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The Easiest Homemade Apple Butter

This Easy Homemade Apple Butter is sweet and delicious and packed with fall flavor. And for this recipe, I use a couple of shortcuts so there’s no hard work involved – no peeling, chopping, or standing over a hot stove. It’s so easy and delicious, you may want to make a double batch!



The Easiest Apple Butter Ever

Every year, one of my first fall projects is to make some homemade apple butter. The goal is to stash enough jars in my pantry to last us well through fall and winter. Homemade apple butter is delicious on biscuits and toast, of course, but it’s handy to have a few jars on hand to use in holiday appetizers, in apple butter pumpkin pie, in cheesecake, and even as a glaze on pork and chicken. And since we live in a huge apple-growing region, we are fortunate to have dozens of orchards within a few miles of our home, and easy access to many fresh apples for my annual apple butter-making project.

But this year, I haven’t gotten around to making the trip to the orchard just yet. I plan to, but it hasn’t happened yet. Honestly, I think I’ve been waiting for the weather to cool down a wee bit before we go and pick apples. It just isn’t as much fun to be picking apples in 85-degree temperatures as it is on a crisp fall day. Even so, we’re still feeling in a fall mood around here, and craving all of the usual fall goodies – maple scone with apple butter and a mug of pumpkin spice coffee anyone? So for the time being, I’ve made a batch of my super-easy, super-yummy, small-batch apple butter.



I do use my slow cooker for my apple butter. Even for “traditional” apple butter where I pick and peel and chop apples, I use my slow cooker. I mean, I don’t have a big copper pot that I can slowly stir all day over a fragrant hardwood fire in my backyard, so I figure my slow cooker will just have to do.  But for this recipe, I take it a step further and make it even easier. And here’s the trick – I start with applesauce.

Make the Easiest Homemade Apple Sauce

Start with Store-Bought or Homemade Apple Sauce…

Either store-bought or homemade applesauce will work just fine for this recipe. And it couldn’t be easier – just dump the applesauce and the other ingredients in the slow cooker, and let it slowly bubble and simmer until it’s thick and rich, and nicely caramelized. It can then be canned in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (adjusting for altitude), or you can skip the canning part and pop it into the fridge once the apple butter is fully cooled. This recipe makes about 2 pints, but feel free to double or triple the recipe to make a larger batch. If you’re new to canning and want to learn the proper, safe procedure, I recommend Ball Canning Back to Basics: A Foolproof Guide to Canning Jams, Jellies, Pickles, and More.)

The Easiest Homemade Apple Butter

…end up with Beautiful Jars of Yummy Apple Butter

Cook’s Tips:

This recipe makes a lightly-spiced apple butter. If you enjoy a more robustly-spiced apple butter, add more spices. You may also want to add a little bit of freshly-ground nutmeg to the recipe. 

I like my apple butter sweet, but not too sweet. If you want a sweeter apple butter, just go ahead and add more sugar to your batch of apple butter. Taste it and adjust the sugar to your liking. I wouldn’t, however, recommend adding less sugar than the recipe calls for because adding too little sugar can affect the texture and the shelf life of the finished product. 

As your apple butter cooks down, don’t forget to give it a stir occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the pot. 

And a word of safety here: please exercise caution when blending the hot apple butter. You can let it cool to a safe temperature before blending or follow the instructions that came with your blender for blending hot liquids. The splatter from hot preserves contain a lot of sugar and is not only super-heated, but also likes to stick to your bare skin and burn. Think of hot lava. Unfortunately, I’ve learned this the hard way on more than one occasion. Don’t be like me!


So if you’re short on time, or just want an easier way to make a batch of Easy Homemade Apple Butter, definitely give this recipe a try. Happy Fall Y’all and I hope you enjoy!

My Homemade Roots

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase.*


The Easiest Apple Butter Ever

The Easiest Homemade Apple Butter

Yield: About 2 Pints
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Inactive Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 1 day 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 46-ounce jar unsweetened applesauce (or 1 1/2 quarts homemade)
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally, until the applesauce has turned a caramel color.
  2. Carefully ladle into a blender (or use an immersion blender), and blend until smooth. Be very careful in this step because the apple butter will be extremely hot! Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for your blender for blending hot liquids.
  3. Return the blended apple butter to the slow cooker. Place lid on slow cooker leaving it slightly ajar to allow enough space for steam to escape. Cook on high for another 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, and has become dark brown in color.
  4. If canning, ladle hot apple butter into hot, sanitized jars, and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes (adjusting for your altitude.) If not canning, allow Apple Butter to cool for a few hours, then ladle into clean jars and refrigerate.
The Easiest Homemade Apple Butter

For more great recipes, visit my friends at:

Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Meal Plan Monday at Southern Bite

Weekend Potluck at The Country Cook

9 Comments

  • sandra
    October 27, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    can you freeze this..how long does it stay in refer?

