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Maple Apple Butter

Maple apple butter is a delicious twist on the old-favorite. Rather than being overly-sweet this version uses just a touch of maple syrup to highlight rather than overpower the spiced apple flavor.

Jars of apple butter on a counter surrounded by fresh apples, red maple leaves and a text overlay.

Canning apple butter is an easy and worthwhile project that also makes a great gift, so don’t be shy in making a big batch or several.

Choosing Apples

Supposedly softer apples work better. That makes sense in that they’ll cook down better for a texture standpoint. However, use whatever apples you can find and just cook until soft.

Preserve the abundance of fall apples for winter eating and gift giving with this lightly and naturally sweetened maple apple butter.

Slow Cooking

Fruit butters need to be thick and that thickness comes from removing the water rather than adding pectin like in jams.

Doing this slow removal of water in the slow cooker saves some hands-on work. You could do it on the stovetop but stir that quite often (almost constantly) to avoid scorching. The house will smell amazing while the butter cooks down.

Preserve the abundance of fall apples for winter eating and gift giving with this lightly and naturally sweetened maple apple butter.

This recipe is for a very large batch (you will need at least a 5-quart slow cooker – larger even better) cutting it in half will work just fine for smaller slow cookers.

Skip the Peeling

As the apples get pureed, I don’t peel them. A person could peel, if they’re so inclined but skipping the step saves time and energy. If you’re going to do the pureeing by hand rather than with a blender, peeling might make more sense but honestly it is unnecessary.

Apples in a basket surrounded by fall leaves.

Canning Safety

Try as I might, I could not find a tested & approved apple butter canning recipe that included maple syrup. I saw different variations posted on other recipe sites and blogs but nothing by my usual trusted sources.

To that end, I decided to can this as if it were applesauce not apple butter. Normally, apple butters are canned as a jam or jelly – meaning about 10 minutes but they usually have a lot of sugar.

As this recipe is light on sugar and applesauce can be canned without sugar at all, I processed it as if it were applesauce (15 minutes, adjusting for elevation).

How to Serve

Spread it on toast. Use it for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

It’s a delicious topping for simple pound cakes and ice cream.

Slice of apple butter pie on a plate with a fork.

Make an apple butter pie.

Make frosted apple butter bars.

Yield: 7 Pints

Maple Apple Butter

3 jars of maple apple butter on wooden boards with fresh apples and red maple leaves.

Preserve the abundance of fall apples for winter eating and gift giving with this lightly and naturally sweetened maple apple butter perfect for canning.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Canning Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 10 Pounds Apples, cored & quartered
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • ½ Cup Water
  • 2 Cups Apple Juice
  • 1 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 4 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Ground Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cloves


  1. In a heavy bottomed stock pot, combine the apples, lemon juice and water. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Cook until apples are soft (about 20 minutes) stirring occasionally.
  2. Puree the apple mixture in a blender (or with a stick blender).
  3. Pour the pureed applesauce into a slow cooker. Add the maple syrup, apple juice, and spices. Stir well.
  4. Turn the slow cooker onto high and leave the lid off. Cook until the mixture is thick, it should mound up onto a spoon. Actual time will vary based on apples, slow cooker, etc. but figure at least 4 hours, potentially 6 hours.
  5. Prepare a water bath canner, jars, and lids.
  6. Pour the hot apple butter into hot jars, leaving 1/2 headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, place lids and rings.
  7. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes (adjusting for elevation).

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 Tablespoons

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g

We try our best but cannot guarantee that nutrition information is 100% accurate.

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Thursday 16th of December 2021

Hiya! What type of maple Syrup do you recommend using with this recipe? Amber or dark or something more exotic? Looks yummy!

Kathie Lapcevic

Saturday 25th of December 2021

I tend to use whatever is on hand but if you have access to the darker types that would be an amazing flavor.

Northern Grandma

Saturday 4th of September 2021

Why add apple juice if the goal is reduce the amount of liquid to achieve "butter"? My homegrown apples seem to have plenty of moisture so I don't add any additional liquids when making applesauce, just cook them down to the desired liquidity. Re: peel or not: I've done apple recipes both ways and the presence of little bits of skin detracts from the mouth-feel of finished product to me, sorta like finding bits of husk in a grain recipe. I always peel now. Suggest eat as many of the skins as you can tolerate for the vitamins; bag & share with someone with livestock or just compost the peels. (My apple tree and the composter are inside an electric fence.) Strongly advise not to leave peelings out for deer as you will also attract mice (and every other local variety of rodent), raccoon, bear, etc who will quickly learn your homestead is a tasty snack resource.

Kathie Lapcevic

Saturday 4th of September 2021

The apple juice adds a layer of sweetness that concentrates as it cooks. It's all a matter of personal preference.

Marnie Petty

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

I like the idea of using Maple syrup instead of sugar. I have an apple butter recipe that I love but it uses a ton of sugar so I am going to try this one to see if we like it just as good. Thanks for sharing. I love the content that you share.


Saturday 13th of October 2018

Since I don't have a slow cooker (v limited counter space), I did this on the stove top. It worked really well - so thank you! I used my Vitamix and the butter is super smooth. This is the first batch I've made without peeling my apples - a revelation, so much time and labor saved. 10 lbs of apples filled 10 x 8oz canning jars.


Monday 19th of August 2019

hey, how long did you cook it for on the stove top?

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 14th of October 2018

So glad you enjoyed the recipe and lack of peeling!

Judy Egan

Wednesday 1st of November 2017

I cook my apples in the crockpot also. I am also blessed to have a food grinder/strainer for my kitchen aid. All I have to do is quarter the apples and throw them in the pot. No peeling or removing cores. After the apples are cooked down and soft, they just go thru the grinder/strainer and out comes applesauce, or apples to be cooked down more for apple butter! Hope this helps.

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