Pumpkin ice cream

Even though it’s officially fall and the weather is getting cooler, I’m still making ice cream. To me, ice cream is a year-round treat. If you asked me in the middle of winter whether or not I’d want to eat ice cream, I would say yes without any hesitation. It’s one of the world’s most perfect foods, in my opinion.

I’ve wanted to make pumpkin ice cream for a while now and finally decided to cross this off my to-make list. I had just enough pumpkin puree left over from another recipe and also had some egg yolks hanging around. This was not just some random coincidence, my friends. The pumpkin ice cream was just begging to be made!

Although the recipe was slightly more high maintenance than the other ice creams I’ve tried, it was definitely worth it. I hard a difficult time waiting overnight to chill the recipe and then finally incorporating the vanilla and pumpkin puree and straining the mixture. And then I had to wait another few hours for the ice cream to harden. How is a girl to wait when there is ice cream waiting to be eaten?

The ice cream was phenomenal! This frozen treat was incredibly rich and creamy, and the spices definitely came through. In fact, it was almost like eating a pumpkin pie, but in ice cream form. As David Lebovitz stated in his book, this would pair very well with some graham cracker crusts or gingersnaps. I’m actually thinking about eating this with some white chocolate cheesecake (which is definitely going on our Thanksgiving menu this year – it was Dad’s request).

If you’re looking for a pumpkin ice cream recipe, you definitely need to give this a try!


Pumpkin ice cream

Pumpkin ice cream is a wonderful dessert for the fall season - or any time during the year!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Chilling time4 hours
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Ice Cream
Servings: 1 quart
Author: Eva Bakes


  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
  • 1 cinnamon stick*
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg*
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar I only have light brown sugar and used that
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier rum or brandy (optional; I omitted)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree canned or homemade
  • * I replaced these ingredients with 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice


  • Make an ice bath by putting some ice and a little water in a large bowl and nest a smaller metal bowl inside it. Set a mesh strainer over the top. (I skipped this step.)
  • In a medium saucepan combine the milk, cream, granulated sugar, ginger, ground cinnamon, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and salt. (I replaced the ground spices with 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, so I mixed this with the milk, cream, sugar and salt.)
  • Warm the mixture over medium heat until the edges begin to bubble and foam.
  • Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl and gradually whisk in about half of the warm milk mixture to temper the yolks. Stir constantly.
  • Transfer all of the warmed egg yolks into the saucepan and continue cooking over low heat. Keep stirring and scraping the bottom until the mixture thickens and can coat either your spatula or a wooden spoon. If using an instant-read thermometer, the temperature should read between 160º-170ºF.
  • Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer into the bowl nested in the ice bath. Mix in the brown sugar, then stir until cool. Chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
  • After the mixture has cooled, whisk in the vanilla, liquor (if using), and pumpkin puree. Press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Source: Slightly adapted from David Lebovitz


  1. little kitchie
    November 19, 2012 / 11:18 am

    sounds divine! i'm from texas, where ice cream totally makes sense as a year-round treat! 🙂

    November 19, 2012 / 1:42 pm

    Sounds amazing! I was thinking of making ice cream soon since I have a dozen egg yolks in the fridge left over from making buttercream. I think I'll make this one!

  3. TAV
    November 20, 2012 / 1:35 am

    I, too can eat ice cream year round (even in MN where we are now!) yum!!

  4. Krystal Regueiro
    November 21, 2012 / 6:34 am

    I looooooooooooooooove anything with pumpkin, this needs to be made ASAP!!

  5. Dawn
    November 22, 2012 / 12:20 am

    What a great idea for an ice cream flavor! I agree-ice cream eating is a year round activity!

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