Does coffee ice cream have caffeine in it? Yes, most do. But not all brands. You're about to find out which ones, and how much caffeine they contain. You'll also get an easy recipe for making it at home – decaf and caffeinated.
Does Coffee Ice Cream Have Caffeine?
Yes, most likely it does. Unless the ingredient list just says “artificial flavor” then it probably has caffeine in it. Most brands do.
Now if that delicious flavor actually comes from coffee, how much caffeine is in it?
So let's take a look at some of the most common questions about coffee ice cream and hopefully find out if your late-night snack will keep you awake or not.
Is coffee ice cream made with actual coffee?
Yes, most coffee ice cream is made with real coffee. On the ingredient list, you'll usually see instant coffee, or simply “coffee” listed along with the other ingredients.
This makes sense, because coffee is so inexpensive. Especially when compared to other flavors, like vanilla, which is frequently replaced with artificial flavoring in most ice cream because of the high cost of pure vanilla extract.
It may also have coffee extract which contains caffeine.
How Much Caffeine is in Coffee Ice Cream?
The amount of caffeine depends on the brand.
- For example, this article mentions that one cup (8 oz) of Haagen Daz coffee ice cream contains around the same amount of caffeine as a rounded teaspoon of instant coffee, around 60mg. This is also the the amount of caffeine that you would get in a single shot of espresso.
- But if you look at Talenti coffee ice cream in a 2/3 cup serving there's only .002mg which is less than a decaf coffee.
- Then again if you're a Ben and Jerry's fan, a pint of their popular ice cream, Coffee BuzzBuzz Buzz will give you around 180mg, around the same as two 8 oz cups of coffee.
As you can see the amount of caffeine in coffee ice cream varies a lot.
And if you add other ingredients like dark chocolate in the mix the caffeine content would go up accordingly.
Will coffee ice cream keep me awake?
Yes, if you are sensitive to caffeine, coffee ice cream can keep you awake.
As mentioned above, a cup of coffee ice cream could contain as much caffeine as a shot of espresso. So if you wouldn't drink coffee before bedtime, you should probably skip the coffee ice cream as well.
But if you're not sensitive to caffeine than don't worry about it because you're not getting much more than you would in a cup of coffee.
Coffee ice cream with caffeine: 8 Brands
All of the following brands list either coffee or coffee extract in their ingredients. So I think it's safe to assume they have caffeine.
Here are some coffee ice cream brands with caffeine:
- Ben and Jerry's coffee ice cream – instant and extract
- Haagen Daz coffee ice cream – instant
- Breyers coffee ice cream – coffee extract
- Talenti coffee ice cream – coffee
- Hood coffee ice cream – coffee extract
- Turkey Hill coffee ice cream – coffee
- Dreyers coffee ice cream – coffee
- Cold Stone coffee ice cream. This brand is a little harder to figure out because they don't list ingredients separately they just list “Coffee Ice Cream with Roasted Almonds, Heath Bar and Caramel” but it's probably safe to say there's coffee in there.
Out of the brands listed above, it would be safe to assume that the brands which list just coffee extract (Breyers and Hood) would have less caffeine than the ones which list coffee or instant coffee.
Does coffee flavor have caffeine? 3 sources
It depends on what kind of flavor it is. There are three sources of coffee flavoring.
- Artificial coffee flavor: No caffeine. If it is an artificial coffee flavor than it has been produced chemically and does not have caffeine.
- Natural coffee flavor: May contain caffeine. If it is a natural coffee flavor than it may or may not have caffeine. The flavor could come from the coffee extract which contains some caffeine.
- Natural ingredients: Likely no caffeine. Or it could come from some natural ingredients which don't contain caffeine but when roasted and combined taste similar to coffee, like chicory root, dandelion root, garlic, dates, and figs.
So if you are trying to avoid caffeine in your coffee ice cream it would be best to do research, read ingredient labels, and ask the manufacturer.
