These dynamic holiday ice cream recipes are a delicious combination that’s chock full of seasonal flavors!  Brandied Apple Ice Cream & Pumpkin Streusel Ice Cream are fabulous holiday dessert ideas!

holiday ice cream recipes

Both these holiday ice cream recipes make a delicious dessert when combined with pie or cake for the holidays.  BUT, when the two are paired together, and sauced with my Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce and nuts, it’s simple outrageous!



pumpkin streusel ice cream ingredientsCustard and ice cream are made of the same three basic ingredients: milk, sugar, and cream. 

The difference between the two is that custard also has cooked egg yolks in it that provides a silkier texture.  Custard gives you the classic texture reminiscent of old fashioned ice cream; super smooth, thick, and decadent. 

When I’m making ice cream flavors that are rich or need a depth of flavor, I prefer to use a cooked custard ice cream base.

It carries the pumpkin and brandied apple flavors well, turning both holiday ice cream recipes into stellar desserts. 

After making and chilling your plain vanilla ice cream custard base, that’s when the fun begins!



I bet you haven’t yet encountered a recipe that starts with making a sheet of baked streusel topping!  Making a sheet of streusel topping and breaking it into chunks is the insane secret to Pumpkin Streusel Ice Cream!

The recipe makes enough streusel to keep large “sheets” for a dramatic dessert garnish too.  Pumpkin Streusel Ice Cream is smooth and creamy, but with a bit of “crunch factor” that’s absolutely fabulous!


pumpkins streusel ice cream and sheet of streusel in baking pan

You’ll actually churn your pumpkin ice cream plain, and freeze until it comes to a “soft serve” consistency.  Then you’ll stir in a bowl of streusel chunks, and pop back into the freezer until it firms up.

I broke some of the streusel sheet into larger pieces and kept them in a plastic storage container for garnishing. 

And if you want to “gild the lily” a bit, you can add some of my Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce  and nuts! 


pumpkin streusel ice cream with salted caramel sauce and nuts

How’s that for a fabulous holiday dessert?  Make it a few week before you want to serve it and check “dessert” off your holiday planner list! 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE RECIPE FOR:  Pumpkin Streusel Ice Cream


BRANDIED APPLE ICE CREAM – It’s okay, you can let the kiddies have some!

Brandied Apple Ice Cream has all the flavors of Fall in a bowl, but the Brandied Apples take it to holiday dessert caliber!  It’s a super taste treat for your friends and family for Thanksgiving or Christmas!


holiday ice cream recipes

Here my Brandied Apple Ice Cream is shown as a “caramel apple” treat with my Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce !

I even made it a little more extraordinary by adding some brandied apples as an additional garnish.  Talk about gilding the lily!

Once you make your plain cooked custard ice cream base, then the fun part begins, adding your lovely brandied apple mixture. 


ingredients for brandied apple ice cream

After cooking down a whole basket of tart apples, you’ll make a brandy syrup that takes the apples into the realm of the divine.  I’m not exaggerating, I swear!

You’ll wait to add the brandied apples until your ice cream has had a chance to come to a “soft serve” consistency in the freezer.

That usually takes an hour or so, once you take the churned ice cream out of the machine.



I featured an incredible Autumn Almond Apple Cake with Apple Dust Sugar a month or so ago for Fall.  Its “secret ingredients” is my Apple Dust Sugar.

I showed how to make it and even created some extra-special gift hang tags and custom recipe card for holiday gift giving.


brandied apple ice cream with apple dust sugar


When I finished this batch of Brandied Apple Ice Cream, it occurred to me that my Apple Dust Sugar would make a fabulous garnish.

So, I wanted to show you a portion garnished with Apple Dust Sugar and an extra dollop of brandied apples.  I want to dive into the dish right this moment, don’t you?




I’m trying to make this a pleasurable experience for you!  Fast and easy are the name of the game here.

I prefer to chill my ice cream bases overnight, or at the very least 4-6 hours.

Here’s why:

  • First, if the mixture isn’t thoroughly chilled, it adds to the churning time.  It then puts a strain on the machine’s motor, risking a burnout. The longer ice cream is churned, the more air is incorporated, and we don’t like that!
  • Second, the overnight chill gives the base time to fully develop and meld its flavors.
  • Third, over-churning your ice cream allows more air to be incorporated and the texture is not as smooth.

holiday ice cream recipes


NAN’S TIP:  An added bonus when preparing this dessert for a dinner party, is the recipe can be made up to two weeks ahead.  It’s easy to schedule the steps around my cooking plans and get it tucked away in the freezer.  



  • Before folding the brandied apples into the ice cream, make sure to stir it well. It will have congealed while chilling, especially if it’s been in the refrigerator overnight. 
  • Transfer your finished ice cream into a pre-chilled container. Cover and put the ice cream in the freezer for 45 minutes to an hour, before folding in the brandied apples or streusel chunks.  The firmer ice cream mixture will keep the fruit  from coloring the entire batch.
  • The ice cream should be made and frozen at least two days before it’s eaten to ensure full flavor development. 



scoops of ice cream in a bowlNow here’s where my years of throwing parties professionally pays off gals! 

NAN’S TIP:   A few days before the party, prepare enough perfect scoops of your holiday ice cream recipes for all your guests.

Place the scoops on a rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refreeze. Tuck them away in the freezer, and they’ll be ready to assemble the dessert course for your guests. 

The super bonus is that because they’re frozen hard, you have a bit more time for assembly and serving them before they begin to melt!

Believe me, it’s a welcome shortcut for the hostess who has just served the perfect buffet dinner to her guests.  You’re allowed to have a good time at your own party!


IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT… Holiday Ice Cream Recipes are a real Holiday Hostess Helper! 

When you’re planning your holiday menus this season, remember this little holiday hostess tip!  By tucking a few pints of incredible Fall flavored ice creams into the freezer in November, you’ll have you’re holiday desserts done! 


holiday ice cream recipes

Just when the holiday season starts to get hectic, you’ll be smiling, knowing what’s hiding inside your freezer!

Want to find out how to get those fabulous Thanksgiving Place Cards for your holiday tablescape?

Click here to read the related post:   Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce for Thanksgiving



2020 Holiday Season Planner cover

2020 HOLIDAY SEASON PLANNER – Your Comprehensive Holiday Planning Tool

When it comes time to begin planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas, some gals start to get a little tense.  While others glide through the holidays with yummy hors d’oeuvres tucked in their freezers to serve at a moment’s notice. That’s where my 2020 Holiday Season Planner comes into play.

2020 Thanksgiving Planner cover pageWhat’s the real difference between the two?  Having a plan of action and the tools you need to get you to the finish line on Boxing Day morning! 

When I hung up my apron and retired from professional catering a few years back, I finally got smart.

I decided to employ the same planning and organizational systems I used so successfully as an off-premise caterer, but at home.  I applied them to my holiday season planning process, including everything Thanksgiving too!

After a number of holiday seasons of fine tuning my holiday seasonal planner, I’ve come up with a fabulous comprehensive version. 

Just download and print the FREE PDF, and you’re in business. 

Want your own 2020 HOLIDAY SEASON PLANNER, but you’re not on our list yet?

Why not join in on the fun!2020 Christmas Planner cover

Fill out the form below and I’ll send you a copy as a thank you for joining the IFAFL Email Subscriber List.

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There’s always something fabulous happening here at Ingredients For A Fabulous Life, don’t you want to stay in the loop?  

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