Homemade Pumpkin Butter (Quick & Easy!)

Pumpkin Butter.  I spent most of my adult life with little interest in pumpkin butter.  I think it comes from some deep-rooted scars of my youth after tasting apple butter for the first time and realizing it had absolutely nothing do to with actual butter.  (I mean, false advertising, right?)  But one time when I needed pumpkin butter for a recipe and I couldn’t find it anywhere, I figured I would just make my own.  And it was SO much better than anything I had ever bought.  So what is pumpkin butter?  Spoiler alert: no actual butter involved.  It’s pumpkin puree loaded with fall spices and sweet scents of maple and apple that’s been cooked down until it’s thick and spreadable.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Some recipes involve hollowing out fresh pumpkin and roasting or slow cooking for hours, but this little short-cut version will give you rich, flavorful pumpkin butter right on your stove top in under 30 minutes.  Now you might be thinking,  “Great, Sara.  But what the heck do I do with pumpkin butter?”  Well.  First of all, it’s like autumn in a jar.  So there’s that.  It’s fantastic spread on buttered toast, pancakes, waffles, and french toast.  Put a dollop over this baked overnight French toast, or spread in between delicate crepes.  It’s also amazing swirled into creamy cheesecake, vanilla ice cream, or warm oatmeal.  So now that you are salivating, ready to make it?

You just dump everything in a pot here.  Couldn’t be easier. Well it could if you somehow got someone else to make this for you and deliver it.  That would be way easier.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

I suggest using real maple syrup here, the good stuff, but that’s not totally necessary.  And you can adjust the spices as you wish, it’s 100% customizable.  I happen to love nutmeg and cloves so I tend to go heavier on those.  Other people will hurt you if you add too much nutmeg to anything *cough* Kate *cough cough* Stir everything up and it looks pretty ordinary.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

But after simmering for 20-30 minutes, some of the liquid evaporates and the flavors are concentrated.  Look how thick and creamy it’s become.  Kind of like spreadable pumpkin pie.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

I love keeping this in a little jam jar in the fridge.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

And it makes such a sweet fall gift.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Throw a little tag on there and tie it to a box of pancake mix and you’ll knock someone’s socks off.  Speaking of cute tags- if you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen my hand-lettering posts.  I have a blog post all about it, here, if you’re interested in getting started!  I love hand-lettering gift tags for goodies; one of my favorite things to write on!  I posted a photo over the weekend on Instagram

hand lettering to share that some of my most favorite hand-lettering designers just released an amazing course that I love.  You can see all the info by clicking here.  If you use my code OURBESTBITES10, you will save 10%. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to write like this, I highly recommend this class.  I went through it this weekend and it’s fantastic!  Anyway, back to pumpkin buttah’

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

It’s delicious.  And it’s going to show up in a recipe next week that you’re going to love!

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Butter

A quick and easy recipe for homemade pumpkin butter. Tastes amazing on toast, waffles, pancakes, crepes, french toast, or swirled into cheesecake, ice cream, or brownies!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 14 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar I prefer dark
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup I suggest 100% pure
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch salt


  • Whisk all ingredients together in a pot on the stove top, bring to a low simmer. Simmer until thick, about 20-25 minutes, stirring often. Adjust spices and sweeteners as desired. If it gets too thick, just add a little more apple cider. Let cool completely and store in fridge.


  • Recipe is easily doubled using the large can of pumpkin puree.
Author: Our Best Bites
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. The same thing happened to me with apple butter! My mom used to heat up applesauce with a bit o’butter melted in it for pancakes, waffles, etc., and I grew up thinking that was what apple butter was. I was telling a friend I love apple butter and she gave me a jar. WHAT. Not buttery applesauce at all! Still good, but WHAT?! Definitely misleading! 😉

  2. I am guessing this makes about two cups, but just thought I would verify that with you. Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  3. Sara,

    This looks delish! I love that it only takes 30 minutes to make. I’ll have to give it a try!

  4. I’m with Kate on the nutmeg! And while I love love love how cloves smell, I don’t like how they taste, so I make everything pumpkin-related with just cinnamon.

    1. It’s true. If you tell me there’s nutmeg in my pasta/pasta sauce, I will cut you. ?

  5. This looks delicious! I love pumpkin butter from Trader Joe’s as a filling for cinnamon rolls, but something tells me this will be even better. I use the World’s Best Dinner Rolls recipe from your site, and then smear pumpkin butter all over it. Top it with some maple icing… yummy!

  6. I have had similar feeling for pumpkin “butter” (please imagine my finger quotes and scoffing tone of voice) 🙂 But now I have a question! After your pumpkin spice extravaganza last week, I immediately went out and bought most of your heck-yes items, including the noosa. (What can I say, I’m persuadable! Basically, it blew me away.) Does your pumpkin butter taste like the bottom of the noosa?

  7. We grew a LOT of pumpkins this year. Do you think I could process this for storage? How long does it keep in the fridge? AND what about freezing? Thanks for sharing. I LOVE your website and recipes!!

    1. Freezing, yes! In terms of canning, you’d want to find a recipe that has been specifically designed and tested for canning. How fun to have lots of pumpkins. Thanks for the sweet words!

  8. I’m excited for this, as well as the recipe that uses it next week. A friend of mine says she makes pumpkin pie with pumpkin butter and it’s amazing. I’ve been looking for recipes around, but can’t seem to find anything.

  9. Ohhhh that looks like the perfect gift! I have a thing for gifts in jars – homemade cookies, granola… And I have never had pumpkin (or apple) butter, so I’ve gotta try this!
    Have a great week 🙂