July 19, 2024


Food never sleeps.

Pumpkin Ice Cream – A Couple Cooks

5 min read
Pumpkin Ice Cream – A Couple Cooks

This pumpkin ice cream recipe is lusciously creamy and warm spiced! It’s a showy fall dessert everyone will love.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

What’s better than a creamy, fall-spiced dessert? Try this Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe! Scoop up a bowl and it’s lusciously soft and creamy, scented with just the right hit of cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. Each rich spoonful will make you raise your eyebrows in delight. Take it to the next level and add candied pecans for a sweet, salty crunch. It’s the perfect fall dessert for any occasion!

Ingredients in this pumpkin ice cream recipe

This pumpkin ice cream recipe is full of fall-spices with the best creamy texture. It uses the base recipe of our homemade ice cream, with the addition of pumpkin puree and some spices. The pumpkin puree gives it an almost fluffy body that’s irresistibly fun to eat. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Whole milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Cornstarch
  • Granulated sugar and brown sugar
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe

Required equipment: ice cream maker

This pumpkin ice cream recipe requires an ice cream maker to get that beautifully fluffy texture. You’ll find this piece of equipment a great investment you can use to make sorbets, sherbet and ice cream year round! There are two main types of ice cream makers to try:

  • Freezer bowl ice cream maker (inexpensive). Find any type of freezer bowl ice cream maker for the most economical choice. Here’s the 2 quart freezer bowl ice cream maker we use; it’s a little more expensive but very durable. You’ll need to freeze the base of the ice cream maker overnight before making this recipe.
  • Automatic ice cream maker (expensive but easy to use). Do you make ice cream often? You might want to consider this automatic ice cream maker, which is larger and more expensive. It requires no pre-freezing of the base, which is handy. You can also make multiple batches back to back without needing to freeze the base again.
Pumpkin Ice Cream

How to make pumpkin ice cream (basic steps)

Making pumpkin ice cream is a simple concept: you’ll make a custard, cool it, and then churn it in your ice cream maker. The hardest part is waiting for it to “ripen” in the freezer afterwards! This is a great recipe for making ahead. Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Make the custard (5 minutes): Simmer cornstarch, whole milk and sugars and spices for 4 to 5 minutes, taking care that it doesn’t boil. Then add in the heavy cream, vanilla and salt.
  • Cool the custard (1 hour): Transfer the mixture to a large metal or glass bowl and place the bowl in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour.
  • Churn (25 minutes): Churn the custard in an ice cream maker. After 25 minutes, it makes a soft serve texture.
  • Freeze or “ripen” for hard ice cream texture (at least 2 hours or overnight): Freeze the ice cream for 2 to 4 hours for a scoop-able, hard ice cream texture (as shown in the photos).

Toppings and mix-in ideas

Once you’ve got your pumpkin ice cream, it’s deliciously rich and creamy with no toppings at all. But if you’d like to add an extra something, add a fun topping! You can also use most of these ideas as a mix in. Add the mix-ins in the last 2 minutes of churning or you can simply mix them in with a spoon once the ice cream is in a loaf pan.

  • Candied pecans: A handful of crushed or chopped candied pecans make the best topping (or mix-in!)
  • Candied walnuts: Or, candied walnuts take a close second as a tasty topping or mix-in.
  • Chocolate chips: Add ¾ cup chocolate chips as a mix in, or use the melted chocolate method from this chocolate chip ice cream.
  • Graham cracker chunks: Make pumpkin pie ice cream by adding chopped graham crackers as a mix-in.
  • Caramel sauce: Drizzle with caramel sauce or salted caramel sauce and top with chopped pecans for a decadent sundae.
Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe

Storage info

This pumpkin ice cream stays creamy in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. The flavor is at its peak right away, but you can store this ice cream for up to 2 weeks and it tastes delicious. You’ll notice that if you’ve stored it in the freezer overnight, it will be very hard. Allow the pan to sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before scooping.

And that’s it! Let us know if you try this pumpkin ice cream and what you think.

More pumpkin recipes

When it’s the season, it’s time to use all that pumpkin puree! Here are a few more pumpkin recipes and pumpkin desserts you’ll love:


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This pumpkin ice cream recipe is lusciously creamy and warm spiced! It’s a showy fall dessert everyone will love.

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

  1. In a medium saucepan, slowly whisk the cornstarch into the whole milk, then whisk in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Heat over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes, whisking frequently, until it’s almost simmering and the mixture thickens.
  2. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and salt.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large metal or glass bowl. Place the bowl in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour, making sure not to splash any water into the custard. Alternatively, simply place the bowl in the refrigerator and wait for 3 to 4 hours or until the temperature drops to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Churn according to your ice cream maker instructions, about 25 minutes for soft serve consistency. For hard ice cream texture, transfer to a loaf pan or sealed container and freeze in the freezer for at least 2 hours or even better, overnight. Store in a loaf pan with a parchment sheet over the top or a sealed container for up to 2 weeks. Allow to stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before scooping. 

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Fall
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin ice cream recipe

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