Our slow cooker apple butter is made with several varieties of apples and flavored with a bit of vanilla and a subtle blend of spices.

Apple butter spread on an English muffin with a jar of apple butter in the background

Apple butter is a thick, slow-cooked purée of fresh apples, apple cider, and spices that, despite its name, contains no butter whatsoever. Its history dates back to the mid-1700s in Pennsylvania Dutch country where it was used as an easy way to preserve the apple harvest.

Our homemade apple butter recipe uses a combination of Braeburn, McIntosh, and Golden Delicious apples and a healthy dose of fragrant spices to make a rich, smooth apple butter that cooks overnight in the crockpot.

The recipe is versatile, so feel free to use your favorite in-season apple varieties and adjust the spice quantities to suit your own taste.

Homemade Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

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Our slow cooker apple butter is made with several varieties of apples and flavored with a bit of vanilla and a subtle blend of spices.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs apples, about 10 medium
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  • Peel and core the apples, cut them into chunks, and transfer them to a 4-quart or larger slow cooker.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, salt, and vanilla extract.
  • Pour the mixture over the apples, stir to coat, then cover and cook overnight on low heat (10-12 hours).
  • Once cooked, blend the apple mixture until smooth with a hand-held immersion blender (see notes).
  • Re-cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high heat to finish thickening the mixture.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature, stir in the lemon juice and spoon into mason jars. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Tips for Making This Recipe

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a conventional blender to purée the apple butter, but be sure to work in batches though to avoid over-filling it with the hot mixture.
Calories: 35kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Sodium: 12mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g
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