How to Make Easy Instant Pot Apple Butter

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Instant Pot Apple Butter – This apple butter is filled with the delicious flavors of cinnamon spice goodness. Such a quick and easy recipe, I’ll never buy store bought again.

Instant Pot apple butter recipe made with fresh apples

Instant Pot Apple Butter is so easy to make, kinda like my easy strawberry jam and blackberry jam recipes. I’ll never buy store bought again.

I had myself psyched out before we actually made this apple butter recipe because I remembered years ago, slaving over the kitchen sink with a tub full of apples.

Not anymore, though, thanks to my husband’s amazing apple peeler/corer thingamabob (that he picked up at a thrift store, I might add). It is the absolute bomb; in fact, making apple butter is so much quicker now, we’re able to throw this together in the Instant Pot in minutes.

I’m curious… Have you made homemade apple butter?

When I developed this recipe, I knew I wanted it to taste similar to Cracker Barrel apple butter. Not a copycat recipe really, but similar.

I think we did well. You’ll have to let me know what you think in the comments.

I JUST WANT THE RECIPE! TAKE ME TO THE RECIPE FOR APPLE BUTTER!

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

homemade apple butter on toast on white pioneer woman plate

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

Well, 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.”

Nah… You can make apple butter in your Instant Pot pressure cooker, and it’s not a long, slow, painful process. It’s actually pretty painless.

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. It’s delicious on toast or biscuits.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE BEST APPLES FOR APPLE BUTTER?

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

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 for making apple juice, apple jellyapple butter, or applesauce. But in my opinion, it’s totally worth it.

wash Jonathan apples for apple butter

WHAT KIND OF APPLES SHOULD I USE TO MAKE APPLE BUTTER?

There are certain types of apples that are sweeter and certain types of apples that have a more tart taste.

In the case of homemade apple butter, I like to use a more tart apple, because I’m going to be adding a little sugar anyway.

I used Jonathan apples for this recipe because they were available as seconds at our local orchard. I also love Jonagold apples.

Jonathans are sweet and tart. They’re also crispy and juicy.

The best apples for apple butter may include:

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

TIPS FOR HOW TO MAKE APPLE BUTTER IN THE INSTANT POT

For this apple butter recipe, you’ll need about 4 pounds of apples, a little bit of water, lemon juice, molasses, sugar, spices, vanilla, and an Instant Pot.

You can make this recipe on the stovetop, or you can even make it as Crock Pot apple butter; of course, cooking times will differ.

peeling and coring apples for apple butter

Before adding the apples to the Instant Pot, core, peel, and slice the apples. Cut out any bad spots, as well.

slice apples for apple butter

Note: While I do leave the peeling on when making homemade applesauce, and you can do that for apple butter too, I just chose not to for this recipe.

making apple butter in the Instant Pot with sliced apples
  • Put the sliced apples in your Instant Pot.
  • Add water, molasses, sugar, brown sugar, spices, lemon juice, and vanilla to the Instant Pot. If you want to mix everything together, you can; but there’s no need to until after it all cooks.
spices, sugar, apples, and ingredients for Instant Pot apple butter
  • Put the lid in place on the Instant Pot. Press Manual or Pressure Cook for 15 minutes.
  • When it’s finished cooking, allow the pressure cooker to do a natural release.
blend apple butter in Instant Pot with immersion blender after pressure cooking
pouring apple butter in canning jars using a funnel

As for preservation, you can either can the apple butter or freeze it. For the sake of time, we decided to freeze our first batch; however, we canned this most recent batch.

water bath canning homemade apple butter

We use a water bath canning method.

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.

water bath canning method for apple butter recipe

This recipe makes probably about 4-6 pints.

It’s so delicious served on homemade biscuits. Yum!

spoonful of homemade apple butter from canning jar

MORE APPLE RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY:

Apple Crumb Pie

Instant Pot Applesauce 

Homemade Apple Jelly without Pectin 

No-Peel Instant Pot Cinnamon Applesauce

Easy Slow Cooker Mulled Cider

50 Mouthwatering Apple Recipes

Learn how to quickly use your Instant Pot with our Instant Pot Quick Start Guide, filled with practical tips, Instant Pot recipes, accessory ideas, and more!

