Homemade Pumpkin Butter {quick & easy}

Make your own quick and easy Homemade Pumpkin Butter Trader Joe’s® style! Bright flavor notes from apple juice or cider and a touch of fresh lemon as well as sweetened and spiced just right, our pumpkin butter does not disappoint. Don’t wait until fall to make this quick and easy all-season version to enjoy on biscuits, muffins and scones, etc. Recipe includes paleo and vegan options, a variation for Bourbon Pumpkin Butter and 12 ways to enjoy pumpkin butter. Ready in just 15 minutes!

Are you like me? Do you stockpile your favorite pumpkin butter to keep on hand year ‘round? Although I enjoy making my own pumpkin purée and pumpkin butter from scratch, sometimes in a time crunch when a major crave hits it is especially handy to have some prepared pumpkin butter in the pantry, like my favorite by Trader Joe’s®, or to make your own quick style Homemade Pumpkin Butter using canned pumpkin purée.

What, an all-season pumpkin butter recipe from canned pumpkin purée? Yes. You can do this. Totally.

If a celebrated and world renowned multi-Michelin-starred chef, such as Chef Daniel Boulud, can embrace canned tuna when he cooks at home, we can all embrace canned pumpkin purée to make a quick and easy style of pumpkin butter when we cook at home, too.

Although the pumpkin butter by Trader Joe’s® does not contain apple juice or cider, I enjoyed concocting my own homemade version to include it yet keep with the same bright flavor notes by adding freshly squeezed lemon juice after cooking. Going further, I like to juice fresh Honeycrisp apples when available and add it to this recipe for a truly incredible pumpkin butter.

All pumpkin butters are not the same. In fact, I am not really a fan of super thick and very dark pumpkin butters that are too sweet, overly spiced with too much cinnamon and taste a bit overcooked—almost burnt—where the flavor of pumpkin is entirely lost.

Instead, I prefer a lighter pumpkin butter both in color and texture, spiced just right with ample citrus notes from lemon, that allows the full pumpkin flavor to shine through without getting muddied down. These quality characteristics make an especially sublime Homemade Pumpkin Butter for both eating and baking.

Ingredients list from the label of Trader Joe’s® Pumpkin ButterPumpkin, sugar, honey, lemon juice concentrate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg.

So, why am I sharing a Homemade Pumpkin Butter recipe today? Am I crazy?

Homemade Pumpkin Butter {quick & easy}
Homemade Pumpkin Butter {quick & easy}

Homemade Pumpkin Butter {quick & easy}


  • 1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin purée or solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) 100% pure apple juice (no sugar added) or apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons fine-quality ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice


In a large glass heatproof and microwavable safe bowl, combine all ingredients with the exception of the lemon juice. Cover with a loose covering that is microwavable safe such as a sheet of wax paper or paper towel.

Cook on high power for 6 minutes; stir. Cook an additional 6 minutes; stir. Cook for an additional 3 minutes; stir.

Carefully remove hot bowl from microwave using oven mitts for protection. Carefully remove loose cover and stir in lemon juice.

Cool completely. Cover airtight and store in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes


For Bourbon Pumpkin Butter: Add 1 tablespoon bourbon (or favorite whiskey) before cooking pumpkin butter.For Paleo Pumpkin Butter: Replace sugars with 1 cup (or to taste) coconut palm sugar, organic maple sugar, raw honey or pure maple syrup.For Vegan Pumpkin Butter: Replace sugars with 1 cup (or to taste) vegan sugar, coconut palm sugar, organic maple sugar, pure maple syrup or agave nectar.For Thick-Style Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter: Place all ingredients except lemon juice in crockpot and stir until well combined. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until desired thickness. To prevent scorching, sticking and burning, stir every 90 minutes. Transfer to bowl and stir in lemon juice. Cool completely. Cover airtight and store in refrigerator. Makes 3 to 4 cups (depending on thickness).For Stove Top Pumpkin Butter: In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except lemon juice. Cook over medium-high heat and bring mixture to a boil. (Be careful as the mixture will bubble and splatter.) Once the mixture reaches a full boil, reduce heat to medium-low and carefully cover loosely with a lid allowing a small amount of steam to escape as well as protect the cooktop and hands from hot splatter. Continue to simmer the mixture, stirring frequently to prevent burning or scorching, until thickened, about 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to bowl and stir in lemon juice. Cool completely. Cover airtight and store in refrigerator. Makes about 4 to 5 cups (depending on thickness).Tips:Pumpkin butter will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.Pumpkin butter may be frozen for long-term storage and will keep when tightly sealed and wrapped for 6 to 12 months. If freezing, be sure to label and date the package.For especially bright apple flavor notes, use a crushing or masticating juicer to make fresh squeezed apple juice from red skinned apples, such as Honeycrisp apples, and use in place of purchased apple juice or apple cider.For pumpkin butter with more molasses flavor and deeper color, use all or part dark brown sugar.Canning is not recommended for pumpkin butter due to the low acid content.

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