Easy CrockPot Apple Butter Recipe

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How to make homemade CrockPot apple butter filled with cinnamon spice flavors! Easy slow cooker recipe perfect for canning or freezing.

Every year in August and September, I love to make apple butter. So far I've written an Instant Pot apple butter recipe; and now I'm sharing how to make apple butter in a CrockPot.

While I normally like to wait for Jonathan or JonaGold seconds in the fall, I used a mix of Gala and Fuji for this batch, since it's all I could find. And I have to say, they made a really delicious homemade apple butter. I'd go so far as to say it's been my best batch yet.

tiny wooden spoon in jar of CrockPot apple butter with apple butter dripping down side of jar

There's not a whole lot of work to this recipe, besides peeling and slicing the apples. And even that's made easy with the apple peeler/slicer/corer I prefer to use; it makes the job a whole lot quicker and easier.

I love eating slow cooker apple butter on my toast in the mornings at breakfast; it's perfectly delicious on Grandma's homemade biscuits too.

If you're wondering whether or not I've made a stovetop version of apple butter, fret no more. You now have your choice of how to make it, including a delicious stovetop apple butter.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?

If you’d rather skip all of my apple butter making tips, important cooking info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the CrockPot apple butter recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

spreading homemade apple butter on toast with butter knife, on gray plate

WONDERING, “WHAT IS APPLE BUTTER?” HERE’S THE ANSWER!

According to Wikipedia, “Apple butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce produced by long, slow cooking of apples with cider or water to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter a deep brown.”

Apple butter is a mixture of apples and spices, very similar to applesauce and cinnamon applesauce, but a little sweeter, a little darker, and filled with cinnamon spice flavors.

For this recipe, we use spices like nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. And we put everything in the slow cooker and slow cook it for 6 to 8 hours.

slow cooker apple butter in jelly jar with small wooden spoon

INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED:

Remember, all of the ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.

KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:

Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer – I’m telling you, this tool is so worth every penny we spent at the thrift store, but I’d order one brand new too. My advice is to go with the one that clamps to your tabletop versus the apple peeler with a suction cup.

Paring Knife and Cutting Board – for trimming off any bad spots or slicing the apples.

Slow Cooker – Mine is a 7-quart Crock-Pot slow cooker.

Immersion Blender or Potato Masher – This will allow you to get the texture or consistency that you want. An immersion blender makes it easy to purée the apples when they've fully cooked, without having to take them out and put them in a food processor or blender. You can just blend them up right in the CrockPot.

Jar Funnel for canning apple butter – This helps to pour the apple butter into the jars without making a huge mess.

Ladle or Cupcake Scoop or Funnel Pitcher – to pour the apple butter into the jars.

Jars – You can use 4-ounce jelly jars or pint jars. I’ve found 8-ounce jelly jars are just the right size for us with the amount of jam and apple butter we eat in a 3-week period. If you already have jars, you may need new lids or a pack of lids and bands.

Water Bath Canner or Pressure Canner and Cooker

Sharpie and/or Jar Labels – so you can label your jars and know what it is and when you made this particular batch.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE BEST APPLES FOR APPLE BUTTER?

Fall is the best time to find apples, but you can use any apples you can get, whether you’re shopping at an orchard, a farmer’s market, or buying store bought apples.

However, in the fall, you can usually buy seconds at just about any orchard, and sometimes at the farmer’s market. Meaning you can buy a HUGE box of apples for a lot less than normal cost, which is going to save you a ton of money.

Now I will say… It takes a LOT of apples to get very little apple juiceapple jelly, apple butter, or applesauce. But in my opinion, it’s totally worth it.

toast on gray plate, spread with easy homemade apple butter, jar of apple butter and butter knife behind toast

WHAT ARE THE BEST APPLES TO USE?

There are certain types of apples that are sweeter and certain types of apples that have a more tart taste. Galas and Fujis are sweeter with a slightly tart taste.

The best apples for apple butter may include:

  • Jonathan
  • Jonagold
  • Braeburn
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • McIntosh Red
  • Cortland
  • Winesap

HOW TO MAKE APPLE BUTTER IN A CROCKPOT

You can make this recipe on the stovetop, and you can even make it in the Instant Pot. Of course, cooking times will differ.

Before starting anything, it's important to wash your apples. I usually like to soak mine in a vinegar/water bath for at least 10 minutes, then rinse.

You'll need 4 pounds of apples.

It's also important to prep your jars for canning or freezing.

THEN JUST FOLLOW THESE STEPS…

  1. Core, peel, and slice the apples; again, an apple slicer, corer, parer for apple butter makes this step so easy. Cut out any bad spots, as well. Note: While I do leave the peeling on when making homemade applesauce, and you can do that for apple butter too, I chose not to for this recipe.
  2. Put the sliced apples in the slow cooker.
  3. Add molasses, sugar, brown sugar, spices, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to the apples.
  4. Stir everything together well.
steps for how to make apple butter in a CrockPot, including coring, peeling, and slicing the apples; placing apples in slow cooker; adding ingredients with apples; and stirring everything together in CrockPot

Place the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours, or 'til the apples are tender.

