Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Butter in a Crockpot

Pumpkin "Butter" made in a crockpot
The theme for this month’s Recipe Redux is to share a recipe that uses a crockpot. Crockpots are used today more than ever by busy families. The NPD Group, a market research firm, found that in 2008 usage of slow cookers had reached an all-time high with 12% of households using them. Although I haven’t seen recent figures, I venture to guess that number is much higher today as our lives continue to get busier and busier.

I love fall and one of the reasons I do is because I love pumpkins. I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin breads, pumpkin soups, even pumpkin chili. So when I saw the challenge for this month, I decided to do something with pumpkins. I wanted to see if a slow cooker could be used to make pumpkin butter.

Pumpkin butter is a little misleading as there really is no butter in the recipe. It is really a spread. The traditional way to make pumpkin butter is to cook the pumpkin and other ingredients on a range top. However, the pumpkin splatters and can make a mess. With a crockpot there is no splattering and no mess.

I found baby pumpkins at a nearby garden center.

Because the outer layer of the raw baby pumpkin was difficult to cut with a knife, I started by roasting the pumpkin whole, on a baking sheet for an hour.

Roast whole pumpkin on baking sheet

Once the pumpkin comes out of the oven, let it cool. Then cut in half. Scoop out seeds and guts.

Scoop out seeds and guts

Mix roasted pumpkin pulp with other ingredients

Then transfer the pulp to a crockpot. Add other ingredients and mix well. Cover and let cook on low power for about 4 hours.

So now that you’ve made the pumpkin butter, what do you do with it? My favorite way is to spread it on whole grain toast. Yum. You could use it on pancakes or waffles. You could stir it to cooked oatmeal. You could make a parfait, alternating rows of pumpkin butter, slightly sweetened Greek-style vanilla yogurt, and granola. You can dip fresh fruit into it, such as apples, Asian pears, or banana slices.

Pumpkin Butter will keep in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks

Here is the complete recipe:

Pumpkin “Butter”


1 pumpkin (about 3-1/2 lbs)

Non-stick cooking spray

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp lemon juice



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place whole pumpkin on baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake whole pumpkin for 60 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.

Remove stem from cooked pumpkin and slice pumpkin in half. With large spoon, remove seeds, guts, and strings. (Seeds can be washed and roasted, if desired.) Scoop out cooked pumpkin flesh with spoon and place into crockpot. Mash. Stir in maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla; stir well. Cover and cook over low heat for about 4 hours, depending on desired thickness of pumpkin butter. Turn off heat. Stir in lemon juice. Serve. Keep refrigerated.

Makes 2-3/4 cups (or 22 2-tablespoon servings).

Nutrition Information per Serving (2 tablespoons):

28 calories, 0 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g dietary fiber, 0 g protein, and  1 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of vitamin A.

Cost per Serving: $0.33

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except pumpkin which was featured for $2.50 each.

 Be sure to check out these other crockpot favorites.





  1. This sounds delicious and I love the simple ingredients (:

    1. Yes, I try to keep most of my recipes to just a few ingredients. Saves, money and time.

  2. Great idea! I have had apple butter but never pumpkin butter. As you point out in your post, use of the crock pot makes things easier by eliminating the mess! I'm in because I love to cook, but clean up, not so much.

    1. I do most of the cooking in my house (because I love it) and I'm very fortunate that my husband does most of the dishes and clean-up. Even though I don't normally have to clean up my messes, I try to give my hubby a break.

  3. Love the slow cooker stats...didn't know them! I'm making this today...will let you know how it goes!

  4. Hope you like it. I have ben enjoying my pumpkin butter on toast several mornings this fall. I also have stirred some into my oatmeal for breakfast.