Homemade Pecan Pumpkin Butter

by Shawnda on September 19, 2012

in Condiments,DIY,Pumpkin

Updated from the archives.
Homemade Pecan Pumpkin Butter

No trip to the mall is complete without a 20-minute detour into the shiny, overpriced gourmet kitchen store. We like to slowly creep along the aisles, ooohing over fancy salts, aaahing over delicious oils and gourmet chocolates, and shaking our head disapprovingly at $100 pairing knives.

Six (!) years ago, we bought our first few jars of Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter at that shiny store and used it for holiday baking. If you’ve never had it, you’re missing out. It. Is. Terrific. It’s good in pumpkin bread, cinnamon rolls (stay tuned!) as pumpkin pie filling, and on brie. Oh my goodness, the brie (slather it on a wheel of baked brie, add walnuts or pecans, wrap it in puff pastry and devour).

And I’m not the only fan! But at $12 for less than 2 cups, it’s a wee bit cost-prohibitive to load up on it for a marathon baking session or to just stand there and eat it with a spoon (a serving suggestion that I highly recommend).

Homemade Pecan Pumpkin Butter

The ingredients which make up the store-bought pumpkin butter couldn’t be easier to obtain: pumpkin, pecans, sugar, lemon juice, and spices.

5 years ago, I whipped up my first batch of homemade pecan pumpkin butter based (mostly) on those ingredients and took a pretty unattractive picture (photographing brown food sucks) and posted it to the internet. Because every year around this time it becomes one of the top recipes on the blog, I decided that bowl of brown stuff needed a new photo. So here’s a new picture. Of a jar of brown stuff :)

Pecan Pumpkin Butter

A homemade version of the gourmet kitchen store favorite, fragrant and flavorful pecan pumpkin butter.


  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon*
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg*
  • 1/4 tsp allspice*
  • 1/8 tsp cloves*
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger*
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Can replace with 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spread pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 7 minutes, until browned and fragrant.
  3. Run the pecans through the food processor until finely ground - they'll start to take on a pasty consistency (pecan butter!).
  4. In a 2-qt sauce pan over medium heat, combine the citrus zests and juices and dark brown sugar. Stir until warmed. Add pumpkin, nuts, and spices and reduce heat to low, simmering for 20
  5. Turn heat down to low, simmering for 20-30 minutes, until thickened and the color darkens.
  6. Stir and taste for seasoning and sweetness occasionally, adding additional spices as necessary.
  7. The pumpkin butter will keep 2-3 weeks in the fridge.


Yields: ~2 cups

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 40 minutes


{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ann P. September 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm

OOOOh, how awesome would this be on waffles!? :D


2 Jen M O September 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I’ve never had pumpkin butter but it sounds really good. I am going to put it on my list of items to make.


3 Joanie Anderson September 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm

The recipe states “1 can pumpkin”. What size please?


4 foodiebride September 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm

That would have been helpful! 15oz. I edited the ingredients – thanks!


5 Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes September 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

This looks awesome!! What do you put it on normally?


6 Mary B. November 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Check out Williams and Sonoma’s Holiday recipes and they have have recipe for http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/pecan-pumpkin-butter-pie-with-cinnamon-caramel-sauce.html?cm_src=RECIPESEARCH! It sounded so good to me that I just had to see if I could find a recipe for the butter and low and behold I did!!!!


7 Cupcake and Talk September 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I am glad you posted this recipe again. I am going to try and make this soon.
Thank you for the recipe.


8 Molly September 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Omg, I love the pumpkin butter from WS and always stock up on them this time of year. So excited to see the homemade version! Looks awesome and even better that it will save me money. Thank you!


9 Cathy @ Noble Pig September 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I love, love, love this! And the brie-puff pastry thing…yes please!


10 Kelsey September 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

I love that Muirhead stuff. I’m actually featuring a recipe using it tomorrow but I’m so glad to have a homemade version now!


11 janet @ the taste space September 23, 2012 at 10:36 am

This looks fabulous! I love how it doesn’t have too much sweetener, either!


12 Rayna September 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm

This has my favorite thing: pecans, pumpkin, and cinnamon! This looks delicious.


13 Pamela September 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Thank you! How lovely of you to create and post this wonderful recipe! You made me smile with anticipation!


14 Whitney September 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

Looks delicious! Do you think I could jar these and finish in a water bath to keep longer?


15 foodiebride September 28, 2012 at 9:33 am

When I first looked into it a few years ago, it was recommended to not can it because there wasn’t enough acid or sugar in the recipe to make it safe for canning.


16 foodiebride September 28, 2012 at 9:40 am
17 Whitney September 28, 2012 at 10:17 am

Really helpful, thank you!


18 astasia lagoni October 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I have a jar of pecan pumpkin butter boughten at a local fruit farm last fall and just recently opened it to find a darker color layer almost a 1/4 ” thick on the top. Jar popped when opened, so i dont think the seal was bad. Wondering if this color change is normal and if it is safe to eat ??? thank you


19 foodiebride October 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I have never stored the homemade stuff long enough to see any discoloration.


20 ErinsFoodFiles October 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm

What the F? I need to make this now! Please excuse my language, I’m just really excited.


21 Emily Hayes Greenwald November 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I just whipped some of this together with pumpkin that I’d roasted from a fresh whole one and then processed. The color is a little muddy, but MAN is it tasty.


