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Get ready to embrace the cozy vibes of fall with this simple small batch Apple Butter recipe. Made in a slow cooker, this luscious spread is not just delicious but also incredibly easy to whip up. Perfect for elevating your morning toast or for gifting, this apple butter is about to become your go-to for all things comforting and sweet.

Explore more single serving and small batch apple recipes, including our moist Apple Cake, flavorful Dutch Apple Pie, crisp Apple Crisp, and golden Apple Fritters.

Why You’ll Love This Apple Butter Recipe

  • Effortless: Seriously, just dump the ingredients in a slow cooker and let it work its magic.
  • Rich Flavor: With cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, each spoonful is like a fall hug.
  • Versatile: Beyond toast, use it as a filling, a topping, or even in baking.
  • Small Batch: Perfect for those who want to savor it without the commitment of a huge jar.

What Is Apple Butter?

Apple butter isn’t actually butter; it’s a highly concentrated form of applesauce, simmered long and slow with spices until it turns rich and buttery in texture. Perfect on toast, mixed into recipes, or straight off the spoon!


If you have any ingredients leftover from this apple butter recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Apples: Any type of apple will do, so feel free to mix and match varieties or use what you already have. The recipe needs approximately 1.5 pounds of apples, which could be 4 small apples, 3 medium ones, or 2 large ones. Precision isn’t crucial here. Got extra apples? Use them in a small batch of Morning Glory Muffins or Fried Apples.
  • Lemon Juice: This adds a pop of tangy flavor, enhancing the natural sweetness of the apples.
  • Sugar & Brown Sugar: These sweeteners can be adjusted to your preference. If you like your apple butter a bit sweeter or less sweet, go ahead and modify the sugar levels. If you don’t have brown sugar, consider using our brown sugar recipe to make a small batch.
  • Vanilla, Nutmeg & Allspice: These spices give your apple butter that rich, autumnal flavor we all crave. Feel free to tweak the amounts to suit your taste buds. This combination of ingredients can also be found in our Gingerbread Granola, and our Apple Granola recipes.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Variations

Looking to switch things up a bit? You can easily modify this basic apple butter recipe to create new and exciting flavors. Here are three variations to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Spiced Apple-Pear Butter: Replace half of the apples with an equal amount of pears and add a dash of cardamom to bring in a unique and aromatic flavor profile.
  • Apple Butter with Maple and Bourbon: Skip the brown sugar and use maple syrup instead for a rustic, autumnal sweetness. Add a splash of bourbon near the end of cooking for a grown-up twist.
  • Tropical Apple Butter: Incorporate some shredded coconut and a small amount of pineapple juice to the mix. It’s a sunny spin on the traditional apple butter recipe.
Sliced apples in a slow cooker.
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How To Make Apple Butter

For specific measurements and the complete recipe, please refer to the recipe box below.

Step 1: Ready Your Apples
Peel, core, and chop the apples before adding them to a 1.5-quart slow cooker.

Step 2: Mix Ingredients and Cook
Combine the apples with all the other ingredients in the slow cooker. Stir to mix well. Place the lid on and cook on a low setting for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent the apples from sticking to the bottom.

Step 3: The Final Cookdown
After cooking, remove the lid and stir. Continue to cook on low for an additional hour without the lid. This allows the mixture to thicken as it cooks down.

Step 4: Time to Purée
Use an immersion blender to purée the apples until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can also use a regular blender to achieve the same texture.

Pro Tip: Exercise caution if you’re using a traditional stand blender with hot ingredients. The trapped heat can cause pressure to build up, potentially causing the lid to pop off. To avoid this, remove the center piece of the blender lid and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Start blending on the lowest setting and gradually ramp up the speed as needed.

using an immersion blender to puree apple butter.

Step 5: Cool and Store
Allow the apple butter to cool down before transferring it to a clean glass container for storage in the refrigerator.

This small batch apple butter recipe will yield about 3/4 of a cup (96 grams, 3.38 oz.)

Apple butter spread on two slices of toast plated next to a small jar of apple butter with a knife and a bowl of apples and lemons.

Expert Tips

  • Blend Different Apple Types: Mixing tart and sweet apples can create a more complex flavor profile. Experiment to find your ideal combination.
  • Customize Sugar Levels: Don’t hesitate to tweak the sugar content according to your personal preference. Less for tart, more for sweet—it’s your call!
  • Let Flavors Marinate: Give it some time. The apple butter often improves in flavor after a day in the fridge as the spices and sugars meld together.

Serving Suggestions

Versatility is the name of the game here. Perfect on toast, excellent as a ham steak glaze, or mixed into oatmeal.

  • Morning Toast: Spread it generously on a warm slice of bread.
  • Yogurt Topping: Elevate your breakfast game.
  • Cake Filling: Imagine this between layers of a white cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to peel the apples when making apple butter?