    Reply
    • Melissa
      October 29, 2018 at 4:48 pm

      It will stay good in the refrigerator for several weeks. You can freeze it, but I would use it within 6 months for the best quality.

      Reply
  • 25 Tips from Grandma’s Kitchen
    February 21, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    […] may or may not save you money, but it is a handy skill. And canning tomatoes from the garden and making apple butter from freshly-picked apples allows you to preserve the well-earned bounty of your harvest to enjoy […]

    Reply
  • Shawn McInnes
    August 27, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Melissa. My grandmother (we called her Granny and her last name was Smith, so she was truly a real-life “Granny Smith”) was from West Virginia — my mom was raised there too. I have a hand-written recipe for Granny’s apple butter that I really treasure. She made the BEST apple butter and I have very fond memories of it. In fact, I met my husband of 36 years over a jar of her apple butter! Sadly, I have never made her recipe even though I’ve had it for many, many years. It is pretty involved and (for me) more than a little bit intimidating. With that being said, I have read your recipe and I think I’m actually going to give it a try — I feel like I can actually DO yours. Wish me luck! (P.S. I just found your website this morning and I’ve been having a lot of fun looking around. Great job!)

    Reply
    • Melissa
      August 27, 2020 at 4:50 pm

      Well, there’s a coincidence. My grandma, great-grandma, and all of my grandmothers on that side of the family before that were also from West Virginia! (Actually, my great-great-grandmother from WV was called granny.) And that’s so sweet that you met your husband over a jar of her apple butter – what a great story! Please let me know if you try the apple butter recipe and how it turns out for you. I’m glad you are enjoying the website. I’ll be posting more recipes soon, so I hope you’ll come back for a visit again.

      Reply
      • Shawn McInnes
        September 21, 2020 at 6:39 pm

        Hey again, Melissa! That is awesome that your kinfolk are from West Virginia! Who knows — maybe we have some kind of ties between our families somewhere along the line. You justnever never know — this world is an awfully small place at times!

        I just wanted to provide an update and tell you that the recipe turned out GREAT! I can’t believe how EASY it was. My grandmother’s recipe for apple butter called for cooking it for a long, long time in a slow oven (stirring it often) and so to at least sorta-kinda mimic that, I went the full 13 hours as far as cooking time goes. I like my apple butter to have some texture, so I didn’t bother going through the step where you puree it and then cook it some more — I just left it the way it was. I have divided it up in to 1 cup portions and frozen it in the freezer so that I can pull a container out as we need it. Thanks again for such a great recipe! I have already shared it with my Facebook friends. 🙂

        Reply
        • Melissa
          September 24, 2020 at 7:58 pm

          You just never know – maybe we do have family ties from WV! My family on that side goes back for ages, so it’s a possibility.

          I am so happy that the apple butter turned out for you! And thank you so much for sharing ❤️

          Reply
  • Autumn Harvest Beef Stew
    October 1, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    […] Now I did say there is a secret ingredient and you’re probably wondering what that ingredient is right about now. So, I’ll just go ahead and give it away that the secret ingredient is apple butter. And while it may sound a bit unusual, trust me when I tell you that it’s totally delicious. The apple butter gives the stew a touch of sweetness but also a thick, rich texture. Plus the spices in the apple butter add a depth of flavor that goes perfectly with the tender chunks of beef. (And if you love apple butter like I do and want an easy recipe for making your own, try my recipe for the Easiest Homemade Apple Butter.) […]

    Reply
  • Blueberry Lemon Jam | My Homemade Roots
    May 14, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    […] Every summer, I eagerly await the first ripe berries of the season to appear. Frozen berries are fine for the rest of the year, but when they are juicy and fresh, straight from the bush, they are simply heavenly. We always eat some of the berries fresh and then use the rest for pies and jam. (And if you love homemade jams and jellies, try my recipe for The Easiest Homemade Apple Butter.) […]

    Reply

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