Whether you prefer to make homemade apple butter with fresh from the orchard apples (All Recipes has a well-rated recipe for apple butter) or pick it up from our Country Store, apple butter is a fall pantry staple.
What is apple butter and how is it different from apple sauce?
Both apple sauce and apple butter are made from a combination of apples, sugar, and spices: the main difference is cooking time and consistency. Apple sauce becomes apple butter if allowed to simmer for a longer time, until it forms a thick spread with a buttery texture. Think of it this way: apple sauce can be eaten on its own and apple butter is best used as a topping or sweet ingredient in another dish.
There are so many ways to use apple butter!
Apple butter is a flavorful spread
With sweet, concentrated apple flavor, apple butter is a delicious, easy spread. For breakfast, top biscuits, pancakes, or toast with apple butter. Mixing apple butter into ice cream or sweet potatoes adds sweet depth of flavor and a hint of cinnamon.
Here are some of our favorite ways to use apple butter straight from the jar:
- Swirl into ice cream
- Spread on biscuits, pancakes, toast, or scones (add a slice of fresh apple on top for crunch!)
- Frost cupcakes or pumpkin bread
- Mix into mashed sweet potatoes
- Top ham sandwiches or turkey paninis
Apple butter recipes for entrees, sides, and dessert
Apple butter is an easy glaze or marinade for most meats and is particularly well-suited to pork and poultry.
- Apple Butter Braised Pork Chops: Food Network
- Apple Butter-Glazed Turkey: Southern Living
- Mini Vegetable Casserole Topped with a Fried Duck Egg and Apple Butter: Food Network
- Pork Chops Primavera: BH&G
- Turkey Cheddar Apple Butter Panini: Running to the Kitchen
Snacks and Sides
Transform apple butter into a dipping sauce, mix it into vegetables, or spread it on crostini for a punch of apple-y goodness.
- Breakfast Sausage Meatballs with Apple Butter Dipping Sauce: Southern Living
- Sweet Potatoes with Apple Butter: Food and Wine
- Baked Prosciutto and Brie with Apple Butter: Food Network
Desserts and Breakfast
Kick the apple flavor up a notch by incorporating apple butter into your favorite fall baked goods and sweet treats.
- Apple Butter-Banana Bread: BH&G
- Apple-Butter Ice Cream with Ginger-Chocolate Ganache: Food and Wine
- Apple Butter Spice Cake with Cinnamon Crumble: Bon Appetit
- Oatmeal Biscuits with Apple Butter Yogurt: Food Network
- Apple Jack Stack Cake: Epicurious
- Apple Butter Bars: Half Baked Harvest
- Apple Butter Sticky Buns with Pecans and Currants: New York Times
Bonus: apple butter cocktails
Yes, you can even drink apple butter!
When making apple butter from scratch, not apples are created equal!
Read our apple flavor profile guide to select the best apples for making apple butter at home and see when each apple variety is in season.