With all the cups of coffee purchased at coffee shops in the U.S, you’d think coffee ice cream sales would be up there.
About 1.54 billion gallons of ice cream and related frozen desserts were produced in the U.S. in 2015. But coffee ice cream didn’t even make The Top Tens lists* (it’s #11). But we went to the source: See below.
So show your love: Celebrate National Coffee Ice Cream Day, September 6th, with a coffee ice cream cone. It can be plain coffee ice cream or its brothers:
Coffee Almond Fudge
Coffee Chocolate Chip
Coffee Toffee Crunch
Affogato: Place a scoop(s) of ice cream in a cup and pour espresso over it.
À la mode cake: angel cake, carrot cake, pound cake.
À la mode pie: chocolate silk pie, pecan pie, Snickers pie, fruit cobbler or crisp (the difference).
Boozy float: coffee ice cream with bourbon, Kahlúa or stout; whipped cream optional.
Coffee and donut: Your favorite donut with a scoop of coffee ice cream in the center.
Dessert sauce: Just let the pint melt and use it as a sauce on brownies, cakes, pies and puddings.
Espresso ice cream shooters: A smaller version of affogato. Here’s the recipe.
Homemade or half-made coffee ice cream (photo #1), with mix-ins or garnishes: chocolate chips, chocolate-covered coffee beans, crushed coffee beans, crushed Oreos.
Ice cream soda or shake: Here’s the difference.
Ice cream cake: An easy recipe is to buy pound cake and ice cream, slice the cake horizontally, add softened ice cream, and re-freeze. Serve with warm chocolate sauce.
Ice cream pie (photo #2): Simply buy a chocolate cookie crust, the ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Ice cream sandwich with cookies, chocolate pound cake slices or a split brownie.
Ice cream sundae with caramel or fudge sauce.
Iced coffee float: Two scoops of ice cream, iced coffee (no sweetener), whipped cream and optional garnish.
Irish coffee: Make the basic recipe topped with coffee ice cream instead of whipped cream. Consider omitting the sugar.
Hold the mocha ice cream for another occasion.
BEYOND THE CONE:
15 OTHER WAYS TO CELEBRATE WITH COFFEE ICE CREAM
The majority of U.S. ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturers have been in business for more than 50 years and many are still family-owned businesses.
The ice cream industry in the United States contributes more than $39.0 billion to the national economy and creates more than 188,000 jobs in communities across the country.
The first-known written ice cream recipe is in the recipe book of Lady Anne Fanshawe, dated 1665. It was flavored with orange flower water, mace or ambergris [source].
ICE CREAM TRIVIA
Make your own coffee ice cream, or partially soften store-bought ice cream. This version, from Dashing Diva, is a no-churn diet version with just 35 calories per scoop.
 Three-ingredient ice cream pie: cookie crust, coffee ice cream, chocolate sauce. Here’s the recipe from Betty Crocker.
 Who needs a Black Russian? Simply pour Kahlúa (or bourbon) over coffee ice cream (photo courtesy A Better Happier St. Sebastian).
Both vanilla and chocolate were found in what is now Mexico by Hernàn Cortez, and brought back to Spain in 1527 or 1528 [more].
While sorbet had been made since ancient times, Bernardo Buontalenti of Florence, Italy, a Medici banquet impressario, is credited with inventing ice cream (gelato) in the mid-1500s [more].
discovered how to quickly pollinate the vanilla orchid with a thin stick or blade of grass and a simple thumb gesture.
Vanilla may be the number-one flavor sold today, but it was quite exotic and rare in the late 1700s. It was difficult to acquire before the mid-19th century.
That’s because the plant is sterile and can’t be pollinated by insects. In 1841,a 12-year old slave, Edmond Albius, discovered how to quickly pollinate the vanilla orchid with a thin stick or blade of grass and a simple thumb gesture.
Wealthy colonial Americans enjoyed coffee, pistachio, strawberry and vanilla ice cream. They also feasted on asparagus, oyster and parmesan ice cream (all really delicious; just not for dessert).
THE TOP ICE CREAM FLAVORS IN THE U.S.
In June 2017, International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) conducted an anonymous ice cream survey among its members who make and market ice cream, as well as members of the National Ice Cream Retailers Association, which includes operators of ice cream parlors in the United States.
Here’s what they responded regarding America’s top 10 favorite ice cream flavors:
3. Cookies N’ Cream
4. Mint Chocolate Chip
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
6. Buttered Pecan
7. Cookie Dough
9. Moose Tracks
Yes, coffee is not on the list. But when asked about daring and creative flavors, says Audra Kruse of IDFA, they “received one that’s relevant for National Coffee Ice Cream Day: a bourbon- and caffeine-spiked concoction called Exhausted Parent.”
Our personal favorites: The Top 5! And we wouldn’t mind some Exhausted Parent, as well.
HERE’S THE HISTORY OF ICE CREAM
*The only way to truly look at the top flavors is to look at sales data. However, that number is strongly skewed by commercial sales to food service providers (restaurants, caterers, etc.). Other statistics, including this one, are based on consumer surveys.