Happy National Pumpkin Day! What better way to celebrate it than by carving a spooky jack-o-lantern to greet all the trick or treaters next week? But oh, the mess.

What should we do with all those pumpkin guts?

Do not throw out your pumpkin guts! When I asked Spencer if he knew what we could do with them, he referred me to Gothamist‘s well-titled article, which then led us to Eleanor Johnson’s pumpkin butter recipe on AllRecipes. Pumpkin butter is our favorite way to put those guts to good use and it makes a great fall-themed gift for family and friends.

A couple dozen pumpkins, experimentation, taste trials and several years later, Spence and I have made the recipe our own – and I am stoked to share it with you today. Here’s what you need:


  • Pumpkin(s)
  • Goop-scooping tool(s)
  • Two bowls (one for pumpkin guts, one for seeds)
  • Fibrous strands from pumpkin(s) (aka brains, guts, innards, slimy stuff)
  • Blender
  • Water


  • Stock Pot
  • Stirring tool (wooden spoon, rubber spatula, etc.)
  • Pumpkin Puree (7 Cups)
  • Apple juice (1 1/2 Cups)
  • Brown Sugar (2 Cups)
  • Sugar (1 Cup)
  • Ginger (4 Teaspoons)
  • Cloves (1 Teaspoon)
  • Nutmeg (2 Teaspoons)
  • Cinnamon (4 Teaspoons)

The time it takes to craft your pumpkin butter really depends on how many pumpkins you’re working with plus what goop-scooping tools you have at your disposal. We love our “heavy duty” metal scoop with a serrated edge but child-safe plastic goop scoops will get the job done, too. Cleaning the pumpkins is the longest and most tedious part of the pumpkin-butter-making process.

Of course, you can always skip the messy prep phase by purchasing pumpkin puree at your local grocery store – but where’s the fun in that?!

The more puree you wind up with, the longer it’ll take to simmer your pumpkin butter to a beautiful thick consistency on the stove. This is the second longest step in the pumpkin-butter-making process, so be prepared. For reference, it took us about an hour to clean out two pumpkins and around an hour to make the pumpkin butter – and we didn’t even use all of our pumpkin guts!

PREP (Skip if you already have pumpkin puree ready)

Time:  30 minutes per pumpkin

  1. Cut the top off your pumpkin. If you cut out a notch, the top will fit back on your jack-o-lantern perfectly.
  2. Remove the pumpkin’s innards.
  3. Separate seeds from guts.
  4. Puree your pumpkin guts. To keep our puree thick, we used about one cup of water per three cups of guts – but you know your blender best.


Time: About an hour

  1. Add pumpkin puree and spices to stock pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat.
  3. Stirring frequently, simmer until the mixture is thickened. Ours took about an hour.
  4. Transfer pumpkin butter to sterile containers and chill until served.

If you are interested in canning your pumpkin butter, check out our water bath canning DIY here! Did you try our pumpkin butter recipe? Let us what you thought in the comments below!

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *