Homemade pumpkin butter is creamy, sweet, and packed with fall spices. Spread it atop scones or toast, use to fill cinnamon rolls, or stir into your morning bowl of yogurt.
A simple combination of pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and fall spices — plus a few other choice ingredients — delivers a delicious pumpkin butter with a surprising depth of flavor.
Rather than flavor this recipe with pumpkin pie spice, I opted to create my own spice blend using cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. The blend of spices in store-bought pumpkin pie spice varies between brands, and I wanted to make sure this pumpkin butter came out perfectly each time.
Although this is an incredibly easy recipe, it does require some stirring on the stove to prevent it from burning. Otherwise it’s a straightforward dump-and-stir recipe that can be made at a moment’s notice!
Pumpkin Butter Ingredients
The ingredients list for homemade pumpkin butter is short, so I’ll quickly go over everything you’ll need to make the recipe.
- Pumpkin puree: Be sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, which is already sweetened and has spices added to it. The only ingredient on the can should be pumpkin.
- Apple cider: I prefer to use apple cider in this recipe because it has more flavor. If you can’t find any, you can buy a box of individual packets of apple cider at the store and make your own or use apple juice.
- Brown sugar: Both light and dark brown sugar would work in this recipe. The brown sugar sweetens the pumpkin butter while also imparting a rich caramel flavor.
- Spices: You’ll be using equal parts ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. I also added a little salt to enhance the pumpkin flavor and balance out the brown sugar.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract is best. Add the vanilla after the pumpkin butter is finished cooking to preserve its flavor.
How to Make Pumpkin Butter
Making pumpkin butter couldn’t be simpler! Just note that it does require continual stirring, so you should plan on standing by the stove for 30 to 40 minutes. Pop in your headphones or call a friend and get comfy!
- Whisk together the pumpkin, apple cider, spices, and sugar: You’ll want to use a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom so the pumpkin mixture doesn’t burn.
- Cook over medium-low heat: The pumpkin butter needs to cook low and slow for around 35 minutes. Give the mixture a good stir every couple of minutes to prevent the bottom from burning. You may also need to place a lid slightly ajar atop the saucepan if your mixture starts splattering.
- Add the vanilla extract: Once it’s thickened to your liking, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Let cool: Transfer the pumpkin butter to a heatproof container, then let cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
Pumpkin Butter Uses
I spread my pumpkin butter onto slices of toast in these photos, but there are so many ways to enjoy this fall spread! Here are a few of my favorite ways to use it:
- Spread on pumpkin scones
- A topping for french toast, pancakes, or waffles
- Filling for cinnamon rolls
- A topping for yogurt, oatmeal, or vanilla ice cream
- As a spread for toast, english muffins, or biscuits
Pumpkin butter should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last up to two weeks.
It can also be frozen for up to three months. If you make a big batch, I recommend freezing it in smaller portions so you can thaw a little bit at a time.
Can This Recipe Be Doubled?
Absolutely! As written, the recipe makes about 2 cups. You can easily double or triple it if you plan on freezing it for later, or giving it as gifts around the holidays. Keep in mind that if you do increase the recipe, you may need to slightly increase the cook time as well.
- If you prefer a pumpkin butter that’s less sweet, you may reduce the brown sugar from 2/3 cup to 1/2 cup.
- If you’re out of brown sugar or can’t find it where you live, you can make a substitute using just granulated sugar and molasses.
- You must use plain pumpkin puree in this recipe, not pumpkin pie filling. Likewise, you need to use regular apple cider (non-alcoholic).
More Recipes Using Pumpkin Puree!
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
- ½ cup apple cider (120 ml)
- ⅔ cup light or dark brown sugar (135 grams)
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add the pumpkin puree, apple cider, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt to a medium saucepan and whisk until fully combined.
- Place the saucepan over medium-low heat (I set mine to 2 or 3 on my burner). Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes so that it doesn’t burn. If needed, you can place a lid slightly ajar on top of the saucepan to prevent any splatters.
- Once the pumpkin butter has thickened and reached your desired consistency, remove it from the heat. Add the vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.
- Transfer the pumpkin butter to a heat-proof container and let it cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to use.