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Best Apple Butter Recipes

Best Apple Butter Recipes

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Top Rated Apple Butter Recipes

Bring these mini meatloaves to a picnic and serve them with cornbread. Chef tip: Use your favorite type of cheddar for this recipe.Recipe courtesy of Perdue

This recipe for a classic apple pie is easy to make and fun to eat, especially with a serving of vanilla ice cream on the side.This recipe is courtesy of McCormick.

The name of these doughnuts will stump a few people. What is brickle? Brickle is tiny bits of toffee pieces. They add a bit more crunch and flavor—you can get them in most baking aisles in your local supermarket.Recipe courtesy of Diary of a Mad Hausfrau

Challah is a sweet , traditional Jewish bread served for the Sabbath and throughout the holidays. Apples and honey are added to this classic recipe for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to ensure a sweet new year. This recipe comes from Leah Koenig at Honey and Schmaltz.Click here to see Tips for Hosting a Rosh Hashanah Dinner.

British culinary master Michel Roux Jr.'s warm and delicious baked apples are perfect for a Christmas-dessert. Serve hot, with chilled crème fraîche or muscavado sugar ice cream.Wine suggestion: Saussignac, Chateau Tourmentine 1994, J M Hure

This bread pudding evolved from the Spanish dish called capirotada which began as a savory dish of layered bread, onions, cheese, and meat or poultry and topped with sweet meringue.This recipe is courtesy of The Fort

“My brother Isaiah, Ike for short, makes unbelievable pulled pork. He carefully smokes the pork butt over the lowest imaginable heat for four hours before roasting it in the oven for an additional five to six hours. The result is undeniably delicious, but I do not have the patience for manning a smoker for that long and I am always out of wood chips, so I developed a pulled pork recipe that ‘cheats.’ Using liquid smoke eliminates the need for smoking and reduces the cooking time by almost half. Come to think of it, I am not sure what it ‘cheats,’ because it is not the flavor, that’s for sure!”— Damaris PhillipsThis recipe is courtesy of Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy. You can buy the book here.Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy © 2017 Damaris Phillips from Abrams

While Los Angeles is in its cold spell, the Tasting Kitchen has created its version of the perfect winter cocktail: the hot buttered rum. This wintry cocktail at The Tasting Kitchen is exactly what it sounds like: dark rum, housemade butter batter, apple butter, fresh-pressed ginger, allspice dram, hot water, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and dark brown sugar as a sweetener.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup apple butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole bran cereal or wheat germ
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch pan.

Prepare the topping by mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped pecans.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy add eggs one at a time, thoroughly beating each egg into the butter mixture before adding the next. Add apple butter, vanilla, and wheat germ or bran cereal. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with sour cream mix well after each addition.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan sprinkle with half of the topping. Pour remaining batter into pan and top with the rest of the topping.

Bake in the preheated oven until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Crock-Pot Apple Butter

Apple butter is the perfect thing to slather over toast, dip graham crackers in, or eat by the spoonful when no one is looking. Apple butter is essentially a further reduced applesauce. The apples are cooked for longer to get rid of more moisture allowing the apples to caramelize in a sense and then they are pureed into a very smooth texture that will spread as easily as softened butter over your sourdough. Making it in the slow cooker makes this so easy. Simply toss in all of your ingredients and let it break down for several hours. No extra stirring or careful watching of the pot!

Any of your favorite apples will work to make apple butter. Sweeter apples will make a sweeter butter and we love mixing sweet and tart apples together. This is also what red delicious apples were made for. They aren't very crisp so they break down well. Throw a couple in if you have them along with a few sweeter apples.

While it will be tempting to cook your apple butter on high for less time we don't recommend it. Cooking it on low for a much longer time allows the butter to thicken. If you are in a pinch and need a shorter cook time, you can cook it on high for 6 hours, but expect a looser apple butter. It will still be every bit as delicious!

Have you made this yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Editor's Note: The introduction to this recipe was updated on July 31, 2020 to include more information about the dish.

