This butter pecan ice cream recipe is silky smooth! The buttered pecans add the best buttery nutty flavor. The creamy vanilla ice cream base and crunchy pecans are the perfect pairing. This homemade ice cream recipe is great for birthdays, cakes, brownies, summer parties, and more!

Butter pecan ice cream.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This butter pecan ice cream is smooth and creamy.
  • It has the best flavor.
  • This ice cream tastes better than store bought ice cream.
  • Easily made in an ice cream maker.
  • Just like the Blue Bell classic!
  • The butter pecans add crunch and flavor.
  • This ice cream is easily scooped.
  • This recipe is naturally gluten free.
  • Feel free to use chopped peanuts, walnuts or another nut.
  • Check out this Paleo Ice Cream for another delicious dessert!

Ingredients & Substitutions

These are the main ingredients and substitutions for butter pecan ice cream. Scroll down to the recipe card for full ingredients list and instructions.

First, cook pecan pieces in butter. The butter adds a classic buttery flavor and lightly toasts the nuts.

Light brown sugar adds a slight caramel flavor to the ice cream base. Feel free to use dark brown sugar for a more intense flavor. That way, the color may be slightly darker.

Half and half adds creaminess. Whole milk may work as a substitute, but I have yet to try it.

Two whisked eggs help keep this ice cream soft and creamy. The eggs are tempered, preventing the consumption of raw eggs. Do not omit the eggs.

Heavy whipping cream adds even more creamy texture. Full fat coconut cream may work as a substitute. It would add a slight coconut flavor though.

Add in a little vanilla extract.

Lastly, add in a pinch of sea salt if desired. If using salted pecans, you may want to omit.

Ingredients for butter pecan ice cream.

Taste & Texture

This butter pecan ice cream is sweet, buttery and nutty. It tastes like vanilla ice cream with a slight caramel flavor and toasted pecans.

The texture is incredibly creamy! The toasted pecans provide a nice crunch.

How to Make

Step 1

Depending on ice cream machine, you might need to first place your ice cream bowl in the freezer overnight.

Step 2

First, add butter and pecans to a skillet over low heat. Cook nuts for 4 to 5 minutes or until light roasted. Stir occasionally to prevent any burning. Place on a paper towel to soak up the excess butter and fully cool down.

Step 3

In a large skillet, add the half and half. Heat until warm, but not quite boiling. Then, add in brown sugar. Stir until brown sugar has dissolved completely.

Step 4

Add whisked eggs to a bowl. Very slowly pour ½ cup of the heated half and half mixture into the whisked eggs. Quickly whisk to prevent curdling.

Step 5

Then, pour this egg mixture into the skillet. Continue whisking over low heat until warm, but not quite boiling. Cook until this mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.

Creamy mixture in pan.

Step 6

Add ice cubes to a large mixing bowl. Then, place a smaller mixing bowl on top of the ice cubes.

Ice cubes in bowl.

Step 7

Pour the skillet mixture into the smaller mixing bowl. Whisk for 1 minute.

Cream mixture in bowl.

Step 8

Add in heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Whisk to combine.

Milk and cream in bowl.

Step 9

Place plastic wrap onto the surface of the ice cream custard. Place bowl in fridge for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.

Bowl with plastic wrap.

Step 10

Once chilled, remove plastic wrap. Pour custard mixture into the frozen ice cream maker bowl. Make according to ice cream maker instructions.

Step 11

Once ice cream texture is achieved, turn off machine. Stir in the toasted pecans.

Step 12

Transfer to a freezer safe bowl or pan. Freeze for at least 2 hours. Finally, serve butter pecan ice cream!

Ice cream in pan.

Expert Tips & Tricks

Make this butter pecan ice cream recipe exactly as written. It works perfectly every time!

Place ice cream maker bowl in freezer 24 hours before making this recipe. Most ice cream makers call for this.

Do not burn pecans. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Pecans should be lightly golden, not black.

Temper eggs. Slowly pour hot skillet mixture into the whisked eggs. Whisk quickly to prevent curdling.

Allow the hot mixture to cool in the fridge before adding to ice cream bowl. Chill for at least 4 hours.

Once chilled, then pour mixture into the frozen ice cream bowl. Make ice cream according to your maker instructions.

My ice cream maker only took 20 minutes.

Freeze ice cream before digging in. Once removed from the ice cream maker, it has the texture of soft serve ice cream. Harden in freezer.

