ice cream

Coconut Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

by Alyssa on October 23, 2013

in Cooking, Food

Last week, I made Crock Pot Thai Chicken, a crock pot recipe using Thai flavors, including coconut milk, peanut sauce, garlic, green onions, thyme, and peanuts. I tweaked the recipe by including the green onion, garlic, and thyme right into the crock pot with the chicken since I didn’t make the Coconut Rice. The long hours of low heat in the crock pot made the chicken tender enough to cut with a fork. I served this with steamed broccoli which sopped up the remaining sauce.

I also made Pumpkin Beer Bread last week for a Queso Diego meeting. This bread recipe not only uses canned pumpkin, but gets additional pumpkin flavor from using pumpkin ale. Using honey rather than sugar, this bread is subtly sweet. In fact, it wasn’t sweet enough for my taste, so I brushed the loaf with more honey. This bread doesn’t use yeast, so it’s a dense and hearty bread that goes well with butter and jam.

After cooking these two recipes, I was left with a little less than half a can of pumpkin puree and about the same amount of coconut milk. Brainstorming what I could make with coconut milk and pumpkin puree… I came up with Coconut Pumpkin Ice Cream!

Coconut Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Coconut Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Recipe type: ice cream
Cuisine: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 3

This ice cream is made using canned coconut milk and canned pumpkin puree. The addition of pumpkin pie spice makes it taste like pumpkin pie!
  • 4 oz. canned coconut milk (shaken)
  • 4 oz. canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 oz. vanilla almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

  1. Add coconut milk and pumpkin puree together in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Add almond milk to dilute consistency.
  3. Add honey and pumpkin pie spice, then whisk to combine.
  4. Pour mixture into ice cream maker.
  5. Run ice cream maker for approximately 1 hour.

These measurements are approximate. Please feel free to adjust to your taste!

Be sure to spray your tablespoon with cooking oil so the honey easily pours out.


It turned out wonderfully creamy and the coconut flavor is present, but not overpowering. You can definitely tell it’s not normal cow milk based ice cream. It’s not too sweet, which is my personal preference, and the pumpkin pie spice adds great complex flavor that makes me so excited it’s Fall.

I was apprehensive that the coconut milk wouldn’t freeze into ice cream, however, even using a light coconut milk contained enough fat content to form ice cream. Mixing together equal amounts of coconut milk and pumpkin puree made for a very thick mixture. I was afraid that the equal amounts of liquid and solid would result in a very hard ice cream (frozen pumpkin puree, anyone?). I diluted the mixture with vanilla almond milk, which is what I had on hand, but would have used additional coconut milk if I had it. The almond milk created a mixture that was more liquid and added just a bit of vanilla flavor. Actually, I would have included additional vanilla extract if I had remembered :)


Update: Definitely not enough fat content, as it was rock solid after two days in the freezer. May need to use a larger quantity of regular coconut milk to get it more creamy.


Our good friend moved to Arcata, CA to attend Humboldt State University, so we figured, what better time than now to travel the land beyond the San Francisco area? Devin and I travel to the Bay Area about once a year to see my family and the most north we’ve gone together is to Napa, CA. Arcata is about four hours north of San Francisco, so with a 12-hour drive ahead of us, naturally we left at 4AM!

Leaving early turned out to be great because we made it through Los Angeles and to the Grapevine before traffic began. It was smooth sailing and not too unpleasant, thanks to the stock of podcasts we listen to:

Doug Loves Movies

Hollywood Babble-On

NPR’s Car Talk

Adam Carolla

This American Life

Once we crossed the San Rafael Bridge, we were on the 101, which was beautiful, but could  be painstakingly slow going at times since we had to slow down to 30 MPH at times to go through small towns or really sharp turns through the forest.

Devin loved Arcata immediately and I agreed that the scenery was beautiful on our drive up and driving past the calm water of Arcata Bay. The houses were really cute and there were trees everywhere. Devin would eventually fall even more in love with Arcata as we awoke to foggy mornings, which turned into cloudy and cold days. Any appreciation I had for Arcata began to drastically dwindle when I realized I’d forgotten to bring a jacket.

We visited the Arcata North County Fair, which was much smaller than the San Diego and Orange County Fairs that I’m used to! The vendors surrounded Arcata Plaza, with food vendors in the middle of the square. We bought some heirloom tomatoes (my first!) at the Arcata Farmer’s Market right next to the fair.

