Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream
This vegan pumpkin pie ice cream is easy to whip up in the Vitamix or blender and made with simple real food ingredients like coconut milk and maple syrup.
I am suddenly so excited for fall! The craft and home stores are all dripping with pumpkins and leaves, and, I just couldn’t wait any longer to share a fall recipe. Is it too soon? I’ll just leave this one here and you can pin it to come back to when you’re ready. This vegan pumpkin ice cream tastes exactly like pumpkin pie, but is perfectly cold, so it’s great for warm early fall days. When your heart says fall, but the weather says summer, pumpkin pie ice cream is the obvious solution, right?
Where homemade ice cream can get tricky is not so much in the flavor profile, but in managing the freezing. Store bought ice cream usually has a high amount of sugar, which acts as antifreeze, or thickeners/gums. Homemade ice creams like this one, on the other hand, don’t have a lot of sugar, so they do freeze rock hard and tend to have icy crystals that can ruin the texture. When testing this recipe, I found a couple of ways to keep this ice cream smooth and creamy.
1. Use an ice cream maker. I can’t stress enough how much better this recipe will be with the use of an ice cream maker. We got an ice cream maker as a wedding gift 11 years ago and I still use it every summer. Making ice cream at home is such a fun activity. Ice cream makers freeze the ice cream more quickly, so those pesky ice crystals have less time to form.
2. Use a thickener. I know… isn’t the whole point of homemade ice cream to avoid additives? Well yes, but a natural thickener like arrowroot starch can make a big difference. I also use arrowroot in gluten free baking, like in these vegan, paleo Almond Flour Chocolate Chunk Cookies. The reason the ice cream you see here is so creamy, smooth and scoop-able is in part thanks to a couple tablespoons of arrowroot starch. This ice cream is still delicious without it, but will be best eaten soft from the ice cream maker.
Pecans are a natural match for pumpkin pie flavored anything. I love the candied pecans from Trader Joe’s because they don’t have a thick sugary coating like some other brands do. They are just crunchy and lightly sweet. You can mix them into the ice cream or add them on top before serving.
My favorite way to enjoy this pumpkin ice cream? With a drizzle of chocolate sauce and extra pecans, please!
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
- 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
- 2 (13 oz.) cans full fat coconut milk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 cup coconut or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses (NOT blackstrap)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 1/3 cup candied pecans, chopped (optional)
Place all the ingredients except for the pecans in a blender. Blend on high until very smooth and creamy and all the sugar has dissolved. Taste and add more maple syrup to taste if desired. Transfer to an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Eat the ice cream soft, or transfer to a freezer container for later. Though an ice cream maker will yield the best results, you can also transfer the mixture from the blender to a freezer container and stir the ice cream every hour until it’s ready. If not using an ice cream maker, use very chilled coconut milk. Serve with candied pecans.