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Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

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I’m excited to share this amazingly delicious Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe today!

Sweet vanilla custard ice cream swirled with toasted, butter-candied pecans. This recipe is way better than store-bought and might just become your new favorite ice cream flavor!

butter pecan ice cream

The Best Butter Pecan Ice Cream is Homemade!

No dessert screams summer more than a big bowl of homemade Buttered Pecan Ice Cream! 

There’s just something about that sweet, rich vanilla caramel-y flavor with crunchy sweet buttered pecans that can’t be beaten. Especially when I’m enjoying that bowl out on the porch, watching the sunset on a warm summer evening.  

What is Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Buttered Pecan Ice Cream is a rich custard-based vanilla ice cream (at least this recipe is), full of deliciously crunchy, sweet buttered, and candied roasted pecans.

You’ll definitely want to try the candied pecans recipe on its own. The sweet, crunchy pecans make an amazing sweet treat for snacking. So good that I figured, what better way to enjoy these pecans than to add them to my favorite Vanilla Ice Cream recipe?

That was definitely a good call because this Homemade Buttered Pecan Ice Cream is one of the best ice creams I’ve had in a while!  

how to make Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Ingredient + Notes:

See the recipe card below for full ingredient amounts and recipe instructions.

  • Butter | I prefer salted butter in the recipe. Unsalted will work in a pinch, just add a pinch of salt to your pecans while cooking them.
  • Pecans | Raw pecans work best as you will be toasting/candy-ing them in a pan.
  • Sugar | White granulated sugar is used in the ice cream base and for the pecans. However, many people love the extra flavor brown sugar gives to the pecans. If you want to use brown sugar, it is a one-to-one swap.
  • Milk | I generally use whole milk in my ice cream recipes. Sometimes I get fancy and want my ice cream to have a richer, creamy texture, so I will use one to one mixture of half-n-half and whole. Other times I will use just 2% milk. The taste will be similar, but the consistency of the butter pecan ice cream will vary based on the fat of the milk. More fat will give you a richer, decadent mouthfeel, and lower-fat or skim milk will produce a more icy result.
  • Eggs | Eggs give the ice cream that delicious custard flavor. (Cooking the custard base is up to you – Although I always do cook my egg-based ice cream recipes. See more info below in the recipe notes and FAQ section.)
  • Sweetened condensed milk: I use sweetened condensed milk in all my custard-based ice cream recipes, which gives it that extra rich homemade taste.
  • Vanilla extract: Use the best quality extract you can find.
  • Optional: Caramel Ice Cream Topping | I like to swirl in a bit of caramel ice cream topping at the end for an extra layer of sweet caramel flavor.

How to Make Butter Pecan Ice Cream

  1. Heat the milk: Combine the vanilla and 2 milks in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Beat the eggs: In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together for a minute or two, add sugar, and continue mixing for another minute until eggs and sugar are completely combined.
  3. Add the eggs to the milk mixture. Gradually whisk half of the milk mixture into eggs. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. You may wish to pour the cooked egg mixture through a fine sieve to remove any cooked egg chunks.
  4. Chill the ice cream base: To quickly cool the custard ice cream mixture, transfer the hot mixture to a chilled metal bowl, then set the bowl into an ice bath and stir til cooled. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour; ice cream base can be refrigerated up to 2 days ahead.
  5. Freeze: Add the ice cream base to the ice cream maker and process it according to your machine’s manufacturer’s instructions. Add the toasted butter pecans (or whatever other mixins your like) toward the end of the processing time.
  6. Serve: Seve immediately as soft serve or place the ice cream in a freezer-safe container until desired consistency is reached.
how to make butter pecan ice cream

Variations

  • Add a swirl of caramel for an extra sweet caramel-y flavor.
  • Skip the eggs and make a Philadelphia-style ice cream base.
  • Add a combo of other nuts, like walnuts or almonds.
  • Make ice cream sandwiches. Add a scoop of ice cream in between two cookies. Yum!

Storage

For best results, store your Homemade Butter Pecan Ice cream in a freezer-safe airtight container for about a week. This is my favorite ice cream storage container.

Recipe Tips

  • Chilling the custard in the fridge before it meets your ice cream maker isn’t just a suggestion, it’s a must-do. This process allows the custard to cool down completely. If the custard is too warm when it goes into the machine, you might end up with an ice cream that’s more icy than creamy or unable to firm up all the way. To speed up the cooling, you can transfer the hot mixture to a chilled metal bowl, then set the bowl into an ice bath and stir til cooled. Then place in the refrigerator to fully chill.
  • If your ice cream has frozen too hard, let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before scooping.
butter pecan ice cream recipe

FAQ’s

Does This Ice Cream Have Raw Eggs In It?

