Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream with Candied Pecans

The other day I posted a pumpkin cheesecake and now I’m posting pumpkin ice cream. We definitely have a pumpkin-dessert problem on this blog…

But can you blame me? These recipes are just too good. I first created this ice cream for Thanksgiving and my family went crazy for it. Creamy coconut milk… pumpkin and spice… candied pecan pieces… and even a rich eggnog-like flavor all blended together into a frozen dessert. Amazing.

If you’ve never had coconut milk ice cream, you’re missing out. It doesn’t taste like coconut at all, and provides just the right mouthfeel of real cream. The So Delicious and Coconut Bliss brands available in stores are absolutely perfect, but I had always struggled to make my own. Each time I tried, I could never get the right consistency. Straight out of the ice cream maker it would be way too runny, and after a few extra hours in the freezer it would turn into a solid block of ice. Hmm.

With this recipe, however, I think we finally have the ingredient mix just right. There are three things that help make this version work so well: 1) using half full-fat and half light coconut milk seems to be just the right combo for ice cream. 2) Adding a tablespoon of alcohol prevents the mixture from turning completely solid (more on that later) and 3) adding pumpkin puree helps with the consistency.

If you have an ice cream maker, this one is definitely worth a try.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pan

Makes ~5 cups


  • 1 15 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 15 oz can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup agave or maple syrup
  • 1+ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or rum (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces

Step One

Combine all ingredients except pecan pieces in a blender until smooth. At this point, you can give the mixture a taste and adjust anything as needed. It won’t be nearly as good now as when frozen, but you’ll get a good idea of which flavors need to be enhanced. I added a little extra maple syrup, spice, and pumpkin puree.

The vodka is optional, but highly recommended. Vodka doesn’t freeze like water, so when you add just a tablespoon to the ice cream, it gives it a lovely creamy consistency whereas it *can* have a tendency to become too solid with just the coconut milk.

Step Two

Place this mixture in the refrigerator and allow to fully chill. Meanwhile, you can optionally toast the pecan pieces by themselves in a sauté pan, or add a drizzle of maple syrup (or even brown sugar…) to the pan to create candied pecans, which are amazing.

Step Three

With the mixture chilled, follow your ice cream maker’s instructions, stirring in the pecans at the last minute. Straight out of the ice cream maker, it will likely still be fairly soft. Add to a chilled container (I used a loaf pan) and freeze for at least 3 hours until firm, and it’ll keep for 5+ days in the freezer.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Pumpkin Ice Cream


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  1. This looks delicious and I appreciate the simple list of ingredients. I haven’t had ice cream (of any kind) in ages. Time to look for an ice cream maker!

  2. Oh my goodness, Andrew! This looks amazing! It makes me want to run right out and buy an ice cream maker! … maybe I will have to borrow my mom’s until I can get one of my own! 😉

    • Haha, yes! I’ve had one for a while and, like I mentioned, always been slightly disappointed with the results :-/ This recipe, however, had the absolute perfect consistency.

  3. This sounds devine! I don’t own an Ice cream maker; would the old method work of placing it in the freezer for while , taking out and beating again, do this once or twice?

    • Hmm, that might work here. Even better might be blending it as instructed and then freezing 2/3 in ice cube trays and refrigerating the other 1/3. Then when the cubes are frozen, blend them with the liquid. And with a little luck, it might be the right consistency?

    • After reading these comments, I think I found a new business opportunity: sell ice cream makers! 🙂 To answer your question though, possibly. See the comment above this one for advice on making this without an ice cream maker.

  4. Delicious!! Coconut milk, pumpkin & pecans are all favorites of mine! I bookmarked this treat to save until my almost summer birthday when I won’t be cold & then will ask for an ice cream maker! The flavors may say fall, but I know I’ll find them just as scrumptious in summer! Thanks!

  5. This is my third One Ingredient chef recipe in a week and I am sold! Although I love both coconut and pumpkin/pumpkin spice, I would never have thought to combine the flavours – but they go together beautifully. It’s really mouthwatering. Now to exhibit a modicum of self-restraint and not eat all of the ice-cream at once…
    Thanks again, Andrew 🙂

    • Oh, thanks so much, Eleni! 🙂 I’m so glad you liked it.

      Haha, I provide the recipes, you have to provide the self-restraint :p

  6. Did you use the whole can of coconut milk, or just the white cream? I tried making it this weekend, but I only used the thick white cream from the cans of coconut milk. After refrigerating the mixture, I couldn’t get it to pour into the ice cream maker. So then I stopped my ice cream maker, spooned the mixture into the maker and tried to start it up again. 🙁 It was already frozen and wouldn’t spin. I couldn’t get it to work so I ended up throwing it all away. So sad. I’d like to try making this again, but don’t want to try till I know for sure to use the whole can or not. Thanks!

    • Hi Beth, sorry to hear about your troubles. This recipe is definitely for the whole can (one can of full-fat coconut milk and one can of light). If I suggested using only part of the can, I would have specified that 🙂

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