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Easy, Delicious Pumpkin Butter

A few years ago, I found myself with an extra can of pumpkin puree. It must have been the same year as the great "canned pumpkin shortage" that set the world on a mass rush to stock up. (The struggle is real, folks.)

I wanted to use up the whole can—not just a half-cup or a few tablespoons, as most recipes called for. And I did NOT want to make another pumpkin pie.

A quick Pinterest search led me to a recipe for pumpkin butter. I had heard of apple butter but not pumpkin butter, but the recipe looked simple enough—especially since I had all of the ingredients I needed on hand.

I also loved the fact that it was dairy-free, so that my vegan daughter could try it, and loved even more that no canning was involved. I could simply store it in the fridge or even freeze it.

So I whipped up a batch. And it was so delicious that I now make sure I have several "extra" cans of pumpkin in my pantry every year.

Pumpkin butter is delicious on just about anything you can think to spread it on (or swirl it in)!

  • Spread it on toast, muffins, bagels or crackers.
  • Use it as a dip for fresh fruit.
  • Make a parfait, layered with granola and Greek yogurt.
  • Swirl it into blondies, cheesecake or brownies.
  • Stir into smoothies, chutneys or ice cream.
  • Use as a filling for hand pies, rugelach or sweet ravioli.

This recipe makes a generous amount, perfect for portioning into pretty glass jars and giving as a unique gift. And with the holidays coming up, what could be better?

Recipe: Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Yields: approximately two cups


  • one 29-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice or cider
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Combine all ingredients except the lemon juice in a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and loosely cover (you want to allow some steam to escape).
  2. Cook, stirring frequently so that the bottom doesn't burn, for 35–45 minutes, or until mixture is thickened.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and cool completely. Store pumpkin butter in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month; freeze for longer storage.

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Images via Sheri Silver

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