This ice cream recipe does have eggs, but whether they are raw or not depends on you.

My favorite homemade ice cream recipe is custard-based, made with lots of vanilla and eggs. In the past, I would make our ice cream with a pasteurized-in-the-shell egg (which made it perfectly safe to consume raw eggs), but since these eggs no longer seem to be available, I do now cook my custard-based ice cream recipes before adding them to my ice cream maker. 

So for this recipe, you have 2 choices for the eggs:

  1. Use the eggs raw. (My mom always did it this way, but I can’t bring myself to serve raw eggs to my family.)
  2. 2nd choice is to cook the ice cream base and let it cool completely before adding it to the machine. (After cooking the ice cream base, I transfer it to another bowl and place that bowl in an ice bath, stirring continuously for a few minutes to help it chill. Then put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour, chilling it enough for the ice cream maker.)
does ice cream have raw eggs in it?

I’ve updated the directions in the recipe card to include instructions for cooking your ice cream base, so here they are in case you choose to go this route:

How To Cook This Buttered Pecan Ice Cream Base:

  1. Combine the vanilla and 2 milks in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together for a minute or two, add sugar and continue mixing for another minute until eggs and sugar are completely combined.
  3. Gradually whisk half of the milk mixture into eggs. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. You may wish to pour the cooked egg mixture through a sieve to remove any cooked egg chunks.
  5. To quickly cool the ice cream base, set the bowl of custard in an ice bath and stir til chilled.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour; ice cream base can be refrigerated up to 2 days ahead.
  7. Add ice cream base to the ice cream maker and process according to your machine’s instructions.

Can I Use Egg Beaters In This Buttered Pecan Ice Cream Recipe?

I do not recommend the “egg beaters” type pasteurized egg product as all the fat from the yolks has been removed. Egg yolks have a lot of fat and fat, which freezes differently and is less hard than water, making ice cream soft and creamy. 

Plus, ice cream made with real eggs has a deliciously rich custard flavor

What Milk is best for Ice Cream?

When making homemade ice cream, you’ll need milk and cream. Milk comes in different fat levels – Heavy whipping cream (36% fat, light (or regular) whipping cream (30% fat), half n half (around 11%), whole (3.25%), 2%, and skim (0%).

I have read that anywhere from 12 to 23% fat is the optimal fat level for homemade ice cream, and I agree that a combo of heavy cream and whole or half-n-half gives a fantastic result. When making ice cream for just the family, I just use what is in the fridge, but my preference is half whole milk and half half-n-half. For guests, I will step up the fat level to half heavy cream and half whole milk.

Can the ice cream be made ahead of time?

You can make the ice cream base and store it in the fridge for a few days. I would not process the ice cream too much in advance. Due to the lack of stabilizers in homemade ice cream, it will become icy after a prolonged time in the freezer.

Can I Make this recipe without an ice cream maker?

Yes, you can make this recipe no-churn. The results will be a little less creamy but still very yummy!

Add the ice mixture to a suitable container and place it in the freezer. Stir the ice cream mixture every 30 to 45 minutes over the next 4 hours. Once the ice cream has set, gently mix in the pecans and any other desired mix-ins. Cover the container with plastic wrap and continue freezing until the desired consistency is reached.

Which Ice Cream Maker Is Best:

The best ice cream maker is the one you already have, lol! However, if you are in the market for a new ice cream maker, I have to tell you I recently upgraded to the kind that uses a bowl you keep in the freezer. (This one ==>>Cuisinart ice cream maker.) And I can’t tell you how wonderful and easy to use this new machine is! 

The machine makes slightly less ice cream than my old one that required ice and rock salt, but I’m ok with that since it is just so ridiculously easy to use. Ice cream in 25ish minutes from start to finish? Sign me up!

It’s on my wishlist to purchase a second bowl for the machine, so I can make two different flavors right in a row! 

Can Butter Pecan Ice Cream Be Made in the Nija Creami?

Yes, make your ice cream base as directed, add it to a Creami container, and freeze. Then process as directed, adding your mixins at the end.

Quick tip

Like your ice cream super sweet?  Add a few swirls of caramel topping at the end of the freezing time and you will be in ice cream heaven!

Products used and recommended in this post: 

  1. Ice cream machine
  2. extra freezer bowl
  3. best ice cream scoop ever
  4. Easy Scoop Ice cream tub for freezer.
  5. waffle cones

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a big double scoop ice cream cone calling my name!

double scoop of butter pecan ice cream

More Ice Cream Recipes to Enjoy:

Did you make this Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe?

Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmomrecipes!