KITCHEN TOOLS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE INSTANT POT APPLE BUTTER

Jars and Lids – I prefer jelly jars or pint jars. In fact, we usually try to keep our pantry stocked with jars. But don’t forget the lids and rings. They can be easy to forget, and before you know it, you have all the jars you need but no lids.

Apple Corer/Peeler/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. It saves so much time. I really want to know where this was when I was growing up. I’m looking at you, Mom, ’cause I don’t remember having one of these.

Paring Knife for trimming off any bad spots or slicing the apples.

Immersion Blender or Potato Masher This will allow you to get the texture or consistency that you want.

Instant Pot We used our 6-quart Instant Pot.

APPLE BUTTER RECIPE

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

Instant Pot Apple Butter recipe

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Click on the video below to see how easy it is to make homemade apple butter!

Yield: 128 servings

Instant Pot Apple Butter

Instant Pot Apple Butter

Instant Pot Apple Butter, filled with the delicious flavors of cinnamon spice goodness. Such a quick and easy recipe, I'll never buy store bought again.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Instructions

  1. Core, peel, and slice the apples.* Cut out any bad spots, as well.
  2. Put the apples into the Instant Pot.
  3. Add water, molasses, pure cane sugar, brown sugar, spices, lemon juice, and vanilla to the Instant Pot. Mix together.
  4. Put the lid in place on the Instant Pot.
  5. Press Manual or Pressure Cook for 15 minutes and let it cook. 
  6. Allow the pressure cooker to do a natural release.
  7. When the apple butter has finished cooking, you can puree the mixture with an immersion blender, or mash the apples with a potato masher. It's up to you how you prefer the texture or consistency.
  8. You can either can the apple butter or freeze it. See the recipe notes below.**

Notes

*While I do leave the peeling on when making homemade applesauce, and you can do that for apple butter too, I just chose not to for this recipe.

**We use a water bath canning method. 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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

128

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1mg Carbohydrates: 4g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 0g
apple butter made in the pressure cooker
easy Instant Pot apple butter recipe
homemade recipe for apple butter

72 thoughts on “How to Make Easy Instant Pot Apple Butter”

  1. Happy autumn to you too, Melissa! Thank you for stopping by. I did actually use a little more than 1/4 cup, but I whittled it down in the recipe because it’s a bit too strong…. but it still turned out great. I just love how it makes the house smell all day. You know fall is really here when apple butter is simmering in the slow cooker.:)

  2. Do you have to put the jars in a boiling water bath after you can them to seal them and preserve them from spoiling? Or to do put them in a pressure cooker to seal the jars

    • Patty, if you’re not freezing them, you would need to follow canning safety procedures and either use a pressure cooker or water bath to preserve them. I’d recommend using a pressure cooker designed for canning.

  3. I made my apple purchase today so I’m planning on making this tomorrow. I inherited my pressure cooker from my mom and haven’t used it for much of anything but a couple beef roasts so I’m still in my learning curve. I have never made apple butter in my life but remember my grandma Martin’s apple butter in all of it’s devine yumminess. I can’t wait. Because I saw so many questions in the comments about canning this recipe I did some research. So I ventured into the world wide web of answers and found out that you can water bath or pressure can this. For pressure canning at 2800 feet (western Nebraska) the www tells me I should bring the pressure to 7 pounds for 10 minutes. Here is the web address for those that are interested: https://extension.psu.edu/preserving-apples

  4. This is absolutely amazing! My whole family is thrilled with the results of your recipe. Absolutely delicious! I used water bath canning for this and am planning on giving them away for Christmas…if we don’t eat them first! My only question is, does the apple butter thicken up, or does it remain an apple sauce type of consistency?

