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!
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
What is pumpkin ice cream made of?
- Pumpkin puree
- Maple syrup
- Pumpkin pie spice
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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!
- Avocado Ice Cream
- Coffee Ice Cream
- Almond Milk Ice Cream
- Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream
- Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- Mint Chip Ice Cream
- Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
Pumpkin Ice Cream
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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?