Apple Butter Recipe | Sauced

Previous falls have found me on apple picking excursions where I seem to overzealously use my fruit picker, resulting in a bounty of apples that one couple alone can hardly consume. In these times of extreme harvests, I need to justify this apple excess. I'm always on the lookout for good ways to use pounds of apples: pies, crisps, applesauce, and most recently, apple butter.

Four pounds of mixed apples are cooked until softened, then puréed in a blender until very smooth. Then it's back to the pot where they slowly simmer for hours with sugar and spices until the mixture becomes a deep brown, very thick, and fits nicely into one mason jar.

Now I haven't gone apple picking yet this season but as I sat on the porch on one of the first crisp, clear fall days, eating this sweet and appropriately spiced spread on a crusty baguette, I felt the desire to get out to the orchard and haul back boxes of apples to fill my kitchen.

Why Make Apple Butter?

Apple butter is a thick spread that's made by cooking down apples until they caramelize and develop a dark brown, paste-like consistency. Sugar and spices are added to further flavor the finished product. Apple butter can be used in all the ways that you'd use jam. Spread it on toast and biscuits, or use it to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There are even recipes, like apple stack cake, that call for it as an ingredient.

While you can buy apple butter already made, the grocery store kind pales in comparison, and jars of homemade apple butter tend to sell for upwards of $5 at the farmer's market. Ouch! Learn how to make your own (it's easy), and you'll save money while gaining the opportunity to customize your apple butter to your tastes. Cut the sugar, or swap in a sugar substitute. Use only the spices that you like, and make as much or as little as you want.

Apple butter freezes beautifully and can be canned, as long as you stick to a recipe that's approved for canning. It makes it easy to stock up for the rest of the year or to get ahead on gifts.

Apple Butter Recipe


5 pounds apples, unpeeled, cored, and cut up
1 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch of salt


Coat a 6 quart slow cooker with non stick cooking spray. Add the apples, water, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Cover and cook on low for 12 hours (or overnight).

Blend cooked apples with an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender and pour liquid back into the slow cooker.

Remove the lid and cook for additional 2-4 hours on low to reach your desired thickness.

Store in covered containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 months, freeze for up to 3 months, or can the apple butter via the above procedure. Use 4 - 8 ounce jars for canning 5 pounds cooked apples.

Nutrition Facts

For one tablespoon = 10 calories, 0 g fat, 2.5 g carbohydrates, 0.1 g protein, 0.5 g fiber, 4 mg sodium, 0 Freestyle SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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What is difference between apple butter & applesauce? the butter? so if i leave out the butter it will be sauce?

Kandy Solomon on October 16, 2018

I made apple butter from apples picked from my sister’s trees in New York (don’t know what kind) but used a mix of sweet and tart. It was delicious! I used a Foley Food Mill instead if a slow cooker.

Jay Allen on October 16, 2018

Hi Kandy! There is no butter in apple butter. But, I was wondering the same thing. It may be how thick the end result is. Applesauce tends to be a little runny, whereas apple butter is spread like jam on bread.

@Kandy - Apple butter is like cooked down apple sauce. With apple sauce, you usually peel the apples so in this way it is different. You cook the unpeeled apples until you get something like a paste or jam. It is up to you how thick it becomes. If you have never had it - you are in for a treat! There is no butter involved - it is just the name.

Thank you for the great question!

Snack Girl on October 16, 2018

Yes, apple butter is dark and a bit thicker and yum-o! I love it! I usually buy in Pennsylvania Dutch Country where it is super-popular. I am grateful for this sugarless recipe. Now I don't have to wait until I go there to have it. Thank you!

Dolores on October 16, 2018

Yes! This is one of my all time favorite fall things to make. I’ve been making a stove top version of this for years. I don’t add salt though.

I make applesauce in the slow cooker - just fill it up with sliced apples (with their skin still on), and a few shakes of cinnamon. Cook on high for 3 hours and then smash them down with a potato smasher. It never occurred to me to leave the lid off and cook longer to thicken into "butter" then use the immersion blender. Thanks, Lisa!

If there are 2.5 grams of carbohydrates in one tablespoon, then it will have 10 calories. Sounds like it would be totally worth it, though!

John M Young on October 16, 2018

@John - You are correct. That was a mistake. Thank you for catching it and alerting me to it. I have changed the above post to reflect 10 calories.

