Healthy Homemade Apple Butter

This healthy homemade apple butter made in the crockpot with cinnamon and spices is naturally sweetened (no sugar added!). Enjoy spread on toast or share with friends — it makes the perfect gift! Vegan. 

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend and Happy Labor Day to those in the US of A. This weekend I’ve spent a lot of time relaxing, taking long walks with Olive and cooking up some tasty eats.

One thing in particular, which I alluded to in my last post, was made with apples and made the house smell amazing. Some of you already guessed it, but for those of you still wondering, it was homemade apple butter!

Healthy Homemade Apple Butter in clear mason jar on wood table next to whole apple.

Although I’m not one to spread regular butter on my toast, I tend to love anything with butter in name – apple, pumpkin, almond, sunflower seed, peanut… I don’t discriminate. Turns out that sugar is often added to all of these butters when commercially produced (check your labels)!

Healthy Homemade Apple Butter in clear mason jar on wood table.

I’ve already made my own pumpkin butter before so I figured this year I would experiment with apple butter. Apples are surely sweet enough on their own so I decided to try my hand at a no sugar added apple butter and guess what? It turned out sweet!!

Healthy Homemade Apple Butter in clear mason jar on wood table next to whole apple.

Lean on me.

Of course, I’ve already sampled the apple butter – several times actually, and it’s delicious, perfectly sweet, and naturally healthy. If you’re looking for a way to use up quite a few apples, a low sugar version of your favorite apple butter or a homemade gift idea, here’s your recipe. 😉

If you make this healthy homemade apple butter, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers who are thinking about making the recipe. 

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Healthy Homemade Apple Butter


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 hours
  • Total Time: 15 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: (8) 1/2 pint jars

Description

This healthy homemade apple butter made in the crockpot with cinnamon and spices is naturally sweetened (no sugar added!). Enjoy spread on toast or share with friends — it makes the perfect gift! Vegan. 


Ingredients

  • 10 medium sized apples (choose a sweet variety like Red Delicious or Gala)
  • 2 cups of unsweetened apple juice or approximately 5 apples juiced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place cored and sliced apples (not peeled) into a large crock-pot / slow cooker.
  2. Juice apples and pour juice on top of sliced apples. Add water, apple cider vinegar and spices. Stir all ingredients together, cover pot and let it cook for 15 hours on low.
  3. The liquid will reduce and the apples will be very soft, darker in color, and smell lovely. Turn the crock pot off and let the apples cool down a bit (about 30 minutes), then transfer the mixture into a blender (or use a hand/stick blender) and blend until completely smooth.
  4. Let the apple butter cool and then transfer into storage containers. It should store well in the fridge for about 3 weeks, however I filled 8, 1/2 pint freezer-safe canning jars, put the lid on, let them cool and then placed all the jars (besides one) into the freezer. Now I have one jar to eat and some homemade Christmas gifts!

  • Category: Sauces/Condiments
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 oz / 2T
  • Calories: 16
  • Sugar: 3.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g

Keywords: homemade apple butter

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    93 comments
  1. Just saying, red delicious apples would NOT work with this recipe. They are NOT for cooking.
    I have always needed to take the lid off for a while to make this work. Works best to use an immersion blender.

    • Take the lid off and cook it for a few hours on high. This should help evaporate the liquid. It can take a long time, sometimes. And don’t forget to blend it, that will help with the texture too! 🙂

  2. I also left out the cloves and used all spice. Mine turned out a little more liquidy than one would prefer so next time I may add an extra apple or two or reduce the liquid 1/4 cup. Otherwise it is excellent and works perfectly with a no-knead pumpkin bread!

  3. Not liking cloves (or having any on hand) I substituted with all spice. Everything else remained the same. Absolutely delicious. These and home made
    Deoderant will be added into baskets for Xmas presents. Thank you for a no sugar added recipe.

  4. My mom brought over a bunch of apples from her trip to the orchard this week and I can’t wait to make this! It sounds like the best recipe of all the ones I’ve looked up. I know it says to refrigerate it, but is that necessary? I really don’t need more than one jar of it for my husband and I, and I have some friends & family that recently moved away that I would LOVE to mail a jar to if possible. Do you think that is possible or would it go bad on its way there?

  5. Thanks for a great recipe, I just finished making it and not only does it taste great but my house smells amazing. One question though, my butter seems more runny than it should. This is my first time making apple butter so I don’t know if it will thicken as it cools or if there’s something I’m doing wrong. Any insight would be appreciated, thanks!

    • You probably didn’t do anything wrong Katrina. Some apples tend to be juicier than others so maybe yours released a lot of juice making it more runny. Hopefully it thickened up as it cooled. Let me know. 🙂

  6. I have been having so much fun with this recipe!! It’s delicious and healthy. I’ve made it 4 times now, trying different apples each time. I put them up in little disposable tupperware-style plastic containers you get at the grocery store. This keeps the cost down. A recipe yields about 7 or 8 of the little 1 and 3/16 cup tubs put out by Glad, or Raley’s brand. They have been wonderful little hostess, thank-you, or “just because” gifts. Once I put a couple of chopped fresh mangoes in with the apples. It was good, but I really like 100% apples better, so that is what I’m sticking with now.

