Homemade pumpkin butter is so easy to make and a delicious way to celebrate fall! Spread it on toast, swirl it in oatmeal…you might even want to eat it straight from a spoon.
I always crack myself up around this time of year by celebrating pumpkin season by stocking up on cans and cans of pumpkin puree and cooking up all kinds of goodies with them. I mean, you can get canned pumpkin any time of year. It’s like celebrating summer by making all kinds of stuff with frozen berries or canned tomatoes. (Okay, maybe I do those things too.)
But canned or not, I guess the whole idea is that it’s fall and pumpkins are everywhere, inspiring us all to enjoy some pumpkiny goodness, canned or not! And pumpkin spice is so cozy and delicious when the weather starts to cool down.
So I’ll be doing lots of cooking with canned pumpkin this season, and sharing my results with you all. Maybe I’ll sneak a fresh pumpkin or two in the mix, but for now, we’re going with one of my favorite recipes for using and enjoying canned pumpkin. (If you want to use fresh pumpkin to make this, see my tips below!)
What is Pumpkin Butter?
Let’s start with this, because I get asked this question from time to time, so I’m guessing maybe pumpkin butter isn’t a thing everywhere.
Pumpkin butter is a sweet spread made from pumpkin and spices. The mixture basically gets cooked down until the pumpkin reduces and caramelizes so it’s smooth, sweet and buttery.
And no, in case you’re wondering, pumpkin butter doesn’t contain any actual butter.
How to Use Pumpkin Butter
I like to think of pumpkin butter as my fall equivalent to jam, and I use it pretty much the same way I use jam. My favorite way to enjoy pumpkin butter is on toast, but it’s also awesome swirled in oatmeal, chia pudding, or vegan yogurt.
Get creative! Got a recipe for some cookies or pastries that uses jam? Give it a fall upgrade and make it with pumpkin butter instead.
I’ve also been itching to put it on a vegan grilled cheese sandwich, like this one.
How to Make Pumpkin Butter
One of the awesome things about pumpkin butter is how easy it is to make. Start by placing all of your ingredients into a pot: pumpkin puree, apple cider, brown sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt.
Heat everything up slowly and let it cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If your pumpkin butter gets too thick while it simmers you can add some water, but not too much! Remember, part of why we’re cooking it is to reduce the liquid and thicken everything up.
Your pumpkin butter is finished cooking when it’s thick and has a glossy sheen to it.
FAQ & Pumpkin Butter Tips
- Resist the urge to add too much water while the pumpkin butter simmers! You really only want to add it if the mixture is sputtering very badly.
- Store your homemade pumpkin butter in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Is this pumpkin butter gluten-free? It is!
- Can I make this pumpkin butter with fresh pumpkin? You can, but you’ll need to roast and puree the pumpkin first. Check out this tutorial from Hey Nutrition Lady on how to do that! You will need about 3 1/2 cups.
- Why does the sugar need to be organic? That’s to keep the recipe vegan. Most sugar in the United States at least is processed using animal bones. Organic sugar is processed differently, so it’s considered vegan.
Homemade pumpkin butter is so easy to make and a delicious way to celebrate fall! Spread it on toast, swirl it in oatmeal...you might even want to eat it straight from a spoon.
- 2 (14 ounce or 400 gram) cans pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Stir all ingredients together in a large pot.
Place the pot over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.
Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can add a splash of water if the mixture becomes too thick while simmering.
Your pumpkin butter is finished cooking when the mixture has thickened a bit and appears glossy.
Allow the pumpkin butter to cool, then transfer it to a sealable container for storage.
Store your pumpkin butter in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Makes about 4 cups of pumpkin butter.