I enjoy homemade ice cream pretty much all year round, but once the fall rolls around I get so wrapped up in traditional Thanksgiving foods, and then Christmas, that my ice cream maker is typically pretty quiet from Halloween through New Year’s. One recipe I have been wanting to try for seemingly ever is pumpkin ice cream. Smooth, cold, creamy, spicy, just slightly boozy, and tasting like a cold piece of pumpkin pie. So basically, it’s totally delicious and a perfect addition to your fall-inspired ice cream recipes.

Everyone is typically stuffed to the gills after a big Thanksgiving dinner, but that doesn’t stop us (well, me, anyway) from sidling right up to the table once the pies and cakes and other assorted desserts make their appearance. It is a holiday after all (which in my little head gives me free reign to overindulge, thankyouverymuch). That being said, being able to offer guests some pumpkin ice cream seems like a great option. The hardcore eaters can throw a scoop on top of their pumpkin pies, and if someone is already stuffed but still craving some of those classic Thanksgiving dessert flavors, they can have a cup of ice cream and still feel satisfied.

As for me? I plan on treating the dessert table at Thanksgiving like a buffet. Hey, you only live once!

One year ago: Pumpkin Pie
Two years ago: Food Photography 101: The Basics[/donotprint]

Scoops of pumpkin ice cream in a white bowl.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

A homemade ice cream that is perfect for fall
No ratings yet


  • cups (366 ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (238 ml) heavy cream
  • cup (66.67 g) plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup (55 g) dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier, rum or brandy (optional)
  • ¾ cup (183.75 g) canned pumpkin


  • Make an ice bath by putting some ice and a little water in a large bowl and nest a smaller metal bowl (one that will hold at least 2 quarts) inside it. Set a mesh strainer over the top.
  • In a medium saucepan mix the milk, cream, granulated sugar, ginger, ground cinnamon, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Warm the mixture until hot and the edges begin to bubble and foam.
  • Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl and gradually whisk in about half of the warm spiced milk mixture, stirring constantly.
  • Scrape the warmed yolks back in to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read between 160º-170ºF (71º-76ºC).
  • Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer into the bowl nested in the ice bath. Mix in the brown sugar, add the cinnamon stick back in, then stir until cool, then chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
  • Whisk in the vanilla, liquor (if using), and pumpkin. Press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Nutritional values are based on one serving
Calories: 1918kcal, Carbohydrates: 170g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 124g, Saturated Fat: 70g, Cholesterol: 1339mg, Sodium: 899mg, Potassium: 1211mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 149g, Vitamin A: 33985IU, Vitamin C: 9.2mg, Calcium: 813mg, Iron: 5.7mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!