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+ servings

Ridiculously Easy Slow Cooked Apple Butter

A delicious taste of fall with minimal effort! This Apple Butter is fabulous on toast, biscuits, scones, cheese and charcuterie boards, etc.

Course Condiment, Jams & Jellies
Cuisine American
Keyword Apple Butter, Slow Cooked Apple Butter
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 96 servings
Calories 26 kcal
Author Chris Scheuer


  • 92 ounces no-sugar-added applesauce I use 2 46-ounce jars, (I use Motts
  • cups brown sugar (I use dark brown sugar but light brown will also work)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Bourbon (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 medium vanilla bean cut in half, lenthwise


For both canned (shelf stable) apple butter AND apple butter that will be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

  1. Combine all ingredients (including the split vanilla bean) in the bowl of a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour, undisturbed.
  3. Uncover and cook an additional 7-9 hours, stirring well then scraping down the sides of the bowl at least every hour. Cook until nice and thick. One way to tell if the apple butter is done is to remove a spoonful to a small clean plate. When the apple butter is done, there will not be liquid that separates around the edges and the mixture should hold its shape. (The apple butter will thicken slightly when cooled.)
  4. Remove the vanilla bean then transfer the apple butter to the bowl of a food processor or blender. (be sure to vent the opening to prevent pressure build-up and explosion - I use a small funnel in the opening of the blender or food processor.) Process or blend for 3-4 minutes until super smooth and creamy then transfer to clean jars (if canning with a hot water bath, the jars should be sterilized).

To finish apple butter that will be canned:

  1. Prepare jars, canner, and jar lids while making the apple butter, according to canner manufacturer and USDA canning guidelines.

  2. Ladle the hot apple butter into hot, sterilized canning jars. Leave ¼-inch head space. Tap the jars gently on a work surface to remove any air bubbles. You can also do this by stirring the apple butter with a small plastic knife. Wipe the rims of the jars clean, top with the flat lid followed by screw ring lid tightened to fingertip tight.

  3. Process apple butter on a rack in the prepared canner, and process for 10 minutes for altitudes 0-1,000 ft, 15 minutes for altitudes 1,000-6,000 ft. and 20 minutes for altitudes above 6,000 ft. (Per Penn State Extension EDU)

  4. When done, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then carefully remove jars from canner; let jars cool on kitchen towel on counter (not directly on counter-don’t want them to crack due to temperature extremes). Once you have made sure jars have sealed (you should hear a “pinging” sound), let them cool for 24 hours, then store the apple butter at room temperature for up to a year.

To finish apple butter that will be stored in the refrigerator or freezer:

  1. Ladle apple butter into clean jars, leaving ½ inch of head space. Wipe the rims of the jars clean then top with flat lids followed by screw-on rings. Tighten rings, allow apple butter to cool then refrigerate or freeze for longer storage. Apple butter can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks and in the freezer for up to a year.

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.

If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.

Makes 7-8 6-ounce jars, depending on how long you let the apple butter cook.

Nutrition Facts
Ridiculously Easy Slow Cooked Apple Butter
Amount Per Serving
Calories 26
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.03g0%
Saturated Fat 0.005g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.005g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.001g
Sodium 14mg1%
Potassium 26mg1%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 0.4g2%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 0.1g0%
Vitamin A 8IU0%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.