Crock Pot Apple Butter


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For instructions on how easy it is to can this apple butter, please click here. Thank you so much for reading Southern Plate and don’t forget to check back in tomorrow for another apple recipe! Gratefully, Christy

From time to time I run across a person who has never heard of apple butter. When I am finished gasping in horror at the wasted life they have led up until that point, I make it my first order of business to slather some on a biscuit and get it to their mouth as soon as possible.

We are very fortunate to have our Cracker Barrel restaurants, where you can get an apple butter fix any time of day. The Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is also a favorite by all who have been there and had fresh apple butter spooned over a hot apple fritter. We even have some good brands in our grocery stores such as Bama brand apple butter (Which I just found out is actually made by Welchs and available only in the Southeastern United States). Still, when it comes to filling your house with yummy scents and filling your tummy with spicy goodness, nothing beats homemade.

Apple butter is surprisingly easy to make, especially with the help of a crock pot. Still, folks seem to be intimidated by it. Perhaps its the complex taste of the spices combined with how few people actually do make it anymore which causes it to be shyed away from in our kitchens. There is no need though as making apple butter with this recipe is likely one of the easiest things that I’ve brought you so far!

I like to put my apple butter on to cook in the slow cooker just before I go to bed and let it cook all night long. When I wake up in the morning, the house is filled with the most delicious and fragrant smell that I often reserve making it for a time when we have company! I wake up first thing, take the lid off, and give it a few fans just to make sure the house is thoroughly saturated with apple butter smell (you might want to save this until after you’ve made biscuits because that breakfast table will fill up pretty quickly!). We eat a breakfast of biscuits and fresh, hot apple butter while I let the rest continue to cook. This is about as close to heaven as you can possibly get while still drawing breath.

Our ingredients are: Two large jars of unsweetened applesauce (three pounds or fifty ounces), sugar, 3 lbs granny smith apples, apple juice, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Exact recipe is at bottom of page.

“Chip” your apples like we did in the apple pie (If you have not read the apple pie tutorial, you now have your first official homework assignment). Do this by peeling them and cutting little chips of them off. Place in large crock pot along with both jars of apple sauce, sugar, spices, and a bit of apple juice (exact quantities at the bottom). If you feel like it is too much sugar for you or too much cloves or allspice, just do a little less. The beauty of this recipe is that you cook it all night in the crock pot, then taste it in the morning and add what you prefer to make it to your taste. You can also use Splenda instead of sugar!

My advice in doing that would be to put a wee bit less Splenda than the amount of sugar it calls for.

apple butter
Stir well and cover with lid. Cook on low overnight, eight to ten hours.

apple butter2At this point your butter will be dark brown and rich, but with a bit too much water in it. This is where you will taste it and see what you want to add. I am including the exact quantities I use at the bottom of this recipe. Leave the lid off and continue cooking for a few hours until it cooks down a little bit. “Cooks down” is how old folks say “its too runny, you need some of that water gone!”.

After it cooks down a bit, fill up pint or quart jars and seal. If you go through the process of canning this, you can simply leave the jars on a shelf in your pantry. Otherwise you would need to refrigerate them and use within two to three weeks. You can also place in jars and freeze to keep it longer without having to can it. For a complete tutorial that makes canning easy, please click here (yes, I said “EASY” because it is!).  Personally, I ended up with eight pints of it. Last time I made it, my company ate almost two pints at dinner. I sent a few pints home with them, gave one to another neighbor, one to another…..and so on and so forth. Long story short is, out of eight pints, I have one left for my own personal use. ~grins~ Now that’s when you know you’ve done good!

Crock Pot Apple Butter
Prep time
Total time
  • 2- 3 lb (50 oz) jars unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 lbs granny smith apples
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1½ cups apple juice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  1. Peel and cut apples into small chips. Place all ingredients in the crock pot and stir.
  2. Cover and cook on low overnight (eight to ten hours). Remove cover, stir and taste. Add more spices or sugar if desired.
  3. Continue cooking for a few more hours, uncovered, until some of the liquid has gone and butter has cooked down a bit.
  4. Pour into jars and refrigerate (unless it is canned properly).
  5. Serve over hot biscuits, toast, scones, or just eat it out of the jar if no one is looking!

