Easy pumpkin butter to sweeten fall and winter.
This easy homemade pumpkin butter recipe makes a wonderfully sweet spread. Made with a simple can of pumpkin, spices, and brown sugar, this pumpkin butter tastes just like pumpkin pie — but without the work.
What Is Pumpkin Butter?
Pumpkin butter is a sweet spread made primarily from pumpkin purée cooked with pumpkin spice and a little sweetener like maple syrup or brown sugar.
Easy to make and ready in about 20 minutes, homemade pumpkin butter has all the flavor and silkiness of pumpkin pie, but with a lot less work and time.
Despite its ease and lack of fat (there’s no actual butter in pumpkin butter), this easy pumpkin butter tastes incredibly silky and rich, thanks to cooking it down with just the right amount of liquid and spice.
Is There Butter in Pumpkin Butter?
Nope! The “butter” in pumpkin butter refers to the silky spreadable texture, and not actual dairy butter.
In fact, this pumpkin butter recipe is completely vegan, with only pumpkin purée; brown sugar; pumpkin spices like ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon; and a little lemon juice and water.
Homemade Spiced Pumpkin Butter Recipe Steps
This is an easy, 15-minute pumpkin butter recipe that has very little to it. Here are the steps:
- First, combine all the ingredients in a small pot. Whisk to emulsify.
- Bring the mixture just to a boil, then simmer (partly covered) for about 15 minutes. You’ll want to stir it as it cooks.
- When thickened, taste for seasoning. Transfer to a container to cool. Serve cool or at room temperature.
Recipe Notes and Substitutions
- Can I substitute brown sugar for white? What about other sweetener? Yes! You do not have to use brown sugar. I like brown sugar because of the color and molasses and caramel flavor notes. But you could substitute white sugar or maple syrup. If you swap sweetener, start with 1/3 cup, and then taste to see if you want more.
- What brand of pumpkin purée? I like Libby’s brand canned pumpkin purée, but any good-quality pumpkin purée will do. You could also make your own homemade pumpkin purée, of course!
What to Serve With Pumpkin Butter
Pumpkin butter is very versatile. It makes a wonderful spread for toast, bread, muffins, scones, and other simple baked goods.
You can also pair pumpkin butter with cheese as a condiment on a charcuterie plate. The best pumpkin and cheese pairings are blue cheese, aged cheddar, parmesan, and goat cheese.
Love pumpkin butter? You’ll also love:
Homemade Pumpkin Butter
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (feel free to go with a tablespoon or two less; you can always sweeten it to taste at the end)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or fresh-grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch ground cloves
- squirt of fresh lemon juice
- Combine all the ingredients in a pot and stir to combine.
- Bring just to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, partly covered, for about 15 minutes until thickened. Be sure to stir occasionally while the pumpkin butter is cooking.TIP: How do you know when the pumpkin butter has thickened enough? The pumpkin butter should be making big, fat bubbles (careful!). Also, dip a spoon into the pumpkin and draw a line down the center of the spoon. The pumpkin butter should hold a line and not fill back in right away.
- Taste for seasoning and sweetness. Spoon into a jar or bowl to cool. Serve with crackers, baked goods, or cheese. PRO TIP: As a condiment for cheese and crackers, I would pair pumpkin butter with aged cheddar or parmesan cheese, or with any creamy blue cheese or goat cheese.