Coffee Maple Sundae

This is yet another little gift that I cannot even call a recipe. But it may be something you never thought to do. And now that you know that it is a possibility, I hope you will try it. It certainly sounds a little odd to combine maple and coffee, to me. Not bad, mind you…just odd. I never would have thought of doing it. But someone reached through time and handed the idea to me and I don’t even know to whom I owe a “thank you.”

I have a bad habit of adopting wayward and abandoned cookbooks, as you know. I really get sentimental about cookbooks that have scribbles in the margins or the rare handwritten card. I always imagine a happy person in an apron in a 1950’s kitchen, whistling a tune and happily pulling a gigantic bronzed turkey from the oven. It is a very Norman Rockwellian fantasy world I visit when I see an old cookbook. I assume that there is some long lost adult grandchild who would give anything to have it and would mourn the thought that it was gathering dust on a junk shop shelf unwanted or, worse yet, heading to the trash pile. This, of course, is silly. I may be hoarding books once owned Mommy Dearest, whose kids would sooner start a bonfire with the books as see them. But I like my little fantasy. And so I adopt them here and there, at garage sales and flea markets and antique shops.

My favorite find of late contained a newspaper clipping that said, in essence, for an elegant ice cream dessert, pour maple syrup over coffee ice cream. Simple enough. I added pecans, as well. And it tastes like the best butter pecan ice cream you have ever eaten. It is really, shockingly, delightful. Anyway, back to the book. Down on my end of Lovers Lane in Dallas is a little shop called Junkadoodle. Every month or so they have a flea market and the parking lot overflows with all manner of things. It is a perfect, petite, flea. I found these Wayside Garden seed catalogs there. They are from 1960 and 1961 and they would have been wonderful in their natural state. But, the owner of the catalog filled almost every page with recipes clipped from newspapers and magazines. The woman from whom I bought them said that it was a common thing at that time to order your seeds and then to utilize the catalog as a scrap book. I had never seen one like this before and for two dollars apiece, I wasn’t about to leave them behind. So every page is filled with faded clippings and vibrant but thoroughly vintage illustrations and photos of plants and flowers. I absolutely love these books. I love that the person who owned it was thrifty in this way. I love that she gardened. I wonder which flowers were her favorites.

I used both Blue Bell and this Häagen-Dazs and they were both great. Please treat yourself to some real maple syrup. If you don’t have real maple syrup, I vote for chocolate syrup. I know this makes little sense. Why do I grant legitimacy to Hershey’s but not to Log Cabin? I just do. And, because I said so. Go to your room.

Coffee Maple Sundae
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
This more of a good idea than a recipe...but you will be very happy with the finished product.
  • 1 scoop of coffee ice cream
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans
  1. Place the ice cream in a dish. Drizzle maple syrup over the ice cream and sprinkle the pecans on top.
  2. Serve immediately. Repeat often.


You can easily prepare this for a group by chilling small tasting glasses in the freezer. Before your guests arrive, scoop the ice cream into the glasses and return them to the freezer. When you are ready to serve, remove the glasses from the freezer and then add the syrup and nuts. Serve immediately.

Resources: For pecans, I order from the Pecan Shed and Valley Pecans. For maple syrup, I order from Sugartree Maple Farm and Isham Farm. I encourage you to support these independent businesses if you are inclined. You will not be disappointed and you will meet some great folks.


  1. Anne Mullen says

    Laura,our friend in Dallas, is the only other person who loves coffee ice cream as much as I do, and I’ve had this very dessert at her house a number of times. You’re right, it is delicious. Coffee ice cream with chocolate sauce is also truly delicious, mocha being about my favorite taste treat.

    By the way, you do know about Texas Pecan Co, don’t you? It’s not a small independent company, but it seems to be somewhat family run. It’s north of Royal Ln. on the corner of Dennis and Satsuma. They have a small outlet store and their prices are great for not just pecans, but all kinds of nuts and dried fruits. Try them out, Kelly, while I go have some coffee ice cream.

  2. Linda Maturey says

    And I would imagine a smidge of coffee espresso would really be yummy splashed over it for a good kick!!!

  3. Diane Gibbs says

    This is probably going to sound stupid…but what ‘grade’ of maple syrup? It’s not something I ever eat but I know that some grades are better than others..

  4. Kelly says

    It is not stupid at all. I have to look every time. I am currently using a Grade A Dark Amber. Here is a great little post on Cooking for Engineers on the grades of syrup and how it is made. I have had this and I have also had grade B, and I have used both for pancakes and for baking. I have yet to run across one so strong that I wouldn’t eat it out of a spoon for a treat. I might just be getting really great syrup, though. The stuff I have now is from the above listed Isham Family Farm and it is exceptional. Some say the dark and the B are more suitable for baking, but perhaps my tastes are not refined enough on the matter to discern the difference unless I have them lined up side by side. And maybe I’m just a sugar fiend,but they all taste great to me.

  5. Rene says

    Thanks for sharing those seed catalog/recipe scrapbooks. What a neat blast from the past. (And I LOVE both coffee and maple, so definitely will try this.)

  6. BeBe says

    Grade B maple syrup has the most true maple flavor. I find Grade A to be too bland.

    That was not a stupid question. Operating on the principle that A is better than B, I once spent the extra money for A. It was disappointing. Then I read a food writer’s recommendation that B is the way to go for the best flavor.

  7. says

    This looks truly delicious. I agree with the poster that grade b has a truer flavor…it is preferred by many people, including chefs for it’s rich taste.

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