Pumpkin Maple Pecan Bourbon Ice Cream (Vegan)

It finally happened – I reunited with my ice cream maker!

It’s been a few months since we painfully broke off our summer romance. But pumpkin season seemed like a pretty good excuse for another little fling.

Now, I’m not so sure that today is the day for recipes. I mean, do you already have your Thanksgiving menu planned? Probably. And I, for one, will not be cooking anything too adventurous between now and then. However, I thought this might be my last chance to share something pumpkin-related with you in 2013, so I just couldn’t resist. This recipe is too good to stash away for a year!

You might be able to tell from the not-so-creative name of this post a.k.a. the long ingredient list that I shoved in the title field, but this is a boozy, maple-y, pumpkin spiced ice cream studded with pecans. Ohhh yes. And it’s vegan and uses no refined sugars. But mostly it is just out-of-this-world delicious. Seriously unreal. Please try it and tell me I haven’t turned into some crazy pumpkin lady who indiscriminately adds pumpkin to the weirdest concoctions at this time of year. Although isn’t that what food blogging is all about? Anyway.

Pumpkin, maple, and pecans are a match made in heaven. I think I’ve mentioned a few times that they have been our preferred oatmeal toppings for a few months now. And we are in no danger of getting sick of them any time soon – probably my all-time favorite fall flavor combo.

So I took our breakfast ingredients… and I added bourbon. Oops. Adults-only ice cream!

I’m not generally a fan of anything liqueur-flavored, but I bought a bottle of bourbon last week for a cranberry sauce recipe, and surprised myself by not finding the flavor offensive in a sweet dish. I think this means I’m like, an adult or something? Doubtful. But for whatever reason, it really takes this ice cream over the top, even for bourbon-haters like me. And with the addition of a tiny bit of blackstrap molasses? I’m dying. It’s too good for words. I can’t even imagine how magical this would be if you actually like bourbon.

If you’re the type of person to roast a whole pumpkin rather than buying the canned kind, I’m sure that would be unbelievable here. Not me – I hope to someday be that domestic. Until then, I am keeping Libby’s in business.

And in other news, I am still obsessed with pecans. For real. We have gone through more pounds of pecans recently than I care to admit. There are more pecans coming up later this week. In all my pecan purchases, I also made the unfortunate discovery that the $12.99/lb pecans at Whole Foods are a lot better than the $8.99/lb pecans I usually buy. Hmm – worth it? I’m not sure. Decisions decisions.

If you’re trying not to spend your whole paycheck on pecans, they are optional here, and the ice cream is still delicious if you’d like to skip them. I made some with and without, just to be sure, and it happened that my scoops without pecans turned out much more photogenic, so that’s what made the pictures. But I do recommend the pecans, as well as topping your bowl of ice cream with more pecans and maple syrup – not just for photos. Real-life serving suggestion because it is ah-mazing.

I’m not sure that I can gush about this ice cream any more without drooling on my keyboard. SO, we are going to leave it there. Happy Monday, and I hope you’re getting psyched for turkey day!

Pumpkin Maple Pecan Bourbon Ice Cream (Vegan)

Total time

Yields: 4 servngs


  • 2 14-oz cans full-fat coconut milk (I recommend Thai Kitchen)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (I use grade B)
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)


Ahead of time:

  1. Place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer for at least 12 hours. Refrigerate cans of coconut milk.

To make the ice cream:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients except pecans in a large bowl.
  2. Process in your ice cream maker until smooth and creamy, and a spoon swiped through comes out with ice cream sticking to it. (This took about 25 minutes in my ice cream maker.) Stop machine and stir in optional pecans.
  3. Ice cream can be served immediately for soft serve, or scooped into a container, covered, and frozen for several hours until hardened
  4. Enjoy!