Skip to Content

Decadent Turtle Ice Cream (Easy No Churn Recipe)

Sharing is caring!

Homemade turtle ice cream is a delightfully decadent treat that you don’t even need an ice cream machine for!

You’re going to love this no-churn turtle ice cream recipe, complete with plenty of pecans, chocolate, and caramel!

a woman's hand holds an ice cream cone filled with homemade turtle ice cream.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. You can read our full disclosure policy here.

I used to love getting boxes of candy around Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

I would always immediately look for the pieces of candy that had nuts in them, with turtle candies being my favorite.

There’s just something about the combination of pecans, creamy caramel, and chocolate that seem to be a match made in heaven!

I had mostly forgotten about turtles until a recent trip to Savannah, Georgia, where I tried “gophers” from the Savannah Candy Company. They’re similar to turtles, with gooey caramel, toasted pecans, and chocolate flavor. 

They reignited my love for the decadent combo, so I knew I had to try replicating the flavor–but in ice cream form!

If you’ve ever had Turtle Tracks ice cream, you know what a treat it is. But why not make your own version at home?

With this easy no-churn turtle ice cream recipe, you don’t even need an ice cream maker!

Overhead view of a loaf pan filled with homemade no churn turtle ice cream. An ice cream scoop is scooping out rounds of ice cream.

​No-Churn Turtle Ice Cream

If you ask me, the best homemade ice creams should be easy to make, and that’s the case with this one!

There are no hard-to-find ingredients, no difficult step-by-step processes to follow.

You don’t have to heat cream and milk on the stove, temper in egg yolks, or anything crazy like that. And there’s no ice cream machine involved, so there’s no need to churn.

We use heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract to create a delightfully creamy vanilla ice cream.

Then we add crunchy pecans and chocolate chunks to the homemade vanilla ice cream base, and finish it off with caramel swirls and chocolate sauce.

Merciful heavens, it’s a delightful treat!

More Fantastic No-Churn Ice Cream Recipes You’ll Love:

a footed glass dish serves scoops of turtle ice cream made without an ice cream machine.

How to Make Homemade Turtle Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Machine

It’s easier than you think to whip up homemade ice cream that’s sure to impress your family and friends!

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Pecans
  • Chocolate chunks
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Caramel sauce

How to Make it:

(Full printable recipe card is available below)

Whip the cream. Add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or to a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer). 

Whip the cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.

two photos; one is a bowl with heavy cream in it; the other is the same bowl of  cream, whipped to stiff peaks.

Finish the base. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract until well-combined.

sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract folded into whipped cream with a rubber spatula.

Add mix-ins. Next, add in the pecans and chocolate chunks, folding gently to incorporate.

Layer. Add half of the ice cream base to an ice cream container or loaf pan. Then add half of the chocolate sauce and half of the caramel sauce on top of the ice cream.

Use a knife to swirl the sauces into the ice cream mixture.

Repeat the layers again with the rest of the ice cream, chocolate sauce, and remaining caramel sauce, swirling again.

overhead view of a loaf pan of vanilla ice cream base with chocolate and caramel swirled into it.

Freeze. Cover the ice cream container with a lid or plastic wrap, then freeze for at least 8-10 hours (or overnight) before serving.

an ice cream scoop is scooping rounds of homemade turtle ice cream from a loaf pan.

​Notes and Adaptations:

  • I used store-bought caramel sauce and chocolate sauce to keep things simple. 
  • Feel free to choose whatever chocolate chunks you prefer–milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate. You can also use chocolate chips instead of chocolate chunks.
  • Chop the pecans to whatever size you prefer in the ice cream.
  • Feel free to garnish with chopped chocolate caramel turtles if you’d like.
  • If you want chocolate turtle ice cream, you can add 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to the base when you’re adding the sweetened condensed milk.
a woman's hand holds a waffle cone with a hearty scoop of turtle ice cream in it.

Recommended Equipment:

Yield: Approx. 1.5 Quarts

Turtle Ice Cream

a loaf pan filled with homemade turtle ice cream. An ice cream scoop is in the ice cream.

This decadent no-churn turtle ice cream is brimming with pecans, caramel, and chocolate!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks
  • ½ cup chocolate sauce
  • ½ cup caramel sauce

Instructions

    1. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, whip heavy cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.
    2. Using a rubber spatula, gently mix in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract until well combined. 
    3. Fold in pecans and chocolate chunks until incorporated.
    4. Pour half of the ice cream mixture into an ice cream container or loaf pan. 
    5. Pour half of the chocolate sauce and half of the caramel sauce over the top of the ice cream. Use a knife to swirl into the ice cream mixture. 
    6. Repeat the layers, using the remaining ice cream mixture, chocolate sauce, and caramel sauce, swirling to combine.
    7. Cover and freeze for at least 8-10 hours (or overnight) before serving.

Notes

  • You may need to let the ice cream sit out at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften slightly before serving.
  • Store leftovers covered in the freezer.
  • Make sure you are using sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk.
  • I used store-bought caramel sauce and chocolate sauce to keep things simple. 
  • Feel free to choose whatever chocolate chunks you prefer--milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate. You can also use chocolate chips instead of chocolate chunks.
  • Chop the pecans to whatever size you prefer in the ice cream.
  • You can also garnish with chopped chocolate caramel turtles if you'd like.
  • If you want chocolate turtle ice cream, you can add 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to the base when you're adding the sweetened condensed milk.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 479Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 47gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.

Be sure to save this recipe to your ice cream board on Pinterest!

an ice cream scoop in a container of homemade turtle ice cream
    Skip to Recipe