Enjoy this 20-minute homemade Pumpkin Butter spread on your morning bagels, oats, yogurt bowls, etc! Or add it into your favorite fall bakes. Either way, this is the ultimate sweet pumpkin fall spread that you can easily make at home in one pot!
Last year, I went to Burrville Cider Mill in Thousand Islands, NY and picked up their pumpkin butter. Next thing I knew, I was taking that jar with me EVERYWHERE. For my birthday we went to the Poconos and best believe I brought myself that jar and whipped cream cheese with toast.
This Pumpkin Butter is super easy to make at home in one pot with pantry items. I promise you it's better than the ones you can get at a farm or farmer's markets. And I know that's a tall statement but I'm super confident you'll love making this at home.
Cooking the pumpkin puree down with spices makes it deeply rich with flavor. Slather it on bagels or toasts, yogurt bowls, on top of pancakes or waffles, or even mix it into your drink!
Why this Recipe Works
A great thing with fruit butters is that it's similar to jams and they are dairy-free. Pumpkin Butter is a delicious vegan fall spread that's great to include in your breakfast or fall bakes! It's a quick 20 minute cook, no prep necessary!
You can absolutely make slow cooker pumpkin butter from scratch, much like you would with fresh apples for apple butter. But it's not much better than this quick one using canned pumpkin puree! Just dump everything into a sauce pan and let it simmer until it's thick and luscious.
Ingredients - Notes and Substitutions
All of the ingredients for pumpkin butter are pretty much always in my pantry! And if you didn't stock up on pumpkin puree in July after last years puree shortage... ya played yourself.
- Pumpkin puree - Whether you're using freshly made pumpkin puree or purchasing it canned, you'll need about 15oz of it, or one entire can. If you're using a fresh pumpkin, you'll want to omit the apple cider / apple juice because the pumpkin will have quite a bit of moisture whereas the canned version needs to be thinned before thickening.
- Maple syrup - Adds a bit of sweetness and maple flavoring! Preferably, use the best quality maple syrup you can find. You can also omit the maple syrup and add a bit more sugar.
- Apple cider / apple juice - Canned pumpkin puree is really thick so we can thin it out using apple cider or apple juice. If you don't have either, you can also just use water.
- Brown sugar - Light brown sugar is my preferred sweetener. You can also use dark brown sugar, white sugar, a mix of both, or use any sweetener substitute like honey or maple syrup. Ultimately, sweeten it your preferences.
- Spices - We're using the best fall spices I can think of - cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Please, don't go hard on the cloves because it's quite strong and will give you a bitter aftertaste. Use freshly grated nutmeg, it makes all of the difference! You can also use pumpkin spice.
- Lemon juice - Adds some freshness and acidity.
How to make Easy Pumpkin Butter
Pumpkin Butter is the easiest 20-minute recipe ever! There's really no effort required here besides stirring every now and then.
In a medium-sized sauce pan on low to medium heat, just dump in all of your ingredients and give it a good stir! Make sure the pan is large enough, because the mixture will sputter and pop as it simmers since it's fairly thick. Keep stirring it every few minutes to make sure nothing on the side sticks and burns.
The pumpkin will be several shades darker than when you first started. This is when it's done, and it'll continue to thicken a bit as it releases more steam.
Pro tip: Once the mixture has thickened enough, you'll notice that it's a lot shinier and smooths right out if you run the back of a spoon over it. It will also not drip off a spoon but will instead coat it.
Ideally, you can continue to simmer it for 30-40 minutes so it fully thickens and most of the excess moisture has dissipated. The pumpkin butter will noticeably deepen in flavor and richness. The extra few minutes make a wonderful difference.
Whenever your pumpkin butter is at it's ideal thickness, remove it from heat and allow it to cool completely.
What to Serve with Pumpkin Butter
Pumpkin butter is especially delicious as a breakfast spread or in baked goods! You can load up a bagel with cream cheese and pumpkin butter, make pumpkin butter babka, add it to oat or yogurt bowls, spread it on waffles or pancakes. You can also add it to fall-inspired smoothies or to your coffee for a pumpkin spice-esque drink.
The possibilities are entirely endless! Additionally, if you love apple butter, then you can use pumpkin butter in place of it in just about every instance.
How to Store
Store pumpkin butter in an airtight mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The FDA recommends against home canning pumpkin butter (source). Some people still do it and ignore the science behind it, so take that as you will.
You'll most likely want to give it a stir every few days, as some of the liquid will separate and rise to the top.
More Fall Recipes with Pumpkin
- Add all the ingredients into a large sauce pan and mix it together. Turn the stove on low to medium heat.
- Simmer the pumpkin butter, occasionally giving it a stir every few minutes to prevent burning. Continue to simmer on low to medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin butter has thickened and darkened significantly. Most of the moisture should have simmered off.
- (Optional) Continue to simmer the pumpkin butter for up to 30-40 minutes so it gets really thick and deepens the rich flavor.
- Taste and adjust for spices, acidity, and sweetness. Remove the pan from heat and allow the pumpkin butter to cool completely.
- Transfer the pumpkin butter to a large jar and store it in the refrigerator. Use it as a spread for bagels, oats, pancakes, etc.