Apple butter reminds me so much of my childhood. When I was growing up, my grandma would make it all the time. She’d spend hours in the kitchen making a huge batch from the apples off her apple tree. She would make so much I’m pretty sure we’d have apple butter every morning for months on end! But, now that I’m an adult, spending hours in front of the stove to make the apple butter is just not something I’m interested in doing. So, I altered the recipe so it can be made using a slow cooker to make it more conducive for people who prefer to “set it and forget it”, like me.
The recipe is super simple to make and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser. In fact, when I made this recipe a few weeks ago and brought it into my office, it was gone in less than 20 minutes! With that said, if you’re looking for the best slow cooker apple butter recipe that won’t take a ton of time or effort, this is it.
What Is Apple Butter?
Apple butter is sort of like a highly concentrated apple sauce. You make it by mixing apples, sugar, and different spices together and cooking it for a long period of time on a low setting. This allows the apples to caramelize and turn a deep brown color and the sugars and spices to create a rich flavor. Apple butter is a spread, and, despite popular belief, contains no butter whatsoever.
What Do You Put Apple Butter On?
You can put apple butter on a variety of things and it can also be used in different recipes and desserts. Here’s a list of ways you can use apple butter…
- English muffins
How To Make Apple Butter
Like I said, apple butter is super easy to make. The most time-consuming part is actually peeling the apples. But, once you have all your apples peeled and cubed, you simply dump everything into your slow cooker—that’s it. The whole process will take upwards of 10-12 hours in total, but 95% of that time will be cooking time. Since you’ll be using a slow cooker for this recipe, you can go about your day. When I made this slow cooker apple butter, I did all the prep work in the morning, went to work, and by the time I got home, it was practically done cooking.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Slow cooker—You can’t make slow cooker apple butter without a slow cooker! You’ll need slow cooker with a high and low setting.
- Emulsion blender or food processor—After about 10 hours in the slow cooker, the apples will be nice and soft. You’ll need to use an emulsion blender or food processor to blend the apples completely until there are no lumps or clumps. It should be a smooth consistency.
- Glass jars or canning jars—If you plan on storing your slow cooker apple butter, you’ll need to use glass jars. You can use Ball canning jars or you can even reuse empty glass jars that you’ve recycled.
Click the images below to shop the exact products I use:
Now, are you ready to make some apple butter?
Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe
- 3 ¼ lb Jonathan apples (peeled, cored, diced)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ tbsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg (heaping teaspoon)
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Peel, core, and slice apples and place them into a slow cooker.
Mix the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl and mix into the apples.
Place the slow cooker on low and cook for 10 hours.
Use a potato masher to mash the apples in the slow cooker and then transfer the apple mixture into a powerful blender or food processor and purée. You may also use an emulsion blender.
Transfer the apple mixture back into the slow cooker and add the vanilla. Stir.
Continue to cook on low for an addition 1-2 hours.
Transfer the apple butter into twist-off jars while the apple butter is still hot. The heat from the apple butter will seal the lid on the jar. Store in refrigerator.
Discard within 7 days after lid has been opened.