No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream


I was working late, answering inane questions from needy customers (including some who have never heard of please, thank you, or excuse me) and staring at the clock. Time moved, just barely.

With just a few hours left, Danny texted me. He was doing something we’d talked about but never done before, and I couldn’t wait to get home.

As I counted down the hours talking about Cabs and Pinot Noir, he was making ice cream without an ice cream maker (!!!)

I walked in the door to find him setting things up, reading Nigella’s recipe, and starting to whisk by hand, though that didn’t last long. We worked in shifts, whisking until our arms tired out until I suggested we use that KitchenAid mixer we have… And then it came together very quickly. Soft peaks. Light and airy. I dipped my finger in the bowl and it tasted intensely of coffee. We moved the whipped cream into jars and placed them in the freezer, and I could hardly wait for Valentine’s Day. There would be homemade ice cream!

We took it easy the next night and didn’t cook a thing. We served up picnic fare, including good bread, good prosciutto, and very good cheese. And for dessert, frozen coffee.

This no-churn ice cream tasted just as good, if not better, than any store-bought coffee ice cream. It was creamy, reminding me of gelato at times, and the texture was just right. It even melted slightly at the edges just like regular ice cream. This homemade ice cream was unbelievably good. So good that I finally grew up and bought a real ice cream scoop. This ice cream deserved a scoop! A big spoon just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Nigella’s original recipe calls for double cream, which has a higher fat content than the heavy cream we subbed in. We just couldn’t find the double cream at the time (later spotted it at Whole Foods) but the heavy cream worked well. Instead of espresso or coffee liqueur, we used freshly brewed coffee and a hit of bourbon.

Up next we’ll try different flavors with this no-churn method. Any suggestions? The jars worked but were a bit difficult to scoop out of, so we’ll try a better container next time. And there will be a day when I get a legit ice cream maker. But it could be a while. I just got a real scoop.

no-churn coffee ice cream

This tastes just as good as any coffee ice cream I’ve bought at the store, and this couldn’t be simpler to make. It won’t last long. 

10 1/2  ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) heavy cream
6 ounces (3/4 cup) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon freshly brewed coffee
1 tablespoon bourbon

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk until soft peaks form, gradually increasing the speed until the cream is light and airy. Fill two 500 ml airtight containers and freeze overnight. Serve!

Makes a little more than 3 cups. Adapted from Nigella Lawson.



14 thoughts on “No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

  1. As wonderfully easy as this sounds without the ice cream maker, I’ll say that the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment for the stand mixer is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets I own. You keep the bowl in the freezer so it’s always ready if you get the urge to whip up a batch. And like you discovered, it’s always better than anything store-bought!

  2. Love this recipe, I need to try it! I have three no-churn recipes that use the whipped cream method on my blog: honey, cinnamon and s’mores. I think the honey and cinnamon worked the best. You can find the links in my recipe index. Happy whipping!

  3. This sounds awesome! Btw, this is coming from someone who actually has an ice cream maker. It’s not expensive or anything, but I just feel its one appliance that does one thing. And you have to anticipate it (prefreeze the bowl for 8 hours) then make the ice mixture, wait for it to be cool enough in the fridge, put it in the machine, and THEN put it in the freezer to harden up. Its just a long process to have to anticipate. :/

    I will say though (just in case you didn’t know, but I’m sure you did because you’re fabulous) that alcohol does lower the freezing point, so if you add too much, your ice cream may not harden enough. And sugar/sweeteners are also antifreeze agents, but different sweeteners affect freezing in different ways. 🙂

    I wonder if there’s a way to work yogurt into this to sub some of the cream?

    • Thanks for all your advice! Yeah, I think the bit of alcohol helps this no-churn ice cream from freezing too hard.

      As for yogurt, I think you could do it, but maybe with a flavor other than coffee. It’d get tangy, I bet!

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