Whenever I come home with that first bounty of freshly-picked apples, I immediately form a copious list of recipes that I want to make. This Slow Cooker Apple Butter is at the top!
Other contenders for the #1 spot on the Official Apple Recipe Bucket List: Apple Bread, Vegan Apple Crisp, Apple Oatmeal Cookies…or any number of these healthy apple recipes.
While the options are many, a batch of homemade apple butter always turns out to be one of my favorite apple recipes every year.
It is one of the best uses for apples, especially if you have a large number you are looking to use up.
This traditional apple butter recipe is made with fresh apples, spices, and a touch of pure maple syrup and vanilla exact.
The slow cooker does all the work. By the time the batch is ready, your entire house will smell like a tantalizing autumn wonderland.
While the spices, maple syrup, and vanilla give the crockpot apple butter an extra dimension of flavor, this recipe is all about letting the apples shine.
The long, slow cooking process concentrates their natural sweetness and intensifies their inherent apple-ness.
Apple-ness. It’s a word.
Every year, I can’t help but think that apple butter tastes so pure and so…fall.
5 Star Review
“This is the most delicious apple butter ever!”— Rasbhari —
How to Make Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Have a big batch of fresh apples? Don’t wait to make this slow cooker apple butter recipe.
It’s simple and the results are so magnificent, you’ll start making it every year too.
- Apples. Juicy, naturally sweet, and delicious paired with warm spices, vanilla, and maple syrup. Plus, apples are good for you! They’re packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
- Maple Syrup. While I’ve seen other slow cooker apple butter recipes that call for supplementing the apples with apple cider or brown sugar, this homemade apple butter recipe truly does not need it. I chose to add maple syrup because it’s one of my favorite flavor combos with apples, but if you prefer to make a slow cooker apple butter (no sugar), you can omit it.
- Vanilla. Apple butter tastes like a cozy, fall dream with a splash of vanilla.
- Spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice wrap the apples up in a dreamy, flavor-packed hug.
- Peel, core, and dice the apples.
- Add the apples to a slow cooker.
- Stir in the maple syrup and spices.
- Slow cook apple butter for 3 to 4 hours on HIGH or LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Stir once halfway through.
- Puree. Cook on HIGH for 2 more hours. (You know apple butter is done once it has thickened and clings to a spoon.) Stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Transfer to storage containers, or serve immediately. ENJOY!
How to Use Apple Butter
In addition to eating it by the spoonful directly out of the jar, here are a few other apple butter uses:
- On Bread. Spread some on peanut butter toast for a truly delicious treat, or use apple butter for this scrumptious Apple Grilled Cheese with Turkey, Cheddar, and Apple Butter.
- With Yogurt. Mix some into your yogurt for a touch of sweet apple flavor.
- On Ice Cream. Serve this apple butter on ice cream with an extra pinch of cinnamon and a handful of crushed graham crackers. YUM!
- On Pancakes or Waffles. The perfect, cozy fall weekend breakfast (especially Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes).
- On Meat. Apple butter on pork is a fabulous flavor combination!
- In Biscuits. Make these truly delish Apple Butter Cheddar Dill Biscuits.
If you go as crazy picking apples every fall as I do, know how to can apple butter, or want to make a few extra jars to freeze or share with friends, you can easily scale the recipe up to make a larger batch.
- To Store. Homemade apple butter will last about 2 weeks when stored in the refrigerator. It will taste even better the next day once it has rested in the refrigerator, and the flavors have blended.
- To Freeze. You can freeze apple butter. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
What to Serve with Apple Butter
Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin
Oat Milk Ice Cream
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Slow Cooker. An appliance you’ll love having for this recipe and so many others.
- Peeler. Makes light work of peeling apples.
- Glass Jars. Great for storing your apple butter (especially if you plan to make slow cooker apple butter for canning).
The Best Slow Cooker
Whether you’re making apple butter or any of my other slow cooker recipes, this one is perfect!
Frequently Asked Questions
Apple butter is essentially applesauce that has been cooked for a longer period of time, allowing it to become much more concentrated and thick. (For scrumptious homemade applesauce recipes, check out my Crockpot Applesauce and Instant Pot Applesauce.)
While I didn’t create this as an apple butter canning recipe, I think it would work well for it. For safety, be sure to follow proper canning procedures, or seek out a recipe designed for canning.
I chose to make my apple butter without the peels, but you could make crockpot apple butter with peels if you prefer.
Slow Cooker Apple Butter
- 3 pounds crisp sweet apples such as Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady (about 7 medium apples)
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Tiny pinch kosher salt
- Peel and core the apples and cut them into a rough 3/4- to 1-inch dice.
- Place the apples in the bottom of a 5-quart or larger slow cooker.
- Top with maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low for 8 to 10 hours, stirring once halfway through, until the apples are very tender and brown.
- With an immersion blender, puree the apples until the apple butter reaches your desired consistency (I like mine fairly smooth). If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer the apples to a blender or food processor in batches and blend until smooth, then return to the slow cooker.
- Turn the slow cooker to high and let the apple butter continue to cook, uncovered, for 2 additional hours or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
- Taste and add additional maple syrup as desired. Spoon into jars or another airtight container. Enjoy on toast, on waffles, mixed with yogurt, drizzled over ice cream, on a grilled cheese (YUM), on cornbread, or served with pork.
