Pumpkin Ice Cream

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This Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe tastes like pumpkin pie. Only this is easier, because all you need is 5 simple ingredients. No pie crust required!

pumpkin ice cream in glass dish

What makes it even better? This particular ice cream recipe is dairy-free and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. And it still has all the flavor you love!

My taste testers have reported that they would rather have this at Thanksgiving, instead of pumpkin pie, but if you’ve ever tried my Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe, I think it’s a toss-up. They are both pretty delicious!

Ingredients You’ll Need

pumpkin ice cream ingredients in glass bowls

What is pumpkin ice cream made of?

  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Maple syrup
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Water

That’s it! You don’t need to use any specialty milks, and if you need a nut-free option, I imagine that hemp hearts might work as a good swap.

(They are the perfect replacement for cashews in my Vegan Ranch Dressing, so that’s what I’m basing this off of.)

pumpkin ice cream scooped from dish

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a blender that can pulverize whole cashews, try using cashew butter instead. In my experience, 1 cup of whole cashews = 1/2 cup cashew butter.

Use raw, unsalted cashew butter when possible for the most neutral flavor. (Artisana brand makes a great one, or try making homemade cashew butter with a food processor.)

How to Make Pumpkin Ice Cream

Before you get started, make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker is frozen for at least 24 hours in advance, if your machine requires it.

1. Blend. Add the cashews, pumpkin, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and water to a blender, and blend until very smooth.

pumpkin ice cream ingredients in blender

The mixture should look slightly thick and creamy, with no visible chunks of cashews. You can add an extra tablespoon or two of water, if needed, to help keep the blender going, and stop and scrape down the sides to make sure everything is evenly blended.

2. Process. Pour the blended mixture into the frozen bowl of your ice cream machine, then process until it’s thick and creamy, about 30 minutes.

pumpkin ice cream added to machine

3. Enjoy! You can serve this pumpkin ice cream right away for a soft-serve consistency, or transfer it to an airtight container with a lid and freeze for 2 to 4 hours, for a more firm, scoop-able texture.

finished ice cream in machine and transferred to dish

Vegan ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months, but it will become icier and slightly more difficult to scoop over time.

Be sure to keep it tightly sealed for the best results, and you can let the dish rest on the counter for 15 minutes before scooping if you need the ice cream to soften up.

Helpful Tips & FAQ

Can I use something other than cashews? Yes! You can use a 1/2 cup of cashew butter or almond butter (roasted nut butters will have a stronger flavor, FYI) to replace the 1 cup of cashews, or 1 cup of any other mild-flavored nut, like macadamia nuts. Don’t use whole almonds, as they will NOT leave you with a nice and creamy texture.

Can I use coconut milk? Probably. I haven’t had the time to test this swap yet, but we know that coconut milk makes a delicious chocolate ice cream. (Possibly the best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had!) I’m guessing you could replace the water and cashews with one or two cans of full-fat coconut milk, but I will report back when I get the chance to test this for sure. If you try it before I do, please let me know in the comments below!

Can I use a different sweetener? Sure! I bet coconut sugar or honey would work, but don’t use honey if you need a vegan recipe. Coconut sugar is less-sweet than maple syrup, so you might need to use more than what is called for in the recipe below. And I find that honey is sweeter than maple syrup, with a much stronger flavor, so I’d start with less in that case.

What if I don’t have an ice cream maker? You can make this pumpkin ice cream without an ice cream maker, too. Simply blend the ingredients together and pour the mixture into an airtight container. Freeze for 6 to 8 hours, stirring every hour or two, to help incorporate some air into the mix. The more you stir, the creamier it will get. This method doesn’t produce quite as creamy of an ice cream, but it’s still delicious!

pumpkin ice cream served withs spoon

How to Make an Ice Cream Float

With the popularity of the Pumpkin Spice Cream Cold Brew, I thought it might also be fun to serve this pumpkin ice cream as a “coffee float.”

coffee float with pumpkin ice cream on top

Simply add a scoop of ice cream to your favorite black coffee, and then stir it in for a creamy pumpkin-flavored coffee creamer. I like a ratio of 8 ounces of cold coffee to 1 large scoop of ice cream, for a coffee that is lightly sweetened and creamy, but feel free to experiment with it!

