Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

My poor Crock-Pot.  Sitting neglected up in a cupboard for years at a time without so much as a glance.  For all the time I spend stressing about what’s for dinner, you’d think it would have a prominent place on my countertop.  I finally pulled it down a few weeks back and it hasn’t seen the cupboard since.  I can’t keep it clean long enough to put it away!

Anyway, on to the real topic of this post, and that is apple butter.  Mmm…apple butter.  Growing up in Lake Tahoe, it was a fall tradition to drive down to Apple Hill and one of the things we often brought home was apple butter.  It’s delicious on toast, biscuits, pancakes, or a spoon.  Not only is it easy to make your own apple butter, but there’s an added bonus: it will make your house smell amazing.  Forget the candles and potpourri.  While it’s cooking you should go outside, just so you can come back in and experience the full effect.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

You can use just about any kind of apples for this recipe. Jonagold apples were the star of my batch, Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith or a combination of these will work well. This recipe was tested using a small (2.5 quart) slow cooker, it could easily be doubled if you are using one with a larger capacity. I used a blender to achieve a smoother texture after cooking. (Hey Santa, if you are reading, I want one of these!)

If planning to store your apple butter or use as a gift, you may wish to can it in a boiling water bath.  A step by step tutorial on this process can be found here.  Without canning, keep refrigerated and use within a month or two.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter (adapted from Eclectic Recipes)
Yield: 2 Pints
Printable Recipe


6 apples
1 1/2 cups apple cider (or apple juice)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Peel, core and chop apples, add to slow cooker.
2. Add cider/juice, sugar and spices.
3. Cook on high until bubbly.
4. Reduce heat to low and cook 6-8 hours, stirring every hour. When done, the apple butter will have thickened and be a deep brown color.
5. For a smoother texture, blend to break down any remaining chunks of apple.

You know what’s even better than apple butter?  Apple Butter Cupcakes of course!

62 Responses to Slow Cooker Apple Butter
  1. Tricia @Nightowlmama
    November 15, 2010 | 5:42 pm

    I love that this just sounds so easy to do thanks
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  2. Jeanne
    November 15, 2010 | 5:45 pm

    I bought my mom one of the first Braun hand-held blenders when they came out way back when and we’ve used it ever since. They are really great to have around!

  3. Lindsey@Kindred Spirit Mommy
    November 16, 2010 | 8:41 am

    Um YUM! I love apple butter but didn’t know I can make it in the slow cooker. :)

  4. Momma Cupcake
    November 16, 2010 | 10:41 am

    I never thought to make this in a slow cooker…BRILLIANCE!
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  5. Rachel
    November 16, 2010 | 1:06 pm

    Ooooo — I ADORE apple butter and I just happen to have everything this recipe calls for. I think I know what I’m making today!
    Rachel recently posted..Nosh Time &8212 My New Favorite Bread recipe

  6. Rachel
    November 16, 2010 | 1:10 pm

    Oh — do you think Golden Delicious would work? They’re pretty small . . . hmmm. Thoughts?
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    • Sarah
      November 16, 2010 | 1:52 pm

      Golden Delicious should definitely work. The apples I used were medium-large, so I think I’d use 7 or 8 smaller ones.

      As it takes a good while to cook, it could keep you up late if you start it this afternoon – just a fair warning. :)

  7. Rob
    November 16, 2010 | 8:05 pm

    My mom used to make apple butter. Maybe I need to make my own with your recipe. LOL. I guess we will see.

  8. Rhea
    November 16, 2010 | 8:06 pm

    Fabulous! I think I’ll make some :)

  9. Yankee Kitchen
    November 17, 2010 | 4:03 pm

    Ugh…you are making me hungry now…lol

  10. Courtney
    November 17, 2010 | 5:20 pm

    I’ve never tried apple butter, love your pictures! :)
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  11. [...] you really need another reason to make the Slow Cooker Apple Butter?  If you simply can’t wait, store bought apple butter (check your jams & jellies [...]

  12. monique
    December 10, 2010 | 8:00 pm

    Looks so yummy!

  13. Connie
    February 4, 2011 | 6:29 pm

    We used to have apply butter on toast nearly every day as a kid. Haven’t had it in years. Thanks for bringing back some great memories!
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  14. Helena
    August 24, 2011 | 5:06 pm

    I am afraid my husband is somewhat allergic to butter. But my kids are loving it. It is such a waste he wouldn’t understand what butters can do.
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  15. Jingky P.
    August 25, 2011 | 10:52 am

    I love this. Might as well check it out myself!
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  16. Trish @ Finances With Funk
    September 13, 2011 | 5:12 pm

    Thanks for the idea! I was giving what I thought were going to be a few bags of apples and ended up with 8 boxes. Seriously? What in the world am I going to do with eight boxes of apples. So I am making a double batch of this tonight to cook overnight. I could definitely use some other apple ideas, hint, hint….
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  17. Teresa Moon
    September 16, 2011 | 3:44 pm

    Can you use apple sauce?

