Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe

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Pumpkin Ice Cream is a thing of beauty this time of year. There’s nothing like finishing up dinner on a chilly autumn evening with a bowl of delicious, sweet, pumpkin-y goodness. After all, pumpkin spice lattes aren’t the only way to get your beloved pumpkin flavor this season!

This pumpkin ice cream tastes like everything you imagine fall to be. It has a great balance of sweetness and warm spices. It has real pumpkin flavor because it uses real pumpkin. It’s perfect for the fall season, (or should I say, “Pumpkin season”), and it’s sure to satisfy all your pumpkin cravings this season.

A scoop of Pumpkin Ice Cream in a white bowl with a small pumpkin sitting behind the cup.

Years ago, I made a vegan pumpkin banana ice cream (It was also a paleo pumpkin ice cream if you’re interested.). It was tasty and got a bit of fanfare from celebrities like Raven Symoné on Facebook and Instagram.

It was also my most stolen recipe for years. Ha!

But it was banana-based ice cream, and some folks complained that they just couldn’t get past the flavor of the bananas (which is pretty easy to do actually, if you use bananas that are almost green), even if the flavor of the pumpkin did come through. But still. I get it. People want pure pumpkin flavor. Not pumpkin and bananas.

So this year, I decided to do a version that uses an ice cream maker. It can be made dairy-free or not, depending on your needs, and it has great pumpkin pie flavors. There’s nothing quite like making your own ice cream!

It does get a little hard in the freezer, however, so you’ll want to set it on your counter for a few minutes before serving this. Or, if you are impatient like me, you can zap it in the microwave for about 30 seconds which does the trick every time.

Homemade Ice Cream Using An Ice Cream Machine

For those of you who have an ice cream machine, stick that insert into the freezer now, if you plan on making this! And if you are lucky enough to have an old-fashioned, hand-cranked ice cream maker, you can feel pretty good about burning off a good portion of the calories for this one before you ever eat a bite! Making homemade pumpkin ice cream is a fun activity for kids of any age. Even adults will enjoy the process!

An overhead shot of the ice cream base churning in the ice cream maker.

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

A lot of pumpkin ice cream recipes will have you making a basic vanilla ice cream that you simply add pumpkin spice to. But not here. For this recipe, you’ll be using real pumpkin!

Pumpkin Pie Spice is typically made of mixed spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg (among others). It’s very easy to make if you can’t find it at your local grocery store. Here’s my pumpkin pie spice recipe. It only takes a couple of minutes to make!

Making Pumpkin Puree

If you think you’ll be making pumpkin puree from scratch, you’ll need a food processor or a good blender. Here’s how to make it. If you do make your own, use sugar pumpkins (a.k.a. sugar pie pumpkins). They are smaller and have much better flavor than bigger pumpkins.

For the best results, you’ll want to make sure you do a thorough job of mixing this in your ice cream maker. When it comes out of the ice cream maker, it will be thick, thicker than a soft serve consistency, but it will be soft and definitely scoopable. You’ll want to get it packed and into the freezer as fast as possible unless you intend on eating it immediately. (Ya, I couldn’t wait either…)

Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream Additions

If you want to add something to your ice cream, do so just prior to removing it from the ice cream maker. This way, the ice cream maker will fold in your additions nicely at the end and nothing will be squished or over blended. Here are some ideas:

  • Chocolate chips – I used with the Lily’s brand or the 365 Whole Foods brand of sugar-free chips.
  • Graham crackers – I get the whole wheat honey-sweetened type from my local health food store.
  • Chopped pecans
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Fruit juice sweetened dried cranberries – I find these at Whole foods or on Amazon. They are typically sweetened with apple juice.
An up close shot of some Pumpkin Ice Cream in a white bowl. A small pumpkin sits behind it to the right.

What To Serve With Pumpkin Ice Cream?

Wondering what goes with pumpkin ice cream? Here are a few ideas!

  • Pumpkin Granola – Sprinkle over the top at serving.
  • Put a smal scoop of pumpkin ice cream ontop of some pumpkin bars.
  • Caramel sauce – Drizzle a little over the top for a nice finish.
  • Crushed or chopped pecans sprinkled over the top.

How To Serve Pumpkin Ice Cream

The best way to serve this is in an ice cream bowl with a little bit of your favorite topping. But there are different ways you can serve this too.

  • Between two cookies for an ice cream sandwich.
  • On top of a bar cookies.
  • Next to a slice of cake.
  • With coffee.

Using Your Ice Cream Maker

If this is your first time making ice cream at home, you’ll want to be sure to read the user manual on your ice cream maker. Each ice cream maker is different and requires different things to make a good batch of ice cream. While this recipe will get you all the way up to filling your ice cream maker, you’ll definitely want to follow the instructions on your machine for the actual churning.

An ice cream scoop sits in the ice cream maker insert. In front of it, sits a small white bowl of just-scooped Pumpkin Ice Cream.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Ingredient Checklist

Here are all the ingredients you need to make this homemade ice cream recipe.
(Print the recipe from the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)

What Is Pumpkin Ice Cream Made Of?

