Stovetop Apple Butter

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Cook: 8 hours


4 cups

Updated: Jun. 01, 2022
The taste of homemade apple butter is worth the time it takes to make this delectable spread. My dad's family made theirs in the backyard in a big copper kettle over a fire of burning hedge wood. It took 6 bushels of apples, 60 pounds of sugar, four cinnamon sticks, a lemon slice and some nine hours of constant stirring to make 18 gallons of apple butter—about a year's supply! —Rev. Willis Piepenbrink, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Stovetop Apple Butter Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 6 to 7 pounds tart apples, unpeeled and quartered
  • 3 cups water
  • 3-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)


  1. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, bring apples and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until apples are tender. Press cooked apples through a colander or food mill. Discard peels.
  2. Return pureed apples to Dutch oven. Stir in sugar, cinnamon and cinnamon stick. Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the consistency is very thick and the color is dark brown, about 8 hours. Freeze in containers.

Nutrition Facts

2 tablespoons: 135 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, 35g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 2g fiber), 0 protein.