Yes, for a smoother texture.

How long will apple butter keep?

Apple butter will last in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. In the freezer, it will last about 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

What are the best apples for making apple butter?

Choosing the right apples can enhance your apple butter experience. Softer apple varieties are generally preferred as they break down quicker during cooking. Options like Fuji, Golden Delicious, and Jonagold are great choices. However, Gala apples are also an excellent alternative, especially if that’s what you usually stock in your kitchen.

What sets apple butter apart from apple sauce?

While apple butter and applesauce share similarities in ingredients and cooking methods, the key difference lies in the cooking duration. Apple butter is cooked for an extended period, leading to a deep, golden brown hue. This longer cooking time allows the sugars to caramelize, resulting in a more concentrated and richer apple flavor.

RELATED: How To Cook Small Meals In A Large Slow Cooker

More Small Batch Apple Recipes You’ll Love

If you’re a fan of apple-based treats, you won’t want to miss out on these other delightful small batch apple recipes. Perfect for satisfying those cozy cravings without overwhelming your kitchen.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Since this is a small batch recipe, I recommend using a 1.5-quart slow cooker. For best results, use a slow cooker of similar size.

If you would like information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this apple butter or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!

Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Small Batch Apple Butter

5 from 21 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 9 hours
Total: 9 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 16 tablespoons
This homemade apple butter is made in a slow cooker. It's perfectly spiced and so easy to make. This small batch apple butter recipe comes with step-by-step instructions. It's wonderful to spread on toast, to use in a recipe, or to give a jar as a gift.


  • 1 ½ pounds apples peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Place the apples in the small slow cooker.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir very well.
    apples in a crockpot for apple butter | one dish kitchen
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours, stirring every couple of hours.
  • Uncover, stir apples, and continue cooking uncovered for an additional hour on LOW. This will allow the apple butter to cook down and thicken.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, use a regular blender with the center piece of the lid removed.
    using an immersion blender to puree apple butter | one dish kitchen
  • Transfer to a clean glass jar and refrigerate when cool.


Expert Tips
  • Blend Different Apple Types: Mixing tart and sweet apples can create a more complex flavor profile. Experiment to find your ideal combination.
  • Customize Sugar Levels: Don’t hesitate to tweak the sugar content according to your personal preference. Less for tart, more for sweet—it’s your call!
  • Let Flavors Marinate: Give it some time. The apple butter often improves in flavor after a day in the fridge as the spices and sugars meld together.


Serving: 1tablespoon, Calories: 34kcal, Carbohydrates: 8.94g, Protein: 0.11g, Fat: 0.07g, Saturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 1.08mg, Potassium: 48.49mg, Fiber: 1.02g, Sugar: 7.81g, Vitamin A: 22.96IU, Vitamin C: 1.96mg, Calcium: 4.42mg, Iron: 0.07mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi Joanie. Made this last night. It was good, but this morning after a night in the fridge, it was FABULOUS! My slow cooker runs hot so cooked 3 hours on high, 1 hour low, and 1 hour low without lid. Too lazy to get out blender. Don’t have immersion one. I like apple butter not perfectly smooth, so I used my heavy duty potato masher and was perfect texture.
    Personal Preference:
    I like a full apple taste. Started with only 2 tablespoons white sugar. I used Gala apples which turned out a little sweeter than I like. Next time, tart apples and probably just the brown sugar. I really like mine spicy so doubled nutmeg and added 1/4 teaspoon cloves. Another winner Joanie. ❤️ Especially since I had apples to use up. I also liked it this morning as a stir-in to my oatmeal. Appreciate you and your recipes Joanie. 🤗

  2. My small crockpot only has 1 setting. I assume it is SLOW… would you by any chance know??

    Also, is the 1 1/2# after coring and dicing?

    1. Hi there! I can’t say for sure about your crockpot setting, but most single setting crockpots usually operate at a “low” setting. As for the apples, the 1 1/2 pounds is before coring and dicing.

      Hope this helps! Enjoy making the apple butter!

  3. In your opinion, is cooking it in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours better? Want this to be as good as possible 🙂

    1. You can really use either the high or low setting on your slow cooker. I personally like using the low setting because it gives the apples plenty of time to soften along with the spices.

    1. Thank you, Sher! Yes, you can make pear butter with this recipe. I love adding a pinch of ground ginger and sometimes a pinch of ground cardamom to my pear butter, it’s absolutely delicious!

  4. The banana muffins were excellent! I did as you suggested. I allowed the bananas to get really ripeI! It made all the difference. I’m liking breakfast again thanks to your egg recipes.

  5. This is so delicious! I followed the recipe exactly as written. It was so good with homemade hot Buttermilk Biscuits! Thank you for this wonderful recipe❤