Instant Pot Apple Butter is easy, delicious, and tastes just like caramelized apples! It’s creamy, rich, and makes a perfect spread for toast, pancakes, and so much more. It can be made in your instant pot, slow cooker, or on the stove top.

Autumn is almost here! If you’re looking for some fall recipes to help usher in the season of pumpkins, flannels, and falling leaves, I’ve got recipes like Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake, Chocolate Pecan Pie, and now this Instant Pot Apple Butter to help you set the mood!

apple butter in a jar

What is apple butter?

Despite the name there is not an ounce of butter in apple butter. Apple butter is essentially concentrated apple sauce, flavored with spices, salt, and vanilla extract for a rich taste. 

a glass jar with a spoon

What is the difference between apple butter and applesauce?

Apple butter is concentrated applesauce which has been cooked down even further until it is thicker and the apple flavor is more intense. Applesauce is a fairly quicker process to make, but is not as rich and silky as apple butter is.

Applesauce makes a delicious side dish or snack, while apple butter is more of a spread, similar to jam. I have a yummy Cinnamon Applesauce Recipe that you can try if you’re looking for that, too!

Ingredients for Instant Pot Apple Butter

  • fresh apples
  • granulated sugar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • water
  • cinnamon sticks
  • ground cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • vanilla extract

apples, cinnamon, sugar, and spices on a white board

How to Make Apple Butter in the Instant Pot – Step by Step

Step 1: Add Ingredients to Instant Pot

In a 6-quart instant pot add all of your ingredients and stir to combine.

Step 2: Pressure Cook

Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn and knob to the “sealing” position. Press the manual mode on the instant pot and set the time to high pressure for 10 minutes. (It will take about 15 minutes for the pressure to build up inside of the Instant Pot.)

Step 3: Natural Release

Once the time is up on the Instant Pot, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then turn the knob to “venting” and allow the rest of the pressure to release.

Step 4: Purée 

Remove the cinnamon sticks then use an immersion blender to puree the apples until smooth.

Step 6: Simmer

Press the sauté function on the instant pot followed by the “adjust” button to move the heat to “less.” Place the lid back on top of the instant pot but do not screw it back on. Leave it slightly open to allow steam to escape. Stir every 10 minutes until the apple butter thickens, about 45 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot and allow to cool. The apple butter will thicken even more as it cools.

steps for how to make apple butter

Tip and Notes for Instant Pot Apple Butter

  • To peel or not to peel: you can peel your apples but I choose to leave the peel on. For one, it’s SO much easier, and two there is a lot of fiber and a deeper apple flavor in the peel. If you blend your apples well enough you won’t even notice the peel. Plus the additional pectin in the peel helps hold the apple butter together resulting in a thicker, more delicious spread.
  • For Extra Flavor: you can also add 1 teaspoon apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice for a deeper apple flavor or you can substitute the apple pie spice for ½ teaspoon nutmeg and ½ teaspoon cloves. Keep the cinnamon as is or add more to taste.
  • The vanilla extract is optional but gives the apple butter a rich flavor and aroma. I put vanilla in anything I can, so I wouldn’t skip it here!
  • To puree your cooked apples you can use an immersion blender, food mill, or a typical blender. All work great here!

What apples are best for Apple Butter?

Apples that are typically softer in texture lend well to making apple butter, but you can really use any kind of apple or whatever you have on hand. For best results a combination of apple types works nicely. Choose a few from types like Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Braeburn, or Honeycrisp for a combination of sweet and tart. 

How to Make Apple Butter in the Slow Cooker

In a 6-quart slow cooker add all of your ingredients and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or until the apples soften. After cooking for 2-3 hours, remove lid and stir. Replace the lid, but leave slightly open and continue to cook on the low setting until the apples are super soft, dark in color, and the liquid has reduced and thickened, around 8 hours.

Remove the lid and remove the cinnamon sticks. Use an immersion blender to puree the apples until smooth. The Apple Butter will thicken even more as it cools. 

How to Make Apple Butter on the Stove Top

Combine all of your ingredients in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to toss all of your ingredients together. Cover with a lid and bring the mixture to a simmer. Uncover the pot, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the apples are soft and mushy. 

Remove the apples from the heat and discard the cinnamon sticks. Using an immersion blender, puree the apples for a few minutes until they are super smooth. Return the pan to the stove and cook for an additional 15 minutes over low heat stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and all the liquid has evaporated. The mixture will thicken even more as it cools.

a spoon holding pureed apples

What can you use this Instant Pot Apple Butter for?

