How to Make Pumpkin Ice Cream

How to Make Pumpkin Ice Cream

Spooky season is upon us, friends! In the spirit of October, I’m going to share a couple tasty ideas for how to use pumpkins. You can get a lot of things from one small pumpkin, believe it or not. In this case, I’m going to use one pumpkin to make pumpkin ice cream (no ice cream maker required!) and a batch of roasted pumpkin seeds. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ice cream

1 Small pumpkin (also called a pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin)

2 Cups heavy whipping cream

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon allspice (optional)

¼ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

Instructions :

  1. First, preheat the oven to 400º

  2. Knock the stem off the pumpkin and cut it in half with a large kitchen knife. 

  3. Scoop the seeds and guts out of both sides and set aside.

  4. Place the two halves face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

  5. Bake the pumpkin for 45min to an hour, until a sharp knife can easily pierce the side.

  6. While the pumpkin is cooking, put the whipping cream in a bowl and whip until stiff peaks form (I used a whisk, and it worked fine, but using an electric mixer is probably easier). Set aside.

  7. Take the pumpkin out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Scoop out the insides, making sure not to get the skin. Puree the cooked insides (I used a whisk here too, which works well especially if the cooked pumpkin is still warm. But if you have a food processor, using that is probably easier).

  8. In a large bowl, combine the pureed pumpkin (you should have about 1 cup) with the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and whatever spices you are using. Mix well.

  1. Gently fold the mixture into the whipped cream, and stir slowly until well combined.

  2. Pour the resulting mixture into a freezer safe container or a 9”x5” loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure plastic wrap is touching the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming. Freeze for at least 8 hours.

Once that’s in the freezer, you can get started on those pumpkin seeds you set aside. Here’s what youll need:

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin guts

Olive oil

Seasonings of your choice (salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, etc.)

Mixing bowl

Baking sheet


  1. First, preheat the oven to 350º

  2. Separate the seeds from the guts and rinse with water.
  1. Make sure the seeds are dry (excess moisture will prolong cooking time and prevent crisping) before adding to the mixing bowl.

  1. Toss the seeds with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you are using.

  2. Spread the seeds on the baking sheet and distribute them evenly to prevent clumping.

  3. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, tossing the seeds every 5 minutes to ensure an even roast.

And there it is! A little sweet, a little savory, all from one small pumpkin. There are really a million different uses for pumpkins, so feel free to mix and match these recipes with others. Happy spooky season!

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Declan Cavanaugh
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