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+ servings

Sugar Free Cider Apple Butter {Paleo, Gluten free, Vegan}

A spicy, slightly sweet, slightly tart homemade apple butter is a great compliment to both sweet and savory dishes.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Sides and sauces
Servings 3 -4 cups


  • 4 pounds about 10 large or 12 medium mixed apples (we use Golden Delicious, Jonathan and Honeycrisp)
  • 3/4 cup sugar free apple cider
  • Juice from half a small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or seeds scraped from one bean
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  • Core and slice your apples. You can peel them for a smoother butter, or keep the peels on for a chunkier version. We prefer to keep the peels on, both for texture and to maintain the nutritional benefits of the skin.
  • Add apple slices, cider, lemon juice, and all spices to a slow cooker, or large Dutch oven.
  • If using a slow cooker, set on low for 8 hours. If cooking on the stove top, heat until bubbling, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook for about an hour. Stir every so often to prevent burning, about once every 20 minutes. Increase cooking time if you are increasing the servings.
  • Mixture is done once the apples have reduced by at least half, are a rich brown color, and thickened.
  • Transfer mixture to a high powdered blender, or use a hand mixture to combine until smooth.
  • Add butter back to your pot and continue cooking on low with a loose-fitting lid until it reaches your desired thickness. This will take another 2 hours in the slow cooker, or 45-60 minutes on the stove top.
  • Transfer to glass jars to cool, then store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, or the freezer for up to 2 months.


*Apple butter is equally as great with savory dishes as it is with sweet ones.
**We love it with pork chops, roast, and even as a topping on carnitas. Also try it on toast, and as a topping for sweet potatoes or yogurt bowls.
***For dessert, it is especially tasty on ice cream.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!