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Slow Cooker Apple Butter

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Slow Cooker Apple Butter will make your entire house smell like Autumn. It also makes a great gift for the holidays, or a hostess gift at Thanksgiving. YUMMO!

Open glass jar of apple butter set next to a slow cooker on a wooden tabletop.

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Autumn is my favorite season of the year. I am a lover of all things fall – the leaves and pumpkins, cozy sweaters and Ugg boots, a roaring fire with a good book and a plate of my No Bake Cookies, I adore it all – especially apple season.

A neighboring city hosts an Apple Butter Festival every October. It’s full of holiday crafts, historical reenactments, and of course, amazing food.

Although I love meandering through the aisles of vendors, I really go for two very important reasons: caramel slathered apples and homemade apple butter.

Unfortunately, I’ve missed this festival two years in a row – last year because I was in San Francisco and this year because I simply forgot about it. I sulked for a hot minute, but decided that I’d get my yearly apple butter fix by making my own in the slow cooker.

Hand holding up a slice of baguette spread with slow cooker apple butter.

WHAT IS APPLE BUTTER?

If you have never had apple butter before, you might be confused by the name.

No, it’s not apple-flavored butter. That would be weird. There’s actually no butter in apple butter at all.

Apple butter is basically just super concentrated, super smooth applesauce. It’s cooked for longer, which gives it that caramelized color and rich apple flavor, but the ingredients are nearly identical.

Apple butter is not just perfect on your morning toast (English muffin bread is my favorite!) or served on Potato Rolls at Thanksgiving, you can even bake with it.

Try subbing in Slow Cooker Apple Butter in place of jam or another fruit filling in crumb bars, such as in my Peach Crumb Bars or Raspberry Bars recipes. Or try it in an apple butter cake!

Ingredients for slow cooker apple butter set on a wooden tabletop.

HOW TO MAKE APPLE BUTTER IN A CROCK POT

At first I was little bit intimidated by the whole homemade fruit butter thing, but really it could not have been easier!

Ingredients you’ll need

Even though the flavors of apple butter are so rich, you’ll be surprised to know that the ingredients are super simple.

You’ll need:

  • 6 1/2 pounds apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

I know that 6 1/2 pounds of apples sounds like a lot, but I’ve got a tip for making peeling them a cinch.

Sliced and peeled apples in the crock of a slow cooker.

Helpful tools

Prepping all of those apples and turning them into homemade apple butter was a cinch thanks to my apple peeler and slow cooker.

The peeler allowed me to peel, core, and slice 6 1/2 pounds of apples in a matter of minutes. I tossed everything into the slow cooker, set the timer for 10 hours and went about my day.

The autumnal scents of apples, cinnamon and vanilla wafted around the whole place for an entire day, which improved my mood immensely. I’ll tell you – if you’re having a rough day, just make some slow cooker apple butter.

It’s impossible not to feel at ease with the entire world and people in it when you’ve got these scents enveloping you each time you walk in and out of your kitchen.

Sliced apples tossed with sugar and spices in the crock of a slow cooker.

Making this recipe

To make this recipe, I tossed the apples in my slow cooker. I then combined the sugars, cinnamon, and spices and tossed this with the apples.

I let the apples simmer away for the allotted 10 hours until the mixture was thick and dar brown, and in the meantime made chili, cornbread, and even prepped my jars for gift giving.

Cooked apples and spices being stirred in the crock of a slow cooker.

After the 10 hours, I removed the lid and let the apples keep simmering for another 2 hours. This thickens the apple butter even more.

After the second stage of cooking, it was time to puree the apple butter and jar it up! It really is the perfect way to spend a fall Saturday, I’ll tell you that for free.

The result was a delicious, velvety smooth apple butter that definitely rivals any of the jars that I’ve purchased at the Apple Butter Festival and the best part is – I made it myself!

If you don’t have 10 hours on hand to let the apple butter simmer, don’t worry – I also have a recipe for Instant Pot Apple Butter!

