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Sharing my favorite homemade slow cooker maple apple butter recipe today, since you guys have been asking for it all month long.

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

As a lot of you have noticed, I’ve been using a ton of apple butter this September, see this honey, apple, cheddar, and bacon panini, this brussels sprout mushroom pizza, this honeycrisp apple old fashioned, and this pastry wrapped baked brie with maple roasted apples. To my surprise, many of you are actually unfamiliar with apple butter. If that happens to be you, apple butter is basically just apple sauce, but thicker and spiced with warm autumn spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It’s sweet, smooth, and possibly one of the most delicious spreads to put on toast throughout the fall season.

I’ll usually buy apple butter from the store, but on my fall bucket list this year I had written down “make homemade apple butter”. I was so excited that I actually checked the item off my list within the second week of September! I mean, this is amazing because my fall bucket list is huge, and I’ll often make a bucket list and never check anything off!

Anyway, I guess my point is that I was very excited to finally make some homemade apple butter. I’m also extremely excited, not only in how delicious it turned out, but how easy was to make!

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

If you have been following along on the blog for a year or more, than you know, come fall, I love to break out my slow cooker. Something about slow cooking a recipe all day long, just screams out to me during the fall months.

This apple butter is the perfect recipe to make on a crisp Sunday morning. Then maybe go out for a mid-day hike or bike ride and when you come back in the house will smell all cozy and delicious. then just spend an hour or two curled up on the couch and taking in the smell of apples cooking with cider, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg…nothing short of amazing. Honestly, I would make this apple butter recipe simply for the smell it gives off. It’s like your favorite fall candles, but so much better.

Of course, unlike a candle, you get to eat this at the end of cooking, which is obviously much more ideal than just blowing something out, you know?

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

OKAY, so here’s how this recipe works. Chop up your apples (I love using Honeycrisp) and add them to your slow cooker along with, apple cider, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cover and cook on low and slow all day long (or at least that’s how I prefer to do it). Then remove the sauce, puree in a blender and place back in the slow cooker for another hour or so. This will help thicken the sauce into more of a “butter”.

There’s almost zero work involved in the recipe and the end result is just so delicious. So far, I’ve used this apple butter in four recipes and it has taken them from good to incredible. AND I love that the only added sugar I used in the recipe is maple syrup. Meaning, this totally is totally acceptable to call healthy. Cool. Cool.

I have truly been using this apple butter almost daily. It is delicious in so many recipes (try it with pork chops!) or just spread it over a piece of toasted bread.

Plus, it’s the perfect way to use up all the fall apples you went and picked over the weekend…or that I hope you picked!

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

And you guys! Speaking of the weekend! I have so many fun details to share about the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook retreat. Would you like a full post on the retreat? I don’t have too many photos, but I have so much to say! Maybe I will share the details in my favorite’s post this Sunday!

Just to quickly recap though, the retreat went so amazingly well and was so much fun! Fortunately, the dinner on Saturday night went great. I worked with Crate and Barrel on the tables, and Kroger on the dinner. The tables turned out so cute that I might just need to recreate them and snap some better photos. I always LOVE the tablescapes I’m able to create with Crate and Barrel product. The actual meal thankfully turned out great. Thank you to Kroger for all my delicious produce…oh, and the ice cream social we did together was so delish.

Sunday morning was brunch with my friends at Land O’Lakes. It could not have been more delicious. All of their special butters take recipes to another level…their pumpkin spice butter is just too good.

I will go into more detail on Sunday, so stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, how about we all make some apple butter and then this apple cheddar Panini and this cocktail?!

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 cups
Calories Per Serving: 269 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 4 pounds Honeycrisp apples, cored and diced
  • 1 1/4 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon or 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cloves (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 pinch sea salt or kosher salt

Instructions

Slow Cooker

  • 1. In the bowl of your slow cooker, combine the apples, apple cider, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours, stirring halfway through cooking.
    2. Remove the cinnamon stick and then transfer the apples to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the crockpot and cook, uncovered on high for 1-2 hours or until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust sweetness level to your liking by adding more maple. Cool and store in glass jars in the fridge for up to 1 month. 

Instant Pot

  • 1. In the bowl of your instant pot, combine the apples, apple cider, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Cover and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Release the steam.
    2. Remove the cinnamon stick and then transfer the apples to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the instant pot and cook, uncovered on sauté for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust sweetness level to your liking by adding more maple. Cool and store in glass jars in the fridge for up to 1 month. 

Stove-Top

  • 1. Combine the apples, apple cider, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and 1 cup water in a large, heavy bottomed pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are completely softened and the liquid has reduced by half, 30 to 40 minutes, adding water if needed to keep the apples in liquid. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
    2. Remove the cinnamon stick and then transfer the apples to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot and cook, uncovered over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust sweetness level to your liking by adding more maple. Cool and store in glass jars in the fridge for up to 1 month. 

