Pumpkin Ice Cream
This Pumpkin Ice Cream is rich and creamy, flavored with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice, and sweetened with brown sugar. This frozen fall treat is a delightful way to indulge your pumpkin spice cravings!
Easy Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe
Pumpkin Ice Cream is the creamy, refreshing, and absolutely delicious answer to all your pumpkin spice cravings!
Come fall, our youngest daughter is unabashedly all about pumpkin spice. From candles to pumpkin cream cold brew to pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, this girl is on hyper pumpkin alert.
And this delightful pumpkin-based ice cream is the perfect segue from summer to fall. It’s cold, creamy, and refreshing, yet it’s lovingly sprinkled with all that warm, pumpkin pie spice flavor.
If you’ve been hanging here with me over the years, you know I’m not a big fan of traditional pumpkin pie – I love the warm, spiced flavors, just not the texture. So this pumpkin pie ice cream is the perfect answer to my Thanksgiving menu planning dilemma, right along with no-bake pumpkin icebox cake, pumpkin layer cake, pumpkin cheesecake, and layered pumpkin pie in a jar – they’re all SO GOOD!
Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
There’s a LOT to love about this ice cream.
- It’s special. In my head, pumpkin spice season is September through November. So it always feels like a special treat to break out all the pumpkin recipes during this time – and homemade ice cream is ALWAYS special!!
- Fall flavors in every bite. This ice cream is packed with warm flavors perfect for a fall treat: pumpkin, pumpkin spice, brown sugar, and vanilla.
- Better than store-bought. Homemade ice cream is incredibly fresh, and it’s made with simple, wholesome ingredients. And being homemade, you can play with the pumpkin spice level. If you are a cinnamon lover (like me!), add extra cinnamon!
- Simple ingredients list. You’ll be able to find everything you need at the store, nothing extra special is needed to make this pumpkin ice cream.
- Easy to make. This ice cream is extra rich and creamy because it starts with a custard base, using egg yolks. Custard-based ice creams are my preference, and I promise you, this pumpkin ice cream is easy to make!
What You’ll Need
I’ve outlined the ingredients you’ll need to make this pumpkin ice cream below.
Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.
- Heavy cream and whole milk – The combination of heavy cream and whole milk results in a perfect creamy and decadent ice cream that isn’t overly rich. Make sure to use both for the best consistency.
- Pumpkin puree – This adds the earthy pumpkin flavor and natural orange color. Do not use a pre-spiced pumpkin pie filling.
- Egg yolks – These add rich flavor and a delightful, thickened, creamy texture
- Brown sugar – This adds warm sweetness. Granulated sugar would also work if that’s what you have on hand.
- Vanilla extract – This adds another layer of warmth, enhancing the sweetness and overall flavor of the ice cream. Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Pumpkin pie spice – This combination of spices adds classic pumpkin pie flavor and aroma.
How to Make Pumpkin Ice Cream
Here’s my method to make homemade pumpkin ice cream:
- Make the pumpkin ice cream base. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the heavy cream, whole milk, and pumpkin puree. Heat until mixture begins to steam and bubbles form around the edges.
- Whisk egg yolks and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and brown sugar.
- Combine pumpkin mixture with egg yolk mixture. Very slowly pour about half of the warmed pumpkin mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. This “tempers” the egg yolks so they don’t get cooked/scrambled by the shock of the the warm pumpkin mixture.
- Make the final custard pumpkin ice cream base. Pour the tempered egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the warmed pumpkin mixture, and whisk to create the custard mixture. Stir constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 5-7 minutes.
- Strain the custard. Pour the finished pumpkin custard through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl to remove any little pieces of egg or pumpkin from the ice cream.
- Add flavorings, then chill the custard base. Stir in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Then place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard, to prevent it from forming a skin. Chill the ice cream base in the fridge until very cold – at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. To speed up this step, you could place the bowl in the freezer instead, stirring every 20 minutes until thoroughly chilled.
- Churn the custard in an ice cream maker. Once the custard is chilled, pour it into an ice cream maker and churn until it reaches a soft-serve consistency, about 15-20 minutes or so.
- Freeze the ice cream. Transfer the soft-serve ice cream to a loaf pan and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze for an additional 4 hours or until firm and scoopable. Enjoy!
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips to help you make the best pumpkin spice ice cream:
- Make sure your ice cream maker bowl is thoroughly frozen. Keep your ice cream maker bowl in the freezer so it’s super cold when it comes time to make the ice cream. I recommend freezing the bowl for at least a full 24 hours before making ice cream.
