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Easy Apple Butter For Canning Recipe

This super easy apple butter for canning recipe preserves the sweet deliciousness of apples all year long.

Only four ingredients (and some water) and a little time and you have a delicious, homemade apple butter.

This apple butter recipe is the best way to enjoy apple season!

Canning it is an easy 15 minute hot water bath, so this great recipe is perfect for beginner home canners.

Or check out these other apple recipes:

apples, cinnamon and cloves on a table

Serve it on top of a pork loin or pork chops, on english muffins, or banana bread. Heck – my kids eat it straight with a spoon.

Or if you still can’t get enough apple-y goodness, slather it over another slice of apple!

I love having jars of apple butter put away in my pantry from long term storage.

It’s a tasty treat and can stand in for peanut butter or other fruit butter when we run out.

I also love giving some away as hostess gifts or stocking-stuffers during the holidays.

If you’d like to learn more about how to can the right way, check out my friend Melissa’s Home Canning with Confidence course!

NOTE: This recipe is taken from the Ball Book of Canning so the canning instructions have been tested and proven safe.

apple butter for canning recipe served on a slice of apple

Apple Butter For Canning Recipe

This recipe really couldn’t be simpler. You essential just make apple sauce and continue to cook it until it darkens and thickens up.

To start, peel and core and roughly chop your apples.

This recipe does call for a lot of pounds of apples, especially if you want to make enough apple butter to last you all year, but it’s worth it.

If you don’t grow your own, or don’t want to buy from your local grocery store, take a day trip with the kids to a local orchard and stock up.

See if the farmer will give you a discount on bulk purchases or on blemished apples. (They don’t need to look pretty to taste delicious).

You’ll want to use the softer apples varietals like McIntosh, Honeycrisp, golden delicious and Pink Ladies.

Place your apples and water in a saucepan or large pot (I prefer using a deep pot in case of splatters). Simmer the apples until they’re soft.

Or if you want to be able to cook them and walk away, you can always cook them on low in a crock pot.

Puree with a food processor, immersion blender, or food mill.

I love the immersion blender my Mother-in-law gave me for Christmas one year.

It’s so versatile and much easier to store and clean than a full sized blender.

After the apple butter cooks down, add the brown sugar and spices to the apple puree and simmer, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Cook at a gentle boil until it thickens up and mounds on a spoon when scooped.

apples for making apple butter cut up

How to Can it

To can your traditional apple butter, simply ladle the hot apple butter into your sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.

I like to tap it gently on the counter to help it settle down and get some of the air bubbles out.

You may also need to work the air bubbles out with a chopstick or plastic knife.

Wipe jar rim clean, place lid and ring and place jars in a boiling water canner. Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the hot water bath come to room temperature before removing the cans.

If you pull the hot jars out while they’re still hot the change in temperature from hot water to cold air could cause them to explode.

Or if you don’t want to can it, you can always extend it’s shelf life by storing it in half pints or in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For more canning inspiration, check out these canning posts:

apples, spices and apple butter

Easy Apple Butter Recipe For Canning

Yield: 6 half-pints or 3 pints


  • 4 lbs of apples (about 12-16)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp cloves


  1. Core, peel and quarter your apples
  2. Place apples and water into a large pot and simmer until soft.
  3. Puree apple mixture with a food mill or immersion blender.
  4. Add sugar and spices and cook at a gentle boil over medium heat (stirring frequently) until it is thick enough to mound on a spoon.
  5. Ladle hot apple butter into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe the rim and tighten on the lids.
  6. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and let the jars stand for 5 minutes. Remove jars and let cool 12-24 hours.
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