Easy Apple Butter

Our Easy Apple Butter recipe calls for just 5 ingredients and makes about 3 cups of apple butter. If stored in an airtight container, it will last up to 2 months in the refrigerator and 6 months in the freezer. You can enjoy it all season long to add flavor to biscuits, toast, sandwiches and more. It's also a great hostess gift for any occasion. For this recipe, you can choose whatever variety of apples you prefer. If you aren't sure if your apple butter is finished cooking, our Test Kitchen suggests using a wooden spoon to draw a line on the bottom of the pot. If the line holds for 5 seconds before the apple butter merges back together, it's done cooking. Once you've learned how to make our Easy Apple Butter, and enjoyed your first taste, you'll wish you had made it sooner.

Easy Apple Butter Recipe
Photo: Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez
3 cups


  • 3 pounds crisp and sweet apples, such as Gala, Honeycrisp, and Braeburn, peeled (about 8 apples)

  • 1 cup apple cider

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Cut apples into 1-inch pieces. Bring apples, cider, and 1/2 cup sugar to a rolling boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar, and boil 20 minutes or until apples are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated; stir every 5 minutes.

  2. Process cooked apples and cooking liquid in a blender until smooth. Return mixture to Dutch oven. Stir in cinnamon, cloves, and remaining 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered and stirring often, 15 minutes or until thickened. Cool about 45 minutes. Spoon into airtight containers, and refrigerate up to 2 months or freeze up to 6 months.

Chef's Notes

Tip: Use a wooden spoon to draw a line through the apple butter on the bottom of the pot; if the line holds for 5 seconds before the apple butter merges back together, it's finished cooking.

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