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Caramel Apple Butter


If you’re looking for a twist on tradition, this caramel apple butter is an easy, yummy fix. 

Caramel Apple butter Recipe

I don’t know about you, but as much as love pumpkin spice, what I live for in the fall is apples. 

I’ve done my fair share of canning apple pie filling, and I highly recommend it. It’s so awesome to see your pantry shelves filling up with homemade food! 

And this recipe is another way to fill them up. 

Jams, jellies, and butters are some of my favorite things, because it’s easy to get creative, and make something unique to share with friends. Peach butter is fun to make in the summer, and the peach + cloves combo is hard to beat. So is peach and raspberry jam. 

In the early fall, we usually make some cinnamon pear jam, and the warm, spicy flavor is so good on biscuits in the winter. 

But this is a sweet treat. 

I’m pretty well known for reducing sugar in canning recipes, but whereas homemade pear butter is delicious even if you add zero sugar, caramel apple butter is inherently sugary. 

Not a ton of sugar, but you just can’t make caramel without it. 

So. There you go. 

apple butter with caramel in a jar

Caramel Apple Butter

The first step to making apple butter, is making apple sauce. While this – and most other – recipe details how to make your apple butter from whole apples, making and canning applesauce is very easy, and you can definitely make apple butter from pre-made apple sauce. 

peeling and coring apples

All you need to do is peel, core, and slice your apples. In my previously mentioned apple sauce recipe, I go over several different ways from Victorio strainer to potato masher of taking your apples from whole to sauce, so I won’t reiterate them here, you can read that article. 

Suffice to say, you can make a lot of apple butter in a short amount of time with the right tools. 

However you do it, once you get your apples cored, peeled, and sliced, you’ll add your spices and cook the apples until they’re soft enough to mash/pureed. 

sliced apples with spices

Once they’re mashed, your spiced sauce goes back on the stove to simmer until it thickens. If you’re using pre-made applesauce, you’ll skip directly to this step, stirring in your spices while the sauce heats. 

While the sauce simmers, make your caramel. 

I also have a great recipe for making homemade caramel sauce. In this recipe, we’re essentially making the same sauce, but adding less cream. 

Homemade caramel sauce in a cast iron skillet

You’ll dissolve white sugar into a small amount of water, and heat it until it caramelizes, turning a nice, rich brown. 

The next step is to take it off the stove and add butter and cream. Sometimes your caramelized sugar will seize a little bit when the cold cream hits it. If it doesn’t stir out, heat it back up until the sugar melts. 

apple butter cooked down in a pot

Once your apple butter is sufficiently cooked down, stir in the caramel sauce. 

stirring caramel into the apple butter

And that’s it! 

apple butter on a knife

Now you’re ready to jar it. 

This caramel apple butter will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator – in tightly lidded containers of course. 

Or you can can it. 

putting apple butter in canning jars

Pour it into sterilized jars, and waterbath can it. To do this, put your jars in a large kettle or water bath canner with a rack in the bottom of it to keep your jars from directly touching the heat source.

how to can apple butter

Fill the kettle with water to at least an inch above the jars, and bring to a rolling boil. 

Process pint jars for 25 minutes, or half pints for 20 minutes. 


You’ll find the more detailed printable recipe card below. 



Caramel Apple Butter

Classic apple butter with the addition of caramel sauce

  • Author: Elise New


  • 5 lbs of apples, or 6 cups of apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

For the caramel sauce: 

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Peel, core, and dice apples (if using applesauce, skip to step four)
  2. Place apples, brown sugar, and spices in a large pan and add about 1 1/2 cups of water, place lid on pot and bring apples to a simmer over medium heat
  3. When apples are tender, mash, or puree
  4. Place back over medium-low heat and simmer until apple sauce has thickened to a thicker, apple butter consistency
  5. While apple sauce is cooking down, make the caramel sauce
  6. Stir white sugar and water together in a 2 quart saucepan or skillet, and heat slowly over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves
  7. Increase heat to medium and boil sugar until it begins to brown
  8. Once sugar has browned to a caramel color, remove from heat and add butter and heavy cream
  9. Sugar may seize. If this happens, place back over heat and stir until the sauce is smooth
  10. Add vanilla and salt
  11. Stir into thickened apple butter
  12. Let apple butter cool, and put in tight-lidded containers to store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

To can:

  1. ladle hot apple butter into sterilized canning jars
  2. Fit with lids and rings
  3. Place in a canning kettle fitted with a canning rack, and filled with hot water
  4. Make sure water covers jars by at least an inch
  5. Place lid on kettle and bring to a rolling boil
  6. Continue boiling pint jars for 25 minutes, or half pints for 20 minutes
  7. Remove from heat and let cool before removing jars from kettle to reduce risk of breakage
  8. Once jars have cooled enough to remove from water, let sit overnight to seal
  9. Any jars that don’t seal can be stored in the refigerator for up to two weeks, or remove lids, clean rims, fit with new lids, and can again


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