Rich and creamy ice cream swirled with gooey caramel, rich brownies, and toasted pecans. This frozen treat is so simple to make, and very easy to customize! Plus, no ice cream maker is required!
This is one of my Frozen Dessert recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
I hope you guys are ready for another easy dessert! My favorite summer treat – ice cream!
Making homemade ice cream is deceptively simple, and most of the time is spent just waiting for it to freeze.
Plus, this turtle brownie ice cream recipe doesn’t use an ice cream maker – so you can absolutely make this, with no fancy tools required!
As a bit of an ice cream connoisseur, I can attest that homemade ice cream tastes SOOOO much better than store-bought.
And as a bonus, there aren’t any added preservatives and you can add ANY flavor you want, with as many mix-ins as you want!
How to make turtle brownie ice cream?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Toast the pecans. This is an optional and un-shown step, but all the details are down in the full recipe.
- Whip the cream. This will take a little bit of patience, but it’s essential. You want stiff peaks for this (check out the chef tips section below the full recipe for a detailed description of stiff peaks).
- Fold. Gently fold in the condensed milk and vanilla.
- Layer and swirl. Add half of the cream mixture, half of the caramel sauce, half the brownies, and half the pecans, then swirl. Repeat.
Pay close attention to the cans at the grocery store when picking up the sweetened condensed milk. Condensed milk and evaporated milk are sold in similar cans and usually next to each other on the shelf. Even though the cans look similar, they can’t be used interchangeably. Condensed milk is thick and gooey, while evaporated milk is thin and looks like milk… you’ll know as soon as you open the can if you accidentally picked up the wrong kind.
Variations of this recipe
- Larger batch – if you’d like more than the 1.5-2 quarts of ice cream this recipe makes, feel free to double the recipe (just make sure to double all of the ingredients), and use a 9×13″ pan instead of a loaf pan.
- Homemade brownies – to make this recipe even more simple, it will work with store-bought or bakery brownies – but if you’d like to use homemade, try this fudgy brownie recipe.
- Caramel sauce – just like the brownies, feel free to pick up a jar of caramel sauce, or make a browned butter salted caramel sauce and really take it up a notch!
- Nuts – the pecans are part of what makes this recipe “turtle”, but if you’d prefer no nuts, you can omit them. Or you can use another nut that you love… salted peanuts are another favorite of mine!
- Un-toasted – if you’d prefer to save a little time and not toast the pecans, you can. We just love the extra nutty flavor it adds!
Unfortunately no, not with the same creamy results. Milk or half and half just don’t have enough fat content to whip into stiff peaks. Regular whipping cream will technically work, but it won’t be as creamy.
They’re somewhat similar and usually sold very close to each other in the grocery store, but they can’t be used interchangeably. Both milks have had over half of the water removed, but sweetened condensed milk is very thick and sweet.
All it means is that no ice cream maker is needed. With traditional ice cream, you need to make an egg custard and add the mixture to an ice cream maker where it’s mechanically churned for a length of time. This recipe eliminates all of that.
Making no churn ice cream ahead of time
No churn ice cream is perfect for making ahead, since it has to freeze for at least 6-8 hours.
Although, I recommend letting it freeze overnight just to be sure it’s fully frozen.
Ice cream needs to be frozen in an airtight container, and will last for 2-3 months.
If you use a 9×5″ loaf pan (as depicted in these photos), cover it tightly with 2 layers of foil, or a lid (if it came with one).
I’ve had this mixer for years, and it still works just as well as it did the day I got it. It’s perfect for making homemade no churn ice cream!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream very cold
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cups chopped or crumbled brownies
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
- Add a 9×5" loaf pan to the freezer to chill.
Toast the nuts
- To a dry skillet, add pecans and cook over MED heat. Cook, stirring often, for about 3-5 minutes, until very fragrant and golden. Turn off the heat and set skillet aside to cool.
- Add the cold heavy whipping cream to a large mixing bowl and beat on MED-HIGH speed with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, and stiff peaks form. **see Chef Tips note #2 for more information on stiff peaks**
- Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract, then gently fold together. This is most easily done with a rubber spatula and stirred gently in an over-under circular motion.
- Remove loaf pan from the freezer and pour in half of the whipped cream mixture.
- Spoon half of the caramel sauce, half the brownie pieces, and half the pecans over the top, then use a bamboo skewer, butter knife or toothpick to swirl the filling into the whipped cream mixture.
- Top with remaining half of the whipped cream mixture, then top that with the remaining caramel sauce, brownies, and pecans. Swirl again.
- Cover tightly with 2 layers of aluminum foil, and add to a freezer in a level spot. Freeze for at least 6-8 hours (overnight is best).
- Scoop and serve as desired. Store leftovers in a freezer-safe airtight container.
Want to save this recipe for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own recipe box!
- Recipe makes approximately 1.5 – 2 quarts, which I’ve estimated is 12 servings (1/2 cup per serving). Of course, feel free to break this up into as many (or as little) servings as you’d like.
- Stiff Peaks – When you turn the mixer upside down (with it OFF), so the beaters are facing up, the cream will stand up in a peak (like a little mountain), and not fold over onto itself. This is a great visual guide from Taste of Home.
- For the best storage, I recommend a container like this one (amazon link).
- Exact time needed for freezing will depend on how cold your freezer is.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.