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Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream

August 8, 2013

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It’s August, so I’m writing about ice cream! Don’t even try to stop me.

(I know, I know… you would never stop me, but the weather here is another story!)

The thing is, this summer Santa Barbara has been decidedly un-summery. Every morning it’s been overcast and chilly—a case of our Central California “June Gloom” going rogue and sneaking into July and now August. Around noon it clears up and gets sunny, but there’s still a little nip in the air.

Cinnamon Coffee Ice CreamPin it!

It’s especially cold in the office where I sit and attempt to work on my dissertation every afternoon, wearing a hoodie and drinking cups of hot hojicha. Can you imagine that—needing hot tea to warm your hands in August? Are you feeling cooler already just thinking about it?

Making Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream

Last night we slept with our windows open and this morning I couldn’t set foot on my kitchen floor without running to grab some slippers first. Slippers! In summer!

At least this weather is just right for taking photos of barely-melting ice cream, even if it’s not ideal for eating it.

Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatella

This ice cream may or may not have been an attempt to will the weather into behaving more seasonally.

Also, do you ever really need a reason to make ice cream? No, you do not.

Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatella

I improvised a coffee ice cream recipe for my parents when they were visiting back in the spring. My mom’s favorite ice cream flavor is coffee, and I have to agree with her there; it is also absolutely one of my (twenty or so) favorite flavors.

Brewing coffee for Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream

Unsure whether I was using far too much coffee or far too little, I decided to preventively solve either issue by also adding chocolate (the solution to so many things in life, don’t you think?).

Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatella

So I made coffee ice cream with chocolate stracciatella, a stream of melted chocolate, frozen in action as it’s drizzled and swirled into the spinning, churning ice cream. (An absolutely genius use of an ice cream maker and an idea I first came across on Hannah’s wonderful blog BitterSweet.)

Making Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatella

The ice cream was irresistible; the caffeine didn’t keep me awake until 3am (like coffee sometimes does); and my parents assured me the strength of the coffee flavor was perfect—just shy of intense.

Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatellaPin it!

This recipe is the same coffee stracciatella ice cream, taken to the next level with the heat of cinnamon.

Paula has a weakness for cinnamon in most edibles (and drinkables) and coffee is no exception. We regularly buy cinnamon coffee from a local company, and when we run out of that—and get to use my favorite coffee—then Paula still gives the ground coffee a generous shake of ground cinnamon before starting to brew it.

Making Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream

I’ve grown to love this combination, too. If you’ve never tried it, you might be surprised how welcome the heady aroma of cinnamon is in a strong cup of coffee.

Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatella

And against the milky backdrop of a subtly nutty and sweet coffee ice cream, cinnamon brings just a hint of warmth and spice, giving the frozen treat overtones of a iced coffee-laced horchata.

If that doesn’t lure out the summer sunshine, I’m not sure what will.

Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatella

Bonus: this ice cream has no eggs so it’s even easier to throw together—no thermometer necessary.

Note: I used straight up melted chocolate chips for my first stracciatella attempt, but found them slightly uncooperative in the drizzling department, so I ended up with larger chunks of chocolate than I wanted (rather than thin ribbons), though they were still endearingly irregular. This time I thought about melting butter into the chocolate to smooth it out, as I recently did with my raspberry chocolate tart, but I couldn’t get over the idea of butter working its way into my ice cream (though I suppose it is done!) so I used coconut oil instead. It turned out to be perfectly drizzleable and ideal; the ice cream was evenly distributed with thin streams of chocolate (unless you prefer fighting over who gets that one massive chunk of chocolate in their ice cream scoop!).

Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatella

Print this recipe. (PDF)


Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with Stracciatella
(Adapted from “Nibby Ice Cream” in the book Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich.)

(Makes just a little over 1 quart)

~ 1¼ cup whole milk
~ 1½ cup heavy cream
~ ½ cup strong-brewed coffee
~ ½ tsp. coarse-ground coffee (if desired and/or if you have a fine mesh strainer)
~ 1 cinnamon stick
~ ½-1 tsp. ground cinnamon (depending on preference)
~ ½ cup sugar
~ ⅛ tsp. salt
For Stracciatella:
~ ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
~ 2 tsp. coconut oil

How to make it:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, brewed coffee, ground coffee, cinnamon stick, ground cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Slowly heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.

