Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream | Mix and Freeze Recipe (No cooking needed!) Bonus: Salted Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream with Salted Caramel and Pepita Brittle | www.foodiewithfamily.com

It’s no secret that I am BONKERS for fall and the food that goes with it. I can’t even handle how much I love it. I love everything about it… the food, the weather, the movies. Shoot, I even do Snoopy’s happy dance when I think about pumpkins and leaves falling to the ground.

When our temperatures dropped precipitously last week, I knew I couldn’t wait one minute longer. I drove to the store at eight thirty at night (no mean feat considering we live miles not minutes from the nearest grocery store) and grabbed all three cans on the shelf. Apparently whoever stocks them does not share my impatience for autumn and it’s attendant yummies. I got home, arranged my cans of pumpkin on the kitchen counter so I’d see them first thing in the morning, and went to bed with visions of pumpkin rolls, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin everything dancing in my head.

When I woke up the next morning it was EIGHTY SEVEN DEGREES with seventy percent humidity. I’m pretty sure I pouted. Then I got creative. I  wasn’t going to heat anything up AND I was going to get my pumpkin fix, dadburnit.

I decided to make super silky Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream. Can I get an amen?

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream | www.foodiewithfamily.com

How to get rich, smooth ice cream without making a custard first

If you’ve spent much time making ice cream, you may be wondering how I got a velvety smooth, rich ice cream without making a custard base (and by extension, standing over a double boiler whisking an egg-based custard until it thickened, then waiting for it to cool down in the refrigerator or an ice bath.) It’s because I employed two secret weapons: CREAM CHEESE and my BLENDER. Am I hearing another amen yet? It’s ridiculously simple to make a fantastic ice cream in little longer than it takes your ice cream maker to do it’s thang.* It’s the cream cheese that does the trick, really… Not only does it make it taste like cheesecake from heaven, but it also thickens, smooths out, and otherwise improves the final product.

*”Doing it’s thaaaaaang” is what my seven year old calls the process of turning liquid to deliciousness in the ice cream maker.

After the thang is done, you can either eat your soft serve confection that tastes exactly like pumpkin cheesecake in ice cream form or pack it into a container and stuff it in the freezer for a couple of hours. You will spend this time -in all likelihood- drumming your fingers on the counter and snitching bites from the container in the freezer. At some point, you may decide to quit snitching (so it’ll harden enough to scoop already, dangit!) and contemplate your serving options. While thinking of serving options, I decided it was most definitely time to gild the lily and made Salted Pepita Brittle and a killer caramel sauce (also lightly salted) to put on top.

Yeah. Um, I realize that’s pretty over the top, but what I want to know is whether anyone objects.

Moving on…

A Word about Raw Sugar in Caramel Sauce:

I highly, strongly, truly recommend you use raw sugar in this caramel sauce. It gives an extra depth of flavour that is just not available in white sugar. It gives the caramel extra oomph and colour. Please don’t skip using this. It only calls for one cup, you could even get that by emptying packets of sugar-in-the-raw if that’s the only way you can buy it. Luckily, you don’t need to be reduced to that because Amazon.com has it available here.

So here’s the deal. Make the ice cream. You don’t HAVE to put the Salted Caramel ~OR~ the Salted Pepita Brittle, but I do recommend trying at least one of them on the ice cream. Why? Because it is so. darned. good. It’s everything wonderful about autumn in a package you can eat right now without martyring yourself to prepare it. Go on, I dare you to make it and tell me it isn’t easy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream with Salted Caramel and Pepita Brittle | www.foodiewithfamily.com


What’s your favourite part of fall? Is it weather? Food? Football? School? Are you a fall fan, too, or are you yelling at me to cut it out already because we’re not even officially IN fall? Talk to me!

Cook’s Notes

  • Homemade ice cream, unlike commercially available ice cream, does not have air whipped into it. This makes it a denser product that is best consumed within a couple of days of being made for optimum texture. Beyond that it’s best blended into milkshakes. Like that’s a sacrifice.
  • If you cannot find unsalted butter for the caramel, salted may be used, but you will have to reduce the sea salt added by half. Unsalted butter gives you much greater control over the finished product, so I highly recommend starting with it!
  • P.S. Stir leftover Salted Caramel into coffee, lattes, hot tea, over pancakes or waffles or ice cream, or simply on a spoon. Life is hard sometimes Caramel helps.

