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+ servings
half pint mason jar of apple butter
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4.57 from 16 votes

Old Fashioned Apple Butter

The perfect, classic blend of sugar, spices and apples, with the addition of a secret ingredient. Stovetop and slow cooker instructions.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple butter for canning, apple butter with apple brandy, slow cooker apple butter, stovetop apple butter
Servings: 6 half-pints
Calories: 30kcal
Author: Katie Shaw


  • Waterbath canning equipment
  • Pint or half-pint jars


  • 4 pounds apples, peeled and quartered about 12 medium apples
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple brandy can substitute apple cider or water
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated. sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Prepare waterbath canner and jars. Heat empty jars by running through the dishwasher or heating in a 200 degree oven. Place rings and lids in water to simmer. Fill the canner with water and place on stovetop. Depending on how fast your cooktop is, you can heat the canner now or later in the process.
    water bath canner on cooktop
  • Cook the apples until soft. Place apples, water, and apple brandy in large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover the saucepan, and simmer the apples until they are soft enough to be easily pierced with a fork.
  • Blend the apples until smooth and add the sugar, spices, lemon juice, and salt. Using an immersion blender, blend the apples until completely smooth. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until combined.
    stick blender in pot of cooked apples
  • Cook until thickened. Bring the apple butter to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. This step will take between 15-30 minutes. The apple butter will become darker as it cooks.
    fully cooked apple butter in saucepan
  • Fill jars and process in canner. Fill hot jars with hot apple butter, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims clean and place the lids on top. Screw the bands on, tighteneing the jars until fingertip tight. Process in canner for 15 minutes, fully submerged.
    filling jars with apple butter
  • Cool and store. Let the jars rest on th counter 24 hours until cool and sealed. The jar lid should not move when pressed. Store in a cool, dark place for 1 year.
    half pint jars of apple butter


You can also make this in the slow cooker very easily!  In Step 2, cook the apples and brandy in the slow cooker, covered on low, for 4-6 hours.  Blend, add the sugar and seasonings, and cook on high, 2-3 hours.  Put the lid on but place a wooden spoon underneath so moisture can escape.  Can as directed.


Calories: 30kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 5mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg