Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Butter
Yield: ~6 cups (freezes well)
The heavenly aroma of sweet apples and warm spices will fill your kitchen in this easy recipe that can be sweetened to taste and enjoyed in so many ways. You can even bake with it! 


  • 5 pounds apples*
  • ½ cup packed (100g) brown sugar (plus more to taste at the end; may substitute pure maple syrup or use a combination)
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon EACH ground cloves, allspice, and kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Peel, core, and chop the apples into cubes about ¾- to 1-inch thick, and place in a 6–quart slow cooker. Sprinkle the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, salt, and vanilla overtop, and stir to incorporate. (No need to grease the slow cooker.)
  2. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low for 6 to 8 hours, stirring once halfway through, or until the apples are very tender and brown.
  3. Puree the apples with an immersion blender until the apple butter reaches your desired consistency (I like smooth but a little chunky is fine, too). If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the apples to a blender or food processor, in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth, then return to the slow cooker.
  4. Continue to cook the apple butter on high, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reached your desired thickness, about 2 hours more. Taste and add additional brown sugar to taste. This will totally depend on natural sweetness/tartness of apples used and personal preference. For variety, you could adjust with granulated sugar or pure maple syrup, if desired. (I added ¼ cup of maple syrup to my last batch.)
  5. Spoon the apple butter into jars or another airtight container and let cool before refrigerating.
  6. Flavor improves over time and the apple butter freezes well!


*5 pounds is about 9-10 large apples, but apple size varies so much that you may wish to weigh at the store or market where you buy to get close. A little variance up or down, however, is fine. I like a mix of tart and sweet apples, and I don’t worry if there’s a little skin left on the apples after peeling. It will get pureed at the end and doesn’t change the flavor.

A few more things:
If you enjoy a more assertive flavor in your apple butter, feel free to lightly round your spoons when measuring the spices.
My slow cooker is wide, so when using the immersion blender in it, I tilt the cooker to one side. This creates a deeper “pool” to blend into, and then I use the lid as a shield against any splatters. If you have a rounder, deeper cooker, you likely won’t need to do this.
The apples break down to the point that you could forego the pureeing step if you enjoy a less smooth final product.

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