Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe

I’ll start by saying that this is not a foodie blog.  While I’ve posted stories and videos over the years relating to food, I’ve never in 6 years posted a recipe here for my readers to see.

That is until now.

About 3 or 4 years ago when we bought our first slow cooker, I had heard how its possible to make apple butter with it.  For those not familiar with apple butter, it is a more concentrated version of apple sauce with a taste that packs more of an apple punch per teaspoon.  The concentrated flavors and thicker consistency make it a wonderful accompaniment for toast, pancakes, waffles, ice cream and more.  I’ve used apple butter in a slow cooker pork tenderloin recipe and I often mix it in with my oatmeal for a unique comfort food that is among my favorites when the weather gets cold.


Slow Cooker Apple Butter

In searching online I found several different recipes for making apple butter, and as I typically do, I borrowed from all of them to put something together that works for me.

Each year I’ve been posting pictures on my social media feeds as I work on making another batch and each year I have people asking for the recipe.  I’m always happy to share, but this time around I felt perhaps it was time to post a recipe here on at long last.

While I have a few pictures I can include, this won’t be a typical foodie blog post.  I’ll give you the recipe as well as some pictures from my archives and then assume that each of you are capable enough of managing the step by step instructions without too much detail from me.

As for what type of apples to use, I’ve mostly used Empire, but I’ve also used Gala, Spartan and even some Honeycrisp in the past.  Basically it’s a personal choice so I’ll leave the right variety up to you.

Here is the recipe:

Approximately 20 – 24 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (grating it yourself is much better and more fragrant than pre-grated)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (this can be adjusted according to preference)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • Place cored, peeled and sliced apples into slow cooker
  • Mix all ingredients except for vanilla together in a separate bowl.
  • Add to apples and mix thoroughly.
  • Cover slow cooker and set slow cooker to Low for 12 Hours, stirring occasionally.
  • After 10 hours remove cover and add vanilla.  Stir in vanilla and leave cover off of slow cooker for the last 2 hours (this helps with evaporation and further reducing the end product.
  • When timer runs out, the mixture will still have chunks and will appear more runny than you’d expect.
  • Use a hand blender to emulsify the contents.  The end result will be the color and consistency that you’d expect apple butter to be.

The finished apple butter should then be placed into sterilized mason jars.  Once the lids are sealed place the jars back in hot water and let it stay until the lids pop shut.  If you want to keep some for immediate use, be sure to keep it refrigerated.

Okay…now for a few pictures!  Enjoy!


Apples prior to being cored, peeled and cut. Always compost the peels and cores instead of putting them in with your regular waste.


When starting the cooking process, the slow cooker should be full to the top. This recipe will reduce significantly with cooking.


After 12 hours of cooking, followed by being emulsified with a hand blender, this will be the consistency your are looking for.


Typically I will get about 3 full jars and then some with this batch.  If preserved properly you can easily keep these on the shelf for several months, so get to it and enjoy one of the most pure and fall-inspired comfort foods that exists!


Eric Novak

About Eric Novak

Eric Novak is a father of 4 who also thinks that environmental stewardship is a requisite of parenting. He's not a professional Dad nor is he an environmental scientist, but he's someone who gives a damn and is trying to make the right decisions as he lives his life as a father, environmentalist and business owner. Eric and his wife Karen have 4 children and reside in Ajax, Ontario.