Pumpkin Butter

Fall's iconic orange gourd has a place beyond October 31: as pumpkin butter, a fiber-filled spread packed with beta-carotene.

Chef Mary Dumont of Harvest restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, shares her take on this seasonal spread.
Body+Soul, October 2008
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  • 2 pounds peeled, seeded, and diced sugar pie pumpkin (substitute canned if needed)
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a stainless steel pot, combine pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, and salt; bring to a simmer. (If using fresh pumpkin, stir until it's tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.)

  2. Continue simmering until the mixture starts to thicken, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender; blend until smooth. Return mixture to pot and heat for 10 minutes on low until it reaches desired thickness. Remove, cool, and serve.

Cook's Note

Feeling adventurous? Try one of these variations: Apple-Cinnamon: Add 1/2 pound of peeled and diced Granny Smith apples, 3/4 cup apple juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Spread this on toast for a sweet treat. Cardamom-Clove: Add 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon ground clove, and 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice. This slightly more savory butter goes well with meats such as pork.

Recipe Reviews

Reviews (10)

  • redharmony1 12 Oct, 2013

    What is the amount of **canned** pumpkin necessary for this recipe if you are not able to use fresh pumpkin? Kind of odd, I have always found Martha recipes to be so detailed in their information, but this one is lacking! Help!

  • Mayson 7 Oct, 2010

    Does anyone know if this can be frozen, and if so...for how long? Also, how long will it last in the fridge in an airtight container?

  • wamchick 17 Nov, 2009

    I made this and agree with jenng315, it is a good base but i added ground clove, lemon juice, apple juice, and cinnamon (how can you not have cinnamon?) My place smelled great of days and it tastes just like pumpkin pie on bread.

  • Nessajoy 2 Oct, 2009

    According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, it is unsafe to can pureed pumpkin or pumpkin butter. For more info, follow this link...


  • BoredLittleMonkey 29 Oct, 2008

    Sillyswede and Jenng315-You're the best ! The information was EXACTLY what I needed ! Thanks for helping me to prepare tasty treats for family and friends throughout the coming months !

  • jenng315 29 Oct, 2008

    Good base recipe but I found it lacking in the spice dept so I added Cinnamon, ginger, all spice and cloves to add a little zing. I also found that it needed some liquid to process. It was way too thick. I added water but another pumpkin butter recipe I found suggested apple juice. I also added a few tablespoons os molassas to give it a rich flavor. It turned out really good!

  • sillyswede 28 Oct, 2008

    BoredLittleMonkey: Yes, you can "put up" the pumpking butter. Make sure your jars and lids are sterilized, then put the butter in the jars leaving 1/2 inch at the top, secure the lids, and "process" for 10 mins in boiling water. The water must be 1 inch over the top of the lids to process correctly.
    mjrb: If using canned pumpkin, read the label and remember that 16 ounces equals one pound. I think you will need one large and one small can of pumpkin to equal the 2 pounds

  • BoredLittleMonkey 27 Oct, 2008

    Can this recipe be "canned" in pint-size jars, or frozen in freezer-safe conatainers, and put up for use throughout the holiday season ?

  • mjrb 27 Oct, 2008

    If using canned pumpkin, what is the volume measurement for the pumpkin puree?

  • Mommy2Angels 27 Oct, 2008

    Oh my goodness does this sound YUMMY