top of page

Pumpkin Cider Floats

Pumpkin Cider Floats- store bought ice cream, hard apple cider, and homemade maple whipped cream come together for a fun and delicious grown up dessert! Plus, a mocktail option for the kiddos!

October 30, 2020 by Nicole Collins

I think I finally have to accept that fall is here.

I've been holding out as long as I can, but I don't think I can avoid it anymore. I mean, it is going to be November in just two days.

I go through this same cycle every year. I turn the air conditioning off some time in September, and I try to make it until at least November 1 before I turn the heat on. Because, it always seems like I use so much extra energy in the winter, I really try to rack up a nice sized energy credit during the time of year where we don't need any manufactured temperature controls.

But, here's what else happens every year. Those last few days of October are COLD. I watch the temperature drop on my thermostat every day, and keep a countdown to November 1. It's really important to me to make it through the entire month of October with no heat or a/c. And every year, I watch the thermostat drop below 60 degrees, I cave, and I turn on the heat before my goal date.

Well here we are. 2 days away from my goal. I'm freaking freezing. And, I'm in this constant state of stare down with my thermostat. And, to make things even more interesting this year, I've added a frozen dessert cocktail to the mix that's just so easy and delicious that I can't stop making them.

And, that bring us to today's recipe.

Today, we're making Pumpkin Cider Floats!

This recipe is so seasonal, so delish, and such a fun treat. Though intended for the grown ups, we also have an option to make a kid friendly version too!

Let's work through this dessert cocktail backwards, and start with the garnish. We're going to make a super quick maple whipped cream to pipe on top of our floats. It's a simple as whipping some heavy cream and maple syrup together until soft peaks form, adding a little powdered sugar to help stabilize the cream, and continuing to whip the cream until stiff peaks form. That's it! We have a sweet, maplely cream that pairs perfectly with our float in just a matter of minutes.

For our float, we need only two ingredients: pumpkin pie ice cream and hard apple cider. Pumpkin ice cream is obviously a seasonal ingredient. I found a version made by a major player in the ice cream game (Turkey Hill), so it should be pretty readily available this time of year. Aldi also makes a pumpkin ice cream, but you know Aldi can be hit or miss. If you can't find pumpkin pie ice cream or you're craving this float when it's not fall time, we have two options. One, you could use some vanilla ice cream that's been sprinkled or mixed with a little pumpkin pie spice. Or two, you could abandon the pumpkin all together and use a peanut butter swirl ice cream. Both options are delish!

We're going to get a couple of scoops of our ice cream right into a tall mug or glass. Then, we pour over a whole bottle of hard apple cider. A few things to note about the cider...1. Use your favorite brand. It's one of the stars of this dessert, so get what you like. There are different flavors and brands of hard cider, so you have lots of options here. 2. Try to pour the cider with the glass tilted at an angle. You know how bartenders are always tilting the glass when they're filling a draught beer? Well, that's to help keep the head (the foamy part that forms at the top) from getting out of control. So, try to use the same concept here when you're pouring your cider. Pour slowly and at angle so you can get as much cider in that mug without all the extra foam as you can. It's going to be there regardless, but we might as well minimize it if we can.

Now, if you want to make a version of this for the kiddos, you can use sparking apple cider. We want the carbonation and bubbles in our float, so regular apple cider is not the first choice. Definitely go for the sparking.

Once the cider is in the glass, all we need to do is top the float with some of our maple whipped cream. Use as much or as little as you like! We'll have plenty of whipped cream left over, so you can either make more floats (recommended!) or use the leftover whipped cream for things like pancakes, brownies, or ice cream (also recommended!).

Once everything is assembled, we have a sweet, creamy, warmly spiced dessert/cocktail hybrid. You can slurp it with a straw. You can scoop it with a spoon. You have options! Once the ice cream starts to melt a little bit, stir it all together and we almost have a milkshake like situation. There are different stages to this dessert, and I am so here for it!

If anyone needs me, I'll be bundled up in a gazillion layers of clothes, wrapped in 5 blankies, and sipping away on this ice cream cocktail. And, I will not flick that heat button (I hope)!

You know the drill...please drink responsibly. Enjoy, and let's eat!


Pumpkin Cider Float

Serves: 1          Print


  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar

  • ½ cup (2 scoops) pumpkin pie ice cream (I used Turkey Hill)

  • 1 bottle (12 oz) hard cider, chilled


  1. Make the Whipped Cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add heavy cream and maple syrup. Whisk on high for 1-2 mins until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar. Whisk on high for about another minute until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

  2. Add ice cream to a tall glass or mug. Slowly pour hard cider over the ice cream. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve!

Recipe notes:

*You'll have plenty of whipped cream left over. Use it to make more floats! Or, it can also top ice cream, pancakes, or anything else you'd top with whipped cream.

*When you whip your cream, making sure your things are really cold will help the cream whip faster. I put my whisk attachment in the freezer for about 15 mins before I whip my cream. And, I take the cream straight from the fridge to the bowl when I'm ready to whip. If you don't want to break out the stand mixer for this small amount of whipped cream, you can certainly use a hand mixer. It'll just take a few minutes longer to whip the cream.

*If you can't find pumpkin pie ice cream, this also tastes great with peanut butter swirl ice cream!

*To make a kiddo friendly version, use 12 oz of sparkling cider.


bottom of page