Making Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatella

2. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl (this will catch most but not all of the coffee grounds if you’re using coarse-ground coffee, as you’d use in a French press; you could also leave the ground coffee in and simply discard the cinnamon stick). Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight, until cold.

3. After chilling the mixture overnight: Assemble the ingredients for the stracciatella in a small saucepan and set aside.

Making Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatellaMaking Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatella

4. Once cold, pour the ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker. Allow it to churn for a total of 15 or 20 minutes. While the ice cream is churning, melt the chocolate chips together with the coconut oil over low heat, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula until smooth. Once the ice cream starts to solidify (after 5-10 minutes of churning), gradually drizzle the melted chocolate into the spinning ice cream maker; it should solidify into crunchy stripes of chocolate.

5. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours until the ice cream is firm enough to scoop (or enjoy it sooner, though it will be softer and meltier, resembling gelato). Before serving, let it stand for a few minutes or run the ice cream scoop under hot water to make it easier to scoop.

Print this recipe! (PDF)

Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatella

Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with chocolate stracciatellaPin it!

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Black Sesame Coconut Milk Ice Cream Thai Iced Tea Popsicles Almond Cinnamon Baklava Mango Coconut Popsicles
39 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2013 8:46 am

    we’re getting a slight nip in our air too, we keep the ac on a regular schedule during the day but at night i keep it at bay and sleep with the windows open. it’s not so cool that we require slippers though, i so totally feel you!

    i love the combination of chocolate + coffee (i have to be in the mood for the addition of cinnamon). we’ve attempted (and failed spectacularly) whenever we try to drizzle chocolate in our ice cream. your post is making me want to attempt it again.

    • August 8, 2013 11:44 am

      Yes, you should try it again! That tiny bit of coconut oil made all the difference in the drizzle-ability of the chocolate.

      That’s nice you can at least sleep with the windows open, too, even though you have to use the AC during the day. We don’t have air conditioning at all (and to be honest we don’t really need it in this part of Cali.) but in past summers I remember needing the fans going almost 24 hours a day, and this summer (since June Gloom hit) we’ve barely used our fans at all—although we were using them regularly back in April and May… such odd weather!

  2. August 8, 2013 9:45 am

    I JUST bought an ice cream maker, so post all the ice cream recipes you want!! I see no problem eating ice cream year round! This sounds delicious!

    • August 8, 2013 11:45 am

      Yay! Congratulations on your new ice cream maker; I’m sure you two will be very happy together. :) And you’re right—ice cream is good in any season!

  3. August 8, 2013 10:05 am

    Looks incredible!

  4. themondaybaker permalink
    August 8, 2013 11:07 am

    That looks delicious! Coffee and chocolate. Mmmmmm.

    • August 8, 2013 11:46 am

      Thanks! I know; it’s one of the very best combinations there is. (My mom and I both used to get very excited when the flavor of the day at the frozen custard stand near our house was either Coffee Chocolate Chip or Coffee Oreo.)

  5. August 8, 2013 11:09 am

    Coffee, cinnamon, AND chocolate?!! I’d better get crackin’ so this has time to cool before dinner…

    • August 8, 2013 11:48 am

      That’s what I like to hear! :) No reason to delay making this one… (although it actually took me forever to finally make this again since I don’t normally keep dairy milk or cream in the house and kept forgetting to buy them!)

  6. August 8, 2013 1:10 pm

    I feel like it’s been like that everywhere weather wise – the Midwest has been surprisingly cool as well (who knew humid and cool was a thing?). But no weather can stop me from eating ice cream and coffee happens to be my favorite – this looks delicious!

    • August 8, 2013 1:55 pm

      Thanks! I know; such strange summer weather… (Although the two weeks I was back in Wisconsin in late June it was pretty darn hot! And humid of course.) I’m glad to hear you are so dedicated to ice cream that no weather can stop you from eating it. :)

  7. August 8, 2013 3:06 pm

    Looks like I’ll be bringing the ice cream churn out of hibernation early this year. It’s not been a very cold winter here in Sydney and usually I don’t start making ice cream for a couple more months, but I don’t think I can wait with this recipe beckoning me. Thanks for the post.

  8. Create Grace permalink
    August 8, 2013 4:28 pm

    Reblogged this on CREATE GRACE..

  9. August 8, 2013 5:33 pm

    Ooh Allison, thank you so much for this delicious summer idea…I’m not a big ice-cream person, but coffee and cinnamon works for me any day! Time to pull out the good ole ice-cream machine!

