How to Make Apple Butter

I know some of you may be turned off by canning. It seems too difficult, old-fashioned, or you may think you will contaminate your family. Just read this through and see what you think. Apple Butter is super simple, inexpensive, and makes a great homemade gift.

How to Make Apple Butter

1. Start by peeling, coring and slicing 5 1/2 pounds of apples. The best kind of apples for apple butter are Cortland, Jonamac, Spigold, Jonathan, Liberty, Sweet Sixteen, Golden Russet, Orin, Arkansas Black, and Grimes Golden (according to the internet πŸ˜‰

2. Place all the apples into a large crock pot along with 2-4 cups of sugar (depending on your sweet tooth), 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of cloves. I am too lazy to dice my apples really small so I cook it on high until the apples are cooked down (about 5-6 hours). Can you tell what decade I got married in by the style of my crock pot?IMG_0684

3. After my apples are soft and cooked down I take my electric hand mixer and blend the apples and spices together (after about 5 hours on high in the crock pot) I periodically mix them up until it is all blended throughout the evening.

Note: If you would rather cook them down on the stovetop and then transfer them to your crock pot you can do that as well. It will save hours in the crock pot I have done it both ways. IMG_0685

4. Then I turn it down to low and cook them overnight. This takes a LONG TIME to cook down, but it is worth it. Plus you do not have to babysit them you just let them cook down all night.

5. In the morning it will have turned a beautiful brownish red color. I mix it again and then I take the top off the crock pot and let it thicken until it is my desired consistency (usually another 2-4 hours). IMG_0681 6. Meanwhile, I wash 9 pint jars in my dishwasher. When they are still hot I take them out of the dishwasher. Then fill up the jar with the hot apple butter leaving about 1/4” of headspace. Wipe the rim clean. IMG_06827. Put a new lid on it and then put the ring on it. If you are a true canner stop reading here….

Now flip the jars upside down. Let them cool. When they are completely cool flip them right side up and they will have sealed.

IMG_0683 It makes about 9 pint jars. No special tools necessary. Just canning jars, apples, and spices. Easy peasy!

Check out these cute jar toppers to make your apple butter look gift-worthy β€” although the taste is gift enough.

Scrappy Lids Tutorial

Canning Lid Downloads

Recipes using your Homemade Apple Butter:

Apple Butter Pork Loin

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

Apple Butter Spice Cake

Apple Butter Muffins

Tips and hints:

1. If you live near an apple orchard ask for β€œseconds” when buying the apples. They are usually half price. You may have to cut off some of the imperfections but they are just as tasty.

2. Before you go out and buy jars ask around. It seems like everyone has a jar or two laying around their house. Craigslist is a great place to get them also. And keep your eye out during yard sale season. You can reuse the canning rings but you cannot reuse the lids. You will have to purchase those. Now is a great time to buy them because they are on clearance everywhere.


  1. Shelley Fuge says

    You are so cute. I just love it! πŸ™‚ Thanks for all your awesome ideas. I plan to do this next week to give as gifts for family and friends. Blessings!

  2. Okay, how weird is this?? I just made some today and canned it! I used a similar recipe too.

  3. Geez I wish I knew about the crockpot set up before I babysat two batches on the stove over two days.

  4. The Weathered Cottage says

    wow! thanks so much! i might actually do this!

  5. Devonay@LumpkinAndMe says

    This is fantastic! I can't wait to surprise my Dad!

  6. I know my question helped to inspire this post. I won't lie…it makes me happy! πŸ™‚ I'll be doing some canning this week! Thanks for the fabulous idea!

  7. This is wondeful! Thank you for this great idea!

  8. too funny, i just made and canned apple butter last month for the first time! it is super easy–love my crock pot!!

  9. Ok, I did have to turn my head at the end! I did treat a pt who had botulism, his brother died. So here's my question…yes, they sealed, but is the heat from the crock pot enough to kill all the bacteria? Sealing just gets the air out.

    You know I love you! I'm assuming apples are acidic enough that it's probably a non issue, if you start canning tomatoes this way I'm calling the police! πŸ™‚

  10. ilovemy5kids says

    Okay a couple of thoughts…
    1. I LOVE apple butter! My step-mom who just passed away was the one who had "the" recipe. I was meaning to call her and get it…but I wasted too much time. Now the time is gone. So, I'm soooo thankful for this post.

    2. I've never seen an apple tree.

    There my confessions for the moment!

    Blessings to you! You are a joy!!!
    Lana @ ilovemy5kids

  11. paperbeads says

    mmmm Apple Butter! I love apples and this recepie sounds absolutley delicious! I am going to try it, especically since the holidays are right around the corner..

  12. Rook No. 17 says

    Wonderful apple butter post. You did a great job of making canning very approachable and do-able for beginners. Wonderful links and recipes too! I can almost smell the apples and cinnamon beginning to turn carmely brown!

  13. Sherri @ Luv a Bargain says

    Oh my..I am so excited! That looks so much easier than I ever imagined.

  14. Looks and sounds great! So, IF you were to water bath it do you know how long? Just curious… Like Leann I just want to know that it is going to last for a year on a shelf without going bad…

  15. I love apple butter. I made some last season and I just put it in some freezer jam jars and froze it. It turned out great once it was thawed out.

    BTW, I love canning and I don't think it is old fashioned at all.

  16. Yum! I love apple butter. Great and easy canning method.

    Holly @ 504 Main

  17. Nothing Too Fancy... says

    I found you through Mod Podge Rocks…another FABULOUS blog!:-)

  18. Thank you so much for the recipe! I want to make this!

  19. never heard of sealing them like this…sounds yummy! Just came home from Harrah with a bunch of yummy apples, so I'll have to try it!

  20. I just made some apple butter with this recipe. Delicious! Thanks for posting.

  21. Great idea! I haven't tried making apple butter yet, but I love eating it on biscuits!

    To answer a previous comment's question, if you use a water bath canning method instead of the inversion method, it's 10 minutes in the canner.

  22. lorchick @ ON{thelaundry}LINE says

    I made the apple butter (in a smaller scale and slightly different recipe to start with) and it made my house smell UH-MAZING. and my DD2 loves it on bread. And she normally loves NOTHING but cheeze whiz or 'just butter'.

  23. Carissa Grayson says

    If you put them in the cans this way, does it make it able to stay on the shelf or do they need to be refrigerated?

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