No Churn Coffee Cake Ice Cream

I often talk about how my dad and I are very much alike. How we both love numbers, books, sweet banana desserts, list-making, and ice cream. What I don’t talk about is how we are very much different.

He is an introvert, quiet and calm; I am a people-person who loves attention and who’s always excited and wants to be friends with everyone (I have been called a golden retriever multiple times and I am not insulted). He likes reading military thrillers and history books; I like cookbooks and dystopian novels. He likes – no, he loves – coffee. I do not, at all.

Except coffee ice cream, but I’ll get to that later.

Another big difference between my dad and I: when he is waiting for other people (and he waits a lot, since he is always early or on time), he is patient and even-keeled. When I’m meeting people and they are just a few minutes late, I get fidgety and anxious, and my normally cheerful demeanor darkens with impatience.

My entire life is peppered with memories of my dad patiently waiting. Waiting at home, for my mom and my sisters and me to get ready. Waiting in the car, when he would pick me up from school or work or friends’ houses and parties. Waiting at the mall, while we are shopping. Waiting in front of the stove, before he flips the steak. Waiting at dentist’s and doctor’s and vet’s offices, because he’s always there for us and our many different appointments. Waiting in traffic, driving us around. Waiting at the breakfast table, while the rest of the house is still asleep. And my favorite: waiting at the airport for my plane to land, so he can welcome me home.

Seeing my dad wait for his loved ones so patiently has taught me not just to be a more tolerant person, but also to be more compassionate. It has taught me to treat everyone the same way, even if every one is so different. It has taught me to do nice things for others, without expecting anything in return. It has taught me to be more like him.

So now let’s get back to coffee.

Sometimes I can be swayed into drinking coffee if it’s in frappucino form. Sometimes I will eat a cake if it’s mocha-flavored. And sometimes I’ll even make coffee-flavored treats for the blog. A few years ago, I discovered that I like – no, I love – coffee oreo ice cream. So I guess technically I do enjoy coffee, but only in sweet dessert form.

My dad, on the other hand, lives by his morning cup of coffee. When I was younger, I didn’t understand why he still has a cup of coffee on the side even if we are having hot chocolate or orange juice with breakfast. Whenever we would travel, whether we’re in a hotel room or an airbnb, he still makes a cup of coffee, using instant packets.

So today – for Father’s Day – I decided to make one of his favorites flavors, which I guess has turned into one of mine, too. I made no-churn coffee ice cream, no ice cream maker needed, with simple everyday ingredients. And to make it even better, I added cake pieces. But not actual cake pieces, instead I folded in mini Nilla wafers (a trick I learned the very first time I made no churn ice cream). The little cookies soften overnight as the ice cream sets, and turns into tender cake-like pieces. They’re the perfect complement to the strong coffee flavor of the ice cream.

Which leads me to give you a little warning: this ice cream is made for coffee lovers. This is not some milky ice cream with a mild hint of coffee. It’s strong and sweet and a good excuse for dessert for breakfast. It’s the type of ice cream you make for the most special people in your life, whether you’re alike or not.

Yield: 1 loaf pan (around 2 quarts)

No Churn Coffee Cake Ice Cream

Prep Time: 10 minute

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes


2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
14 oz (1 can) condensed milk
2 cups mini vanilla wafers (I used Nilla wafers)


  1. Chill a 9x5 loaf pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee into hot water. Add vanilla and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Make the whipped cream. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the condensed milk and coffee mixture. Whip for another couple of minutes until thick and well combined.
  5. Fold in Nilla wafers.
  6. Pour into chilled loaf pan, and chill in the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight.

If you can't find vanilla wafers, you can also try crumbled shortbread cookies. You can also experiment with other mix-in options like chocolate chips or crushed oreo cookies.

Ice cream base inspired by Nigella Lawson's One-Step No Churn Coffee Ice Cream.

And here are a few pictures for the day:

Happy Father’s Day to my dad – my ice cream partner, and my role model.

If you’d like to read more Father’s Day tributes and recipes inspired by my dad, check out these posts: Filipino Avocado Ice CreamBanana Caramel Upside Down CakeJapanese Fried Cauliflower RiceSalted Chocolate Banoffee PieSteak on the Stovetop, and Nutella Banana Pudding.