The essence of fall comes together in this easy to make creamy spread. Slather it on toast, biscuits, waffles or top oatmeal. This Pumpkin Butter recipe is freezer-friendly and makes a generous gift. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan + gluten free.
This recipe was first published in 2015. I updated it Oct. 2019 with new photography and additional notes and tips!
A quick recipe to whip up and so delicious to have on hand for slathering on all the things, homemade pumpkin butter is easy to make and freezer friendly! It has the consistency of apple butter, and tastes like pumpkin pie. Ummmmm… are you with me?
How to Enjoy Pumpkin Butter
Use it as a condiment like you would jam, sauce or chutney.
- Slather it on biscuits
- Dollop on top of sourdough pancakes
- Spread it on waffles
- Dip fresh sliced apples into it
- Swirl it into oatmeal
- Stir it into your French toast custard
Pumpkin Butter Recipe FAQs
What is it made of?
The simplest ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Pumpkin puree – I like homemade, but you can use canned if you like
- Brown Sugar
- Apple Juice or Apple Cider
- Maple Syrup
- Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, and Ginger or Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Vanilla Extract
- Lemon Juice
How long does it last?
I’ve stored pumpkin butter up to one week in the fridge with good results, up to a year in the freezer!
Does pumpkin butter need to be refrigerated?
Yes! Because it’s perishable, refrigerate or freeze your pumpkin butter.
How to Make Pumpkin Butter
Stocking the freezer ensures year-long slathering of this Fall treat. Here’s how to make it:
- First, in a large saucepan or sauce pot, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, apple juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla and sea salt. Set heat to medium, and stir frequently.
- Next, the pumpkin mixture will start to sputter and spit. Once this starts, stir, reduce the heat to low, lid the pot and cook stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until thickened. This time will vary depending on type of pumpkin puree used.
- Last, remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and spoon into jars. Refrigerate until ready to use. Pumpkin butter will thicken as it cools.
If you’re passing the fridge and need a quick treat, I won’t judge (wink).
Can You Can This Pumpkin Butter Recipe?
I was curious about canning this sweet Fall treat, so I referenced my great grandmother’s 1935 Ball Blue Book of Canning. It recommended canning pureed pumpkin in a water bath for three hours. However, times have changed and we now know more about food safety. Upon checking further, the USDA does not recommend canning pumpkin puree.
So make room in the freezer; pumpkin butter freezes in individual lidded jars beautifully. And it makes a gift your friends and family will wrangle each other for.
A Few Recipe Notes
- I like using fresh homemade pumpkin puree for this recipe, but canned pumpkin works well too. Use about two cans.
- Note cooking time may need to be adjusted due to variation in moisture content in pumpkin puree. The more moisture, the longer the cook time. I find homemade pumpkin puree to have more moisture than canned.
- Rather use coconut sugar? Use the same recipe subbing coconut sugar for brown sugar. It’s not as sweet as brown sugar, so I suggest increasing the coconut sugar to taste.
- Looking to can this recipe? The National Center for Home Food Preservation does not recommend canning pumpkin butter.
- Freezer friendly? Yes please! Freeze in lidded containers for up to six months!
More Pumpkin Recipes to Love
- Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake with Chocolate Maple Drizzle
- Pumpkin Porridge
- Pumpkin Scones with Maple Drizzle
- Homemade Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 1/2 C (565g) Pumpkin Puree * homemade or canned, not pumpkin pie
- 1/4 C (52g) Dark Brown Sugar**
- 1/2 C (130g) Apple Juice unsweetened
- 1/4 C (75g) Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Cinnamon ground***
- 1/4 tsp Cloves ground
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg ground
- 1/4 tsp Ginger ground
- 2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- In a medium sauce pot with lid, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, apple juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla and sea salt. Set heat to medium and stir occasionally.
- When the pumpkin butter begins to sputter and spit, put the lid on the pot, turn the burner to low and cook for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The pumpkin butter will turn a darker color and begin to thicken the longer it cooks. I find canned pumpkin puree to be dryer than homemade pumpkin pure. The more moisture the puree has the longer it will need to cook.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Place in covered container or jars. Refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze for up to six months. The pumpkin butter will continue to thicken as it cools.