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Two ice cream dishes of butterscotch ice cream with candied pecans on gold and marble coasters.

Butterscotch Ice Cream With Candied Pecans

Meet your new favorite ice cream flavor! Studded with candied pecans in each bite, this homemade butterscotch ice cream is pure decadence with its ultra creamy texture and prominent caramelized brown sugar notes. Serve this ice cream on a slice of rich pound cake or unadorned in a simple dish —- either way, you’re in for one indulgent treat.
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 500kcal


  • Medium saucepan
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Mixing bowl
  • Ice cream maker


Butterscotch Ice Cream

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or paste
  • Pinch of salt

Candied Pecans

  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Butterscotch Ice Cream

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add the dark brown sugar and stir to coat in the butter. The mixture will look clumpy. Bring to a simmer and cook for another minute or two. Don't allow the mixture to burn. Just a quick simmer is all we need.
  • Add the heavy cream and milk. When you add these, the brown sugar mixture will likely harden into little pieces. Don't worry. Continue cooking the mixture until it comes to a simmer, stirring frequently. As the cream mixture warms, the hardened brown sugar pieces will melt back into a liquid. Once it comes to a simmer, turn off heat. Do not boil.
  • Whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla extract for about two to three minutes. Ladle in a scoop of the warm cream mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk. Repeat this step a few more times. This gently cooks the yolks, so they don't turn into scrambled eggs.
  • Add the yolk-cream mixture back to the remaining cream in the saucepan. Put the saucepan back on the stove on medium heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil but a simmer is fine.
  • Once thickened, pour into a nonreactive bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard mixture to prevent a film from forming. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator until cold, at least four hours to ensure proper churning, though I like to chill overnight to really make sure it's cold. The mixture needs to be cold in order to properly set up when churning.
  • Churn according to ice cream maker manufacturer's directions. Add the candied pecans (see below for directions) in the final two minutes or so of churning. After churning, store in an airtight container and freeze for several hours to harden. Enjoy!

Candied Pecans

  • Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the dark brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In another small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Stir in the chopped pecans until coated. Then, add the chopped pecans to the brown sugar mixture and stir to coat well.
  • Spread the pecans on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, stir the pecans. After baking, allow to cool completely. Once cooled, break any large clumps into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container.


  • The candied pecans will last a few weeks, so you can definitely make them well in advance of your ice cream base.
  • Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 265mg | Sodium: 132mg | Sugar: 30g