Homemade Apple Butter Recipe

This homemade apple butter is delicious on your morning toast!

I love it when a recipe is easy to convert to a Clean Eating recipe. It makes life so much simpler, don’t you think?

Homemade Apple Butter in a jar with the lid off. A butter knife sits in the jar and is ready to spread the apple butter over your morning toast!

Now that my two year old is demanding to eat with his “hork” and “poon” at every meal, I feel good about the fact that the food he’s putting in his mouth is nothing but healthy. This recipe, is no exception.

I learned to make apple butter years ago, but thought I was out of luck once I started trying to give up sugar. So I was happy to find that that was not the case.

This recipe is adapted from the Eclectic Recipes web site. This fabulous lady really knows her way around the kitchen. I love reading her blog posts. Her recipes are usually easily converted to the Clean Eating lifestyle. Here’s the original recipe.

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. It’s really very yummy!

If you need more ideas for delicious, healthy toast toppers, these toast spreads might be just what you’re looking for. They make great gifts too! (None are recommended for canning).

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Clean Eating Apple Butter

Homemade Apple Butter

A delicious, homemade spread for your morning toast.
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Course: Condiments, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 50 servings
Calories: 37kcal


  • 12 small apples (of any variety)
  • 2 cups apple grape juice blend (100% juice – no sugar added – Or two cups of one OR the other, depending on what you can find)
  • 2 tbsp. unsulphered molasses
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. salt


  • Cut and core all your apples and place them in the slow cooker.
    Step one for making this Homemade Apple Butter Recipe is to add the cut apples to your slow cooker.
  • Add your juice.
    Step two is adding the juice to the cut apples in the slow cooker.
  • Add your honey.
    Step three for making this Homemade Apple Butter is to add the molasses and honey.
  • Add your spices.
    Mix everything up and turn the heat on high. After a couple of hours, the juice should be boiling. Once it boils, turn the heat to low. 
    Note: The original recipe says you have to cook for about 6-8 hours after turning down the heat. However, with the substitution of honey, you have to cook it a bit longer. I had to let mine cook for about 12 hours. Remember to stir occasionally. The apple butter should be a nice dark brown color when it's finished. Also, I do NOT recommend this recipe for canning. 
    The final step for making this Homemade Apple Butter is to add your spices and stir everything together to mix well.


Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1tbsp. | Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 19IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. graciouspantry says:

    Assuming it’s in the slow cooker, I’d say cook it a bit longer (maybe 2 more hours) and then let it cool. It will thicken as it cools.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Yes, as I said in the recipe, they can be a little hard to work with. You can always just make them into pancakes.

      As for the flavor, IF you are new to clean eating, it can take some time for your taste buds to adjust, yes. But they were delicious with maple syrup too. I personally just liked them better with apple sauce. Sorry you didn’t care for them.

  2. I have made this for years …
    I call it “All Night Apple Butter”, because …. I put it in the crock pot on high an hour before I go to bed. Then after an hour, I turn it to low and go to bed.
    When I wake up in the morning it’s done. I do put it in the blender or have used a submersible to blend it right in the crock pot, then cook it in the crock pot one more hour.
    I can it if I’m gift giving, and freeze if I’m keeping it !

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cindy – Awesome! Do you have to add regular sugar to can it? I don’t know the first thing about canning, but I’ve always heard you need the sugar to keep the pH correct.

  3. hey ๐Ÿ™‚
    iwas just wondering what molasses were?
    thank youxx

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Mikala – Molasses is a sweetener. A syrup, almost like honey. But much darker.

  4. what do you put this on

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stacy – A lot of things. You treat it much like jam or jelly. Good mixed into oatmeal too.

  5. ChristLovinFoodie says:

    Do we have to run it through a food mill or anything because you leave the skins on or do they break down well?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      ChristLovinFoodie – You can do it either way. My mom loves the skins, so she leaves them in. I tend to strain everything though a find-meshed sieve to get more of a jarred apple sauce consistency.

  6. SpringMorning says:

    I didn’t have apple juice so I used cranberry (no sugar added of course) Tastes fabulous!! Its like wassel apple butter!! It still needs to boil down a little but the best part about being the cook is tasting everything. Does this recipe work with other fruit or pumpkin. Is there a solid to liquid ratio that should be maintained?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      SpringMorning – I’ve never analyzed it quite that much. But I do have other butter recipes here on my blog. I have a pumpkin butter and a few others if that helps.

  7. I am in the process of of just about reaching 12hrs of cooking this but but I’m having an issue with the skins, are they suppose to still be whole? Would it mess up the batch if I pureed it after it finished cooking and before I can it?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lexie – You can strain them out if you want. I wouldn’t blend them in though because the texture of your butter will get “rougher”. I would just put everything through a food mill or fine-meshed sieve.

  8. Holy hell I just made this recipe and it is ahhhhmaaaaazing! So good I don’t even want to give it away anymore! I’m starting in holiday gift baskets now since apples are in season and very cheap!

    This recipe is perfect for canning without sugar because apples are already high is sugar and acid. As well, honey is a natural preservative. My friends and family are not going to believe this is a clean recipe!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Mrs. O – I’m so glad you like it! I’m not sure about the canning though. I have no experience with canning, but I highly recommend showing the recipe to a master canner first. Don’t want to make anybody sick!

  9. Mine has been in the crock pot for 13 hours and is still pretty runny. I added about a teaspoon of corn starch. Should I add more or just be patient and let it cool a bit? I’m also canning it so I don’t know if it will still thicken after it has been canned?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sarah – I don’t recommend this for canning. But it will thicken a bit as it cools. If you’re really worried about it, you could do it faster by simmering in a large pot.

  10. Is that 2 cups apple and an additional 2 cups grape juice? Or is it an apple/grape juice blend?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Heidi – It’s a total of 2 cups. The juice is a blend of the two juices. I bought it that way.

  11. Vangie Etsitty says:

    Does this call for 2 cups of juice total or 2 cups of each?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Vangie – Total

  12. Thanks! I’ve already made it and let me tell you, I am NEVER buying store-bought apple butter again!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Vangie – Wonderful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Hello! I was wondering if you’ve ever tried to make this fruit butter with berries? I was looking for clean eating alternatives for jelly and was hoping there would be a raspberry, blackberry, and/or strawberry butter or if they were too…delicate, maybe, for this cooking process?

  14. Thank you so much, it looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rachael – Great! I hope you enjoy it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Hi. Thanks for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it. I was wondering, since the recipe calls for 12 small apples, can 6 large ones be used instead? I ask because it’s what I have on hand. Also, can it be made w the apples peeled first before cooking? If so, do you think it will change the cooking time?

    By the way, I tried your fig butter recipe last year (with a few minor changes like using spiced apple cider vs apple juice~it’s what I had) and it came out great. I was able to freeze it too. The family loved it. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Marina – Certainly, on both counts! It won’t change the cooking time any, at least not in my experience. I’ve done it both ways. Enjoy!

      1. Thanks. I look forward to making it soon. Sounds yummy! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Also, I forgot to ask if the apple butter (from this particular recipe) can be frozen in glass mason jars after it has cooled? Curious, as I noticed that one of you other recipes for apple butter (the one made w apple sauce) advises against such…

        Thanks again,

        1. The Gracious Pantry says:

          Marina – I never advise people to freeze in glass. It’s too easy for it to crack. I think this would do fine if you frozen it in zipper top bags though. But I wouldn’t freeze it for too long. Plus, the apples may darken a bit, but that won’t affect the flavor. I wouldn’t freeze it for more than 4 months, just to be safe.