Open glass jar of apple butter set on a wooden tabletop, surrounded by whole apples and spices.

BEST APPLES FOR APPLE BUTTER

Really you can use any apples you happen to have on hand for apple butter.

Generally speaking, softer varieties of apples such as Fuji, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, or Jonagold work better since they cook down faster.

I used a mix of Granny Smith, Fuji and Honeycrisp in my apple butter, and even the crisper varieties broke down well for a smooth apple butter.

The real key is to use a mix of apples to get the best flavor. You can even customize your Slow Cooker Apple butter by using apple pie spice or even pumpkin pie spice instead of the blend I have here, and you could try Mexican vanilla instead of Madagascar.

It’s really easy to make it your own, and I know your family will love slathering it on toast all year long.

I’ve been told you can preserve this recipe through canning, though I haven’t tried it myself. I’d love to know if you’ve tried!

I hope you enjoy this slow cooker apple butter as much as we do.

What are your favorite fruit butter recipes? What should I try next?

Small bowl of apple butter on a platter, surrounded by sliced apples, cheese, and slices of baguette.
Glass jar filled with apple butter, surrounded by apples and whole spices.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Yield: 4 pints
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes

Slow Cooker Apple Butter will make your entire house smell like Autumn. It also makes a great gift for the holidays, or a hostess gift at Thanksgiving. YUMMO!

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 pounds apples - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples and mix well.
  2. Cook in slow cooker on low for about 10 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.
  3. Uncover, stir in vanilla and continue cooking uncovered on low for about 2 hours.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until smooth.
  5. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze.
  6. Serve on breads, muffins, pork chops or just eat it with a spoon.

Notes

  • I used a combination of Granny Smith, Fuji and Honey Crisp apples for this recipe.
  • The sweetness of your apples will depend on how much sugar you will need to add. Adjust according to your apples and preferences.
  • I have not canned this recipe.
Nutrition Information
Yield 32 Serving Size 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 96Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 19mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 2gSugar 21gProtein 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on social! I want to see what you made! @jamiemba

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Lotteedottie

Wednesday 9th of November 2022

I have made this twice now and it has turned out beautifully..thank you so much for sharing!!

Jamie

Wednesday 9th of November 2022

So glad you've enjoyed it! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your feedback! Jamie

Coraline

Monday 7th of November 2022

My grandmother used to make the yummiest apple butter (& pear butter) but back then she would start it on the stovetop, then finish it in the oven. I started making my own years ago using her method. Then along came slow cookers. I now make mine that way. Sometimes I will make an apple/pear butter, using about 4-5 large apples & 2-3 pears. I only use about 1 cup of dark brown sugar & use cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, & coriander. But I never use vanilla.

Jamie

Wednesday 9th of November 2022

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Coraline! Happy baking! Jamie

Pamela

Sunday 6th of November 2022

This was delicious and definitely a keeper recipe! I did not change anything from the recipe. I used apples from my neighbor's tree. I did the 10 hours overnight in the slow cooker and in the morning finished the 2 hours uncovered while I prepped my jars for canning. The apples I used were small so I only yielded 5 half pints. I live at high altitude so I water bathed for 20 minutes. Sure beats paying $9 for a quarter pint at the farmers market and it was super easy to make. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

Meredith

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

@Pamela, did the everything work out with the water bath? I am looking to can this recipe - it looks amazing! Then I can give gifts all year!

Jamie

Wednesday 9th of November 2022

So happy you enjoyed the apple butter, Pamela! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your feedback. Happy baking! Jamie

Tiger

Monday 24th of October 2022

How many pints is the yield? I jar mine so can’t start the recipe until I know I have enough jars to can the batch.

Jamie

Tuesday 25th of October 2022

Hi there – As stated at the top of the recipe card, this recipe makes 4 pints. Happy baking! Jamie

Julie

Saturday 22nd of October 2022

Today is my first time making this and so far it looks good and the house smells amazing!

Jamie

Tuesday 25th of October 2022

I hope you enjoy! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Happy baking! Jamie

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