Category: Condiments and Dips

How to Make Pumpkin Butter

For fans of pumpkin and all things autumn, pumpkin butter is a treat. I made a batch last year and took it along to work with a fresh loaf of homemade sourdough bread and a colleague described it as “a warm hug on a cold day”.

I’ve taken to gifting pumpkin butter to friends and family. It’s one of those things that feels luxurious and special, but it’s ridiculously easy to make. Given that pumpkin butter is something not found in stores—at least not around here—it doubles as a gift for those hard-to-buy-for people in your life.

Despite its name, there’s no butter or any kind of dairy in pumpkin butter. It’s basically pumpkin cooked to the point where it’s spreadable like butter.

Making pumpkin butter

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, dump in a 15oz can of pumpkin puree—or if you make your own pumpkin puree, put an equivalent amount in the pot. For us metric system folks, 15oz is just shy of two cups, so you could just put in two cups and not worry about the 1oz extra.

To this, add half a cup of apple juice—I used my own apple juice that I canned from a friend’s apple tree this past summer—two-thirds cup of brown sugar, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, and an eighth of a teaspoon each of ground cloves, ground ginger, and salt.

When I got to the brown sugar part of this recipe is when I discovered I didn’t have any in the house. John had done some baking a few weeks ago and must have used the last of it. Unfortunately, we’re in the midst of a sugar shortage here in Western Canada. Most (or all?) of our sugar comes from Rogers / Lantic, and they’ve been on strike since sometime in September. Nowadays you’re lucky to find sugar in the grocery store…right as we enter into Christmas baking season. All of this is to say that I didn’t bother heading down to the grocery store to pick up a bag of brown sugar since I knew chances of me finding some were slim to none.

Thankfully, there’s an easy fix for this—I had white sugar and molasses on hand, and brown sugar is literally just white sugar and molasses combined.

Since pumpkin butter isn’t a baking recipe that requires exact ratios of ingredients, I didn’t get too exact with the white sugar and molasses ratios. I put in the equivalent amount of white sugar, two thirds of a cup, and then poured in several tablespoons of molasses.

Once everything is in the pot, give it a big stir to mix it all up, then turn on the stove, bring it to a boil, and then partially cover it, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for about twenty minutes until it’s thick and glossy. You’ll want to stir it regularly with a rubber or silicone spatula so you can scrape the bottom of the pot to ensure nothing is sticking and burning.

Once you’ve reached your desired consistency—and do feel free to let it cook a little longer if you find it’s not thick enough yet—remove the pot from the heat and let the pumpkin butter cool. Once it’s fully cool, you can transfer it to containers or jars for storage. I like to use one-cup mason jars as this allows me to put one jar in the fridge and the rest in the freezer, so I don’t have to worry about a big jar of it going bad before I can finish it all.

In the fridge, pumpkin butter should last a few weeks. In the freezer, you’ll get at least a few months.

Enjoying pumpkin butter

I find that pumpkin butter tastes like pumpkin pie filling, which shouldn’t be too surprising—after all, it’s made with pumpkin, sugar, and some of the spices found in pumpkin pie.

I like to eat it on my morning toast or on a bagel. It’s nice enough that it could be part of a mid-day snack or even a dessert. A scoop of pumpkin butter on top of a flaky buttery (but plain) pastry would be lovely.

Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin butter makes a wonderful autumn spread for toast and bagels, tasting almost like pumpkin pie.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American


  • 1 Large Pot


  • 1 15oz Can Pumpkin Puree (or homemade pumpkin puree)
  • ½ Cup Apple Juice
  • Cup Brown Sugar (Packed)
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • tsp Ground Cloves
  • tsp Ground Ginger
  • heaping tsp Salt


  • Combine all ingredients in a large heavy-bottomed pot.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat and partly cover. Simmer, stirring regularly to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom and burning, for approximately twenty minutes until mixture becomes thick and glossy.
  • Remove from heat, let cool. Transfer to jars or other fridge- and freezer-safe containers.
  • Pumpkin butter can be stored, covered, in the fridge for a couple weeks or in the freezer for a few months.
Keyword pumpkin, pumpkin butter

How to Make Cheddar Guinness Dip

My husband and I like to have traditions around food.

