This homemade Slow Cooker Apple Butter is chock full of fall flavors. Imagine coming home to the warm scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves simmering in your slow cooker. The best part is smoothing that warm apple butter over homemade biscuits for a delightful snack!
Fall is officially here! I know this because not only was it 43 degrees yesterday, but I started pulling out the wardrobe to make it official. My favorite things about fall are the beautiful leaves, football, the start of hockey season, apples, pumpkins, sweaters & boots, chili, etc.
This apple butter combines some of my favorite fall things together—delightful spices, apples, and comforting treats. There is nothing easier than tossing apples and a few other ingredients into a slow cooker and letting it do its job.
SAVE THIS SLOW COOKER APPLE BUTTER RECIPE TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
What is Apple Butter?
I think the first time I had apple butter was at Cracker Barrel years ago. It’s a delicious spread, similar to applesauce, but thicker, with added spices. I thought it was heaven in a jar!
Once I found out how easy it was to make, I resolved to have it in our fridge at all times! Since apple season is upon us, it’s especially easy to whip up a large batch to keep on hand all through the fall and winter.
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Apple Butter
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this easy apple butter recipe in your slow cooker. Here’s what you need:
- 3 pounds of apples (peeled, cored, and sliced) – I used Gala
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Choosing the Best Kind of Apples for Apple Butter
Since making apple butter requires quite a bit of time, choose a softer variety of apples as they cook down more quickly. Fuji apples, Golden Delicious, Braeburn or Gala apples are popular choices for apple butter. I don’t recommend using Granny Smith and similar apples, as they are too firm, and I don’t like using tart apples in this recipe.
How to make Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Making your own delicious apple butter could not be easier!
- Prepare your apples: Wash, peel, core, and slice your apples. You can do thin wedges or cubes, it doesn’t really matter.
- Spice it up: Place the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Place the apples in the slow cooker and cover them with the sugar and spice mixture. Toss well to fully coat the apples.
- Cook: Place the lid on the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally, until the apple butter is dark brown and thick. Uncover the slow cooker and cook for 2 more hours, stirring occasionally.
- Blend: Turn the slow cooker off. Use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until it is smooth.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender, let the mixture cool until just slightly warm, then pour it into a regular blender and puree until smooth.
How to store Homemade Apple Butter
Apple butter should be stored in airtight containers such as mason jars. Store it in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Can you freeze Apple Butter?
Yes, this slow cooker apple butter will keep in the freezer for up to one year. Store it in a freezer-safe airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator before using it.
Is this recipe good for canning?
Canning is a great way to preserve food! You can double or triple this recipe to make a large batch, then follow the instructions from Ball Canning to preserve in jars.
Can I make this Apple Butter in an Instant Pot?
Yes, you can make this more quickly by using a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot. Since I haven’t actually tried this myself, I recommend you check out a recipe with specific instructions for a pressure cooker!
What are some great uses for Slow Cooker Apple Butter?
Sure, apple butter is a great spread for your toast. But it’s good for so much more than that! Here are some suggestions for how to use up your apple butter:
- Mix it into oatmeal: Stir this into your hot oatmeal and you’ll feel like you’re eating a slice of apple pie!
- Use it in baked goods: Recipes often allow for apple sauce as a replacement for oil, eggs, and butter. Well, you can use apple butter the same way! It helps create moisture and binds dry ingredients together.
- Spread it on bread: spread it on toast, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, muffins, and more!
- Use it in a shake or smoothie: mix it with banana, vanilla yogurt, and some protein for a delicious apple pie smoothie! It also makes a great ice cream topping.
- Charcuterie Boards are all the rage! Use apple butter as a dip for crackers and sliced fruit on your next party board.
- Use it in meals: apples particularly go well with pork chops, and I love it on my sweet potatoes!
Apple Butter Gift Ideas
Apple butter makes a great homemade gift for the holidays!
When the apple butter is completely cool, pour it into a pretty fruit jar and replace the lid. Often you can find fun seasonal jars at the store made especially for gift-giving! Add a ribbon and a gift tag for an easy homemade gift.
More Apple Recipes
These tasty recipes are full of apple flavor. Try one of these next time:
- Baked Apple Cider Donuts: These apple cider donuts combine all the flavors of fall in one donut. The best part is the apple cider glaze!
- Apple Pear Crisp: Combine two favorite fruits and top them with a delicious oatmeal crumble and you’ve got the perfect fall dessert! Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream!
- Classic Apple Pie: There is nothing better than warm apple pie and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream to finish off your Thanksgiving meal! (Or any meal for that matter!)
- Zucchini Apple Bread: This quick bread is the perfect combination of sweet and hearty. Serve up a slice with your morning coffee to fill up on the way out the door, or heat up a slice with some apple butter for a filling snack!
Looking for More Slow Cooker Recipes?
Using the slow cooker is the perfect way to get a meal you can set and forget! Try one of these recipes:
- Slow Cooker Beer Chicken Tacos
- Slow Cooker Mexican Lasagna
- Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos
- Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes
Slow Cooker Apple Butter
- 3 pounds apples* peeled, cored and sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except apples. Place apples in slow cooker and cover with sugar and spice mixture. Toss well to fully cover.
- Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours, occasionally stirring until thickened and dark brown.
- Uncover and cook for 2 more hours.
- Turn off and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, allow mixture to cool until warm then pulse in blender until smooth as you hold the lid down.
did you make this recipe?
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This post was originally published 9/23/14. It has been updated in format and with pictures on 10/10/23.