Pumpkin Butter Pecan Ice Cream

You might be looking at this bowl of Pumpkin Butter Pecan Ice Cream and thinking I’ve just loaded it up with all of those scoops for the picture. And, honestly, you are right. However, I’m kind of willing to bet that between the two of us, my husband and I ate that much straight out of the container the other night. It’s amazing how quickly those spoons keep going back for more! But seriously? This is the best pumpkin ice cream ever. And I’ve made some really good batches over the years.

I made one just the other day, in fact, and my family ate in a matter of two days or so. And that was me keeping them away from it until it could be photographed. So you can probably imagine that it’s been difficult for my husband to behave himself and leave this batch of pumpkin ice cream alone until it had been properly photographed and posted so I could share it with you.

Because I’m a giver when it comes to ice cream…er, that is to say ice cream recipes. (Maybe not the ice cream itself. Not all the time.) I mean, it’s not that I don’t like sharing. I do. It’s more of an “Oh, oops! It’s all gone. Sorry!” I’m sure you understand. Or maybe you don’t. And I’m sorry again! I should definitely share more often. I just get sidetracked like Dugg in UP except instead of squirrels, it’s pecans and pumpkin ice cream and before I know it, BAM! Half the ice cream is gone and all that’s left is what you see in the picture. And the only reason that much is left is because I felt kinda guilty about eating so many (I’m not telling you just how many) Orange Pecan Macarons with Pecan Praline Buttercream in the past few days. And then I wonder why my jeans are getting a little snug. It’s a bad thing that tastes so good, I wonder why it’s so bad. It’s time to go vegan again, I guess. (I thought I could live without butter, cheese and cream, but yo, it’s harder than you think once you fall off the wagon.)

Now, where was I? I always get off on tangents. Tasty tangents, but tangents nonetheless. Squirrel!

Let’s recap, shall we? Pumpkin Butter Pecan Ice Cream is amazing. You should make it because there isn’t enough left for me to share. My husband was a good boy. I made French macarons (and will be posting the recipe shortly). And finally, the denouement: my jeans are feeling a little more snug. Catch all that? Whew! I think I need some ice cream. Oops! It’s all gone. ;)

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Pumpkin Butter Pecan Ice Cream

A creamy, homemade ice cream made with pumpkin puree and buttered pecans.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 1/2 quarts 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs (or 3 more egg yolks)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Melt butter in a small skillet and add pecans. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the pecans toast and the butter is nicely browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and let pecans cool completely. As they cool, they will absorb some of the excess melted butter.
  2. Heat cream and milk in a 3-quart saucepan until very hot. Add the pecans, remove from heat and let steep for 30-60 minutes. Gently reheat until very hot, but not boiling.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and whole eggs with brown sugar and maple syrup until the sugar is almost dissolved and the mixture is lighter in color. Whisk in the pumpkin puree. Carefully strain the hot cream mixture and reserve pecans. Drizzle the the hot cream into the egg and sugar mixture in a slow, steady stream while whisking. Pour back into the pan and cook over medium heat until the temperature reaches at 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Whisk in the vanilla, pumpkin spice and salt. Let cool slightly, cover and chill until very cold. Also place pecans in fridge to get cold.
  4. Churn cold custard in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer directions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the pecans and allow them to mix in. Transfer to an airtight freezer-proof container. Allow to harden, if desired, before serving.


Note: I felt like 1 cup of pecans was a tiny bit too much for the finished ice cream. Next time I’ll add only 1/2 of them back into the ice cream and save the others to add to smoothies or muffins.

  • Author: Lindsey Johnson
  • Prep Time: 60 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Update: 10/26/13 I was so excited to post this I forgot the most important step! Read below for the updated recipe.

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  1. Looks yummy! But where’s the butter? I’m a bit of a Buttery ice cream expert and have made several different versions, (Butter Brickle, Butter Almond, Butter Waknut, Butterscotch ribbons, and every one called for some butter (most actually required butter extract).Please stop me before I add a few drops of the magical extract if you think it wouldn’t meld!

    1. Oh my goodness! I’m so grateful to you! I neglected to add the step where I cook the pecans in butter before I steep them in the milk and cream! Thank you! Also, you could add extract if you want.

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