Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Apple butter used to seem like a delicacy, reserved for special festivals and events. I grew up thinking apple butter must be extremely time consuming to make or involve too much work since we never made it.  I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it made (and let me know down below in the comments section if you have!), but at fall festivals they usually show a large cast iron pot being stirred for hours as apples, sugar, and spices are cooked until they reach the perfect consistency. Honestly, this is how I thought you had to make this apple spread – I guess I was a little naive.

As I started researching how to make apple butter, the recipes that kept catching my eye all used slow cookers to steadily cook the butter for hours. This opened up a whole new world for me! Making a simple and quick apple butter with hardly any work that I can walk away from as it cooks – uhhh… what more could I ask for?!

Slow cooker apple butter spread on piece of homemade white bread sitting on a cutting board with extra bread loaf behind on a gray slate surface with extra apples in background

This almost sounds too good to be true, but it really does come together to create the perfect recipe for slow cooker apple butter. As the apples simmer for hours, your house will be filled with the aroma of cinnamon and sugar. And when it’s all done cooking, you’re left with a thick and delicious apple butter.

Slow cooker apple butter spread on piece of homemade bread with bite taken out on a wood cutting board on a gray slate surface
So creamy and delicious! It’s mouth-watering, right?!

For the perfect bread to complement this apple butter (shown in the above pictures), make sure to try my bread recipe!

Ideas for how to use this apple butter recipe:

This year, I froze all of the spread I made and am super excited to use it with:

  • Pork chops
  • Homemade breads – yeah, the combo of homemade butter and homemade bread will make you a self-sufficient guru!
  • As a mix-in for a fall-themed latte

When you make this recipe, leave me a comment letting me know how it turned out for you. Also give the recipe a star rating so I know your level of enthusiasm!

Jar of slow cooker apple butter with loaf of bread beside it and knife in front of a gray slate surface with extra apples in background
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4.3 from 34 votes

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

This apple butter is made in a slow cooker and is pretty much a set-it-and-forget it spread. It’s creamy, sweet and the perfect flavor for fall!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time17 hours
Total Time17 hours 30 minutes
Course: Preserving
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apples, fall, slow cooker
Difficulty: Easy
Method: Slow Cooker
Servings: 6 pints
Author: Kaleb

Ingredients

  • 4 qt apples, sliced
  • 2 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 2 ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 star anise pod (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  • Wash, peel, and take out the seeds from the apples. Slice thinly. Measure out four quarts of apples. Pour all apples into slow cooker.
  • Add sugar, cinnamon, cloves, anise pod, salt, and lemon juice. Stir to incorporate everything.
  • Turn slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours. After the first hour, remove the star anise pod, if added. Every hour, stir the apples.
  • Once the mixture is bubbling and cooking well (after approximately 4-5 hours), turn the slow cooker to low and leave for 10-12 hours. I usually do this in the evening so it can sit on the low setting overnight.
  • After ten hours, start checking the slow cooker. Stir mixture using a strong wire whisk or hand potato masher to break up the apples.
  • Once the butter is the consistency desired, use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender to break down the rest of the apples to achieve an even consistency.
  • Let cool. Freeze or can the mixture.

Notes

  • Remember that apples contain a large amount of water and will cook down considerably. They also vary a lot in how they cook. My apples had a lot of liquid in them so I needed to give them 2 extra hours on high (with the lid off) to make sure my apple butter turned out as thick as I wanted.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 tbspCalories: 16 kcal (1%)Carbohydrates: 4.2 g (1%)Protein: 0 gFat: 0 gSaturated Fat: 0 gTrans Fat: 0 gCholesterol: 0 mgSodium: 12.2 mg (1%)Fiber: 0.2 g (1%)Sugar: 3.8 g (4%)
Jar of slow cooker apple butter with loaf of bread beside it and knife sitting on a wood cutting board in front of a gray slate surface
Slow cooker apple butter spread on piece of homemade white bread sitting on a cutting board with extra bread loaf behind on a gray slate surface

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    • Rebecca,

      Soft apple varieties work best, like a macintosh. Harder apples like honey crisp take too long to break down and can leave the butter with a gritty texture. Make sure your apples are very ripe also! Hope it turns out well and that you enjoy!