        • 5 stars
          I’m looking forward to using this recipe. In the past, I’d just let my apples simmer longer in the pot to thicken it up. Just put in on the warm cycle with the lid off for an extra 45-60 minutes to thicken up. Is smells better and becomes more concentrated.

          • Estina, thank you! I hope you enjoy the recipe; I’m actually making another batch this weekend. This is a great tip for getting it to a thicker consistency. Thank you!

  5. I wondered if you put the jars in the freezer? I haven’t done that before. How long does this last in the refrigerator?

  6. Hi, nice to see your recipe, I am going to try it in the instant pot tomorrow. I have made apple butter in the past in the slow cooker and it was great. Just so you know, there is no need to add anything for sweetness, the apples will be plenty sweet once cooked down. I also saw a question about using a thickner, again not at all necessary, if you cook it down long enough to get the beautiful brown color, it will be plenty thick. Water bath canning works fine, start with clean, hot jars, I like to use mine fresh from the dishwasher, fill, put the lids on and tighten, water bath for the designated time and then pull out of the water and let cool, when you hear the lids pop down, they are shelf ready. Enjoy!

  7. Hello Mel, I have the small version of Insta pot, will this version be able to be cooked? Read you cooked this in larger 6 qt instapot???? Would love to try this reciepe but scared my instapot to small??

    • Hi Bonnie, how big is your Instant Pot? It would need to hold between 4 to 6 pints after it’s all cooked down. But the ingredients may be too much before it’s cooked down, depending on the size of your Instant Pot. If you have a larger slow cooker, you could also make this recipe in that, just with a longer cooking time.

  8. I have about 3 lbs of apple pears that fell when a branch broke in a storm. Would that work the same as apples? They are really small, since they didn’t get a chance to grow big enough, so peeling them will be a lot of work. I’m wondering if worth the effort? Can we use them skin on?

    • Suzan, I’m not sure; I’ve never used apple pears before. I have made pear butter, though, and it’s pretty much the same as apple butter, so I don’t see why not. And you can leave the skins on; in fact, I may be adding that into the recipe, since the skins hold a lot of the nutrition on apples. You’ll have to let me know how it turns out if you try making it.

  9. On the apple butter you said spices but not what. Also no amounts? Is this somit can’t be copied or a mistake? I haven’t used my pot yet. So I was trying to find recipes tips etc. thank you ! It does look delicious!

  10. I’m going to try this recipe this weekend! My husband just told me that’s what he wants me to try next in my pressure cooker. Your apple peeler looks like a classic Pampered Chef product. If you ever need replacement parts, give me a shout!

  11. 5 stars
    Wow! I am super picky about my apple butter is there an app on it I’ve been gifted it and this recipe is absolutely perfect. It’s thick and amazing just the way you posted the recipe!! Thank U thank U !

  12. 5 stars
    I made this today. It is so easy and so delicious! I just cored the apples and sliced them in a food processor, skin and all. I didn’t have molasses so I used maple syrup. I will be saving this recipe for next year!

  13. So a few questions…

    1. Natural release? Do you basically do nothing for 20 minutes and then release the rest?
    2. How long do you boil it for, for canning?
    3. After I canned it, liquid separated at the bottom… why? Will it still be good or too liquidy?

    • Samantha, to answer your questions.
      1. Yes, I just let it naturally release. It takes a little time, but I’m usually busy jarring up applesauce or doing something else.
      2. I recommend you consult a canning guide. We process our jars in a water bath for at least 15 minutes.
      3. I’ve never had mine separate like that, so I’m not sure why it did that. I’d guess you could give it a stir and it should thicken up. Mine is always nice and thick.

  14. Just curious, you say can them or freeze… what do you do to freeze them, what type of container do you use? Thank you.
    We have a bucket of apples that I need to do something with, and this sounds amazing!!

  15. I just made this today. First time I used my instsa-pot! Mixed Fuji and Macintosh red. Tastes great. Very easy to follow your instructions! Thank you !

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