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This “butter” pecan vegan ice cream is thick, creamy and decadently sweet yet made with no refined sugar or dairy. You won’t believe you’re not eating the real thing once you taste it! Paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy-free.
Since “ice cream season”, AKA summer, is still in full swing, we’re making more homemade ice cream today, butter pecan style! And, if you happen to be visiting in a season other than summer, no judgement of course – I’m a proud and happy year-round ice cream eater. Ice cream is always worth the extra chill, in my opinion, but of course as I’m writing this, it’s about 90 degrees outside, which means it’s not only worth it, but completely necessary – are you with me?!
I’ve been an ice cream lover since approximately day zero, making the whole lifelong lactose intolerance thing a challenge. As a kid/young adult I popped Lactaid pills to be able to eat as much as I wanted, in fact, my high school job was at the local Friendly’s scooping ice cream. I scooped way more than my fair share for myself back then, loading as many toppings as I could fit to take home with me after work!
One of my top three favorite flavors was butter pecan – the other two were cookie dough and cookies & cream. I regularly made myself sundaes with a scoop of each and rarely branched out to other flavors – save for the butter crunch and vienna mocha chunk on occasion. How I still have the flavor names memorized almost 20 years later is, um, interesting, but I’ll just take it as a good sign that I’m in the right field 😉
And now, the butter pecan details! I wanted to make this as rich and creamy as possible with that perfect salty/buttery pecan flavor throughout. Through trial and error, I wound up making a sort of sweetened condensed milk as the base of this ice cream using coconut milk and maple sugar, in a method very similar to how I make coconut milk caramel.
I made it twice, and the first time I used coconut sugar instead of maple sugar. Honestly, it tasted exactly the same as the maple sugar version (I still have both in my freezer!) but the color was a darker caramel, which didn’t feel or look “right” to me since I was going for the traditional color. If you have lots of coconut sugar and don’t feel like ordering/buying maple sugar, by all means, you can use it! Just expect the color to look dark – just like coconut sugar does.
So, after your sweetened condensed coconut milk cools, you whisk in some coconut cream and then add your pecans! The pecans were oh-so-simple to make and were seriously addicting – I had to stop myself from eating them before putting them in the ice cream. Just pecans, coconut oil and sea salt toasted up in a skillet to utter perfection.
I actually used butter-flavored coconut oil to give the pecans more of a buttery flavor and color, but you can use regular refined or virgin coconut oil – whatever you prefer. If you aren’t vegan, you can also use ghee for that deliciously buttery flavor! Just make sure you’re stirring while cooking them and watching closely since they can burn in the blink of an eye – I’ve been there!
For this recipe I highly recommend you use an ice cream maker to churn it. It will be MUCH creamier this way and definitely worth it if you’re into homemade ice cream. I use this one from Cuisinart and just keep the bowl in the freezer so it’s ready to go whenever I need it. I recommend putting your ice cream maker bowl in the back of your freezer (the coldest part) preferably 48 hours before using it for the best results!
I hope you’re craving ice cream and ready to start! Let’s go!!
Homemade Butter Pecan Paleo & Vegan Ice Cream
What I Used to Make My “Butter” Pecan Paleo & Vegan Ice Cream:
Want More Paleo and Vegan Ice Cream Recipes? Try one of these!
No-Churn Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough No-Churn Ice Cream
Chocolate Chip Espresso Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Have you tried butter flavored coconut oil?
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