Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Homemade Pumpkin Butter
This homemade pumpkin butter has less moisture and way more pumpkin flavor than pumpkin puree alone, so it’s ideal for baking gluten free pumpkin treats that are pumpkin-flavored, not just pumpkin-colored.

Pumpkin butter in a Weck jar with a spoon

This smooth, spreadable and fragrant fruit butter is ideal for making chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that aren’t light and fluffy. That’s an impossible task when baking with straight-up pumpkin.

Pumpkin butter in a jar Overhead view of pumpkin butter

I’ve included instructions for roasting a whole pumpkin and making that into butter, or using canned pumpkin puree in its place. I’ve done both and they’re both delicious in their own special way.

Close up of inside a pumpkin

I find these fabulous sugar pumpkins at Trader Joe’s for $2 each, and they’re really easy to roast. And then… toast those pumpkin seeds (instructions below in the recipe). They’re ridiculously good for you, and kids l-o-v-e them.

At great long last, here’s how I make pumpkin butter. Now get baking!

Pumpkin butter in glass jar overhead image

Pumpkin butter in a jar pictured overhead and from the side with a spoon

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: About 4 cups pumpkin butter


1 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) sugar/baking pumpkin or 2 28-ounce cans pumpkin puree

1/2 cup (168 g) pure maple syrup

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) apple cider or apple juice

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

*To make your own pumpkin pie spice, combine 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.


  • If using a regular sugar/baking pumpkin, preheat your oven to 375°F. Remove the stem and, with a large, sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half through the middle. Scoop out all of the seeds (dry them, toss them with plenty of kosher salt, spread them in an even layer and toast them in a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat or in a 300°F oven until lightly golden brown and fragrant) and place the pumpkin halves, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the pumpkin halves are fork-tender and the flesh has begun to shrink away from the skin (about 45 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool before scooping out the flesh and pureeing in a blender or food processor until smooth.

  • In a large heavy-bottom stockpot, combine the pumpkin puree with the maple syrup, apple cider (or juice), pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix to combine well and then simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until reduced by about half and darkened in color (at least 30 minutes, depending upon the moisture content of your pumpkin puree). Stirring will keep the mixture for splattering, as will cooking in a large pot.

  • Allow to cool completely before baking with it. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Comments are closed.

  • Katherine
    November 3, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    I’m so excited to try this! How long do you think it will keep in a closed container in the fridge?

  • Sharon Valero
    November 1, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Can I use pumpkin butter that I purchased from a farm market or do I have to make it from scratch? I’m excited to make some yummy pumpkin treats and I want to make sure they turn out right.

  • Jessica Herrington
    November 1, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    In both this, and the recipe for pumpkin butter in the Pumpkin Chips Ahoy post you include pumpkin pie spice, however it is not there with the Pumpkin Biscotti. I just want to check whether or not to include the pumpkin pie spice when I make pumpkin butter for the biscotti because I really want to make it but I’m kind of confused now. Thanks!

    • November 1, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      Good question, Jennifer! It’s really a matter of preference. I almost always put in the spice, but sometimes when I know that I am making the pumpkin butter to use in a particular recipe that already calls for a good amount of pumpkin spice, I might leave it out.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jennifer Sasse
    November 1, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Honestly – this always in the back of my mind to make – but not for one of the recipes above….. I want to make the pumpkin maple scones!!! Yahoo! Hope you are recovering well from the holiday!

    • November 1, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      Oh those scones are a major favorite of mine! Good memory, Jennifer! I’m so glad Halloween is over. I’m definitely in recovery mode. And gearing up for the Food Olympics o/k/a Thanksgiving. That’s more my style. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Jennifer Sasse
        November 3, 2013 at 9:25 PM

        I missed the part about keeping it on low and burned my mixing hand in a few spots when it spit at me. Feeling sorry for myself….

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