Ice cream shops used to be the most popular hang-out on a weekend. Families and friends used to gather around the soda fountain, ordering milkshakes, burgers, fries, and sundaes. One of the lost recipes of the soda fountain is an old-fashioned ice cream float, also known as an ice cream soda.
You may be familiar with root beer floats or brown cows, but there are so many more flavor opportunities! With the use of homemade caramel sauce, this Caramel Coffee Ice Cream Float captures that soda fountain nostalgia without having to leave your house! The soda fountain meets the coffeehouse with this decadent recipe.
An ice cream float in its simplest form consists of soda or carbonated water, ice cream, and ice cream syrup. This float mixes club soda with cold brew coffee, which is poured over creamy coffee ice cream, and topped with lots of homemade caramel sauce. Who doesn’t want their own ice cream float to themselves for dessert?
Everyone needs a good homemade caramel sauce recipe, and this one is perfect on ice cream or in floats. You can use it for almost anything! The sauce starts with butter, brown sugar, and salt. After bubbling and caramelizing, heavy cream is added along with vanilla extract and this rich sauce is complete.
Carbonation is an imperative aspect of an ice cream float. Usually, soda is used, but carbonated water works perfectly if you are using strong flavors like cold brew coffee. For even more bubbles, top each ice cream float with another splash of club soda. Carbonated coffee is incredibly pleasant in coffee drinks.
Use your favorite ice cream in this recipe. Originally, coffee-flavored ice cream was used, but this drink can be suited to your taste. If you love coffee and chocolate together, use chocolate ice cream. Vanilla, butter pecan, or Heath ice cream flavors would all work very well in this recipe.
For the cold brew coffee, buy a delicious store-bought brand or make your own. Making cold brew at home is super simple but takes a little bit of time. Plan accordingly if you plan on making your own cold brew for this recipe. The coffee will need to brew overnight before making this float.
Make this dessert for a crowd. Everyone loves feeling nostalgic around an old-fashioned ice cream float. This Caramel Coffee Ice Cream Float will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but it will keep you caffeinated well after dinnertime. Perfect for partying late into the evening!
For the Homemade Caramel Sauce:
For the Caramel Coffee Ice Cream Floats:
Begin with making the homemade caramel sauce. Store any leftovers in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
To a saucepan, add the butter, brown sugar, and water. Heat over medium. Bring the mixture to a rolling simmer, whisking constantly until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, so don’t take it too far.
Remove from the heat and add the heavy cream and vanilla. The sauce will bubble up rapidly. Stir to combine and allow to cool before pouring into mason jars.
Prepare your cold brew coffee. Add the cold brew, club soda, homemade caramel sauce, and milk into a large pitcher. Stir to combine completely.
Arrange 4 tall glasses. Add 2 scoops of coffee ice cream into each glass. Top with the cold brew coffee mixture and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and extra caramel sauce.
Serve immediately with a straw.