What's perfect for a late-summer day when the weather is still hot, but you're yearning for autumn and the pumpkin flavours it brings? Pumpkin Ice Cream! It tastes rich and sweet like a cool, refreshing pumpkin pie.
It takes only minutes to toss all of the ingredients into the blender. Then let your ice cream machine do the work, and you'll be enjoying a wholesome treat with minimal effort! This recipe is free from dairy, gluten, grains, nuts (if optional topping is omitted), soy, and eggs. Naturally sweetened with Medjool dates and just a touch of maple syrup, it’s a delicious treat everyone can enjoy!
Fall will be here before we know it. Pumpkin ice cream seems perfectly appropriate. When Thanksgiving arrives, you can “wow” your guests with this special creamy pumpkin treat. Serve it with or without pumpkin pie. But don't wait. You can make Dairy Free Pumpkin Ice Cream several times before Thanksgiving!
- Coconut Milk (from the carton) - This works nicely to dissolve the gelatine. The flavour of coconut goes well with pumpkin. You may use any dairy-free milk for this step, but watch out for nuts or soy if that's an issue.
- Coconut Milk (from the can) - You'll want the rich creaminess that a full-fat can of coconut milk adds to your ice cream.
- Pumpkin Puree - Use pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. You can freeze what you don't use, and save it for another time. I find canned pumpkin in the same section of my grocery store as the pie fillings.
- Medjool Dates - Medjool dates have a softer texture than regular dates, so they'll blend in without leaving a trace. Dates are a natural source of sweetness, fibre included.
- Maple Syrup - Use pure maple syrup, also for natural sweetness.
- Pecans - The chopped pecans are totally optional. They make the ice cream look pretty. If there's a nut allergy in the house, leave them out.
How do you make pumpkin ice cream from scratch?
Sprinkle gelatine over some coconut milk from the carton.
Stir it in with a fork or small whisk.
Blend the ingredients together.
Add everything to the ice cream machine
Process just until your ice cream becomes firm.
Sprinkle on some nuts, if you wish, and enjoy!
How to make ice cream with an electric maker
This homemade Dairy Free Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe is made in an ice cream machine (affiliate link*). I’ve learned a couple of interesting things about that process. Let me first explain that the machine works by constantly stirring the ingredients within a frozen bowl. As the mixture comes into contact with the frozen sides, it thickens up over half an hour or so.
Freeze your bowl
Set your ice cream bowl into the freezer the night before you plan to make ice cream. If space allows, just store it there all the time. Then you can make ice cream whenever the craving hits! Wrapping your bowl in a plastic bag will keep it clean from any crumbs or debris that might fall and stick to it in the freezer.
Chill your ingredients
Unless all of your ingredients were chilled when you started, put your mixture in the fridge for an hour or so to give it a head start on freezing. This is after processing in the blender but before pouring it into the ice cream maker.
Keep an eye on it
Once the mixture is in my ice cream machine, it firms up in about half an hour. It's important to keep an eye on your dessert around this time, so you remove it from the machine while it's at it's best. If you leave it too long, the frozen material in your ice cream machine bowl can begin to melt and your ice cream will start to soften again. This is especially critical in hot weather.
A couple of other nondairy ice creams you're sure to enjoy!
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Pumpkin Ice Cream (Dairy Free)
- ¾ cup (177 mL) coconut milk from carton, divided
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) gelatine powder enough to thicken 2 cups liquid
- ¼ cup (60 mL) boiling water
- 1 400 mL (13.5 oz can) full-fat coconut milk
- ½ cup (125 mL) pure pumpkin puree
- 8 soft Medjool dates pitted
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon (0.9 g) ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon (0.7 g) ground cinnamon
- pinch ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) chopped pecans optional (Use only if nuts aren't a problem.)
- Sprinkle gelatine powder over ¼ cup cold coconut milk from the carton. Add ¼ cup boiling water and stir with a fork until gelatine is dissolved.
- Add the dissolved gelatine, remaining ½ cup coconut milk (from carton), and all other ingredients (except optional nuts) to blender. Puree until smooth. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour, unless all ingredients were chilled when you started.
- Remove mixture from refrigerator and process in an ice cream maker with frozen bowl according to manufacturer's directions, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately or divide into individual portions and store in freezer.
- If you're adding the optional nuts, sprinkle them on individual servings.
- Remember to freeze your ice cream machine bowl the night before making ice cream.
- Medjool dates work best, because they're soft.
- Use any dairy-free milk beverage for the milk from a carton if nuts or soy are not a concern.
- Don't leave your mixture processing in the ice cream maker too long. It can begin to go soft again.