Smooth creamy apple butter is a delicious topping for toast, pound cake, or can be a sauce for roast pork. Learn how to can it with step by step instructions.Smooth creamy apple butter is a delicious topping for toast, pound cake, or can be a sauce for roast pork. Learn how to can it with step by step instructions.
Apples and Fall go together… like rain galoshes and buckets of rain, here in the Pacific Northwest! If you’ve never tried Apple Butter before, you’re missing out! Smearing a spoonful of it on a piece of toast is cinnamon-apple goodness, folks!

I’ve read that a lot of people use apple butter (think “jam”) as an accompaniment to roasted pork or other meat dishes, but I prefer it in it’s purest form… spread on a great piece of toast.  Apple Butter tastes like FALL, to me, with apples, sugar, cinnamon and cloves blended into this wonderful spread!

This recipe yields 8 half-pint (8 oz.) or 4 pint sized (12 oz.) jars of Apple Butter.  I canned 4 pint jars and gave a couple of the jars away to friends to enjoy, but that’s another story. If not canning for long term storage, make sure jars are refrigerated and apple butter used within a couple weeks.

Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At The Bottom Of The Page

How To Make Apple Butter

In a mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves; set aside. (If you are using really sweet apples, decrease sugar amount to 5 cups).

Sugar and spices in metal mixing bowl

Place peeled, cored and quartered apples in a large stainless steel saucepan, along with water. You can use a variety of apples including Gala, Gravenstein, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Braeburn, etc. You can also mix varieties to suit your taste.

These softer, sweet apples seem to work the best for making this apple butter, as opposed to using tart firm apples, such as Granny Smith.

Apples and water in red saucepan

Bring this mixture to a full boil on medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue to gently boil the apples and water for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Apples should be softened.

Chopped apple chunks softening in red saucepan

Using an immersion blender (or a canister blender or food processor), puree the hot apple mixture until you have a consistent, smooth texture, but do not liquefy.

Immersion blender in pan of apples to blend

Measure out apple puree (see recipe below) and pour it into a large, clean stainless steel saucepan. Add the sugar/cinnamon/clove mixture; stir to combine.

Adding sugar and spices to apple puree in pan

Bring the puree to a boil (medium-high), and stir frequently while it cooks. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat again to low and boil gently until the puree has thickened and can hold it’s shape on a spoon.

Red saucepan of apple butter cooking

Here’s an easy way to test and see if it is done. Take a small spoonful and put it onto a CHILLED plate. If the liquid does NOT separate (making a watery rim around the edge), and the puree maintains a spreadable shape, then the apple butter is ready.

Ladle with hot apple butter dripping

If you are NOT canning the apple butter, ladle the hot butter into clean mason jars, wipe lids clean, secure lids on jars, and refrigerate (and/or give away). Apple Butter that is not canned must be kept refrigerated, and has a limited storage time.

Canning Apple Butter

If you ARE canning for long term storage, prepare jars, canner, and jar lids while making the apple butter, according to canner manufacturer and USDA canning guidelines.

Ladle the hot apple butter into hot canning jars. Leave 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles by inserting plastic knife or plastic canning tool into butter several times. Adjust the head space, if necessary, to maintain 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rims of the jars clean, then put flat lid on, followed by screw lid. Tighten it just to fingertip tight.

Sealed jars of apple butter going into canner

Process apple butter on rack in prepared canner, and process according to directions (see recipe below).

Jars of apple butter sitting in water in canner

When done, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then carefully remove jars from canner; let jars cool on kitchen towel on counter (not directly on counter-don’t want them to crack due to temperature extremes). Once you have made sure jars have sealed (with the famous “pinging sound”), let them cool for 24 hours, then store.

Time To Enjoy Some Apple Butter!

  Enjoy some of this tasty apple butter, spread on a good piece of toast! It also tastes wonderful as a topping for plain yogurt, or even added to vanilla ice cream!

Toast with apple butter spread on it

I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe. If you have a lot of pears you want to use up, be sure to check out my blog post for canning Pear Butter (no pectin). It’s delicious, too! .Have a great day. Be kind… encourage those who are experiencing pain or sorrow, and be a force for GOOD in this hurting world!

Looking For More CANNING Recipes?

You can find all of my canning recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. They include:

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Author's signatureRecipe Source: Ball Complete Book Of Home Preserving, page 53, Published by Robert Rose, Inc., 2006.

5 from 1 vote
Apple Butter - and how to can it!
Prep Time
1 hr 5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins

Smooth creamy apple butter is a delicious topping for toast, pound cake, or can be a sauce for roast pork. Learn how to can it with step by step instructions.

