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Easy Homemade Stovetop Apple Butter Recipe

How to make the best stovetop apple butter recipe with crisp apples and delicious spices. Easy freezing and canning instructions included.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: apple recipes, Canning & Freezing
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Canning Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 3 pints
Calories: 673kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff



  • Before starting anything, it's important to wash your apples. I always soak mine in a vinegar/water bath for at least 10 minutes, then rinse. It's also important to prep your jars for canning or freezing. So, that means washing, sterilizing, etc.
  • Core, peel, and slice the apples; again, an apple peeler for apple butter makes this step so easy. Cut out any worm holes or bad spots, as well.
  • Put the sliced apples in your Dutch oven pan.
  • Add molasses, sugar, brown sugar, spices, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to the apples.
  • Stir everything together well.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat; then reduce the heat to low and simmer, with the lid on the Dutch oven, for about an hour, or 'til the apples are softened and tender.*
  • Remove the lid, turn off the heat, and remove your Dutch oven from the stove. Allow the apple butter to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Then using an immersion blender or standing blender*, blend the apples into smooth apple butter, or 'til you reach the consistency/texture you want.

Freezing Instructions:

  • When your apple butter has cooked, allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • Then just ladle or pour it into freezer safe containers that seal; leave 1/2 inch headroom at the top, to allow for expansion as it freezes.
  • Label the containers, and place them in the freezer.

Canning Instructions:

  • While your apple butter is cooking, wash half-pint jars (jelly jars) or pint jars in hot soapy water, rinse, and keep warm. We like to place ours on a baking sheet in a lower temp oven to stay hot.
  • Once you've mashed up the apples, promptly ladle or pour the resulting apple butter mixture into the hot jars you prepared ahead of time. This is where a funnel pitcher comes in super handy. Be sure to leave about a 1/2-inch gap at the top of each jar.
  • Wipe the rim of each jar with a wet towel or rag, place the lid on, and tighten the band.
  • Then place the hot jars down in a boiling hot water bath canner with 1-2 inches of water over the jars, and process those jars in the hot water bath for about 20 minutes.
  • Allow your jars to rest for at least 24 hours, but be sure to check every lid to make sure it's sealed shortly after canning.
  • Before moving to the pantry, write what it is and the year on the lid, so you know when you made it.



*How long it needs to cook will depend on the type and texture of your apples. If using a harder, crisper apple, it may take longer.
*A hand blender (or immersion blender) really allows you to get the texture or consistency that you want. It 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 your cooking pot. If you like your apple butter a bit chunky, a potato masher will work well too.
How do you make homemade apple butter thicker?
After blending the apples into apple butter, you can place the apple butter back on low heat on the stove, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes to 1 hour if you want it to thicken up more. While I have never had to do this, it's a good way to make homemade apple butter thicker.
How should I store it, and how long will it last?
  • Canned apple butter will last about 2 years on the shelf.
  • Frozen apple butter will last about 1 year in the freezer.
  • In the fridge, apple butter will last about 2-3 months.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 673kcal | Carbohydrates: 175g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 1121mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 153g | Vitamin A: 330IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 2mg
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