Pumpkin Ice Cream
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You don’t need to wait for the holidays to enjoy the flavors of pumpkin pie. This simple egg-free pumpkin pie ice cream is a lusciously creamy dessert you’ll love!
Anyone who knows me knows pumpkin pie is one of my favorite foods. Ice cream is also one of my favorite foods, so it was only a matter of time before I was making pumpkin pie ice cream.
I’ve had pumpkin ice cream at scoop shops before, but they tend to only have it around Thanksgiving.
Why wait? Pumpkin ice cream is easy to make at home, so you can enjoy it whenever the craving hits!
Heavy cream – In order for ice cream to be, well, creamy, you need cream!
Pumpkin puree – This recipe uses a whole can of pumpkin puree. Make sure you pick up the pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
If you are using homemade pumpkin puree, you’ll need 1 ½ cups.
Granulated sugar – I almost always use granulated sugar in my ice cream base. If you like, you can use light brown or dark brown sugar, which pairs well with the flavors of pumpkin ice cream.
Milk – To balance the pumpkin and cream, I add milk. This keeps the ice cream from being too thick while retaining the luscious texture.
Spices – To get the full effect of a pumpkin pie flavor, vanilla, salt, and spices are added to this ice cream. I use a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. If you like, you can swap in your favorite pumpkin pie spice blend.
How to make pumpkin ice cream
One of the most important things to remember when making ice cream is to chill your ice cream maker bowl!
Whether you use a stand mixer attachment or a standard ice cream machine, chill the canister at least overnight in advance of when you want to churn your ice cream. It needs to be completely frozen to churn the ice cream properly.
In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream, pumpkin, and sugar. Warm over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar and blend ingredients.
When it just starts to bubble around the edges, remove from heat. Do not boil!
Pour into a large bowl or measuring cup with 4-6 cup capacity. Whisk in milk, spices, and vanilla.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours, but preferably longer.
When ready to churn, place the frozen canister in your ice cream machine. Pour in the pumpkin ice cream mixture and churn according to machine instructions.
Churning can take between 20 minutes and 1 hour, depending on your machine. Check periodically to see if ice cream is churned. When it is thick but still somewhat soft, resembling soft serve consistency, it is ready.
Serve ice cream immediately or scoop into containers and freeze until solid.
The ice cream will get very firm; let stand at room temperature a few minutes before scooping.
You can also add 1 to 2 tablespoons of bourbon to the ice cream mixture before churning to help keep it softer.
Homemade ice cream should be stored in an airtight container to help prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface.
I recommend the Tovolo ice cream container, which is the ideal shape for scooping. You can also use cardboard ice cream containers, or reusable plastic containers with tight fitting lids.
In a pinch, store in a loaf pan. Make sure to line the pan with plastic wrap before adding the ice cream, then press another piece against the top before wrapping the whole thing.
Homemade ice cream will keep in the freezer for 3 months.
I love pumpkin ice cream just the way it is, but you can serve it with your favorite toppings or add it to other recipes.
Top with crushed graham cracker or Biscoff cookies, mini chocolate chips, chocolate sauce, or whipped cream.
You can also mix in graham cracker pieces while the ice cream is in the final moments of churning. It adds a little crunch and makes it taste even more like pumpkin pie!
Sandwich between ginger molasses cookies for a wonderful dessert.
Serve with espresso as an affogato for your own take on pumpkin spice lattes.
Blend with milk to make a deliciously creamy pumpkin milkshake.
More ice cream recipes you’ll love
Why not churn up one or a few of these?
- Spiced Cranberry Ice Cream
- Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- Chocolate Ice Cream
- Strawberry Pretzel Ice Cream
- Rocky Road Ice Cream
If you love pumpkin pie, you’re sure to enjoy this homemade pumpkin ice cream! Make it for the holidays, or any time you get a craving.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin purée, about 1 ½ cups
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Freeze ice cream canister overnight or at least 12 hours before churning.
- In a saucepan, combine pumpkin, cream, and sugar. Heat over medium, whisking to dissolve sugar and blend ingredients. Once bubbles start to form around the edges, remove from heat; do not boil.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl and whisk in milk, vanilla, and spices until well blended. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.
- When ready to churn, place frozen ice cream canister in machine. Remove ice cream mixture from fridge, whisk to reincorporate ingredients, and pour into machine. Churn according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Serve as soft-serve ice cream or scoop into an airtight container and freeze until solid.
- Freeze your ice cream maker bowl overnight, or at least 12 hours.
- Makes about 2 quarts.