      kw

  • When I was a younger woman, we had a what is called a “gentleman’s farm”. It was 3 acres and we had a small garden, horses, chickens, goats, and of course dogs and cats. We had a small orchard in place when we bought it. I canned every bit of fruit I could salvage before the bees could suck it dry. Apple butter and peach butter were my specialties. Apple butter has always been my favorite. As long as I can remember it has always been on our table. Don’t know where you are, but here it’s available in the organic food section AND the regular jams and jellies at the grocers. As far as making it, it takes a lot of dedicated time, because you have to stay with it. That’s why it’s always been a family thing with us. Takes more than 2 hands. I have NO idea what kind of apples ours were, but they were hard half green and half red, tart, not really good for eating. I added as little sugar as I could to taste. The recipe says to runs the mixture thru the blender, but often, small pieces of the core will make its way in. Mashing it thru a sieve ensures getting any unwanted pieces out. So it takes a few more seconds. It makes a big dif.

  • I love making apple butter this way. Time to get set up for a batch. By the way use it on waffles in the morning. They are great

  • Hi! Brings back wonderful memories of my grandma. She made apple butter every year using gravensteins from a big tree in her backyard. It was sooo delicious!!! I’ve made it on occasion too. I remembering burning a batch one year – ooops! Love your posts! I’ve learned a lot watching your videos. Thanks!! Keep them coming!

  • Hi,
    I tried to send you a message the other evening but it didn’t go through. What I want to know is, why don’t you have your own show on HGTV??
    I found you on Instagram by accident and have watched all of your posts. Enjoy you so much, you amaze me with all your knowledge and talent.
    I think you would have the number one show on HGTV.

  • Love fall and all it in compasses. Can’t wait to try this recipe and I’m going to try to make an apple butter latte. Thanks for the recipe and suggestion about the latte.

  • This is absolutely Delicious I made 8 Jars and now there are 2 left.Thank u for this yummy Recipe. I made a sauce for my Pork chops and I used it to glaze my Apple -Nut Cake.I love ur Garden Clips I have learned so .any got things and how to lay out my garden.Thank u for sharing urine with us.

  • Kaleb,
    I so wish we were neighbors!!!!
    Your an amazing person!!!
    Love that you carry on the traditions of your family!!
    In gratitude,
    Lisa

  • One of my fondest memories is making apple butter with my mom and canning it. I think the best apple butter is using a variety of red & green cooking apples- at least 2 to 3 kinds witch gives the best flavor. We cooked it in a heavy bottom pot on the stove and added only sugar and cinnamon to the apple butter. I now use an immersion blender to smooth out the apple butter before canning. Will have to try this crock pot method and make a batch this fall! 🍏🍎😋

  • Can’t wait to try! A Friend of mine introduced me to cherry butter recently and then gifted me pear butter and peach better as well. The cherry butter and peach butter are amazing on pork! Can’t wait to try Apple thanks again

  • I enjoy watching you on Facebook. I am going to use your recipe for apple butter. One question…on Facebook, you used brown sugar but the recipe on your website says sugar…what type do I use? Thanks

  • Definitely going to try this. Found your videos by accident and now I look forward to them. I love that you garden in a zone 5 like I do in central New York.

    Been trying to find the recipe for the Lemon curd cake, with raspberry filling you had for your birthday. But alas, so far no luck. Can you post that on your site.
    Thanks again for brightening my day. Love your relationship with your mom, as I am of that age 😂

  • Hi Kaleb 🙂
    How long should allple butter jars be left in a bath? I love to dabble and experiment but I’m new to canning so I don’t want to guess.
    Thanks!

  • I’m curious about the star anise, I know it’s optional, just wondering if it ends up dominating or just helps round out the flavor? Not a huge fan, but don’t want the end product to taste like something is missing.

  • ZMy family and friend know I love them when they get Apple butter and a home made loaf of bread for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Thanks for your inspiration!

  • Made it last night! Delicious! Took a jar to
    my next door neighbor and she teared up, her grammy used to make it💕. Going to make another batch later this week to freeze and share. Thank you, so fun and easy!

  • Just made this tonight. My house smells amazing and excited to try the apple butter in the morning. Thanks for the recipe, your videos are great.

  • I made this for the first time ever it turned out great… I ended up with 5 quarts but my question is now that it’s in my canning jars and I want to freeze it is there any other special steps I need to take or do I simply put it in my freezer since its cooled all the way down…

  • 5 stars
    I’m glad I watched your video first and then went to the recipe. Made this yesterday and it’s delicious – didn’t peel the apples and used brown sugar like your video and used 3 different types of apples. Bought way too many apples so thinking I’ll be making a couple more batches this week! May have to can some so I can give it away to friends!

