Vegetarian Apple Butter Recipe from USA - Ingredients: Applesauce, Sugar, Apple Cider

Apple Butter

Vegetarian Apple Butter Recipe from USA - Ingredients: Applesauce, Sugar, Apple Cider
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 2 hours | Servings: 12 | Vegetarian diet


Apple Butter
Apple Butter

Apple butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce, produced by slow-cooking apples with sugar and spices until the fruits become caramelized and velvety. This delicious spread is perfect for slathering on toast, swirling into oatmeal, or even using as a base for various desserts. Our recipe simplifies the process, using unsweetened applesauce as a base, enhancing it with fresh apples, sugar, and apple cider to create a rich, flavorful apple butter.


The concept of apple butter originated in Europe, possibly in Germany or the Netherlands, where it is known as "Apfelkraut." It was brought to the United States by European settlers, where it became a popular way to preserve apples in the American colonies. The traditional method involves cooking apples over low heat for an extended period, often a day or more, until they caramelize and thicken.


How to prepare

  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to allow it to set.


  • Consider adding different spices to customize the flavor of your apple butter. Vanilla extract, clove, or ginger can add interesting notes. For a sugar-free version, substitute the white sugar with an equal amount of a sugar substitute like stevia or erythritol.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best flavor, use a mix of different types of apples. Combining tart and sweet varieties will give your apple butter a more complex taste. Also, consider adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice to the mix for an extra flavor boost. Cooking the apple butter over low heat for a long time is key to achieving the perfect consistency and depth of flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Apple butter is incredibly versatile. Spread it on toast, pancakes, or waffles for breakfast. It can also be used as a sweet glaze for pork or chicken, or mixed into yogurt or oatmeal for a flavor boost.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in making apple butter is slow cooking. This can be achieved on a stovetop over low heat, in a slow cooker, or in an oven set to a low temperature. The goal is to evaporate as much water as possible, concentrating the flavors and sugars.

Ingredient Substitutions

If unsweetened applesauce is not available, you can make your own by peeling, coring, and pureeing fresh apples. Additionally, brown sugar can be used instead of white sugar for a deeper, molasses-like flavor.

Make Ahead Tips

Apple butter can be made in large batches and preserved for future use. It can be canned using a water bath method or simply stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or frozen for up to a year.

Presentation Ideas

Serve your apple butter in a beautiful jar with a rustic label for a homemade touch. It makes a lovely gift or a beautiful addition to a breakfast spread.

Pairing Recommendations

Apple butter pairs wonderfully with sharp cheeses like cheddar or gouda. It's also great with pork dishes or simply as a spread on artisan breads.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store apple butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It can also be frozen for longer storage. There's no need to reheat apple butter, as it's typically served at room temperature or cold.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of this apple butter contains approximately 120 calories, making it a relatively low-calorie option for adding sweetness and flavor to meals and snacks.


This apple butter recipe is high in carbohydrates, primarily from the natural sugars in the apples and the added white sugar. A single serving contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates.


Apple butter is virtually fat-free, making it a healthier alternative to butter or cream cheese for spreading on bread or muffins.


This recipe contains minimal protein, as it is primarily made from apples and sugar. Each serving has less than 1 gram of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Apples are a good source of vitamin C and potassium, and these nutrients are preserved in apple butter. It also contains small amounts of various other vitamins and minerals, contributing to a well-rounded diet.


This recipe is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, gluten, and eggs, making it suitable for people with various dietary restrictions.


Overall, apple butter is a delicious, low-fat way to enjoy the taste of apples, with the added benefits of vitamins and minerals. However, due to its high sugar content, it should be consumed in moderation.


This apple butter recipe offers a delightful way to enjoy the essence of apples in a spreadable form. With its rich history, nutritional benefits, and versatile uses, it's a wonderful addition to any kitchen. Whether you're spreading it on toast or using it to enhance a dish, apple butter is sure to bring a touch of sweetness and warmth to your meals.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of anticipation I felt when I first discovered this recipe. It was many years ago, back when I was just a young girl living in the countryside. My grandmother, who was a master in the kitchen, had invited me to help her make apple butter for the first time.

I watched in awe as she peeled and sliced the apples with precision and care, her hands moving with practiced ease. She explained to me that apple butter was a traditional recipe that had been passed down through generations in our family. She had learned how to make it from her own grandmother, who had learned it from hers, and so on.

As the apples simmered on the stove, filling the kitchen with a sweet, spicy aroma, my grandmother began to share the story of how she had first learned to make apple butter. It was a story that I had heard many times before, but it never failed to captivate me.

She told me that when she was a young bride, she had moved to a new town where she knew no one. Feeling lonely and homesick, she decided to visit the local farmers market in search of some familiar ingredients to cook with. It was there that she met a kind old woman who took her under her wing and taught her how to make apple butter.

The old woman, who lived alone on a small farm on the outskirts of town, had an apple orchard that she tended to with great care. She showed my grandmother how to select the best apples, how to peel and slice them just so, and how to cook them down into a velvety smooth butter that tasted like autumn in a jar.

My grandmother's eyes sparkled as she recounted the hours she spent in the old woman's kitchen, listening to her stories and soaking up her wisdom. She told me that making apple butter had become more than just a recipe to her – it was a connection to her past, a way to honor her heritage and the strong women who had come before her.

As the apple butter bubbled and thickened on the stove, my grandmother passed on the knowledge that had been entrusted to her. She taught me how to test for doneness, how to season the butter just right, and how to can it properly so that it would keep for months to come.

When the last jar had been sealed and the kitchen was filled with the warm glow of accomplishment, my grandmother smiled at me and said, "Now you know the secret of our family's apple butter. Remember it well, my dear, and pass it on to the next generation."

Since that day, apple butter has held a special place in my heart. I have made it every year without fail, using the same recipe and techniques that my grandmother taught me. Each time I peel the apples, slice them just so, and let them simmer on the stove, I feel a connection to the past and to the strong women who came before me.

And when I share a jar of my apple butter with friends and neighbors, I know that I am passing on not just a recipe, but a piece of my family's history. It is a gift that I am proud to give, a reminder of the love and tradition that have shaped me into the cook that I am today.

So now, as I stand in my own kitchen, surrounded by the sweet, spicy aroma of simmering apples, I am filled with gratitude for all that I have learned and all that I have been given. And as I stir the pot and watch the butter thicken, I know that the tradition will continue, passed down through the generations, just as it has been for so many years.


| American Recipes | Apple Butter Recipes | Apple Recipes | Applesauce Recipes | Brown Sugar Recipes | Butter Recipes | Cider Recipes | Fruit Recipes | Fruitarian Recipes | Quick And Easy Recipes | Two-step Recipes | Vegetarian Recipes | World Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients