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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!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 hours
Total Time: 15 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 5 -6
Calories: 343kcal
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

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Recipe Rating


Friday 15th of January 2021

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!

Rachel Ballard

Saturday 16th of January 2021

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

Gayle A Freeze

Tuesday 20th of October 2020

I have regular applesauce can I use instead of unsweetened?

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 20th of October 2020

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

Audrey Feazell

Sunday 12th of July 2020

Can you do high fir 6 hours instead of low for 12?

Rachel Ballard

Monday 13th of July 2020

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

Sue Milliner

Wednesday 1st of July 2020

Does it have to be Apple cider or can I use apple juice?

Rachel Ballard

Thursday 2nd of July 2020

You can Sue. It doesn't have that same depth of flavor but I think it would work okay. --Rachel

karen selfridge

Thursday 21st of November 2019

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.

Barbara Brown

Thursday 23rd of January 2020

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.

Rachel Ballard

Friday 22nd of November 2019

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