Butter Pecan Ice Cream


I’m continuing my celebration of National Ice Cream Month with a flavor that most would consider a classic and is found on the menu of just about every ice cream stand in towns both large and small. Butter Pecan was never a flavor I chose over other classics such as vanilla, chocolate, or cookies and cream, but it has always been a big favorite in my family – my mom and grandma both do back flips for great butter pecan ice cream. When thinking about what new flavor I could churn up for this week’s ice cream recipe, my Chief Culinary Consultant gave me some great ideas, including butter pecan. Smooth and creamy, the flavor reminiscent of melted toffee and just when you think it might be too sweet you get the contrasting crunch of toasted pecans. Perfection.


Perhaps because I have been under the weather this week and in the throes of a fever, after the ice cream was done churning, I licked the dasher and immediately thought, “This would make a fabulous ice cream float… with bourbon.” WHAT? Where did that come from?? I’m not a big drinker and I don’t know that I’ve ever even HAD bourbon. I definitely think it was the fever talking. But you know – butter, pecans, Southern flavors – for some reason bourbon just popped into my head. So I give to you the Butter Pecan Bourbon Float. No, I didn’t eat all of this, but I did try it and wow – the flavors are incredible together. This would be great for some grown-up parties. After all, who doesn’t love a good ice cream float?


I have entered this ice cream in the Ice Cream Social Challenge being hosted by ScottySnacks, SavortheThyme and Tangled Noodle. If you’ve made ice cream this month head on over and take part in the social to celebrate National Ice Cream Month!

Don’t forget! If you’re dying to make homemade ice cream and cursing yourself for not having an ice cream maker, head straight to this tutorial on how to make homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker!

Celebrate summer with more ice cream:
Tin Roof Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream
Classic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

One year ago: Beef Wellington
Two years ago: Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


1 cup packed light brown sugar
Β½ cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chopped toasted pecans


1. Combine the brown sugar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil the syrup for 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs together in a medium bowl. Slowly beat in the syrup.

3. Cook in a double boiler over, not in, boiling water, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 175Β°F and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Add the unsalted butter and stir until melted. Strain into a medium bowl and refrigerate until cold.

4. Add the whole milk and vanilla extract and mix well to combine.

5. Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold it into the egg mixture.

6. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Fold in the chopped pecans before transferring ice cram to a container.

(Adapted from Joy of Cooking)


64 Responses to “Butter Pecan Ice Cream”

  1. Erin Brooks on July 24, 2009 at 11:50 am

    OOOO that looks so good! I love ice cream, I have a scoop for dessert almost everyday! I can’t wait till one day I can get an ice cream maker…

    Sorry your under the weather, take meds and eat chicken soup! But make your boyfriend make it for you, you need to rest lol.


  2. VeggieGirl on July 24, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    My mom’s favorite ice cream flavor!! And I love it too πŸ™‚

    Wishing you a quick, full recovery!!


  3. s. stockwell on July 24, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Oh my, we love this one. We will do it this weekend for a fun dessert the kids can work on. We will save the Bourbon for the Juleps. great idea, thanks, s


  4. Tracey on July 24, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Ooooh, this looks amazing! My mom loves butter pecan. I love the ice cream float you made πŸ™‚ Hope you feel better soon!


  5. The Duo Dishes on July 24, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Butter pecan is one of the top 5 favorite flavors. Oh so good.


  6. Alta on July 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Need to make this one soon. Butter pecan is one of my favorites. And I love the bourbon idea!


  7. Jen @ MaplenCornbread on July 24, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    This is one of my fav kinds of ice cream, and now I have a recipe πŸ™‚ Looks SO good, thanks greatly!!!


  8. Maria on July 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Wish I had a bowl right about NOW!


  9. Cate on July 25, 2009 at 3:17 am

    I always used to make fun of my best friend for ordering butter pecan ice cream every time we went to Baskin Robbins (we called it the Grandma flavor) but then I fell in love with butter pecan frozen yogurt so I guess I’m a grandma too!
    I don’t think I’ve ever had bourbon either, but that looks great!


  10. Jessie on July 25, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I love ice cream and I wish I had my own ice cream maker too!


  11. Chris on July 25, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I’ve never made homemade ice cream, only eaten it.


  12. Cookin' Canuck on July 25, 2009 at 10:35 am

    This has always been one of my favorite ice cream flavors! I can’t wait to try this recipe.


  13. Sunshine Mom on July 25, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    oh, how I love your blog!!! Homemade ice cream is the best, completely spoils you for the store bought junk.


  14. ice cream freaks on July 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I’m salivating over the picture. It looks so good! I think I ‘m gonna have to try it so I won’t get my computer all wet. Thanks for sharing.


  15. CheapAppetite on July 25, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I don’t know how you come up with butter pecan ice cream floating in bourbon. But it does sound interesting. Maybe next time you should add bourbon in to the icecream mix.


  16. Danielle on July 25, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    all this ice cream and here I am without an ice cream maker. so I’m going to cheat only cuz I really want to try this flavor combo…I’m going to buy butter pecan ice cream and bourbon! LOL


  17. Carla on July 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I never liked butter pecan, but I’m looking at the ingredients and don’t know why. I like pecans. Hmmm maybe I’ll try it homemade. After all, I love homemade vanilla ice cream but not from the store.


  18. bridget {bake at 350} on July 27, 2009 at 9:12 am

    That looks delicious! Beautiful pictures as always!


  19. Katrina on July 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Ya killin’ me! I love this flavor. My husband thinks it’s gross. Crazy man! It looks great.