HOW TO MAKE APPLE BUTTER SMOOTH

Once your apples are tender and it's fully cooked, it's ready to blend.

cooked and tender apples in black slow cooker, ready to blend into apple butter

Uncover your slow cooker, and use an immersion blender to purée the apple butter 'til it's smooth. If you feel it needs to thicken, you can cook it on high with the lid off for an additional hour.

blending up slow cooker apple butter with immersion blender right in black CrockPot slow cooker

TIPS FOR FREEZING OR CANNING APPLE BUTTER

Using a jar funnel, pour the apple butter into each prepared jar… You can use a ladle, but I like to use my cupcake batter scoop or funnel pitcher to dip and pour. It makes the process so easy and less messy.

pouring CrockPot apple butter into 8-ounce jelly jars for canning

Wipe the top rim of each jar with a wet towel or rag, place the lid on, and tighten the band.

Choose to can or freeze it…

  • You can freeze apple butter, but be sure to leave about a 1/2-inch gap at the top of each jar to allow for expansion in the freezer. Also, allow the jars to completely cool before placing in the freezer.
  • We prefer to use a hot water bath canning method (at least 15 minutes in a hot water bath) to can the apple butter. If you choose to can it, Ball has wonderful Canning Guides to guide you through the process. You can also consult the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.
canning homemade apple butter in hot water bath in large enamel water bath canner

Before you put your apple butter in the freezer or the pantry, be sure to write what it is and the year on the lid, so you know when you made it. There are plenty of options for pretty jar labels for apple butter too.

This recipe makes probably about 4-6 pints.

spoonful of easy CrockPot apple butter over jar with drips down side

HOW LONG WILL APPLE BUTTER LAST?

Canned apple butter will last about 2 years; frozen apple butter will last about 1 year.

MORE APPLE RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY:

GET THE PRINTABLE RECIPE

If you love this delicious apple butter recipe as much as I do, please write a 5 star review, and help me share the recipe on Facebook and Pinterest!

double image of CrockPot apple butter with text, including top image of apple butter in jar with small wooden spoon and bottom image of slow cooker apple butter spreading on toast with butter knife

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Yield: 128

Easy CrockPot Apple Butter Recipe

Easy CrockPot Apple Butter Recipe

How to make homemade CrockPot apple butter filled with cinnamon spice flavors! Easy slow cooker recipe perfect for canning or freezing.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Canning Time 15 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Before starting anything, it's important to wash your apples. I usually like to soak mine in a vinegar/water bath for at least 10 minutes, then rinse.
  2. It's also important to prep and sterilize your jars for canning or freezing.
  3. Core, peel, and slice the apples; an apple slicer, corer, parer for apple butter makes this step so easy. Cut out any bad spots, as well. Note: While I do leave the peeling on when making applesauce, and you can do that for apple butter too, I chose not to for this recipe.
  4. Put the sliced apples in the slow cooker.
  5. Add molasses, sugar, brown sugar, spices, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to the apples.
  6. Stir everything together well.
  7. Place the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours, or 'til the apples are tender.
  8. Once your apples are tender and it's fully cooked, uncover your slow cooker, and use an immersion blender to purée the apple butter 'til it's smooth. At this point, if you feel it needs to thicken, you can cook it on high with the lid off for an additional hour.
  9. Using a jar funnel, pour the apple butter into each prepared jar… You can use a ladle, but I like to use my funnel pitcher or cupcake batter scoop to dip and pour. It makes the process so easy and less messy.
  10. Wipe the top rim of each jar with a wet towel or rag, place the lid on, and tighten the band.
  11. You can freeze apple butter, but be sure to leave about a 1/2-inch gap at the top of each jar to allow for expansion in the freezer. Also, allow the jars to completely cool before placing in the freezer.
  12. We prefer to use a hot water bath canning method to can the apple butter, immersing the closed jars in boiling water for at least 15 minutes. If you choose to can it, Ball has wonderful Canning Guides to guide you through the process. You can also consult the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.
  13. Before you put your apple butter in the freezer or the pantry, be sure to write what it is and the year on the lid, so you know when you made it.

Notes

*You can also use granulated sugar.

You can make this recipe on the stovetop, and you can even make it in the Instant Pot. Of course, cooking times will differ.

Canned apple butter will last about 2 years; frozen apple butter will last about 1 year.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE BEST APPLES FOR APPLE BUTTER?

Fall is the best time to find apples, but you can use any apples you can get, whether you’re shopping at an orchard, a farmer’s market, or buying store bought apples.

However, in the fall, you can usually buy seconds at just about any orchard, and sometimes at the farmer’s market. Meaning you can buy a HUGE box of apples for a lot less than normal cost, which is going to save you a ton of money.

WHAT ARE THE BEST APPLES TO USE?

There are certain types of apples that are sweeter and certain types of apples that have a more tart taste. Galas and Fujis are sweeter with a slightly tart taste.

The best apples for apple butter may include:

  • Jonathan
  • Jonagold
  • Braeburn
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • McIntosh Red
  • Cortland
  • Winesap

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

128

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 0g

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