3 types of coffee ice cream without caffeine
The best way to get coffee ice cream without caffeine is probably to make it yourself (you'll find a recipe below).
Even decaf coffee ice cream will still have small amounts of caffeine because most recipes use decaffeinated coffee. And decaf coffee still has around 7mg per 8oz serving. Of course, your serving of decaffeinated coffee ice cream (probably 1/2 to 1 cup) will have less because of all the other ingredients.
If you're not into making ice cream you may be able to find some at the store.
Here are a few brands of decaffeinated coffee ice cream:
- Straus organic coffee ice cream. This may be worth considering, it's made with freeze-dried decaffeinated coffee. It also has cocoa in it, so you will be getting some caffeine in each serving – but not very much.
- Nightfood Cold Brew Decaf. This is made with decaffeinated coffee and does not have any cocoa or chocolate.
- BLACKBEAN Decaf Coffee. This also looks like a great option, it's made with decaf coffee and is also made without chocolate.
Dairy-free coffee ice cream: 3 brands
If you're like me and need to avoid dairy, and you'll be happy to know that there are some options for dairy-free coffee ice cream.
Here are some dairy-free coffee ice cream brands:
- So Delicious Cold Brew Coffee. This is made with coconut milk and coffee extract. It's also gluten-free.
- Daiya Espresso Coffee Dessert Bar. This is made with coconut cream and is coated in dark chocolate. It's dairy-free and gluten-free.
- Ben & Jerry's Coffee Caramel Fudge. This decadent treat is made with almond milk and coffee extract.
Is coffee ice cream safe during pregnancy?
This is a personal choice. Because caffeine crosses the placenta and affects the fetus some choose not to consume food/drinks with caffeine.
Others feel it's safe to have some caffeine. The most common recommendation is to have no more than 200 mg a day while pregnant and breastfeeding.
If you're wondering about my opinion, I think avoiding as much caffeine as possible is the safest thing for the baby. That's what I did and I survived. 🙂
Homemade Coffee Ice Cream (Recipe)
It's super easy to make coffee ice cream, especially if you cheat a little and start out with a regular vanilla ice cream base.
The reason you might want to do this is if your local grocery store doesn't carry it. Or you already have some ice cream at home and would like to add that yummy coffee flavor.
This little cheat may also work well for those of us who can't have milk. There are a number of dairy-free vanilla ice cream options, so you could use one of those as well. And of course, you don't have to use vanilla, you can use whatever flavor you would like.
Either way, you'll only need 3 things:
- Ice cream
- Instant coffee, decaf or regular
Now lets put this together:
- Make coffee syrup: All you'll need to do is put a teaspoon of instant coffee in a cup, add a tsp of water and mix it until it dissolves into a syrup (much like when making iced coffee from instant coffee).
- Add to ice cream: Then you'll mix your coffee syrup into your ice cream. Try adding a little (1/4 tsp) at a time and sampling until you're happy.
Or, try making it from scratch…
If you're a little more adventurous (and less lazy then I am) you could try making some decaf coffee ice cream from scratch. This recipe looks amazing. She makes a coffee-infused milk which sounds like a great idea.
That recipe can also be made as a caffeinated coffee ice cream, depending on what you like. I would definitely use a high-quality arabica coffee for this. And I would suggest using 2 tbsp of ground coffee to make a good strong brew.
You and Your Coffee Ice Cream
I hope this has helped answer your question about coffee ice cream. If you're like me, you are craving coffee ice cream right now. 🙂
If you have a favorite kind or would like to share a coffee ice cream recipe please do so by commenting on this post.
Have you ever wondered if you can eat coffee beans? Check out this post to get the benefits, side effects, and caffeine content.
Dena Haines is a co-founder and blogger on EnjoyJava! – and is working to make it the best coffee blog in the world. She also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at Click Like This. Dena is partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company she started with her husband, Bryan.