  7. Hi! I really want to try this, but I’m afraid of leaving my slow cooker on over night (its REALLY old and tends to over heat!) If I wanted to do this on high, how long should I leave it in for? Also, does it need to refridgerated or kept out? I can’t wait to try this!
    Thanks so much 🙂

    • I’ve never made it on high, but I’d say 6-7 hours. You’ll just have to test it out and see if it’s done by then and if not, let it go for longer.

      And yes, it does need to be refrigerated.

  8. This really is good. I have made it several times and even added blueberries to it! Have not had ONE person say they did not like it! 🙂

  9. Made this last night and pureed it this afternoon, and it turned out great! I accidentally doubled the amount of cloves & nutmeg, so it had more of a punch, but still tasted delicious. Thanks! 🙂

  10. I have never had homemade apple butter, only store bought but this recipe sounds so natural and delicious. Also a better alternative to jelly/jams which can be filled with sugar. Definitely going to have to try this with my mom when I go home next weekend. I have also never thought of mixing the apple butter into my oatmeal in the morning, such a great idea and probably taste fantastic. Loving the fact that it’s no sugar added, apples have plenty of natural sugar already. I was wondering if you have any other recipes for other fruit butters?

  11. Hi! I wanted to tell you that I made your apple butter and it was so easy — and tasty! Loved not peeling the apples, it was sugar-free and just went into the slow cooker. What a win-win-win. I linked to your site (and this recipe) today from Foodlets. Hope you get a little traffic bump!

    Best, Charity

  12. Thank you for the recipe. I just have one question. Most recipes tell you to peel the apples, but yours does not. Can you feel the texture of the peeling once you blend the apples? Or it it completely smooth?

  13. thank you soo much for this recipe- i made several batches and canned it for Christmas presents! this was perfect for my diabetic family members!! it smelled amazing and canned effortlessly! my only regret was not making it sooner!!! thanks so much 🙂

      • i just got done canning my double batches- i always water bath my apples for 20 minutes to be on the safe side but i’ve seen recommendations anywhere between ten to twenty minutes!!

  14. I discovered your blog recently and I love it! I tried this recipe and everyone keeps raving about it. Thank you for the great idea!

  15. Hi! I just discovered your lovely blog and I truly enjoyed reading it this afternoon. This recipe reminds me of something a friend of mine did. But the apple butter she did was far too sweet for my taste. I might try my hand in this and see how it turns out.

  16. I made your apple butter recipe, it was PERFECT!
    Thanks for making a healthy recipe, and it’s better then any apple butter i’ve ever tasted.

  17. so i have gushed about this apple butter in my overnight oats quite a bit on twitter. i would like to let you know of three people i gave jars to, all have completely finished theirs within a week! they all love it as well – just thought you should know! thanks for all your awesome recipes!

    meg

  18. I came upon your recipe while searching for a quick and easy recipe for apple butter. See, I try to plan my menus each week and one of the recipes I planned to use called for apple butter. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the extra to buy it last minute, but I did have all the right stuff to make it with (lucky for me). So Tuesday night I found your blog and this delicious recipe. A big plus is that my husband is diabetic so the “no sugar added” part is a big plus for us. I put everything in the crock pot Tuesday night then went to bed. Sadly, I woke up sick with a bad sore throat and cough so I didn’t get to make the other recipe…but it sure was nice waking up to the lovely smell of fresh apple butter cooking away! I forced myself to finish the apple butter and boy am I ever so grateful. It was delicious warm and even better when it cooled. I couldn’t eat anything else…. Thanks for a great recipe!

  19. Just wanted to let you know that I put up on my FB that I am making apple butter and I have had so many comments. Not to mention, a friend asked me to send her the recipe so I sent her the website link and I told another friend that when it was done (if I made it right lol) I will send her a jar and it made her whole day 🙂 So I think overall this recipe was a big hit and it isnt even finished yet lol

  20. I can’t believe how something this simple and amazing can avoid me for all these years. Imagine the possibilities of this apple butter, all the things you can put it on, in and with. Thank you for opening up the floodgates of creativity in my brain by introducing me to this. Great stuff! And perfect for the fall!

  21. I made this last night and it is amazing! I’m excited to use it with my oatmeal tomorrow! The lovely smell helped with the awful skunk smell that permeated our walls after our dog got sprayed…

  22. Oh damn! I had been doing well without a crockpot for awhile and now I am seeing that I need to go buy one this weekend along with a big bag of apples. This just sounds YUMMY!! I am thinking this, spread on one of my homemade sweet potato/cranberry/almond muffins would be HEAVENLY for breakfast (or dessert!)

  23. Yummm apple butter! There is a farmer’s market around me that makes no sugar added apple butter. I have really been enjoying it in my oatmeal but I bet making my own would be better. Can’t wait to try the recipe!

    And bonus that I get to use the crock pot… I feel like I am never quite sure what to use that for…

  24. oh yeah..i’m good. haha..sounds amazing! i’ve always wanted to try it…i think i’m going to make if for christmas gifts!! 🙂

  25. I am so excited! Apple butter was one of the spreads that I grew up with, and I’ve wanted to make my own variety at home. However, all the recipes I’ve seen are chock-full of added sugar, which seems so silly to my fruit-loving self! Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I can’t wait to give it a try!

  26. This looks fantastic!!!!! I love Apple Butter, but homemade apple butter blows all of the store bought ones out of the water. I never think these things need added sugar. You are right, entirely sweet enough on their own.

  27. That is handy, I was talking today about other uses for apples. Nice to have something else in my repertoire other than apple crumble! What are the nutritional stats like? x

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