Homemade Apple Butter

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A complete guide for Homemade Apple Butter recipe that you can make in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. Use as a spread, a syrup or in your fall recipes. Instructions for canning included.

apple butter in a slow cooker

When the weather starts to cool and you see tips of orange, yellow and red on leaves, you can bet our whole house is filled with the aroma of baked apples and cinnamon.

One of the first recipes I make in the fall is this homemade apple butter recipe. Not only is it easy, it fills your house with comforting fall aromas. Keep it on hand for many fall recipes such as apple butter cake and apple butter pie.

About this Apple Butter Recipe:

  • Flavor: This apple sauce centers around two flavors: apples and cinnamon. Use both brown sugar and granulated sugar, but keep the amounts low to allow the natural apple flavor to shine through.
  • Texture: Peel and core the apples for apple butter as smooth as it can be. Many readers say they leave peels on, but I prefer to peel the apples. Do what you like!
  • Method: There are instructions for the slow cooker and Instant Pot below. As far as storage, we’ve added instructions for canning this apple butter, which you all have loved!

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Reader Amy says, “This is the third time I’m making this apple butter recipe. My husband and I have it for breakfast everything morning on our 15 grain toast. It is wonderful! We are definitely hooked. I use Swerve sugar replacement (brown & granular) which has no affect on blood sugar and it tastes delicious.”

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Reader Stephanie says, “This is the most excellent flavored homemade apple butter! Also, easy peasy recipe, I put in the crockpot for 12 hours, overnight and just blend it up in the morning.”

What is the difference between apple butter and applesauce?

Both apple butter and applesauce are slow cooked apples and spices. Apple butter is cooked longer than applesauce which creates a thick, smooth, intensely apple flavored spread.

I grew up making applesauce with my family, and it was simply puréed apples. No sugar, no cinnamon. Just simple and apple sweet.

What apples are best for apple butter?

For homemade apple butter, we like to use Mcintosh, Fuji, Red Delicious or Gala because they are easy to find in our stores. Although Granny Smith are great for baking, they are not recommended for apple butter.

Also, some apples are sweeter than others. You can adjust how much sugar you use based on how sweet your apple is.

Ingredients

ingredients for apple butter on a table
  • Apples. Start with 6 ½ pounds of apples. Then peel and core them. This is enough apples to fill a 6 quart slow cooker.
  • Brown sugar and white sugar. For the perfect sweetness and richness.
  • Cinnamon. Yes, it is 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon. This is how my family prefers it. Use less if you’d like.
  • Salt.
  • Vanilla extract. I used a bourbon vanilla extract. 🤤

How to Make Apple Butter in a Slow Cooker

There are 4 steps to making crockpot apple butter:

  • Prepare the apples. Peel, core and slice the apples. This is the tool you need.
  • Add the apples and remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Mix to coat.
  • Cook on low for 10-12 hours.
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the soft apples until the mixture is smooth like a purée.

BOOM! Apple Butter. It’s really that easy.

Make Apple Butter in an Instant Pot

There are 5 steps to making this apple butter recipe in the Instant Pot. It’s definitely the faster way!

  • Prepare the apples. Peel, core and slice the apples.
  • Add the apples and remaining ingredients to the IP liner (You’ll need to add ½ cup apple juice if using the IP so you don’t get the “burn” warning”. Mix to coat. (Save the vanilla to add at the end if using the Instant Pot.
  • Seal and set for 15 minutes at high pressure. Allow to naturally release for 20 minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the soft apples until the mixture is smooth.
  • Set the IP to “sauté” and simmer the apple butter for 8-10 minutes until it is the desired thickness. Watch closely and stir often. It may bubble and splatter as it heats. If it does this, turn off the IP until it cools slightly, then turn it on again.

How to Make Apple Butter Smooth

When you’ve made the apple butter recipe, you can leave it slightly chunky, which is awesome for recipes, or you can put it through the blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and purée it until it is your desired consistency.

We made two batches. One we left chunky and made one batch perfectly smooth. You know…for those picky texture eaters.

apple butter in a crockpot with an immersion blender

What can you make with apple butter?

