Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts

How To Make Butter Pecan Gelato

5 from 1 vote
My Butter Pecan Gelato recipe has different textures to keep each bite unique and flavors that are the perfect amount of sweet and salty!
A big tray of butter pecan gelato next to some ice cream cones.

Hi Bold Bakers!

It really doesn’t get better than this butter pecan gelato recipe. It’s a refreshing treat during the hot summer, but the flavors always remind me of the Christmas holidays! 

Plus, if you’re like me, you can’t get enough of toasted pecans. Pecans themselves are delicious, but please just imagine the smell and taste of pecans combining with sugar as the flavors come together and the butter starts to brown. The hardest part of this gelato recipe is not eating all of those pecans before you have the chance to add them to the custard! 

Nutty, caramelly, and with a texture to die for—this may just be the perfect gelato! 

Top-down view of my butter pecan gelato recipe, next to a scoop and cones.

What Is Butter Pecan Gelato?

Gelato is somewhat like ice cream, except gelato has less cream and more milk. The result is an unbelievably creamy frozen dessert that is packed with flavor.

This gelato based is complimented by buttered pecans, which adds a fantastic flavor and texture to break up the creaminess. It hits everything I love in a dessert: different textures to keep each bite unique and flavors that are the perfect amount of sweet and salty. 

What You Need To Make Butter Pecan Gelato

How To Make Butter Pecan Gelato

This may be the perfect gelato, and all you have to do is add some easy-to-make butter pecans to a simple gelato base! Here is how you make butter pecan gelato (and don’t forget the printable, full recipe down below):

  1. To make the gelato base, start by placing a large mixing bowl with a sieve set over it near your stove. 
  2. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, warm the cream and milk until it starts to steam.
  3. While the milk is heating, whisk the yolks and sugar in a small mixing bowl.
  4. Once the milk mixture is steaming, pour 1 ladleful of milk at a time into the egg mixture. Be sure to whisk constantly as you are doing this. 
  5. Once all the milk has been whisked in, return to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, constantly stirring, until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. 
  6. When the custard has thickened, immediately pour it through the prepared sieve into the bowl to stop the cooking. Throw away any solids. 
  7. Allow the custard to come to room temperature and then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. This will take about 2 hours. 
  8. As the gelato base is chilling, move on to preparing the candied butter pecans. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the pecans, sugar, and butter. Stir the mixture constantly for about 4 minutes, or until the sugar has melted and browned. Remove from heat.
  9. Spread the nuts in a flat layer on the parchment paper. Once they have cooled, chop them into smaller pieces and set them aside. I keep some of the pecans bigger for texture! 
  10. Churn the gelato base according to the directions on your ice cream maker. Once it starts to thicken and looks like soft-serve ice cream, scatter in the chopped nuts. Turn the machine off, transfer the gelato to an airtight container, and freeze for at least 4 hours. 

Two scoops of butter pecan gelato in an ice cream cone.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Butter Pecan Gelato

  • Use full-fat dairy to give you the best tasting and creamiest gelato.
  • Make the gelato base up to 2 days in advance. The flavor gets better as it sits!
  • Be sure the gelato base is cold before churning. The colder it is, the faster it will churn.
  • If you are looking to buy an ice cream maker, I use a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

How Do I Store Butter Pecan Gelato?

Your homemade gelato can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. 

Make More Ice Cream!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Butter Pecan Gelato Recipe

5 from 1 vote
My Butter Pecan Gelato recipe has different textures to keep each bite unique and flavors that are the perfect amount of sweet and salty!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 pints
My Butter Pecan Gelato recipe has different textures to keep each bite unique and flavors that are the perfect amount of sweet and salty!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 pints

Ingredients

Gelato Base

  • 1 cup (8floz/240ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups (16floz/480ml) whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) granulated sugar

Butter Pecans

  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) pecans (chopped)
  • cup (2 ½oz/75g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (1oz/28g) butter

Instructions

To Make the Gelato Base:

  • Place a large mixing bowl with a sieve set over it near the stove.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream and milk until it is steaming.
  • While the milk is heating, whisk the yolks and sugar in a small mixing bowl.
  • When the milk mixture is hot, pour 1 ladleful of milk at a time into the egg mixture while whisking constantly.
  • Once all of the milk is whisked in, return it to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  • When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, immediately pour it through the prepared sieve into the bowl to stop the cooking (discard any solids).
  • Let the custard come to room temperature, and then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.

To Make the Butter Pecans:

  • While the gelato base is chilling prepare the candied Butter Pecans: In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium/low heat, combine pecans, sugar, and butter, stirring constantly for about 4 minutes or until sugar has melted and browned. Remove from heat.
  • Spread nuts on parchment paper. Once nuts have cooled, chop into smaller pieces and set aside. I like to keep some big chunks for texture.
  • Churn according to the directions in your ice cream maker. When it starts to thicken and resembles soft serve ice-cream scatter in the chopped nuts. Turn off the machine and transfer the gelato to an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours. Store gelato in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.

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Kim
Kim
26 days ago

Do you fill to the “fill” line with milk or cream? The custard amount only fills the bottom 1/4 of my electric ice cream maker.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Hi Gemma, is it possible to make gelato without an ice cream maker. Thanks!

Robin
Robin
1 month ago

Recipe looks fantastic 😋
but using a “full fat FAIRY” is barbaric 😘😂

Deb
Deb
1 month ago

“Use full-fat fairy to give you the best tasting and creamiest gelato.”

What if we only have access to skinny fairies?! 😉

In all seriousness, this gelato looks ridiculously good!

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!