Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

You’ll learn:

  • To create the perfect Vietnamese coffee ice cream, use a mix of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream.
  • Coffee of your choice, either caffeinated or decaf.
  • Vanilla extract or pure vanilla bean completes the flavor profile.

Vietnamese ice coffee makes you realize that any other weak coffeehouse version of diluted coffee over ice is for wimps. Course-ground coffee is packed into a metal brewer, and the thick, intense coffee slowly drips down into a tall glass filled with ice cubes and 1/2″ of sweetened condensed milk. As the hot coffee drips down, it melts some of ice and mixes in with the sweet, sticky milk. What you end up with is the perfect concoction of rich, creamy iced coffee.

Seven Spoons by Tara O'BradyTake this formula and make ice cream for an “uncompromising intensity” of coffee flavors, according to Tara O’Brady, author Seven Spoons Cookbook and Seven Spoons food blog.

Seven Spoons Author Tara O'Brady

This is my full-stop favorite ice cream. A voluptuous mix of evaporated milks and cream gets infused with ground coffee, then chilled, churned, and swirled with caramel.Tara O’Brady

This summer, if you have an ice cream maker (and love coffee), give Tara’s Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream a try!

Tara likes to top her Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream with homemade Candied Cocoa Nibs and an Espresso Caramel, both of those recipes are found in her cookbook. For us, we made the base Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, and topped with a pinch of fine ground coffee and a little store-bought caramel.

About Seven Spoons

I’ve been reading Tara’s blog for as long as I’ve known the word, “blog.” As a silent fan, I’ve followed her adventures through parenthood, learning about her Indian heritage, sipped her Frothy Indian Coffee and drizzled her Simple, Quick Chocolate Sauce over warm banana bread (which also would be great drizzled on this Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, too.)

Tara’s site is a true blog, her sometimes deeply personal posts are always thoughtful, poetic and heartfelt. Her cookbook is the same. If you love really reading a cookbook, from beginning to end, you’ll be comfortable nestling right into the pages of Seven Spoons Cookbook.

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Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream Recipe


Adapted and reprinted with permission from Seven Spoons, by Tara O’Brady, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright © 2015 by Tara O’Brady.Grind regular or decaf coffee beans to a medium grind. For a milder, rounded flavor, use 2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder or 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder instead of ground beans. Original recipe in cookbook includes Candied Cacao Nibs and Espresso Caramel (buy the book!)


1 (14-ounce/400 g) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce/400 g) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) heavy cream
2 ounces (60 g) coffee beans, ground (see note above)
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean, or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Generous pinch of fine-grain sea salt
TOPPINGS: Fine ground coffee, sea salt, store-bought caramel


Combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream, coffee, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, whisking often, until the mixture begins to steam. Remove from the heat and let steep for 20 minutes.
Using a fine-meshed strainer or a coffee filter, strain the liquid into a bowl. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions.

To serve, top the Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream with a pinch of ground coffee, caramel and a pinch of sea salt.


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