No-Churn Pumpkin Ice Cream
This super creamy, perfectly sweet no-churn pumpkin ice cream is filled with pumpkin puree, warm spices and crushed graham cracker cookies. This ice cream tastes just like pumpkin pie with whipped cream!
Pumpkin Ice Cream – yes, please! Because we are ready for fall flavors, but here in Texas, it’s still hitting 100 degrees outside. The perfect solution: a cold and creamy treat that is loaded with real pumpkin and pumpkin spice. This recipe is so easy, you don’t even need an ice cream maker! That’s right – this is a no-churn pumpkin ice cream recipe.
This was actually my first time making no-churn ice cream. A couple of months ago, I came across a no-churn recipe for making ice cream, and I just thought, “there’s no way”. No way that it would be as good as “real” ice cream, so why waste the time or calories?
After seeing similar recipes pop up more and more, I finally decided to give it a go. And guess what? No-churn ice cream recipes are really quite incredible. Rich, creamy and oh so delicious! Let’s get to all of the details, so you can whip some up too!
What is no-churn ice cream?
No-churn ice cream is ice cream that can be made without an ice cream maker. A typical no-churn ice cream recipe uses a combination of sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream that has been whipped to stiff peaks. The sweetness from the sweetened condensed milk and the fluffy quality of the whipped cream combine to make ice cream with an unbelievably smooth and creamy texture.
The base of no-churn ice cream is just 2 ingredients – sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream. You’ll need just several more ingredients for achieving that wonderful pumpkin-y flavor we’re all craving right now! Here’s the lineup of ingredients:
- Pumpkin puree. This recipe calls for 1/2 cup real pumpkin puree for that authentic pumpkin flavor. Be sure you don’t grab pumpkin pie filling by mistake – it contains sugar and other additives, which won’t work in this recipe. If you’re interested in making your own pumpkin puree, follow this pumpkin puree tutorial with video included.
- Sweetened condensed milk. To sweeten the pumpkin ice cream and make it nice and rich.
- Vanilla extract. My favorite flavor booster that I pretty much add to every dessert recipe.
- Pumpkin pie spice. The perfect blend of spices to give this ice cream that warm fall flavor.
- Sea salt. To bring out all of the delicious pumpkin flavor!
- Heavy whipping cream. This is the base ingredient for no-churn ice cream and what gives it the fluff factor.
- Crushed graham crackers. To give the taste of a ‘pie crust’ and make the pumpkin pie ice cream even more like the pie.
Pro tip: Need a recipe for using up the rest of the can of pumpkin puree? Try my delicious pumpkin bread recipe! You won’t regret it!
How to make this recipe
Making homemade pumpkin ice cream without an ice cream machine or need for egg yolks is SO easy! I can’t wait to experiment with different add-ins and flavors! Here are the details, but for the full, printable recipe, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Mix ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, stir to combine pumpkin puree, condensed milk, vanilla, pumpkin spice and sea salt; set aside.
- Whip the cream. In a separate bowl, using a stand mixer (with the whisk attachment) or a hand mixer, whip the chilled heavy whipping cream on high until stiff peaks form.
- Combine cream and pumpkin mixture. Use a spatula to fold the pumpkin/sweetened condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream. Fold together gently until nice & smooth. Careful not to break down the whipped cream.
- Add graham crackers. Now, fold the graham cracker in with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Once thoroughly combined, pour the ice cream mixture into a freezer-safe pan and cover. I use a 9×5″ loaf pan and cover it with plastic wrap, but you can use whatever you’d like! This recipe fills one and close to half of another 9×5″ loaf pan.
- Freeze. Place into the freezer to set. The ice cream is absolutely delicious and like soft serve after about 2 hours. If you prefer harder ice cream, freeze for at least 6-8 hours, or preferably overnight. Enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
The two dairy products used to make no-churn ice cream are heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk. Good news – there are dairy-free substitutes that work great! Here’s the heavy whipping cream you can use! This is not sold at every grocery store, but I can usually find it at Target and Walmart. I don’t typically see dairy-free sweetened condensed coconut milk at the grocery store, but you can use the link to find it on Amazon.
This recipe for pumpkin ice cream definitely has a pumpkin flavor! If you enjoy that slightly earthy, subtly sweet taste of pumpkin, you’re going to love this dessert. It’s rich, luscious and the perfect fall treat.
