Recipe: Pumpkin Butter

17 Nov

’tis the season for the humble pumpkin.  It can be utilized endlessly in sweet or savory dishes, but sadly most Americans only know it in two forms: carved for Halloween or in a can for pie.

Pumpkins are fantastic!  There is a bit of prep when using a whole pumpkin, but I hope you will give it a try.


  • 4 cups pumpkin puree (see note)
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2-3 whole star anise
  • Hunk of fresh ginger; peeled and cut into 2-3 pieces
  • 1+ tbsp cinnamon
  • 2+ tsp ground cloves
  • 2+ tsp ground nutmeg

A note about pumpkin puree: If using fresh pumpkin, I recommend using pie (sometimes called a “sugar”) or Cinderella pumpkins.  Scoop out seeds, cut into large chunks and steam the pumpkin until the flesh easily scoops away from the skin.  Use a food processor to make very smooth.  If this seems too daunting, feel free to use canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!).


  • Put all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium-low heat until pumpkin has darkened and has taken on a nice sheen; about 15-20 minutes. Taste and add more spices as you see fit.  If you want more sweetness, add 1/4 cup of brown sugar.
  • That’s it!  Remove star anise and ginger pieces and ladle pumpkin butter into storage containers.  If using glass, allow the pumpkin butter to cool before putting into glass.
  • Store it in the fridge and consume in a week or so.


Even in a pressure cooker.  It is too dense to be safely canned, but it does freeze well.

What to do with pumpkin butter?  Smother it on toast, muffins or biscuits.  I personally like to mix it with cream cheese on bagels.  It makes a great filling for tarts or have a little with vanilla ice cream.



Posted by on 17 November 2011 in Recipes



16 responses to “Recipe: Pumpkin Butter

  1. promenadeplantings

    17 November 2011 at 13:06

    I’ve never heard of pumpkin butter before, it sounds delicious!

  2. J (@RedHeadedWriter)

    17 November 2011 at 13:45

    Yup. Delicious. You should really branch out into your own Food Blog because you are AmAzInG with all these recipes…

    If I was married to you I’d be well fed. ;)

    • Smedette

      17 November 2011 at 13:50

      Thanks, dear. I love the food this time of year produces.

  3. Mad Woman behind the Blog

    17 November 2011 at 14:31

    Might I recommend this pumpkin butter recipe:
    1. Steal one jar from Smedette
    2. Grab a spoon.
    3. Hide in a closet.
    4. Open and enjoy.

    BTW, are you taking applications for sister-wives? Or an interest in applying to be one?

    • Smedette

      17 November 2011 at 14:51

      I could totally be your sister-wife!

    • John

      18 November 2011 at 10:04

      Hey – I was going to say “why not just steal this.” I already hoodwinked @in_mandyland into sending me jam…but, if I were to steal from Smedette, I think I’d have to wait for limoncello.

      still, this sounds amazing. I actually make peach butter toward the end of most summers….I need to find a pumpkin farm that’s looking to get rid of excess crop and get over my “pumpkins are difficult to work with” fear.

      • Smedette

        18 November 2011 at 11:39

        Fruit butters are awesome. I made ginger-apricot this summer and it will be a sad, sad day when those jars are empty.

        Pumpkins take some work, but no more than a butternut squash in my opinion. Just make sure your knife is very sharp and have at it.

        The best part – ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS!

  4. val

    17 November 2011 at 17:27

    I used pumpkin butter to make granola, and it turned out really well. I used variations of these recipes, just using what I had (all pumpkin butter instead of pumpkin puree and apple).

    • Smedette

      17 November 2011 at 20:20

      Using it to make granola is a great idea! Thanks for sharing those links.

  5. ohkeeka [The Type A Housewife]

    18 November 2011 at 19:05

    I love pumpkin butter–I learned by accident that it’s really good on waffles.

    This weekend I think I’m going to buy a bunch of pumpkins to make puree with & freeze. I always buy the canned stuff, which makes me feel lazy & I try to avoid canned foods whenever possible because of the whole BPA thing. Hopefully it would last a whole year frozen?

  6. Zev

    21 November 2011 at 18:45

    I love those squat Ball jars. We’ll have to try this recipe in the near future.

    • Smedette

      21 November 2011 at 20:08

      Those jars are one of my favorites. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Badger

    22 November 2011 at 17:55

    Seems like its exactly like Vegemite

    • Smedette

      22 November 2011 at 18:21


      You have no idea how hard that made me laugh.

  8. the wicked noodle

    23 November 2011 at 10:16

    I don’t think I’ve ever found a Thanksgiving recipe I didn’t love!


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