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  1. says

    I need an answer!! I know it is short notice but I need an answer by Thursday afternoon. I made this apple butter a couple of weeks ago and it is amazing. I am wanting to make another batch Thursday night and can it on Friday. This time I was unable to find the 50 oz jars of applesauce. I got 46 oz ones. My question is would it be ok to just add 1 or 2 more apples and just keep the other ingredients the same? I am fairly confident that I can but I am a new canner and just want to be sure. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me, Christy or anyone else who may be reading this. Oh and one more question–The batch I made before made 3 pint jars and some that I put in the freezer. I only had 3 jars and I wanted to try it both ways anyway. I waterbathed canned them but I forgot to sterilize my jars!! I ate one pint, gave one away and it has been eaten. The other jar is sitting in my cupboard. Do you guys think it will be safe to eat? Just so ya’ll know–in my opinion–there is no difference in taste between the canned and frozen. Both are delicious.

  2. says

    I answered one of my own questions! I just read on the website of the National Center for Home Food Preservation that it is safe to not sterilize your jars if you do the waterbath boil for 10 minutes which I did. I will sterilize from now on though.

  3. Dana says

    Christy, I cooked that apple butter forever, it is still a bit runny (or it may just be me) but once it completely cools will it get thicker? It sure smells and tastes good, it just doesn’t look like yours.

  4. says

    This is the easiest apple butter to make! I made it and posted I had made it and everyone wanted the recipe or some apple butter! Also there is a neighbor whose husband has cancer and I took a jar of the apple butter and also a container of pumpkin butter that I also made and a loaf of home made bread over to them! They were so appreciated by my gift to them!

  5. Kaycee says

    I made this recipe about 3 years ago and handed it out for Christmas gifts. EVERYONE LOVED IT!!! They would call and ask if I had any left and for the recipe. I gladly gave it to them but always keeped mine guarded. In April of this year (2011) we suffered a flood and pretty much lost everything including my recipe. I really wanted to make it again so I searched and searched on-line, passing up some other decent looking recipes until i finally found this one. It is my favorite and I am so glad i was able to find it again.

  6. Debbie says

    This is definitely on my “to make” list! I love home-made apple butter, and I’ve been buying it when we go to Amish Country for $4.50 a pint! Expensive? Yes.
    Delicious? Absolutely! Can’t wait to try my own! Thank You, Christy!!

  7. Virginia says

    Christy, I have made your slow cooker apple butter several times. My whole family loves it. I froze some apples per your directions and was wondering if i could use those to make more apple butter? If so, do I just throw them in the crock pot frozen or do they need to be thawed first? What about when I make other recipes such as apple crisp? Thanks so much.

  8. Bonnie Erpenbeck says

    Well, here we are again little Missy! Another great recipe to try. I am going to use Splenda. Hubby and I are both diabetic, and try to watch the sweets, thanks again for sharing this recipe.

  9. Marynell Hill says

    I love crockpot apple butter! The recipe I have is a little different in that it uses all apples and no apple sauce…but it’s a wonderful reminder of cooler days to come on this hot July day! Mmmmmmmm!

  10. Ginger Hall says

    Thank you so much for posting the apple butter recipe. My family loves apple butter, but its just to time consuming doing it the old fashioned way! And as much as I have to buy to keep it in stock at home, it can be quite expensive! I can handle this recipe and still have time to play with the 2and 3 year old, instead of standing at the stove all day! Thanks a bunch!

  11. rackell says

    Just waiting for it to cook down now……..I used the cheese grater for the apples (they were so nice and crisp!), I was too impatient to ‘chip’ them, I sure hope it won’t ruin it somehow……it looks and SMELLS fabulous!

  12. says

    Christy, Have you ever tried pear butter in the crockpot? And friend gave me a good bit of pears, and I was thinking of putting them in my crockpots and trying to make pear butter!
    Just wondering if you have and if so, what seasonings have or would you use.
    Thanks Christy!

    • Becca says

      Hi Tina,

      I have made two crockpots full of Pear Butter in the last couple of days. It is great & has about the same texture as Apple Butter. I also gather pears from our tree & peel/core them into a large bowl of salty water then drain & bag for the freezer. I don’t go to the trouble to cut into small pieces, a potato masher takes care of that in minutes after they’ve crocked for several hours. Good luck!

