Pumpkin Brownie Chunk Ice Cream Recipe

Photograph: Max Falkowitz

This ice cream has just a hint of spice without verging too far into pumpkin pie territory. It's worth making with homemade pumpkin purée, which has a bright, sweet flavor, but canned pumpkin will still taste great.

The brownie chunks need to stay soft even when frozen. To achieve that I don't think you can do better than Smitten Kitchen's cocoa brownies. They're dead simple to make and are dark enough to stay flavorful under deep chill. This recipe calls for about 2/3 of the batch, leaving you with some to snack on while the ice cream churns. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting into small (1/2-inch) chunks, and trim away the crisp edges.

Brownies not your bag? Try some roughly chopped toasted pecans instead.

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 10 hrs
Serves: 8 to 10 servings
Makes: 1 quart

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  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup raw (turbinado) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 2 cups small brownie chunks, chilled in freezer (see head note)


  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices into a paste. Slowly whisk in cream and milk until smooth.

  2. Set on medium-low heat and, whisking frequently, cook until custard thickly coats the back of a spoon but a swiped finger leaves a clean line. Stir in bourbon, strain into an airtight container, and chill overnight.

  3. The next day, churn according to manufacturer's instructions. When finished, remove churning puddle and quickly stir in brownie chunks with a wide spatula. Transfer to freezer and chill for 2 to 3 hours or until firm.

Special equipment

Ice cream maker

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