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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!

mason jar of Slow Cooker Apple Butter

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.

fresh Gala apples on a striped dish towel

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.


The Ingredients

  • 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.

What Kind of Apple Makes Good Apple Butter?

Instead of looking for where to buy apple butter, make this homemade version instead. It’s easy, wholesome, and can be made with multiple varieties of apples.

  • The best apple for apple butter is one that is crisp and sweet.
  • Using an apple with natural sweetness will enhance the flavor of the apple butter without the need for added, refined sugars.
  • My favorite apple varieties to use for apple butter are Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady. Use one variety or try a mix.
  • 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.

The Directions

Apples being cut on a cutting board
  1. Peel, core, and dice the apples.
Cut apples in a slow cooker
  1. Add the apples to a slow cooker.
Fruit with spices in a slow cooker
  1. Stir in the maple syrup and spices.
Apples in a slow cooker
  1. Slow cook apple butter for 3 to 4 hours on HIGH or LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Stir once halfway through.
An immersion blender in a slow cooker
  1. 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.
  2. Transfer to storage containers, or serve immediately. ENJOY!

How To Make Apple Butter On The Stove

If you don’t have a slow cooker or want to make a small batch apple butter recipe, here are instructions for how to make a quick apple butter recipe on the stove:

  1. Peel, core, and dice the apples.
  2. Add the apples to a Dutch oven.
  3. Stir in the maple syrup and spices.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer on the stovetop. Cover, reduce to medium-low heat, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Once the apples are soft, puree them with a blender.
  6. Cook over medium-low heat for about 1 hour, until the butter is thickened. Stir in the vanilla and salt. DIG IN!
Diced apples in a slow cooker

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.
A jar of homemade apple butter

Storage Tips

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

Fruit butter spread on a piece of toast

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).

Frequently Asked Questions

What Distinguishes Apple Butter from Applesauce?

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.)

Can I Use this Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe for Canning?

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.

Do You Peel Apples for Apple Butter?

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

4.86 from 28 votes
Slow Cooker Apple Butter with simple ingredients, traditional flavor, and NO canning required! One of the BEST uses for fresh apples.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Total: 5 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 16 servings (2 heaping cups)

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (about 2 tablespoons)Calories: 56kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 101mgFiber: 2gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 47IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

4.86 from 28 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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85 Comments

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  1. Oh I’ve never made apple butter before. Sounds like it needs to happens sooner rather than later. I can see myself putting this on everything (and eating it straight from the spoon!).

    1. Hi Mareike, there are recipes for making apple butter on the stove, and you can also try making it in the oven too! It’s a little more hands on (you’ll need to stir). I’d recommend doing an internet search for those techniques!

  2. When I saw this post I got so excited. I love apple butter, but I usually buy it. I have not been able to eat apple butter for a year due to a lemon allergy. I know it is weird, but my throat swells up if I have fresh lemon. I have not been able to find apple butter in the store without lemon listed in the ingredients. So hence my excitement when I saw this post and I wanted to thank you for sharing it! I will definately be making this apple butter in the Fall. Love the slow cooker idea too! Thank you so much Erin!!

  3. Erin, plan to make this when I get home; celebrating our 45th Anniversary in Sedona, AZ. MY  sweeter apple trees a Gala and a ‘red’ apple tree are still ‘babies’; I Should have enough to make pies/butter with them Next Year.  MY more Mature trees are ‘green apples’ (I couldn’t find any Red etc when I first moved back to AZ; had a Prolific Red Delicious in CO.)
    Would a ‘kinda’ Golden Delicious tree, make yummy ‘butter’ or should I just buy some Gala etc at the store? I’ve never canned or made a fruit butter before – THIS One looks pretty easy ??

    1. Hi Sandy, I think a Golden Delicious-type apple would work too! A mix of apples would also be delicious if you want to try a couple different varieties.

  4. i was eating apple butter this weekend and said that i need to try making it this fall! thanks for the recipe!

  5. Perfect timing for this recipe! It’s a bazillion degrees again in Portland and we don’t have AC. I’m currently in the dark, drinking a beer, with about 6 fans blowing in my direction. I’m dreaming of cool weather, wearing layers, and eating freshly baked scones smeared with your apple butter. Sooooooooon!

