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Slow Cooker Homemade Apple Butter (shortcut method)

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

How to make Homemade Apple Butter: This easy Apple Butter Recipe is made in the slow cooker with a special, no peel-shortcut method; I also include the regular, “peel-the-apple” method too. 

You’ll love how easy it is to make Apple Butter AND I provided the instructions for canning your apple butter too!  

apple butter recipe

Homemade Apple Butter – Tasty and Simple

If you’ve never had apple butter before, you’re truly missing out. I’m not talking about apple butter that you buy off the shelves at your local grocery store…I’m referring to homemade apple butter that’s freshly made from your kitchen.

No weird added ingredients, no high price tags… just plain and simple, 100% delicious made from scratch, apple butter.

Everyone tends to make apple butter a bit differently, but I’m a bit partial to this apple butter recipe myself. I love the ease of it, and no matter what, the flavor and taste turn out stellar each and every time.

how to make apple butter

Regardless of what you may have heard, making homemade apple butter is super simple! It’s entirely possible to make an amazing batch of delicious apple butter in one day, using your blender and a slow cooker.

Being apple to enjoy the taste of fresh apples all year long? Yes, please!

What is the Difference Between Apple Butter and Applesauce

Applesauce and Apple Butter are similar in that they are made with apples and spices and are usually made in a slow cooker. 

The main difference is in the cooking time and the processing of the apples. Applesauce is cooked for 3 to 4 hours while apple butter is processed through a food mill or blender and is cooked for much longer.

The longer cooking time reduces the liquid in the apple sauce until it becomes dark, thick, and spreadable. (Kinda’ like butter, but there is no actual butter in apple butter!)

how to make apple butter

What kind of apples are best for apple butter?

Softer apples are better for apple butter because they will cook down faster. I like Fuji, Braeburn, McIntosh, Red, or Golden Delicious for apple butter, however, you can use whatever apples you have on hand.

Shortcut Apple Butter Recipe

I have been doing a lot of experimenting with my new Vitamix blender lately.  Oh my gosh, I love that blender!  It’s so user-friendly and simple to use!

One of the recipes that have been on my list to make for a while was this apple butter.  Of course, you don’t need a Vitamix or other high-powered blender to make apple butter, but having such a high powered blender does allow you to skip the step of peeling your apples and save a little time.

We could all use a few time-saving tactics in the kitchen, right?

I went from this:

how to make homemade apple butter

To this:

diy apple butter

To this…

In just four hours!  I’m actually quite impressed, lol.

How to make homemade apple butter and can it too with this apple butter recipe and canning instructions! (Shortcut blender version.) #appebutter

Ingredients in this Apple Butter Recipe:

Want to give this apple butter recipe a shot?  Add these ingredients to your shopping list:

  • Apple cider 
  • 6 apples
  • Allspice
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar
  • White sugar

How to Make Apple Butter

If you have a Vitamix or other powerful blender, you are able to skip the step of peeling and cooking the apples – a major time saver

  1. Quarter the apples and place them in the blender with 1/2 cup cider.  Process till the apples look like this:how to make apple butter in a blender
  2. Once the apples are processed, pour apple mixture from the blender into the crockpot.
  3. Stir in sugar and spices. 
  4. Cook 4 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low, until mixture is dark brown. Depending on the sweetness of your apples, you might need to stir in a tiny bit more sugar.
  5. Freeze or process for canning any leftovers.

Can I make this Apple Butter Recipe without a Blender?

Yes, of course! Without a blender, the process is the same EXCEPT you need to first peel, core, quarter, and cook down the apples.

  1. Combine apples and 3/4 cup of cider in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and continue a low boil for about 30 minutes. 
  2. Transfer the apple mixture to a food processor and purée just until a uniform texture is achieved. Then place in the crockpot and cook as directed above.

apple butter recipe

Canning and Homemade Apple Butter – The perfect family-friendly activity

Growing up, I loved watching my granny can food items in the kitchen. It was a time of bonding, learning, and communication that I’ll treasure and remember forever.

Fast forward to now, and it’s still an experience that I think should be shared with others. Canning together is actually quite fun because you’re using your knowledge and the food that you’ve grown to create an abundance of food for yourself and your family for many months to come.

Choosing to make homemade apple butter as a project is fun because there are a lot of different moving parts that everyone involved can help out with. From the peeling of the apples (or not peeling) to the precision of filling up the canning jars at the end, every member of your family can have an active part in preparing future food for your family to enjoy.

Ready to Can Your Apple Butter with the Water-bath Canning Method?

It’s actually a very easy process. 

All you need is mason jars, a big pot and something to pull the jars out of the water with. (Like tongs or this basket from the Ball Home Canning Kit.)

To process the apple butter:

  1. Bring a large pot full of water to boil. 
  2. Add the still-warm apple butter into a sterilized mason jar, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Tap jar to remove air bubbles and wipe jar rim to ensure no apple butter is in the jar “threads.” place lid on the jar and tighten.
  3. Place jars in boiling water.

how to can homemade apple butter

How Long Do You Process Apple Butter For Canning?

You should process your apple butter jars for 10 to 15 minutes. (10 minutes for pints and 15 minutes for quarts.) Turn off heat, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Be sure to double-check the lids for a seal by pressing the middle of the lid with your finger. If the lid springs up when you release your finger, the lid should not flex when the center is pressed.

How Long Does Canned Apple Butter Last?

As long as you store your unopened Apple Butter in a cool dark place, it should have a shelf life of about 12 to 18 months.

How Long Will Homemade Apple Butter Last Once Opened?

