brown butter & candied pecan ice cream


Let’s call this ice cream the adult version of butter pecan. With layers of flavor from brown butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and a bit of whiskey, I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’ve made three rounds in as many days. Tossing in a handful of dangerously delicious candied pecans doesn’t hurt either. Have you placed your ice cream bowl in the freezer yet?

Brown Butter & Candied Pecan Ice Cream | Tutti Dolci

The quick non-custard base freezes to a beautifully smooth and creamy texture thanks to a bit of cornstarch and maple syrup, which help to absorb water from the mixture and minimize ice crystals. You’ll have more candied pecans than you need to mix into the ice cream; I’m certain you’ll find them as tempting as I do!

Brown Butter & Candied Pecan Ice Cream | Tutti Dolci

Brown Butter & Candied Pecan Ice Cream | Tutti Dolci

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Brown Butter & Candied Pecan Ice Cream

  • Yield: 3 cups


Ice Cream

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups half-and-half, divided
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp whiskey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Candied Pecans

  • 6 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans
  • sea salt


  1. Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour brown butter in a glass measuring cup and let settle; pour off clarified butter and return brown butter solids to saucepan.
  2. Whisk together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons half-and-half in a small bowl; set aside. Add remaining half-and-half, brown sugar, maple syrup, whiskey, vanilla, and salt to saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir constantly for 4 minutes; reduce heat to low and whisk in cornstarch mixture. Cook for 1 more minute, until mixture resembles a thick milk shake. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, then cover and chill for 6 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. For the candied pecans, preheat oven to 275°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a large ziplock bag. Whisk egg white and vanilla in a small bowl until frothy (about 1 minute); add pecans and toss to coat. Remove pecans with a slotted spoon and add to brown sugar mixture; seal ziplock bag and toss to coat pecans. Spread pecans in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until dry to the touch. Sprinkle with sea salt and let cool completely.
  4. Pour chilled ice cream mixture into frozen cylinder of ice cream maker; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. In the last minute of freezing, mix in 1/2 cup of candied pecans, coarsely chopped. Spoon mixture into a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer for several hours, until firm.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 285
  • Carbohydrates: 35
  1. For some reason, despite the brutal winter weather, I’ve been craving ice cream (and doughnuts!). Maybe this will take care of the first part. 😀

    Does cornstarch really help deter ice crystals? I’ll have to remember that tip!!

  2. no lie, butter pecan is one of my fave ice cream flavors that i had forgotten all about. i’ve been playing with ice cream, despite the cold, this winter and an adult version of this classic is so genius. bravo!

  3. There is something enticing about eating a frozen dessert when it is the bitter cold of winter. It seems we are engulfed in the season to the core of our beings. And what a way to scoop up winter, the Brown Butter Candied Pecan Ice Cream is comforting enough to boldly ask for a second helping!

  4. Oh this looks luscious, Laura! Butter pecan was my Dad’s favorite ice cream and I really love it, too. I don’t know how those pecans made it into the ice cream, though! They look just addictive on their own!

  5. Wow, Laura! This sounds incredible! I love that it doesn’t have a cooked custard base. I’m sure I would have no trouble eating the extra pecans, too.

  6. I know it’s winter and bitterly cold and having ice cream should not even cross my mind. But, after seeing your beautiful pictures… all i want to do now is make a batch of this ice cream and eat it all in one sitting…hahah 😉 Pinned 🙂

  7. I’ve had a bee in my bonnet to make pecan praline and love the look of the texture of yours. Such a favourite ice cream flavour of mine.

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