This homemade apple butter recipe is delicious on a piece of white, fluffy bread or toast. It completely changes the flavor! Instant, fall-flavored bread. You can apple butter muffins & biscuits.

I also like to put this homemade apple butter on custard ice cream. Warm it slightly in the microwave and use it as a syrup on ice cream or fluffy pancakes or waffles. You can even put a spoonful on top of yogurt or over oven baked pork chops. It also makes a great addition to a September or October themed cheese board.

apple butter over ice cream in a bowl

Storage Instructions

Refrigerate the homemade apple butter in an airtight container after it has cooled.

I like to freeze this apple butter recipe because I have plenty of freezer space. Just spoon it into small, 1-cup freezer containers and pull them out as you need them!

Looking for how to can apple butter? Scroll down below the recipe card for our instructions.!

You may also love our apple pie and applesauce jello squares!

a bowl of apple butter with a spoon
a bowl of apple butter with a spoon

Homemade Apple Butter

4.63 from 421 votes
A simple Homemade Apple Butter recipe that you can make in the slow cooker. Use as a spread, a syrup or in your fall recipes.
Servings 20
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 25 minutes

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Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  • Peel, core and slice the apples. Place the apples in a slow cooker. Add the sugars, cinnamon, salt and vanilla to the crockpot. Mix well.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for about 10 hours, stirring every couple hours. The apple butter should be thick and dark brown.
  • If desired, use a blender to blend the apple butter into a purée until smooth.

Instant Pot Instructions:

  • Peel, core and slice the apples.
  • Add the apples and remaining ingredients to the IP liner (You'll need to add ½ cup apple juice if using the IP so you don't get the "burn" warning". Mix to coat. (Save the vanilla to add at the end if using the Instant Pot.)
  • Place the lid on and move valve to seal. Set for 15 minutes at high pressure. Allow to naturally release for 20 minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the soft apples until the mixture is smooth.
  • Set the IP to "sauté" and simmer the apple butter for 8-10 minutes until it is the desired thickness. Watch closely and stir often. It may bubble and splatter as it heats. If it does this, turn off the IP until it cools slightly, then turn it on again.

Storage Instructions

  • Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze in small containers.
  • See canning instructions below.

Video

Notes

Adjust the sugar to your liking.
For different flavor variations, add ground cloves or ground nutmeg along wit the cinnamon.
Many people have left reviews that they leave the peels on the apples. Feel free to do that if you’d like. We prefer the apples peeled.
This recipe ends up making between 2-3 pints of apple butter. The difference is how much you cook it down.

Nutrition

Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.04g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 81IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Calories 120
Keyword apple butter recipes, apple recipes, fall recipes

Apple Butter Recipe for Canning

You can make this homemade apple butter recipe and can it for easy storage and easily give it as a gift..

Please note: I have the Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner, so the instructions below are for this.

Prepare the Jars.

  • This works best if you have everything at hand, ready to go. You’ll need mason jars, rings and lids.
  • Clean the mason jars by running them through the dishwasher or washing with hot, soapy water. Rinse and drain on a drying rack.
  • Place the rings and lids in a small saucepan and cover with water. Set the stovetop to low heat and bring the water with the rings/lids to a light simmer or steaming. Allow this to steam/simmer for 10 minutes. Don’t bring it to a full boil.
  • Fill the jars with apple butter up to 1/2″ from the top of the jar.
  • Use a clean towel or paper towel to dry the rim of the jars.Then take the hot lids/rings and place on of each on top, place the lid on the jar and tighten the ring around it.

Pressure Cook the Jars.