  20. Michelle on July 28, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Butter Pecan Bourbon Float? You. Are. My. Hero. (Wonder what it says that I didn’t have to have a fever to think this sounded positively brilliant?)

    I’ve been craving Butter Pecan ice cream lately… I’m definitely giving this a try!


  21. Liz Marr, MS, RD on August 19, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    My favorite flavor!


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  23. Sana on December 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Looks delicious, desperate to try it. You can’t get heavy cream where I live, do you know what I could use as an alternative?


    • Michelle on December 6th, 2010 at 11:45 pm

      Hi Sana, There really isn’t a true substitute but you could use whole milk (or anything thicker/creamier that I may not be aware of). If you use whole milk the ice cream just won’t be as thick and creamy, but still delicious nonetheless πŸ™‚


      • Meghan on August 4th, 2013 at 10:42 am

        My batch turned out a little bit too icy. Do you have any tips to prevent that? I am thinking I didn’t churn it long enough in the kitchenaid ice cream attachment. How long do you recommend? I want to retry it to see if I can get it creamier but I want to make sure I do it right!

        Thank you!


        • Michelle on August 5th, 2013 at 8:06 pm

          Hi Meghan, I usually go by the KitchenAid ice cream attachment manual, which states to listen for a “clicking” sound to indicate that the ice cream is done churning. That’s what I always do and depending on how much custard there is and how thick it is, the time can vary… sometimes up to 30 minutes.


  24. Catherine on March 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    This is the best looking recipe for butter pecan! I am making it as we speak! Oh I can’t wait to try it! Thanks bunches my favorite!


  25. Andrea on May 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    This is a delicious ice cream. Made it last night in my new ice cream bowl. First attempt at ice cream, fantastic!! Thank you;)


  26. Pingback: Top 10 List: Favorite Ice Cream Recipes | Brown Eyed Baker

  27. Dena on May 28, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Thank you for the instructions on how to make this without an ice cream maker. I love butter pecan and can’t wait to try this. Previously, I would have passed this recipe up.


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  29. Rubya on July 9, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Michelle, is heavy cream 35% cream? I had read you could use lower fat, it just won’t be as creamy …

    Secondly, do you know how long I can freeze this (few weeks…)?


    • Michelle on July 11th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Rubya, I actually don’t know what the percentage is in heavy cream; here in the States it is just sold as heavy cream. If that is your typical substitute I would go with it. You could definitely freeze it for weeks or even a month or two.


    • Cheryl on September 16th, 2011 at 10:12 am

      Rubya, I’m not sure where you’re at, but if you have double cream, my understand is that’s the same as what we call “heavy cream” or “heavy whipping cream”.


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  34. Maria on October 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    This ice cream was so, so, so, so, so delicious. mmmm


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  37. Alphia on July 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

    What if I don’t have a ice cream maker could I just pour it I into a container and freeze?


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  39. Noreen on September 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Tried this one and delicious flavor. Strange, though, this recipe only called for two cups of liquid where the other recipes I have tried…chocolate, strawberry, mint chip(ALL INSANELY DELICIOUS BY THE WAY!) called for three cups of liquid. After processing in my ice cream maker, didn’t thicken up at all like the others. Was this a typo? Should therenhavembeen 2 cups of heavy cream? Butter pecan is a favorite! Thank you!


    • Sandra P on May 25th, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      I totally agree with Noreen about 2 cups of cream. While I was churning it in my Kitchenaid Ice Cream Attachment, it would not thicken up, just stayed really liquidy. I added a cup of cream while churning and sure enough, it turned out perfect.


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  43. Saanya Chaidee on July 30, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I made my first ever Ice-cream last night and I picked this one – it was amazing and I loved it, thank you so much for sharing the recipe! πŸ™‚


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  46. Jessica on September 27, 2013 at 12:26 am

    I made this recipe according to the directions and accidentally over-whipped the whipped cream. The texture was a little off (almost grainy, even though I strained it before putting in my ice cream maker) but the flavor was still fantastic! Overall, great recipe.


  47. Nell on January 26, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    This is a delicious recipe. It’s a keeper. Thank you


  48. Leigh aka Olive Eyed Foodie on January 28, 2014 at 7:42 am

    You are my go too for ice cream recipes and ideas. I deglazed the brown sugar syrup pan with rum and then added it to the egg mixture. It gave the ice cream a lovely buttered rum flavor. Thanks!


  49. Jackie K on June 13, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Wanted something different from vanilla to go with apple pie. Never had butter pecan before because as a child I somehow thought the name was gross… who would want butter in their ice cream?? Lol. But once I heard the word “toffee” associated with this one I was willing to throw aside that childhood judgement. Glad I did. It is SUPER delish!! Had an issue with the toffee mixture forming a thick skin when refridgerated… was i suppose to cover the surface with saran (?). After some earnest stirring I got it back to an acceptable consistency. The end result scooped onto a streudel topped apple pie was heavenly. Hubby isnt a fan of nuts in desserts but loves this. Great recipe. Might sneak in a splash of rum next time too πŸ˜‰


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  53. Brahm Dorst on July 10, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    This is the first ice cream recipe I’ve seen that uses the egg whites. Is that a typo in the recipe?


    • Michelle on July 11th, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Brahm, Not a typo!


  54. Leo on October 21, 2016 at 8:40 am

    This is the first ice cream recipe I’ve seen that uses the egg whites. Is that a typo in the recipe?


  55. Leo on October 21, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Might sneak in a splash of rum next time too


  56. Leo on October 21, 2016 at 8:41 am

    This is a delicious recipe. It’s a keeper. Thank you


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