Connect with Foodie with Family

facebook | pinterest | instagram

twitter | G+

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream | Mix and Freeze Recipe (No cooking needed!) Bonus: Salted Caramel Sauce
Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream is silky, sweet, and redolent with fall flavours like pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. It's just what you need to get through the occasional freakishly hot days of early fall! There's no cooking necessary to make the ice cream base either! Top it with the bonus Salted Caramel Sauce or some seriously habit forming Salted Pepita Brittle and you'll be in heaven!
To Make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream:
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin IMPORTANT! Do not use pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 can evaporated milk, well shaken
  • 1 (8 oz) brick ⅓ less fat cream cheese (or regular cream cheese), softened to room temperature
  • 1½ cups raw sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
Bonus Salted Caramel Ingredients:
  • NOTE: You will need a candy making, deep fry, or instant read thermometer (that goes over 350°F) for this!
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 6 tablespoons UNSALTED butter, still cold, cut into ½-inch cubes **See Notes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  1. Add the pumpkin, evaporated milk, cream cheese, raw sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and clove to the carafe of a blender (or the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.) Process on high until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. When it is perfectly smooth and evenly blended, add the heavy cream and pulse until it is evenly mixed into the pumpkin puree but not longer. You don't want to turn the cream to butter!
  2. Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. It will be the texture of soft serve when it is done in the ice cream maker. You can either serve as is, or pack into a freezer safe container with a tight fitting lid and put into the freezer until firm, about 3 hours.
  3. Serve as is or garnish with salted caramel sauce and/or Salted Pepita Brittle
To Make the Salted Caramel Sauce:
  1. Pour the sugar into a clean, dry, heavy-bottomed saucepan (of at least 2 quarts capacity) over medium high heat. Use a whisk to keep stirring it as it begins to melt from the heat. Continue whisking slowly until all the sugar has melted and the temperature reaches 350° on an instant read or candy making thermometer. Remove the thermometer and add the butter cubes, whisking until they're fully melted and incorporated. Don't worry if the sugar clumps, it will loosen back up and melt again.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly drizzle in the heavy cream while still whisking until it's fully mixed in. This will bubble up and look threatening when you do this. This is when you're grateful you didn't use a smaller pan than I specified!
  3. Whisk in the sea salt flakes until even, then pour into a clean jar with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate until thickened. The Salted Caramel Sauce stores well for up to two weeks.


This was originally published September 11, 2013.


  1. says

    Since Fall is all in my head {and decorations and food!} here in Ghana anyways….this recipe is perfect! And since my kitchen is ALWAYS at least 87 degrees with a billion percent humidity, this recipe is even more perfect :) Now I’m hoping and praying and begging for that ice cream maker for Christmas!!! Quick question ~ would other forms of raw sugar work….Rapadura, Sucanat, Demerara? As usual, you’re the best, Rebecca!

    • says

      I think demerara would be your best best of all of those followed by rapadura for caramel. I’ve never actually made a caramel sauce with sucanat, though, and I’d be just a touch concerned that it might actually be super powerfully molassesy. Good in some ways, but maybe not perfect for this application? 😀

  2. Wendy M says

    Love that I don’t have to deal with eggs in this recipe. However, I suspect one of my kiddos is allergic to cinnamon. Do you think it would be ok to omit it? Yes, yes, I know – cinnamon and pumpkin go hand-in-hand, but the kid’s allergic, so what can I do? Just trying to find other recipes, other than vanilla ice cream to serve the kid. =)

  3. Krystal says

    Sooo good! Although I didn’t make the caramel sauce, this was still amazing… dipping my spoon in the ice cream maker – while it’s still churning – amazing. .

  4. says

    Fall is also my favorite season and I love all the pumpkin recipes that come with it (in fact, I just posted a round-up of my favorite pumpkin recipes today, too). I’ve always wanted to make homemade ice cream, and this recipe – with cream cheese, no less – sounds so perfect!

