Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Low Carb “Old Fashioned” Pumpkin Ice Cream

UPDATE 2016-10-25: This entry has been superseded. Please see Low Carb “Old Fashioned” Pumpkin Ice Cream II - The Pumpkining

I called this ice cream “Old Fashioned” because I’m using actual pumpkin in the mix. Every pumpkin ice cream recipe I’ve read uses cooked pumpkin either by roasting it yourself or from a can of pumpkin puree. I thought this would be a slam dunk, but unfortunately, the end results weren’t as good as I was expecting. I would have loved to get my hands on a small bottle of LorAnn Oils pumpkin ice cream flavoring, but it’s only available in quart sizes. I like pumpkin ice cream, but to spend $25 on enough to make 64 quarts is madness.

Pumpkin puree must contain a lot of water because the first batch ice cream had an icy texture. In fairness, I forgot to add the stabilizer because I had strained the mix through a fine mesh strainer and adding the stabilizer would have made that infeasible. There must have been lots of water molecules without anything to bind to. I didn’t strain the mix on the second batch and I added the stabilizer. The results were much better, but the ice cream isn’t as creamy as I hoped it would be. I think I’m spoiled. I’m used to a super high-fat content ice cream and this tasted more like ice milk. Truth be told, it gets better if you warm the ice cream slightly, which is probably the “proper” temperature to serve it. Most recipes use between two thirds to a full cup of pumpkin. I compromised at half a can, since that’s what you’re most likely going to use. Don’t use a cheap brand of pumpkin puree. Those no-frills and store brands can be very gritty.

Brown sugar is the other common component to a good pumpkin ice cream. I resolved that by adding molasses and brown sugar extract. Brown sugar flavoring is very hard to find, but it’s better to add it rather than just rely on the molasses.

I tried another variation on this using pumpkin flavoring extract and food coloring with a Low Carb Sweet Cream Base, but it doesn’t hit the mark. Another improvement when using pumpkin puree might be to add cream cheese. That should help bind more water and also give it a pumpkin cheesecake flavor.

CAUTION: Consuming raw eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness. Pasteurized eggs can be used in this recipe. Not every form of glycerin is fit for human consumption. For example, diethylene glycol is toxic and should not be consumed. Always verify the product is safe to use.


Low Carb Sweet Cream Base
2 teaspoons (14 g) blackstrap molasses
7 ounce (½ can, approx ¾ cup or 200 g) canned pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon brown sugar flavoring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Follow the instructions for the Low Carb Sweet Cream Base except slightly reduce the amount of heavy cream. (E.g., 2 cups instead of 2¼ cups of heavy cream.) Add the molasses to the pot before heating if you’re making a custard or to the eggs if making a no-cook base. Pumpkin puree gets added at the end if a custard base or right before the heavy cream and mixed at high speed if no-cook base. Scrape the bottom of the measuring cup with a silicone spatula to ensure any molasses that settled to the bottom gets mixed.
  2. Add pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar flavoring, and vanilla extract when mixture is cool and gently whisk until homogenous.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in a refrigerator for later or use right away.
Scoops of pumpkin ice cream.

Scoops of pumpkin ice cream.

Update 2015-01-21: I got a hold of pumpkin pie ice cream flavoring and made some ice cream with a low carb graham cracker pie crust mixed-in. Just follow my Low Carb New York Cheesecake Ice Cream recipe and substitute the flavoring if you want to try it.

Scoops of ice cream.

Scoops of ice cream.


  1. I made this recipe last week-end and finally had some today. It turned out very well. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not but given that I tend to like pumpkin, I took a chance on it. I'm so glad I did because I think it's absolutely fantastic! I did make a few changes as I went about making it: I used your French Custard Base recipe. I use whole eggs because I need the additional protein. I also used 1/2 nutmilk and 1/2 heavy whipping cream to help keep the calorie and fat content lower (I'm in maintenance now so I have to work at getting enough protein in every day and getting a lower amount of fat). I used 40 drops of EZ-sweetz because it just wasn't sweet enough with the 21 drops your original recipe called for. I used 8 ounces of pumpkin instead of 7 and 2 tablespoons of Yacon Syrup instead of blackstrap molasses. I added 2 scoops of About Time brand Pumpkin Spice Latte flavored Whey Protein Isolate powder to the batter and last but not least I added 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin and 2 tablespoons vodka. Again, have to say this turned out phenomenally well so much so that I will definitely be making it again in the future!!!! (I've made a few of your other recipes too and will be trying more in the future.)

    1. This is one of my older recipes, so I'm sure it could be improved. I'm glad you found a good combo of ingredients!