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Ice cream isn't just for the summertime! Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream is a deliciously creamy cold treat that is just as yummy on Autumn nights. With real pumpkin puree and warm pumpkin spices, this recipe is super easy to make and is FULL of pumpkin flavor.
When Fall (or more like August these days) rolls around and everybody goes crazy for pumpkin spice lattes, you'll find me looking for pumpkin ice cream. It's a seasonal flavor that is impossible to find most of the year, and even during the Fall season it's not always easy to get my hands on some.
I LOVE pumpkin ice cream. Which is funny considering I'm not the biggest pumpkin pie fan. It's got such an amazing flavor with plenty of spices and that rich, unique pumpkin quality that makes it so, so good!
I highly recommend eating this with some Biscoff cookies crumbled on top for crunch. Or have a scoop of pumpkin ice cream on top of brownies or apple pie instead of vanilla. Or sandwich it between white chocolate macadamia nut cookies or gingerbread cookies for a fantastic ice cream sandwich!
What is Pumpkin Ice Cream?
Pumpkin ice cream is a creamy and sweet slow-churned ice cream made the old-fashioned way using spices, egg yolks, heavy cream, pumpkin puree, and sugar along wit a few other simple ingredients.
Once finished, you end up with a creamy ice cream that tastes like a pumpkin pie except smoother, creamier, colder, and way, way better (again, I'm not a huge pumpkin pie fan but even I'm obsessed with this ice cream flavor). Eat it as is or serve it up in your favorite ice cream cone.
How to Make Pumpkin Ice Cream
- Heat the liquid base: In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, combine your heavy cream, milk, ¼ cup of granulated sugar, and the brown sugar. Heat the mixture until it begins to bubble around the edges.
- Mix the pumpkin, spices, sugar, and egg yolks: In a medium sized bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup of granulated sugar, egg yolks, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Whisk the mixture well.
- Temper the egg yolks and add to the custard base: Once your milk/cream mixture in the saucepan becomes hot, pour ½ cup of it into the egg mixture and whisk well to temper the eggs so that they don’t become scrambled. Add in another half cup of the hot liquid and whisk again. Pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan and heat until the creamy custard mixture reaches 160-170F degrees.
- Chill before churning: Cool the mixture completely and then chill it in the fridge or in a sealed, reusable bag. Set the bag into an ice bath to chill completely before churning.
- Churn in a 2-quart ice cream maker: Once the mixture has chilled completely, pour it into the ice cream maker and let it churn for 20-30 minutes until the consistency of soft serve.
- Cure: Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container (like a bread pan) and then freeze for at least 4 hours until firm. This process is called "curing".
What can I do to reduce the pumpkin flavor in this ice cream?
I was surprised at how much the pumpkin flavor mellows and melds with the other flavors after freezing the ice cream for 4 hours. It's much less in your face pumpkin-y than right when the ice cream is done churning and more of a soft serve consistency.
Personally love this recipe as is, but you CAN reduce the pumpkin puree amount by half for a much more mild pumpkin flavor. Go ahead and try it both ways and see which one is your favorite.
What additional add-ins can I add to my pumpkin ice cream?
I love this soft serve pumpkin ice cream because it’s so creamy and smooth, making it perfect as-is. But additional add-ins for flavor and texture are always fun and this is an excellent ice cream based for experimenting with add-ins.
For ripples and sauces, layer them with the soft-serve ice cream as you are transferring it to a freezer safe pan. For harder mix-ins like cookies or nuts, add them during the last minute of churning so they are evenly dispersed throughout the ice cream.
Here are some of my favorite mix-in ideas to go with this pumpkin ice cream:
- Candied pecans, walnuts, or almonds add a fantastic crunch!
- Try a chocolate ripple (use the one from this recipe) or chocolate truffle chunks (like the ones in this recipe).
- Add chopped Biscoff, Oreo, gingersnap, or oatmeal cookies.
- Add the crumble pieces from this recipe for more of a pumpkin pie effect.
- Mix in about 1 cup of white or milk chocolate chips, chopped Skor or Daim toffee bars.
- Break up a homemade or store-bought graham cracker crust and fold into the just-churned ice cream.
What to serve with pumpkin ice cream?
Any of the mix-ins above are going to be delicious served on top of or with this dessert. But it's also fantastic served with a slice of pumpkin or apple pie and whipped cream. It's a great way to really pack in all of your favorite Fall flavors!
It's also fantastic served with a drizzle of caramel or sandwiched between two of your cookies or brownies for ice cream sandwiches.
Even More Pumpkin Recipes
- Easy Homemade Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Salted Caramel Pumpkin Panna Cotta
- Pumpkin Juice
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- Light and Creamy Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
- Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce
- Cheesy Tortellini and Chicken Pumpkin Alfredo Bake
- Homemade Pumpkin Puree
More Ice Cream Recipes You'll Love!
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
- Fresh Lemon Ice Cream
- Burnt Almond Fudge Ice Cream
- Tutti-Frutti Ice Cream
- Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream
- Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream
- Maple Walnut Ice Cream
- Graham Canyon Ice Cream
- Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you thought with a comment and star rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar divided
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine cream, milk, ¼ cup of the granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining ¼ cup of granulated sugar, egg yolks, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk well.
- When the milk/cream mixture is hot, pour ½ cup into the egg mixture, whisking well to temper the egg yolks so they don't scramble. Add another half cup of the hot liquid and whisk again. Pour the tempered egg yolk mixture into the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture and heat until the custard base reaches 160 to 170 degrees F. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Cool completely and chill in the fridge or in a sealed, reusable silicon bag set into an ice bath until completely cold before churning.
- Once the mixture is thoroughly chilled, pour it into your ice cream maker and churn for 20-30 minutes until the consistency of soft serve. Transfer to a freezer safe container like a bread pan and freeze for 4 hours until firm.
- Optional mix-in ideas: We love this ice cream totally smooth and plain just as it is, but it's an excellent base for playing with. Try adding candied pecans, walnuts, or almonds, a chocolate ripple, chopped biscoff cookies, oatmeal cookies, or gingersnaps, 1 cup white or milk chocolate chips, chopped Skor or Daim toffee bars, broken up graham cracker crust, or the crumble bits from this rhubarb crumble ice cream recipe.