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Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that apple butter was, in fact, not a variation of butter. While butter it was not, I found it was still utterly fantastic slathered on a piece of toast, or on top of brie and a cracker. Apple butter has become one of my favorite things to stock up on during the fall season when it’s plentiful at farmer’s markets, orchards and local grocery stores. I’ve had friends tell stories about churning apple butter at fall festivals, which has always made apple butter seem like an utterly daunting task. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered how incredibly easy it could be, and I wasted no time making a batch once apple season was in full swing.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

There are a couple of different methods you can use to make apple butter. This particular one is simmered overnight in a slow cooker, then pureed with an immersion blender. It’s a “refrigerator” version, meaning that you should use it within a couple of weeks or freeze it, and is not meant for long-time storage. If you are interested in a recipe suitable for canning and long-term storage, I recommend the Apple Butter Recipe from Simply Recipes.

I currently have a jar in the refrigerator, a jar in the freezer for a brie appetizer on Thanksgiving, and a handful more jars earmarked for family and friends to enjoy. What’s your favorite way to eat apple butter?

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Four years ago: How to Roast Garlic
Five years ago: Wendy’s Copycat Chili
Six years ago: Soft Pretzels

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Yield: 4 pints

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes

An easy recipe for Apple Butter, made right in your slow cooker!

Ingredients:

6½ pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used a combination of Granny Smith, Fuji and Honeycrisp)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Place apples in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Sprinkle over the apples and stir gently to combine. Cook on low for 10 hours.

2. Stir in vanilla extract, breaking up any large chunks of apples that remain. Cover and cook for an additional 2 hours.

3. Remove cover and use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until completely smooth. (Alternately, you could puree in batches in a food processor or regular blender.) If you want the apple butter thicker, you can continue to cook it on low with the lid of the slow cooker slightly ajar so that steam can escape.

4. Allow the mixture to cool, then spoon into jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.

(Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction)

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75 Responses to “Slow Cooker Apple Butter”

  1. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl on October 21, 2013 at 12:47 am

    This is such a great recipe to use up a bunch of apples. I would not mind taking a spoon and digging in. :)

    Reply

  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on October 21, 2013 at 1:14 am

    12 hours of torture, eh? I mean by that, the amount of time your house likely smells so intoxicatingly good from the apples, brown sugar & spices. I bet it’s pure torture not to want to rip the lid off your slow cooker and dive in! It sounds so good and I’ve never made it. I’ve made plenty of jams, chutney, slow cooker beans, spreads and so forth – but never apple butter. Need to change that! Pinned!

    Reply

  3. Beth on October 21, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Gosh, I’d never even heard of apple butter before! Looking forward to reading some serving suggestions in the comments! Think I agree that it would work best with cheese, maybe a strong cheddar….

    Reply

    • Arlene on December 2nd, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Yeast rolls, biscuits and on plain bread.

      Reply

  4. hanna on October 21, 2013 at 6:06 am

    Do you know if we can cut down on the sugar amount?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Hanna, I think you could without a problem. Obviously it will affect the flavor though!

      Reply

  5. Lila on October 21, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Is there a way to make this without a slow cooker?

    Reply

    • nancy K on October 21st, 2013 at 8:30 am

      I have made it on the stove. It is basically like making applesauce but the proportion of ingredients are different which makes for a thicker, sweeter, heartier product. Also, I cook it on low, stiring often , for about an hour.

      Reply

    • nancy K on October 21st, 2013 at 8:34 am

      I love making apple butter. It can be addictive this time of year so thanks for this recipe. FYI, Trader Joe’s has a variety of yummy fruit butters. They offer a yummy cranberry apple butter this time of year along with a delicious pumpkin butter. They also offer fig butter and mango butter all year long.

      Reply

    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Lila, I imagine that you can make it on the stove, but it might take awhile.

      Reply

  6. Erin | The Law Student's WIfe on October 21, 2013 at 8:45 am

    This could be the year I finally tackle homemade apple butter! I’ve been intimidated by canning in the past, but I feel like I could handle this. Plus, I bet your house smells ahhhh-mazing while it simmers away. Yum!

    Reply

  7. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet on October 21, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I think I have only had apple butter once but I think I am going to make this today and see how it turns out!! I have apples galore in my fridge!

