Slow Cooker Apple Butter (No Added Sugar)

No Sugar Added Slow Cooker Apple Butter (whole30 & paleo) - Lexi's Clean Kitchen

This Slow Cooker Apple Butter has no added sugar and is my favorite Fall spread. It’s Whole 30 compliant, paleo-friendly, and is so delicious! It’s filled with in-season fresh apples and fall spices that will make you’re home smell heavenly.

best apple butter recipe

Slow Cooker Apple Butter (No Added Sugar)

While studying for my undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts Amherst I found a serious love for apple butter thanks to frequent visits to Judie’s Restaurant. Back before I changed my diet I would enjoy the giant popovers they served slathered with the most delicious apple butter.

It has been a while since I’ve been there, but I haven’t forgotten that apple butter and realized it was time to create a recipe of my own that wasn’t loaded with refined sugar. While I won’t be enjoying this apple butter on top of popovers anymore, rest assured there are plenty of ways to enjoy it, with this, on top of these, over these or with the biscuits in my book. But really, it’s amazing just by the spoonful.

what is apple butter made of?


There are loads of other apple butter recipes out there, some with long cooking time and some with short. I really feel like the longer and slower the cook, the more depth of flavor the apple butter has, so a 2-hour version just has never cut it for me. But aside from the prep and the finishing touches, this recipe is relatively hands-off and can even be done overnight.

how do you know when apple butter is done

How Do You Know When Apple Butter is Done?

You want the apple butter to be dark in color and quite thick, thick enough that when you pick it up by the spoonful it mounds on the spoon instead of dripping off.

Tools Needed to Make Apple Butter:

can you freeze apple butter

If you like this fall favorite, check out these other recipes:

Slow Cooker Apple Butter (No Sugar Added)

Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 12 hr



  1. Put everything in 6 quart, or larger, slow cooker. Cook on low for 10 hours. The apples should have thickened up and be very dark in color.
  2. Once the apples are dark, use an immersion stick blender to blend or transfer to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Continue to cook with the lid slightly ajar for another 2 hours to thicken up. If you're in a time crunch, place into a pot on the stove over medium-low heat and let simmer until thick.
  4. Let cool, store in jars in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for 2-3 months (see note).

Recipe Notes

  1. If it isn't as think as you would like after 12 hours, continue to cook for 20 minutes at a time until it has reached your desired consistency.
  2. Make it last a year! Can this apple butter using the Water Bath Canning Method. See this post for more resources:
  • Start with sterilized jars and bands and new lids. Heat water in a large, deep saucepot equipped with a lid. Place a canning rack or a cooling cake rack at the bottom of your saucepan. Submerge your jars along with their lids and bring to a temperature of 180ºF. 
  • Carefully remove the jars and lids from the warm water with tongs and place on a kitchen towel. Pour the hot apple butter into each jar using a funnel, leaving at least 1/4 inch of space at the top. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the jam and that the rim of the jar is clean before securing the lid.
  • Place filled jars back in the water and make sure there is enough water to cover tops of the jars by at least one inch. Boil in water for 10 minutes.
  • Take your saucepan off the heat and allow your jars to sit in the hot water for another 5 minutes.
  • Carefully take your jars out of the hot water and place on a kitchen towel. Leave in place for 24 hours. After 24 hours check that the lids have sealed by making sure they do not flex up or down when pressing the middle of the jar, or come off when gently trying to remove them.
  • Store in a cool, dark place for up to one year! Once opened make sure to store in the refrigerator for up to one week!
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53 comments on “Slow Cooker Apple Butter (No Added Sugar)

  • I usually don’t make jams because many, if not all of the recipes out there use way too much sugar. I love your easy version of sugar-less in the crockpot jam. Do you think this recipe is adaptable for other fruits (ex using fresh figs and sugar-less fig juice)?

  • LOVE THIS POST!! I have looked at jars of apple butters on MULTIPLE instances this fall hoping that I would find on without added sugar and clean ingredients <3 All the recipes I found on google had so much sugar in them 🙂 So happy to have this!! I'm going to make it this weekend! What kind of apples did you use or will any work?


  • Cara C. Fisher says:

    I made this Apple Butter this week and it’s wonderful! I love it warm over my pancakes. It reminds me of Apple Pie!! Not only was it very easy to make, my kitchen smelled so good! Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Thank you for sharing this recipe! I made a batch to try it out. Let it cook overnight and woke up to an amazing smell this morning! Just tried some on toast and my husband and I both love it! Will be making a larger batch tonight so i can can it and have it for the winter. I didn’t peel my apples and the blender smoothed it out nicely. Can’t tell I left the peels on at all. Thanks again! I look forward to trying other recipes of yours.

