What Is Pumpkin Ice Cream?

M.C. Huguelet

For many people, especially in North America, pumpkin is one of the quintessential flavors of autumn, especially when it is found in dishes like pie and soup. Those looking for a cool variation on traditional pumpkin dishes may wish to try pumpkin ice cream, which, as its name suggests, is a type of ice cream flavored with pumpkin. It is often possible to purchase pumpkin ice cream at supermarkets and ice cream shops during the autumn months. Those who prefer a homemade taste may wish to try making pumpkin ice cream in a home ice cream maker. This type of ice cream makes a good accompaniment to dessert items flavored with “warm” spices like cinnamon and ginger.


Essentially, pumpkin ice cream is akin to vanilla ice cream which has been flavored with pureed pumpkin. The addition of pumpkin lends this type of ice cream a warm orange hue, which commercial ice cream manufacturers may enhance with natural or artificial colorings. To bring out the depth of this ice cream’s pumpkin flavor, it is often seasoned with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, which may give the ice cream a “flecked” appearance. The consistency of pumpkin ice cream is generally very smooth and creamy, except in the case of pumpkin pie ice cream, which usually contains chunks of pie crust.

Pumpkin ice cream.
Pumpkin ice cream.

During the autumn months, it is generally possible to purchase pumpkin ice cream from a number of supermarkets and ice cream shops. As this flavor of ice cream is often produced seasonally, it may disappear from shops and markets once winter sets in. Cooks seeking a homemade flavor might consider making their own pumpkin ice cream in a home ice cream maker. Recipes for this type of ice cream are widely available in cookbooks and on the Internet. It should be noted that preparing ice cream at home can take several hours or even days, and consequently it may not be the best option for those who want ice cream in a hurry.

Many people opt to enjoy pumpkin ice cream in a dish or on a cone. It can also make a good accompaniment to a number of other desserts. Pumpkin tends to pair best with “warm” spices like ginger and cinnamon. Thus many find that it works well as an accompaniment to such dessert items as ginger snaps or cinnamon bread.

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