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This pumpkin butter recipe is easy to make with just a handful of ingredients and spices. Make it today for yourself or to give as gifts!
Jars of spiced pumpkin spread can be found at stores and farmer’s markets during the fall and holiday seasons.
But, once you see how easy it is to make at home, you’ll be able to enjoy it all year long!
Not only is it cheaper than ready-made versions, but you can adjust the ingredients so it tastes just how you like it.
What is pumpkin butter?
Simply put, it’s a spiced spread with concentrated pumpkin flavor.
Think of it as a replacement for jams and jellies, but with a creamier texture. If you’re familiar with apple butter, it’s very similar to that.
Pumpkin puree is simmered with maple syrup, apple juice, and a blend of warm spices until thickened.
Spread on all things breakfast such as toast, pancakes, and biscuits.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Pumpkin puree – I use two cans of Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin puree because I find it has the best flavor. If using a different brand or fresh pumpkin puree, you may need to adjust the spices to taste.
- Brown sugar – This provides a nice caramelized flavor to the pumpkin spread, but it can be replaced with regular sugar or coconut sugar if needed.
- Apple juice – Choose an unsweetened apple juice or reduce the amount of sugar and maple syrup if sweetened is all you have. You could also use apple cider or plain water if you’d prefer.
- Lemon juice – This adds brightness without the actual lemon flavor, but you can omit it if you don’t have any on hand.
How to make pumpkin spread
Just combine the ingredients and simmer until thickened – it’s that simple!
- Combine the ingredients: Add everything to the pan and stir to combine. I like to use a large Dutch oven or deep skillet to contain any splatters as it cooks.
- Simmer until done: Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until thickened. Stir often to prevent any burns along the bottom. Once done, the texture should be similar to pesto but not as thick as hummus.
Using fresh pumpkin puree
While this requires extra work, some prefer the flavor of fresh pumpkin to canned.
Choose a few sugar pumpkins, often labeled Pie Pumpkins, and slice them in half through the stem.
Remove the seeds, roast in the oven, and scrape out the pulp with a fork. Then, puree using a food processor or blender.
Because canned pumpkin puree has some additional flavoring, you may need to adjust the amounts of spices. Taste the pumpkin butter as it cooks and adjust as needed.
- Storage – If you’ll be using immediately, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Or, find links to proper canning instructions in the recipe card below.
- Freezing – Transfer to airtight containers, leaving room for the pumpkin butter to expand. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator before using.
- In the crockpot – Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker, then cook on Low for about 4 hours, or until thick and shiny.
- Make a large batch – You can easily double this pumpkin butter recipe and use the extra to give as gifts.
MORE WAYS TO USE PUMPKIN BUTTER
Use this spread for both sweet and savory dishes to maximize that pumpkin spice flavor. The possibilities are endless!
- Swirl into yogurt or oatmeal
- Combine with cheese for ravioli filling
- Mix into smoothies
- Add to cold sandwiches and paninis
- Spoon over baked sweet potatoes
- Use in a homemade salad dressing
- Make fall inspired brownies and dessert bars
How to Make Pumpkin Butter
- In a large Dutch oven or deep sided skillet combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, maple syrup, apple and lemon juices and spices (See Note 2).
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer, stirring often, for 30 minutes. This will sputter and reduce to a thick spread.
- Allow to cool, season to taste if needed. Perfect for using in baking recipes, spread on toast and muffins. Store in an airtight container refrigerated, for up to 1 month. This makes 4 cups total. If canning, use proper canning instructions (See Note 3).
- I use two 15 ounce cans of LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin
- I use a large Dutch oven or deep sided skillet instead of a saucepan because this will sputter as it simmers and helps to contain any splatter drops as it cooks.
- For a more detailed description of the canning process, read this tutorial: A Visual Tour of Hot Water Bath Canning: (https://www.thekitchn.com/hot-and-steamy-a-visual-walk-t-93802) and Water Bath Canning: (https://www.simplycanning.com/water-bath-canning.html).
- Nutrition information is per tablespoon (16 per cup), this makes 4 cups total.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.