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

Yield: 2 pints
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 20 minutes

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

  1. Peel and core the apples, cut them into chunks, and transfer them to a 4-quart or larger slow cooker.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, salt, and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the mixture over the apples, stir to coat, then cover and cook overnight on low heat (10-12 hours).
  4. Once cooked, blend the apple mixture until smooth with a hand-held immersion blender (see notes).
  5. Re-cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high heat to finish thickening the mixture.
  6. 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g

Note: Nutrition information is estimated and may vary from your actual results.