Snack Girl on October 16, 2018

I've sometimes made a stove top apple butter that I got out of a newspaper DECADES ago:

¼ lb. dried sliced apples (2 cups)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp ground cloves

2 cups unsweetened apple juice

Combine all ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer covered 20 min, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

Pour into blender & blend till smooth. Cool to room temperature & refrigerate in a tightly covered container. Will keep in fridge for months. Makes approx. 2 Cups.

My mother always loved it. Even gave it to her for Christmas one year. Your recipe sounds like a good one to try, too.

I don’t have a slow cooker and I don’t have allspice, so, I used a saucepan and substituted apple pie spice and this turned out delicious. My husband couldn’t believe I did add any sugar. Thank you!

Belinda on October 29, 2018

I made the apple butter, however, if I make it again I will eliminate the cup of water. After having it on overnight and several hours with the lid off after blending, it never thickened to Apple butter consistency. Very delicious “applesauce”. I used honey crisp apples. Love your recipes, Lisa! I have made many.

Elizabeth Soldwisch on October 30, 2018

I made this in the slow cooker. Started it around 6:00 PM so I could stir it a few times before going to bed. It was ready to blend when I woke up. I used an immersion blender. I got eight 8 ounce jars. I packed the crock because I have the kind that has a locking lid. I will be giving some as gifts and keeping some for myself.

Julie ★★★★★ on September 27, 2020

If you can’t can it, how long will it keep in the fridge? My daughter wants to try it and doesn’t have space in her tiny apartment for all the canning accoutrements.

Jessica L Nix on November 29, 2020

My go to recipe. Have made several times.easy, great taste. its a keeper!

Apple Butter Uses

Knowing how to make apple butter doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what to do with it! Here are a few suggestions on how to use your homemade cinnamon apple butter.

  • Substitute it for jelly. Do sandwiches, biscuits, and toast a favor and spread your homemade apple butter on top to add flavor. Yum!
  • Pep up your pancakes. Toss the maple syrup, and use apple butter. It adds a delicious, unique flavor to your breakfast.
  • Swap it for oil. If a recipe calls for oil, you can substitute butter made from apples instead.
  • Sweeten your oatmeal. Skip the sugar and swirl in a bit of crockpot apple butter.
  • Add it to a charcuterie. Cheeseboards and charcuteries thrive with a dollop of this sweet treat.
  • Moisten your meals. Use apple butter instead of barbeque sauce on chicken. It tastes fab, promise!

Fresh picked Virginia apples are perfect for an old fashioned apple butter recipe.

Instant Pot Apple Butter

Author Si Foster, A Bountiful Kitchen


  • 4 lbs apples any type of sweet apple – do not remove peel
  • 1/2 cup water * see recipe notes about this amount of water
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • dash salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • For a family-sized batch or to share with friends:
  • 8-10 apples or about 5 lbs apples before cutting
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 dashes salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice same as with small batch


When timer is finished, let pressure in pot release naturally for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the dial to the VENT position and let any remaining steam release.

Recipe Notes

  • Initially, the recipe called for 2 tablespoons of water added to the apples. A few readers have said their Instant Pot has given an error message “burn”. To eliminate this issue, we have amended the recipe from 2 tablespoons of water to 1/2 cup to ensure there is enough water in the pot to bring it to proper pressure and not trigger a “burn” message. I have made this recipe using 2 tablespoons of water, but want to avoid any problems for readers while in the middle of cooking the apples! I suspect the juiciness of the apples has something to do with how they cook up and if they do or do not produce a burn message.
  • If after the apple butter is cooked and blended it seems not quite thick enough, you may cook with lid off in Instant Pot for additional time on Sauté setting. Make sure to stir apples to prevent scorching!

Apple Butter Bread

Fall is creeping upon us. Although it’s not coming fast enough for me. It is still 90 degrees and miserably hot!

I wanted to make something with what is remaining of my homemade apple butter. You know, because I’m planning on making more come apple season.

So I found an Apple Butter Bread recipe to try. It was a hit! Actually, it made me wish for Fall all the more. It’s full of Fall flavors and so comforting with a cup of coffee. Or however, you would eat it.

