Caramel Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches
These homemade caramel coffee ice cream sandwiches are basically all I want to eat in the summertime! They have no-churn caramel swirl ice cream and my famous chewy coffee cookies for a decadent, caffeinated treat. If you’re a fan of coffee, you definitely need to try these!
I know that fall is basically tomorrow but please indulge me with one last summer recipe. Especially because 1. I’ll be neck-deep in pumpkin starting next week. And 2. because this recipe is in the form of ice cream and coffee, basically two of my favorite things ever. As a self-proclaimed coffee snob, I’ll basically look for any reason to put coffee into something.
These homemade cookie ice cream sandwiches are ridiculously good. I keep eating one and then sneaking back to the freezer for another bite. It’s becoming a problem. But it’s fine, everything’s fine.
Details on caramel coffee ice cream sandwiches
I’m forever not over my famous chewy coffee cookies. And apparently, neither is the internet, because they’ve been one of the most popular recipes on my site since I posted them. Since these cookies are usually made around Christmastime, I decided it was time for a summer version and here we are!
Coffee + caramel is ridiculously good together and that’s just factual. In this recipe, we’re making no-churn caramel swirl ice cream, sandwiching it between the cookies, and calling it a day. So easy. There’s even a store-bought ice cream version if making homemade ice cream isn’t your thing!
You’ll want to keep a batch of these in your freezer for ice cream emergencies. You can also serve them at pool parties or your end-of-summer BBQ. Ahhhh they’re the best! Everyone loves these, trust me.
The ingredients you’ll need
You need stuff for both the cookies and the ice cream but most of it is just typical ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen! The best part is that the no-churn ice cream only has four ingredients. Here’s the grocery list:
- Sweetened condensed milk – this is one of the two crucial ingredients you need to make no-churn ice cream. It will give us the sweetness in the recipe!
- Heavy whipping cream – we’ll turn this into whipped cream which will add the fat + air we need for a creamy ice cream texture.
- Caramel sauce – you can use either store-bought or homemade.
- Baking basics – flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, unsalted butter, eggs, and vanilla.
- Spices – cinnamon and cardamom.
- Sugars – both white and brown – the brown sugar will help us get that chewy cookie!
- Instant coffee – go for a good-quality instant coffee for the best flavor. One of my favorite coffee shops down the street sells their own brand so I usually pick some of that up.
How to make this recipe
These caramel coffee ice cream sandwiches are honestly so easy! We’re going to make this recipe in three steps, but they all go pretty quickly. Especially the no-churn caramel swirl ice cream – it only has four ingredients! But first, we’ll start with these soft, chewy cookies.
Make the coffee cookies
- First, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, table salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.
- Next, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and instant coffee.
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients together just until mixed. Chill the dough, if you want to develop the flavor, or move on to the next step if you’re in a rush!
- Then, roll the dough into balls and then roll in granulated sugar.
- Lastly, bake the cookies at 350°F for 8-9 minutes, banging the pan halfway through and after baking to get those crinkly edges.
- Cool the cookies completely and place in an airtight container. Freeze until you’re ready to assemble the ice cream sandwiches.
Mix up the caramel ice cream
- Chill a loaf pan or half sheet pan (12×9”) in the freezer.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
- Whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
- Next, fold about a cup of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture until smooth.
- Then, fold the condensed milk mixture into the rest of the whipping cream.
- Smooth the ice cream base into the chilled loaf pan or sheet pan. Drizzle with caramel sauce and use a toothpick to swirl it around the top.
- Freeze for 2 hours, cover with tinfoil or plastic wrap, and freeze for another 3-4 hours until completely frozen.
Finish the ice cream sandwiches
- Place half of the frozen cookies bottom-side up on a sheet pan.
- Then, set a scoop of ice cream in the middle of each cookie.
- Finish by placing another cookie on top and sandwich together.
- Wrap and freeze until you’re ready to enjoy!
Assembling the sandwiches
When it comes to assembling caramel coffee ice cream sandwiches, you have two options: the pretty way and the lazy girl way. To be honest, I usually go the lazy way unless I’m trying to impress someone or take nice photos lol. The pretty way just gets those nice, straight edges. Let’s get into it!
For those pretty edges
To get those pretty edges, you’ll have to make the ice cream in a half sheet pan. Once it’s frozen, you’ll use a circular cookie cutter that’s just a bit smaller than your cookies to cut out ice cream rounds. (My cookies were 3” in diameter, and my cookie cutter was 2.5” in diameter. A 2.75” cookie cutter would also work).