For lunch, we stopped at Arcata Pizza & Deli, or APD, as the locals call it. I had a huge Pastrami Reuben Sandwich on hearty slices of rye. You can see that the rye was buttered and grilled until crispy. There was a generous portion of tangy sauerkraut with a more generous helping of pastrami. Hidden inside was melted Swiss cheese and with the creamy thousand island dressing, this sandwich was delicious.

Between the three of us, we shared a basket of fries, which was huge! The fries were crisp and properly salted, the perfect accompaniment to my Reuben sandwich.

For dessert later that night, we went to Arcata Scoop, which is in a cute, Robin’s egg blue-colored converted house. I got a scoop of vanilla honey lavender, which was creamy, but I didn’t enjoy the tough pieces of lavender. Inside the ice cream shop was a large four-person rocking booth with wooden giraffes as the posts!

We went to the Arcata Community Forest for a brisk morning hike before heading to Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka.

We conveniently parked on campus and the trail head started right behind the dorms. Tall redwood trees provided shade as we walked alongside a stream. Some redwood tree trunks were hallowed out by forces of nature, so that a person could crawl inside. There were twisting vines and branches creating beautiful canopies that the sunlight sparkled through. On our leisurely walk through the forest, we saw many of these banana slugs!

The last place on my list of required places to visit while in Arcata was Los Bagels, which happened to be right across the street from Arcata Scoop.

Los Bagels smelled delicious from the moment we stepped inside. There were fresh bagels baking and a pastry case, along with shelves of jalapeno jelly, ceramic mugs, and Slug Slime for sale. I got a Sushi Bagel on a toasted multi-cultural bagel. The cream cheese has a hint of green from spicy wasabi, which is then topped with lox, cucumbers, black sesame seeds, and I requested the addition of red onions. The warm bagel, creamy lox, and crisp cucumbers really hit the spot, while the wasabi cream cheese woke me up!

On our last day in Arcata, we had the realization that we weren’t that far from Oregon. In fact, we weren’t that far from Portland, a city that we were very interested in visiting. And Devin can work from anywhere! After checking the distance between Arcata to Portland (8 hours), ensuring our pet sitters didn’t mind looking in on our furry babies again, and asking our host if we could swing back for another stay on our way home, we were off to Portland!


Things we loved about Arcata: cold weather (Devin), trees everywhere, everything is walking distance, small town, cute houses

Things we did not love about Arcata: people loitering around Arcata Plaza who approached us asking for food, cold weather (Alyssa), hippies


Double Thin Mint Ice Cream

February 11, 2012

It’s that time of year again: Girl Scout Cookie time! Your coworkers try to sell them to you and you walk past them on your way into the store, but are they selling door-to-door anymore? I have my designated Girl Scout who I buy my Thin Mints, Tagalongs, and Samoas from and while these cookies […]

Read the full article →

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

August 31, 2011

Left with some overly ripe bananas sitting on the counter, I made ice cream with them using a recipe that Linda of butter sugar flour adapted from David Lebovitz‘ book, The Perfect Scoop (which I now own). Because when life gives you overripe bananas that you don’t want to eat, make ice cream!   First, the ripe bananas […]

Read the full article →

Pumpkin Ice Cream

April 6, 2011

October 2009 came around and I bought some Sugar Pie pumpkins, not quite sure what I would do with them. Rather than going the traditional route and make pumpkin pie, I figured I would make pumpkin ice cream! These smaller pumpkins have more flavor and the flesh is more tender than their larger family members, […]

Read the full article →

Nutella Ice Cream

March 22, 2011

Finding an old jar of Nutella in my cupboard, I decided to make ice cream with it using Sugarlaws‘ recipe for Nutella ice cream. The secret ingredient is vodka to keep the ice cream soft. I enjoy spreading this chocolate hazelnut spread on toast, but in order to use up the rest of this old […]

Read the full article →

Cake Batter Ice Cream

March 14, 2011

The second batch of ice cream I made was cake batter ice cream using the Guilty Pleasure – Cake Ice Cream & Malted Milk Balls recipe from All That Splatters. This ice cream is really easy to make because its base is store bought cake mix. It’s also very creamy. I’ve made it about five times […]

Read the full article →

Coffee Ice Cream

March 6, 2011

Another gift that I received for my birthday two years ago was a KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment. The key to this ice cream maker attachment is that the bowl must be completely frozen in order to make ice cream. The bowl requires about 15 hours to completely freeze. This attachment is great if you […]

Read the full article →