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Making apple butter at home is so much easier than you think! This Instant Pot Apple Butter takes just a few hours to make, but will taste like it simmered on the stove all day long. Enjoy it on toast or package it up for a fall gift!

Glass jar filled with apple butter, with apples and more jars of apple butter in the background

Every year right around this time, we usually venture to a local apple orchard with E’s school for a fall field trip.

However, given the current circumstances, field trips aren’t exactly happening right now, but we’re still yearning for a little fall fun.

Instead of a field trip, we’re going to take a family trip and head to our favorite orchard to pick up pumpkins, cornstalks and loads of apples for all kinds of recipes like our favorite Crockpot applesauce, caramel apple crisp and this super simple homemade apple butter conveniently made in an Instant Pot.


Apple butter is one of those things I used to buy at the orchard every fall and think to myself, “This must be so hard to make.”

After all, it is so thick and rich and flavorful, it must take forever and be tricky to make, right?

Overhead view of whole apples and the spices for Instant Pot apple butter arranged on a wooden board

Turns out, I was totally wrong. When I finally screwed up my courage and tried making Slow Cooker Apple Butter, I realized – it’s actually really easy to make at home! 

The only downside is that making it in the slow cooker does take about 12 hours. Even though it’s almost all hands-off time, it’s still a bit of a time investment.

Spices and sugar for apple butter being whisked together in a white bowl

I’ve used my Instant Pot to speed up slow cooker recipes before – like using it to turn my Easy Crockpot Pulled Pork into Instant Pot Pulled Pork – so I figured, why not try that with apple butter, too?

I was excited when I realized that cooking the apple butter in the Instant Pot cut the cooking time down from 12 hours to just 3 hours. And it’s still super easy!

To make Instant Pot Apple Butter:

  • Peel, core, and quarter 6 ½ pounds of apples
  • Add the apples, sugar, and spices to the Instant Pot
  • Cook on high pressure for 90 minutes, with a 10-minute manual release
  • Puree the mixture using an immersion blender
  • Cook on “slow cook” for 2 more hours with the lid propped open
Peeled, cored, and quartered apples in the bowl of an instant pot, topped with sugar and spices for making apple butter

Just like with the slow cooker version, most of the 3 hours is hands-off time. The most work you’ll do for this recipe is peeling the apples.

If you don’t mind if the apple butter is perfectly silky smooth, you could certainly leave the peels on. But I don’t mind spending a few minutes peeling apples, so I like to take that extra step. 

Overhead view of cooked apple butter in the bowl of an Instant Pot, ready to be pureed


I like to use a mix of apples whenever I make apple butter or even Crockpot Applesauce

Since all apple varieties have different levels of sweetness and tartness, using a mix will get the best flavor.  

Freshly pureed apple butter in the bowl of an instant pot

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, Gala, and Fuji when making this Instant Pot Apple Butter. Even the crisper varieties broke down well for a smooth apple butter.

Glass jar filled with apple butter, surrounded by apples


I had never tried canning apple butter until recently, but it’s actually easier than I thought it would be! Learn how to can apple butter for a long-term storage solution.

You know what I have a lot of experience with? Freezing stuff. It’s why I have a big freezer in my garage.

Overhead view of a board filled with crackers, cheese, sliced apples and a small bowl of apple butter

You can store the finished apple butter in jars or other airtight containers in your fridge for up to a week, but I like to freeze it for up to 3 months.

Just make sure you leave plenty of room at the top of the jar so it doesn’t break after the apple butter freezes. Don’t ask me how I know to warn you about this. 

Whether you’re spreading your apple butter on a slice of English Muffin Bread or Cinnamon Swirl Bread for breakfast or serving it alongside Potato Rolls or Buttermilk Biscuits at a holiday dinner, you’ll be glad you took a few hours to make apple butter at home. 

Glass gar filled with apple butter, with apples and an instant pot in the background
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Instant Pot Apple Butter

By: Jamie
4.50 from 311 ratings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 32
Making apple butter at home is so much easier than you think! This Instant Pot Apple Butter takes just a few hours to make, but will taste like it simmered on the stove all day long. Enjoy it on toast or package it up for a fall gift!


  • 6 ½ pounds apples peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


  • Place the apples in a 6-quart Instant Pot. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples and mix well.
  • Turn Instant Pot to “Manual” and pressure cook on high pressure for 90 minutes. Allow to natural release for 10 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure. 
  • Use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until smooth.
  • Turn Instant Pot to “Slow Cook” and cook on high for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, with the lid propped on about halfway to allow steam to release. (Do not latch lid.)
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze.


I have made this several times without adding any liquid to the Instant Pot. If your Instant Pot model is giving a burn warning, however, you can add 1/2 cup apple cider or unfiltered apple juice with the apples and spices. I find that I need to slow cook the apple butter for closer to 3 hours during the 2nd stage of cooking to get it to my desired thickness when using the extra liquid.
I often use a combination of Granny Smith, Fuji and Honey Crisp apples for this recipe.
How much sugar you need to add will depend upon the sweetness of your apples. Adjust according to your apples and preferences.
Learn how to can apple butter if you want to store it for up to 18 months.
Makes about 4 pints.


Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 100kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 0.3g, Fat: 0.2g, Saturated Fat: 0.04g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.05g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 21mg, Potassium: 110mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 23g, Vitamin A: 51IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Kimberly Tolway says:

    This was amazing and super easy! I left the peels on for extra fiber and it processed down in my blender to be unnoticeable. Absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing!

    P.s. Didn’t add liquid. No problem!

