Vegan Butter Pecan Ice Cream (No Coconut Milk)

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Video Vegan butter pecan ice cream

Deliciously nutty, creamy, and wholesome Vegan Butter Pecan Ice Cream! Made with just 8 ingredients, thickened with oats, and free from refined sugar.

overhead shot of ice cream in a loaf pan with a scoop

Ah, butter pecan, one of the best ice cream flavors of all time, right?! Considering my love for creating oatmeal ice creams, I can’t explain why it took me so long to get around to this flavor. But hey, at least we’re here now! If you’re a pecan lover like I am, I think you’ll be very happy with this one.

Pecans are lightly toasted on the stovetop. Some are blended right into the ice cream base, and the rest are chopped and folded into our creamy pecan ice cream after churning. A touch of vanilla, maple, and salt enhance the flavor of the pecans and bring it all together.

If you’ve seen any of my other oat milk ice cream recipes you know I love to keep the ingredients real, simple, and whole, using unrefined sweeteners whenever possible. And that’s exactly what we’re doing with today’s recipe.

a scoop of butter pecan in a metal loaf pan

Ingredients and Substitutions

Even within such a simple recipe, there’s a surprising amount of room for customization and substitutions. For example, if you avoid added oils or just don’t want to use vegan butter, you can absolutely leave it out. In fact, the batch you see in the photos didn’t include butter or oil.

There’s also wiggle room with the cashews, sweeteners, milk, and the optional bourbon, which is primarily for consistency/texture.

This is just a summary, be sure to scroll down for the complete instructions.

The ingredients you’ll need are:

  1. Raw pecans
  2. Vegan butter or butter-flavored coconut oil, optional
  3. Unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as oat or soy
  4. Rolled oats
  5. Raw cashews – substitute sunflower seeds or coconut cream, if desired
  6. Maple syrup – the flavor is nice, but feel free to use a granulated sweetener
  7. Coconut sugar – or brown or cane sugar
  8. Vanilla
  9. Sea salt
  10. Bourbon or a neutral spirit like vodka, optional

See what I mean? There are multiple ways to make this vegan butter pecan ice cream, whether you’re working around an allergy or just trying to avoid a trip to the grocery store.

ingredients laid out on a wooden board

Recommended Milks for Vegan Oat Ice Cream

I recommend oat milk for the most neutral flavor, but soy milk is also great. Both work really well to create a creamy texture.

Almond milk is fine but tends to make ice cream that’s a bit more icy. For reference, I used almond milk for the batch in the photos mainly because that’s what I had on hand. It tasted amazing but isn’t my top choice.

Obviously, canned coconut milk is often used for dairy-free ice creams, and you can certainly incorporate light or full-fat coconut milk into this recipe, too!

But since it can be really difficult to find vegan ice cream without coconut milk, I usually skip it so that we have more options when it comes to dairy-free frozen desserts.

3 scoops of pecan ice cream in a sundae glass

Process for Making Vegan Butter Pecan

Making ice cream isn’t difficult, but there is some planning involved. So let’s do a quick review to make sure things go smoothly for you….The basic process for making Butter Pecan Oat Ice Cream looks like this:

  1. Be sure your ice cream maker’s canister has been in the freezer for at least one day.
  2. Toast the pecans on the stove in a medium-size skillet or large sauce pan. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. Cook oatmeal in the same pan, then spread it on a plate to cool.
  4. Blend the milk, cashews, and just 陆 cup of the pecans until smooth. Add the oatmeal and remaining ingredients (excluding reserved pecans), and blend again.
  5. Refrigerate the mixture until chilled (anywhere from 2 hours to overnight). You can speed up this process by placing it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  6. Churn the ice cream, and chop the reserved pecans.
  7. Fold in the pecans and transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. For a firmer, scoopable consistency, freeze for at least 3 to 4 hours.
  8. Let the ice cream soften at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, and dig in!
a melty scoop of ice cream in the scooper

I haven’t tested this recipe with the standard no-churn method, but I suspect it would work pretty much as well as it did with the Vanilla-Maple Oat Milk Ice Cream. You can find my no-churn notes in that post. To summarize, the ice cream will still taste amazing but won’t look as smooth as the churned version.

I’ve been using this Cuisinart 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker for many years and it’s still going strong. It’s affordable, usually around $55 (although I think the price goes up in summer), and churns ice cream in about 20 minutes. The main downside to this type of machine is that you have to remember to freeze the canister in advance, and you can’t make back-to-back batches.

One day soon I hope to splurge on an ice cream maker with a built in compressor like this Whynter model. You’ll be the first to hear about it when I do! 馃榾

As always, I LOVE hearing from you! Drop a comment below to let us know how you enjoy this Vegan Butter Pecan Ice Cream.

More vegan ice creams without coconut milk:

Chocolate Chickpea Ice Cream (nut-free)Vegan Pistachio Ice Cream (cashew-free)Pumpkin Oat Ice CreamCranberry Oat GelatoLemon Oat Ice CreamVanilla-Maple Oat Ice CreamBanana Nice Cream Cookie Sandwiches


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