How to Serve & Store

Serve this butter pecan ice cream recipe once fully frozen.

Scoop into waffle cones, sugar cones or bowls. Try these Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones for a fun idea!

Top with more pecans, sprinkles, hot fudge, caramel or whipped cream.

This pecan ice cream is great with brownies, cookies, cake or cupcakes.

Store covered with plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Butter pecan ice cream may become very frozen. Thaw at room temperature for a few minutes if needed.

Scoop of pecan ice cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to toast the nuts?

Technically no. The toasted pecans taste much better and add the buttery flavor. I highly recommend toasting the pecans.

Can I make this dairy free?

I have not made this butter pecan ice cream dairy free yet.

Does this contain raw eggs?

No. The eggs are tempered. Then the mixture is cooked.

Which ice cream maker do you recommend?

This is the Ice Cream Maker I use and love.

Why does ice cream need eggs?

Ice cream has a great texture when made with eggs. Eggs add fat and protein. In addition, eggs add a super creamy and soft texture.

What does butter pecan ice cream taste like?

The nutty buttery pecans contrast well with the vanilla ice cream base.

Equipment Needed

Pyrex 3 Glass Mixing Bowls: these sturdy mixing bowls stand up to the heat and cold. They fit nicely into each other.

Pyrex Glass Measuring Cups: in addition, these glass measuring cups are great for measuring hot or cold ingredients.

Whisk: use a whisk several times in this butter pecan ice cream recipe.

Ice Cream Maker: I love this ice cream maker. It produces great results every single time! Be sure to place the interior bowl in the freezer the day before.

Creamy dessert in bowl.

You May Also Like

If you make this butter pecan ice cream recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. Join my exclusive Facebook Group for a behind the scenes look. I would love for you to follow along!  For more sweet treats, check out these Dessert Recipes.

Butter pecan ice cream.

Get the Recipe: Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

This homemade butter pecan ice cream recipe is smooth, creamy and sweet! It has the perfect texture and nutty caramel flavor. The butter pecans add the best flavor and crunch. This ice cream is way better than store bought.
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup pecan pieces
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 ⅔ cups half and half
  • 2 whisked eggs
  • cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt, optional

Instructions 

  • Depending on your ice cream machine, you may need to first place your ice cream bowl in the freezer overnight.
  • First, add butter and pecan pieces to a skillet over low heat. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until light roasted. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Place on paper towel to soak up the excess butter and fully cool down.
  • In a large skillet, add half and half. Heat until warm, but not yet boiling. Then, add in brown sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
  • Add whisked eggs to a bowl. Very slowly pour ½ cup of the heated half and half mixture into the whisked eggs. Quickly whisk to prevent curdling.
  • Then, pour this egg mixture into the skillet. Continue whisking over low heat until warm, but not yet boiling. Cook until mixture coats the back of a spoon. See photos above for reference. Turn off heat.
  • Add ice cubes to a large mixing bowl. Place a smaller mixing bowl on top of the ice cubes.
  • Pour the skillet mixture into the smaller mixing bowl. Stir for 1 minute.
  • Add in heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  • Place plastic wrap onto the surface of the ice cream custard. Place bowl in fridge for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
  • Once chilled, remove plastic wrap. Pour custard mixture into the frozen ice cream maker bowl. Make according to ice cream maker instructions.
  • Once ice cream texture is achieved, turn off machine. Stir in toasted pecans.
  • Transfer to a freezer safe bowl or pan. Freeze for at least 2 hours. Serve!

Notes

  • Each serving is about 2 scoops.
  • I love this ice cream maker.  Place ice cream bowl in freezer the day before making this recipe.
  • Follow this recipe exactly.  It produces perfect ice cream.  I cannot guarantee results with other ingredients.
  • Be sure to slowly pour hot mixture into the whisked eggs and whisk constantly.  Do not allow the eggs to curdle.
  • Do not place the hot mixture into an ice cream machine.  It must cool in the fridge for 2+ hours before.  I recommend chilling overnight before adding to the ice cream machine.
  • My ice cream maker only took about 20 minutes to make this into ice cream.  I do not recommend making without an ice cream machine.
  • Store in the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.
Calories: 510kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 147mg, Sodium: 132mg, Potassium: 295mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 46g, Vitamin A: 862IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 178mg, Iron: 1mg

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