  5. says

    Hi there! My name is Jessica, and I run a food blog called Floptimism. Every week, I write a Weekend Wrap-Up where I share some of my favorite blog posts, recipes, and articles from the past week. I absolutely fell in love with this ice cream – I’m definitely gearing up for pumpkin season – and wanted to let you know that I featured it this week. If you’re interested, I’ve left the link below. Thank you for such a fantastic recipe, and I hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

  6. Stacey H. says

    I made this ice cream this past weekend and it was to die for….my friends loved it.
    I need more ice cream recipes just like this.

  7. JE says

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. We made it tonight and it was the best pumpkin ice cream I’ve ever had! It’s going to get passed on to everyone.

  8. Maura says

    I made this ice cream last night and it was TO DIE FOR. The minute I tasted the batter from my blender I knew I was in trouble. The recipe is as easy as it says, too! A couple of notes: once we started eating it in hardened form, we found it to be super sweet. When I make it again (note WHEN), I will probably reduce the sugar from 1.5c to 1c because cream cheese is already very sweet, and pumpkin in my opinion should be somewhat savory. But that’s just my taste buds! Also, I have a 1.5qt ice cream maker and couldn’t fit all the batter into one batch, but was able to do a quick mini-batch after the first one ran, so just beware. Not a drop went to waste! The caramel I burned somehow after following the directions precisely (thermometer and everything). When I researched it online, I learned that stirring it constantly as it melts actually increases the risk of burning it. Most say to leave it alone for a bit and then gently pull it in from the sides as it melts over moderate heat. So I thought that was interesting. Will have to try again!

  9. Katie says

    Sounds delicious! I’m going to make it for a harvest party this weekend. How much ice cream does this recipe make? Thanks!!

  10. Kristin P. says

    After slaving over 16 quarts of home made ice cream for hours and hours for my niece’s birthday party last month (Yes, I’m the best aunt ever), I swore I was done making home made ice cream. After seeing this gem of a recipe, I have decided I HAVE to make it to serve with pie for Thanksgiving dinner I’m hosting this year. can’t wait to try it!

  11. radha says

    I would love to try this recipe. I was just wondering. I am going to use pumpkin pie spice. How much pump would I use instead of the single spices.
    Thank you very much.

  12. Debbie says

    I don’t have an ice cream maker. Could I pour the mixture into a container and freeze it in the freezer completely? I was actually planning on pouring the mixture into small mason jars (leaving space at the top) and when I’m ready to serve it spoon some caramel sauce into the jar. Thoughts?

  13. Kelly says

    Wow! I’ve been going nuts trying new dairy free ice cream recipes over the past few months. Tossed that idea out the window & made this pumpkin cheesecake ice cream. It is so flavorful & creamy I’ve been having it for breakfast too!

  14. Tahaia says

    …here I stand ready to make this delectable recipe and I have 2 different cans of evaporated milk…do I use the 5 oz can, or the 12 oz. can…?!!!

  15. says

    I made this for Thanksgivinh dessert. It was delicious. One of the guests even said it was the best ice cream he’d ever had (and he is a bit of an ice cream snob).
    I made some changes:
    Roasted and puréed my own butternut squash. I also drained the purée in a sieve. It yielded approximately 2 cups.
    Simmered 2 1/2 tsps of Chai Masala spice mix in the heavy cream, then strained the spices out since they are a little gritty.
    I also used regular sugar. And I made my own “caramel” sauce by cooking a can of sweetened condensed milk (underwater) in the slow cooker for about 8 hours.

  16. Lisa says

    Have you tried to make an ice cream pie with this? I am wondering how the ice cream does if frozen for a day or two.

  17. Theresa M. says

    Well, I already have a jar of salted caramel in the fridge from last week’s cheesecake for a family gathering. And I have a leftover block of cream cheese in the fridge and there is ALWAYS pumpkin in my pantry, so I best get a move-on and make this ice cream!

  18. Erin Phoenix says

    Hoorah for fall! I’m with you, Rebecca. We just had our temperature drop last night, and I got a little thrill pulling out my winter slippers! Can’t wait for the leaves to turn here, and I’m definitely picking up what you’re laying down with the fall fixin’s- don’t change a bit!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: