How to Make Apple Butter (No Added Sugar)


After tackling homemade applesauce, making apple butter seems like the next logical step.

apple butter in a glass jar and spread on toast

If you’ve never tasted homemade apple butter, you’re missing out. It tastes like Fall in a jar!

I’m usually not the biggest fan of jams and jellies, but this stuff is good enough to eat by the spoonful. And it’s so easy to make! In fact, if you’ve already made homemade applesauce, all you have to do is add some spice and let it simmer longer, until the applesauce cooks down and gets thicker. Using a slow cooker makes this process easy, because you don’t have to worry about constantly stirring or burning the apples as they cook down. You don’t even have to peel the apples before you get started– the skins blend right into the applesauce, and add extra nutrition to the resulting butter.

Best of all, making apple butter is practically fool-proof. You can cook down the sauce to be as thick or thin as you like, and you can even (carefully) taste it as you go, adjusting the spices and sweetness as desired.

Though it’s unlikely you’ll burn your applesauce at such a low heat, if you do, all you need to do is pour the apple butter out of the slow cooker– the burnt parts will stick to the pot. Simply clean it off, and return the unburned apples back to the clean pot and keep cooking them down until the butter has reached your desired thickness. I cooked my apple butter until it had reduced by about half, making a little over 16 ounces. Depending on how many apples your slow cooker will hold, and how much apple butter you want to make, feel free to adjust the quantities to suit your needs.

As an added bonus, your house will smell AMAZING all day long while this apple butter simmers away, without the need for scented candles or artificial air fresheners. Win, win!

Homemade Apple Butter (No Sugar Added)
Makes 16-20 ounces

Ingredients:

3 lbs. apples (I used Fuji)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup water

Directions:

Core and chop the apples (I used this handy apple slicer to do it quickly) and place them in the bowl of your slow cooker. Add in the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and water then cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the apples are tender enough to fall apart with mashed with a fork. (If you’re using a VitaClay, this process only takes 2 hours.)

sliced apples in a slow cooker

To make applesauce, use an immersion blender to puree the cooked apples. (If you chose to peel your apples, you can just use a fork or potato masher to break down the apples.) You could stop here, and enjoy this delicious spiced applesauce, but you’ll need to keep cooking it down to create apple butter.

making apple butter using an immersion blender

Loosely cover the pot with the lid, leaving a vent for steam to escape, and set the slow cooker to cook for another 6 to 8 hours on low, or until the applesauce has reduced by nearly half. Alternatively, you could heat the applesauce on high 45 minutes, then reduce the heat to low to quicken the process, but be sure to not leave it on high too long, or you’ll risk burning the apples on the bottom. (I cooked mine in the VitaClay for 45 minutes on the “stew” setting– which is high heat– then transferred the applesauce to a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat to finish the thickening process, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning.) Since slow cooker models vary, your cooking time may vary slightly, as well.

*Note: Since you have to leave the pot slightly uncovered while cooking, you may want to place some towels around your slow cooker to catch any splattering.

Once the apple butter is nice and thick, transfer it to a glass jar and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. (You can also freeze any extra for a longer shelf life!) Serve the apple butter over your favorite toast, pancakes, meats, salads, or simply enjoy it by the spoonful!

4.75 from 16 votes
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How to Make Apple Butter (No Added Sugar)
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
12 hr 20 mins
Total Time
12 hr 50 mins
 

Homemade apple butter tastes like Fall in a jar, without any added sugar!

Course: Snack
Servings: 16
Calories: 44 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs . apples (I used Fuji)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup water
Instructions
  1. Core and chop the apples (I used this handy apple slicer to do it quickly) and place them in the bowl of your slow cooker. Add in the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and water then cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the apples are tender enough to fall apart with mashed with a fork. (If you're using a VitaClay, this process only takes 2 hours.)
  2. To make applesauce, use an immersion blender to puree the cooked apples. (If you chose to peel your apples, you can just use a fork or potato masher to break down the apples.) You could stop here, and enjoy this delicious spiced applesauce, but you'll need to keep cooking it down to create apple butter.
  3. Loosely cover the pot with the lid, leaving a vent for steam to escape, and set the slow cooker to cook for another 6 to 8 hours on low, or until the applesauce has reduced by nearly half. Alternatively, you could heat the applesauce on high 45 minutes, then reduce the heat to low to quicken the process, but be sure to not leave it on high too long, or you'll risk burning the apples on the bottom. (I cooked mine in the VitaClay for 45 minutes on the "stew" setting-- which is high heat-- then transferred the applesauce to a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat to finish the thickening process, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning.)
  4. Once the apple butter is nice and thick, transfer it to a glass jar and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. (You can also freeze any extra for a longer shelf life!) Serve the apple butter over your favorite toast, pancakes, meats, salads, or simply enjoy it by the spoonful!
Recipe Notes

*Since you have to leave the pot slightly uncovered while cooking, you may want to place some towels around your slow cooker to catch any splattering.

Notes:

  • If you don’t have a slow cooker, feel free to make apple butter over a stove top– just make sure to keep the heat low and stir often to prevent burning.
  • You can start off using store-bought applesauce to save time, but the flavor is best if you start from scratch!

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Comments

Melissa

This is so yummy. I added a small container of blackberries as well because I suspected it would give the butter a tart flavor I would really enjoy. I went ahead and let it cook for about 24 hours as well. It’s so yummy. I’m so happy this con be accomplished without adding sugar! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

Kristin

This turned out great for me! Will save this recipe and make again. Love the no added sugar.

Marguerite

How would you recommend making this using the instant pot? I just got it and I am excited to try it out, but I am still trying to figure out how it works! if you have any tips 🙂

Traci Graham

This is a great recipe and i love the way it turned out. Have you tried this as adapted for an instant pot?

MONICA

Gonna do it. I will let you know. Then I will water bath it and it will be done and home canned.🤗

Carole prytula

I have been making jams,jellies ,pickles and preserves for many years .Last year I made a crab apple jelly that my teenage grandson could not get enough of ! It also sold very well at my church annual Christmas Market . I currently have a large pot of your apple butter in a pot on my stove and yes, my house smells wonderful. I will be making this to sell at the market and I loved the idea of “Fall in a jar ” …With your permission I would like to use that on my jar label .
More and more people are looking for healthier eating habits and I love your recipes . Buying local natural grown produce was my first step ,second step is using recipes like yours ….thank you 🤗

Heather Cappella

Can you can this recipe with no worries?

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