Dulce De Leche Ice Cream with Salted Pecans – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


Low Carb Dulce De Leche Ice CreamLow carb, sugar-free ice cream made with low carb dulce de leche and studded with salty roasted pecans.

I’ve been holding out on you. From the very name of this recipe I am sure you can gather that it was truly delicious and since I made it over a month ago, I really ought to have shared it with you by now.  But I wanted to hold off for a bit, while I perfected a low carb ice cream that stayed soft and scoopable, even after many hours in the freezer.  See, this was the recipe that lead me to the discovery that my homemade low carb sweetened condensed milk, a little extra xanthan gum and some alcohol could seriously improve the texture of sugar-free ice cream.  I wanted to see if I could repeat the results with other flavours of ice cream, especially with vanilla.  Because if I could do that, then I knew I was on to something.   Then I figured I would share the recipe for ice cream made with my low carb dulce de leche.

low carb dulce de leche ice cream

The problem is that although I have had great success with my low carb vanilla ice cream, not all of my readers have had the same success.  One poor person ended up with a gummy mixture that never set properly in her freezer, no matter how long she froze it.  We narrowed the possible culprit to her use of a liqueur which contains sugar, since sugar lowers the freezing point of liquids and may have kept the ice cream from setting properly.  Another person found that it froze quite hard and was not scoopable at first, but when she turned up the temp slightly in her freezer, it softened perfectly., which suggests that the recipe is very sensitive to temperatures as well.   I have now made the vanilla ice cream recipe three times with slight variations and I’ve found that any reduction in xanthan gum or alcohol also means that it freezes rather harder than I like.  So I know that the original recipe is solid, but that not everyone will get the exact same results if any of the variables change.

Low Carb Dulce De Leche Ice Cream

Even if perfect low carb ice cream is a little more difficult to achieve, at least with consistency, than I originally thought, this dulce de leche ice cream recipe is still worth sharing.  Because even if it freezes a little harder and isn’t perfectly scoopable day after day, it’s so delicious, it’s worth waiting 10 minutes while it softens on your counter.  For me, this recipe worked perfectly from the get-go and it was what twigged me to the fact that my condensed milk recipe might be the perfect base for low carb ice cream.  And the salted pecans in dulce de leche ice cream?  Pure genius, although not from my own head.  Someone else’s genius altogether.  I saw a recipe for a sugar-filled version and you didn’t have to ask me twice!

Low Carb Dulce De Leche Ice Cream

Dulce De Leche Ice Cream with Salted Pecans

Yield: 10 servings

Serving Size: About 1/2 cup

Dulce De Leche Ice Cream with Salted Pecans

Rich and creamy, this low carb dulce de leche ice cream is a real treat!


  • ¾ cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups Low Carb Dulce De Leche
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp vodka (optional, but helps consistency)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp stevia extract
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum


  1. Preheat oven to 325F and combine chopped pecans, butter and salt in a baking dish, tossing to mix thoroughly.
  2. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, tossing ever 5 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Let cool in pan.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together dulce de leche, heavy cream, vodka, vanilla and stevia extract. Sprinkle with xanthan gum and whisk quickly to combine.
  5. Chill 2 to 3 hours.
  6. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.
  7. Transfer to an airtight container, stir in salted pecans and press plastic wrap flush to the surface.
  8. Freeze until firm, about 2 more hours
  9. Any leftovers will freeze very solid. Be sure to soften in the refrigerator for half an hour before using.


Serves 10. Each serving has 6.3 g of carbs.


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  1. jillian says

    do you think i could make the condensed milk with coconut cream and coconut or almond milk? trying to eat minimum dairy around here. ice cream looks wonderful…thanks

  2. Nancy says

    Your recipe asks for 2 cups of your Dulce DeLeche. Your recipe for DDL says makes 8 servings. Your recipe for LC condensed says it makes 1 cups. So I assume we double each recipe to get 2 cups? Thank you. And you have my sympathy for 3 year olds. I do remember those days, very trying, especially when you have other children. I agree with the wine solultion and someone that can come in right at the time when you run out the door screaming, ha ha!!! This too shall pass. Mine are all in college now, yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Yes, different problems and worries but I’ll take it!)

    • Carolyn says

      Yes, you need to double the LC condensed milk to get enough Dulce De Leche to make the ice cream. Thanks for the sympathy! 😉

  3. Heather from Canada says

    Hi Carolyn, could I make this by putting the container in the freezer and stirring frequently for the first while? I don’t have an ice cream maker and have absolutely no room for another appliance. Thanks!!

    • Carolyn says

      I don’t know, I’m afraid! I’ve never made ice cream without a maker and the churning process definitely whips air into it which helps with the consistency.

      • Heather from Canada says

        Thanks. I am looking into getting one since the only to eat ice cream now is to make it myself. I cleared some room in the pantry today!

        • Heather from Canada says

          So I bought the ice cream maker, and made this today. It was absolutely amazing, like Haagen Dazs good! It’s extremely rich, so I’m thinking it will last a long time since three spoonfuls or so is enough for me. I’m using my salted pecans as an optional topping because this was so creamy I didn’t want anything crunchy in it, plus my husband would prefer it plain. I only used one teaspoon of vodka as I am extremely sensitive to alcohol, so we’ll see if it gets rock hard. I am learning that I prefer the ice cream straight out of the maker, more like soft serve, rather than freezing it firm. I left my dulche de leche in the fridge for about 6 days before using it in this recipe and some crystallization happened, but I just whisked it and then put it through a fine mesh sieve and we were back in business.

          • Carolyn says

            Glad it worked out so well, Heather. You will find that ice cream maker really useful this summer!

  4. Louise Cohen says

    O…..m……g!!!! I’ve been gluten free, low carb for 5 weeks now. Came across this recipe last week. Never made ice cream before. Bought machine, made ice cream. This ice cream makes me want to dance on the roof and shout to the skies!!! Came out perfect and is better than any ice cream I’ve ever tasted in my life. Thank you!!!

  5. says

    I have found that using Xylitol keeps the ice cream from getting hard better even than vodka. Erithritol might as well but i haven’t tried it.

    • Carolyn says

      Interesting. The problem with xylitol for me is two-fold. It’s harder on my blood sugar levels and it’s tougher on my tummy too!

      • says

        The ice cream was/is delicious. However, mine was grainy ( delish anyway) I am guessing from the erythritol. I looked at a recipe to make traditional dulce de leche and all they did was add sugar and cook it down. So, I did not do the step in the oven. Question. Is yours grainy? Or, is it smooth b/c you did the oven step? I skipped it b/c it is hot and humid here in So Cal and I do not have A/C.

  6. Cici says

    I’m going to make this today. I see that in your more recent recipes you use glycerine. Advisable to add it to all your ice cream recipes?

    • Carolyn says

      It’s really a matter of personal preference. It’s hard to get a read on how many carbs it has, since it’s such an unusual ingredient. My last batch of ice cream, I left it out. It hardened more upon freezing but I just made sure to leave it out to soften a bit. One thing that helps is to dish it into smaller portions for freezing so you don’t have to thaw the whole thing every time.

  7. Vivian says

    Looks yummy! I find that if I use glycerin (1 – 1 1-2 tsp or so… never measure) it will keep the ice cream soft enough in the freezer for several hours (maybe longer) but if I leave it overnight… still too hard! It is found in the cake section of Walmart, Michaels, etc. (Wilton) Not sure how healthy it is!! I fix the ice cream, put it into the freezer, then clean up dinner mess, by the time we are ready to sit down it is just right.

    • Vivian says

      Just read in the comments above that you have also been using Glycerin. How is it working for you?


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