This Instant Pot Apple Butter Recipe produces richly spiced, sweet, smooth apple butter, with no peeling required! Shorten the cooking process by using your pressure cooker or Instant Pot. You'll love the fall flavors of this delicious homemade apple butter.
Each year, we love going apple picking and making a batch of apple butter. In our opinion, there are few things better than peak season apples! This recipe brings the best of the season and wraps it all up into a versatile spiced, sweet, and bright bite.
Looking for more delicious apple recipes? Be sure to try this homemade unsweetened apple sauce, this sugar free apple crisp, these healthy apple cinnamon muffins, these savory pork sausage stuffed apples, and our sugar free apple cider!
❤️Why we love this recipe
- Delicious fall flavor - Fall is our absolute favorite time of year, and the apple flavor combined with warming spices is truly one of our favorites of the season.
- Low added sugar - Many recipes on our site are made without much sugar. This recipe uses a 1:1 brown sugar replacement, along with some real maple syrup to make it naturally sweetened, and lower in sugar.
- No need to peel - The apple peels add to the color and flavor of this yummy apple butter. The apple peels are also full of nutrients, so there's no need to waste time peeling.
- Simple ingredients - You can find everything you need at nearly any grocery store if you don't already have them on hand. This recipe calls for kitchen staples only!
Here are the ingredients used for this recipe. You can add or omit spices as you see fit. You can find full quantities and nutritional information in the recipe card.
- Apples - Use your favorite apples. We love using honey crisp.
- Lemon juice - Freshly squeezed. Balances the flavor and sweetness.
- Kosher salt - To balance the sweetness.
- Warming spices - We use a mixture of a homemade apple pie spice (you can use store-bought) and cinnamon. We also use a little star anise, which is optional.
- Maple syrup - For that lovely fall flavor. Feel free to use a sugar free version if you prefer.
- Brown sugar or replacement - as mentioned, we used a 1:1 brown sugar replacement for this recipe, but you could use regular brown sugar if you prefer.
- Water - A little water will be necessary to in your pressure cooker in order to use it safely while cooking the apples.
- Vanilla extract - Technically optional, but when we stir it in at the end, it gives such a nice flavor.
Step 1 - Cut up apples
Cut apples into 8-10 pieces, discarding the core and seeds. Add to the Instant Pot.
Step 2 - Add lemon juice, sweeteners & spices
Squeeze in all of the lemon juice.
Add water, brown sugar or replacement, and maple syrup.
Add in kosher salt, cinnamon, and apple pie spice.
Step 3 - Pressure cook
Stir to combine, then add in the star anise (if using). Cover with lid, and set the Instant Pot to high pressure. Once sealed, cook on high pressure for 1 hour.
Step 4 - Release pressure
After 1 hour, allow to natural release for 10-15 minutes. Then, use a wooden spoon to release any of the remaining pressure.
Step 5 - Puree
Remove the star anise and discard, then puree the apple mixture.
Step 6 - Reduce
Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function over medium. Stir constantly to reduce the mixture, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot so nothing sticks.
Cook to thicken the mixture until the desired consistency is reached. This should take roughly 40 minutes, then stir in the vanilla extract and remove from the heat.
*Please be careful and move the mixture frequently, as it can pop and cause the hot liquid to burn you.
Step 7 - Enjoy!
Place in a mason jar and allow the apple butter to cool a bit before consuming. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Enjoy!!
✨Tips & tricks
- Sweeten & add spices to taste - Everyone's preferences vary a little, so make sure to add as much or as little of the spices and sweeteners as you wish.
- Add more sweetener if your apples are more sour - If using something like granny smith apples, be sure to add a little more sweetener to compensate for the lack of naturally occurring sweetness that you might miss in a more sour apple.
- Be careful! The apple butter gets hot, and it can be a bit tiresome to continue moving it around while cooking the mixture down, but it will help prevent it from popping and hurting you.
🍎How to make apple pie spice
The following mixture is how we make our apple pie spice at home. You can add or omit seasonings as you see fit.
Homemade apple pie spice:
5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1.5 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1.5 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- On this delicious sourdough french toast!
- With your oatmeal.
- On a yogurt and granola bowl.
- Simply spread on a slice on toast.
- Try it on a stack of these coconut flour pancakes.
- With ice cream.
- Try it alongside savory foods like pork chops, chicken, or turkey!
The ingredients are pretty straightforward, but here's a few simple swaps you can make.
- Lemons - No lemons around? No problem. You can use apple cider vinegar in place of lemon juice, about 6 tablespoons. This will also contribute to the apple flavor.
- Sweeteners of choice - You can use virtually any sweetener you prefer, including honey, regular sugar, coconut sugar, and more. Sweeten to taste!
- Use all maple syrup - If you'd like, feel free to use all maple syrup to sweeten the apple butter if you prefer.
💭Frequently asked questions
So as you may have guessed, apple butter is not made with actual butter. The butter in the name probably comes from the delicious flavorful spread that spreads easily like butter.
It's also used in a similar way to butter on toast. This recipe is naturally 100% vegan, so no dairy involved!
We'd recommend using your favorite type of apple. We like using sweet apples, but you can use a mix of apples. Some of our favorite apple varieties to use are honey crisp apples, pink lady, or gala apples.
We've also used different types of apples to create a more complex flavor, including using granny smith apples alongside honey crisp, etc.
🛒Shop this recipe
Luckily, this recipe is pretty standard and you really don't need much to make it.
- We love this cordless immersion blender for pureeing the apples! A food processor or regular blender can be used as well.
- This is the Instant Pot we use. You can use any electric pressure cooker of your choosing, but you will need to transfer the pureed mixture to the stove to reduce further.
- Splatter guard. This can help you from getting those steaming hot splatters of apple butter on your skin as it reduces if you have to walk away from it for a few moments.
- A kitchen scale is now crucial to us to save dishes & get the most accurate results every time when working on our recipes!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. We usually store in a mason jar.
To freeze, allow the mixture to come to room temperature, then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 year. We don't recommend freezing the apple butter in glass, as glass can expand as it freezes, causing it to burst. Use plastic instead.
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Instant Pot Apple Butter
- 6 medium honeycrisp apples, cored and chopped (about 2 pounds)
- 144 grams brown sugar replacement (¾ cup, could sub 1:1 for regular brown sugar)
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice (juice from 3 lemons)
- 2 ounces pure maple syrup
- 2 ounces water (½ cup)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon apple pie spice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Add apples, sweetener, maple syrup, lemon juice, water, salt, and spices to the instant pot along with any whole dried spices to the Instant Pot. Cover the mixture with the lid, set the pot to "seal" and allow it to come to high pressure. Pressure cook on high for 1 hour, then allow it to naturally release for 15 minutes.
- Use a spoon to get any additional pressure out of the instant pot. Remove any whole spices and discard. Use an immersion blender or blender to puree the mixture, then set the Instant Pot to the sauté setting over medium.
- Move mixture continuously to prevent sticking, burning, or popping. Be careful, the mixture will be hot. Cook until the mixture reduces to reach the desired consistency. This will take roughly 30-40 minutes, then stir in the vanilla extract.
- Allow to cool before enjoying. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The apple butter can be frozen for up to 1 year.
- Sweeten to taste. Any sweetener you prefer can be used here.
- Add spices according to your preference.
- Apple cider vinegar can be substituted for lemon juice.
- Be careful when reducing the apple puree, keep the mixture moving to avoid sticking, burning, and bubbles exploding, and spraying hot apple butter on you.
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.