Easy Slow Cooker Apple Butter

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Discover the simplicity of homemade Slow Cooker Apple Butter. This aromatic spread is made from fresh apples and spices and is delicious on breads and muffins.

A slice of toast topped with apple butter on a place with a knife on the plate.

Apple butter is always one of my favorite fall and winter condiments.  I like eating it on toast, with muffins, and I even bake with it.

What is Apple Butter?

Apple butter is a type of fruit spread or condiment that is made from apples. It is not actually a type of butter.   It gets its name because of its smooth and buttery texture. To make apple butter the apples are cooked down with sugar and spices.  Spices are often cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.  This creates a thick and smooth spread.  The slow cooking process caramelizes the sugars in the apples which results in a rich, dark brown color and a deep, concentrated apple flavor.

There’s something about the sweet apple flavor mixed with spices that gets me every time.  In the past I have made this incredible Bourbon Apple Butter and this Apple Butter on the stove but I have a hard time getting it to thicken up as much as I would like.

A cutting board with brown sugar, apples, spices, and lemon juice.


Several weeks ago another teacher at school brought in a bushel of apples to use for a game with her class.   After the game was over I approached her and asked if I could purchase the bruised apples.  She looked at me like I was nuts.   She told me that I could just have them as she was just going to give them to the deer.

I brought them home and they sat on my counter for several days while I decided what to make with them.  I wanted to make apple butter but I didn’t want to hassle.  I started looking around and saw a recipe for canning crock-pot apple butter.  This was definitely more my style!

A slow cooker full of apples.


  • apples (the apples in this recipe do not have to be perfect so feel free to use those bruised apples or pick apples from the tree that don’t have the best look)
  • water (while apples have a lot of moisture in them the water will help break them down in the slow cooker)
  • cinnamon sticks (whole cinnamon sticks pack a ton of flavor that really seeps into the apples in the slow cooker)
  • brown sugar (brown sugar has a nice caramelized flavor which works well with the spices in apple butter)
  • nutmeg (adds a warm, slightly sweet, and earthy flavor that is nutty, woody, and aromatic)
  • ginger (adds a spicy, slightly sweet, and peppery flavor)
  • lemon juice (adds a bit of citrus and acidity to balance out the sweetness of the apples and spiciness of the spices)

What apples are best in apple butter?

It’s best to choose apples that are naturally sweet, have a good, firm texture, and can hold up to long cooking times without turning mushy. While there isn’t one type of apple that is best for apple butter, there are some apples that are better than others.   Some of my favorite apples for apple butter include Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Cortland, Fuji, and Golden Delicious.

A slow cooker filled with apple butter.

To make the apple butter the first thing you need to do is prepare the apples.  This means peeling them, coring them, and then cutting then into quarters.  Place them in a slow cooker.

Next, add the water, cinnamon sticks, and spices.  Let the mixture cook for about 4 hours then put it in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Place the smooth and thin apple butter back into the slow cooker.   Let it cook for an additional 4 hours and add more spices if needed.   Stir in the lemon juice before canning.

Four glass jars of apple butter.


Do I have to Can the Apple Butter?

You do not have to can the apple butter but if you do it will last a lot longer.  If you choose not to can it simply place it in the jars and allow it to come to room temperature.   Place the lids on the jars and keep the apple butter in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

The apple butter ended up looking and smelling amazing.  The entire house smelled like apple and spices.    The apple spread was the perfect thick consistency.

It was sweet and spiced and tasted of fresh apples and warm spices.   All I had to do was put it in a boiling water canning bath and I ended up with several half pints of fresh apple butter to eat all winter long!

Pin Image:  Text Title, four jars of apple butter with an apple in the middle.

What else can I make with apple butter?

I love making this easy 3 ingredient Fluffy Apple Fruit Dip with my homemade apple butter. If you have the time my Pumpkin Roll with Apple Butter Filling is a show stopping dessert. You can also go savory with apple butter and my these Apple Butter Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches for dinner!

If you’ve tried my Crock-Pot Apple Butter or any other recipe on  Hezzi-D’s Recipe Box please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:





Pin Image: Text Title, four jars of apple butter with an apple in the middle.

Crock-Pot Apple Butter

Easy to make Crock-Pot apple butter is spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger then canned to enjoy all year long.
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 half pints
Author: Hezzi-D


  • 15-20 apples about 5 pounds
  • 1 c. water
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice


  • Peel, core, and slice your apples. Place them in a crock-pot.
  • Add one cup of water and cinnamon sticks then turn the crock-pot on high. Cook for 4 hours.
  • Remove the apples to a food processor and process until smooth. Place the apples back in the crock-pot and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Cook for 4 more hours or until the apple butter is thick.
  • Add the lemon juice and stir well.
  • Prepare a boiling water canner and 8 half pint jars.
  • Pour the apple butter into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims and place the lids on the jars. Tighten the screwband to fingertip tight.
  • Process in the boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and remove lid. Allow to cool 5 minutes before removing from the canner.
  • Allow to cool 24 hours. Check to make sure the jars sealed and store for up to 1 year.


Recipe from SB Canning
A slice of toast with apple butter on it.

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