Crockpot Apple Butter is smooth, spiced, and tastes like apple pie! You would never guess just how easy it is to make and that it's actually healthy too!
Crockpot Apple Butter
I love making crockpot apple butter, especially in the fall, because it makes my whole house smell like warm cinnamon apples. Basically the very essence of fall!
Crockpot apple butter is made of simple ingredients. It actually has no butter or dairy components to it at all, despite its misleading name.
Apple butter is actually more similar to applesauce than butter. Both apple butter and applesauce are made by slow cooking apples, often with spices and sugar. Apple butter is cooked for longer so that the apples break down more, creating a smoother, richer, almost caramelized sauce.
What are the Best Apples for Crockpot Apple Butter?
You can really make apple butter with any apples. Some may need to be cooked a little longer, especially the firm baking-type apples like Granny Smith.
The very best apples to use for apple butter is actually a combination of sweet soft apples and tart baking apples. I usually use half of each.
Sweet and soft apples include
- Red delicious
Tart baking varieties include
- Granny smith
To make the best apple butter, pick an apple or two from each list to combine the sweet and tart. This will help the apple butter keep its apple flavor and not be overpowered by spices or sweetness.
Can You Make Apple Butter with No Sugar?
Yes! I frequently make apple butter with no sugar. Just simply omit the brown sugar from the recipe.
I usually opt for using only sweeter variety apples when omitting the sugar, such as Gala, Red Delicious, or McIntosh.
You could also consider adding a sugar free sweetener such as a couple drops of stevia.
Can You Make Apple Butter on the Stovetop?
Yes, absolutely! I like to make apple butter in the slow cooker simply because it require less attention from me. But it will be done a little faster if you make it on the stovetop.
To make apple butter on the stovetop, place all ingredients in the recipe below plus one cup apple juice in a large heavy bottom pot. Bring mixture to a boil. Then reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low until apples are soft and broken down, about 2 hours.
To finish, turn off heat, remove lid, and allow apples to cool for about an hour before continuing to puree in a food processor, blender, or immersion blender.
What to Do with Apple Butter
Our favorite thing to do with apple butter is to slather it on toast with a little butter. It's so simple, but so yummy.
It's also delicious on bagels, English muffins, muffins, and especially cinnamon raisin bread.
Get creative with it, too. Add it to oatmeal or yogurt for an apple flavor, or as an ice cream topping topped with a few pecans or walnuts.
More Apple Recipes You'll Love
- Slow Cooker Applesauce - even easier than apple butter and just as delicious!
- Apple Brown Betty - one of the easiest apple desserts on the planet! And so good!
- Homemade Taffy Apples - my grandma's recipe! A fall-time MUST!
- Crockpot Apple Oatmeal - perfect for busy school mornings!
- The BEST Classic Apple Pie - seriously the best. We make it every holiday!
Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter
- 6 pounds apples
- ½ cup brown sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- a pinch or 2 of ground cloves
- Peel, core, and slice all 6 pounds of apples.
- Place prepared apples in slow cooker with remaining ingredients. Toss apples gently to incorporate all ingredients.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until apples are very soft.
- When apples are soft, turn off crockpot, remove lid and allow to cool slightly before pureeing (about an hour).
- Puree apples in a blender or food processor, or using an immersion blender (as seen in the video). Depending on the size of your processor, you may need to puree in several batches.
- Then just put it all in a container with a lid (such as a mason jar), and put in the refrigerator or freezer. Or immediately slather generously on toast.
- Crockpot apple butter is naturally gluten free, dairy free, and vegan.
- You can reduce the amount of sugar by omitting the brown sugar. If you do omit the sugar, consider using a sweeter variety of apple, such as Gala or Red Delicious, as Granny Smith apples will make pretty sour apple butter without the sugar.
- Typically, I will use half Granny Smith apples, and half of a sweeter variety, usually Gala or Red Delicious. Fuji or Golden apples will also work. You can also choose to use all of one kind.
- Allow to cool with the slow cooker lid off for at least an hour or until cool enough to handle before pureeing to prevent burns.
- To make your apple butter silky smooth, make sure they are cooked long enough to be broken down. They should be so soft that they fall apart when you stir them. Then puree them thoroughly using your food processor, blender, or immersion blender.
- To store, place in a container with a lid (I use mason jars.) in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- To freeze, place in a freezer safe container, covered for up to 3-6 months.
- Stovetop directions: Place all ingredients plus 1 cup apple juice in a large heavy bottom pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours until apples are soft and broken down. Then follow steps 4-6 of the recipe to finish your apple butter.
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