Did you know it's really, really easy to make a frozen coffee drink at home?

You know, like the one you pay big bucks for every morning.

Something sweet and caffeine-y, to simultaneously comfort and invigorate you while you sit in traffic on the way to work.

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Did you know you can make the very freshest strawberry sorbet at home?

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Frozen yogurt?

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A ridiculous number of ice cream flavors, including this Mocha Madness?

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Mango gelato, even?

All you need is a good recipe, some simple ingredients, and a freezer.

"Oh, right," you're probably thinking. "Here comes the sales pitch for an ice cream maker."

Well, you're partially right. You can make all of these treats (except the gelato) without one of those cute little ice cream makers. I've done it; it works.

But if you're a fan of frozen treats – someone who doesn't hesitate to order a Moose Tracks ice cream cone in December – then yeah, I confess: this IS a sales pitch for an electric ice cream maker.

But it's a pitch based in honesty; I'm one of the world's most savvy shoppers (read: biggest cheapskates), and even I've broken down and acquired an ice cream maker.

After years of cranking the heavy cast aluminum dasher of an enormous old White Mountain wooden freezer – an experience offering ice-pick puncture wounds, messy rock salt, and dribbles of freezing water over my feet and down my arms – I made the switch.

I've moved into the 21st century.

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Cool!

My Cuisinart is an older model; it's white, instead of teal. But whatever the color, this ice cream maker represents, to ice cream aficionados, the best $59.95 you'll spend this summer.

How easy is it to whip up a quart of fresh mango sorbet? Or Frozen Thai Iced Coffee?

Just watch me.

First step – and this is ALWAYS the first step – make sure the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker is in your freezer. For best results, it really needs to freeze for 24 hours.

I have a fridge with a commodious bottom freezer, so I keep my ice cream maker's freezer bowl in it full-time.

In fact, I've just purchased an extra freezer bowl, so I'll always be able to make something frozen at the drop of a hat (or a rise in the outdoor temperature).

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Whisk together the following, in a bowl or lidded storage container:

2 cups (16 ounces) strong hot coffee
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional; for added kick
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy or whipping cream*
1 teaspon vanilla extract

*Substitute milk, if desired, for a lower-fat, less-rich drink.

Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill. It has to be completely cold before you freeze it; an overnight stay in the fridge is good.

This formula – the coffee/condensed milk combo – is a very typical recipe for iced coffee in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam and Thailand.

If you ever want to make a simple iced coffee that's noticeably richer than simply coffee stirred together with milk, just use the first three ingredients in the list above, chilling until cold.

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Next day, or whenever you're ready to make frozen iced coffee, pour the coffee mixture into the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker.

Turn it on. Come back in about 10 minutes; the mixture will be slushy. Freeze for an additional 5 minutes if you like it thicker.

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I like it thicker, and this looks just about right – thick enough to be qualify as frozen, yet still thin enough to slurp through a straw.

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Spoon into glasses; add a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle of cocoa or cinnamon, if desired.

I desire.

This recipe serves 2 to 4, depending on appetites. It's definitely a rich drink; I split it between two of my coffee-loving taste-testers here at King Arthur, Aime and Ben.

Both admitted being unable to resist drinking their whole serving at one sitting – but also offered that probably saving some for later would have been wise!

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Love my KAF glass, but a travel mug works well, too.

Store any leftovers in the freezer.

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This will be the drink's consistency after half a day or so. Enjoy it as coffee ice cream, or let it thaw at room temperature for 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, to return it to drinkable status.

Read, make, and review (please) our recipe for Frozen Thai Iced Coffee.

Print just the recipe.

Check out all the ways you can use the ice cream maker you're now dying to purchase: Cool! Easy Homemade Ice Cream.

And if, after my sales pitch, your response is still "No way am I buying an ice cream maker" – take a look at the following recipes, offering directions for frozen treats made both with, and without an ice cream maker:

Sorbet: strawberry; mango; peach; kiwi-pear-apple; dark chocolate
Mocha Madness ice cream

PJ Hamel
The Author

About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!