Cafecito Delight: Cuban Coffee Ice Cream with Dulce de Leche Swirl

A luscious blend of rich Cuban coffee and sweet caramel – a dessert that dances on the palate!

Coffee Ice Cream with Dulce de Leche Recipe Card
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Coffee aficionados and dessert lovers, rejoice! When two iconic flavors like Cuban coffee and dulce de leche unite, the results are bound to be sublime. I’ve been on a mission to craft an ice cream that isn’t just your regular scoop – and friends, I believe we have found the one.

From the bustling streets of Havana to the cozy confines of our kitchens, the rich aroma of Cuban coffee has a story. It speaks of tradition, warmth, and community. Now, couple this with the caramel lusciousness of dulce de leche, and you have a dessert that doesn’t just satisfy your sweet tooth but also tells a tale of culture and passion.

Whether you’ve been sipping on cafecito since forever or have just discovered the joy of Cuban coffee, this Cuban recipe is a delightful new way to enjoy its robust flavors. The undertones of rum and vanilla bring out the best in the coffee, while the creamy dulce de leche swirl offers a sweet and caramel counterpoint.

If you’re planning a dinner party, imagine ending it on this sweet note. The best part? You don’t need to rush. The ice cream can be made well in advance and stored in the freezer. And trust me, the flavors meld and deepen over time, making each spoonful an exotic escape.

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Without further ado, dive into the recipe below and treat yourself and your loved ones to this Cafecito Delight!

The Enchanting City of Trinidad

Trinidad, a jewel nestled in the heart of Cuba, is a city that effortlessly captivates the heart of anyone fortunate enough to set foot on its storied streets. While Havana, with its pulsating rhythms and vibrant life, often captures global attention, Trinidad remains an unspoiled treasure, holding secrets of centuries past.

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Trinidad offers travelers an unparalleled immersion into Cuba’s rich history. Walking its cobblestone streets feels akin to stepping back in time. The cityscape is adorned with pastel-colored colonial-era homes, their intricate wrought-iron grills and wooden window shutters whispering tales from bygone eras. These architectural wonders stand proudly alongside majestic plazas where locals gather, musicians serenade visitors with soulful melodies, and dancers move gracefully to the beats of Cuban rhythms.

A significant part of Trinidad’s allure is its deep-rooted history in the sugar trade. Not far from the city limits lies Valle de los Ingenios, or the Valley of the Sugar Mills. This area, once teeming with sugarcane plantations, played a pivotal role in shaping Trinidad’s economy and culture. The remnants of old sugar mills and the stories of sugar barons remind visitors of the time when sugar was more valuable than gold.

But Trinidad isn’t just about history. The city offers a vibrant mix of art, music, and gastronomy. Paladares, or private restaurants, serve up local delicacies, while artisans display their handcrafted wares in bustling markets. At night, the city comes alive with the sounds of rumba and son echoing through the streets, inviting everyone to dance.

As you savor each spoonful of the Cuban Coffee Ice Cream, let the creamy texture and rich flavors transport you to Trinidad. Picture yourself wandering its tranquil streets, the golden hue of the setting sun illuminating historic facades, and the promise of another enchanting day awaiting you in this mesmerizing Cuban city.

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Cuban Coffee Ice Cream

Inspired by the aromatic essence of Cuban coffee, this ice cream recipe is a delectable fusion of rich coffee and the creamy sweetness of dulce de leche. The hint of rum and vanilla takes this dessert to new heights. Whether you serve it on a hot summer day or as a grand finale to a dinner party, it promises to leave your guests yearning for more.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cuban
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Chilling Time 8 hours
Total Time 10 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 453kcal
Author Mike Gonzalez


  • 3- to 4-quart pan
  • 5- to 6-quart pan for Dulce de Leche
  • Fine strainer
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Flexible spatula
  • Ice cream maker (1-quart or larger capacity)
  • Airtight container for storing ice cream


Cuban Coffee Ice Cream Ingredients:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark-roasted coffee beans coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dulce de Leche Ingredients:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda


Egg Yolks:

  • In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended.
    6 egg yolks

Milk Mixture:

  • In a 3-4 quart pan on medium-high heat, mix milk, cream, sugar, and coarsely chopped coffee beans.
    2 cups whole milk, 2 cups whipping cream, ¾ cup sugar, 1 cup dark-roasted coffee beans
  • Stir until sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer.
  • Remove from heat, cover, and let it infuse for 30 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture into a bowl to remove coffee beans and discard them.
  • Pour the strained mixture back into the rinsed pan and heat on low until it simmers.

