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Spiced Pumpkin Coconut Milk Ice Cream

What is it about pumpkins? They seem to possess this magical power over a certain cross-section of the population, reducing us to high-pitched cooing and uninhibited enthusiasm. I am all for enthusiasm. But can you think of any other fruit or vegetable that does this to us? I can’t.

A couple weekends ago on a farm tour, we stopped at the Petaluma Creamery. They had pumpkin ice cream. But ice cream reliably upsets my tummy so I was determined this year to bond deeply with pumpkin in a sweet and sugary frozen form without any unwelcome side effects. And here we are. While this ambrosial mixture was warming on the stove, the fragrance reminded me of a Thai pumpkin curry – one of my favorite foods. Frozen, it loses some of that, which is perhaps for the best. But I wonder what might happen if a little heat were thrown in, or even a little lemongrass? There are so many possibilities.

Spiced Pumpkin Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Yield: about 6 servings

15 ounce can coconut milk
1 level cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Optional toppings:
chopped crystallized ginger
ginger snaps
chopped nuts, such as pecans, almonds or walnuts

First, freeze your ice cream bowl for at least 24 hours. I have learned the hard way that under-freezing it will yield something more like chilled soup and less like ice cream.

In a medium pot over the lowest heat, combine the coconut milk and pumpkin puree with the brown sugar and spices. Stir just until the sugar has dissolved and the spices are thoroughly incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a glass bowl and chill in the freezer for about 2.5 hours. Stir once an hour as the edges begin to freeze.

Remove the custard from the freezer.

Have your ice cream machine ready. Take the freezer bowl out last. Pour the custard into the ice cream bowl, and churn until the consistency of a soft serve ice cream, about ten minutes. It doesn’t need very much time at all!

You can serve it this way, or let it firm up a little more in the freezer. It will get rock hard if left in for too long, probably because of the water content in the pumpkin puree.

  • Kathryn - It’s funny – pumpkin really isn’t much of a thing over here but I love seeing how excited some people get about pumpkin season. This has such delicious flavours (and the pictures are so stunning) that it might even convince me to think of pumpkins as something other than a halloween decoration!ReplyCancel

  • Joy - So good! I love pumpkin everything so I can’t wait to try this.ReplyCancel

  • sarah - Stunning pictures! And yes please, this sounds amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - Dairy doesn’t agree with me, so this sounds perfect. I really need to get an ice cream maker. Lovely photos!ReplyCancel

  • alison - Beautiful images. This is just perfect for fall. Well, as far as I’m concerned, just about anything with pumpkin and cinnamon is perfection. This looks delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Katherine Sacks - I’ve been dreaming of ways to use pumpkin this season, and will gladly add this to my list. Beautiful photos as always!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - I need to get an ice cream maker, because I HAVE to make this – looks amazing!! Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - It’s true, I’ll go crazy for anything pumpkin during autumn, and your ice cream recipe here. For not having any dairy, it sure looks rich!ReplyCancel

  • kickpleat - I’ve been thinking of making pumpkin yogurt but I like your idea better! Your frosty photos look luscious.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Such breathtaking images! I adore coconut milk sorbet, and can imagine that it pairs wonderfully with pumpkin.ReplyCancel

  • jacquie - i have been thinking about pumpkin yogurt as well – do you think yogurt could be substitued for the coconut milk? i’m not familar w/ that so i have no idea what the consistancy is.


  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites with Gingersnap Crust | Inquiring Chef - […] Spiced Pumpkin Coconut Milk Ice Cream by The Year In Food […]ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Fantastic lighting and colors! Pumpkin and coconut are such a winning combo.ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - I am definitely part of the pumpkin loving crowd so this is right up my alley! So awesome that it’s dairy-free, too!ReplyCancel

  • Sasha - This comment is certainly going to contribute to the general enthusiasm over pumpkins.

    I love pumpkin ice cream. And pumpkin ice cream made with coconut milk? Yes, yes, and yes. I’m not going to forget about this recipe easily. I have no other choice but to make it this week.

    Happy autumn!ReplyCancel

  • Annaliese DeNooyer - Okay – I had the SAME issue with the pumpkin coconut ice cream I made a few weeks ago. What I ended up doing, that partially resolved the issue, was to freeze for a few hours, whirl it in the food processor, and add additional coconut milk (only the thickest part) at this stage. Once I refroze the concoction, it had a lot more ice-cream qualities, without the negative dairy side-effects. I’m going to keep playing with the recipe and will keep you posted!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - Love that deep orange color Kimberley. I’ve been impressed with coconut-milk based frozen treats this summer … I guess now I have an excuse to keep it going all fall ;)ReplyCancel

  • Karen - any suggestions to sub out the brown sugar? I’m only using maple syrup or honey at the moment; trying to stay away from processed sugars. Sounds yummy – will likely freeze into cubes and then process in my vitamix.ReplyCancel

  • HungryHuy - This sounds like a great way to use pumpkin this season! So this is not something you can really save for even past a day though because of how hard it will freeze? Maybe there’s a way to remove some water while retaining (most of) the flavor.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Would you believe I have yet to play with pumpkin in the kitchen this year?! It’s just wrong. But I will quickly make it right. You and this ice cream have reminded that it is high time to put some pumpkin on the table.ReplyCancel

  • mommalovescookin - Ok, ready, set, go! I actually have EVERYTHING on hand to make this. So… tomorrow we will be having this sweet treat! Mmmmmmm BTW I am totally a pumpmin swooner ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Fork and Whisk - Definitely going to make this. Looks incredible.ReplyCancel

  • Joanne - Wow, this looks so delicious! I love the combination of pumpkin and coconut.ReplyCancel

  • This Week’s Meal Plan and A Husband’s Perspective « hey, beth baker! - […] They were very tasty and we got to share them with some favorite friends, even better. We had this [vegan] pumpkin ice cream with homemade magic shell for dessert. Friday: When the fridge is feeling […]ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - This recipe was delicious! I ended up substituting the spices for 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice. Also, adding 1-2 Tbl of vodka (or other liquor) will prevent the ice cream from getting too hard in the freezer. Take care to not use too much though since it can prevent freezing all together!ReplyCancel

  • Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream (Vegan) « Figsinmybelly - […] recipe adapted from The Year In Food […]ReplyCancel

  • Smashing Pumpkins | Blogeats - […] A beautifully photographed pumpkin and coconut milk ice cream from Kimberley Hasselbrink’s blog The Year in Food. […]ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - YUM. This tastes amazing! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Spicked Pumpkin Coconut Milk Ice Cream « - […] Get recipe at The Year In Food  >> […]ReplyCancel

  • Needful Things - I’ve been looking for ideas to make coconut milk ice cream. I’m so happy I found this post! I’m going to play around with the flavor combinations & let you know how it turns out.ReplyCancel

  • Inita - Your recipe seems to be the perfect one for me. I’ll exchange the coconut milk for almond milk, unless I find good coconuts and then I’ll make the milk; will let the pumpkin ‘drain’ overnight before mixing and will serve this ice cream on top of some crunchy brownies that I ‘invented’ over the weekend and were a big success. Wish me luck!ReplyCancel

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