This no-churn coffee ice cream turns the irresistible combination of espresso and chocolate ganache into a spectacular frozen treat.
I’m not sure no-churn ice cream gets more heavenly than this combo of espresso and chocolate. And although I originally intended to call for store-bought hot fudge sauce in this recipe, the ganache here is so easy and so texturally perfect for swirling, that it just elevates this simplest of chilly treats into something worth writing home about (or at least texting or DMing . . .)
No-churn ice cream requires whipped cream, so you will need to pull out your stand or hand mixer for this recipe—but for out-of-this-world ice cream that doesn’t require an ice cream maker, I think you’ll agree, it’s 100 percent worth it.–Jessie Sheehan
☞ Table of Contents
No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream FAQs
What is espresso powder?
Espresso powder is made from coffee beans that have been darkly roasted and then ground, brewed, dried, and then ground again into a fine powder.
Can I substitute regular coffee for espresso powder?
You can, depending on your tastes or what you have in the pantry. Just know that any substitutions are going to affect the final product. A dark roast instant coffee will give you nearly the same results as espresso powder, but the ice cream may not have much of the richly roasted flavor of espresso. If caffeine is a concern, you could also substitute decaffeinated instant coffee.
Using regular coffee grounds (instead of instant) may suit you as well in a pinch, but we don’t recommend it. You’ll need to grind any unbrewed regular coffee grounds until they’re very, very fine, and then add 1 tablespoon at a time, tasting as you go. The unbrewed grounds may impart a much stronger (potentially too strong) coffee flavor.
What should I serve with this coffee ice cream?
This ice cream stands alone as a fantastic dessert, mid-day treat, or late-night snack – but we think plopping a hefty scoop atop a warm brownie would be absolutely out of this world.
No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream
For the ganache
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the ice cream
- One (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups heavy cream cold
- 3 tablespoons espresso powder
Make the ganache
- Place an 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch (21- by 11-cm) metal loaf pan in the freezer.
- Microwave the chips, heavy cream, and salt together in a medium, microwave-safe bowl on high for one to two 30-second bursts, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature on the counter, stirring periodically, while you make the ice cream base.
Make the ice cream
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the heavy cream and espresso powder on medium to medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 3 to 6 minutes.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the milk mixture in two installments then place the bowl in the freezer to chill for 30 to 40 minutes. (This initial freezer-time helps set the ice cream so when you swirl in the ganache it stays swirly— and we’re all about the swirl, am I right?)
- After 25 minutes, scrape half of the ice cream into the chilled pan, then evenly dollop half of the ganache over the top and swirl it with a paring knife. Repeat with the remaining ice cream and ganache. The pan will be quite full.
- Tightly cover in plastic wrap and freeze for 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours, depending on how soft you like your ice cream (I’m partial to soft here, in case you were wondering). If frozen solid, let rest briefly on the counter until scoopable. Keep the ice cream, wrapped, in the freezer for up to a week.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I was pleasantly surprised by this no-churn coffee ice cream recipe! I had no idea it could be this easy to make great ice cream with my usual kitchen tools. The sweetness level and amount of espresso flavor in the ice cream are just right. It’s very rich and creamy, and I found it only a teeny bit icier than traditional ice cream. It freezes well and softens quickly at room temperature which I appreciate, as I like my ice cream pretty soft. If you are a fan of coffee/espresso ice cream this is definitely worth a try!
As good as this is, I’d make a few minor adjustments if I make it again. First, I’d omit the salt from the ganache or add just a pinch. I’m not sure whether it’s there to be tasted or just to enhance the chocolate, but I found it added a noticeable saltiness (if you like sweet and salty, you may enjoy this aspect). Other than that, it was easy to make and very delicious!
Marvelous is the first word that comes to mind with this no-churn coffee ice cream recipe. From start to finish, and every lick in between, this is just wonderful, and I don’t say that too often! The terrific combination of the coffee flavor and chocolate ganache is a timeless classic, but put it together with ease of preparation, mostly pantry handy items, and minimal electric equipment usage just pleases me to no end. And of course, the flavor, texture, and yumminess make this a wonderful addition to anyone’s repertoire. I can’t wait to experiment with various other flavors-strawberry, perhaps? Banana? Just totally fun and just in time for warmer weather.
I was excited, yet skeptical, to try this homemade coffee ice cream. I’m a big fan of the coffee and chocolate flavor palette. It took no time to assemble the ingredients and was relatively quick to put it all together. I let my ice cream freeze for 5 1/2 hours and the consistency was good, not too hard and not too soft. I had a hard time making a nice design on top with the ganache, in fact most of my ganache fell into the middle, so as I scooped portions out, there was a nice bit of chocolate in each scoop.
I would not use a stand mixer again. It would be better to use a handheld mixer to be able to have more control over incorporating the espresso powder on the bottom of the bowl and to get a better feel for when stiff peaks were achieved. When I folded the cream into the milk I was worried that the consistency became too runny. Since the ganache had been sitting out for so long, it thickened a bit and it all fell into the batter, so I was unable to make a nice design on top. In the end, it tasted good, but I was worried until I took it out of the freezer that it would not freeze properly (it actually did!)
Originally published June 9, 2022