  • It’s important to read and follow the instructions for the pressure canner that you have as each one might be slightly different. Place the canner rack in the canner and fill the canner with water up to the line indicated. There isn’t much water needed. Ours is just a few inches.
  • Place the canner on the largest burner. Set the stovetop to medium-high heat. You want to process quart jars and pint jars separately since they take different amounts of time to process.
  • Place the jars (ours takes up to 10 pints) in the canner. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and lock it into place. Leave the weighted gauge off for right now.
  • Let the water boil inside until you see steam starting to come out of the steam spout. Once this happens, place the weighted gauge on the steam spout. At this time, the canner will start to pressurize.
  • Allow the pressure to rise until the dial gets to 5 pounds of pressure. At that point, set the timer for 8 minutes for pints. Watch the pressure dial gauge closely. If it starts to rise above 5 pounds, lower the heat. If it starts to drop below 5 pounds, raise the heat. Keep it as close to 5 pounds as possible for the time interval needed.
  • Once the time is up, turn off the heat, and allow the pressure to come to zero. Don’t touch the canner before that.
  • Once the gauge is reading zero, take off the weighted gauge and then loosen the lid to open the canner. Do this carefully and keep your face away from it because there may be steam trapped.
  • Use the jar lifters to lift each jar out of the canner. Be careful…they will be very hot!
  • Place them on a wire rack to cool completely. You may hear the jars “pop” which means they are sealing.
  • Allow the jars to cool completely, then check to make sure they are sealed.
apple butter jars and apples on a table
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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4.63 from 421 votes (358 ratings without comment)
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Sharon L.
7 years ago

Umm…I don’t have a food scale, how would I know how much 6 1/2 lbs of apples is? I’m kind of a beginner cooking and this recipe seems really easy otherwise. How much would that be in cups? Thanks!

Jammie
7 years ago

Mine seems a little runny is there a way to thicken it?

Tom
7 years ago

I made your recipe and loved it. So simple. I ended up cooking it down a bit longer to really concentrate it, and then canned it in some half pint jars I had on hand. It turned out great – I gave some as gifts to family. Currently on my last jar so will definitely make some more soon now that Autumn is here. Thanks for the inspiration!

Brenda
7 years ago

Can I substitute splendid for the sugars?

Nana
7 years ago

Oh no! Please don’t put vanilla in my applesauce! Awful metallic taste will be the result.

Amanda
8 years ago

How long with this stay fresh without canning?

Karen
9 years ago

How much will this receive make?

Kayleigh
9 years ago

i don’t need a lot made. I’m making for Christmas for my dad and some for my house. Do I need to modify the recipe and if so how much for just two big mason jars worth?

Cathy@LemonTreeDwelling
9 years ago

Apple butter always makes me think of my grandma! This looks awesome!

Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes
9 years ago

I can’t wait for Fall – can you believe I’ve never made my own apple butter?

Darcie
9 years ago

Hello! I’m wondering if you can tell me where you got the jar in the picture of the homemade apple butter? Thanks 🙂

Rosa nardo
10 years ago

HELLO.yes it WORKS WELL OVER NIGHT.I AM PUTTING A BATCH ON TONIGHT..(4/7/14)…just keep on LOW….MAKES THE WHOLE SMELL SO VERY GOOD..WE JUST LOVE THE APPLE BUTTER..
THANK YOU..

Rosa Nardo
10 years ago

CAN YOU COOK IT OVERNIGHT IN THE CROCK POT..SO IT READY TO GO IN THE MORNING..THANK YOU..

Rosa Nardo
10 years ago

-HAD TO MAKE ANOTHE BATCH::MY FAMILY JUST :LOVED IT::THIS TIME I MADE A WHOLE CASE OF APPLES::(each case has 270 apples.)AND CANNED THEM:::THANK YOU::

Rosa Nardo
10 years ago

i had bought a case of apples.made several different things with them..but still had over four pounds of apples left.so this morning.3/19/14..i got on line and started to look for something to make..(apple cake) was my first though..after looking for at three hours i saw a ad on tv for apple butter..i didnt have any….AND I THAN DECIDED TO LOOK FOR A RECIPE FOR APPLE BUTTER..i came across this..WOW:WOW..VERY VERY GOOD..I WILL NEVER BUY STORE BOUGHT AGAIN…unless i really have to..THANK YOU..

Lynn
10 years ago

I have to say you guys have THE best site online. I never fail to search and find something absolutely perfect and delicious for upcoming family getting together or friends over for dinner. I am holding a Tea Luncheon on the 15th and this apple butter will be delish on the menu. I am making several of your muffins as well. Thank you for doing such a fantastic job, your recipes honestly make me salivate!!!

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