I know, I know, pumpkin flavored stuff is everywhere. But when was the last time you had pumpkin ice cream, let alone made your own? Today, I’m going to share with you a great fall dessert, pumpkin no-churn ice cream.
Pumpkin ice cream first found its way onto my radar when a local ice cream shop Bobtail (Chicago peeps, take a moment to remember the goodness) debut it’s seasonal pumpkin ice cream. I’m someone who normally sticks with chocolate or mint chocolate chip ice cream, so this was really a venture out of the norm for me...and I’m so glad I tasted it. Every September I started waiting and watching until it was back, and then one year, Bobtail closed for good and I’ve been trying to figure out how to get my fix ever since.
This no-churn pumpkin ice cream is a simple version of my old favorite. 4 ingredients (a few more if you want to make it complicated), 15 minutes to prep and then patience as it freezes overnight. I even use a loaf plan to freeze it so you don't need any fancy containers. So simple!
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It’s really all about the pumpkin…
In order to really play up pumpkin flavor, I’m going to share with you my little secret. We aren’t going to just use straight pumpkin puree (although if that’s all you have in the house, I’ll give you some tips on using it). Nope, instead we are going use canned pumpkin pie mix. That's right. Call it semi-homemade if you want, but it's what I found works best.
What’s the difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie mix?
Pumpkin pie mix is exactly what it says. It's a mix of pumpkin, spices, sweetness and all you need is a pie crust and two additional ingredients. Mix those together and viola, pumpkin pie. I happen to love using Libby’s brand and also use it in my pumpkin overnight oats. Yes, it may have a bit more sugar in it that if you made it yourself, but the ease of just opening a can works for me here.
Pumpkin puree on the other hand is just that. pureed pumpkin in a can with no seasoning. Pumpkin on its own like that can be a bit bitter, so if you are cooking with the puree, you'll want to be sure to add some sweetner and spices to make it taste it's best!
Using the canned pumpkin pie mix in this recipe is my suggestion, but as always, please do what works best for you!
How to make pumpkin no-churn ice cream great
The key to no-churn ice cream is whipping the cream to stiff peaks and then gently fold in the remaining ingredients. You want to make sure to keep the fluffiness of the cream so that you get the ice cream mouth feel you are looking for.
You’ll want to use a spatula or wooden spoon when you are incorporating the pumpkin and any add-ins in the ice cream based so that you don’t lose that ice cream consistency you worked to create.
I want to elevate this ice cream for my holiday meal, can i?
Sure can. There are few ways I like to elevate my pumpkin no-churn ice cream. The first is by mixing in some additional ingredients. I like to use the following, however, I wouldn’t put in more than two at a time.
- bourbon: add into the ice cream base before adding in the pumpkin. Start with a few tablespoons and remember that the alcohol may affect how solid the ice cream freezes. let me know if you want a recommended bourbon and I'll ask the husband!
- chopped walnuts: gently fold into the pumpkin no-churn ice cream base before freezing
- mini chocolate chips: gently fold into the pumpkin no-churn ice cream base before freezing
- caramel swirl: using either homemade or store bought caramel sauce, swirl into the not yet frozen ice cream base. Use a gentle hand when pouring this in. Add a sprinkle of sea salt on top
- crumbled graham cracker: crumble some graham crackers up and either sprinkle on the top of the ice cream when serving, or fold into the ice cream before it’s frozen
- crumbled pie crust: use scraps you have from other pies you are making and crumble them up once baked. Fold these into the ice cream for a real pumpkin pie experience
Over the next few months lookout for some new flavors of no-churn ice cream. I’ve been dreaming up a few special ones to share in the new year. Have a flavor you want me to try. Leave a comment below or email me and I’ll see what I can create for you!
Tips and Tricks:
- You’ll want to freeze this for at least 4 hours, but I like to freeze it overnight when possible. It’s good to make with the kids after dinner, and then its ready for eating the next day.
- Heavy whipping cream is a must here. It’s the key to getting a creamy consistency.
- If you are serving this for a holiday dessert, you can easily make it a few weeks ahead and store sealed tightly in an air tight freezer safe container. I like to use this kind.
Looking for other simple dessert recipes? Check these out!
Pumpkin no-churn ice cream (perfect fall dessert)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of pumpkin pie mix or more
- in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, pour in 2 cups of heavy cream
- whisk until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes), watch to make sure you don't over whip
- gently fold in the sweetened condensed milk, the salt, the pumpkin pie mix, and fold until it's totally combined without deflating the cream
- if adding any mix-ins, add in now by gently folding in
- let freeze at least 4 hours and then enjoy!
Want to make these now? Are you missing some ingredients? Amazon Now can get them to you in a few hours, Instacart can get them to you today. Or add them to your Peapod grocery list and don't be stuck without them again!