Homemade Apple Butter Recipe

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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).

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry


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. questianna says:

    2 Questions:

    1 – Do any changes need to be made to this recipe for HOMECANNING?

    2 – WHERE do I find agave? Which type of store would carry this and in what aisle?

    1. Questianna – I’m afraid I don’t know the first thing about home canning. Wish I could be more help there.

      Agave is typically sold in the same isle as honey and maple syrup. I buy mine at Costco, but you can get it at just about any health food store these days. Even Trader Joe’s carry’s it.

  2. questianna says:

    And one more question on this…

    Since your recipe calls for either honey or agave, how are the flavors different? What does Agave taste like and from where does it come?

    1. Questianna – Thanks for the canning info! I’m just always worried if I do one thing wrong, I’ll end up making my little boy sick with botulism. I’m a worry wart when it comes to him.

      Honey adds a definite honey flavor. Agave is more mild flavored, allowing the flavors of the fruit (or whatever you’re putting it in) to come through more. Hope that helps!

  3. Thanks so much for this recipe! I’m with you on the canning thing – it makes me, nervous, too! Could this be frozen, do you think?

    1. Carrie – I don’t see why not! You might want to freeze a small batch for a couple days to see how it holds up. Honestly, it’s never lasted long enough around here to freeze!

  4. questianna says:

    I am almost ready to begin making this recipe and canning it. Could you clarify if it is 2 cups apple juice AND 2 cups grape juice OR is it only 1 cup of each?

    1. Questianna – It was a blended juice that I used that had apple and grape juice in it. If you can’t find a blend, then go for 1 cup of each.

  5. We just made this and the whole house smells amazing!! Ours has been on low for about 16 hours, but is still fairly liquid-y. Us it suppose to be smooth like commercial apple butter? What about the skins?

  6. How does the 30 grams/ 90 grams convert to say tablespoons or cups?

    1. Anna – I just updated the recipe for you. Enjoy!

  7. I’m wondering about the canning. Did it work? Questianna come back! 🙂 I’m going to a you-pick orchard this fall, and would LOVE to make a huge batch of this to can. 🙂

    1. Amanda – If you know how to can, it will definitely work.

  8. This is fantastic! I’ve made apple butter for the last few years, but have just started down the clean eating path and now can continue to make it (was a big part of homemade Christmas gifts for friends and family). Do you know if it will can just as good with the agave as the hot water bath canning with the full-on-sugar?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Anna – If you are canning, I would be more likely to use honey because it is a natural preservative. But that said, you should know I know nothing about canning, so it might be better for you to ask somebody who knows more. Sorry! Wish I could be more help on that one!

  9. Sarah Martin says:

    have this in the crock pot right now, smells delicious! thanks for the cleanup on this one!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Sarah – You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy it!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Kelly – I’ve always treated it like jam. I spread it on toast or english muffins. You can also mix it in with some non-fat greek yogurt or mix it into your cereal or oatmeal in the morning. Yummy stuff!

  11. Jmitchell says:

    Question – is it 2 cups apple juice AND 2 cups grape juice??

    1. Anonymous says:

      Jmitchell – No, it was a combination juice I bought. So it was 2 cups total. If you buy the juices separately, just do 1 cup of each.

  12. Shari Mernett says:

    my slow cooker is one if the big oval ones, is that too big?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Well, I would have to know how many quarts it is. But you should be fine. Just be sure you have enough apples to fill at least 1/2 to 3/4 of the pot.

  13. Shari Mernett says:

    how do you store it? freezer?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Shari – It can be in the fridge for up to about 2 weeks. Other than that, yes, the freezer is perfect. It freezes quite well. Enjoy!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Runnyingdeer – It sounds like the apples may have had more water in them than mine. You may just need to cook longer. Put them in a pot on the stove and gently boil them down until they thicken. You can add cornstarch if you want, but it’s really not necessary. They just need to be boiled down more. Let me know how it turns out!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Kassandrah – I keep it in the fridge or freeze it. Sometimes I freeze it in ice cube trays so I can take it out in small portions.

  16. graciouspantry says:

    It was and apple/grape combination juice that I bought. So it’s 2 cups total. Not each.

  17. graciouspantry says:

    I used unsulphured molasses.

  18. graciouspantry says:

    I didn’t. But you can if you prefer.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. 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.

  21. hey 🙂
    iwas just wondering what molasses were?
    thank youxx

  22. what do you put this on

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

  23. 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. 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.