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

August 5, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

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

Makes: 1 1/2 pints


  • 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
In This Recipe


  1. 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.

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Reviews (71) Questions (0)

71 Reviews

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 F. May 7, 2018
Has anyone tried cocoa powder and chocolate liqueur?
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.
Maya February 1, 2018
Has anyone tried this using Baileys Irish Cream?
Nora September 7, 2017
I'd like it to be a bit less fat. Next time I'm going to see if I can find a lighter whipping cream.
Tori M. August 3, 2017
You guys think these recipes are okay for kids? I figure it's so little alcohol in each serving a (probably different flavor would be fine...)
chez_mere August 4, 2017
I would say if your kids don't mind the flavor the alcohol gives it, there's no harm in letting them have some. Besides, the liquor helps keep the ice cream from freezing too hard - I would leave it in for best results.
NancyFromKona August 2, 2017
As I picked up the sweetened condensed milk last week at Target, noticed that right next to it was a can of exactly the same size labeled 'Nestle Dulce de Leche' so after I convinced myself this was the easiest and most awesome coffee ice cream ever, I bought the Dulce de Leche and substituted it for condensed milk. As I write this, it is freezing. The taste is like a caramel macchiato and the Kahlua is not perceptible which is a plus. Pondering next experiment. Anybody have success with adding fruit purée? I am thinking peach and amaretto...
Suzanne S. June 28, 2018
How did this come out substituting Dulce de Leche for the sw cond milk?
Violetsnake July 24, 2017
I used local, organic, and very thick whipping cream. Putting in all the ingredients at once did not work and it took more than 10 minutes of whipping at high speed and a runny liquid, before I took another tactic. So, making what will now be a double batch, I poured the first batch into a large measuring cup and put it aside. Starting anew, I whipped the whipping cream first until it started to thicken, then added the rest of the ingredients and it worked very well. As the patterns began to form on top, I incorporated the first batch very slowly and it all came together nicely forming soft peaks. We'll have for dessert with friends tomorrow. We'll see how it turns out.<br />
Laura J. July 9, 2017
I made this as in the recipe and the coffee left a bitter aftertaste. Added more cream to balance it out, but I would suggest adding just one tablespoon of espresso powder and tasting to see how it balances out flavorwise then add more if you need it.
Tim May 28, 2016
Thinking "espresso liqueur" is more specialized or rare in a household than an ice cream maker.
Nanda D. December 27, 2016
Haha, wow. I know no-one who owns an ice-creammaker :0
Miriam August 30, 2015
I can't get condensed milk where I am. Can it be replaced with something else?
GourMel July 29, 2015
Here's a stupid question: could I use regular (not instant) ground coffee instead of instant espresso?
Emily W. August 12, 2015
Don't do that. Instant espresso dissolves completely in liquid, but the grounds will be gritty.
witloof October 30, 2015
What you could do, though, is heat the cream and steep the grounds in it, then strain it.
Shelley M. July 22, 2015
Is it the condensed milk that gives its creamy texture despite not being churned
ori June 19, 2015
I used one tbs Drambuie (or whiskey) instead of the coffee liqueur.<br />It was a hit everybody loved it including the kids..<br />my favorite coffee ice cream recipe!!
Fiona June 8, 2015
Sounds like a lovely recipe but I don't have any espresso liqueur. What could I use instead?
Alice K. August 18, 2016
Any liqueur you like, even vanilla extract. The alcohol will act to discourage crystallization to keep the ice cream from getting icy. I have seen recipes that use vodka to keep the mixture from getting icy, and it would add no flavor at all.
Sherry W. June 1, 2017
I have never added the liqueur nor replaced it with anything and it always comes out creamy. This recipe ruined me-I love coffee ice cream. I have only used my ice cream maker once since I found this recipe. This is all I need. Did I mention that I love this ice cream?! lol
John D. May 29, 2015
Hint: Put bowl inside another bowl that you have filled with ice. Make blending much easier. Do this when just making whip cream as well.
Scribbles May 26, 2015
I found this recipe last summer and have made it so many times - it's so easy and delicious!!