You don't need an ice cream maker for this easy No-Churn Butter Pecan Ice Cream! It takes 15 minutes to assemble before freezing. My improved recipe isn't as sweet as typical no-churn ice cream. It's just right and so creamy!
This No-Churn Butter Pecan Ice Cream is dangerous, folks. It's decadent, delicious and almost too easy.
The flavor is slightly buttery and nutty, with a sweet-and-salty-vibe. Chopped pecans toasted in melted butter bring this butter pecan ice cream to life.
The texture is oh-so-creamy. And, you just need 15 minutes to prepare the homemade ice cream before it goes to the freezer.
What's no-churn ice cream?
If you aren’t familiar with no-churn ice cream, it's super creamy, almost like frozen custard. It doesn't require fancy equipment like an ice cream maker.
No-churn ice cream recipes all start with the same lush foundation: heavy whipping cream beaten into stiff peaks, then folded with sweetened condensed milk. Then, you stir in your favorite flavors and mix-ins.
Egg-free ice cream customized to your liking.
I told you it was easy! I hope you give this recipe for butter pecan ice cream a try!
Heavy Whipping Cream: You can't have ice cream without the cream! You'll need two cups of it for a batch of no-churn ice cream.
Sweetened condensed milk: Most no-churn ice cream recipes call for a 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. I used to make this ice cream with that amount, but now my mature taste buds (cough, cough) find it’s too much.
Too sweet. Too rich. Too overpowering.
So, my new-and-improved recipe for butter pecan no-churn ice cream includes just eight ounces of sweetened condensed milk. The ice cream has the perfect amount of sweetness and isn't so heavy.
Plus, you can really taste the slightly salty, butter-pecan flavor. It's delicious!
Be sure to buy sweetened condensed milk and not evaporated milk, which is unsweetened.
Maple Syrup: I always use pure maple syrup in recipes, but you could probably substitute pancake syrup here in a pinch. However, the pure one has a stronger flavor that perfectly complements the butter-pecan taste.
Salt: Don’t be afraid to add a little salt to your homemade no-churn ice cream. This kitchen staple will make the butter-pecan flavor pop!
Pecans: You'll need shelled pecan halves for this recipe. If someone has an allergy to tree nuts, you could try substituting some roasted sunflower seeds briefly stirred into melted butter.
How to toast pecans
These really simple steps produce a wonderful butter-pecan flavor!
- Melt salted butter in a pan over medium heat.
- Stir in chopped pecans and let them cook for around two minutes, just until fragrant. Transfer the pan to a cool burner.
Make the no-churn butter pecan ice cream
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full instructions, but here's an overview.
- Place cold whipping cream in a glass or stainless steel mixing bowl.
- Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer until you have stiff whipped cream.
- Fold the condensed milk into the whipped cream.
- Stir in the buttery pecans, pure maple syrup, and salt.
- Transfer the mixture to a loaf pan. Cover it with plastic wrap that's pressed onto the surface of the mixture, so no air gets in. (This prevents ice crystals.)
- Freeze the ice cream for 10-12 hours for a firm set. If you can't wait that long, allow six hours for a softer consistency.
- For variations, try adding chocolate chips or changing the flavor profile by eliminating the butter and adding fruit. You also could add a flavor extract like vanilla or almond in place of the maple syrup. This peach no-churn ice cream from my friend Annie looks amazing!
We love this no-churn butter pecan ice cream just the way it is, scooped into a bowl, with one or two pecans for decoration and extra crunch.
Frequently asked questions
No, because half and half won't form the consistency of whipped cream when beaten. You need the fat from heavy whipping cream.
I recommend making another batch of no-churn ice cream with the six ounces of sweetened condensed milk left over from the first batch. Taste the ice cream mixture before freezing it to see if it needs a little brown sugar.
This recipe makes enough for seven servings. It fills a loaf pan.
Sure! If you're planning to serve ice cream on the go, individual containers (affiliate link) are a great option.
More refreshing desserts to love
And if you love pecans, don’t miss these recipes:
- Pecan Lemon Pie without Meringue
- Chocolate-Pecan Meringue Cookies
- Healthy Chocolate-Banana Smoothie with Pecans
If you make this No-Churn Butter Pecan Ice Cream recipe, be sure to leave a comment and a rating!
No-Churn Butter Pecan Ice Cream (Easy!)
- ¾ cup pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces sweetened condensed milk (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Roughly chop the pecans. In a 10-inch pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the pecans to the pan and stir them around. Toast the pecans in the pan for about two minutes, until they are fragrant. Do not let them burn. Turn off the heat and move the pan to a cool burner.
- Place the whipping cream in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Beat the cream with a mixer, using the whisk attachment if there is one, until stiff peaks form and you have the consistency of whipped cream.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk to the bowl and fold it into the whipped cream until combined. (Use an under-and-over motion with your spatula).
- Stir in the buttery pecans, maple syrup and salt.
- Transfer the ice cream mixture to a glass or metal loaf pan or a 2-quart, freezer-safe plastic container. Spread the mixture evenly. Cover it with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface of the ice cream mixture to keep the air out, so ice crystals don't form.
- Freeze for 10-12 hours for firm ice cream, or six hours for a softer consistency. If very firm, let the ice cream sit out for 10 minutes before scooping it.
- Store the leftover ice cream tightly covered with plastic wrap in the freezer. It should keep for a couple months, but try to use it before it gets freezer burn.
(Recipe Source: Inspired by several no-churn recipes on the internet. Originally published on August 24, 2015 and updated now with an improved recipe, new photos and additional information.)