Custard Preparation:

  • Slowly whisk 1/2 cup of the heated milk mixture into the egg yolks.
  • Combine the yolk mixture with the milk mixture in the pan.
  • On low heat, stir consistently until it’s thick enough to coat a spoon’s back (4-6 minutes). Ensure it doesn’t boil.
  • Chilling: Pour the mixture into a fresh bowl. Let it chill, occasionally stirring, for around 2 hours. For a more intense flavor, you can chill it for up to a day.

Ice Cream Process:

  • Mix rum and vanilla into the chilled custard.
    2 tablespoons rum, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Use an ice cream maker (at least 1-quart capacity) to freeze the mixture, following the manufacturer's guidelines.
  • You can serve it immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer for a firmer texture (minimum 6 hours to 1 week). When serving, top with dulce de leche.

Dulce de Leche:

  • In a heavy-duty 5-6 quart pan on medium-high heat, combine 4 cups of milk with 1 1/4 cups of sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves and it starts boiling.
    4 cups whole milk, 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Simmer on low heat, occasionally stirring, until it becomes golden brown and thickens to roughly 2 cups (about 1.5 hours).
  • Strain it into a bowl to remove any residues. This should yield approximately 2 cups.


  1. Coffee Beans: Opt for a good quality dark roast coffee for a pronounced flavor. The coarse chopping ensures you extract maximum flavor without turning the mixture too gritty.
  2. Rum Substitute: If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, you can skip the rum or use a rum extract for flavor without the alcohol.
  3. Chilling Time: The longer you allow the custard to chill, the better the flavors meld. Overnight is optimal, but if you’re short on time, 2 hours is the minimum.
  4. Ice Cream Texture: For a creamier texture, ensure you churn the mixture in the ice cream maker until it’s just set but still a bit soft. Overchurning can make it icy.
  5. Dulce de Leche: Watch the milk-sugar mixture closely as it simmers. It can easily boil over or burn, especially as it thickens.
  6. Storage: Store the ice cream in an airtight container to prevent ice crystals from forming on the top. If it becomes too hard in the freezer, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping.
  7. Serving Suggestion: The ice cream pairs beautifully with a drizzle of chocolate sauce, a sprinkle of crushed nuts, or even a side of churros for a delightful crunch.
  8. Egg Yolks: Make sure to use fresh eggs. Save the whites for another recipe like meringues or angel food cake.
  9. Lactose-Free Version: You can attempt a lactose-free version by using lactose-free milk and cream. The taste might vary slightly, but the overall texture should remain creamy.
  10. Caffeine Content: Remember that this ice cream contains caffeine from the coffee beans. It might be a good idea to avoid it late in the evening if you’re sensitive to caffeine.


Calories: 453kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 7.9g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 245mg | Sodium: 141mg

Perfect Pairings: Foods to Complement Cuban Coffee Ice Cream with Dulce de Leche

The deep flavors of Cuban coffee combined with the sweetness of dulce de leche can be complemented beautifully by a range of foods. Here are some suggestions for what you might serve alongside or even atop your ice cream to create a multi-dimensional dessert experience:

Homemade Churros
Churros are a delicious cinnamon-sugar coated fried pastry dough dessert. They are surprisingly simple to make at home and are the perfect party treat.
Check out this recipe
Mantecaditos ~ Short Bread Cookies
Not every filling listed on this recipe is needed. Chose one or more to sweeten up this shortbread recipe, or choose something you love and give it a try.
Check out this recipe

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