Next, I’m baking my Pumpkin Bread. Don’t tell, but I also bake it all year. Yes, I know I have a problem with all things Fall, pumpkin and Christmas.

Apple Butter Bread

Who doesn’t love apple butter? Ok, so maybe one person out there doesn’t but in my house we love it! So why not incorporate it into a bread. Or cake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 X 5 loaf pan with baking spray.

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and half of the buttermilk. Beat until smooth.

In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the bowl. Beat, and then add the rest of the buttermilk. Beat again, and then add the rest of the flour mixture. Beat until just combined.

Stir in the apple butter until the batter is an even color.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let the cake cool and turn it out of the pan before glazing.

To make the glaze mix together the juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake and let it run down the sides.

Slice and eat. That’s it. We hope you enjoy this, we certainly did!

You’re Doing It Wrong: Apple Butter

If my Facebook newsfeed is any indication, many people refuse to take Slate’s infamous invective against apple picking to heart. Lured by the pumpkin-spiced aura of the harvest, overly romantic souls continue to travel to picturesque orchards with light hearts, only to return home freighted with unwanted Jonathan and Granny Smith. A dear friend cried out recently: “Accepting suggestions on what to do with my apple-picking bounty!” The plea was accompanied by a grim photo of the pointlessly picked apples. “What could you possibly do with all of us?” they seemed to demand in chorus. The threat of rotting fruit flesh turns a harvest idyll into a Halloween nightmare.

Luckily for my friend and everyone else who’s visited an orchard this fall, I know a spell for taming your apple glut, and you won’t even need to cast a salt circle (though you will need a pinch of the stuff). I’m talking about apple butter, that happily overcooked apple sauce which contains no actual dairy but does pack the pleasant company of sugar, spice, and everything nice (for our purposes, that last part means booze) into an irresistibly spreadable purée. A mere tablespoon or two is enough to autumnize your morning toast, oatmeal, or slice of pumpkin-beer bread or in a more savory key, to dress your roasted pork loin in velvety style and add a certain depth to your butternut squash soup.

Making a basic apple butter couldn’t be easier—all you require is the fruit, some fresh cider, a modicum of sugar, and the section of your spice organizer labeled “Warm and Cozy” (you have one of those, right?). Then, it’s just a matter of tossing these into a heated vessel and waiting for the apples to fall apart. But if you aim for higher than basic, consider the following enhancements: a dose of a seasonally harmonious spirit like Applejack (or Calvados, its fussy and pricy European counterpart) a splash of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice (to add acid, which will enhance the complexity you’re after) and, finally, the sleepy smile of a little vanilla.

Two non-standard pieces of equipment will come in handy. First, a slow cooker (aka a Crock-Pot) is basically required—apple butter takes hours to reduce properly, and though some recipes proffer dubious promises of “quick” stovetop cooking, the low and steady heat of a trusty slow-cooker requires less attentiveness and carries far less risk of burning. Second, I highly recommend an immersion blender. If you are at all in the habit of making smooth soups, cooked purées, or vinaigrettes, this convenient and affordable tool will make the blending in your life inestimably easier.

One final suggestion: Use some of it for gifts! Apple butter is a prime candidate for canning, and this recipe will yield more than enough to share with your loved ones in the coming winter festivals. And that, in its own small way, is a kind of magic—tipping apple-cart horror into holiday cheer.

Slow-Cooked Apple Butter
Yield: 5 to 6 cups
Time: 14 hours, mostly unattended

5 pounds (about 10 large) apples, preferably a mix of sweet and tart varieties, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups apple cider
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup Applejack or Calvados
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Zest and juice of ½ large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Spread the apple chunks in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast until they’re softened but not very brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer the apples and any juices they’ve released to a slow cooker.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cover the pot. Turn the slow cooker to low and cook until the mixture has turned brown and reduced to a chunky purée, about 10 hours. (This is convenient to do overnight.)

3. Remove the lid, turn the slow cooker to high, and cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 3 hours or longer, depending on the desired consistency. (The longer you cook it, the thicker the butter will be.) Turn off the slow cooker.

