A Better No-Churn Ice Cream (No Machine Needed!) Chocolate, Coffee, and Vanilla Flavors

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"No-churn" ice cream is easy to make, takes little room in my freezer, and does not require reading appliance instructions (huzzah!). It's also economical and the way its frozen, in 9 x 5 bread loaf pans, even reminds of of the amazing gelato shops of Italy.

While many no-churn recipes exist online, they are not all equal. I experimented with the most common recipe until I found my own version--one that actually delivered an outstanding, easy-to-make, no-machine ice cream. 
Click here for the free PDF
of all 3 flavors: Chocolate,
Coffee, and Vanilla.

In this post, I explain why my approach works and share directions for making Chocolate, Coffee, and Vanilla flavors.

To download all 3 ice cream recipes now in a free PDF, click here.

To continue reading this blog post, click here or on the Read More link below and...

May you eat and read with joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

P.S.  To see my separate post on how to make No-Churn Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, which includes great tips on how to work with vanilla beans, click here



Why I Revised the Popular
"No-Churn" Ice Cream Recipe 

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
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Freezing straight cream will get you a block as hard as ice. Adding sugar lowers the freezing point, and churning introduces air, which keeps the ice crystals small and creates that softer, fluffier texture we enjoy scooped onto cones or heaped into dishes.

No-churn ice cream replaces the 
churning of air into the cream with whipping the air into the cream before freezing. This does a good job of keeping the end product as soft and fluffy as churned ice cream. 

But there's a problem with the most common no-churn recipe I've seen (i.e., cream + sweetened condensed milk). It produces an ice cream that's far too soft, melts too easily, and leaves a waxy aftertaste on the tongue from too much butterfat. In short, it produces a product like ice cream but not as good.

So I began experimenting with that ubiquitous no churn recipe and have come up with an improved version (IMO, of course). 

Why is it better? A few reasons...

(1) Adding evaporated milk to the mix before freezing creates a final product that has a much cleaner, more ice-cream-like texture, eliminating that waxy butterfat coating on the tongue. 

(2) It allows very fine ice crystals to form, which make the final product colder in the mouth and gives it a more stable form in the dish or on your cone. 

(3) By only whipping the cream until its thickened, rather than until it has "stiff peaks" (as most of the other recipes require), the final product is denser and more like a churned ice cream or gelato.


So where did the original 
no-churn idea come from?

I don't think it's a coincidence that the Eagle Brand Condensed Milk label carries the same recipe as the one found on so many foodie blogs and YouTube videos across the internet! And where did the Eagle Brand company chef get the idea? Possibly from an ancient form of ice cream called Kulfi, which dates back to 16th Century India and is still enjoyed today. Kulfi is made without churning. Cooks boil down milk to a fraction of its original volume, concentrating the sugar and texture-smoothing milk proteins, before chilling.

Fast-forward to the present. While the American market has been dominated by French custard-style ice cream (cream, milk, sugar, and flavorings cooked with eggs or egg yolks before freezing), in recent years, we have seen increasing popularity of Philadelphia-style ice cream and a form of Italian Gelato which does not use eggs. 

Below you'll find my recipes for making No-Churn Ice Cream in Chocolate, Coffee, and Vanilla flavors. They yield, creamy, smooth, amazingly delicious results, and I hope you enjoy them!

~ Cleo 



Cleo's No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream

Makes a little over 1 quart, about 5 cups

1/4 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (about 1-1/4 cups)
2-1/3 cups Heavy Cream (aka Heavy Whipping Cream)
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions: Into a bowl, fork-whisk the cocoa powder into the sweetened condensed milk. Set aside. 



In a large, chilled metal, glass, or ceramic bowl, beat heavy cream with an electric mixer until thickened. (Do not create whipped cream, simply beat it until it resembles thickened white gravy, as pictured below...) 



Add your chocolate sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and pure vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, blend everything until smooth. Be sure to blend the chocolate all the way through. The mixture should resemble a light chocolate milkshake without any chocolate streaks. 


Pour the blended mixture into a 9 x 5 metal loaf pan. Why? Because a metal pan will conduct the cold better than a plastic container. Do not fill the pan to the very top. Here’s why. 


You'll need to stretch a sheet of plastic wrap across the top of the pan, keeping the plastic from touching the ice cream itself. Place the pan in the freezer for 8 to 12 hours. By then, the entire pan should be ready to serve and enjoy! To store, you can scoop the ice cream into a re-sealable plastic container, or you can continually re-wrap the metal pan in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. 






Cleo's No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream 

Makes a little over 1 quart, about 5 cups 

2 cups Heavy Cream (aka Heavy Whipping Cream)
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (about 1-1/4 cups) 

2/3 cup evaporated milk (or one 5-ounce can) 
1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder*
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions: In a chilled metal, glass, or ceramic bowl, beat heavy cream with an electric mixer until thickened. 
(Do not create whipped cream, simply beat it until it resembles thickened white gravy.) Add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, instant espresso powder, and vanilla. With the mixer on low, blend the mixture well until smooth. 

Pour the blended mixture into a 9 x 5 metal loaf pan. Why? Because a metal pan will conduct the cold better than a plastic container. Do not fill the pan to the very top. Here’s why. You'll need to stretch a sheet of plastic wrap across the top of the pan, keeping the plastic from touching the ice cream itself. Place the pan in the freezer for 8 to 12 hours. By then, the entire pan should be ready to serve and enjoy! To store, you can scoop the ice cream into a re-sealable plastic container, or you can continually re-wrap the metal pan in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.


*Espresso powder note: In baking and cooking, good quality instant espresso powder produces better flavor than instant coffee or coffee crystals, which is why I recommend using instant espresso instead of instant coffee for your recipes. The brand I use is Medaglia D'oro because it delivers the instant espresso in fine powder form, which dissolves beautifully into batters. All is not lost if you have only instant coffee crystals or your instant espresso brand comes in crystal rather than powder form. For best flavor in those cases, whisk the crystals into a small amount of the evaporated milk until completely dissolved before using in this recipe. 





Cleo's No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

This recipe uses vanilla extract. For my
"vanilla bean" recipe, scroll down...

Makes a little over 1 quart, about 5 cups 


2 cups Heavy Cream (aka Heavy Whipping Cream)
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (about 1-1/4 cups)
2/3 cup evaporated milk (or one 5-ounce can)
2-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 pinches of table salt (or finely ground sea salt)

Directions: In a chilled metal, glass, or ceramic bowl, beat heavy cream with an electric mixer until thickened. 
(Do not create whipped cream, simply beat it until it resembles thickened white gravy.) Add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, pure vanilla extract, and salt. With the mixer on low, blend the mixture well until smooth. 

Pour the blended mixture into a 9 x 5 metal loaf pan. Why? Because a metal pan will conduct the cold better than a plastic container. Do not fill the pan to the very top. Here’s why. You'll need to stretch a sheet of plastic wrap across the top of the pan, keeping the plastic from touching the ice cream itself. Place the pan in the freezer for 8 to 12 hours. By then, the entire pan should be ready to serve and enjoy! To store, you can scoop the ice cream into a re-sealable plastic container, or you can continually re-wrap the metal pan in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.





To download all 3 recipes
(Chocolate, Coffee, Vanilla)
in a free PDF document that
you can print, save, or
share, click here.

Click here for free PDF.


Click here or on the photo below to download
my recipe for No-Churn Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
with great tips on how to work with vanilla beans, and...


Click here for my No-Churn Vanilla Bean
Ice Cream recipe with great tips
on how to work with vanilla beans.



Eat (and read) with joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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