Learn How to Make Pumpkin Butter using fresh or canned pumpkin. It’s such an easy fall recipe, and only takes 20 minutes to make. 

Even though you can buy pumpkin butter at the store, you pay quite the premium for it, when it’s really easy and delightful to make at home.

Pumpkin Butter - In Glass Jar on Wooden Board

I say delightful because it makes the kitchen smell SO good.

Simmering pumpkin, pure maple, and warm spices like cinnamon and cloves, always feels so festive and nostalgic to me.

Pumpkin butter was something I didn’t discover until about 10 years ago, when I was strolling the aisles of the grocery and noticed a special section with artisan apple butter, pumpkin butter, and more.

I was very curious about what on earth this stuff was, as I realized that there wasn’t actually any butter in it. But like peanut butter, it’s basically just pumpkin in spreadable form.

It’s wonderful spread on toast, biscuits, or stirred into plain yogurt.

How to Make Pumpkin Butter:

In a saucepan, combine pumpkin puree, dark brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and water:

How to Make Pumpkin Butter - By Combining Brown Sugar, Pumpkin Puree, and Spices in Saucepan

If you use canned pumpkin puree, you’ll need more water than if you’re using fresh pumpkin puree.

And if you’ve never read my Fresh vs. Canned Pumpkin post, I recommend it. I did a blind taste test of both, making two identical pies with each kind, then compared the results.

fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin in spoons next to each other

Generally speaking, I find fresh puree to taste better, but of course, it’s a lot more work. Sometimes it’s nice to have the convenience of canned pumpkin.

Stir the ingredients to combine, then bring to a boil, and immediately reduce to low heat:

Homemade Pumpkin Butter - Cooked Down in a Saucepan

Cook the pumpkin puree for 20 minutes over low heat, stirring often, until the mixture gets darker, thick, and shiny, like this:

Pumpkin Spread with Spatula to Show Thick Texture

Pumpkin Butter Uses:

The pumpkin butter can be spread on toast, biscuits, pancakes, and more. You can also stir it into yogurt and oatmeal, or swirl it into cakes.

Pumpkin Butter Recipe - Served in a Glass Jar on Wooden Board

Pumpkin Muffins and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are some of my other favorite fall treats. Enjoy!

The recipe and a video is below.

Can Pumpkin Butter be frozen? Yes, for up to 3 months.

How long does Pumpkin Butter last: In the fridge, it keeps for at least 2 weeks.

How to Make Pumpkin Butter in a Crockpot: Place all the ingredients in the crock and cook on low for 3-4 hours, until thick and shiny.

Pumpkin Butter In Glass Jar on Wooden Board

Pumpkin Butter

For this easy fall recipe you can use canned or fresh pumpkin. Spread the pumpkin butter on toast, stir into oatmeal, yogurt, and so on!

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  • 2 cups pumpkin puree canned or fresh (about one 15oz can)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup water*


  • Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low heat (otherwise the pumpkin butter will sputter).
  • Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the pumpkin has become caramelized and dark brown, with a thick and shiny consistency. As long as you stir every couple minutes and use a heavy-bottomed pan, it shouldn’t burn.
  • Pumpkin butter can be stored in the fridge for at least two weeks.


*If using fresh pumpkin puree, you may not need as much water, since canned pumpkin puree is often much thicker. For fresh pumpkin puree, start with 1/4 cup, and add more water if it's too thick.


Calories: 74kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Sodium: 7mg, Potassium: 157mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 9530IU, Vitamin C: 2.6mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 0.9mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.


Post updated in November 2018. Originally published October 2015.