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Slow cooker apple butter

Is it cooler weather, warm food time yet? It’s still warm here, but I can feel it coming and toast slathered in warm cinnamon-rich apple butter is exactly what I want. Take a shortcut with applesauce and use your slow cooker to do all the work.

apple butter in a bowl in on a red napkin with cinnamon sticks and a piece of apple buttered bread

I can feel fall coming. I know it’s creeping in with a few cool mornings and warmer afternoons and it seems like it just does something to us–everyone’s looking for warmer food, comforting dishes, apples and cinnamon…the soul feeding stuff.

So let’s fuel your need for comfort with slow cooker apple butter.

a bowl of apple butter with a red knife inside on a red plaid napkin

I have about .0001% of my day available now to stand over a stove cooking apples down from their God-given state, so applesauce (unsweetened only! All mean letters will be laughed at) is the absolute best way to save time and still make something almost as good as fuzzy socks and football.

Just mix your ingredients together in your crock (you don’t even need to dirty a bowl!) and turn it on low. Cook the fire out of that sucker. Remove the lid for the last two or three hours or as long as necessary to reach a thick butter-like texture. Something spreadable that won’t run. Then, you can store it in an airtight container in your fridge for several weeks or can yours in canning jars (see very loosely worded instructions below). If you don’t can, just go the fridge route. You may even be able to freeze it…never tried that though.

When you eat it, slather it on toast or biscuits and wait for fall. It’s right around the corner!

Slow cooker apple butter

Crave the spicy, deep flavor of cinnamon and apples in this rich apple butter you can make in just a few hours with a shortcut (applesauce!). Slow cooker apple butter is a southern treat for your toast, biscuits or just a spoon!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 hours
Total Time 15 hours 5 minutes
Servings 5 -6
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 7 cups UNSWEETENED applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice


  • Mix all ingredients in the crock of your slow cooker.
  • Cook on low 12 hours with the lid on.
  • Remove the lid and continue to cook 2-3 more hours until the butter is very thick. You can cook it as long as you want to to reach your desired thickness.
  • To store, place the hot apple butter into canning jars, add a flat and a ring and turn upside down. Allow to cool in this position to seal the lids.
  • You can also store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-4 weeks. If it lasts that long.


Calories: 343kcal
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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  1. I made this yesterday. It tastes DELICIOUS! But, I can’t get it to like more like apple butter than just dressed up applesauce and be spreadable. Anything I can do now? It’s been in the fridge cooling overnight. It cooked for 15hrs yesterday. How can I thicken it up?? Thanks!

    1. Hey Sheina, I’d just put it back in the slow cooker with the lid off and keep going until you reach your desired thickness. You could also cook it down on the stove over very low heat but you’d have to stir a lot to prevent scorching it. –Rachel

    1. Probably Gayle. It’s going to concentrate as it cooks of course, amplifying the sugar, so you may not want any extra. Just taste it as you go. –Rachel

    1. I’ve never tried it Audrey. You’d want to stir it often to keep it from scorching to the bottom of the slow cooker. It might work. –Rachel

  2. This is good tasting and for keeping in the fridge or freezer a good idea. however..please don’t “can it” the way you mentioned and have it be shelf stable. Turning the jars upside down so the lids seal is not safely sealing the apple butter to be shelf stable. Please use a waterbath canner and process the applebutter correctly to be able to keep it safely on your shelves. If you want to give it to family for gifts it can be given after properly canned or frozen.

    1. Well you are 100% right on that when it comes to true canning safety Karen. While I do can myself and totally hear your point (and I do want everyone to be safe), I will say this method has worked many, many times along with how I can my jams and jellies. I’d never ever try this with anything else though. I pressure can exclusively. And agree that freezing or water bath would both be great choices as well. Thanks for your comments. –Rachel

    2. I do the same thing….turn upside down….the heat from the apple butter or jelly seals it. Never had a jar go bad when canning this way.

  3. My husband and step-mother love apple butter!! We always bring her back some from the Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge Tennessee when we go there. Hubby always asks for it at Cracker Barrel. Not so good for this diabetic but, I do love it. This looks so simple that I might have to try it for them.

  4. Hi, quick question. In the recipe, it calls for apple cider. Is that right or is it apple cider vinegar? I’ve seen recipes for both. Please let me know asap!! Fixing to make it!!!

    1. Debbie that’s apple cider as in, juice. No vinegar here! I’d be curious to see a recipe for apple butter that’s based on vinegar–and even more curious to taste it! I hope you enjoy it. –Rachel

  5. Yep, this is absolutely GORGEOUS, and I love the time saver unsweetened applesauce! (Unsweetened applesauce FTW, btw. That’s my go-to applesauce here!)

    It doesn’t feel like fall just yet here — it’s well in the 90’s today — but it’s coming, and I cannot wait for all the fabulous fall things. Including this apple butter. I clearly need to whip myself up some to prepare for the season!

    1. Thanks Erin. You know the challenges of shooting brown food! I actually ended up eating this right out of the bowl when I got done. Miss you! I hope you are well. 🙂

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.