This post was created as in partnership with Imperial Sugar. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

This Butter Pecan Ice Cream Pie is the sweetest way to serve one of the best old-fashioned ice cream flavors this summer. Rich swirls of butterscotch sauce and buttered pecans boost the flavor of your favorite butter pecan ice cream in this semi-homemade dessert that is guaranteed to receive oohs and ahhs when you serve it at your next dinner party!

A slice of butter pecan ice cream pie with a butterscotch swirl.
Table of Contents
  1. Why You'll Love This Recipe
  2. Pie Elements
  3. How to Make This Recipe
  4. Recipe FAQ's
  5. Recipe Tips and Tricks
  6. More Recipes Like This

An easy ice cream pie recipe is one of my secrets to simple summer entertaining. They take hardly any time to make and can be prepared ahead so you can avoid heating up your kitchen when you have company coming over.

This butter pecan ice cream pie takes our love of classic butter pecan ice cream and elevates it with a simple graham cracker and pecan crust and plenty of delicious homemade butterscotch sauce. Of course you can simplify with a premade graham cracker crust and store bought sauce, but the little bit of extra effort pays big dividends in terms of flavor.

Why You'll Love This Recipe

  • Makes enough for 8 but keeps well if you just want to have it on hand to enjoy a slice yourself each night while watching Netflix.
  • Easily customizable. Feeding a crowd? Just double the recipe to make two ice cream pies. Want to try a different flavor of ice cream or topping? The sky's the limit!
  • Practically no-bake. I like to pop the crust in the oven for 10 minutes to crisp it up, but you could get away with just freezing it for 30 minutes to set the crust before filling with ice cream if you want a truly no-bake dessert.
An overhead image of an ice cream pie with butter pecan ice cream and butterscotch sauce.

Pie Elements

This is a quick overview of this recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card in the link below.

  • Butter pecan ice cream: You can pick up a carton of your favorite brand at the store or make a batch of our homemade butter pecan ice cream if you are feeling ambitious.
  • Butterscotch sauce: Caramel is a great substitute if that's what you have on hand, but we love the rich, unique flavor of butterscotch paired with the butter pecan ice cream. You can make it homemade or just use a jar of your favorite butterscotch from the grocery store.
  • Graham cracker crust: I started with my regular homemade graham cracker crust recipe and added some finely chopped pecans for more pecan flavor. It was so delicious I might start doing it anytime I'm making a crust for a cheesecake or other no-bake pie!
  • Buttered pecans: Sure there are already some in the ice cream itself, but it only takes a couple of minutes to toast up some extra chopped pecans with a little salted butter. Sprinkle them in with the ice cream and sauce layers for even more buttery, pecan crunch for the ultimate butter pecan ice cream pie!
A butter pecan ice cream pie after being topped with butterscotch sauce.

How to Make This Recipe

It's easy to make this recipe. This is a quick overview with step-by-step images to help you visualize the process. Scroll down to the recipe card for printable, detailed instructions. Here is the basic approach:

Make your crust

Combine finely crushed graham cracker crumbs and chopped pecans with brown sugar for the perfect amount of sweetness and melted butter to bind and hold it together. Press it into a 9-inch pie dish with a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup, making sure to press up against the sides firmly.

We like to bake the crust for about 10 minutes to set it and give a little extra crunch and toasted flavor, but you could freeze it for 30 minutes instead.

Make the sauce

This is an easy butterscotch sauce recipe! Just combine butter, brown sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and stir until melted and combined. Then stop stirring and let the mixture continue to cook until it reaches 236 degrees F on a candy thermometer (affiliate link).

Remove from heat and stir in evaporated milk and vanilla extract, then pour into a heat-safe jar to cool completely.

Ingredients for homemade butterscotch sauce in a medium saucepan.

Make the buttered pecans

While the sauce and crust are cooling, melt a little salted butter in a small skillet, then add the chopped pecans. Stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the pecans are toasty and fragrant to draw out their natural oils. Just be careful not to overcook and burn the pecans which can go from toasty to scorched pretty quickly if the heat is too high or you forget about them.

Layer

Once the crust has cooled slightly, add scoops of softened butter pecan ice cream to cover the bottom of the crust. Use about half of your ice cream to do this.

Try to use a large spoon or shallow ice cream scoop to scoop flat discs of softened ice cream instead of round balls. It makes it easier to press the ice cream into the pie crust.

Drizzle cooled butterscotch sauce over the ice cream and sprinkle with half of the buttered pecans.

Top with the remaining ice cream and cover with plastic wrap. Press the ice cream into the crust, then transfer to the freezer to firm up until the ice cream is hard again, about 12 hours.

Before serving, drizzle with more butterscotch sauce and sprinkle with the remaining chopped pecans. Let the pie sit out for 5 minutes to soften slightly before slicing.

Butterscotch sauce and chopped pecans sprinkled over a frozen ice cream pie.

For the FULL RECIPE be sure to visit Imperial Sugar's site.

Recipe FAQ's

What is the difference between butterscotch and caramel?

These two dessert sauces are very similar but the primary distinction is that butterscotch is typically made with brown sugar while caramel is generally made with granulated sugar. This results in a slightly different flavor profile with unique buttery notes and richness to the butterscotch.

Can I use store-bought butterscotch or caramel sauce?

Absolutely. We prefer the taste of homemade sauce whenever possible, but a jar of store-bought butterscotch ice cream topping will work just as well in this semi-homemade ice cream pie.

Slices of butter pecan ice cream pie on plates in front of the rest of the pie.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • If you opt to make homemade butter pecan ice cream instead of using store bought, you can skip the curing process and transfer the freshly churned ice cream straight to your pie crust when it is still the consistency of soft serve and freeze it from there.
  • Top with whipped cream. We skipped the swirls of whipped cream with this one, but it can really finish off the dessert if you want to add some!

Be sure to stop by Imperial Sugar's site for the FULL RECIPE. I have partnered with them now for a few years and love their products for my baking needs!

A slice of butter pecan ice cream pie on two stacked plates in front of a jar of butterscotch sauce.

More Recipes Like This

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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