We like to try new things and then incorporate them into an event to make both the event and the food special. For example, we love watching the Oscars every year and my husband always does up a big batch of Caesar salad (with dressing made from scratch) and fettuccini Alfredo (with sauce made from scratch).

For the past few years we’ve had a friend with Irish heritage come over for dinner on or around St. Patrick’s Day, and so our food tradition is that I try to come up with something Irish for dinner. We’re not the type to drink all the green beer, but more the type to want a good Irish stew with some Irish sides. Last year I made Irish soda bread.

This year I stumbled across a handful of recipes for Cheddar Guinness Dip and knew I had to make it.

What you serve with the dip is up to you. Around the same time I also discovered Irish Potato Bread, and these definitely go together well. Pretzels and celery sticks would be fantastic with this.

There is a small amount of Guinness in here and it’s not cooked so the alcohol isn’t boiled off or anything, so ideally this would be an adults-only appetizer. That being said, the amount of Guinness per serving is minuscule.

Other than the two cheeses, I treated this like a “measure with your heart” recipe. I eyeballed everything and doubled the garlic because who doesn’t like garlic?

But, let’s work through this:

If you have a big food processor, this whole recipe is made in there. I don’t. My food processor is tiny, but I found using a handheld blender / stick blender worked well. I just had to really force it into the cheese to get it to mix. If you don’t have one of these either, you could just mix it really well with a fork. Your final result will be a bit chunkier, but it’ll taste just as great. The chunky texture might even be more appealing, come to think of it.

Start with putting nearly everything in the food processor or a bowl—softened cream cheese, shredded Irish cheddar cheese, garlic cloves, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper.

I had to head to the deli section of my grocery store to get fancy cheeses, but if that’s not an option for you either because of cost or local selection, getting an old or sharp cheddar cheese will do in a pinch.

If you don’t have Dijon mustard (I didn’t), a strong mustard will do. If all you have is yellow hot dog mustard, use that. For myself, I harvest and blend my own mustard and it has quite the bite, so I used that.

Blend it all in the food processor or with the stick blender or fork until smooth and nicely blended.

Pour in the Guiness and mix it up again. Be careful that you don’t splatter Guinness all over the place.

When that’s all mixed in well and you have a consistent final product, transfer it to your serving bowl and top with parsley (fresh or dried) and green onion.

Let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavours really combine nicely, and then serve it up. Like I mentioned above, goes fantastic with Irish potato bread, but pretzels or celery would go great too.

This is definitely a recipe you can make a day ahead. We had leftovers that we ate the next two days while watching TV and it was just as good those times.

Honestly, this is super easy to make and super impressive. It was the hit of our dinner party and it literally took me like ten minutes.

Cheddar Guinness Dip

A tasty option for a St. Patrick's Day party, or any party really, with the sharp bite of Irish cheddar cheese and the tang of Guinness. Goes great with crackers or Irish Potato Bread.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Irish


  • Food Processor (Large) You can make do without a food processor. See recipe for details.


  • 250 g Cream cheese Softened
  • 250 g Irish cheddar cheese, or other sharp cheddar cheese Shredded
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard Any strong mustard will do in the absence of Dijon
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • tsp Pepper
  • cup Guinness
  • 3 Green onions
  • Parsley, fresh or dried, to taste


  • Put the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper in a large food processor and blend until smooth and consistent. If you don't have a food processor or yours is too small, there are alternatives. I used a hand blender / stick blender, pressing it down into the mixture to mix it up. You could also use a fork to mix and press together; with this method you'll get one that's less smooth but that's all right. If you're going with the fork method, you'll want to mince the garlic since there are no blades to chop it up.
  • Add in the Guinness and process until smooth.
  • Transfer to a bowl, smooth out, and top with green onions and parsley.
  • Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.


This works well as a “measure with your heart” recipe. If you want extra cheese or extra Guinness or extra garlic or any alterations, just go for it. When I make this, I eyeball all the ingredient measurements.
If you want to go all Irish, this dip goes great with Irish Potato Bread.
Keyword Beer, Cheddar, Dip for bread, Dip for crackers, Guinness