    • August 9, 2013 11:28 am

      Yay! I know, I’m not the biggest ice cream person either actually… I love gelato and citrusy fruit sorbets, and I can recognize when an ice cream tastes amazing, but I never actually sit around *craving* ice cream. This one is right up there though! :) Hope you enjoy it!

  10. August 8, 2013 6:15 pm

    Mmm, an excellent use of that stracciatella, indeed! You can never go wrong with coffee and chocolate, especially in such a sweet and creamy format.

    • August 9, 2013 11:30 am

      Thanks, Hannah! And thanks for the stracciatella inspiration in the first place! That use of the open-topped ice cream maker obviously blew my mind a little bit and stuck with me. :)

  11. August 9, 2013 7:22 am

    No one will stop you Allison!!Keep on posting about ice creams!! It’s a really nice combination and so fragrant!! I love cinnamon,I grew up with desserts and their cinnamon touch :)

  12. August 9, 2013 11:44 pm

    Ooh this looks good! It’s definitely ice-cream weather here in Greece! We are very familiar with cinnamon in coffee here, as it’s the standard “sprinkle” for capucchino froth instead of chocolate. As for the choc sauce you made, adding the oil made it “magic shell” so you could pour any leftovers over the top before serving and it will harden. What a great idea to drizzle it in while churning! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • August 10, 2013 10:37 am

      Oh yes, I love adding cinnamon to cappuccinos too! (It’s just that I drink home-brewed coffee a lot more often than espresso drinks these days, to save money.)

      And you’re right! I think I saw that magic shell recipe on Food52, but I wasn’t even thinking about it when I decided to add coconut oil to my second attempt at stracciatella… I was just thinking “what can I use instead of butter?” I will have to try that coconut oil/chocolate mixture poured over the top of my ice cream sometime soon! (I wouldn’t have guessed that it would harden that way—without being mixed into the churning ice cream to freeze in smaller chunks—but now that you’ve pointed out that it’s like the magic shell recipe, I guess that would work!) Mmm… can’t wait to try that…

  13. August 10, 2013 8:09 am

    This is a dream come true of flavor combinations! Genius!


  14. August 13, 2013 8:54 am

    It’s FREEZING here in Scotland! I just found your blog and I love it! I’m a tomato lover as well! Thanks for the recipe :)

    The Foodie Teen

  15. August 13, 2013 4:10 pm

    Love the stracciatella technique! I’ll have to try that. I love irregularity when it comes to chocolate pieces. (…That’s probably a weird thing to say.)

    • August 15, 2013 8:51 am

      Nope, not weird at all—I am totally with you on that! Imagine ice cream with (regular-shaped) whole chocolate chips tossed in… not as appetizing!

  16. August 14, 2013 6:58 pm

    Cinnamon & coffee are such a beautiful combination. Truly looks sensational!

  17. August 15, 2013 1:48 pm

    I have been thinking about getting an ice cream maker. Any recommendations?

    Yes, this weather has been really crappy. But who can say no to ice cream…ever? :)
    So, thank you for the recipe.
    PS. I had the best coffee with Nutella when I was in Antwerp and while reading the recipe I kept thinking that instead of Stracciatella I could use Nutella. I wonder if that would work…

    • August 15, 2013 2:21 pm

      Wow, yes! Nutella instead of Stracciatella is a wonderful idea! It might need to be Nutella in a slightly warmed/melty state, but I think that could definitely work. Yummmmm.

      About the ice cream maker: I picked one out after reading extensive reviews somewhere online for many many different models…. then I added this one to my Amazon wish list, but actually it was my sisters who finally got it for me for my birthday. Anyway, I love it and have enjoyed using it with no problems, but there might be other newer ones that you’d want to look into that have come out since then (over a year ago)…

      (As far as I can remember, the only/main downside that commenters seemed to think it had was that—since you need to keep the freezer bowl in your freezer overnight before using it—you couldn’t make more than one or two batches in a row/on any given day—and even two might be tricky—before needing to put it back in the freezer overnight again. But since I’ve never even wanted to make *two* on the same day, it’s been fine with me!)

  18. September 1, 2013 12:40 pm

    You know I love cinnamon in my coffee but have never had cinnamon in ice cream. This is a fabulous recipe Allison. Thanks for being a part of the YBR.


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