no churn icecream

Ice cream. The ultimate treat. Ice cream conjures memories of good times, summer vacations and birthday parties. When I was pregnant, I ate tubs of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough. I wonder if that’s why my son is one of the few people I know who doesn’t like ice cream! I dream of owning an ice cream maker, but can somehow never justify the cost or countertop space, especially as Calgary has no shortage of ice cream stores; sea salt and goat milk caramel from Made by Marcus, anyone? Or Village Ice Cream’s maple pecan… absolute heaven. And I always have a tub of Amato Gelato’s coconut gelato in the freezer. I confess to being a little late to the party when it comes to no-churn ice cream, but I am prepared to admit that it has become one of my go-to dinner party desserts. The secret? That can of condensed milk hiding at the back of your pantry.

Condensed milk has relatively low water content so it doesn’t create shards of ice that can ruin homemade ice cream. Alcohol, with its low freezing temperature, also keeps the ice cream soft and scoopable, although it still works well without. Just remember to bring the ice cream out of the freezer 15 minutes or so before you need it so that it softens up enough to scoop.

A quick internet search offers up hundreds of recipes for no-churn ice cream; I am especially grateful to Nigella Lawson and Felicity Cloake from The Guardian for inspiration and direction. My partner absolutely loves coffee ice cream, so this is for her.

No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

No-churn coffee ice cream is a delightful frozen treat that doesn't require an ice cream maker to prepare. It's a simple and easy way to make creamy, coffee-flavoured ice cream at home with just a few ingredients. Makes 1 L (2 pints).


  • 500 ml whipping cream
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
  • 2-3 tbsp coffee liqueur, or rum, or whisky, your favourite brand


  • Pour and scrape the whipping cream and condensed milk into the bowl of a food mixer, or a large bowl if you are using a hand mixer. If you are feeling energetic you can also whip the mixture by hand. I was on vacation when I took the photos, so that’s what I did.
  • Whip until thick and fluffy and stir in the dissolved espresso powder. Add 2 Tbsp of the coffee liqueur and taste,remembering that the flavour will be less obvious after the ice cream is frozen. I usually put in all 3 Tbsp but I love the strong flavour of coffee.
  • Scrape the mixture into a container and freeze overnight.
  • Decorate with a small handful of chocolate coated coffee beans, grated chocolate or chopped nuts for texture.
  • Some shortbread or a couple of cantucci or amaretti cookies would be perfect to serve alongside.
  • Tip Use caramel condensed milk for a dulce de leche dimension.


Vegan Version
Use condensed coconut milk and coconut cream (not milk) that you have chilled in the fridge overnight.
Mix the condensed coconut milk with the dissolved espresso and 2 Tbsp of coffee liqueur.
Whip the chilled coconut cream until it just holds its shape and gradually add to the condensed coconut milk mixture. Taste and add the remaining liqueur if desired.
Scrape the mixture into a container with a lid and freeze overnight.