, I gained weight testing it!

    Cari, I have only used my Cuisinart which requires you freeze the barrel. This is fine for my needs. I wouldn't get the kind that require rock salt and hand cranking because I'm a wimp. If you're going to make batch after batch, the high-end ones freeze as you go and you can make back-to-back ice creams. Sorry I can't help more.

    And I accept your challenge of Halloween ice cream!!

    Anonymous, you win for most unusual comment. Gotta say that never occurred to me.

    Ice Machines, coming from you, that's quite a compliment!

  • Angelique from Bitchin' Kitchen
    Posted at 16:01h, 02 September Reply

    I love LOVE my ice cream with homemade raspberry jam… and hot fudge. I am a huge sucker for a vanilla ice cream the combo mentioned above. I'm curious do you have a recipe for homemade jams?

  • Hungry Dog
    Posted at 11:07h, 03 September Reply

    Oh my goodness, this looks incredible. And if you say I must eat it for breakfast, who am I to argue?

  • Sam@BingeNYC
    Posted at 12:50h, 03 September Reply

    So if its loaded with caffeine…does that mean I can swap it in for my morning coffee? Looks delicious!!!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 16:22h, 03 September Reply

    Angelique, my mom makes a killer freezer raspberry jam. It's so much more raspberry-ish and less sweet than the standard. I'll see if I can get the recipe.

    Hungry Dog, you are wise not to argue with me. Just ask the telemarketer who called me yesterday afternoon and told me I was "lucky" to be receiving their promotional offer.

    Sam, of course you can swap it for your morning coffee. I give you full permission.

  • Hebe
    Posted at 15:20h, 28 October Reply

    I’ve just used this recipe and it’s the first time I’ve made ice cream in years, it’s delicious! I seriously recommend this, it’s not too sweet and it’s full of flavour. I also used lactose free milk and cream instead and it’s turned out perfect for anyone that has similar intolerances.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:27h, 29 October Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your results. I’m thrilled you like the flavours. Mocha is a favourite of mine. I love the idea of using lactose-free milk and cream. Good to know the recipe works with this alternative. I’ll keep that in mind for future ice cream making!

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