Apple butter, while delicious, is typically labor-intensive, but this slow cooker version allows you to enjoy the spread with minimal hands-on time. Just peel, core and chop the apples, and the slow cooker will do the heavy lifting. Extra jars of this deeply flavorful spread make a thoughtful gift.

Storage: To put up apple butter long-term, ladle it into sterilized glass jars and follow the jar manufacturer’s directions. Otherwise, ladle the butter into clean jars, cover and refrigerate for up to 8 weeks.


6 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground clove


Step 1

Place the apples in the slow cooker and cook, uncovered, on high for 1 hour.

Step 2

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. The apples will have lost at least a third of their volume and should break and crumble when you poke them with a fork. Taste and add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, salt and clove and stir well to combine.

Step 3

Turn the heat back up to high, cover and cook for 1 hour more. Taste and adjust the spices, then puree the apples with an immersion or regular blender, or in a food processor to make a velvety smooth apple butter.

Step 4

Adapted from “Victuals” by Ronni Lundy (Clarkson Potter, 2016).

Tested by Olga Massovemail questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here. 

Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.

The nutritional analysis is based on a 2-tablespoon serving.

More from Voraciously:


Calories: 40; Total Fat: 0 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 5 mg; Carbohydrates: 10 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Sugars: 9 g; Protein: 0 g.