    1. Hi Sherry, this recipe wasn’t developed for canning, so I would recommend finding a canning-specific apple butter recipe if you’d like to process it that way.

  6. Why do people comment and don’t have a clue what it taste like. I hate when people have something to say, but nothing to do about how good it was, or how it tasted. Who on here among the many comments has tried it? How can you rate anything? Moving on to some recipes where people actually have made it.

    1. Hi Nancy! I always love hearing from people who make my recipes, but I don’t have a way to control who decides to stop back by and leave a comment. I have heard from several readers over email and by word of mouth who have tried this particular apple butter and loved it, but it’s sometimes hard for people to find time to comment. Further, I will never post a recipe I don’t stand beside and absolutely love. If you do try a recipe, I’d love for you to come back by and tell me how it turned out.

  7. What size jars are you referring to for yield? Jammers and canners like me have a surplus of every size canning jars from 4 oz. to 1/2 gallon. From the photo I would guess you’re recipe yields 2 pints. Can you confirm?

  8. This recipe was amazing. I have no idea what kind of apples I used because they came off a tree in our yard that was here when we moved in. The apple was a sweeter less flavorful one than our other trees. I also threw in a Red Delicious from our neighbors tree. I went to print out the recipe because I will definitely be making it again and realized….I left out the vanilla extract and salt at the end!! I bet it’s even better with the vanilla but I don’t want to take it out of the jars to add! Oh well…still good. I’m going to gift one jar so fingers crossed they like it too.

    Can I ask what the purpose of the salt is? I’m a little scared to add!5 stars

    1. Hi Jocelyn! The tiny bit of salt is added in order to reduce acidity and help bring out the natural sweetness from the apples. I’m happy you loved the recipe!

      1. Thank you for answering! I just spent all morning peeling 9 lbs of apples so I could triple the recipe lol
        I added ground cloves in proportion to the nutmeg and allspice so hopefully I don’t regret that and THIS TIME I will add the vanilla and salt to the finished product. Regardless, I’m eating the first batch with a spoon so obviously good ?

        1. Jocelyn, just zeroed in on your peeling 9 pounds of apples! Oh, poor sweet baby! I ordered a Starfrit Apple Pro-Peeler online 2 years ago (only ~$20, but am sure any brand would certainly do), and it really helps with apple crisp/apple butter, etc., prep. In fact, my 3 grandsons stand at my elbow and eat the peels as soon as they spiral off each apple like they’re fruit rollups. Funny to watch. And good for them!

  9. I made this with Cortland apples from our apple tree. I started it a little later, so I did it on high for about 4 hours. I got a brand new crock pot specifically for this and felt like the Crock-Pot was REALLY hot on high. I stirred it frequently because I was afraid it would burn. After blending it, it was pretty thick so I only put it back in the Crock-Pot for about a half hour with the lid off. My husband LOVES apple butter and he definitely approved. Erin was right in saying that it tastes better the next day. I can’t wait to make more! Next time I will do it on low all day. This recipe is a keeper!5 stars

  10. 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.5 stars

    1. I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Crystal! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  11. 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

    1. I used large crabapples before. Wonderful tartness and taste. I add a little honey if too tart. Or I use half crabapples and half delicious apples….yellow or red.

  12. 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!!5 stars

  13. 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!5 stars

    1. 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!

  14. 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.5 stars

  15. 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!!

    1. 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!

  16. 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.5 stars

  17. 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.5 stars

  18. 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?

    1. 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!

  19. 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?

    1. 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!

    1. Hi Helen! I’ve never tested this out canning the recipe. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  20. 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!5 stars

  21. 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

    1. 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.

  22. 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!5 stars

  23. 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.

    1. 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!

  24. I’m wanting to make this recipe to can. Can someone tell me how to can some in my canner instead of freezing it? Please and thank you.

    1. Hi Natasha! I haven’t tried this myself but maybe someone else will chime in with some advice. Enjoy!

  25. Amazing! I TRIPLED the recipe as we have so many apples from our backyard tree. Other recipes I saw use a ton of sugar so I loved that you went with maple syrup. The apple butter turned out silky and just the right amount of sweet. Another batch tomorrow!5 stars