4. Purée the apple butter with an immersion blender until completely smooth (or let the butter cool completely before puréeing with an upright blender or food mill). Serve the butter warm or at room temperature. (Keep apple butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month, or can it and keep it at room temperature for up to a year.)

Easy Stovetop Apple Butter Recipe

We went apple picking a couple of weekends ago in an picturesque orchard less than an hour outside of DC.

We&rsquod been planning our trip to this orchard ever since trying freshly milled cider made of apples from this orchard at our local end of summer street fair. We watched a man churn an old fashioned cider mill and the juice pour straight into our glasses.

We ended up with pure, unadulterated apple flavor, sweet with a hint of tart, and so fresh tasting. I had never enjoyed the flavor of apples as much as I did in that moment. So a month or so later when the leaves had started to turn colors and the air had developed a hint of crisp, we ventured out of the city.

It was Omar&rsquos first time going apple picking, and my first time going picking at an orchard with such a large number of varieties (I guess the central Illinois climate doesn&rsquot make for the best apple growing?).

There were a dozen or so varieties of ripe apples you could pick. We picked a peck of apples, which ended up being 2-3 apples of each variety (minus a couple of the more common ones we could easily find at the grocery store). I discovered my newest and truest favorite apple variety, winesap, and I wanted to distill that apple flavor and have it last forever. So, that&rsquos how this recipe for apple butter came to be!

I don&rsquot own a slow cooker and am pretty ok with that most of the time. [If you have one, you could use it with this recipe, just let the apples cook away in it for hours&ndash6? 8? 12? idk, like I said, don&rsquot have one!&ndashand blending at the very end].

But you don&rsquot need a slow cooker to make apple butter. It is really easy to make on the stovetop! First step is to cook chopped apples down to apple sauce consistency.

Most recipes add quite a lot of sugar, but I use none here, as it just detracts from the pureness of the apple flavor, plus usually apples are plenty sweet! If you are finding your apple butter on the tarter side, or know that you prefer a sweeter taste, feel free to add anywhere from 1/4 &ndash 3/4 cups of brown sugar or turbinado sugar (I prefer these for the hint of molasses they bring to the apple butter).

I do add some apple cider which adds extra sweetness, and helps the apples cook and allows for less careful monitoring.

A couple of cinnamon sticks and some freshly ground nutmeg (pre-ground is fine too!) are all the spices needed. Simmered over low heat for hours, the spices are drawn out to a mouth-tingling, nose-tantalizing effect. A pinch of salt brings out the natural sweetness of the apples.

Once the apples are soft and you have a chunky sauce, they&rsquore blended up then returned to the stove for hours of simmering. Apples simmering over a low heat will break down, and over the course of some hours will caramelize into the most delicious and deep apple flavors.

With the lid propped open the water is able to evaporate and the apple butter thickens into a luscious and buttery spread. It&rsquos so good on toast, biscuits OR scones, by the spoonful (what. ), or to make apple pecan cinnamon buns!

This recipe may take several hours to make, but it&rsquos so worth it. In this case, slow is really best! But I promise you it&rsquos really hands off and doesn&rsquot require much of your attention at all.

I just had it running in the background while I did some other cooking projects, cleaned my home, and relaxed on the couch. You could set an alarm every 20-40 minutes to remind yourself to give it a quick stir.

Or I give you another option of switching the blended apple sauce to the oven for the final hours of simmering. At 325 ºF, the temperature is above boiling, and the water will cook off, allowing the mixture to thicken and the sugars to caramelize into the more complex flavors of apple butter. You&rsquoll still want to stir occasionally, but there&rsquos less risk of it sticking to the bottom of the pot or burning in the radiant heat of the oven.

I think my favorite part of making apple butter was the way it made my house smell. Better than any candle, both in quality of scent and for the fact that I got to eat it afterwards.

If you&rsquore an apple fan I highly recommend you try your hand at making some apple butter! It&rsquos so so good. I love this no-sugar added version, It&rsquos just too perfect. Let me know if you give this recipe a try! Leave a comment and/or rate the recipe below, tag me on Instagram (#thecuriouschickpea), or share with me on Facebook! Happy eating!