  13. MARSHA G says

    Christy THANKS for bringing back some beautiful memories of my childhood. When I was a child in West Virginia and it was apple harvest time the ladies in the neighborhood would all gather at one house and either peel with a knife or an apple peeler if you were lucky enough to have one. Then us kids would stand taking turns with a wooden paddle that had holes in in it and a long handle and we would stir those apples all day over an open fire with a huge cast iron pot on the fire. OH talk about an AMAZING aroma we couldn’t wait until the end of the day when the apple butter was finished and all jarred up to be divided amongst the families. What was left over we all got to take a biscuit left over from breakfast or lunch and smear that biscuit real good against the side of that big ol’ pot then put a gob of home churned butter. thank you Lord for such beautiful country memories! I would not have dreamed about being rich with money as we always new we were rich with love, family, God, and neighbors. the best kind of rich there is.

  14. Vicki Crowe says

    My husband and I had to move away to West Virginia a few years ago, and lived there for about 31/2 years. Folks in West Virginia make apple butter in the fall, host big events for it, churches get together and make it, and the Girl Scouts sold it every year. I did not grow up with apple butter and had not known about it until I was grown and learned about it from Cracker Barrell. We are back in Alabama now, but glad for our apple butter experience in West Virginia! I would love to try your version and smell that wonderful goodness in my kitchen!

  15. debbie from canada says

    Oh Christy thanks so much for the apple recipes. I love apple butter and agree it is the first thing I head for when we go across the border and eat at a Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans (we don’t have those restaurants here). We spend summer vacation in the Smokey Mtn’s and the last time I was in Pigeon Forge I picked up a bag of fritter mix to try. I made both apple fritters and tried corn fritters and they were great. I have been searching for a recipe for fritter mix so thanks I can’t wait to try yours. You make me home sick for NC & Tenn….thanks for the great southern recipes. Hope you are feeling better and on the mend…you are a strong and resourceful woman.

  16. Randy Evans says

    I love apple butter!!! This is one of my favorite things to make. If you have a steamer, try steaming your apples for about 20 min. Then putting them in the crock pot. This will speed up the cooking time and be sure to use the drippings…..

  17. Megan says

    My cousin and I both tried this recipe. The taste is fantastic, but it definitely came out really watery, even after cooking on high for 3 hours. Not sure why this is, but next time we’re going to try just 1 jar of applesauce to 3 or 4lbs apples.
    It tastes amazing, I just wanted to mention that for anyone else having the same problem.

  18. Karla S says

    Help!! I’d love to make this, but they don’t sell applesauce over here in the UK….(sighhh another sad fact and yes, please feel sorry for me!) Would I have to make my own applesauce? Or is there a way to just add more apples and cinnamon etc to this recipe? Please help Christy – as I LOVE apple butter (being from MN we eat it in the north too!) but like you said in the beginning of this post, the horror that people have never had it is too sad for words! Thanks for any help you can give me! Have a great day!

  19. Sandra says

    So, is it worth going to all the trouble of making homemade apple butter, or should I just run to Wal-Mart and get a jar of Bama? Had biscuits for supper last night and was wishing I had some apple butter.

  20. Lynn Clendenin says

    I have not tried your version yet; it is so much easier than making my own applesauce one night and turning it into apple butter. I was told that you know the apple butter was done when your spoon stood up in the pan. Somewhere I have a picture of the spoon standing upright in the crock pot!


  1. […] Crock Pot Apple Butter: Apple butter is surprisingly easy to make, especially with the help of a crock pot. Still, folks seem to be intimidated by it. Perhaps its the complex taste of the spices combined with how few people actually do make it anymore which causes it to be shied away from in our kitchens. There is no need though as making apple butter with this recipe is likely one of the easiest things that I’ve brought you so far! (also has canning instructions) From Southern Plate. […]

  2. […] Here is my simple recipe, full of spices and flavorings of fried apples without the fuss or time involved. It’s just a matter of mixing it all together and letting it simmer, so with very little work you can have a deliciously spiced side in no time at all. And nope, it’s not the same thing as apple butter – but if you want my apple butter recipe click here […]

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