  • 5 stars
    This looks yummy! I inherited my grandmothers 28″ diameter antique copper apple butter kettle. I will never use it so its just a family heirloom.I have a bad back and knees so standing for long periods of time is out.This method is my kind of recipe.Thanks for sharing!

  • 5 stars
    My third batch is in the crock pot now ready to be canned. Super easy and delicious. Thanks for highlighting canning and all things home!

  • 5 stars
    I made this yesterday. My house smells wonderful and the apple butter is phenomenal. Half of my apples are a rather sweet variety so I used 1/2 cup less brown sugar. Perfection taste wise and beautiful in the jars as well!

  • 5 stars
    Made this last night and this morning I put them in my freezer plastic jars going into freezer for Christmas gifts with some home made bread I will make there going love it
    Thank you
    Betty

  • So you don’t have to process this after it’s done ? Thanks I love watching you . You make everything look
    So simple . O talking about the apple butter . Lol
    From Texas

  • 5 stars
    Where do you get all the beautiful canning jars? Love the apple butter. My kids loved it and ate with french toast, regular toast and even waffles. Yes! it does works awesome with pork! Thank you. Love your videos and you!😁

  • 5 stars
    Hi! This looks fantastic! I dont know much in regards to canning, so I know I am probably over thinking this, but lol after the butter cools and you put it in the freezer, do you leave it there until you plan to use it and then refrigerate it? Do you freeze it for just a certain amount of time? How does that part work?

  • I’ve never made apple butter before, as a matter of fact I’ve never tasted it; but your recipe sounded so simple that I thought I would give it a try. I don’t have a large slow cooker, good excuse to buy one (lol) and also, where did you get the jars you used in your video. Can’t wait to try this; my son and his wife went to an apple festival this past weekend and brought be back a whole lot of apples of different kinds, granny smith, gala, and one more kind (can’t think of it). I’m going to start mine tomorrow evening (Monday). Wish me luck and I’ll let you know how it turns out. Have a great fall season!!! Mary Dickens, from Virginia

  • Made it… great time saver. I’m from the old school stove top prep..BUT…..no more!!!!😊. Thank you and Happy Fall, Happy Life.

  • 5 stars
    Omg! This recipe is so delicious and video makes it easy to make. I used 5-6 varieties of local ripe cooking and eating apples. Peeling and cutting up the apples took the most time so I had my family help. Turned out so so good. I was reluctant but shared couple of jars with my neighbors. They love it too!

  • I have only been watching your videos for about a month. I am so happy I found you. I am 65 years old and have just gotten to gardening , baking and cooking from recipes for the first time in my life. What have been doing all this time? Working, taking care of my daughter, mom and dad. I have learned so much watching you. Thank you! I made your apple butter recipe. OMG!!! It’s to die for. I guess I have been in my little world because I have never heard of Apple butter. I will be making often. 🧡

  • 5 stars
    Excellent! I wish that I had come across this recipe a month ago. I was giving away apples. I made your recipe in my crock pot yesterday afternoon. They are now cooling down and it looks and tastes so yummy! Thank you.

  • I’ve made 2 batches following your recipe and love it! I can these and am making for Christmas gifts. Thank you for an easy way to make a favorite! Hot mustard next!

  • When he bought the houdeI visited a friend on northern Nv last week and brought home about 8 lbs of apples. He didntknow what kind they were as the trees were there when he bought the house. They are smal) like maybe crab apples. Some are red, green or yellow??. I only have my very old original round crock pot. Can I use it?

  • 5 stars
    I just got some reusable canning lids so I am making your recipe! Wonderful!! I am printing it for my keeper file! Oh and the tattler lids work very well if you are into canning I would suggest that you invest in some they are well worth it.

  • This is delicious and so easy to make. I am making my third batch today! I’ve delivered several jars to the front doors of friends that are “shut in”.
    Thank you for the recipe. I enjoy all your posts!

  • I made this with a co-workers apples from her trees and it was great! I’m doing it again but this time adding a different co-workers persimmons to the mix! Hope it comes out good. I already gave most of my first batch away, so I need more! It goes too fast!