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close up view of homemade vanilla ice cream with nuts and caramel
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Homemade Caramel Pecan Ice Cream

A creamy and rich homemade vanilla ice cream with swirls of caramel and homemade candied pecans
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time15 mins
chilling time1 d
Total Time1 d 1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 343kcal
Author: Katie Shaw


For the Candied Pecans

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Ice Cream

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla s
  • 4 egg yolks
  • pinch salt

For Swirling

  • 1/2 cup prepared caramel sauce


Make the Candied Pecans

  • Preheat oven to 350. Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and stir about 2 minutes, until lightly toasted. Add the brown sugar and stir until melted.
  • Add the water, salt and vanilla and stir until water evaporates and pecans are coated in a thick, sticky coating.
  • Pour pecans out on to parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 6-7 minutes, until crisp. Allow to cool while you make the custard. Smash into smaller pieces before adding, if desired.

Make the Vanilla Custard

  • Heat the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup of sugar, in a saucepan over medium heat, until warm and steaming, or about 170 degrees.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until light yellow in color and well combined.  (A hand mixer on low will work well.)
  • Temper the eggs by adding half of the warm milk mixture, a half cup at a time.  Then add the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and cream.
  •  Heat the saucepan, which now contains all of the milk, cream, sugar, and eggs, over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 185 degrees.  Do not boil.  Once off the heat, add a pinch of salt, and the vanilla extract, if using.
  • Strain the custard using cheesecloth or a stainer, then immediately place in the refrigerator to chill. . Chill for 4-24 hours, until very cold.
  • Freeze ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions.  When it has reached the consistency of soft serve ice cream, add the candied pecans into the machine. When throughly blended, scoop into loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze at least 1 hour.
  • Remove vanilla ice cream from freezer and pour caramel sauce on top.  Gently stir with butter knife until swirls are throughout.  Place back in freezer to firm for at least 3 hours.    Will keep well in freezer up to 1 week.


You can make the pecans on Day 1 or Day 2 of this process.  
Don't rush any part of homemade ice cream!  It won't set up properly.


Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 866IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 1mg