Pro tip – you’ll have to wipe down the cookie cutter with a wet washcloth in-between cuts to keep getting the straight, clean edges. Place the ice cream rounds on a sheet pan in the freezer while you work or it’ll melt quickly!
The lazy way
If you want to keep it easy, just freeze the ice cream in a loaf pan. Scoop the ice cream out and place the scoops in-between 2 cookies. Sandwich together and enjoy. That’s it!
Storing & serving
If you have leftovers, you can definitely save them for later! I recommend wrapping each ice cream sandwich in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Then, place them in an airtight container to prevent freeze burn. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month!
To serve the ice cream sandwiches, remove them from the freezer and let them warm on the counter for a few minutes. This will help soften the cookie just a tad so they’re a bit easier to eat! Of course, they’re also delicious straight out of the freezer if you just can’t wait any longer.
How long are ice cream sandwiches good for?
These ice cream sandwiches will last up to 1 month in the freezer if properly stored. If they sit any longer, I’ve found that the ice cream starts to get an odd texture. Make sure to wrap them properly or the ice cream sandwiches will get a weird freezer taste!
Can I use store-bought ice cream?
YES, absolutely! Sometimes I’m not in the mood to make no-churn ice cream (no matter how easy it is) and I’ll go with store-bought. All you have to do is place scoops of ice cream in-between two cookies.
You can use either caramel swirl ice cream or go with salted caramel ice cream. Or, if you want to switch up the flavors, you can do something fun like rocky road, coconut, brownie, or just plain vanilla. Anything with nuts and/or chocolate is delicious with the coffee cookies. You can also really lean into the coffee theme with coffee flavored ice cream!
Tips & tricks
- Bake the cookies in advance (up to 2 months!) so they have plenty of time to freeze before you assemble the sandwiches.
- Make sure everything is very frozen before assembling the caramel coffee ice cream sandwiches. Otherwise, the cookies will just crumble when you sandwich them together.
- The ice cream melts quickly (just a feature of no-churn!) so you have to work quickly when assembling the sandwiches.
- Use salted caramel in the ice cream if you want to cut the sweetness a little.
- For a little crunch, roll the sides of the ice cream with chocolate chips, nuts, or sprinkles.
- Let the ice cream sandwiches warm up for about 3-4 minutes on the counter before you enjoy them. It just helps soften the cookie a bit but it’s not totally necessary!
More frozen treats you’ll love
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Caramel Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Loaf pan or half sheet pan chilled
- Bake the cookies according to the recipe instructions. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. Freeze until they're frozen, at least 2 hours or up to 2 months.**
Caramel Swirl No-Churn Ice Cream
- Place a half sheet pan or loaf pan the freezer while you prepare the rest of the recipe. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt until smooth. Set aside.
- Next, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Fold about 1 cup of the whipping cream into the condensed milk mixture until smooth. Then, fold the condensed milk mixture into the rest of the whipped cream until you have a smooth ice cream base.
- Pour the ice cream base into the chilled sheet pan (for straight, clean edges) or a loaf pan (if you just want to easily scoop the ice cream). Smooth the top evenly. Then, drizzle the caramel sauce all over the top. Use a toothpick, chopstick, or butter knife to swirl the ice cream (don't overmix, you want swirls of caramel throughout the ice cream).
- Freeze the ice cream in a flat spot for about 2 hours. Wrap the pan with tinfoil or plastic wrap and freeze for another 3-4 hours until it's completely frozen.
Assemble the Ice Cream Sandwiches
- For pretty ice cream edges, you'll need to do just a bit of prep! Use a 2.5-2.75'' cookie/biscuit cutter to cut ice cream rounds out of the sheet pan of frozen ice cream. Wipe down the cookie cutter with a wet cloth in-between cuts to ensure the edges stay clean. Place the ice cream rounds on a sheet pan or plate in the freezer while you work so the ice cream doesn't melt.
- To assemble the ice cream sandwiches, flip a cookie bottom-side up. Place an ice cream round or a scoop of ice cream on top of the cookie. Sandwich another cookie on top of the ice cream and gently press together to adhere the ice cream to the cookies. Repeat with the remaining cookies and ice cream.***
- Serve the ice cream sandwiches immediately. To store them for later, wrap each individual ice cream sandwich in parchment paper or plastic wrap. Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: The Greatest by Cat Power