Homemade Apple Butter Recipe

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Delicious and smooth Apple Butter doesn’t have to be store bought – Homemade Apple Butter is made with fresh apples and spices, slowly cooked down into a yummy butter that can be a dipper for your favorite treats or eaten on it’s own!

apple butter in a small blue bowl on a cutting board

I am so ready for it to be fall. The crisp weather, the big comfy sweaters, the leaves changing colors that make Upstate NY beautiful for the first time all year. Apple picking, decorating for Halloween, soups, and cookies. Autumn is my favorite season of the year and I have been craving it.

spoon holding up apple butter

Since it is not officially fall yet, all I can do is bring fall into my house whenever I want with amazing aromas and flavors – like this Homemade Apple Butter. I made this on the stove rather than Instant Pot Apple Butter or Crock Pot / Slow Cooker Apple Butter but both of those are amazing options to get the fall spices in your house!

For another delicious autumn dessert, try my Pumpkin Mousse.

What do I need to get started?

ingredients needed to make apple butter

For this easy stovetop Apple Butter, you will only need a few ingredients:

  • Granny Smith Apples. I use these over a honey crisp or golden delicious because I find they’re the best flavor for baking.
  • Water.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • Salt. Do not leave this out! Salt will bring out all the sweet flavors.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice. This can also be a homemade mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
  • Ginger. We want additional ginger flavor to give more of a kick.
  • Light brown sugar. Dark brown will work just as well and give a nice rich molasses flavor.
  • Vanilla extract.

How to make Apple Butter on the Stovetop

Start with peeling and coring the apples and then placing in a large pot or dutch oven.

apples peeled and cored on a cutting board

Pour the water and apple cider vinegar over the apples, then add in the salt and spices and toss together.

Cover and cook over medium heat until the apples are very soft. This will take about 25 minutes.

apples in a dutch oven cooked down into a sauce

Stir the cooked apples around until it becomes a sauce. This can be done with a whisk, but you can also use an immersion blender to speed up the process.

Add brown sugar and vanilla to the pot and mix. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened and become a deep amber color. This will take about 15 – 20 minutes. It should become nice and silky smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and allow it to cool before storing or serving.

Is Apple Butter just Apple Sauce?

Apple Butter is not apple sauce. It is thicker and richer in apple flavor, as well as silky smooth, like butter.

in a small blue ramekin

Storage and Freezing

This can be stored in an airtight container or mason jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

apple butter stored in a mason jar

Apple Butter can definitely be frozen. Place in a freezer safe container when it is fully cooled and store for up to 12 months. This is a great way to preserve the apple flavor so you can enjoy it all year round!

Tips and Tricks

apple butter spread on toast
  • This is delicious on toast, English Muffins, or biscuits.
  • Eating it on a spoon is completely acceptable and tasty too! 🙂
  • Add to oatmeal, like my Apple Pie Oatmeal.
  • Try spreading on pancakes or waffles, or adding to a frosting recipe for maximum flavor.
apple butter for pinterest
Apple Butter

Apple Butter

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Apples and spices cooked down into a delicious and smooth sauce to make Homemade Apple Butter!


  • 6 granny smith apples, about 3 lbs
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/14 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Peel and core the granny smith apples and place them in a large pot or dutch oven
  2. Pour in the water and apple cider vinegar.
  3. Sprinkle in the salt, pumpkin spice and ginger and mix.
  4. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the apples are very soft, about 25 minutes.
  5. Using a whisk or immersion blender, stir the cooked apples around until the apples become a sauce.
  6. Add the brown sugar and vanilla extract to the pot, stir, and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened to and becomes dark brown, about 15 minutes.
  7. Let cool before storing or serving.
Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1 small jar
Amount Per Serving Calories 130Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 201mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 3gSugar 26gProtein 1g

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