    Reply

  8. Jen on October 21, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Someone JUST talked about making apple butter in a slow cooker and then I saw this pop up in my RSS feed. Yum! Time to go get some apples.

    Reply

  9. Nancy Long on October 21, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I’m surprised at the # of people who have never had it. We grew up having it on toasted and on peanut butter sandwiches. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks

    Reply

  10. Marcie @ flavor the moments on October 21, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Love this slow cooker version! I’ve never made apple butter but would love t give it a try.

    Reply

  11. Liz on October 21, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I really want to make this..however as a single person does anyone have any advice how to scale this recipe down? Can i still make it in my 6 qt slow cooker?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Liz, I think you could scale it down and still make it in your 6 quart slow cooker. I have a 6 quart and it was completely full with apples when I started. Cooking on low, it doesn’t char the edges or anything.

      Reply

      • Liz on October 23rd, 2013 at 9:39 am

        Michelle thanks so much for the reply.Im going food shopping today..I will be attempting this and reporting back soon.

        Reply

  12. Christy @ My Invisible Crown on October 21, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I’ve nerver made apple butter but I’ve been thinking lately that it’s time I tried so this is perfect. The crock pot is just too easy not to use!!! Thanks!

    Reply

  13. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent on October 21, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I love apple butter on toast in the morning. Yum! May have to try a batch of this slow cooker version.

    Reply

  14. Brandi on October 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Do you happen to know approximately how many apples that was? I have a bagful of apples, but I don’t know how much they weight…

    Reply

    • Elizabeth on October 25th, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      I just made this recipe and i used 6 honey crisp 3 granny smith and 6 gala apples.

      Reply

  15. Brandi on October 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Sorry for the previous question. I’ve looked it up: the average apple weights about 1/2 pound. :)

    Reply

  16. Sandi Benoit on October 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Can you can it? I put up a lot of my jam, fruits and vegetables…Just wondering…

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 6:16 pm

      Hi Sandi, I don’t believe you can safely can this recipe; please see the write up above for a link to a cannable recipe at Simply Recipes.

      Reply

  17. Michelle on October 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    We just recently – as in last week – moved to a new house in the country and had several people stop by to welcome us. This would be a perfect little way to say thank you to them and to the friends who helped us move. Thanks, Michelle, for the recipe and inspiration! OH! And apple butter on brie? . . . yum!! Believe it or not, apple butter is delicious eaten with cottage cheese or my kids like it in a bowl so they can dip animal crackers into it. And it’s a great comfort food of mine on a chilly fall morning to enjoy it on toasted bread with a cup of hot tea (or as an afternoon snack after being out in crummy weather such as is headed to Pittsburgh tomorrow :/ ).

    Reply

  18. Lana on October 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I grew up eating apple butter on homemade biscuits…YUM!

    Reply

  19. Tracey on October 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Apple butter is the best, I can’t believe I’ve never made my own! I need to stock up on apples so I can try this soon :)

    Reply

  20. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on October 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    i love apple butter and have been looking for this type of recipe! Thank you!

    Reply

  21. Ann on October 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    I grew up eating and making apple butter. This is very close to the recipe I use. Instead of vanilla I add a splash or two or orang liqueur or whiskey/bourbon. It adds that something extra to the butter.

    Reply

  22. Miss Messy on October 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I need a slow cooker! This looks fabulous! :D

    Reply

  23. Bake Play Smile on October 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla are three of my favourite things! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

    Reply

  24. Vika on October 21, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Is there anything I could substitute for cloves or just omit it?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Hi Vika, Since there are other spices in there, you could add an extra pinch of the others or just omit the cloves.

      Reply

  25. Martha in KS on October 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    The last time I made apple butter I did it in the slow cooker & it was so much easier – no stirring or scorching. I processed it in a hot water bath & it lasted for months! I cheated this year – ALDI had it as a weekly special so I stocked up. Homemade bread is the perfect carrier for a thick layer of apple butter, but a spoon is too!

    Reply

  26. Beth on October 21, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    I have made peach butter and my girl friend made apricot. We added a box of Sure-Jell to the mix while it cooked. Both of these were delicious toppings for anything “toasted” or on a slice of fresh baked bread!

