This easy apple butter from applesauce recipe is a set-it-and-forget-it crock of heavenly goodness that will make your kitchen smell incredible with fall flavors all day!
Whether you’ve made homemade applesauce from a glut of apples that you were blessed with recently, or you just want an easy apple recipe to make for delicious gift-giving, this recipe is for you.
It’s a gift that keeps on giving, because this is a housewarming “potpourri” you can actually eat!
Stir a few easy-to-find ingredients together and you’ll have thick (but not too thick), spreadable, fragrant and utterly cozy-inducing homemade apple butter that will knock your socks off.
This recipe does come out pretty sweet, so if you like your apple butter a skosh less sweet, use just ¾ cup of sugar, or start with Granny Smith Applesauce, like this one from Mott’s, which is “No Sugar Added.”
Apple butter is NOT apple-flavored dairy butter, like Kerrygold or Land O’ Lakes.
It is essentially a cooked down, thickened spread made from crushed apples, with a kick of fall spices and sugar.
Imagine cooking down apple sauce until it becomes very dark brown, creamy, thick and spreadable.
That’s what this recipe is—a homemade apple butter that’s less processed than what you can buy in the store, with lots of fragrant spices cooked right at home.
Ways to use apple butter
Homemade apple butter has a bit of a different texture than the store-bought kind because it’s been less processed.
But it’s still thick, fragrant, spreadable, dark, and delicious, so you can use homemade apple butter the same way you’d use the kind you find at the store.
- Spread apple butter on a bagel, either with or without cream cheese.
- Top pancakes, waffles, and crepes.
- Pile it on a slice of zucchini or pumpkin bread.
- Enjoy some on an English muffin with crumbled bacon and a slice of white cheddar.
- Mix into a cake or quick bread batter for added flavor and sweetness. We recently made a Prune Cake with half apple butter and half applesauce.
- Cook with some chopped onions and spoon it over pork tenderloin.
- Stir up a lively vinaigrette with a couple teaspoons of apple butter, vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and toss with some mixed greens.
- Spoon it over vanilla Tillamook ice cream with a handful of toasted walnuts.
- Spread on a flatbread instead of tomato sauce and layer on brie, burrata, grapes, almond slices and basil leaves and bake in a hot oven.
- Add depth of flavor to many cooked fruit compotes, like pear, banana, and cranberry.
- Stir into a holiday cocktail or a hot latte with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Pour over a block of cream cheese, add chopped green onion and crumbled cooked bacon. Add some crackers and watch it disappear at your next party!
- Almost anywhere you’d use jams, jellies, and preserves!
Supplies to gather
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cup
- Heat-Safe Rubber Spatula
- Slow Cooker/Crockpot
- Mason Jar(s) or Glass Container
- Unsweetened, unflavored applesauce
How to make apple butter from applesauce
• Start with unsweetened or no-sugar-added applesauce that doesn’t already have a flavor, like cinnamon or strawberry. Sweetened applesauce usually is sweetened with corn syrup, which can affect the texture of the finished product, likely to burn in the crock and definitely make it tooth-achingly sweet.
• If you’ve already made some unsweetened homemade applesauce, great! This is the perfect time to cook it down into smooth, thick, and flavorful apple butter.
• A small, 3-quart slow cooker (not Instant Pot) should do the trick and hold all of the ingredients just fine. Just remember to keep the lid off while it’s cooking, because you want all the liquid to evaporate. That’s what makes the apple butter thick and also makes your home smell amazing!
• Make sure to stir the apple butter every two hours or less, scraping the sides with a heat-safe rubber spatula because you don’t want it to stick to the sides or burn. If your slow cooker is a little finicky, turn to low and let it cook for 10 hours total, just start it super early in the morning.
• This recipe has a lot of fall spices. If you like yours a bit more mellow, cut our spice ratios in half for yours.
The bottom line
This was such an easy recipe.
All you need is time and an opportunity to stir it every couple of hours.
Transfer this delicious and easy apple butter from applesauce recipe to small jars and gift it to friends and family with a ribbon and a note to keep it refrigerated.
Yes, once apple butter has been cooked you should allow it to cool.
If you are not serving it right away, put it in an airtight container then place it in the fridge.
Or even better, keep it all to yourself and use all that luscious fall flavor in tons of meals and recipes you already love!
- 4 c Unsweetened, Unflavored Applesauce
- 1 c Sugar
- 2 t Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ t Ground Allspice
- ¼ t Ground Nutmeg
- ¼ t Ground Cloves
- Add all the ingredients into a slow cooker.
- Stir thoroughly.
- Turn on high and cook for about 7 hours UNCOVERED.
- Stir the mixture every 2 hours. It will turn very dark brown.
- Continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes if you want it thicker.
- To cool quickly: Transfer hot apple butter to a shallow glass casserole dish and leave on the counter for one hour, stir, then slide into the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Once completely cool, transfer to an airtight container.
- Keep chilled. If kept cold, it should stay fresh-tasting for about four days. Check for mold or strong vinegar smell and discard without using.
This recipe may be frozen up to three months after it has cooled completely.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Elite Gourmet MST-350B Electric Oval Slow Cooker, Adjustable Temp, Entrees, Sauces, Stews & Dips, Dishwasher Safe Glass Lid & Crock (3 Quart, Black)
Yoku Made- Silicone Mini Spatula, Curved Small Spatula, Kitchen Scraper Spatula, Wet Pet Food Can Spatula, Jar Spatula, for Cooking Baking Frosting or Mixing, 6pcs
Magnetic Measuring Spoons, Set of 6, Stainless Steel