Crock Pot Apple Butter that is Lower in Sugar

Homemade crock pot apple butter is easy to make and allows control over the amount of added sugar. It’s a great gift idea too.

Crock Pot Apple Butter
My affection for apple butter kinda snuck up on me.

I thought I was perfectly happy with strawberry jam and an occasional applesauce replacement for oil. I’d taste it every now and then. But, I didn’t really feel the need to keep it on my grocery list.

Then, I mixed it into a caramel sauce and made Cranberry Apple Caramel Popcorn…and it was divine.

When I needed a “glue” to hold together my Stuffing Muffins, it was fully up to the task and gave them a spectacular burst of flavor.

The jar of apple butter quickly disappeared as my daughter slathered it on top of her pancakes. And, well…it does make a really tasty dip. 🙂

It was only a matter of time before I began to ponder making a homemade batch of crock pot apple butter that had less sugar. It turns out it’s easier than you might imagine.

Crock Pot Apple Butter Step by Step

1. Core, peel and slice 6 pounds of apples. It sounds like quite an ordeal. But, it’s really not that bad, particularly if you invest in an apple corer (mine was under $7.) And, 6 pounds makes  A LOT of apple butter. Make a half batch if you’re not planning to share it as a gift or don’t want to stow some away some jars in your freezer.

A note on apples: Because I planned to cut back on the sugar, I used sweet honey crisp apples. A mixture of apple types is always a good idea. Other apples on the sweeter side include gala, pink lady and golden delicious.

2. Mix together brown sugar and spices (except for the vanilla) and toss with the apple slices. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours. Cook it over night and your house will smell amazing in the morning.

A note on sugar: I adapted this recipe from one over at My Baking Addiction. And, yes…the apple butter over there is divine. But, I found that I absolutely didn’t need all that sugar. I cut the amount in half. The sweetness of the apples made up the difference.

Slice Apple for Crock Pot Apple Butter

3.  After the apples have slow-cooked for 10 hours, stir in the vanilla and break up the apple slices with a spoon. Re-cover and cook for 2 hours more.

4. Allow the mixture to cool and then puree it with an immersion blender (or in batches in a food processor.)

Crock Pot Apple Butter Recipe
5. Spoon the crock pot apple butter into air tight containers. Decorate with ribbons and tags if you are giving some away as gifts. Otherwise, use within 2 weeks or store in the freezer for up to two months.

Crock Pot Apple Butter Recipe

It’s makes about 8 cups. So, you’ll have plenty!

4.34 from 3 votes
Crock Pot Apple Butter
Low-Sugar Crock Pot Apple Butter
Crock pot apple butter is easy to make and allows control over the amount of added sugar.
  • 6 pounds apples A mixture of sweet apples, such as honey crisp, pink lady, gala or golden delicious works best
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Core, peel and slice apples and place in a crock pot.
  2. Mix together sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. Toss apple slices with with sugar mixture.
  4. Cook on low for 10 hours.
  5. Stir in vanilla extract and crush large apple pieces with a spoon.
  6. Cook on low for 2 more hours.
  7. Allow apples to cool slightly and then puree with an immersion blender (or transfer in batches to a food processor.)
  8. Transfer to air tight containers and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks or store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from My Baking Addiction.



  1. I love how creative you are with your crockpot! Great idea.

  2. Does this recipe use any water or cider while cooking the apples?

  3. How long do you boil the water after you fill the jars and are in the sealing process? The batch so far smells incredible!

    • Hi! Since I froze the jars, I did not go through the canning process. Check with a site like the Kitchn or AllRecipes for information on canning. I hope you enjoy it!

  4. Ok…so I made apple butter from another recipe before I found yours, and it is so sweet I am tempted to toss it down the drain! Before I do, is there anything I can do to salvage it? sO many apples wasted!!,

  5. Can you used honey instead of brown sugar would it makes a difference in the sweetness. Also how much honey would you use instead of 1 cup of brown sugar. My husband is diabetic so would I want to use tart apples also instead of all sweet apples. He hasn’t been a diabetic long so just learning about how to cook for him. He loves apple butter so this would be a nice treat. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. I am curious how this recipe can be labeled low in sugar when it has a cup of brown sugar in it? I am not diabetic but very disappointed in the labeling of this recipe. I don’t like when people post things that are deceiving. Unfortunately I will not be making this recipe…..I found something else that only has water and a few spices in it.


    • Thanks for your feedback and sharing the tip on spices…they do wonders in a recipe. I’m sorry you felt deceived. I try to always be as honest as possible in all of my posts and in titling. In this one, I discussed adjusting the level of sugar and alternatives that I use to traditional sugar. And, this recipe does use much less sugar than many traditional recipes.

    • It is low sugar. Other recipes call for like one and a half cup white sugar and 2 cups brown sugar

  7. Debboe Hodges says:

    Can stevia be substituted for the sugar?

  8. How many cups of apples would you recommend?

    • Hi! It really does vary depending upon how finely they are diced and the size of the apple. But, as a rough estimate, I’d say 1 medium apple is about 1 and 1/3 cup diced. 🙂

  9. What happens if you mix in vanilla extract in with the spices at first on accident ?

  10. Hi! I’m in the process of making this incredible smelling recipe. I’m at the part where I have just added the vanilla and it is cooking for the additional time. It seems kinda runny yet. Is it because it is so warm? Is there any thing I need to do to thicken it? Also, I don’t have an immersion blender but do have a standard one. Will this work?

  11. 6 pounds of apples before or after peeling and coring?

  12. Thanks so much for the recipe! I’m making it right now as I write this. Easy recipe, and I like that it’s less sugar then most other recipes. Never made apple butter before so I’m looking forward to it!

  13. I tried this recipe and used Macintosh apples. I used half a cup of brown sugar and it came out to be the perfect amount of sweet! Also the canning process all depends on the elevation. I live in Virginia Beach and I am only a few feet above sea level but not enough to even count. For a 12 oz jar I boiled it for 7 mins. For a 24 oz jar I boiled it for 14 mins. Make sure you don’t fill to the top because when it boils, it expands. Also make sure you sterilize the jars lids and rings. I used dawn soap. Make sure the brim is clean of any residue to ensure a good seal. Once its finished you should be able to press down on the lid without it clicking. If it clicks you have a false seal and need to repeat the water bath process. One more thing- out a rag at the bottom of the pot before putting in the jars and water so that the jars aren’t touching the pot directly. I hope that helped. I used YouTube for further research regarding elevation compensation 🙂

  14. Just made this with the stevia sugar blend you recommend and it was OUTSTANDING! Thank you!

  15. Shanna wyatt says:

    I made the recipe and loved it and so did my 10 year old! Making a 2nd batch now.

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