Pumpkin Butter

We’ve got an abundance of pumpkins in our family garden this year, so I thought it’d be fun to roast a few of our extras for pumpkin puree and pumpkin butter. I’m especially excited about the pumpkin butter because there’s so much you can do with it. You can go simple and spread it over toast like you would with jelly, or you can add a teaspoon or two into your morning yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothie. I’ve also heard it works great as a replacement for pumpkin puree in soup, and homemade pumpkin spice lattes. The only thing to note is that pumpkin butter is not shelf-stable after canning, so it definitely needs to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

To Roast Your Pumpkin:
Grab a small sugar pumpkin, wrap it in foil, and pop it on a cookie sheet in a 300°F oven until it’s squishy and deflated. It’ll take 3 or 4 hours, depending on the size of your pumpkin. Or use any other roasting method you’d like.

Once that’s done, scoop out the seeds and discard the skin before pulsing in a food processor until smooth, or run the entire pumpkin – seeds and all – through a food mill. Either way, you’ll end up with a smooth puree.

If you aren’t going to use your puree immediately, scoop it into a freezer-safe container. It will keep in the freezer for up to one year. Otherwise, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.

To Make Pumpkin Butter, You’ll Need:
• 3 or 4 cups pumpkin puree
• 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
• 2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
• lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• pinch of salt

Pour the pumpkin puree, apple cider or apple juice, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg into a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Continue to stir frequently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture has reached your desired consistency. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt to taste. Stir until combined, and pour into clean jars. Store in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks. Alternatively, you can allow the mixture to cool completely, and store in your freezer (in freezer-friendly containers) for up to a year.

To package my pumpkin butter, I used half-pint jars that I decorated with raffia, and I chose pretty fall colored tags and labels in the style, Champagne.

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Lindsay (129 Posts)

Lindsay is a writer/blogger from Oregon who loves crafting, cooking, gardening, and simple living. You can find her writing about all of this and more on her blog A Wooden Nest.


  1. Patti Phelps says

    Lindsay: I am doing these as wedding favors for my sweet nephew and his fiancee. I am needing smaller oval labels due to the fact my jars are 4 ounces and I cannot print them – hate not to use the labels because they came with the jars that are diamond cut with a smooth surface area on which to stick the labels. Where do you get butcher paper (neat idea)? I am thinking of burlap and wondering if it is too thick to actually go over the band?
    You used twine or embroidery floss – would raffia or jute work? Also, I need the wedding date, names and Love is Sweet on my label – so I have decided that might be too much on a small jar. Thanks to you, I will probably use both label and tag to match. The apple butter is being prepared by a lady who “knows what she is doing” after my nephew & his fiancee attempted 3 different batches and failed. I volunteered to do this and display it @ the wedding before I realized how much time it will require. I work full time and run a business! Her colors are orange, gray & ivory – so I am thinking the spice will do. Any info and help is appreciated.

  2. says

    Hey Patti,

    I usually buy my butcher paper at the craft store, but you can often find it in the grocery store, too. Try the food storage section, or the section with mailing envelopes, tape, and boxes. Worse comes to worse, you can order it online.

    Butcher paper and burlap are two of my favorite things to decorate jars with because I like the rustic look it gives, but it can be kind of a pain to work with. If you’re doing several jars, however (like for a wedding), I think you’ll find that you get used to working with those materials pretty quickly. Both burlap and butcher paper need to be secured with something a little tougher, though, like jute or baking twine (which comes in lots of decorative colors). Raffia works, too.

    Just a thought: You mentioned that the wedding colors are orange, gray and ivory? If you wanted to, you could choose a decorative paper in one of those colors (like gray paper) to top the jars, secure with twine (or ribbon, raffia, etc), and then choose labels in the remaining colors (ivory and orange) so that your jars display the full wedding’s color scheme.

    Also, you mentioned you’re using 4oz jars… If they’re regular 4oz canning jars, any small 2″ diameter label will fit. My Own Labels makes labels especially for regular mouth and wide mouth jars. I would definitely use both a tag and a label in your case because it sounds like there’s a lot of information. Also, having a matching tag and label makes the jars look really nice.

    I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have anymore questions. Good luck with the favors. :)

  3. Sande says

    This sounds delicious, but I have several kuri squash waiting for me and may have to try this with pumpkin and then one with squash. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Jen says

    I have made apple butter a few times in the crockpot instead of the stove because it is a lot easier. I plan to make this pumpkin butter the same way. I will let you know how it turns out.

  5. Meg says

    Hi Lindsay,

    I was wondering how many cups you get from roasting the pumpkin. If I do a pumpkin, is it enough for the pumpkin butter, and then would there be leftovers, or should I get two pumpkins so I have a lot. I found an awesome pumpkin bread recipe and I’ve been making it like crazy so I want to have plenty of pumpkin puree so I don’t have to buy it in cans anymore. I’m sure the homemade is going to be way better!


  6. says

    Hey Meg,

    I hate to say it, but the quantity and number of pint-jars needed really just depends on how large your pumpkin is. I would only roast one small pumpkin for the butter, though, because it’s not shelf-stable. You’ll have to store it in the refrigerator, so you only want to use as much as you think you can eat within a month. Of course, if you freeze it, that’s a whole different story.

    As a general rule, if you roast a 1 pound pumpkin, you should get about 1 cup of puree.

    Hope that helps,

  7. Shannon says

    I love your ideas and recipes etc. I have a question. Have you “canned” this pumpkin butter to where it doesn’t have to be refridgerated like for Christmas presents that can be put under the tree or taken to parties and not have to be refridgerated??? Would I follow the water bath method?THANK YOU:)

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