You could also serve this as an affogato dessert, with a shot of hot espresso poured over a scoop of pumpkin ice cream. So good.

More Vegan Ice Cream Recipes

Looking for more dairy-free ice cream ideas? Try these!

pumpkin ice cream scoops on cone

pumpkin ice cream scooped from dish
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5 from 4 votes

Pumpkin Ice Cream

This Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream is naturally dairy-free and made with only 5 ingredients! It tastes better than pumpkin pie, and couldn't be easier to make.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword pumpkin ice cream, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Processing Time: 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 (1/2 cup servings)
Calories 183kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Before you get started, be sure to freeze the bowl of your ice cream machine at least 24 hours in advance, if your machine requires it. To prepare the ice cream, combine the cashews, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and water in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
    pumpkin ice cream ingredients in blender
  • Pour the blended mixture into the frozen bowl of your ice cream machine, then process until the ice cream is thick and creamy, about 30 minutes.
    pumpkin ice cream added to machine
  • You can serve this pumpkin ice cream right away for a soft-serve consistency, or transfer it to an airtight container with a lid and store it in the freezer for 2 to 4 hours for more firm, scoop-able consistency.
    finished ice cream in machine and transferred to dish
  • You can store this ice cream in the freezer for up to 3 months, but it does become more icy in texture over time, so it's slightly trickier to scoop later. Let it rest on the counter for 15 minutes, or until it's softer to scoop again.
    finished pumpkin ice cream served on cone

Notes

Nutrition information is for roughly a 1/2 cup of ice cream, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee. (Ice cream expands in the ice cream maker, so it could be that you'll wind up with more than 4 cups of ice cream, and then each serving will have fewer calories.)
Please see the full post for substitution suggestions & tips!

Nutrition

Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 241mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 4767IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg

If you try this Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it. And if you try any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too!

Reader Feedback: Which ice cream flavor would you like to see next?

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Comments

Christina

OMG this recipe sounds absolutely amazing!! I can’t wait to go home and make this!!! Detoxinista you have the most amazing recipes!! Your rice and beans recipe in the same instant pot has blown my mind!! Love it!!! Comes out perfect every time and make it couple times a week at least! Thank you!!

Sarah

Looks wonderful! You used to sweeten a lot of your recipes with dates. Do you have any plans for more date-sweetened options? Your recipes are always so reliable!

    Megan Gilmore

    I love using dates, but they aren’t always easy for the average cook to use if you don’t have a high-speed blender, so I try to balance out how often I use them! If you haven’t tried my vegan pumpkin pie or pecan pie, be sure to try those this year. They both use dates!

L. Johnston

I made this pumpkin ice cream recipe for my son-in-law who is lactose and whey intolerant. He loved it and so did everyone else!

Lindsay

Is it possible to make this without an ice cream machine?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, there are tips in the post for making it without one, under the FAQ section. Hope you enjoy it!

      Lindsay Daitch

      thank you!! Sorry for missing that before

Suzanne

Question: Do you need to soak the cashews prior to using in this recipe? It looks so delicious and I hope to make it soon. Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    I usually don’t soak the cashews because I never plan ahead. As long as you have a powerful blender that can break them down, you don’t really need to for delicious results.

Amy

SO GOOD!!! Will be making this often! Made exactly as written. Great consistency and texture. Thank you!

Patty

I made this for my husband who loves pumpkin pie and ice cream! He LOVED it! Then I told him what was in it and he was really surprised. I did use coconut milk since I had some left from another recipe. I have all 3 of your cookbooks which we use a few times every week 🙂 I am going to try the chocolate ice cream recipe next! Thanks so much for giving me an excuse to use my ice cream machine!

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