    Reply

  27. Tanvi on October 21, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    I love the way it sounds! Bt 10hrs of slow cooker? Is there an alternative to maybe reduce the cooking time by using a pressure cooker? I understand that the intensity of the flavour can come only by the slow cooking

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      Hi Tanvi, I have never used a pressure cooker, so I don’t know how it would work or how the cooking time would translate from the slow cooker.

      Reply

    • Chris on December 31st, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      A pressure cooker won’t work because it is sealed. the long process in the slow cooker with the lid open for steam to escape is to reduce the volume. If it is sealed the steam won’t have anywhere to go

      Reply

  28. Colleen on October 22, 2013 at 6:50 am

    I’m an apple fanatic but have only had apple butter a few times, on toast. The thought of it on brie is just mouthwatering. I can only imagine the way the house smells while this cooks. Cannot wait to try it.

    Reply

  29. Kim on October 22, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    You are not alone. It took me a looooong time too to realize butter has no place in apple (or pumpkin) butter. As in 34 years. HAHAHA.

    Reply

  30. Mary-Clay @ Cooking with the King on October 23, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    I just made pumpkin butter in the slow cooker – great minds think alike! Love this! :)

    Reply

  31. Lindsay on October 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Wow! Super easy recipe and delicious! Fantastic on toast, perfect breakfast item. Thanks!

    Reply

  32. Jaclyn on October 26, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I so need to try this, I’ve never made apple butter but it looks so good and so easy!

    Reply

  33. Neva Mullins on October 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Mine has too much cinnamon taste what can I do to correct this? Still have 6 his of cooking to go. Thanks

    Reply

  34. Laura Dembowski on October 27, 2013 at 8:42 am

    This Apple butter looks so rich and flavorful. This is a seriously awesome fall treat!

    Reply

  35. Deb on October 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I made this applebutter. It was soooo easy and delicious.

    Reply

  36. sam on October 28, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Thanks for this recipe. Apple butter is something of a family tradition for me. In your notations, I saw you were planning to use it with Brie in a recipe for Thanksgiving. Could I ask for that recipe, as I would like to consider that as well.
    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 28th, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Sam, It’s actually not really a recipe. I usually just bake a wheel of brie in the oven, then when it comes out, serve it with apple butter and crackers on the side.

      Reply

  37. Peggy on November 3, 2013 at 12:00 am

    For those without a crockpot, my friend bakes her apple butter for several hours in a very low oven. Stir occassionaly. Turns out delicious. I have some in my crockpot right now. Can’t wait until tomorrow!

    Reply

  38. liz on November 7, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Is turned out amazing, thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  39. Elizabeth Highsmith on November 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    I apologize if this has already been asked but could you give an estimate of how many apples equals 6 and 1/2 pounds and or how many cups? I have LOTS of apples from the apple orchard but not sure the poundage! Thanks so much, looks delectable!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 11th, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Hi Elizabeth, It all depends on how big the apples are, which can make a big difference in how much they weigh. Weight is really the best measure, but I think I used around a dozen or so apples, total.

      Reply

  40. Teri on November 9, 2013 at 9:46 am

    My apple butter has cooked overnight and I’ve just added the vanilla. It is way too runny. Does it thicken once I purée ? Should I continue cooking now without the lid ? Does it need two more hours after adding the vanilla?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 11th, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Yes, as stated in the recipe, if you want a thicker apple butter, you should continue to cook with the lid slightly off until desired consistency is reached. The amount of time will depend on the heat of your slow cooker and how thick you want it.

      Reply

  41. Artur on November 11, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    what do you use this apple butter for ?
    cake?
    sandwiches ?

    Reply

  42. Gin on November 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

    YUM!!!!! I added a drop of cinnamon oil because I love that stuff. Thanks for a great recipe!!!

    Reply

  43. Catherine on November 15, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I’m making this recipe right now, and I am unsure if I should put the lid on the crock pot or cook it uncovered For 10Hours.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 17th, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Hi Catherine, You are to cook it covered, then puree it. If you want it thicker, then cook it longer with the lid ajar.

      Reply

  44. Joanne Schrock on November 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Is the 6 pounds before or after coring apples?

    Reply

  45. Barbara Tish on December 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    This is my second batch.It is so good! Going to use some of this batch for Christmas gifts. Do try it. I followed the recipe exactly.

