Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Homemade Pumpkin Butter | Kitchen in the Hills

It’s that time of year again. And I am one of those people that gets way too excited for the holidays.

I’ve been listening to Christmas music on Rdio, and it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet. I’ve started making mental lists of fun winter activities I want to do— the people I want to see, the places I want to visit. I’ve been looking out for the best winter store displays, and wearing flannel and sweaters like they’re going out of style. (This is odd, of course, because I live in Berkeley, California. The weather rarely drops below 55 this time of year.)

Homemade Pumpkin Butter | Kitchen in the Hills

But, of course, it’s too early for holiday cheer. Today we pull back. This is a recipe that feels appropriate in November— it’s a real fall treat. It’s something that you eat as the weather grows colder, but doesn’t quite work once Christmas and New Year roll around.

Unless, of course, you just love pumpkin that much. Nothing wrong with that.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter | Kitchen in the Hills

Don’t let the myriad of pumpkin-flavored things at Trader Joe’s overwhelm you.  This is a season when everyone obsesses over pumpkin. PSLs (that’s pumpkin spice lattes, to you) at Starbucks. Those pumpkin flavored items in the grocery aisles, and lined up next to the checkout counter. Pumpkin cakes, pumpkin cookies. Pumpkin coffee creamer… I bought that. I’m not proud.

Most of those items are made with artificial pumpkin flavor. And most of us are tired of it by now.

But real pumpkin? Roasted-in-your-oven pumpkin, with a homemade blend of spices? That’s something else entirely. I find that pumpkin that I cook at home tastes totally different from the artificial or canned stuff. It can be refreshing. Just don’t overdose on it.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter | Kitchen in the Hills

This is pumpkin butter made totally from scratch. You roast a pumpkin, scoop out the insides, toss them in a blender with some sugar and spice, and cook it down into this magic.

Put it on your morning toast. Swirl it into some yogurt. Use it to flavor a yeast bread. Dip apple slices into it. Add a little to a pan of cheesecake brownies.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter | Kitchen in the Hills

You’re going to puree the pumpkin until it’s totally smooth, then let it simmer with brown sugar, maple syrup, and spices. This combo of super smooth pumpkin and cooked down sugar syrup ensures that the butter will turn out creamy and chunk-free.

The recipe is far easier than it seems upon first glance, and definitely worth the extra effort. Pull out your blender, chop up some pumpkin, and get started! (And if you’re tempted to listen to Christmas music while you make it, I don’t blame you.)


Homemade Pumpkin Butter


  • 4-4.5 cups fresh pumpkin puree (made from ~4 lbs sugar pie pumpkins)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider, apple juice, or water
  • 1 cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • salt, a pinch


  1. Add the pumpkin puree and cider to a blender. Blend until completely smooth, stopping to stir the pumpkin when necessary. A few extra tablespoons of water may be needed to allow the mixture to blend. This may take a few minutes when working with a regular blender. The final consistency should be very smooth when scooped out with a spoon.
  2. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend again until throughly combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a medium-sixed pot. Cover, but leave the lid slightly ajar. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is as thick as you’d like. The mixture does splatter easily while cooking, so use caution when stirring!
  4. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for 2-4 weeks.

Recipe from Oh She Glows.


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