    1. Jamie says:

      So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Kimberly. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback.

  2. Brenda says:

    Can you can it and how

    1. Roxanna B Redmond says:

      @Brenda, yes can it in hot water bath I do pints, for 10 mins…:)

    2. Shirley says:

      @Brenda, Yes, I always can my applebutter. how long you process it in a water bath canner depends on your altitude. I live in the Rocky mountains, so I have to process it for 13 minutes rather than 10. Be sure the apple butter is hot when you ladle it into hot, clean jars. Make sure the lids have been submerged in hot, clean water to soften the seals. leave about 1/4″ head space at the top of the sauce (distance between the surface of sauce and the top of the jar), and then hand tighten the lids onto the jar. Submerge the jars in a big pot of boiling water by about 2″ over the top of the jars. Then, when the water returns to a full boil, start your timer. (10 min at sea level… 13 minutes where I am between 3 and 4 thousand feet). When the time is up, carefully lift each jar out of the waterbath canner and set on a towel on your counter and allow to cool. You will probably hear the cans “pop” as they ultimately seal. Once they are completely cool, you can stash them in your cupboard. Good luck!

    3. Sidney Johnson says:

      @Shirley, can you use a food processor instead of immersion blender?

  3. Tam says:

    I made this tonight! So good! I think it needed to be a little bit thicker, but, didn’t matter, it’s YUM!
    THANKS so much for the recipe!
    Oh! I did can it. Water process for 15 min. Per planning on giving them out to neighbors for Christmas!

    1. Jamie says:

      So happy to hear you enjoyed it. It should thicken up a bit for you in the fridge. Take care!

  4. Amy says:

    Giving this a try and praying it works this will be the first thing I’ve made in my instant pot! My apples filled the pot up and went over the line for max pressure cook, is that normal? Cause I weighed everything 

    1. Millicent says:

      @Amy, I had the same issue, so I chopped them into smaller 1-2 inch pieces and they all fit in there. Well, almost. I used 6 lbs vs 6.5 lbs as indicated on the recipe.

    2. Jen says:

      @Amy, I was having the same issue. I dumped them out into big bowl anyways so I had room to add the sugar mix and actually mix it around. Once I added it back I was a bit over the max line so I just pressed down with my hands and I was able to pack it down a bit (I didn’t press super hard) so I was below the max line. Mine came out tasty and no issues with the instant pot. I wish I had seen people’s notes about cooking for longer on the second half because mine is runny even after two hours, but it still tastes amazing.

  5. Vickie says:

    This was my first attempt at making apple butter in my instant pot. So easy and the pot did all the work! Turned out wonderful! No burning issues and I didn’t add any extra liquid. I am planning on freezing it and was wondering if there is any difference in texture or taste?

  6. Jami Mack says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I LOVE making (and canning) apple butter but the length of time required for it to cook down with crock pot recipes has really impacted my opportunity to make it! I googled instant pot recipes and I loved this one but was a bit leery of the 90 min pressure cook time compared to others. I’m so glad I trusted it! I used 1/4-1/2 cup cider to avoid the potential burn warning someone else mentioned and had no problems! I made TWO BATCHES yesterday (IN ONE DAY!!) and canned 10 half pint jars with each batch! I’m working on a third batch today! Love this quicker method because it allows me to make more so I can share with friends! ❤️ Thanks for posting!!

  7. AbbyT says:

    This was so easy and yummy! It was a tad lighter than apple butter I typically buy (made by nuns of all people…), but this was a great first try for me! I may up the spices and cook it longer next time, see if that deepens the flavor and color. Will also try your slow cooker version, do a comparison. But you’re right, for all the years I thought doing it yourself would be next to impossible, this was far easier than expected! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Jamie says:

      So happy to hear you enjoyed the apple butter, Abby! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback!

  8. KGL Staff says:

    This looks absolutely delicious! Thank you for you recipes! Can’t wait to try it! Can we expect more recipes once autumn has officially arrived

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Happy Baking!

  9. Sarah says:

    Hi there! Thanks for the Instant Pot recipe. I was really excited about it. However, I had some difficulty using the manual setting because I kept getting a burn warning on my Instant Pot. Eventually, I had to remove all of my apples and spices into a different bowl, and wash the Instant Pot’s baking bowl because there was burnt apples on the bottom. This happened again after I had cleaned the bowl. I ended up just using the slow cooker setting and calling it good. Just an FYI for others.

    1. Jamie says:

      Hello! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback. I tested this a couple of times and had someone else test it in their Instant Pot as well without any issues, so it’s curious that yours gave you problems. Next time, you might try adding 1/2 cup of water to bowl with the apples and spices. You might have to cook it a bit longer on the 2nd cook stage to cook the extra moisture off, but it should still turn out fine! If you give it a try again, I’d love to know if that works for you.

    2. Susan says:

      @Sarah, I use apple cider in my crock, just bought an instantpot and 12 pounds of apples!

  10. Susi Matthews says:

    This is very close to what I do except that I don’t use any granulated sugar. I use a combination of brown sugar, molasses and maple syrup which gives it a complexity of flavor I love. I don’t use any vanilla either and I use Penzey’s Spices; cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and their baking spice. I don’t measure anything, I just put things in and then taste it later to see if anything needs to be added.
    Then I process it in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. It’s so very satisfying to hear the jar lidss *ping* while they’re cooling. It’s said that I make the best apple butter in mid-America…but I hate to brag.

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Susi! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Happy Baking!

    2. Tracey says:

      @Susi Matthews,
      Hi I would really like to try your recipe too
      Would you please share it too Tks