    • Trish @ Finances With Funk
      September 16, 2011 | 6:29 pm

      I use more apple juice in cooking than I do apple sauce and I have a really nice juicer so I might try to do both this weekend while I can my apple butter. And I have an old fashioned squeezo that will make applesauce super easy, it’s just finding the time to do it! :) I run two businesses and have 4 kids! But I think I make the time this weekend to do both so I can use as many as I can.

      How do you do your applesauce?
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  18. [...] favorite things to make in the slow cooker?  Apple butter – you can find my favorite recipe here.  What’s your favorite crock pot [...]

  19. wat
    September 18, 2011 | 6:32 am

    doesn’t the alcohol in the cider mess things up?

  20. emily
    September 22, 2011 | 7:36 am

    Just wanted to say that I made this last night, and it was awesome, sooooo easy :) Thanks for the recipe!

  21. kim
    October 2, 2011 | 5:25 pm

    Making my 2nd batch of Apple Butter 1st one was amazing so This time I Tripled the recipe so I have some to can and give as Christmas Gifts!!

  22. Debby
    November 7, 2011 | 2:41 am

    If planning to store your apple butter or use as a gift, you may wish to can it in a boiling water bath. A step by step tutorial on this process.
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  25. Alissa
    December 11, 2011 | 4:30 pm

    I am SO excited for this recipe! I can not wait to make it, I am hooked on apple butter but it’s SO hard to find in the stores with out having HFCS in it. This seems so easy, thank you so much!
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  26. Lindsey
    December 19, 2011 | 9:46 am

    I made 30 pints of this. Very dangerous. Gave it all away to family and friends for Christmas! Thanks!!

  27. Nicole (MyLoveForCooking)
    February 27, 2012 | 7:46 pm

    Alas I neglect my poor crock pot shamefully also. This sounds divine and I will have to try. :)

  28. Louise
    August 28, 2012 | 3:18 pm

    Once you have eaten this apple butter, you will never purchase store bought again, I have made this 4 or 5 times, I can not keep enough of it made

  29. Lynne
    August 28, 2012 | 4:03 pm

    I’ve been making apple butter in my large crock pot for the last several years. But I don’t use all the ingredients with this recipe. I use granny smith apples, cut them up, skins and all, let them cook down in the crock. Add just cinnamon. No sugar. Use my Braun’s handheld blender to blend it all up in the crock, then turn it on low and let it cook down for a couple of days to the desired consistancy. I get more than 2 pints with this. Mostly we eat this like applesauce and don’t put it on bread/toast (we rarely make toast). It’s good on vanilla ice cream, too.

  30. tbo
    August 28, 2012 | 4:10 pm

    About how long is “until bubbly”? Should I stay and watch it for 5 minutes? Come back in 30 minutes?

  31. Debra Blount
    August 28, 2012 | 4:43 pm

    I have been making apple butter this way for a few years. I also make pear butter this way, as we have a cousin with an abundance of pear trees. The only difference is that I use 1 cup white sugar, and the only spice is nutmeg. For my 6 qt slow cooker, I can put in 16 cups of pears, only about a cup of water or apple juice and the nutmeg and sugar. It makes about 7 1/2 pint jars. I process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

  32. Ali
    August 28, 2012 | 5:30 pm

    This looks so yummy! I grew up in Sacramento (now in New Jersey) and we went to Apple Hill every year. Miss that place!

  33. Will
    August 28, 2012 | 6:38 pm

    I usually omit the Brown Sugar and add a bag of Soft Carmels..Makes it Carmel Apple Butter and it turns out SO GOOD!!

  34. Betty Franklin
    August 29, 2012 | 10:16 am

    I am new at canning. At the end you did not include how to can the apple butter. To put in jars and how to preserve them and how long they will last in jars if using jars. Thanks

  35. Daya
    September 3, 2012 | 11:29 pm

    I grew up in Sacramento and my grandparents lived on Apple Hill so we were frequent visitors there. My grandma just passed away a few months ago so reading “Apple Hill” brought some tears to my eyes. I love that place and I love that lady!! Thanks for the recipe!! I will be trying this tomorrow! I love apple butter!

  36. Dawn
    October 9, 2012 | 7:58 am

    Hi my sisters and I are getting ready to make the slow cooker apple butter. I clicked on the link you have for doing the canning of it.. but it says its not aval. do you have link i could check out (as this is our 1st time doing any of this).

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  38. Maria
    June 14, 2013 | 4:40 pm

    Awesome recipe! I have never thought that there is such thing as apple butter. Will definitely try to cook it =))
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  39. Fall Has Appeared! | pepperdevine
    September 22, 2013 | 6:09 pm

    [...] instead of doing homework, I decided to whip up a batch. Last year I had found a recipe online for Slow Cooker Apple Butter by Sarah. This entire process took me two days, but last year I did it in one since I started early [...]

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