Slow Cooker Spiced Maple Pumpkin Butter

Posted on 27 October 2013

Slow Cooker Spiced Maple Pumpkin Butter

Like Linus, I believe in the Great Pumpkin.

Although it is my favorite Charlie Brown special, it’s possible that I misunderstood Linus. He and I may not have meant the same thing by “Great Pumpkin.”

By “Great Pumpkin,” I am referring to the glorious orange orb that graces us every autumn (everyone’s favorite season) with its fleshy squashy goodness. And that backs up traffic from here to Half Moon Bay every October weekend.

Slow Cooker Spiced Maple Pumpkin Butter

I’ve already made a savory pumpkin sauce for pasta. Next up, pumpkin dog biscuits.

But, first, this not-to-sweet (which feels like a trend around here lately) pumpkin butter, enhanced with a touch of maple (also autumn) and spice (autumn again). Throw everything in the slow cooker, stir occasionally, and jar — suddenly, you have a fun little treat that is on theme for any October (or November) gathering.

Slow Cooker Spiced Maple Pumpkin Butter

In fact, I brought the latest batch to a friend’s pumpkin-decorating party. The other guests were touched that I made them a favor to bring home. Meanwhile, knowing how easy the recipe was — using canned pumpkin, for chrissakes — I felt vaguely guilty. But apparently not guilty enough not to accept the mad props the party host gave me.

This recipe can be easily doubled or maybe tripled, but cooking time will increase correspondingly. But (and this is a BIG one) it cannot be water-bath canned since the resulting butter is too thick for heat to penetrate and kill all the buggers which endeavor to kill us. Some folks online said that they keep (unrefrigerated) pumpkin butter around for 6 months, but that seems scary. I say refrigerated six weeks, tops.

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?

Slow Cooker Spiced Maple Pumpkin Butter

Last year: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts (huh, pumpkin again!)

Slow Cooker Spiced Maple Pumpkin Butter

Yield: 8 4-ounce jars


1 29-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
6 tablespoons maple syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt


Mix all the ingredients in a medium 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Stir well. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid and cook on high for 30 minutes to 1 hour more to reach desired thickness.
Turn off the cooker and let the pumpkin butter cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for 6 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.

Adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook

29 responses to Slow Cooker Spiced Maple Pumpkin Butter

  • Christina says:

    This sounds wonderful and I bet it could be made with oven-roasted yams too. You mention that it cannot be water-bath canned, but do you see any reason it could not be pressure canned?

    • allfourburners says:

      Christina, I’ve never pressure canned anything so I’m not sure how it works. My best suggestion is to consult an authority on pressure canning to determine whether pumpkin butter can be safely pressure canned. Good luck!

      • Christina says:

        Hi again. Thanks for the answer. I am not a long-time expert, but I have pressure-canned for a few years now, and have read a LOT. I cannot see any reason why this recipe could not be safely pressure canned but I wondered what your thoughts were.

        Just for your fun and interest: The Ag Extension offices in every county in the USA can refer one to Master Canning educators usually on staff at that local office (not sure of the exact title for them) who can tell one what the USDA thinks is the safe way to can almost any food product (for free.) Were I going to try to can this, I would refer to any similar recipe in a wonderful book published by The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, called “So Easy to Preserve” ( it’s very inexpensive, huge, and its recommendations reflect the most current thinking of government experts on the subject of many forms of food preservation, including canning of low acid and/or dense items.

        I love your blog entry and the pictures are wonderful. I am very fond of pumpkin and maple both, so when I get a moment, I am going to try your recipe. Thanks!

        • allfourburners says:

          Christina, thank you for the thorough reply! I aspire to be a master preserver, but there are no classes in my county (closest is about 2 hours away). And thanks for the pointer to the book — I’ll add it to my water-bath canning resources list.

          Let me know how things go! This butter was a hit with my friends.

          • Christina says:

            One of the things I like about that book is that it covers a lot more than only water-bath canning. It also covers dehydration and pickling too. I found out about it from the Ag Ext office, but had to order it directly from U of GA as the local office was out out of them. I have bought it for friends and everyone has loved it.

            However, it must be remembered it’s *the USDA’s* more recent ideas of what is safe to can (or otherwise preserve) and the safe methods of doing that. There’s a lot of old information readily available on food preservation… some of it is safe and some is or may be questionable. My grandmother preserved food from her garden and farm, including meats and low acid vegetables, by water-bath canning in a clothes boiler on a wood stove. Nobody ever got sick… never even one problem. Now-a-days, one with access to current information would never think it safe to do as she did, and yet she nourished her family for years and years that way.

            I am not sure what to think of that paradox. Sometimes with some things, I disagree with currently accepted dogma and so walk a different path. With canning… maybe not so much. It seems to me that to follow current guidelines for canning does not adversely affect the quality of the canned items and the sanction for screwing up in canning is fairly dramatic, and so I tow the USDA’s line here.

            In your case, with a deficit of readily available resources in your local area, I’d like to refer you to a YahooGroup that I have found very educational: The group name is “Home Canning” ( and they only advise and allow the USDA’s accepted methods. I have found them a huge resource… maybe not as good as having Master Canners in your local At Ext office, but a good substitute since you do not. Thanks again for what I expect will be a delightful recipe.

          • allfourburners says:

            Christina, thanks again for all the amazing resources! I fear poisoning my friends and family so I stick to the modern guidelines, though I’m occasionally tempted.

        • Benita` says:

          The current recommendation from the National Center for Home Food Preservation is to NOT can pumpkin butter or any mashed or pureed pumpkin or winter squash by any method. Please read this article from the NCHFP for more information on the reasons that you should NOT can pumpkin butter.

          • Christina says:

            You know, the internet never ceases to amaze me! All the wealth of information held between us all. Yea! And thanks, Benita, for the newest information re Pumpkin purees of all varieties including butters. I had not gotten around to looking up the info on pumpkin butters, et al, yet. After reading your linked article, I vaguely seem to remember reading that before… it might be in the “So Easy To Preserve” U of GA canning guide and cookbook or one of my other cookbooks that go by USDA guidelines. I really better get after this if I want to have the AllFourBurners Pumpkin Butter for Thanksgiving (and freeze the remainder!)

          • allfourburners says:

            Hi Benita, thanks for the link! Yes, pumpkin butter is definitely too low-acid and thick to be appropriate for water-bath canning. I don’t pressure can so I wasn’t sure about that, though I may start next year.

            Thanks again for more detailed information!

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  • Adrienne says:

    Just wondering, this does not give a measurement for the brown sugar. Can you correct it?

    I would love to make this!

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  • Dawn says:

    Regarding how to can this… I halve the recipe and make it often enough that it gets used up quickly. It smells so wonderful cooking that I love it and don’t mind making it often. Hope that helps.

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