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All-Day Apple Butter

I make several batches of this simple and delicious homemade apple butter recipe to freeze in jars. Depending on the sweetness of the apples used, you can adjust the sugar to taste. —Betty Ruenholl, Syracuse, Nebraska
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 11 hours
  • Makes
    4 pints


  • 5-1/2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Place apples in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt; pour over apples and mix well. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.
  • Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 9-11 hours or until thickened and dark brown, stirring occasionally (stir more frequently as it thickens to prevent sticking).
  • Uncover and cook on low 1 hour longer. If desired, stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Spoon into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Cover and refrigerate or freeze.

All Day Apple Butter

What is apple butter used for?

Apple butter is a concentrated, flavorful spread that can be used in many ways. It can be spread on toast or bread, stirred into oatmeal, as a spread for a cheese plate, or as a substitute for applesauce or pumpkin in baking. Of course, enjoying it with a spoon straight out of the jar is good enough too!

What are the best apples for apple butter?

Because apple butter takes a long time to cook, a softer variety like Fuji or golden delicious are the best types of apple for apple butter. You can also use Braeburn, Corland and Idared.

How long does homemade apple butter last after opening?

Once your apple butter is opened, it will last about a week in the fridge. For those unopened frozen jars, they’ll keep for six months in the freezer.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons: 68 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 9mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 0 protein.

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  • Babyavilove
    Sep 20, 2020

    No comment left

  • Carol
    Oct 4, 2019


  • Marcy
    Sep 27, 2019

    Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • bettyboop330
    Aug 6, 2016

    I have been making this recipe for several years to use up our glut of apples. I don't know what kind of apples they are - at least 3 varieties, if the birds don't get them. I don't peel the apples - just quarter them and throw them into the slow cooker. I fill up my large cooker (7 liters) to the top and reduce the sugar to 2-2 1/2 cups, which seems to be fine - not too sweet. I may think about adding nutmeg and allspice next year, just for a change. When the apples are soft, I blend them until smooth with my stick blender and then continue to cook with the lid off to reduce the liquid a little. I put it in 1 liter (quart) jars with head space and freeze, and we eat wonderful apple butter all winter. I may freeze it in smaller jars this year, as the quart jars take up a lot of room in the fridge and last a little too long.

  • Katherine126
    Oct 19, 2015

    Very easy recipe which you can adjust to your own taste . I used a mixture of sweet apples and Granny Smiths and cut the sugar in half. Also added ginger and nutmeg as we like these spices. Once apples are peeled and chopped , it cooks itself with just an occasional stir! Mash with a potato masher at the end, sterilize some jars ( put jars in a cold oven and set to 150 *) and use to fill for a nice small gift of the season.

  • ryan0705
    Oct 15, 2015

    Good recipe but....... Not all apple contain the same amount of sugar.Same varietyapples can very in sugar content from tree to tree. I like golden delicious apples whichwith all the sugar called for would make it way to sweet. The cook time will allow youto add sugar as needed instead of all at once. I also like to cool my jelly, jams anbutters before I taste and decide it's right to can. I cool over night, taste it thenreheat to can it when I have time to can. A day or five wont hurt it to sit in the fridgeuntil I have the time to can it. Heating without a lid takes care of any liquid that collects.The longer you cook apples the creamier it can get. Never add water to apples useapple juice to aid in cooking longer for that creamier almost silky feel.It ups the flavor too.If you freeze apples and don't eat them in a year.... Cook with a little apple juice andmake apple sauce or apple butter. The freeze dry affect makes for a stronger appleflavor.

  • mike-i
    Oct 13, 2015

    OK, first the dumb confession. And then the question. So I got up at 4 am to stir the apples. I tasted the apple butter and thought it was pretty good, but, a little more cinnamon would make it even better. So, I put another teaspoon in it. In the morning I jarred it up before I left for work, but left a little in a container so I could taste it when I got home. Rushed home and took a nice spoonful. And then I realized it was spicy hot! Couldn't be the cloves I thought. But, maybe the extra spoon of cinnamon made it spicy. I couldn't figure it out until I looked at the "cinnamon" container. It was Cayenne Pepper. Hey, at 4 am it all looks the same!!OK, so here is my question. It came out a little on the watery side. Is there a way to cut down on this and make it a little thicker? I used 2 1/2 cups sugar because I am using Gala apples. And this time, I have the cinnamon with a rubber band around it so I know I have the right one!!

  • love2cook64
    Oct 7, 2015

    I make this every year.But I actually weigh my apples after i peel and core them.Then I put in 6 qt. crock pot. It fills it up pretty good.I use whatever apples I have and it turns out great every time. I don't even eat apple butter but I like to give it to my friends and they rave about it. I save all my empty butter tubs thru out the year and put it in them so no one has to return any containers.

  • RedRain
    Oct 5, 2015

    Excellent recipe I've used for years; however, you MUST know your apples before preparing! If you're using a Honeycrisp, Gala or similar, they have a very high sugar and moisture content which will turn this into apple soup. You have to cut the sugar in half or add a thickener. A cooking apple such as Granny Smith will give a much different apple butter. If you don't know anything about apples, please Google whatever type you purchased before making this recipe. In fact, do this before using apples in ANY recipe!

  • cachoo
    Oct 2, 2015

    I have yet to make this but what I was wondering is that what can I substitute apple butter for in a muffin recipe I want to make? maybe apple jam or sauce? which I do have both. Hope to get a reply since I want to make my muffins tomorrow. Thanks and happy Friday to all! Have to rate or I cannot post. Will make it soon.