Fill your home with the delightful scent of fall spices when you make this easy homemade pumpkin butter, a delicious topping perfect for gifting. It pairs well with everything from oatmeal and yogurt to breads and cookies.
If you’ve spent some time in the recipe section of my blog, you may have noticed that I have a lot of pumpkin recipes. Ever since I started making my own homemade pumpkin puree, I make it quite often. This time of year, I usually have some freshly roasted pumpkin in my fridge ready for adding to new recipes!
A great way to use leftover pumpkin puree is to make homemade pumpkin butter.
While I generally don’t use jams or marmalades, I have always loved apple butter. We used to buy it bought it locally made, and it was incredible. I have always found jams and jellies to be overly sweet, but fruit butters are a whole, different game. They are generally less sweet, and I love their spices and thick and creamy texture.
Because I can’t find it locally, I started making my own apple butter in my slow cooker and shared my tried and true apple butter recipe on the blog. Now, it’s time for pumpkins!
What is pumpkin butter?
Pumpkin butter is a sweet condiment made with roasted pumpkin and a delicious spice mixture. It has a similar consistency to apple butter and is the perfect topping for toast, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, muffins, scones, etc. The only real difference between the two spreads is that one uses pumpkin puree instead of apples.
Spiced pumpkin butter is quite simple to make, and is easier and quicker than apple butter, assuming you have your pumpkin puree ready before you begin.
This simple recipe uses only a few main ingredients: pumpkin puree (or canned pumpkin), fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and ground cloves (or a pumpkin pie spice blend), and a sweetener such as brown sugar or maple syrup.
To add tartness, you can add a dash of lemon juice. For an added depth of flavor, some people prefer adding apple juice or apple cider. A dash of vanilla extract also pairs well with the spices and other flavors. (I suggest trying homemade vanilla extract!) I like to add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavors and balance the sweetness, but that’s totally optional.
I’ll share my pumpkin butter recipe, but it’s really easy to customize the recipe to suit different tastes!
Step by step instructions
Making the pumpkin butter couldn’t be simpler! All you have to do is mix together the pumpkin puree, spices, and sugar, along with any other chosen ingredients in a pot or large saucepan. Heat the mixture over low to medium heat, allowing it to simmer for around 20 minutes. Stir it occasionally during the cooking process to prevent it from burning.
Continue to cook the mixture until you reach the desired consistency. (As you cook it, more liquid will evaporate and it will get thicker.) Once you’re happy with the consistency, remove it from the heat source. Keep in mind that it may continue to thicken slightly as it cools.
If you aren’t happy with the texture and want a smoother pumpkin butter, consider blending it in a food processor or with an immersion blender.
Taste your pumpkin butter and add in any ingredients you feel are needed to suit your taste. Adding more lemon juice will make it tangier. Adding more sugar or maple syrup will make it sweeter. Adding more cinnamon will make it darker in color and will change the flavor, surprisingly making it seem slightly sweeter and maybe even more mild as it tends to balance out the flavors of the other spices. Be careful when adding more cloves or nutmeg as too much can make it seem spicy.
Blend in the added ingredients and allow it to cool. Once cooled, you can serve it immediately.
Ways to Enjoy Pumpkin Butter
Pumpkin butter is delicious as a spread on toast, biscuits, pancakes, muffins, waffles, and many other foods. I really like it on my pumpkin spice biscotti. It can also be used as a dip for fruits such as apple slices or bananas.
When paired with yogurt, pumpkin butter makes a wonderful breakfast treat. Try making a pumpkin spice parfait by layering pumpkin butter, yogurt, and sprinkling on some granola or pecans. You can even mix it with a cream cheese such as mascarpone to make a pumpkin spice dip.
Another delicious use for pumpkin butter is to add it to oatmeal or other types of porridge.
How to Store Leftovers
Store unused pumpkin butter in a lidded jar or another airtight container in the fridge. Depending on the amount of water left in the finished butter (and the amount of added sugar), it should keep for a few weeks or up to a month. (Sweeter, thicker, and more tart pumpkin butter will keep longer than one that is more liquid and less sweet.) Toss it when you notice a change in the appearance, scent, or flavor.
Some people have asked me if you can “can” pumpkin butter, but I’ve read that you shouldn’t try to can pumpkin or squash purees. You can find more information about why you shouldn’t can pumpkin butter here.
Instead, for longer storage, freeze leftovers in small portions. It stores very well in the freezer for up to a year. I normally freeze sauces and purees in perfectly cube-shaped ice cube trays because the frozen cubes can be stacked stored in freezer bags without any wasted space. (You can see my method in my post about storing fruit purees in the freezer.)
If you’re planning ahead, you might want to double batch this recipe so you can enjoy fresh pumpkin butter all year long!
Customizing the recipe
While I’ve always made this using fresh pumpkin puree made by roasting or boiling fresh pumpkins, some people use canned pumpkin puree instead to save time. I have my doubts that the flavor would reach the same level of deliciousness, but you can definitely try to prove me wrong!
For sweetening this recipe, I have tried using coconut sugar, organic demerara sugar, and maple syrup. They’ve all made scrumptious pumpkin butter. Try using different sweeteners or a combination of them to change the flavor slightly to suit your taste.
Another way to alter the recipe is to increase or reduce the amount of sweetener. Keep in mind that the more sugar you add, the longer the pumpkin butter will keep.
The spice blend can also be customized. Try using a pre-made pumpkin spice mix or a combination of various spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Adjust the spices chosen and the amounts used to get the flavor you’re craving.
Easy Spiced pumpkin butter
- Mix together the pumpkin purée, spices, vanilla extract, and sugar, along with the juice from half a lemon in a pan over low heat.
- Blend with an immersion blender until all of the ingredients are combined and smooth.
- Simmer for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spatula to prevent it from burning. The cooking time will depend on the water content of your pumpkin puree and how thick you want the final pumpkin butter to be.
- Taste the pumpkin butter and make any adjustments (like adding more spices, sugar, or lemon juice) to suit your taste.
- Once the mixture has reduced and thickened, remove it from the heat. It should continue to thicken slightly as it cools.
- Allow it cool, and store in a jar in the fridge.