Notes

Nutritional values are based on one cup
View Recipe Comments

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbhharvest

Yes, lets! No boring Tuesdays around here!

Lastly, if you make this Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I would highly recommend the crock pot method as your kitchen will smell fantastic for that much longer! Everyone loved this!(BTW I omitted the nutmeg and clove because I used Trader Joe’s spiced cider. I did use the cinnamon sticks. I did not purée a small amount, just to add a little texture.)

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for trying out this recipe, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Have a wonderful week! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    I’m allergic to apples. (Yeah. Who does that?) so I made pear butter. I added the peel of one lemon. I was out of cloves so I used allspice. It’s amazing! I’m not sure if I can make myself use it for the brown butter cookies. But we’ll have no problem using this wonderful stuff~

  3. Is there an alternate setting on the instapot you recommend for the simmering to thicken it up? I find the sauté setting too “violent” haha as in it bubbles up so much and ends up burning me 🙁 I’ve put it onto the stove top too for more control but I’d rather not have to move it into another container and it’s so much volume it doesn’t fit well into my stove tops!

    1. Hi there! I am so sorry about that! I would just put it on the lowest setting possible to avoid that! 🙂 xTieghan

      1. 4 stars
        I would give this five stars but I think the advice about returning the sauce to the Crock-Pot and turning it on high for 1 to 2 hours doesn’t work. I tried it and it wasn’t even producing enough steam so I had to pour it into a pot and put it on the stove.

  4. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe today in the crockpot but I didn’t add the maple syrup to cut down on sugar and it was absolutely delicious! It came out the right consistency once I blended it. I can’t wait to use it on my toast and baked goods!

  5. 5 stars
    I believe this is the first review I’ve ever left on a recipe online, and I have to say, I couldn’t NOT leave one for this one! I was amazed and delighted over how this turned out – I used fresh picked honeycrisp apples from a local orchard and they were amazing. I can’t wait to gift this to friends as a little “Fall Surprise”. Thank you for sharing this with us all.
    One question: is there a difference between using cinnamon versus whole sticks? I used 2 whole sticks and thought it was perfect.

    1. Hi Meg! Thanks so much for leaving such a kind review! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe. xTieghan

    2. Hi Rosie! Thanks SO much for sharing your version! I may cause a few people to just faint – but I bought some real maple syrup awhile back and didn’t like the taste at all…then it went bad within a month or so :(. Anywhoooo, honeycrisps are perfectly sweet on their own to me, can’t wait to try it! 🙂

      And Tieghan – thank you for the recipe! I have pretty much no memories of childhood (yeah, a tough one, but I’m over it) :)…but this brought back sitting in my Nana’s kitchen one cold winter day, warming up from the inside with her apple butter on homemade bread…thanks for that!

  6. 5 stars
    Hey Teighan,
    So I made the apple butter! So yummy.
    I cooked it on high in the slow cooker and then simmerd it another 1-2 hours on the stove top uncovered to get that darker color.
    It’s funny reading through all the comments and almost EVERYONE asking if you peeled your apples or not! Ha! Well, I didn’t and the flavor is great….but there are little bits of apple peel still in there….which some people may not like. It doesn’t bother me, but just saying.

  7. 4 stars
    Really liked this! I think next time I’ll add some orange zest or orange juice or a dash of cardamom to brighten it up a bit. Immediately made your apple ginger mule using this! Both are delightful!

    1. Hey Kaley,
      Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Theresa,
      You can certainly peel the apples, I like to leave the peel on mine:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

      1. My apples must have been super juicy! I’ve had in the crockpot for at least 2 hours after pureeing and it’s still very thin. Any suggestions on another way to get it to thicken up?

        1. Hey Diane,
          You can allow them to really simmer on the stove top to help it thicken. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

          1. Yep, that worked! I simmer on the stove top for maybe another hour or so and it thickened up! Its sooo good! I’ve been giving as gifts!

    1. Hey Courtney,
      Gala apples would be great to use! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  8. Hi Teighan!
    I’m so excited to try this recipe, however, where I live (Costa Rica) we dont have apple cider, we just have alcoholic apple cider, apple juice, apple sauce or sparkling apple cider… which one would you use?

    thanks in advance!

    Melanie

    1. Hey Melanie,
      I would use the apple juice. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  9. Hey Teighan,
    Wondering what we could do to make the color of this bit darker? The flavor is good….but I like the rich dark color of others I’ve done.
    Thoughts?
    And I’ve seen some recipes with apple cider vinegar? I have some wonderful local VT apple cider…and also some of their vinegar. Wondering what your take is on one vs the other?
    Thanks!
    Linda

    1. Hey Linda,
      I would not recommend adding vinegar to this recipe. You could simmer it on the stove for longer to try to achieve a darker color. I hope this helps! xTieghan