    Reply

  46. Linda on December 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    This looks so good! I’ve never had it before, but I am thinking of making it for Christmas gifts. If I make it this week and freeze it, could I just defrost it and give it out? Will it alter tsste? also, any.recommendations on what.I could serve it with?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 11th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Linda, Yes, you could do that. Just make sure the tags note that it should be consumed within 2 weeks. I like to serve mine with brie and crackers.

      Reply

  47. Robin on December 17, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I am in the process of making this and my house smells beautiful! Quick question, do I need to refrigerate immediately after jarring or after the first opening of the jar. I would like to give these as gifts at work and would like to understand how long before they need to be refrigerated or how long after being refrigerated they can get to room temperature…
    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 18th, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Hi Robin, You will need to refrigerate immediately after the apple butter has cooled. They should remain refrigerated until serving (having them out for a handful of hours while gift giving is fine), and should be consumed within 2 weeks of making.

      Reply

  48. Felicia on January 11, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I am curious as to why your fantastic recipe is not good to can. Can you explain please.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 11th, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Hi Felicia, Safe canning practices require a certain acidity level in the mixture, or to use a pressure canner, which I am not familiar with. For these reasons, I do not feel comfortable endorsing this particular recipe as safe for canning.

      Reply

      • Kelly on March 7th, 2014 at 10:15 am

        This is such a wonderful recipe! I wanted to be able to give it as gifts, which would require making a few batches well in advance of the gift giving – so did a bit of research . . . bottom line, apple butter actually is quite acidic and can be canned with either a water bath canner or a pressure cooker canner. I reference the site (noting the Q&A references USDA testing in a “water bath canning method”): http://www.pickyourown.org/applebutter.htm
        and scroll down to the Q & A (toward the bottom):
        “Q. Using a pressure canner: “What a fabulous Apple Butter recipe ! I would like to know you if can use a pressure cooker to process and if so do you know the ” pounds of pressure and the amount of time”? Cant wait to try the Pear butter next ! Thank you !”

        A. Well, you could use a pressure canner, but there’s no advantage to it. Apple butter is so acidic, and gets cooked so long, that it rarely ever spoils when processed in a boiling water bath. I don’t remember a single jar spoiling on me in the past 25 years. In addition, since the only recipes tested by the USDA and Ball used a boiling water bath, we have to apply the same times to the pressure canner, as there is no data to support a shorter time. And the water bath times are only 5 minutes and 10 minutes, anyway, for pint and quart jars, respectively. So, you could use a pressure canner and use the times recommended for the boiling water bath, but I don’t see the point in it.”
        Anyway, I just wanted to say your recipe is simply delicious and every jar I’ve made and given to friends and family has just not lasted long enough to be preserved. I tell the recipients that it is not “canned” or sealed so they know to use it right away and they just laugh at the suggestion – that I’m silly for thinking that it won’t go straight from the fridge onto the table – often for dessert that very evening! Thanks again for a great recipe!

        Reply

        • Selina on July 16th, 2014 at 10:11 am

          That’s the recipe I used and I water bath canned mine with no problems..everyone loved it! So, I go back to that recipe again… thanks for the backup! :)

          Reply

  49. Nicole on March 8, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Yum, can’t wait to try this recipe! I grew up eating my great grandmothers apple butter. Quick (and possibly very silly) question though, when I put the apples in the slow cooker should I cover them in water, add a little water, or no water? I’m a bit paranoid about them burning…

    And what temperature setting do you use?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 9th, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      Hi Nicole, No, you don’t add any water. They will not burn. As the recipes states, you should cook them on low.

      Reply

  50. Sandi on March 30, 2014 at 7:17 am

    My favorite way to eat it? With a spoon! On toast or pancakes. Or used to glaze a pork tenderloin or sirloin tip roast. One of the few things my mom made time to make as a busy single mom of three who was working all the OT she could pick up.

    Reply

  51. Renata on June 9, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing your apple butter recipe. I made it and the result was fantastic! Just posted about it and linked back to your post :)

    Reply

  52. Brooke on June 26, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Just made this with a bunch of over-ripe apples from the backyard that I was just about to throw away! Turned out delicious and made me so happy to not have wasted bags of apples!
    Thank you for the recipe!

    Reply

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