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This easy Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter makes a thick, sweet sauce that you will want to spread on all the things from english muffins or pancakes to bowlfuls of vanilla ice cream. And the wonderfully sweet, spicy aroma of cinnamon and apples will fill your home all day long!

Americans eat more apples than any other fruit every year and this is one of the best way to enjoy them when they are in season in the Fall. We do our part to contribute to that statistic and also love apple recipes like this Creamy Apple Cider Chicken Skillet, Instant Pot Applesauce, and German Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup!

Smooth homemade apple butter in a jar next to red apples.

Easy Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Apple butter is so well-loved, that I know of at least THREE festivals in different states that celebrate the stuff. Ohio, West Virginia, and Missouri all have annual apple butter festivals that have been held every year for decades now! In those cases, giant copper kettles are used to slowly simmer bushels of apples all day long with constant stirring over open fires until the apples have cooked all the way down into a thick spread.

But it’s incredibly easy and fun to make small batch crockpot apple butter in the comfort of your own kitchen! And so much better and less expensive than store bought. Plus, you can adjust the seasonings of sugar, cinnamon and cloves to get the apple butter just how you like it, whether that’s on the sweeter side or the spicier side.

A half-pint jar of apple butter next to a spoon and apples.

Every year we go apple picking with our girls and we always come home with so many apples it seems like we will never use them all. Making homemade apple butter is the perfect solution!

Also, if you have ever seen the jars of apple butter at the store, they are way expensive compared to the cost of making an entire batch of apple butter in your crock pot!

A jar of homemade apple butter next to a spoon, apples, and slices of bread topped with apple butter spread.

What is apple butter?

If you aren’t familiar with apple butter, it’s kind of a misleading name since it isn’t actually apple-flavored butter. Instead, it is basically a thicker, more condensed version of apple sauce that is combined with sugar and spices to make an almost jam-like spread. There isn’t even any actual butter in the recipe.

Apple butter has a luxuriously smooth texture thanks to a long, slow cooking process that breaks down and caramelizes the apples and a quick turn in the blender. It tastes almost like apple pie in a spreadable form, sort of like cookie butter tastes like biscoff cookies in a spreadable form.

A spoonful of apple butter over a jar of apple butter.

So many ways to enjoy apple butter!

Apple butter can be used in baking to make recipes like apple butter cake. Or you can use it as a condiment and spread it on fresh bread (seriously, there is nothing better), toast, muffins, ice cream (okay, possibly this is even better than fresh bread), or even savory options like pan seared pork chops or chicken breasts. It’s even great on just graham crackers! Apple butter is delicious either warm or cold, although I think it’s flavor is best the next day when it has cooled completely overnight in the fridge.

This recipe makes about 2 pint-sized jars or 4 half-pint jars of apple butter, which make fantastic gifts for friends and neighbors, particularly if you deliver it with a loaf of my Amish white bread.

Ice cream in a bowl topped with apple butter.

Can you freeze apple butter?

Yes, apple butter will freeze really well! If you aren’t planning to share your apple butter, I don’t blame you. It will last for at least a couple weeks in the fridge, but I like to hoard it in the freezer where it will last for 4-6 months. Just thaw it in the fridge before using.

How to make apple butter

  1. Peel, core, and slice about 6 1/2 pounds of apples. You could leave the peels on if you really wanted. The long, slow cooking process is going to break everything down almost entirely anyway, and then the food processor (affiliate link) will do the rest of the work for you. But I always peel mine anyway.
Peeled apples in a white colander.
  1. Add everything to the slow cooker. Toss the apples with granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Give everything a stir to distribute the sugar and spices, then secure the lid.
  2. Let them apples cook simmer! Cook on LOW heat for 10 hours, stirring every 2-3 hours or so.
  3. Blend. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a food process or blender. If using the blender, be sure not to place the lid on tight or the heat from the apple butter will cause it to explode off and make a terrible mess in your kitchen. Instead, prop the lid and cover the blender with a towel. Blend or process until smooth, then transfer to jars and cool completely before storing in the fridge.
  4. Serve or store. We think apple butter is best cold or at room temperature. It can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

What are the best apples for apple butter?

I prefer using a variety of apples for this crockpot apple butter because it gives the best, most cider-y flavor. Softer apples tend to be popular since they break down better, which make them perfect for apple butter. Some of our favorites are golden delicious, fuji, braeburn, gala, and jonagold. But even crispier apple varieties like honeycrisp, granny smith, envy, pink lady, and jazz will break down with the long cooking time.

Red and green apples in a white colander.
A jar of homemade apple butter next to apples and a plate with pieces of bread spread with apple butter.

Recipes that call for apple butter

Even more apple recipes

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A half-pint jar of apple butter next to a spoon and apples.
Yield: Makes about 4 cups

Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter

This easy Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter makes a thick, sweet sauce that you will want to spread on all the things from english muffins or pancakes to bowlfuls of vanilla ice cream. And the wonderfully sweet, spicy aroma of cinnamon and apples will fill your home all day long!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12-14 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into chunks (about 6 1/2 pounds)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Peel, core and chop or slice the apples into chunks.
  2. Add the apples to the crockpot with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 hours, stirring every couple of hours until the apples have almost completely broken down and turned dark brown and thick.
  4. Use an immersion blender or transfer the apple butter to a food processor or blender. If using a blender, don't secure the lid completely or the pressure buildup from the hot apples will cause it to pop off. Use a towel to cover the blender instead. Process until smooth, then cool completely. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.

Notes

  • Serve over biscuits, english muffins, fresh bread, toast, pancakes, waffles, french toast, ice cream, crackers, or even pan seared pork chops or chicken breasts.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 5gSugar: 46gProtein: 1g