5 Ingredients or Fewer

Nigella Lawson's One-Step, No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

April 21, 2023
24 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 6 hours
  • Makes 1 1/2 pints
Author Notes

This recipe has 4 ingredients, 1 step, no cooking, and no churning, but the ice cream you get will have a creamy, almost buttery smoothness. Serve it on its own, or with chocolate sauce, or in little brioche buns. Adapted slightly from Nigellissima (Clarkson Potter, 2013). —Genius Recipes

Test Kitchen Notes

We love a no-churn ice cream for its simplicity, and its richness. The process here, to mimic the fluffy texture of traditionally churned ice cream, relies on whipping cream to create the same aerated effect that an ice cream machine achieves by turning the mixture over and over as it freezes, incorporating air bubbles. For extra credit, add mix-ins like cookies or chocolate chips for a party in every bite. —Food52

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 milliliters) heavy or double cream, well-chilled
  • 2/3 cup (175 grams) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons espresso liqueur
  1. Using a hand mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk all the ingredients together just until the whisk leaves trails of soft peaks in the bowl, and you have a gorgeous, caffe-latte-colored airy mixture.
  2. Fill two 500-milliliter or two 1-pint airtight containers, and freeze for 6 hours or overnight. Serve straight from the freezer.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Smoothiesrule
  • Christy Harm
    Christy Harm
  • Smaug
  • Suzette S Reed
    Suzette S Reed
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

113 Reviews

Jul November 22, 2023
This is very good indeed. I should have heeded the tip from another who suggested tasting as you go w the espresso bc my espresso powder is very very strong (king arthur) so the base had a very unpleasant bitter taste. Never the less, I adjusted adding more condensed milk (nearly all of it), added 4 T cocoa, good pinch of salt and let it mellow in fridge a couple days. I churned in my ice cream maker since I have one adding Bailey's espresso liq the last mins. The result is absolutely delicious! No ice crystals, really really good. So, do taste the base as you add espresso powder and don't add all at once. But if you don't like the result, just play with flavors a bit.
coni May 13, 2023
So, so, so yummy... easy and minimal ingredients... I've made this many times and did different flavors... EVERYONE who has tasted this, loved it, and have given the recipe!!
Martha S. May 4, 2023
Easy, fun and delicious. I've used the basic recipe to make many different flavors. The ice cream is so rich and creamy that a small amount satisfies.
Soudabean January 25, 2023
I made this recipe for my book group and it was a hit. So indulgent, I wish I made extra so I had more for myself!
Lisle August 23, 2022
I looked up Nigella's recipe for Salted Caramel Bourbon Ice cream because this recipe was so great. I'm puzzled, because that recipe calls for a total of 697 ml of cream and sweetened condensed caramel, as opposed to the total of 475 ml in this recipe. Yet it also claimed to make 2 pints? Does the caramel yield less volume do you think?
Kddd August 23, 2022
Not sure. But I have made both according to the recipes and they both worked. Not sure of the yields of each though
Lisle August 22, 2022
WOW WOW WOW!!!! This stuff is incredibly delicious!!! Smooth, creamy, better than churned, in my opinion. Not icy at all. I'm dreaming up other flavor profiles. I used my KitchenAid with the whisk attachment, and it took less than 3 minutes to whip it all together.
Kddd August 23, 2022
Can’t believe how easy this recipe is. Nigella also does a no churn Bourbon and salted caramel no churn which is every bit as delicious
Stace June 3, 2021
Update guys it turned out great, yet i found that it was slightly icy. Any tips for a more creamier finish?
SLSW August 9, 2022
I make ice cream fairly often and have found that adding about a tablespoon of vodka per quart helps keep ice crystals from forming.
Stace June 2, 2021
After reading through each suggestion and seeing many variations of this recipe I decided to go with whole milk, whipping cream, condensed milk, columbian coffee and regular white rum since i didn't have coffee liquer, at present its in the freezer. I've tasted the mixture and it's absolytely delish. I can't wait to see the result and texture...
Smaug June 16, 2023
One thing about ice cream (at least the churned variety) is that the finished product does not taste like the mixture before freezing. Makes it difficult to develop recipes.
Kddd February 6, 2021
This is one of the most rewarding recipes I have ever found. Ridiculously easy and absolutely delicious. It is also versatile I have made strawberry ice cream using a punnet of liquidised strawberries and raspberry vodka and whisky and orange marmalade using orange marmalade, juice and zest of an orange and whisky but following the basic recipe. I am sure it will work with many other flavourings too
Berkland August 9, 2020
This is SO good and SO easy. I used kahlua and cream de cacao instead of espresso powder and liquor and it tastes just like the blended Smith & Kearns we used to drink in the Midwest.
Cydneyroach July 4, 2020
Here’s what Nigella herself says in her version of the recipe about whipping the cream first: (If using American heavy-cream or whipping cream in other countries, whisk your cream in a bowl first, until it reaches soft peaks, then whisk in the other ingredients and continue whisking until thick again.)
Marie June 11, 2021
Shush I had read your post before starting!🤦‍♀️😂🤦‍♀️
Suzette S. May 23, 2022
I do as directed with exception I use hand mixer to whip...turns out perfect! One of my go-to recipes! Very rich serve small scoop with little cookies.
Jenna June 10, 2019
Wow! So good! So simple! I made it with half the amount of instant coffee & found that the coffee flavor was strong enough for me. Also, next time I make it I’m going to try whipping the cream first, then adding the condensed milk & coffee, and the Kailua last. It did eventually whip up, but took a while to beat.
Bella95 July 29, 2019
I haven't made this yet but, other recipes l've seen suggest chilling the condensed milk first. Not sure if it does make a difference but l would worry that adding the condensed milk to the previously whipped cream might deflate it somewhat.
schemitsch May 28, 2019
paula May 25, 2019
I made it with Sambuca. Delicious.
Smoothiesrule August 30, 2018
Endless variations possible on this! So good
Misfitwife August 30, 2018
I made a vanilla version for my first try since that is a flavor the whole family agrees upon. Delicious! It has such a velvety texture and was a hit for everyone. Now I can't want to try different flavor combinations! Seems like it would be easy to mix the base of condensed milk and cream and then flavor individual containers for seasonal favorites. Thinking pumpkin...cinnamon...caramel...praline pecan...
Linda August 9, 2018
Can hardly wait to make this. My grandmother's trick for whipping cream is to whip it with an electric mixer in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters.
kerry.mossler August 7, 2018
This is my go-to dessert recipe. It is everyone's favorite, but a little embarrassing when you share how simple it is to make!
Christy H. May 7, 2018
Has anyone tried cocoa powder and chocolate liqueur?
Jul November 22, 2023
Yes, I used both and it came out wonderfully! 4 T Cocoa powder, 2 T Bailey's espresso liq, used more condensed milk bc my espresso powder overwhelmed the base.
andrea April 25, 2018
Could I make this in a Cuisinart ice cream maker?
tucsonbabe April 25, 2018
Yes, you can. I always put my "no churn" ice cream recipes in the Cuisinart ice cream maker.
Jul November 22, 2023
Yes, turns out great.