Enjoy the flavors of a pumpkin spice latte in ice cream form! Pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and warm pumpkin spices are combined with coconut milk for a vegan pumpkin spice latte ice cream that’s ultra creamy, wonderfully flavored, and studded with espresso bean flecks.
Generally once something becomes fodder for internet memes it’s safe to say it’s a little bit played out. The something being pumpkin spice lattes in this case.
Now that we’re nearly a month deep into fall, I’m using this opportunity to confess I’ve been falling hard for the more ‘basic’ autumnal guilty pleasures this year. Some deep down and slightly guilty part of me is yearning for a pair of warm and fluffy Ugg boots (my first and only pair was purchased in 2007 and worn to pieces since). Couple that an infinity scarf and a few pumpkin spice lattes and I’m putting all my secret fall daydreams out on the table.
I should be clear that I haven’t actually had the Starbucks version in years, rather this fall in particular I can’t seem to pass an independent coffee shop without trying out their versions. I love them all. My true PSL memory might be a little shoddy after a few years, but somehow the pumpkin spice lattes I’ve sipped this year seem less sweet, less artificial, and actually…pumpkin-y.
One of the very first recipes I posted on the blog was for pumpkin gelato made affogato style. Talk about delicious. This version is dairy-free and swirls that espresso flavor right in.
Reasons to love this ice cream
Now that I’m experimenting with dairy alternatives, this coconut milk version was born. It’s dairy-free and features real pumpkin, warm pumpkin spices, and espresso bean flecks for a true pumpkin spice latte dessert experience.
This ice cream is perfect for the beginning of fall (at least here in Tennessee) when the leaves are beginning to change and Halloween is approaching, but the temperatures, which are hovering in the 70s, aren’t yet cold enough to preclude ice cream from being enjoyed. An early fall dessert favorite.
What you’ll need
The base of this pumpkin spice latte ice cream is coconut milk. Since a higher fat content translates into creamier, less icy frozen desserts, I recommend using full-fat coconut milk versus lite. While it would work with a portion of lite coconut milk subbed in as the addition of cornstarch helps thicken things up, it would just be less creamy.
Next we have the ingredients that bring the PSL flavor to life. Pumpkin puree, brown sugar and agave nectar for the sweetness, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and espresso beans.
You can use a store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice blend if you have one, or you can use a mixture of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
Start by whisking together some of the coconut milk and the cornstarch and set it aside. Whisk together the rest of the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and agave nectar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Now whisk in the reserved coconut milk/cornstarch mixture and let everything continue to heat. It’ll start thickening up.
Now remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and the pumpkin pie spices. We want to wait to add the vanilla until it’s done cooking as the heat causes the alcohol to cook off, reducing the vanilla flavor that ends up in your dish.
Chill the pumpkin spice latte ice cream mixture in an ice bath thoroughly, then add it to your ice cream maker and proceed according to its instructions. Add the roughly-ground espresso beans towards the end of the churn time. The ice cream will be pretty soft still once it’s done in the machine, but will harden more as it freezes.
- While it’s possible to make this ice cream ‘no-churn style’ without an ice cream maker, I haven’t tried it myself.
- Be sure to use a can of pumpkin puree versus canned pumpkin pie filling. They look similar on the shelf, but the pie filling is pre-spiced and pre-sweetened.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream
- 3 cups full-fat coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1-2 tsp ground espresso beans, or to taste
- In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of coconut milk and the cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
- Add the remaining coconut milk, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and agave nectar to a large sauce pan set over medium-high heat. Whisk until the brown sugar is broken up and all ingredients are equally combined to form a smooth mixture. Let mixture reach a boil, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Whisk in the reserved coconut milk/cornstarch mixture. Let mixture come to a boil again and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
- Prepare an ice bath to quickly cool the mixture: Pour ice cream mixture into a large plastic bag (or two), carefully seal, and place bag in a large bowl filled with ice water. Let mixture cool for 40-50 minutes or until chilled, taking care to add additional ice to keep the ice bath cold.
- Once mixture is cold, pour into your ice cream maker and prepare according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Add ground espresso beans towards the end of the process, or during the designated mix-in time for your machine. Once completed, transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container to store.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.
Ice cream base adapted from Jeni’s Ice Cream Base via Saveur