Up until the moment I viewed a Joshua Weissman video on how to make ice cream using whole coffee beans, I thought such a treat had to be created with instant coffee. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few brands of instant craft coffee (as ironic as that sounds), but by and large, instant coffee is the stuff of nightmares. Just… bleh

Now, all that’s changed! As shown in Weissman’s video, whole coffee beans can be steeped in milk to create a full, well-rounded flavor instead of the sharp and bitter elements brought about by most instant coffees. Combine that technique with the basic formula for vegan ice cream by Van Leeuwen and a dash of relaxing CBD from Alpen Organics for a treat that’s equal parts soothing, stimulating, and decadent. 

Our favorite way to enjoy this ice cream isn’t in a cone or bowl. Nay, this ice cream reaches peak perfection when it’s served with more coffee! Who would’ve thought? If you’re one of the lucky few who has an espresso maker, by all means brew up a shot and pour it on top. If you don’t have an espresso maker, brew up a batch of light or medium roast coffee using a 1:12 ratio of coffee to water. The bright and fruity complexion of lighter coffees will provide nice contrast to the deep flavors of the ice cream.

Important note: we used a dark, whole bean coffee from Vietnam for the ice cream base, but you can use any medium or dark roasted coffee you like. While we love a good light roast for our daily brew, its flavors would be overwhelmed by the fats and sugars in this recipe, so pick a bold coffee that’ll shine through the ice cream’s richness.

CBD Infused Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream (vegan)

  • Servings: ~2 pints
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Rich and velvety vegan ice cream with bold robusta coffee and relaxing CBD.


  • 2 cups (473 ml) coconut cream
  • 100 grams whole Vietnamese coffee beans or other dark roast coffee
  • 144 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 30 grams (2 tablespoons) virgin coconut oil
  • 26 grams (2 tablespoons) cacao butter
  • 2 full droppers of Alpen Organics CBD
  • 1 cup (237 ml) cashew cream recipe below

Homemade Cashew Cream

  • 200 grams (about 1 ½ cups) raw cashews
  • water


  1. Prep: Place the bowl and paddle of your ice cream maker into the freezer at least 12 hours before churning.
  2. Cashew Cream: Place cashews in a large bowl and rinse with cold water until it comes out clean; about 3 washes. Top with cold water by at least 2 inches, cover, and store overnight; 8-12 hours.
  3. Drain, rinse, and re-weigh soaked cashews (total should be around 300 grams)Multiply weight by 1.25 to find the amount of water needed. In our case, 300 grams x 1.25 = 375 grams, thus we used 375 grams of water.
  4. Combine cashews and water in a blender or food processor and blitz on high until smooth. If the mixture is gritty after a few minutes, transfer to a personal blender cup in batches and blitz until smooth.
  5. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and use a spatula to coax it through. Store in fridge for up to 3 days or use immediately.
  6. Ice Cream Base: Combine coconut cream, coffee beans, sugar, and salt in a medium pot. Bring to a bare simmer over medium heat then reduce the heat to low, place on a lid, and steam for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  7. After 30 minutes, pour coconut cream mixture through a strainer to remove coffee beans. Whisk in coconut oil, cacao butter, and CBD until melted, then stir in cashew cream. 
  8. Transfer ice cream base to a blender and blitz on high for 30 seconds to homogenize. Stash custard in refrigerator until chilled; about 2 hours.
  9. Note: Unlike most ice cream bases, you DON’T want to refrigerate this overnight, as the oils will solidify on top, thus breaking the emulsion. If you forget about it in the fridge for more than 5 hours, you’ll have to place it back into a pot over low heat, stir until oil melts, and refrigerate it for another 2 hours.
  10. Pour chilled custard into your ice cream maker and churn until ice cream reaches soft serve consistency (will vary per ice cream maker). Move into an airtight container and freeze until set (at least 4 hours). If completely frozen, thaw for about 15 minutes before scooping. Enjoy!

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