3 ½ cups cashew milk – You can also use whole milk (dairy), or heavy cream if dairy isn’t an issue for you. Full-fat coconut milk will work well, but you’ll get the coconut flavor. Avoid almond milk or skim milk, they don’t have a high enough fat content.

½ cup pumpkin puree – not pumpkin pie filling.

¾ cup granular sweetener – Such as Sucanat, coconut sugar, or monk fruit. Using an unprocessed sweetener will lend a little bit of a “brown sugar” flavor that is super tasty. You can also use 1 cup pure maple syrup if you prefer, or ½ a cup honey.

8 large egg yolks – Save the whites for making meringue or macaroons! The eggs can be chilled or room temperature.

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice – No sugar added.

1 tsp. vanilla extract – Optional. I didn’t use it, but it would be a tasty addition.

How To Make Pumpkin Ice Cream In An Ice Cream Maker

Two hands separate an egg over a glass bowl.

Separate eggs, and keep the yolks handy in a medium bowl. Set aside

Whisking the milk, pumpkin and sweetener together in a pot.

In a medium saucepan, combine the cashew milk, pumpkin puree, and sweetener. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly (or use a hand mixer) to dissolve the sweetener.

Scooping some of the hot ice cream base out of the pot.

When the pumpkin mixture is nice and hot, reduce heat to low temporarily and remove a ½ cup from the pot.

Tempering the eggs in a large measuring cup.

Temper the egg yolks with this hot liquid by very slowly whisking the hot milk into the yolks. Then whisk the milk and egg yolks slowly back into the hot pot and raise heat back from low heat to medium to achieve a simmer. DO NOT BOIL. Stir constantly.

Pouring the finished ice cream base into a large, white bowl.

When the milk has thickened a bit (about 5-7 minutes), pour the milk into a heat-safe dish and, either place it in an ice bath to cool it immediately or place the dish in the refrigerator using pot holders if needed. Be sure to put something underneath the dish to mitigate the heat. (If using the vanilla, you can stir that in now.) Chill the ice cream mixture overnight.

Pouring the ice cream base into an ice cream maker.

Pour the chilled liquid into the ice cream maker, and follow the directions from your ice cream maker to make your ice cream.

The finished Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe in a white bowl. A small pumpkin sits to the left.

Transfer to a freezer-safe container for storage. Scoop and serve with your favorite toppings.

Remember that this is a harder ice cream. You may need to set on the counter for a few minutes before eating or zap it in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds to make it scoopable again.

Recipe Cost

These prices were true for my area at the time this recipe was published. Prices will vary from region to region and store to store. Cost is for the recipe measure, based on the total unit price.

3 ½ cups cashew milk

½ cup pumpkin puree

¾ cup granular sweetener

8 large egg yolks

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Recipe Total Cost

Cost Per Serving

$1.68

$1.50

$1.42

$2.48

$.66

$.83

$8.57

$2.14

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Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe Card

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A scoop of Pumpkin Ice Cream in a white bowl with a small pumpkin sitting behind the cup.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Delicious, homemade ice cream that's simple to make! Note that the prep time mentioned here does not include how long it takes to churn your ice cream. This particular time will depend heavily on your ice cream maker. Please read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for that information.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 362kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!

Equipment

  • Ice Cream Maker
  • Medium Stock Pot

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups cashew milk (or any milk you prefer)
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ¾ cup granular sweetener (try Sucanat, coconut sugar or monk fruit)
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (no sugar added)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions

  • Separate eggs, and keep the yolks handy in a medium bowl. Set aside.
    Two hands separate an egg over a glass bowl.
  • In a medium sauce pan, combine the cashew milk, pumpkin puree, and sweetener. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly to dissolve the sweetener.
    Whisking the milk, pumpkin and sweetener together in a pot.
  • When the mixture is nice and hot, reduce heat to low temporarily and remove a ½ cup from the pot.
    Scooping some of the hot ice cream base out of the pot.
  • Temper the egg yolks with this hot liquid by very slowly whisking the hot milk into the yolks. Then whisk the milk and egg yolks slowly back into the hot pot and raise heat back to medium to achieve a simmer. DO NOT BOIL. Stir constantly.
    Tempering the eggs in a large measuring cup.
  • When the milk has thickened a bit (about 5-7 minutes), pour the milk into a heat-safe dish and either place in an ice bath to cool it immediately, or place the dish in the refrigerator using pot holders if needed. Be sure to put something underneath the dish to mitigate the heat. (If using the vanilla, you can stir that in now.) Chill overnight.
    Pouring the finished ice cream base into a large, white bowl.
  • Pour the chilled liquid into the ice cream maker, and follow the directions from your ice cream maker to make your ice cream.
    Pouring the ice cream base into an ice cream maker.
  • Transfer to a freezer-safe container for storage. Scoop and serve with your favorite toppings.
    The finished Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe in a white bowl. A small pumpkin sits to the left.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25the recipe | Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 277mg | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 5144IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg

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