Sweet Potato Maple Pecan Ice Cream

This delicately-flavored sweet potato ice cream studded with rich caramelized maple pecans is comforting any time of year.
By Kelsey Hilts

Sweet Potato Maple Pecan Ice Cream

Summer is lingering, providing us with beautiful warm days, but as of today I can say that fall is finally in the air, bringing with it fall cravings {enter sweet potatoes and maple pecans}.  It’s the perfect equation for an autumn ice cream.  Although it’s worth saying that I’ve been making this ice cream for over a year now and it has been a family favorite in every season of the year.

Sweet Potato Maple Pecan Ice Cream

At its base, this sweet potato ice cream is a custard which is then churned, making the ice cream extra rich and creamy.  Why sweet potato, you ask?  Simply because I love sweet potatoes.  They are often overshadowed by the pumpkin, but they have their own lightly sweet flavor.  They have a lot to offer in terms of nutrition, too.  This ice cream is lightly spiced with hints of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg which give this cool treat a warming and comforting quality.  The flavors are reminiscent of and in fact inspired by pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread but the more delicately-flavored sweet potato adds a natural sweetness to the ice cream.  Pecans caramelized in a maple-butter glaze round out the ice cream and add a richness in both flavor and texture.

Sweet Potato Maple Pecan Ice Cream

Sweet Potato Maple Pecan Ice Cream
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
This delicately-flavored sweet potato ice cream studded with rich caramelized maple pecans is comforting any time of year.
Recipe Type: Dessert
Serves: 1 quart
Maple Butter Pecans
  • 1 cup (121g) coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp (28g) butter
  • 6 Tbsp (131g) maple syrup (*I use unfiltered Grade B maple syrup)
Sweet Potato Ice Cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups (473mL) whole milk
  • 1 cup (201g) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (241g) mashed sweet potato
  • ½ tsp (1,3g) cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp (0,3g) nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp (0,3g) ginger powder
  • ½ tsp (2,5mL) vanilla
  • 2 cups (473mL) heavy cream
Maple Butter Pecans
  1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Mix in the maple syrup and add the pecan pieces.
  3. Stirring constantly, cook the pecans for approximately 10 minutes or until the maple-butter glaze boils and thickens. (Be careful not to cook them too long so that the pecans don't burn.)
  4. Let the glazed pecan pieces cool completely.
Sweet Potato Ice Cream
  1. In a large saucepan, beat the eggs, milk and sugar until well blended.
  2. Cook the egg mixture over low heat for roughly 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. It should smoothly coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Whisk in the mashed sweet potato, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger powder, adjusting the spice to taste if desired.
  4. Let the mixture cool.
  5. Add the heavy cream and the vanilla.
  6. Stir until blended and refrigerate the mixture until it is completely chilled, for several hours or up to overnight.
  7. Stir in the maple pecans and then churn the ice cream.
  8. Following the instructions of your ice cream maker, pour the chilled mixture into your machine and stir it until the ice cream forms. It will typically be more like soft-serve when you first make it. If you want firmer ice cream, transfer it to a sealed container once it reaches the soft-serve consistency and let it freeze for several hours until it hardens.
  9. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the ice cream mixture into a glass baking dish and place it in the freezer.
  10. Stir it vigorously with a hand-held mixer or a whisk every 30-40 minutes to break up the ice chunks and keep it creamy.
  11. Once it reaches your desired consistency, transfer it to a sealed container and store it in the freezer.


Kelsey Hilts

Kelsey Hilts is the founder of Itsy Bitsy Foodies, an online resource for families looking for ways to spend more time together enjoying food and exploring the world beyond the children’s menu.

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