Category: Jam
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple butter
Servings: 128 Tablespoons (4 pint jars)
Calories Per Serving: 47 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
  • 6 lbs. apples (peeled, cored, and quartered)
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 cups sugar (if using sweet apples, decrease to 5 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  1. Combine the apples and water in a large saucepan. Bring this to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it reaches boiling, reduce the heat to low and boil mixture gently, for about 30 minutes, until the apples soften. Stir mixture occasionally.
  2. Puree the apple mixture using an immersion blender OR transfer the apple mixture to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, but do not liquefy.
  3. Measure out 12 cups of apple puree into a clean large saucepan. Add sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Stir this mixture up until all the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil (again over medium-high heat). Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to cook. Stir this very frequently to prevent scorching. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens and can hold its shape on a spoon. To test to see if it is ready, spoon a spoonful of the apple mixture onto a CHILLED plate. If the liquid does not separate and form a rim around the edge of the apple butter, and the mixture can hold a spreadable shape, the apple butter is ready to place into canning jars.
  4. While the apple butter is cooking, prepare your canner, jars, and lids, according to manufacturer and USDA canning guidelines.
  5. Once apple butter is done, ladle the hot apple butter into your hot canning jars. Leave 1/4 inch headspace. Make sure to remove air bubbles, then re-adjust the headspace, if needed. Wipe rim well, to ensure it is clean. Place the flat lid on jar, then screw on the band until it is fingertip tight.
  6. Place jars onto rack in prepared canner. Make sure they are completely covered with water (water should be at least an inch over the top of jars). Place lid on canner. Bring water to a full rolling boil, then process jars for 10 minutes. Take off the canner lid; let jars sit in water for 5 more minutes, then remove jars to a dish towel on kitchen counter (do not place hot jars directly on kitchen counter as they could crack due to temperature variations). Let jars sit on counter undisturbed for 24 hours. After testing each jar to make sure they have sealed properly, the jars are safe to store in pantry.
Nutrition Facts
Apple Butter - and how to can it!
Amount Per Serving (1 Tablespoon)
Calories 47 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 23mg1%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 11IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 2mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Smooth creamy apple butter is a delicious topping for toast, pound cake, or can be a sauce for roast pork. Learn how to can it with step by step instructions.





Apple Butter - and how to can it!

21 Comments on Apple Butter – and how to can it!

    • Yes… there are many recipes using those appliances available on the internet. I have not made the apple butter using them, however. Have a great day!

    • I made apple butter in a crock pot that turned out great! Clean, peal, and dice the apples, put in crockpot on high for 4 hours. Mash apples then blend in a blender. Return to the crockpot and cook Uncovered for 2 more hours, or until desired consistency. (I used Gala apples so they was sweet enough as is. You can add honey (which I do when I make cranberry apple butter), I add it after blending, before cooking for the last 2 hours.

  1. I made this yesterday and it turned out GREAT! I live on an old orchard, so I have Fuji apples galore, which I used. I have a Pampered Chef peeler/corer, so instead of cutting the apples in quarters, I cooked them in slices (approx 1/4 inch slices). I didn’t have to cook it for the full half hour to wait until they were soft. Once I blended them down with the immersion blender and added the sugar and spices, it did not take long to cook down the apple butter to a spreadable consistency (30 minutes, maybe?). I like the idea of adding brown sugar along with white sugar, as someone else mentioned. I’m going to try that today! Thank you for this recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I have a jar of apple butter I made 10/2019 it is 2 1/2 yrs is it still good? It looks good and has a seal

    • I have no way of knowing that, Pamela. I have had jars last that long and are still good, but you will have to see for yourself, I suppose. Have a great day.

  3. Thank you for this amazing recipe! I did tweak one thing and hope it doesn’t come back to bite me!! I substituted 3 cups brown sugar for 3 of the regular sugar because I wanted a different taste than just “sweet”. The end product was just what I had hoped and it was just the perfect consistency.

  4. It took ALL DAY for it to cook down to apple butter. I ended up putting it in the oven. Your recipe has too much water. I wish I had looked at other recipes before trying yours.

    • Hi, Rita… sorry you had a bad experience. I have never experienced that in all the times I have made this apple butter. Thanks for writing.

      • I would say the type of apples you use. I have made this recipe several times, once the apples had lots of water content and had to cook longer. The second time i did not cook for 2 days because it was not as water packed and it only took us 10-12 hours to cook before we canned it.

        • I’ve not tried this recipe, but was looking for the canning times. I just made apple butter, but threw the apples in the blender before I cooked it any, which gave plenty of liquid so I didn’t need to add any. Just a thought.

    • Hi, Maggie! I have never heard of Arkansas black apples before, so I am not sure what type of apple they are. For this recipe a softer, sweet apple is preferred. I recommend Gala, McIntosh, Fuji, Braeburn, Gravenstein, and Golden Delicious, among others. I don’t recommend a tart firm apple (such as Granny Smith). Hope that helps. Take care, and have a great day.

      • I’m from Arkansas. Yes, you can use black apples for Apple butter. I put up12 jars of it last year and everyone has eaten them all and I only got it twice! Lol

        • Good morning, Brandy! Wow… you must be VERY popular with your apple butter! Ha Ha. I’ll bet your friends and family love you a lot, but so sorry you only got to enjoy it twice. Thanks for writing, and have a great day!

  5. Very tasty recipe. This was my first time making apple butter. I didn’t have an apple corer so I had to use about 12 lb of apples to get 12 cups of apple purée. Also I wasn’t sure how long do cook the spices, sugar and apple purée so I ended up first making a very tasty apple sauce. I realized my mistake after canning over 24 jars and then re cooked it so that it caramelized. End result was great.

    • Good morning, Kelly. Thank you for writing. Sounds like you had quite the canning adventure! Glad to hear your end result turned out great. Enjoy your apple butter… you worked hard for it! Have a great day!

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