Caffeinated Ice Cream: Is it a delicious alternative to coffee?

You’ve heard of caffeinated gum (ick), caffeine pills, caffeine powder, and so many other products that can give you a caffeine fix if you’re not one of the people out there who love the taste of coffee.

When I was back in my hometown the other day, I got to visiting one of my favorite spots for ice cream, The Chocolate Shoppe!

They produce some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had, and also have one ice cream, Iced Latte-da, that is caffeinated & part of their Bang! Ice cream collection.

So obviously I had to try it!

Spoiler alert, it was fantastic, and the coffee-flavored ice cream did not disappoint my slightly frozen taste buds in the slightest.

I highly recommend stopping by a store if you find yourself in Madison, WI or the surrounding area.

But, it did get me thinking, could you actually use coffee flavored or caffeinated ice cream to replace your morning cup of coffee? Or at least give you a boost when youre craving a sweet treat?

So today were going to be diving into the caffeine content of some popular coffee ice creams out there, to see how they compare with your favorite caffeinated drinks!

In order to figure out if the caffeine levels in ice cream is enough to give you a buzz, we have to see how much caffeine is actually in our day-to-day drinks.

First off, let’s start off by addressing the caffeine content we normally get out of a cup of coffee. an energy drink, or a shot of espresso.

Caffeine Content In Coffee & Energy Drinks

On average, there is around 95 mg of caffeine in a cup of delicious coffee or around 63 mg of caffeine if you’re drinking an espresso or an espresso based drink.

Decaf coffee obviously has substantially less, sitting at around 5.4 mg per 12oz cup of coffee. This amount can vary, but according to the USDA, as long as the caffeine content doesnt exceed

0.10 percent caffeine on a dry basis in the package” the coffee can be considered as decaffeinated.

If you’re a diehard caffeine addict with a tolerance out of this world… check out Biohazard Coffee, otherwise known as the world’s strongest coffee with a caffeine content of 925 MG PER 12OZ serving, how crazy is that??

​Personally, this would be enough caffeine to last me the month, but I know some of you out there working 24hr+ shifts may need it!

If you’re more of an energy drink lover, there is quite a range of the amount of caffeine that can be found in the drinks. It can be anywhere from 50-300+ mg, it really just depends on the brand.

If you’re wondering how much caffeine is in your favorite energy drink, check out this guide that gives a general answer to the question.

Take this information with a grain of salt however as I’m not 100% sure where they got their information from.

However, some of the drinks I did double on some of the caffeine amounts they say are in some drinks and it seems to be accurate.


  • Average cup of coffee: 95 mg
  • 1 shot of espresso: 63 mg
  • Decaffeinated coffee:  5.4 mg per 12oz
  • Energy drinks: 50-300+ mg
  • The worlds strongest coffee: 925 mg per 12oz

How much caffeine is too much?

For an average cup of coffee, the 95 mg is about 1/4 of the maximum intake suggested by the FDA which comes to 400 milligrams of caffeine.

You obviously can have more than this amount, but you may have some unfortunate side effects if you do so, such as

  • insomnia
  • headaches
  • upset stomache

depending on your tolerance.

For those of us who have had the caffeine jitters on more than one occasion know that the effects of caffeine can be a real pain, so be careful on how much you have!

How does caffeine get into the ice cream?

Caffeine can work it’s way into ice cream in a few different ways:

  1. Natural Sources (plants, seeds…etc)This caffeine comes from some ingredients like cocoa, tea, or other items found in nature. Ingredients like milk chocolate have substantially less caffeine that coffee itself, a 50-gram bar only containing 10 mg of caffeine.Dark chocolate on the other hand, has a bit more, containing 50 mg of caffeine per 50g bar.I got in touch with The Chocolate Shoppe and found out they actually use Guarana seed (shown in the image below) to produce a massive 125mg of caffeine that is found in just one scoop of their caffeinated ice cream.

    I’ve never heard of Guarana before, but apparently it is:

    a Brazilian plant native to the Amazon basin….. and 70% of guarana produced is used by the beverage industry in soft and energy drinks, while the remaining 30% is turned into powder (1).

    according to the same Healthline article, Guarana has a number of health benefits because of the effects the caffeine has on the body such as

    • weight loss
    • pain management (who knew that caffeine could help with this??)
    • improvements in skin appearance

    I had no idea that caffeine can have such an impact on the body beyond keeping you more focus and awake, so cheers to one more reason to keep drinking your morning coffees!

  2. Instant Coffee

    Instant coffee has soooo many uses beyond a hotel cup of coffee, including being a main ingredient in the iconic TikTok Dalgona coffee.

    It can also be used as a source of caffeine & flavor in coffee ice cream, especially if you’re making your own at home.Two bigger coffee brands that use instant coffee in their ice cream are Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream

  3. Actual coffee

    It seems the majority of ice cream brands use actual coffee or espresso to bring the energy kick to their ice cream!According to this article, Talenti, Dryers, and Talenti all use coffee in their ice cream recipes.Bonus: A number of these ice cream brands also use a coffee extract to add that extra coffee flavor to the ice cream, without adding more caffeine.So yes, if you’re looking for a coffee ice cream that won’t keep you up at night, they do exist! They most likely just use coffee extract in the recipe instead of the alternatives listed above.

Breakdown of different brands of caffeinated ice creams

As I don’t have the time currently or the funds honestly to try as many of these delicious coffee ice cream flavors as I would like, i am going off of this awesome ranked guide by Tasting Table.

I highly recommend you checking out the reviews if you’re thinking of getting any of these caffeinated treats!

  • 0-20 mg (low caffeine content, a quarter (1/4) cup of coffee )
    Turkey Hill’s Colombian Coffee – 2/3 cup = 15 mg

    Haagen Dazs Coffee – 1 Tub = 19 mg, a surprisingly low amount of caffeine
  • 30-40 mg, about a half-cup of coffee
    Breyer’s Coffee – 1cups = 30 mg caffeine

    Oatly Coffee- 34mg per serving 
  • 40-60 mg – 1/2 to 3/4 cup of coffee
    Talenti’s Coffee Chocolate Chip- 2/3 cup serving = 43-91 mg 

    Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Coffee Buzzbuzzbuzz! – 1/2 cup serving = 45 mg
    Edy’s Coffee – 1 cup = 60 mg
  • 60-95 mg (around 1 cup of coffee)
    Trader Joe’s Coffee Bean Blast – unconfirmed 95 mg per serving 
  • 95mg + (1+ cups of coffee)
    The Chocolate shoppe’s iced coffee flavor, Iced Latte-da – 125mg/serving or scoop

As you can see, the amount of caffeine varies from brand to brand as well as the serving size!

Keep in mind that if you have 2 scoops of ice cream, you could be doubling the amount of caffeine you’re having.

Conclusion: Will caffeinated ice cream actually do anything for you?

Depending on which ice cream you get and if you’re caffeine sensitive, caffeinated ice cream can definitely have an impact on you.

If you are caffeine sensitive, I suggest doing some research on the ice cream you’re thinking of trying as foods & beverages aren’t actually required to disclose the amount of caffeine they have in them…which is very surprising in my opinion.

So instead of ending up with nightime caffeine jitters, take a closer look and plan ahead to find out the exact amount of caffeine you might be having.

Whether or not you want it to replace your morning cup of coffee…that’s up to you. But in the meantime, enjoy the extra little burst of energy from your delicious treat!

If you’re looking to save some money and make some delicious coffee ice cream at home, check out these popular recipes!

So! That’s all for today, go find yourself a delicious treat filled with caffeine to brighten up your day and happy procaffinating!

Comment below your favorite ice cream brand or shop!