Sweet and spicy with a gorgeous warm orange colour, this homemade pumpkin butter is delicious spread on bread or toast. The recipe is easy to make, but takes a bit of time to cook. It’s a great way to make the most of your autumn pumpkins and winter squashes. Although you can use canned pumpkin purée instead.
This is another of my non-chocolate recipes that I posted in the old Chocolate Log Blog days. I justified its appearance because I was going to use it in a chocolate recipe. If I did, I didn’t post it here as I’m now unable to find it. I do, however, have a recipe for pumpkin icing made with mascarpone cheese and pumpkin butter. It’s hidden in this chocolate pecan pumpkin cake post.
What Is Pumpkin Butter?
Much like apple butter, pumpkin butter hails from the United States. It’s pumpkin or winter squash cooked down with sugar and spices until thick, smooth and creamy. It’s then used as a spread.
Some people use maple syrup instead of, or as well as, sugar. Either way it’s a delicious dairy and egg free spread that has any number of uses. See the section on this further down the post.
I originally spotted this pumpkin butter recipe on One Perfect Bite. As you might imagine, I’ve adapted the recipe quite considerably. I’ve used an actual pumpkin rather than tinned pumpkin purée. In addition I’ve used a less refined sugar and reduced the amount. My version also has less spices and more apple juice content.
When we’re able, we grow our own pumpkins and winter squash. When I made this spread for the first time, we had a surfeit of Boston Marrow pumpkins. They are huge. Using some of the flesh to make pumpkin butter seemed like a very useful thing to do.
It really is very satisfying to make a fruit spread completely from scratch. And yes, pumpkin is really a fruit rather than a vegetable.
You don’t, however, have to use fresh pumpkin or squash for this recipe. You can use canned pumpkin purée instead. This will take out quite a significant stage of the process and make your pumpkin butter faster to make. Two 425g (15oz) tins will do it.
Basically you cook winter squash in some apple juice until its tender. Friends of ours press their own apples, so I had some delicious juice to add to our Boston Marrow. A truly local product.
Once this is done, blitz the squash into a purée. Add sugar and spices, then cook down until it’s thick and creamy. Job done.
Pumpkin Spice Mix
If you don’t have pumpkin spice, it’s easy to make your own. For this recipe you will need: 1½ tsp ground ginger, 1½ tsp ground cinnamon ⅛ tsp ground cloves and a good grating of nutmeg.
How To Eat Pumpkin Butter
This is my kind of food and it’s really delicious spread on a slice of toast or bread in the morning. And what a good topping it is on these pumpkin scones.
However, there are plenty of other food items you can use it on. Here are a few ideas:
- Pancakes or Waffles
- Greek yoghurt
It’s a great addition to bakes too. Try these chia seed muffins and see what you think.
Pumpkin butter mixed with mascarpone and icing sugar makes a dreamy topping or filling for any number of cakes and bakes. See my chocolate pecan pumpkin cake for the recipe.
How Long Will Pumpkin Butter Keep?
There’s much debate as to whether you can water process pumpkin butter, thus extending its life to a year or so. As the debate has not proved conclusive either way, I go with the safest method. That is the ‘keep it in the fridge and try and use it within a month’ one.
Once you’ve opened a jar, keep it in the fridge and use within three days. It won’t be difficult.
Alternatively place into freezer proof containers and freeze for up to three months.
Other Recipes For Homemade Spreads You Might Like
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make my version of pumpkin butter, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more pumpkin recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious and nutritious, of course.
Homemade Pumpkin Butter. PIN IT.
Pumpkin Butter – The Recipe
- 900 g (32oz) pumpkin or winter squash flesh (already peeled and deseeded)
- 180 ml (¾ cup) pure apple juice
- 150 g (¾ cup) light brown muscovado sugar or coconut sugar
- 2½ tsp pumpkin spice mix
- Cut the squash into smallish chunks of about 2 ½ cm (1″) square.
- Place in a large lidded pan with the apple juice and bring to the boil.
- Simmer, with the lid on, until soft (approximately 20 minutes).
- Blend with a stick blender or in a food processor until you have a smooth purée.
- Stir in the sugar and pumpkin spice until the sugar has dissolved.
- Simmer gently, with the lid off, for a further 30 minutes or so. Stir occasionally to stop it sticking. It's ready when the mixture is thick and leaves a well defined trail when you drag a spoon through it.
- Spoon into warm sterilised jars. I made four small jars.
- Leave to cool and place in the fridge.
I’m linking this pumpkin butter to Ren’s Simple and in Season monthly event which she hosts on her fabulous blog Fabulicious Food. I just so love that name.
Blog post updated in October 2021.