There are so many things you can do with apple butter; the possibilities are endless! Some of my favorite ways to enjoy a freshly made batch are:

  • Spread it on toast
  • Use it in place of jam for a PB and J
  • Add it to your pancake and waffle batter, or use it as a topping
  • Stir it into your morning oatmeal
  • Use it instead of applesauce as a sweetener in recipes 
  • Add it to your cheese platter or charcuterie board

a spoon dipped into a jar

How to store apple butter and how long is it good for?

You can store apple butter in glass jars with lids. First sanitize the jars with hot water and let them dry. Add the apple butter to the sanitized jars and close tightly. Store in the fridge for up to one month.    

Can you freeze apple butter?

Yes! Place the apple butter in freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 6 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

instant pot apple butter in a glass jar with a spoon

More Delicious Apple Recipes You Might Enjoy

5 from 5 ratings

Instant Pot Apple Butter

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Instant Pot Apple Butter is easy, delicious, and tastes just like caramelized apples! It's creamy, rich, and makes a perfect spread for toast, pancakes, and so much more. It can be made in your instant pot, slow cooker, or on the stove top.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds large apples, cored and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker

Instructions
 

  • In a 6-quart instant pot add all of your ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the knob to the “sealing” position. Press the manual mode on the instant pot and set the time to high pressure for 10 minutes. (It will take about 15 minutes for the pressure to build up inside of the Instant Pot.)
  • Once the time is up on the Instant Pot, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then turn the knob to "venting" and allow the rest of the pressure to release.
  • Remove the cinnamon sticks, then use an immersion blender to puree the apples until smooth.
  • Press the sauté function on the instant pot followed by the "adjust" button to turn the heat to "less." Place the lid back on top of the instant pot but do not screw it back on. Leave it slightly open to allow steam to escape. Stir every 10 minutes until the apple butter thickens, about 45 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot and allow to cool. 
  • The apple butter will thicken even more as it cools. Store in sterilized glass jars in the refrigeator for up to one month.

Notes

  • This recipe makes about 5 cups of apple butter.
  • You can peel your apples but I choose to leave the peel on. For one, it's SO much easier, and two there is a lot of fiber and a deeper apple flavor in the peel. If you blend your apples well enough you won’t even  notice the peel. Plus the additional pectin in the peel helps hold the apple butter together resulting in a thicker, more delicious spread.
  • You can also add 1 teaspoon apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice for a deeper apple flavor, or you can substitute the apple pie spice for ½ teaspoon nutmeg and ½ teaspoon cloves. Keep the cinnamon as is or add more to taste.
  • The vanilla extract is optional but gives the apple butter a rich flavor and aroma. I put vanilla in anything I can, so I wouldn't skip it here!
  • To puree your cooked apples you can use an immersion blender, food mill, or a typical blender. All work great here!
  • Best Apples for Apple Butter: apples that are typically softer in texture lend well to making apple butter, but you can really use any kind of apple or whatever you have on hand. For best results a combination of apples works nicely. Choose a few from types like Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Braeburn,  or Honeycrisp for a combination of sweet and tart.
  • Slow Cooker Version: In a 6-quart slow cooker add all of your ingredients and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or until the apples soften. After cooking  for 2-3 hours, remove the lid and stir. Replace the lid, but leave slightly open and continue to cook on the low setting until the apples are super soft, dark in color, and the liquid has reduced and thickened, around 8 hours. Remove the lid and remove the cinnamon sticks. Use an immersion blender to puree the apples until smooth. It will thicken even more as it cools.
  • Stove Top Version: Combine all of your ingredients in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to toss all of your ingredients together. Cover with a lid and bring the mixture to a simmer. Uncover the pot, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the apples are soft and mushy. Remove the apples from the heat and discard the cinnamon sticks. Using an immersion blender, puree the apples for a few minutes until they are super smooth. Return the pan to the stove and cook for an additional 15 minutes over low heat stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and all the liquid has evaporated. It will thicken even more as it cools.
  • How to store: You can store apple butter in glass jars with lids. First sanitize the jars with hot water and let them dry. Add the apple butter to the sanitized jars and close tightly. Store in the fridge for up to one month.
  • Freezer Option: Place the apple butter in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 6 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer, Condiment, Snack
Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 90kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 60mg, Potassium: 105mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 51IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know! Mention @TheBelleoftheKitchen on Instagram or tag #BelleoftheKitchen.