Nigella Lawson’s No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

May 25, 2015

Last year I really got into using my ice cream maker and had successes with black pepper ice cream and I Want S’more ice cream. As the weather warms up I’m looking forward to more recipes and experiments. I recently watched a re-run of Nigella Lawson’s series, Nigellissima, I was fascinated by her super simple, no-churn espresso ice cream. I couldn’t wait to try it and I’ve made it several times since.

Coffee and matcha ice creams in cones

I’ve always enjoyed watching Nigella Lawson’s television programs, starting years ago with Nigella Bites. She has a practical approach to making delicious, un-fussy dishes that appeal to many (unlike others who tell me to go out and cut some branches off my Chardonnay vines to create a bed to roast a whole fish – okay Martha, I’ll get right on that). Nigella’s recipe for No-Churn Espresso Ice Cream falls right in line with her approach to cooking – just four ingredients, a kitchen mixer, about 5 minutes to prep and 6 hours to freeze.

To be honest, I didn’t quite believe that whipping sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream and some flavorings would actually produce something that resembled ice cream. But in actual fact it creates a beautiful smooth, rich ice cream.

After tasting the espresso ice cream, a friend asked me if I could make matcha ice cream. Enjoying the ease of this no-churn method I did some research and found a plethora of recipes on the Internet. I can’t remember exactly which recipe I used but the matcha flavor is a bit too intense. And given the cost of matcha powder, I’m fine using less the next time I make it.

No-churn matcha ice cream in a cone

Another thing that Nigella mentioned on her program is the alcohol helps to keep the consistency of the ice cream nice and soft because alcohol never freezes hard. I found this to be true as the matcha has no alcohol and is very hard compared to the espresso ice cream (you can see it in the pictures too). The next time I make matcha ice cream I may add a flavorless alcohol like vodka to improve the consistency.

So this summer I encourage you to try Nigella’s recipe (you can find it on her website or on Food52 with American conversions). It’s easy and delicious. It tastes great on its own or in an affogato. Enjoy and happy summer!

No-churn ice creams in cones
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No-churn coffee ice cream

No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

  • Author: Nigella Lawson
  • Total Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This no-churn ice cream is so easy and no one will know that you didn’t use an ice cream machine. (Modified slightly from the original on



1 1/4 cups heavy cream, well-chilled

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

2 tablespoons espresso liqueur


Place all the ingredients into a bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk until everything comes together, just until soft peaks form and the mixture is airy.

Fill two 1-pint airtight containers and freeze for 6 hours or overnight. Serve straight from the freezer.


From Nigella Bites: From Family Meals to Elegant Dinners — Easy, Delectable Recipes For Any Occasion © 2002 by Nigella Lawson

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 6 hours
  • Category: ice cream
  • Cuisine: British


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 228.58
  • Sugar: 16.19 g.
  • Sodium: 49.03 mg.
  • Fat: 16.58 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 10.55 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 16.31 g.
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 3.26 g.
  • Cholesterol: 3.26 g.

Keywords: ice cream, no churn, Nigella Lawson

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