This one-pot Homemade Apple Butter is made with 9 simple ingredients! Use it as a simple spread on toast or pancakes, add it to homemade desserts like these apple butter cookies, or eat it right out of the jar!
As soon as Fall rolls around, you can find me making all the apple desserts. From apple pie bars to apple pie cookies- there is no such thing as too many apple recipes!
However, apple season can't be complete without making a batch of this one-pot stovetop apple butter. This creamy apple butter is so smooth and easy to make!
- Brown sugar: Truly gives the best flavor- light brown sugar or dark brown sugar both work well. I haven't tried it, but you can likely replace it with coconut sugar or maple sugar for a refined sugar-free option.
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cloves: I prefer to go heavier on the cinnamon and lighter on the other stronger spices. However, you can play around with the ratios here and adjust them to your liking!
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This gives the apples a nice tangy flavor. If you can't find apple cider vinegar, you can substitute it for white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar for similar results.
- You can also substitute for lemon juice if need be, but I would reduce the quantity to 1 Tablespoon as lemon juice tends to be a bit more acidic.
How to make vegan apple butter
First, dice the apples into large chunks. It's important to core the apples and chop them into large pieces so they cook faster. However, don't peel them! The peel is what provides all the pectin to this recipe which is what gives apple butter that nice thick jammy texture.
Then, add them to a pot or dutch oven with the apple juice and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook for 30 minutes until the apples soften.
Once the apples have softened, they will go from being a white color to a deep yellow color as they soak up the apple juice & vinegar.
Next, mix in the brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and a dash of salt. Blend with the apples until smooth using an immersion blender to blend everything in a standing mixer.
The apple butter will be pretty thin at this point- but a little more cooking time will thicken it right up!
Turn the heat back up to medium and cook the apple butter for another 30-45 minutes until thickened. You'll want to stir it every 5-10 minutes so it doesn't burn or form a layer of film on top.
Once the vegan apple butter is a thick and deep brown color- it's done! Just let it cool to serve.
What do you do with apple butter?
This apple butter makes an amazing topping for yogurt, toast, or on top of pancakes. Here are a few of my favorite apple butter uses:
- Vegan Apple Butter Cookies
- Vegan Apple Fritter Bread
- Mixed into Apple Pie Overnight Oats
- In place of apricot jam as the base for my Vegan Pear Tart
- As a topping for Vegan Chai Pancakes or Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes
- As a topping for ice cream like this Vegan vanilla ice cream
- Of course- on toast, as pictured below!
What apples are best for apple butter?
Overall, softer and sweeter varieties of apples will work better as they are easier to blend. I like to use a mix of sweet Autumn Glory Apples and Honeycrisp apples for a deeper flavor.
Other apple varieties that work well when making apple butter include Fuji, Braeburn, McIntosh, or Corland.
How do you store apple butter?
Apple Butter is best stored in a closed container in the fridge for about 2 weeks. You can also freeze it in a closed container for 2-3 months. If freezing, you will need to thaw it in the fridge overnight before using it.
While I have not done it myself, you can also can apple butter. Here's a good guide on water bath canning should you decide to take that route!
I can't wait for you to try this homemade Apple Butter! It truly couldn't be easier with only 9 ingredients and about an hour of cooking time. Enjoy!
More apple recipes you will love:
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Vegan Apple Butter
- 3 large red apples
- 1 ¾ cups apple juice
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Core and chop the apples into large chunks. Then, add the apples, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar to a large pot or dutch oven. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes or until the apples have softened.
- Add in the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and a dash of salt. Mix with the cooked apples until combined.
- Then, use an immersion blender to mix directly in the pot or pour into a standing blender and blend together until smooth. The apple butter will be pretty thin at this point.
- Pour the blended apple butter back into the pot and cook uncovered over medium heat for another 30-45 minutes until thick. Make sure to stir every 5-10 minutes so the apple butter does not burn.
- The apple butter will be ready when it is thick and can no longer be easily drizzled from a spoon. Then, serve warm and enjoy!
- Please see the blog post for substitution notes and suggestions on apple varieties.
- If you like sweeter apple butter, feel free to add in more brown sugar or even a few tablespoons of cane sugar.
- Apple Butter is best stored in a closed container in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
- You can also freeze it in a closed container for 2-3 months. If freezing, you will need to thaw it in the fridge overnight before using it.
- While I have not done it myself, you can also can apple butter. Here's a good guide on water bath canning should you decide to take that route!
This looks so good! Do you think substituting the apple juice with mango juice would work? I don’t have any apple juice on hand!
I've honestly never tried it with anything but apple juice or apple cider but if you try it with mango juice let me know!
I opted to get some apple juice from the store, it turned out fantastic!I found it so easy to make and appreciate the minimal chopping and money saved from using only 3 apples. Thank you for your recipe💛
Yay so happy it all worked out, you're welcome! 🙂
Tasty! Brought back childhood memories
So happy you liked it 🙂