Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

 The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Chill: 10 hrs
  • Servings: 6 servings

Making your own homemade ice cream is a delight. You get to control the ingredients you put into your dessert without any unnecessary additives or preservatives. This version of butter pecan ice cream is a great recipe for anyone who wants to make their own rich and creamy homemade frozen dessert without eggs. This recipe is also sweetened with honey instead of sugar for a richer flavor. Chopped pecans are lightly toasted and coated in butter before being churned into the ice cream base. The sweet honey flavor tastes great with the toasted butter pecans in every scoop.

The trick to getting the butter pecans perfectly incorporated is to add them into the mixture about halfway through the churning process. Ice cream makers simultaneously freeze the flavored cream base while incorporating air. This is what gives ice cream its rich flavor, but light texture. Mix-ins are added halfway through the process so they don't all just sink to the bottom of the bowl, but before the ice cream has become too firm to properly mix.


  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather the ingredients
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. Warm the honey in a large saucepan.

    Warm the honey
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. Mix in the milk, whipping cream, and vanilla extract.

    Mix in the milk, cream, and vanilla.
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Pour into an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator at least 8 hours before churning.

    Chill the ice cream before churning
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Before churning, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the pecans until lightly browned. Cool completely. 

    Toast the pecans in the butter
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. When ready to prepare the ice cream, churn according to the manufacturer’s directions.

    Churn the Butter Pecan Ice Cream
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. About 15 minutes into the churning process, add the cooled butter pecans to the machine. 

    Add the butter pecans
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. Spoon the churned ice cream into a freezer safe container. Freeze until set, at least 2 to 4 hours. 

    Freeze the Butter Pecan Ice Cream
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  9. Scoop and serve!


  • Most ice cream makers for home use come with bowls that need to be set in the freezer overnight before churning ice cream. These bowls have double-insulated walls with coolants in between. When you are ready to churn the ice cream, the bowl is taken from the freezer and immediately set up with the dasher, locked into place, and the prepared ice cream mixture is added. The motor is then turned on and the churning begins.
  • Freezing homemade ice cream is a two-step process: churning and ripening. After the chilled custard base has been churned, it will have a looser, soft-serve texture. To achieve a scoopable consistency, the ice cream now needs to go through a process called ripening. The flavor improves and the product melts more slowly when it has ripened. Spoon the churned ice cream into an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 2 to 4 hours or up to overnight. It's worth the wait!