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Easy Apple Butter Recipe For Canning

This super easy apple butter recipe for canning 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. Canning it is an easy 15 minute hot water bath, so it’s a great beginning home-canner recipe!

apples, cinnamon and cloves on a table

Serve it on top of a pork loin or pork chops, on biscuits, 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 also love giving some away as hostess gifts or stocking-stuffers during the holidays.

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

apple butter served on a slice of apple

How to Make Apple Butter

This recipe really couldn’t be simpler. You essential just make applesauce 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 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, 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).

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

Puree with a blender, 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.

Add the sugar and spices to the pan 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.

How to Can it

To can your apple butter, simply ladle the hot apple butter into your sterilized canning 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 the rim clean, affix your lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.

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

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

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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