Apple Butter | The Recipe Critic

Apple Butter is a sweet velvety concentrated apple spread that you’ll want to put on everything. It requires just a few ingredients and a little bit of patience to make this yummy jam like condiment.

Apple season will be here before we know it and the best way to enjoy this delicious fall fruit is in Apple Butter! You won’t be able to go a day without spreading this heavenly apple concentrate on something. For more delicious apple recipes, try Apple PieApple Danish, and Overnight Cinnamon Apple French Toast Casserole.

A jar of silky smooth Apple Butter with a spoon in it.

Delicious Apple Butter

If you love apples, wait until you try apple butter! This smooth concentrated apple sauce is amazingly delicious, requires few ingredients, and is easy to make. It tastes like apple pie filling but in sauce form. So yummy!

What Is Apple Butter?

Apple Butter contains no butter but is very similar to apple sauce in that apples are cooked down with sugar and spices. The additional steps of pureeing the apples until smooth and then cooking again to caramelize it is what makes the sauce thicker and stronger in flavor.

Lifting a spoonful of Apple Butter out of a jar on a plate with apples in the background.

Ingredients For The Best Apple Butter:

  • Apples: You do not need to peel the apples. The skin will get soft as the apples simmer. If using the skin, I do recommend using fresh picked apples since they won’t have any wax on them.
  • Cider: You can find this next to the apple juice in the juice aisle. Plain apple juice or water can be substituted.
  • Brown Sugar: This adds sweetness and a depth of flavor to the butter.
  • Cinnamon: This warm spice gives the butter so much more flavor.
  • Nutmeg: A little goes a long way. You can also add a pinch of cloves if you like them.
  • Salt: This little amount of salt doesn’t make the butter salty, it helps accentuate the other flavors.
  • Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract. For a slight tangy flavor you can use lemon juice instead.

Apples cut in half and quarters, teaspoons of spices, a small bowl of vanilla extract, a liquid measuring cup of apple cider, and a measuring cup of brown sugar.

How To Make Homemade Apple Butter:

  1. Place apple in a large pot with cider, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. Cook covered over medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes, until very soft.
  3. Puree apples with a hand blender or a high powered blender until smooth. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Cook UNcovered over low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally (about every 5 minutes) until dark in color.
  5. Place in jar and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Process shots of cooking apples and pureeing them.

What Are The Best Apples?

Apples that break down easily are best. I like to use Golden Delicious but some other good options are McIntosh and Fuji.

How to Serve Apple Butter:

You can eat apple butter on anything you would put jam on- toast, rolls, English muffins, bagels… It could also be used as a sauce on meats.

This is a great homemade gift to give to others during the holidays.

Top view of jars of thick apple butter.

More Apple Recipes You’ll Love:

Apple Butter

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 2 hours

Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Author Melanie Dueck

Servings 28 Tablespoons

Apple Butter is a sweet velvety concentrated apple spread that you’ll want to put on everything. It requires just a few ingredients and a little bit of patience to make this yummy jam like condiment.

  • 3 pounds golden delicious apples quartered and cored
  • 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutrition Facts

Apple Butter

Amount Per Serving

Calories 44 Calories from Fat 9

% Daily Value*

Fat 1g2%

Saturated Fat 1g5%

Sodium 23mg1%

Potassium 64mg2%

Carbohydrates 11g4%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 9g10%

Protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 26IU1%

Vitamin C 2mg2%

Calcium 8mg1%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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