22 Lisa November 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm

1–How does the flavor compare to WS’s version?
2–Does this recipe have the same consistency as the WS version? It is featured in a cake desert I would like to make but would like to know if I have to adjust the tweek the recipe at all.
Thanks in advance,


23 Ruby December 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm

When is the salt added?


24 foodiebride December 29, 2012 at 10:11 am

Step 4.


25 Margaret Van Dagens January 18, 2013 at 9:23 am

Food lovers might enjoy the Muirhead website, http://www.muirheadfoods.com. You’ll find lots of fruit butters and treats like Tangy Cherry Chutney which is delicious to put on chicken as it bakes.


26 May September 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

I’d love to make a nut free version of this recipe as my husband is allergic. Any suggestions for substitutions for the pecans to thicken the pumpkin butter? Thanks!


27 Alyssa July 17, 2014 at 4:02 am

Sunflower seeds, perhaps?


28 bakergirlmd October 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Hi, I was just at that expensive store in the mall and yes, I have tried the Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter. Yes, it is amazing, but it for an amazing price. Thanks so much for providing! By the way, WS had a recipe they were demo’ing called Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Bars, but did not want to buy the spiced pecan pumpkin quick bread mix. The bread itself looks delish–but if you have a similar recipe, please share! THANKS!


29 Sara Schnell November 11, 2013 at 8:58 pm

I just picked up Phillsbury’s Pumpkin Quick Bread that I will be adding some pecans to. Not sure how is compares to the expensive food stores but I will be making their Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Bars with my students on Friday.


30 Nancy November 1, 2013 at 8:09 am

This is from 7 years ago…
Another person I knew had posted the recipe and after I got to taste this at the shiny red store when I went in to pick up the pecan pumpkin butter – oh yum!
Not that you need the extra fat or calories, but it would taste REALLY
good with some Whipped Cream on top!! This is replacing Pumpkin Pie this year.

William Sonoma Pumpkin Bar Recipe

1 pkg. yellow cake mix; set aside 1 cup
1 jar William Sonoma pecan pumpkin butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/8 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350

Divide yellow cake mix, placing all but 1 cup in a
mixing bowl. Stir in melted butter and ONE egg.
Press into the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ pan.

Mix the jar of pecan pumpkin butter with TWO eggs
and milk. Pour over cake mixture in pan.

Mix remaining ingredients until crumbly and add to
top of pumpkin mix.

Bake 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.


31 Sara Schnell November 10, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I cannot wait to make this! I am cooking with my first graders and looking forward to making pumpkin bars using your recipe for pecan pumpkin butter. Do you know if you can substitute maple syrup grade B for the brown sugar? Thank you for posting this. :)


32 Shawnda November 11, 2013 at 8:41 am

Sure, should be fine. Will have a bit of a different (but not bad) flavor. Also, watch to make sure it cooks long enough to thicken to a spread.


33 Gabrielle June 29, 2014 at 3:13 am

Thank you! I had some of the store-bought variety and was looking for a recipe. Shared it on my blog and gave you credit: http://www.gabrielleluthy.com/?p=6495 I’m also looking forward to test-driving your margarita recipes :)


34 Teresa September 2, 2014 at 8:21 am

We always score free pumpkins after Halloween and wind up with more puree than we can use. This looks like an excellent use for some of it.


35 Antje September 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I just tried it, the butter turned out wonderful and I love love love it. I have nothing similar in the shops here in Germany, just raw pumkin. Even for the pecans I had to search in quite a few food stores. I visited the gourmet kitchen store last year in New York and fell in love with the pecan pumkin butter. So happy to have this amazing treat! Wonderful recipe and so easy to make!


36 Talentetta October 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm

You are my new favorite person! After seeing, I mean drooling, over the photos in the new shiny catalog, I just couldn’t find it in myself to buy the secret ingredient in so many of the 78 pumpkin recipes on their site.


37 Becky November 4, 2014 at 8:28 am

I just stumbled on this recipe and I am so excited! Has anyone made it into a pie yet?


38 Deb November 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Has anyone ever ‘cooked’ it in a crock pot? If so- how long and on what setting?
I’m afraid to leave the saucepan unattended for too long or it seems it might stick and burn! Am I being paranoid, or is this a legit worry?


39 Becky November 8, 2014 at 5:13 pm

No it’s legit, Deb! I just made this today and I turned it way down and constantly stirred it. There really wasn’t enough liquid in it at all to “simmer” it. I think the lemon juice made it way too fruity and tart. I added about a quarter cup of brown sugar (it says to taste and add stuff if needed). I also used clementines, as that is what I had on hand. It WASfabulous however! Just not something I want to put in a pie. I will try it though. I’m not sure you would want to put it in a crock pot. It would just cook down and burn.


40 Stacie November 23, 2014 at 6:54 pm

I’m trying this in my baby crock pot. Not sure how long I’m supposed to cook it and if it will actually thicken – not sure what kind of a consistency I’m looking for. But so far, the taste is pretty yummy! I roasted the pecans on the side and made a small test batch to see how it will turn out, the consistency that is.


41 Ann Henry November 19, 2014 at 11:04 pm

The recipe sounds like what I am looking for but the directions are confusing.
“4. In a 2-qt sauce pan over medium heat, combine the citrus zests and juices and dark brown sugar. Stir until warmed. Add pumpkin, nuts, and spices and reduce heat to low, simmering for 20
5. Turn heat down to low, simmering for 20-30 minutes, until thickened and the color darkens. ”

Is the first 20 min on low covered and the second 20 min. on low uncovered?


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