- Use full-fat ingredients. As noted above, this recipe uses heavy cream and whole-fat milk for the ultimate rich and creamy ice cream.
- Strain the base. Straining the ice cream base is another way to keep your finished ice cream incredibly smooth and lush. This step removes any solid bits of pumpkin or egg.
- Thoroughly chill the ice cream base. For the quickest, best ice cream results, chill the pumpkin ice cream custard base until it’s absolutely cold before churning it in your ice cream maker. In the fridge, chill for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. If using the freezer (what I do!), place the bowl in the freezer and stir the mixture every 20 minutes until it’s thoroughly chilled.
- Churn the ice cream long enough. You want the cold ice cream base to reach a soft serve-like consistency, which usually takes about 20 minutes – but this can vary depending on temperatures and ice cream makers.
- Fully freeze the finished ice cream. If you want to eat the ice cream with the soft-serve consistency, go right ahead – it’s delightful! But if you want it to be scoopable, allow time for the ice cream to freeze further in the freezer. Freeze for at least 4 hours to reach that familiar hardened ice cream texture.
If you skimp on the heavy cream and whole milk, by using half & half and/or milk such as 2%, 1%, or skim, this adds water to the ice cream base – which can make ice cream hard. Ice cream needs enough fat to keep it scoopable.
If your ice cream base isn’t thickening when you churn it, it’s possible that the custard mixture was not cold enough or the bowl of the ice cream maker was not thoroughly frozen.
Pumpkin spice ice cream tastes like pumpkin pie filling turned into ice cream! It’s cold, creamy, pumpkin-spiced, and perfect for fall.
What To Serve With Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Pumpkin ice cream is amazing drizzled with a variety of sauces, made into a sundae, or topped simply with toasted or caramelized nuts.
Here are a few suggestions of what to serve with pumpkin pie ice cream:
- Hot fudge sauce. Pumpkin and chocolate is a winning combo – our family loves pumpkin chocolate chip muffins! Drizzle homemade hot fudge sauce over scoops of creamy pumpkin ice cream for the ultimate dessert.
- Magic shell. Another chocolate option for you – we love homemade chocolate magic shell! It’s super fun with pumpkin ice cream, a wonderfully crunchy chocolate topper.
- With chocolate cake or brownies. And one more chocolate-pumpkin pairing, serve pumpkin ice cream with slices of chocolate cake or our favorite brownies!
- Caramel syrup. Pumpkin and caramel are also lovely together. Try this luscious caramel buttermilk syrup over pumpkin ice cream.
- Make ice cream sandwiches. For the best fall-flavored ice cream sandwich, start by making my chewy ginger molasses cookies. Then take two cookies and fill them with slightly softened pumpkin ice cream. Yes, please!!
- With candied nuts. Everyone loves this easy candied pecans recipe. Sprinkle these pecans over pumpkin ice cream for an extra special treat!
Store pumpkin ice cream in a loaf pan tightly wrapped with plastic wrap that’s pushed down to the surface of the ice cream to prevent freezer burn. You can also transfer pumpkin spice ice cream to an airtight container.
The ice cream will keep well for up to 1 month in the freezer.
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the heavy cream, whole milk, and pumpkin puree. Heat until mixture begins to steam and bubbles form around the edges.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and brown sugar until well combined.
- Very, very slowly pour about half of the warmed pumpkin mixture into the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly. This process will "temper" the eggs, so they don't "scramble" from the heat of the warmed pumpkin mixture.
- Pour the tempered egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the warmed pumpkin mixture, and whisk to combine and create the custard mixture.
- Cook the custard mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 5-7 minutes. Turn heat down just a bit if the mixture gets too hot.
- Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl, to remove any little pieces of egg or pumpkin from the ice cream. Then stir in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
- Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard, to prevent it from forming a skin. Chill the ice cream base in the fridge until very cold - at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. To speed up this step, you could place the bowl in the freezer instead, stirring every 20 minutes until thoroughly chilled.
- Once chilled, pour the custard into an ice cream maker bowl (make sure it's thoroughly frozen) and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions, until the mixture reaches a soft-serve consistency. This usually takes 15-20 minutes or so.
- Enjoy right away, with its soft-serve consistency. Or transfer the soft-serve ice cream to a loaf pan and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze for an additional 4 hours or until firm and scoopable. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 75mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes
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- Butter Pecan Ice Cream
- Fresh Raspberry and Brownie Chunk Ice Cream
- Cookie Monster Ice Cream
- Roasted Blueberry Crème Fraîche Ice Cream