- TO STORE: This apple butter will tastes even better the next day once it has rested in the refrigerator and the flavors are blended. Store leftover apple butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for several months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- *The amount of maple syrup you need will vary based on the sweetness of your apples and personal preference. Taste and adjust as needed. If you prefer to make a no-sugar apple butter, you can simply omit it.
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More Delicious Apple Recipes
Absolutely loved this recipe! I normally don’t like store bought apple butter. But my husband loves apple butter. So I decided to make this for him. I tried it and loved it too. Planning on giving my sister a container of it because she loves apple butter too. I know she’ll love it. Thank you for a great recipe.
I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Crystal! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!
Mmmm Mmmmm good. Thank you for this healthy version of apple butter! I am making this right now and cannot wait to have it tomorrow on my toast with some peanut butter. I am finding all you recipes hit all the right notes for me and my family
Thank you for taking the time to share this kind comment, Barb! I hope you enjoyed the recipe!
This is the most delicious apple butter ever!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Rasbhari! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
Hi Erin! Love your recipes!
Do you think this apple butter recipe would work using crabapples?
Rosanna, crabapples are super tart, so I’m afraid I can’t recommend them here.
I have this in the slow cooker right now !!! Smells amazing!! In the last hour of cooking and I sampled a bite OH MY YUMMY!! Can not wait til I can eat it for breakfast tomorrow!!
I’m so happy to hear that, Meg! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
I’m in the middle of making my second batch! This time, I’m using some apples we picked that are smaller and more tart, along with some local sweet apples. As I taste it after blending, it’s just as sweet and yummy.
My regular slow cooker is big. I cook roasts in it usually, and it’s kind of oblong, so difficult for my immersion blender since this recipe only fills it about halfway. But my Instant Pot is only 3 quarts, so too small. Plus, I’d like more. Can this recipe be doubled safely? Please let me know!
The hardest part is peeling. I don’t find that regular peelers work very well, and neither does my apple corer. So, I just slice them around the core and peel with a knife. It’s just time consuming. But the result is fantastic. And, I can eat all the ingredients, which, on my restrictive diet, is amazing. Thank you!
I’m SO happy that you’ve enjoyed the recipe, Sondra! I haven’t tried doubling this myself, but I think it would work fine. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!
I had made a different apple butter recipe previously, and I can say this version is hands down superior. It was so simple and made our house smell fantastic. I elected to use honey crisp apples for that perfect sweetness. I can’t wait to share it with my family. For me, it easily made 2 jars.
I am so so happy to hear that Brooke, thank you for sharing!
I’m so excited to try this tomorrow! Do you think you can can this in mason jars and it would keep? Thanks for sharing this!!
Hi Meagan! I haven’t tried canning it myself, but other readers have done so with success. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!
Can you tell me which Apple measurement is more important the pounds or average number of apples? I am very excited to make this for the holidays.
Definitely pounds Morgan. I hope you enjoy it!
I’ve been craving apple butter for a few months now. I’m always hesitant to buy it because I’ve never found one that tastes like it did when I was growing up. I happened upon this recipe and decided to make it. I’m so happy I did! The flavor reminds me of my childhood. After it cooled some, I grabbed a slice of bread and generously spread it with peanut butter then topped it with this wonderful apple butter. WHAT A TREAT ?
I varied two things. I added pancake syrup in place of the pure maple syrup. And I added the vanilla and salt immediately after I puréed it. I followed everything else exactly as written. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It will become a permanent go to recipe.
I’m SO happy that you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
Hi! Would it make a big difference to the end product if the apples weren’t peeled?
Hi Hazel! You can definitely make this recipe with unpeeled apples. I hope you enjoy it!
Hi Erin, have you ever tried making this in a smaller amount? I’m worried it might burn in the crockpot if i tried to cut the recipe in half?
Hi Kristin! I’m sorry but I haven’t tried making this in a smaller batch so I’m not sure how it might work out. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!
I’d like to make this to give away as Christmas gifts! How many 8oz mason jars do you think this recipe would fill up?
Hi Jordan! This makes a total of 2 heaping cups, so you are going to be able to fill at least 2. Hope this helps!
Can this recipie be water bath. Canned?
Hi Helen! I’ve never tested this out canning the recipe. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!
Hubby likes this so much I had to make some more! Didn’t have fresh apples so I used home canned applesauce. It was a nice short cut. A pint of my applesauce weighs about a lb so 3 jars made one recipe. Next year I will have to make much more!! Thank you for a lovely recipe!
Hi Kathleen! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Very good, very easy. I found that a bit more salt, than recommended, was needed to amp up the flavour.
Hi Angela! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Hi Erin, I’m in the process of making your apple butter recipe.
Is it necessary to boil the jars after filling them with the apple butter?
Thank you, Theresa
Hi Theresa, I didn’t really create this as an apple butter canning recipe, although I think it would work well for it. For safety, be sure to follow proper canning procedures, or seek out a recipe designed for canning.
This recipe is a must try! It was my first time making apple butter and it was so easy and turned out amazing. I was looking for a healthier recipe and was so happy when I came across this one! So far we’ve had the apple butter on apple bread, in yogurt, and on top of ice cream. It’s delicious on everything. I will definitely be making this again!
Hi Brenda! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Hi! I was wondering, is it required to puree the apple butter? I don’t have a blender, and am considering mashing it with a potato masher instead.
HI Maple! It makes it more like butter when you puree it. If you don’t have one as masher will do but it will likely be chunky. Hope you enjoy it!
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