Slow Cooker Apple Butter

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This easy apple butter is made in the slow cooker to save time. It freezes great so it is the perfect recipe to preserve your apples.

This is the perfect way to use a bunch of fresh apples from apple picking, but even if the apples are a bit past their prime they will still turn into delicious apple butter.

Why Use the Slow Cooker to Make Apple Butter

I like to use the slow cooker to make homemade apple butter so that I don’t have to stir it every few minutes. While you do still need to stir occasionally, you don’t have to worry as much about the butter scorching in a slow cooker.

I like to make apple butter on a day I will be around the house so I can walk by and stir every hour or so.

This isn’t a recipe you want to put in your slow cooker and leave while you will be gone all day. It will likely burn around the outside if you do.

apple butter in a jar, a towel, a whole apple, and apple slices
Slow-cooker apple butter is so delicious and will make your house smell amazing while it is cooking.

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However, making apple butter in the crock pot is easier than babysitting the butter on the stove for several hours. You will need a 6-quart slow cooker for this recipe.

Your house will smell amazing while this cooks. If you are one that likes to tinker with recipes and make them your own, this is a great one to try. Since we aren’t canning this apple butter recipe, you can change the spices, use less sugar, and just make it your own.

Do I Have to Peel the Apples?

Honestly, you don’t have to peel the apples. If you have a high-powered blender, you can probably cook the apples until they are soft enough that the peels won’t be noticeable in the finished butter.

Occasionally, the peels can lend a slightly bitter flavor, so you may need to add a bit of additional sugar to offset that. If you really want to try it without peeling the apples, I would do a half batch the first time, keeping in mind that you probably only need to cook it for 6-8 hours.

What Kind of Apples Should I Use to Make Homemade Apple Butter?

The sky’s the limit when it comes to what type of apples to use for your apple butter. I like a mixture of varieties as I feel like it gives the butter a more complex flavor. However, it will still be delicious even if you only have one kind of apple.

Some good apple varieties to try include:

  • McIntosh
  • Golden Delicious
  • Gala
  • Fuji
  • Jonagold
  • Gravenstein
  • Cortland
  • Braeburn

However, I’ve used Honeycrisp and many other varieties and haven’t had any that didn’t make good apple butter. Might we finally have found a good use for all those Red Delicious apples that aren’t good for much else??? (I think Red Delicious apples are mealy. Ha ha.)

Even Granny Smith will work apples will work though you may need a bit more sugar.

freezer supplies checklist opt in box

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe

You can find a printable version of this homemade apple butter recipe at the end of the post. And below the recipe, I also share lots of delicious ways to use apple butter.

Ingredients:

  • approximately 6 pounds of apples, peeled, cored, and chopped – a little more or a little less won’t matter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Place the chopped apples and all the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker except for the vanilla extract. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring every hour or two. Try to stir more often as the butter thickens.

When the butter is almost done, stir in the vanilla extract and cook, uncovered, for another hour or two longer. The butter is done when the apples are soft and the mixture has thickened.

If you want chunky apple butter, you can leave the butter as is. If you prefer smooth apple butter, puree the apple butter directly in the slow cooker with an immersion blender.

Or you can let the apple butter cool a bit and then transfer it to a regular blender or a food processor to puree it.

Spoon the apple butter into small plastic containers or glass jars. Allow it to cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator for a week or the freezer for up to a year. If planning to freeze it, be sure to use straight-sided mason jars, not ones with “shoulders” as they may break.

I hesitate to say how much apple butter this recipe will produce. It will really depend on how much you cook the butter down.

If you like thinner apple butter, it will make more jars than if you like your apple butter thicker. But I usually get about 6-8 jelly jars (8 oz. jars) full.

How to Use Apple Butter

There are so many delicious ways you can use crockpot apple butter. The easiest way is just to spread it on your morning toast (try my homemade bread recipe), bagels, hot biscuits, or English muffins.

Try topping some vanilla ice cream with a bit of apple butter. Delicious.

Stir some homemade apple butter into your morning oatmeal or bowl of yogurt. Yum.

Add some to a charcuterie board with apples, cheese, and french bread for a great appetizer or snack.

But there are many recipes that use apple butter too.

Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls: Make my sweet roll dough recipe and use apple butter as the filling. I would definitely use parchment paper or foil in the bottom of the pan when you make these as the apple butter can stick as it leaks out of the rolls. These make an amazing fall breakfast for a special occasion.

Old Fashioned Caramel Apple Butter Cake: This is on my list of must-try recipes. I love caramel and apples together and a cake is my favorite dessert. I can’t wait to try this one.

Apple Butter Snickerdoodles: Love apple butter and cookies? Try them together in this yummy recipe.

And apple butter makes a great gift too.

My Favorite Slow Cookers

This apple butter will work best in a 6 or 7-quart slow cooker (often called a crockpot, but that is just a brand name). If you don’t already have one, here are some links to a few of my favorites. (And yes, I have more than one slow cooker!)

  • Budget-friendly model
  • Three-in-one slow cooker – I have the Hamilton Beach version of this slow cooker but it looks like it has been discontinued.
  • I have the Instant Pot version of this slow cooker. You can brown your meat in the slow cooker so you only dirty up one bowl. Plus it cleans up really well. I use it all the time.

I hope you’ll give this easy slow cooker apple butter a try. It’s one of my favorite fall recipes. You won’t buy it from the store again once you taste how delicious homemade can be. And the fact that it makes your entire house smell wonderful is an added bonus.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Prep Time
30 mins
 

The smell of this slow cooker apple butter cooking all day will make your house smell amazing!

Course: Preserving
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 6 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar 1
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in the slow cooker except for the vanilla extract. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring every hour or two. Try to stir more often as the butter thickens.

  2. When the butter is almost done, stir in the vanilla extract and cook, uncovered, for another hour or two longer. The butter is done when the apples are soft and the mixture has thickened.

  3. If you want chunky apple butter, you can leave the butter as is. If you prefer smooth apple butter, puree the apple butter directly in the slow cooker with an immersion blender.

  4. Or you can let the apple butter cool a bit and then transfer it to a regular blender and puree it.

  5. Spoon the apple butter into small plastic containers or glass jars. Allow it to cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator for a week or the freezer for up to a year.

Other Preserving Recipes

apple butter, a towel, a whole apple, and apple slices

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