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homemade butter pecan ice cream

Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 25 min plus freezing time
  • Yield: 1.75 to 2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Ice cream maker

Description

This unbelievably delicious Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe is super easy to make in your ice cream maker.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Ice Cream

  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 can (about 7 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons good quality vanilla
  • 4 cups milk (Your choice of whole or 2% milk, half n half, heavy cream- the higher the fat content of the milk, the creamier the ice cream will be.)
  • optional (but so good!) Caramel ice cream topping

Buttered Pecans:

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs sugar

Instructions

Ice cream:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs together for a minute or two, add sugar and continue mixing for another minute until eggs and sugar are completely combined.
  2. Add vanilla, milk and condensed milk. Blend until all ingredients are combined. (*see recipe notes below about cooking your ice cream base.)
  3. Add mixture to ice cream machine and follow manufacturer’s directions to process.

Buttered Pecans:

  1. Melt butter in a large pan over med-high heat.
  2. Add sugar and stir with a spatula until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add pecans, reduce heat to medium and gently stir/toss pecans until toasted.  (about 5 minutes.)  Watch pecans closely they go from being done to burned, very fast.
  4. Transfer pecans to a plate and let cool.
  5. a few minutes before the ice cream is complete, add pecans to the ice cream and let the machine mix the pecans into the ice cream.
  6. Eat right away as soft serve or transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze 2 to 4 hours or until desired consistency is reached.
  7. Optional step using caramel: Transfer 1/2 of ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Spread/squeeze a generous amount of caramel over ice cream layer.  Add remaining ice cream to the container and top with more caramel.  Use a butter knife to gently stir the caramel around.  Place in freezer for 2 -4 hours.

Enjoy!


Notes

How To Cook This Buttered Pecan Ice Cream Base:

  1. Combine the vanilla and 2 milks in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together for a minute or two, add sugar and continue mixing for another minute until eggs and sugar are completely combined.
  3. Gradually whisk half of milk mixture into eggs. Pour egg-milk mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. You may wish to pour the cooked egg mixture through a sieve to remove any cooked egg chunks.
  5. To quickly cool the ice cream base, set the bowl of custard in an ice bath and stir til chilled.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour; ice cream base can be refrigerated up to 2 days ahead.
  7. Add ice cream base to the ice cream maker and process according to your machine’s instructions.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 437
  • Fat: 18
  • Carbohydrates: 59
  • Protein: 10

Keywords: ice cream, butter pecan ice cream, ice cream recipes

Homemade Buttered Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

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46 Comments

  1. The best homemade butter pecan ice cream we ever had. My wife and I love it. Best thing is you know what your eating. Love Homemade. Smooth and full of flavor. Gonna make another batch today and the only thing I am changing is adding a little more pecans. You really don’t need any toppings for this. It’s great the way it is. Thank You

  2. This was a delicious recipe. Everyone loved it. I will definitely be making this again!

  3. I came across your recipe while I was looking for a good recipe for butter pecan ice cream. I’m really not a fan of the ice cream but I was making it for my boyfriend because I’m nice like that, lol. I followed your recipe and everything turned out perfectly. My boyfriend got him a glass before I stored it in the freezer to set, he loved it, so after it set up I went ahead and dipped me and my special needs son out some to try. Omg I tasted heaven in a bowl, I was in love. I’ve never had butter pecan that tasted so amazing and my son loved it as well and he’s not a big ice cream fan of any flavor but after his first bowl he continued to ask for ice cream like a broken record, lol. Well needless to say all the ice-cream had been eaten within 3 days and my boyfriend only got 2 servings out of the whole batch, opppps, lol. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I’ll be making quite often now.

  4. Mary Jean Boutelle says:

    I forgot to simmer the ice cream base but the eggs are pasteurized. Is that ok

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      yes, that is fine.

  5. This recipe omg hands down the best ever! I used half and half and it is soooo creamy! Thank you thank you for this recipe.

  6. I don’t like Butter Pecan ice cream from the market but this is amazing! I used 2C half n half and 2C whole milk and it came out great. Then another time, (I keep it stocked now lol) I ran out of milk so I used whatever the amount of milk I had left, heavy cream and 2C half n half. It was AMAZING!!! So creamy!!! Thank you for the recipe!! I also used vanilla paste and it made a world of difference. So yummy!

  7. Best recipe EVER. No kidding and you needn’t chill the base! Creamy, creamy creamy. Thanks for the recipe

  8. Hi, is it 4 whole eggs or just the yolks?

  9. My husband loves butter pecan ice cream so I was delighted to find your posted recipe. I made this and let the base chill a bit longer before churning. The result was a very delicious and so creamy buttered pecan ice cream. Thank you for sharing it is an award winning recipe.

  10. Amazing recipe! My girls and I loved making it! We’re old school so we love buttered pecans. Thanks again for the recipe!