Instant Pot Apple Butter is smooth, naturally sweet and super easy to make! Enjoy this delicious no sugar fall treat in less than an hour using a pressure cooker.
🧈Why make it
Apple butter has this name because of its smooth, buttery texture. It tastes like a very concentrated caramelized apple with a hint of cinnamon. It is sweet and rich, with just the right amount of tartness.
- Apple butter is delicious to top waffles and pancakes - try it with my sourdough pumpkin pancakes!
- It's perfect to use for baked good fillings or during baking;
- This recipe takes less than an hour to make!
- It makes a perfect gift for friends and family during the holidays.
📋Ingredients and substitutions
Apples. My favorite apples to use for this recipe are Golden Delicious and Honey Crisp, but you can make apple butter with any type of apple, and even mix two or more of your favorite types.
Tip: Adjust sweetness mixing sweet and tart varieties. This recipe doesn’t have any added sugar, so if you want it sweeter, use sweeter apples.
Cinnamon. It gives a delicious spiciness to the butter. If you don't like or is allergic to cinnamon, you can leave it out, or substitute with half teaspoon of ground nutmeg, or ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves.
Lemon Juice. It brings out the apple flavor and gives a tangy, delicious taste. You can use lime juice instead.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and substitutions.
🍎Do I need to peel the apples?
Leaving the apples unpeeled can make a less smooth apple butter. If you don’t mind the texture, go for it! Not peeling the apples can also deepen the final color of this recipe.
I prefer to peel my apples. If you're leaving the peel on:
- Prefer to use organic apples; and
- Wash the peel really well (especially if not using organic apples). Make a solution with baking soda and water, and leave the fruits immersed for up to 15 minutes. Use ½ teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of water.
🔪How to make it from scratch
Step 1. Peel, core, and slice the apples.
Step 2. Add all ingredients to the pressure cooker, close the lid and set HIGH PRESSURE for 6 minutes, then 4 minutes of Natural Release. Do a Quick Release, and open the lid.
Step 3. Using an immersion blender, blend the apple mixture until you get a smooth consistency.
Step 4. Set SAUTE function, MORE, and then 20 minutes. The apple butter will splatter a lot when cooking, so be careful. Use a splatter guard if you have one, and wear mittens while stirring it. You need to stir frequently.
Alternative way of caramelizing the apples (step 04):
- You can use the SLOW COOK function. Select SLOW COOK, then set to MORE, and 2 hours. Check how thick is the apple butter after that time, and if needed, slow cook it for another hour.
- When making apple butter, I usually use a mix of Ambrosia and Honey Crisp apples.
- Different brands of pressure cookers might vary in temperature, and different apples release different amounts of liquid. That said, you might need more time than the ones suggested above.
- If you prefer a sweeter apple butter, add ¼ cup of sugar (granulate or brown sugar) after pressure cooking the apples. Adding before can make the pressure cooker give a burn warning.
🙋🏻♀️Questions you might have
The color will be deeper than apple sauce: apple butter has a strong golden-brown color. With a teaspoon, spoon the apple butter onto a plate: there shouldn’t be a rim of liquid around it, and the butter should remain mounded.
Your apple butter probably just needs more cooking. Cook it for 5 to 10 minutes more and check color and thickness. As the water vaporizes, it will get thicker, and as the apples caramelize, the color will get darker.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a normal blender - just be sure to wait for the mixture to cool, or the lid might explode while blending.
If you don’t have neither an immersion blender nor a normal blender, you can use a potato masher to smash the apples. The final texture might not be as smooth as when using a blender, but it is doable. If using that method, I’d recommend peeling the apples.
You can make apple butter with any applesauce you have. Apple butter is, after all, applesauce cooked until thick and caramelized.
If doing so, start on step 4. Sauté or slow cook the applesauce, only adding lemon juice and cinnamon to it, omitting the water completely.
Storing and freezing
After cooled, store in a container or jar with lid and refrigerate the apple butter. This recipe doesn’t have any added sugar on it, so it will spoil quickly if left with no refrigeration. It’s good for up to 3 to 4 weeks in the fridge.
You can freeze apple butter using a freezer-safe container. Remember to leave about an inch of room at the top of the containers or jars. You can use glass mason jars as long as yours are freezer safe. It’s good for about 4 to 6 months.
Before using frozen apple butter, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and give it a good stir.
🥞What to eat with it
Apple butter is amazing for spreading on bread, pancakes and more! Here are some of my favorite thing to eat with apple butter:
Or you can just grab a spoon and dig in!
If you tried this Instant Pot Apple Butter Recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Easy Instant Pot Apple Butter (No Sugar)
- 1 Pressure cook
- 1 Immersion blender
- 3 pounds apple after peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup water
- 3 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Peel, core, and slice the apples.
- Add all ingredients to pressure cooker, close the lid and set HIGH PRESSURE for 6 minutes. It takes about 12 to 15 minutes for the mixture to get pressure.
- When done, let it rest for 4 minutes before doing a quick release and opening the lid.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the apple mixture until obtaining a smooth consistency.
- Using the SAUTE function, set it to MORE, and then 20 minutes. The apple mixture will splatter a lot, so be careful. Use a splatter guard if you have one, and wear mittens while stirring it. Stir frequently when using this method. See notes for more options for this step.
- Wait for apple butter to cool. Store in a jar with lid and keep it refrigerated.