When we make homemade Coffee Ice Cream, using instant coffee dissolved in hotwater, we always have icicles form. Is this avoidable?

  • ice cream machine or hand stir in the freezer? What method what recipe...so little information in this question.
    – Escoce
    Oct 26, 2015 at 17:38
  • Oh sorry! Hand stirred using condensed milk and cream Oct 26, 2015 at 21:39
  • Ok so what do you mean by icecles. If you are hand stirring, then you are going to get more "crystalline ice cream than machine turned. It'll be like ice cream you let melt and then re freezed. A machine keeps it moving and stirs the ice in constantly whereas hand stirring you are freezing the surface a touch and stirring it in repeatedly in longer cycles. You can't keep the ice crystals from forming with that method very easily, at least not tediously. If you really like the idea of home made ice cream, then spend $50 - $75 on an ice cream tub machine. You will be very happy with the results
    – Escoce
    Oct 26, 2015 at 22:03

2 Answers 2


With respect to the coffee: Rather than dissolving the coffee granules in water, try dissolving them directly in the cream.

  • Or you might try alcohol. (I don't know that it'll work ... and you might want to check some burbon ice cream recipes to see how much you can get away with putting in)
    – Joe
    Oct 26, 2015 at 21:33
  • I might also suggest adding a little bit of corn starch (or similar) to your ice cream base, to absorb extra water and prevent it from forming crystals. A reasonable amount is about 4 tsp. of corn starch turned into a slurry and added to the base. You'll want to heat it of course so that the starch gelatinizes. Oct 27, 2015 at 21:32

There are a couple of reasons icicles form, but the most frequent culprit in my experience is ice cream having been allowed to come to too high a temperature at some point in the process, as early as when you begin churning.

When the ice cream gets to its melting point, the water molecules can start to separate from the cream mixture and, when re-freezing without another churn, the water will freeze into ice without reincorporating back into the cream, so you will have that off-putting icy texture.

Make sure your ice cream is constantly cold and that if you let it out to soften before scooping, you immediately return it to the freezer before it starts to completely liquefy.


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