I do not recommend subbing the pure canned pumpkin with pumpkin pie filling. It contains eggs, spices, sugar, and other ingredients that will likely change the taste and texture of this ice cream.
Tips for recipe success
Here are several tips you might find helpful when making no-churn pumpkin ice cream!
- Pumpkin pie spice substitute. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can use the following blend: 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon ground ginger, and ¼ teaspoon each nutmeg and allspice.
- Scooping ice cream. It can be helpful to let the ice cream sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften a little before scooping. I also like to run the ice cream scoop under hot water before scooping to get the ice cream out easily, especially if it’s been in the freezer for a long period of time.
- Storage. If I’m only storing the ice cream for a week or two, I keep it in the loaf pan and cover it with plastic wrap. However, for longer storage (up to about 3 months) these freezer containers from Amazon are awesome.
How to whip heavy cream into stiff peaks:
Whipping the heavy cream into stiff peaks means to whip it in a mixer until you see peaks stand straight up when the beaters are lifted. Medium-stiff peaks are just stiff enough to stand up firmly, but with a slight curl at the tip. We want to whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks are achieved for the best texture of our no-churn ice cream.
Key tips for whipping cream:
- Make sure the heavy cream is REALLY cold. This ensures that it will whip up easily.
- Use a cold bowl to whip the cream. I typically place my mixing bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes before whipping the cream. This isn’t required, but it does help the cream to whip up nicely.
Keep the heavy cream in the refrigerator until you’re ready to begin whipping. Pour the cream into your chilled mixing bowl and use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks occur, be careful not to over whip. The cream will be done when you pull the beaters out and the cream stands at attention. There is a great visual of what this looks like in this How to Make Whipped Cream guide.
You can whip the cream into stiff peaks by hand using a balloon whisk, but this method takes quite a bit of arm work and up to about 5 minutes.
(The image below is not showing stiff peaks standing straight up and it actually appears that the cream is over-whipped.)
- Spices. Adjust the amount of pumpkin pie spice to suit your taste. You can even just use 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, if you prefer less of a pumpkin flavor.
- Add nuts. Try adding about 1 cup of chopped candied pecans, walnuts or almonds for a fantastic crunch!
- Chocolate. Mix in about 1 cup of white, milk or dark chocolate chips.
- Cookies. Instead of the graham crackers, use Biscoff, gingersnap, golden Oreos or shortbread cookie crumbs.
- Other add-ins. Some other fun mix-ins that you could add – sprinkles, toffee bits or a drizzle of caramel.
No-churn pumpkin ice cream is fabulous served as-in, simply in a bowl with a spoon! However, here are some other fun serving ideas:
- Pair a scoop with a slice of pumpkin or apple pie and whipped cream. It’s a great way to really pack in all of your favorite fall flavors!
- Sandwich it between white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, Kris Kringle cookies or molasses cookies for an amazing ice cream sandwich!
- Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream for a little extra indulgence.
The perfect dessert recipe for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and those early days of autumn that are still on the warmer side. Let me know if you give it a try!
More Favorite pumpkin recipes:
- Healthy Pumpkin Spice Creamer
- Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookies
- Glazed Pumpkin Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Pumpkin Overnight Oats
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice*
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream**
- 2 cups crushed graham crackers (10 graham cracker sheets)***
- In a large mixing bowl, stir to combine pumpkin puree, condensed milk, vanilla, pumpkin spice and sea salt; set aside.
- In a separate bowl, using a stand mixer (with the whisk attachment) or a hand mixer, whip the chilled heavy whipping cream on high until stiff peaks form. (see post for tips)
- Use a spatula to fold the sweetened condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream. Fold together gently until nice & smooth. Careful not to break down the cream.
- Now, fold the graham cracker in with a rubber spatula. Once thoroughly combined, pour the mixture into a freezer-safe pan and cover. I use a 9×5" loaf pan and cover it with plastic wrap, but you can use whatever you'd like! This recipe fills one and close to half of another 9×5" loaf pan.
- Place into the freezer to set. The ice cream is absolutely delicious and like soft serve after about 2 hours. If you prefer harder ice cream, freeze for at least 6-8 hours, or preferably overnight. Enjoy!