Once you have opened you sealed can of apple butter (or if you don’t can it.)  Homemade Apple butter will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, or in the freezer for up to one year.

how to make homemade apple butter and can it too with this apple butter recipe and canning instructions! (Shortcut blender version.) #appebutter

Uses for Apple Butter:

  • Spread on toast, English muffins or graham crackers
  • Add to pancake batter
  • Add to oatmeal
  • Mix into smoothies
  • Spread on crêpes, waffles or
  • Mix with cream cheese to make a filling for cookie sandwiches or cupcake icing
  • Great mixed into yogurt
  • Cheesecake topping

Homemade apple butter recipe


Products used and Recommended in this Apple Butter Recipe Post:

Canning products:

Blender options:

  • My Blender: Vitamix 5200 2 HP motor (This is an Amazon link, though I bought mine when it was the QVC deal of the day on 6 easy pays)
  • Ninja 1100 watts- have not tried this blender, but that’s a lot of watts for the $)
  • Nutribullet (900 watts)
  • Hamilton Beach (700 watts)
Make your own apple butter and can it too! (Shortcut blender version.)


Got lots of apples?  Here are a few more apple recipes you might enjoy:

Like this post? Don’t forget to pin it!

Homemade Apple Butter Recipe

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How to make apple butter

Homemade Apple Butter

  • Author: jamie sanders
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 to 10 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours (+)


  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup apple cider (depending on your cooking method)
  • 6 apples, stems removed, quartered with seeds and skins.
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Non- Blender Instructions:

  1. Peel, core and quarter apples.  Combine apples and 3/4 cup of cider in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer apple mixture to a food processor and purée just until a uniform texture is achieved.
  3. Spray insides of slow cooker with cooking spray for easy cleanup. Add apple mixture to the crockpot. Stir in sugar and spices.
  4. Cook 4 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low covered until mixture is dark brown.  Depending on the sweetness of your apples, you might need to stir in a tiny bit more sugar.   Freeze or process for canning any leftovers. Recipe may be multiplied.
Blender Instructions:
If you have a Vitamix or other high powered blender, you would follow the steps below to prepare the pulp for the crock pot:  (allows you to skip the pealing and first round of cooking!)
  1. Place apples and 1/2 cup of cider into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1, turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 5 or 6.  Blend for 10 seconds until chopped. If necessary, use the tamper to press any ingredients into the blades.  Increase speed to Variable 10, then to High. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes until mixture is smooth.
  3. Spray insides of crockpot with cooking spray for easy cleanup. (I used aReynolds crock pot liner, can’t get easier than that.) Pour ingredients from Vitamix container into the crockpot. Stir in sugar and spices.
  4. Cook 4 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low, covered until mixture is dark brown. Depending on the sweetness of your apples, you might need to stir in a tiny bit more sugar.  Freeze or process for canning any leftovers.


Recipe may be multiplied.

Keywords: slow cooker, apple butter

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  1. Andrea @ This Pug Life says:

    I made apple butter in the crockpot last month. I put the apples in whole (after being put through the apple, peeler, corer) and by the next morning they were practically pureed all on their own! I whipped them for a few seconds with a stick blender to get them extra smooth since that's my preference. So, if people don't have a Vitamix they can still make apple butter in the crockpot!

  2. Alexis AKA MOM says:

    YUMM, one of my all time favorite things.

  3. Looks so yummy! I just finished making peach jam but, this might be my next project. I don't have a Vitamix but, would love one. Pinning for later. Theresa @DearCreatives

  4. Katie @ Creatively Living says:

    Yumm! Pinning to the Monday Funday board! Thanks for linking!

  5. Mandee Pogue says:

    Visiting you from the Monday Inspiration Party! This post is so timely! I am going apple picking Friday and was wanting to make my own apple butter!

    1. I'm so jealous! I wish we had a place to pick apples…

  6. Felicia Lucco says:

    Can anyone tell me the yield on this? I want to make it tonight, but i have very little freezer space at the moment.

  7. i want to make this!

  8. aww! that's my birthday! 9/25!!

  9. Chef in Training says:

    yum! This looks DELICIOUS! I would love for you to come link this and/or any other projects you have been up to at the Tuesday Talent Show! Hope to see you there!

  10. I totally just say 'mmmm' out loud. 🙂 Awesome recipe, I must make this! Thanks so much for sharing at Show & Share!

  11. Sounds yummy! I’ve shared this link and a few of your others on my blog, Coupons, Crafts and Causes. I’m an email subscriber and look forward to receiving your emails. If you enjoy crafts, visit my other blog, Indiana Inker. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Miz Helen says:

    Hi Jamie,
    Your jars of Apple Butter are just beautiful. Your recipe looks like it is very rich and full of wonderful flavor. I would love being able to open one of those jars. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week end!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  13. Hollie - TheSevenYearCottage says:

    Yummy… looks and sounds amazing!

  14. That sounds so yummy!! It looks easy to make too!

  15. The Doodler says:

    Yum! This looks delicious and easy! I am definitely going to try this recipe, looks perfect for a sweet fall treat!

    Brie from darlingdoodles.blogspot.com

  16. I LOVE apple butter! I am excited to give yours a try. Thanks for sharing.:)

  17. Kirsten @ Mushki Loves says:

    You just got yourself a new follower! I always wondered how to make this! YAY! I just got the recipe! THANK YOU!

  18. Thanks for sharing I'll make it…mmmm


  19. OK, so I'm TOTALLY jealous that you have a vitamix! I've been watching QVC and lusting after them, but my budget just simply won't allow it 🙁
    I HATE little seeds and chunks in things, so it seems like the vitamix would be PERFECT for me. Alas, I shall live vicariously through you…
    I think making some apple butter will cure my woes. I can't wait to try your recipe:)