Coffee Frozen Yogurt {recipe} + essie ‘Mochacino’ mani with ‘Hors d’oeuvres’ Glitter – Churn Down for What?

coffee frozen yogurt, scooper
One summer, I had a full-tilt fling with the ice cream maker that I received as a birthday gift.

It was natural, of course, as you always do the same sort of obsessive thing the first few months with any shiny new boy toy. I scoured the internet into the wee hours of the morning for recipes. I couldn’t get the inner bowl re-frozen fast enough after making each new batch of ice cream. I didn’t attempt the more complicated recipes with custards and eggs, or get into fancy flavors; I just made batch after batch of basic chocolate, vanilla with various easy add-ins, and strawberry ice creams, simple sorbets, and the one somewhat more exotic ice cream, fig. I was simply mesmerized by the churning action of the maker itself, and pretty much just wowed by the magic of transforming basic ingredients like milk cream and sugar into ice cream, ice cream, which had previously always been the magic itself.

Those wild-eyed, late nights of ‘churn and burn’ into long summer days are past now, though I still have the ice cream maker. Every summer since then, I have dutifully pulled it out of storage and set it out on the countertop with a big bowl of intention of not only making homemade ice cream every few days as a proper food blogger should, but making homemade ice cream with ever increasingly interesting, ever increasingly “foodie,” flavors and textures. Roasted strawberry and thyme! Rose with salted pistachios! Sweet corn! Avocado! Olive Oil!

But every year, the excitement of making ice cream at home faded a little more from the year before, and the homemade batches became fewer and farther between dizzying visits to every new “small-batch,” “artisan,” “farmers-market driven” ice cream boutique that opened in LA. The last two years — maybe three? — I hoisted my ice cream maker onto the countertop from the deep within the cabinet underneath, then subsequently shoved it into a visible but not easily accessible corner to make sure I was giving enough space to the new flavor of the month, the juicer.

I made raspberry frozen yogurt with my niece once last summer.

This summer, I didn’t even think about the ice cream maker because by Spring, I already had an ice cream project churning a hole in my brain that didn’t require one. In fact, the whole point of the project was to make ice cream the old-fashioned way, or at least more old fashioned than plugging an electric machine into a wall. I added “Ice Cream in Two Coffee Cans” as Number 44 on the list of 94 Things to Eat, Drink, Do and Wear this Summer, thinking it would be a little bit of childhood nostalgia for me and a fun, if not educational, way to spend an afternoon with my nieces and nephews.

There was a problem, though, child labor or whatever notwithstanding. Those big metal cans of Folgers and Maxwell House coffee grounds that I remember from my youth had all but been replaced by molded plastic tubs with easy pour handle and spouts. Granted, I didn’t shop that hard, but coming up empty-handed after the fourth store was enough to copyedit my original list.

I couldn’t make ice cream in coffee cans,  but I can make coffee ice cream.

(It’s actually frozen yogurt, because I’m not eating dairy these days. I know.)
espresso syrup
Most recipes out there for Coffee Frozen Yogurt call for not just yogurt, but a little bit of milk or cream or both as well. The milk/cream keeps the texture of the frozen yogurt creamy, and is oftentimes where either instant coffee gets dissolved, or coffee or espresso beans get “brewed.” I made my Coffee Frozen Yogurt with straight up yogurt, and added the coffee flavor in the form of a very strong espresso syrup — just espresso (or very strong brewed coffee) and sugar, reduced over low heat into a syrup.

All-yogurt along with slightly less sugar than most recipes make the flavor and texture of my frozen yogurt a lot tangier and a little icier than say, a store-bought coffee frozen yogurt, but I love it. I tried Haagen-Dazs Coffee Lowfat Frozen Yogurt and Stonyfield Organic ‘Gotta Have Java’  to compare — both contain other ingredients that contribute a soft, smooth, creamy consistency. My frozen yogurt freezes hard, so it has to sit out on the countertop for at least ten minutes before it’s scoopable.
coffee frozen yogurt, scooper
It makes a great ice cream sandwich with Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

It also matches perfectly with a mocha-hued manicure with sparkling silver and gold glitter at the “moons.”

Coffee Frozen Yogurt {recipe}

makes 1 quart


1 cup espresso or very strong brewed coffee
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups full fat yogurt


Heat espresso or coffee in small sauce on stovetop over low heat. Dissolve sugar into espresso or coffee. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until syrup is slightly reduced and thickened. Allow espresso syrup to cool, pour into container, and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour (until it’s no longer warm at all).

Combine chilled espresso syrup, yogurt, salt, and vanilla extract until combined. Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions (my Cuisinart ICE-30BC takes about 25 minutes). Frozen yogurt can be eaten at this point, but it is very soft.

Transfer soft frozen yogurt to freezer-safe container and freeze for a few hours until hard.

To serve, allow frozen yogurt to soften on the countertop at room temperature for about 10 minutes.



~ I used organic, full-fat Greek yogurt, which gives the frozen yogurt a thicker, almost “cream cheese”-like flavor and texture. Regular yogurt will taste lighter.
~ I am a coffee whore and brew/drink whatever is available. I was lucky when I decided to make this coffee frozen yogurt: beans roasted by Caffe Luxxe, Brentwood/Santa Monica.
~ essie ‘mochacino’ is a dark neutral/nude that is slightly gray/purple and has a silver shimmer (not to be confused with darker, redder Revlon Mochaccino, which pair with Korean Braised Chicken!)
~ essie ‘hors d’ouevres’ is part of the ‘Holiday/Encrusted’ collection. The polish has chunky silver and gold glitter and lots of it, so it really does look like a full, diamond-encrusted nail when painted on.
~ essie ‘good to go’ quick-dry high-gloss top coat is not my favorite quick-dry top coat, but one I tested and still have to use up.

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