  • I didn’t have the apple juice or apple cider so I saved 2apples and juiced them myself. Worked perfectly! Oh and I threw one pear in there as well since I ran short on apples.

  • I also juiced apples instead of using cider. I put a crock in a pot of water on the wood stove. You have to keep an eye on the water level In the pot but it worked great. Thanks so much for the recipe. My granddaughter is diabetic and I’m always looking for healthy but yummy things to give her (she is 5 yrs old) and she loves this on pancakes.

  • Hi lexi! I already made this and it is delicious!! I was wondering if you know how many calories does each tsp or tbsp have?

  • Thank you for posting this recipe. I used to make a sugar free apple butter years ago, but couldn’t find my old recipe so was grateful to find yours. And to be clever enough to throw it in the crock pot… why didn’t I think of that?! Cheers!

  • Hello Lexi,

    If I wanted to double the amount of apples, like have 20, or so, would I just double the spices and amount of liquid, or would I keep the liquid the same?

    Thank you,

  • Sue Dankbar says:

    Hi Lexi, When my mom and I cooked apple butter or apple pie, sometimes it seemed watery and we added uncooked tapioca. About a tablespoon to pie(9inches). I have a 2 qt. crock pot that I would add 1/4 cup to apples the last 2 hours. Thought you might like, enjoy.
    Susie Q P.S. I’m not young like you and cute. But have canned et cooked more than 60 years.

  • So glad I found this recipe. I’ve been scouring the internet for fruit butter and fruit jam recipes that don’t have 4 cups of sugar per pound of fruit. I recently found a sale on some beautiful apples (jonathan, gala, macs, braeburns, etc). I couldn’t find a no sugar added cider, but my market had a no sugar added honeycrisp juice, so I’m using that instead, and just upping the spices a bit. We’ll see how it turns out. IT smells divine!

  • I want to make this with my preschool class as part of our Thanksgiving feast with our families. We don’t have 10-12 hrs in class. Can this be cooked in a crock pot for 4-6 instead sucessfully?

  • I think I added too much liquid and it’s not thickening up. I have it on the stove right now. I really want this to work because it tastes so good. Any tips to make it thicker?

  • I have been doing this for years. Love your recipe

    Great recipe. I have been doing this for years only with a large batch and cook it overnight on low. Smells wonderful during the night
    .Best childhood memory is moms warm fresh homemade bread and apple butter when getting home from school.Beats the heck out of todays pop tarts

  • Just a suggestion, but I don’t have a slow cooker and found that the lowest and highest temperatures for them are 200-300 degrees. You can use an oven safe vessel of any description and simply “bake” your selected meal.I personally use a setting between 170-190 degrees with excellent results. This does take a bit more time in some cases but the results are worth the wait…. Love to all…..

  • Daniel Heasley says:

    Canning Apple Butter in Half-pints or Pints

    below 6,000 feet elevation process 10 minutes
    above 6,000 feet process 15 minutes

    Canning Apple Butter in Quarts

    below 6,000 feet elevation process 15 minutes
    above 6,000 feet process 20 minutes

  • Karen Cousineau says:

    Hi Lexi!!

    I’m so glad that I found this recipe!! I’m excited to try it!
    I plan on making a large batch so I can make 14 tiny jars of it to give as gifts. How much did your original recipe make?

    Thank you!!!

  • This recipe is delicious! My daughter is helping me and our second batch of apple butter is in the crockpot right now. I reused 1/2 c of liquid from the first batch and just added 1/4 c of organic apple juice. We used organic Golden Delicious apples (for their sweetness). This past weekend my husband and I planted 2 Cortland apple trees and 1 pollinator apple tree in our yard, so we will definitely be using this recipe again. Thank you for posting this recipe!

  • What size apples? Small, medium, large. I do better with pounds…any guess how many? Thanks! I am SO excited to try this recipe!

  • Love apple butter on a cornmeal mush porridge. I don’t let it set up in order to fry mush. My very fav apple butter was Dutch Girl by Smuckers. Smuckers didn’t own the recipe so their time ran out & won’t let them use that recipe anymore 🙁 I I am 68 y/o & grew up on Dutch Girl apple butter. We always put it on our fried mush & french toast. Surely do miss it.


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