You may be familiar with most of the traditional pumpkin desserts and sweet treats, but have you ever tried Pumpkin Ice Cream? It’s so rich and creamy and full of our favorite pumpkin spice flavors, it really has the perfect flavor profile for a smooth churned ice cream. I can taste that Fall pumpkin flavor now!
This creamy pumpkin ice cream recipe is perfect to serve alongside warm fried apples, apple pie, molasses sugar cookies, over chocolate chip pumpkin waffles or simply mounded in a sugar cone or dessert bowl.
Make a double batch so that you don’t run out whenever the craving for something cold and pumpkin-flavored hits!
More Pumpkin Desserts To Try
Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
- heavy cream – also advertised as heavy whipping cream, this gives your ice cream that rich, smooth texture we love
- milk – I prefer to use whole milk – the higher fat content in the dairy makes for more delicious and creamy ice cream, but if you want to use 2% or even 1% milk, your ice cream will still turn out!
- granulated sugar – you can easily substitute brown sugar here, it has a slightly different, nutty flavor
- eggs – yes, raw eggs! I’m not concerned with raw eggs in my ice cream, but I’ll give you some tips if you don’t feel comfortable throwing them in. Just don’t leave them out!!
- pumpkin pie spice – this is a combination of warming spices like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. You can add the individual spices if you prefer. Ground cloves and vanilla extract can also be thrown in here.
- pumpkin puree – use 100% pumpkin puree; I always use Libby’s canned pumpkin, but any brand should do. Be sure you are using pure pumpkin and not a pumpkin pie filling.
It may seem odd to add eggs to an ice cream, but the eggs add stability to the ice cream – preventing it from melting too quickly. They also add richness and flavor. One more bonus – eggs in homemade ice cream leverage the fat in the milk and cream and aid in preventing crystallization while adding to the smooth creaminess.
How to Make Pumpkin Ice Cream
Whisk the eggs until frothy. Add the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture has thickened. Add in the pumpkin puree until the ingredients are combined.
Add the spices and the milk and cream. Stir the pumpkin mixture together to make a smooth base.
Now it’s time to churn the custard mixture and transform into ice cream! Pour the base into your pre-chilled ice cream maker container. Attach the paddle and churn the mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions – until the machine is done running (it typically slows as the ice cream becomes thicker and eventually will stop.). Then transfer the ice cream to a loaf pan or other container and freeze for at least a few hours to firm it up before serving!
CAN I MAKE PUMPKIN PIE ICE CREAM WITHOUT AN ICE CREAM MACHINE?
Yes, you can! There are two best alternative methods when it comes to making smooth and creamy homemade ice cream without the aid of an ice cream machine:
The food processor:
- Make up your pumpkin ice cream mixture and then freeze it flat in a Ziploc bag for about 2 hours.
- Once frozen, break up your frozen ice cream base into chunks and give it a good pulse using a food processor.
- Place your processed ice cream into a freezer-safe container and leave to freeze overnight.
This method gives you the closest similarity to making it in an ice cream maker.
Ice Bath and Hand Mixer:
- You’ll need to replicate an ice cream maker by using a large bowl filled with ice and ice cream salt and then a smaller bowl placed inside the larger bowl where you’ll assemble your ice cream base.
- Set the ice cream bowl into the ice bowl and mix with a hand mixer until the ice cream base freezes.
- Then, place both bowls as is into the freezer for 45 minutes which will give you some delicious ice cream!
The downside to using this bowl-in-bowl method is the fact that it takes up quite a fair amount of freezer space and you will have to make more effort in making your ice cream this way as you’ll essentially be building your own ice cream machine! However, try it once and then you’ll feel 100% ready to invest in an electric ice cream machine. Haha!
Tips for Making this Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe
- Ice cream machines differ in terms of churn times and the length of time required to freeze your ice cream bowl so make sure that you follow the directions of your specific ice cream machine. With that said, you will need to plan ahead somewhat when making this pumpkin ice cream since it can take up to 15 hours to freeze your ice cream machine bowl. I typically pop my bowl in the freezer the day prior.
- Serve your pumpkin ice cream in sugar cones or waffle bowls to reduce cleanup or simply serve in a normal dessert bowl.
- Chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts, chocolate sprinkles, or chocolate chips are delicious additions to this holiday pumpkin ice cream. You could also add some crushed Graham crackers or gingersnaps over your scoops of ice cream for an interesting contrast to the ice cream’s creamy texture.
- This homemade ice cream can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. After that, the ice cream may form crystals but I don’t think you’ll encounter this challenge since it’s likely to be enjoyed quickly!
Everyone knows you’re not supposed to eat raw eggs, but the risk of being infected with a food-borne disease from raw eggs is actually quite low. With proper handling, eggs are relatively safe to consume, even raw. Nevertheless, simply choose pasteurized eggs to use in this no-cook ice cream base. Pasteurized eggs have been slowly heated and held at a temperature to kill any bacteria, without actually cooking the egg. Pasteurized eggs will taste and function the same way in your ice cream. If you’re still leary, you can mix together your eggs, dairy, and sugar in a saucepan on the stovetop and place over medium heat until it reaches 140°F. Maintain a temperature of 140°F for 3 minutes and then cool your mixture. Proceed with the recipe and you’re good to go!
No churn pumpkin ice cream has become popular as a mix it up and throw it in the freezer recipe. Typically, these recipes combine heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk, relying on the sweetened condensed milk for sweetness and also to keep the ice cream from crystallizing. I find that the sweetened condensed milk transforms ice cream into a soft serve type product – it works, for sure. But you do lose some of the flavor and texture that we love in a true churned ice cream. If you’d like to make your ice cream this way, combine heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin puree, and spices and then freeze in a tub until set. The ice cream will not hold up to melting as well. You can alternately try one of the more tradition, albeit labor intensive, methods discussed above.
Pumpkin ice cream tastes a lot like pumpkin pie – it is rich and ultra creamy. Similar to a pumpkin cheesecake and smooth, cold, and refreshing.
Pumpkin itself is a nutty squash. It can be prepared into a savory or a sweet dish. Everyone loves pumpkin for pumpkin pie, but it also makes a delicious soup – pairing well with sage. Pumpkin pairs great with curry, too. And, of course, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground ginger, and cloves are some of the go-to warming spices that go well with pumpkin.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
- ice cream maker
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add sugar and continue whisking until mixture has thickened.
- Add pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice and stir to combine.
- While whisking, slowly pour in cream and milk until evenly combined.
- Transfer ice cream mixture to ice cream machine and churn following manufacturer's instructions until thickened.
- Transfer the ice cream to the freezer and freeze a minimum of 4 hours to thicken further.