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How to Make Apple Butter in the Slow Cooker

Updated August 17, 2017
Slow-Cooker Apple Butter
Sure, we could show you how to make homemade apple butter or we could show you how to let your slow cooker make homemade apple butter while you take all of the credit. Your choice, but either way, this is one recipe you’ll want in your back pocket this fall.
Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

What Is Apple Butter?

First things first: There is no butter in apple butter. It’s basically all the same yummy ingredients as applesauce, cooked low and slow until it becomes thick and the sugar caramelizes. You’re left with a buttery cinnamon-apple spread that might be the coziest fall food around. And, like all great comfort food, you can make it right in your slow cooker. 

What Makes This Apple Butter So Easy?  

  • Many apple butter recipes call for peeling the apples, but we leave the peels on, which saves a ton of time and effort. Don’t worry about the texture; you’ll puree the apples after they cook to create a silky-smooth sauce. And, since you’re keeping the peels on, you also keep the nutrients and fiber contained in the peels. Bonus!
  • If you have an immersion blender, this is a totally one-pot recipe. You can puree and reduce the apple butter right in your slow-cooker without dirtying a separate container or appliance. 
  • Just four ingredients! Apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt come together in an almost magical way to create something extraordinary. It’s simple food you can feel good about eating—and sharing. 

Easy Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

Prep Time: 20 min. | Total Time: 4.5-6 hrs. | Ingredients: 4 | Yield: 4-6 cups 


  • 5 lbs of Gala (or other) apples, chopped 
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp salt

Apples, apple corer, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt


1. Wash, core and chop 5 pounds of your favorite apples, leaving the peels on. While a rough chop is all that’s needed, smaller pieces of apple will cook faster. To get a thicker butter in the shortest amount of time, chop pieces to about half the size pictured here. 

2. Add the remaining ingredients to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker and toss to mix.

Chopped apples in a slow cooker

3. Cover and cook apples on high for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally, until soft and cooked through. A good rule of thumb is to allow the apples to continue cooking for at least one hour after the liquid around the edges of the slow cooker has reached a strong, rolling simmer. 

4. When apples are completely soft, puree the apples with an immersion blender. Or carefully transfer the hot mixture in batches to an upright blender or food processor.

Cooked apples in a slow cooker with an immersion blender

Puree the apple mixture for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth, like a caramel sauce.

Apple butter in a slow cooker

5. Continue cooking, partially covered, on high for 30-60 minutes more or until the apple butter has reduced to your desired thickness. It will thicken even more as it cools. 

6. Refrigerate apple butter in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

Serving Ideas  

  • Slather on a warm biscuit at breakfast. 
  • Use in place of strawberry jam in these cheesecake cookie bars.
  • Spoon over pork chops. 
  • Drizzle over vanilla ice cream. 
  • Roll it up inside a crescent
  • Spread a little inside a grilled cheese sandwich.