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 all-time favorite Fall spread. It’s Whole30 compliant, paleo-friendly, and is so delicious! It’s filled with in-season fresh apples and fall spices that will make your home smell heavenly.

sugar free apple butter

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.

apple butter recipe no sugar in a jar

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.

What’s in apple butter?

Some apple butter recipes have tons of sugar. I never understand why because apples are naturally high in sugar. This version uses all the natural sweetness of apples to give it it’s flavor! Apple butter is essentially apples cooked low and slow for a long time until most of their moisture has evaporated and you are left with just the apple goodness!

  • Apples
  • No Sugar Added Apple Cider
  • Lemon Juice
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Cloves
  • Salt

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:


No Sugar Crock Pot Apple Butter

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 12 hr
  • Total Time: 41 minute


  • 1012 organic apples, cored, pealed, sliced
  • 1 cup organic apple juice or cider (read labels- find one with no added sugar!)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of fine sea salt


  1. Put everything in slow cooker. The cider or juice should not overpower apples. Cook on low for 10-12 hours.
  2. At 10 hours, once apples are dark, immerse hand blender or transfer to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Put lid back on slightly ajar and let cook for the remaining 2 hours. 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 unless canning.


  • -If not as thick as you’d like, transfer to pot and cook over medium heat until thickens (use a lid, it will splatter)
  • -Very thick and spreadable. Perfect top spread on toast, or to top your favorite oatmeal, pancakes, or waffles!
  • Make it last a year! How to can this apple butter using the Water Bath Canning Method:
    • Heat water in a large, deep saucepot equipped with a lid. If you have a canning rack or a cooling cake rack, place the rack at the bottom of your saucepan. Bring the water to a simmer (not a boil) and carefully submerge your jars along with their lids for about 5 minutes or until warm. Make sure water is inside your jars to keep them submerged.
    • Carefully remove the jars and lids from the warm water with tongs and place on a cooling rack set over a kitchen towel. Pour the 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.
    • Cover your saucepan and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Submerge the tightly closed jars in the boiling 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 paper towel. Check jar lids for seals by making sure the lids do not flex up and down when pressing the middle of the jar.
    • 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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September 19, 2018

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64 Responses

          1. This is a recipe that can be canned, correct? As long as you boil and water bath properly?

      1. Can’t wait to try this recipe. So glad I found this site. Thank you for the wonderful recipe, and also for the fact that I can cook in a pot. I will let you know how it turns out. Its so hard to find anything that Diabetic, and Celiac friendly!

  1. 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)?

      1. I make apple butter, then put it in the freezer in ice cube trays. After it is frozen, you can store it in freezer bags. My kids love to wrap a cube in a paper towel, and eat it like a popsicle. You can also thaw small amounts as you need them for toast.

  2. 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?


  3. 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!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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!

  9. 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,

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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?

  13. 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?

  14. 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

  15. 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…..

  16. 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

  17. 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!!!

  18. 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!

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

  20. 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.

  21. So delicious!! I just made a batch today, not only did the house smell amazing, but it tastes incredible and was so easy to make! I am actually going to buy more apples so I can make another batch and gift some to friends and family!

    5.0 rating

  22. This is a great recipe, easy and delicious!!! Have made it a couple times already and jarred some too.

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