Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples

$5.10 recipe / $0.85 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.90 from 19 votes
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What do you do when you’ve got a lot of apples on your hands and they’re looking like they might not have that much longer to live? Make Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples! 👏👏👏

I bought a big bag of apples the other day for what I thought was a great deal, until I realized later that they were really really ripe. Like they already smell like apple cider instead of fresh apples, ripe. Oops. But I wasn’t about to let that bag of 12 apples go to waste, so I peeled and sliced them, tossed them into the slow cooker with a healthy dose of warm spices, a little sugar, cornstarch for thickening, and a few big pieces of butter. Already sounds good, doesn’t it?

After a few hours in the slow cooker the apples were tender, sweet but not too-sweet, and had my house smelling like an autumn dream! The mixture ends up very much like the filling for an apple pie and is very versatile in its uses.

Finished Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples in a slow cooker with a wooden spoon.

How to Serve Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples

You can treat it like a crustless pie and serve it à la mode like I did below (with a little granola sprinkled on top), spoon it over your pancakes, waffles, or oats, use it as a filling for a dessert “quesadilla”, or even serve it along side something like pork chops.

Make a Half Batch, If Needed

This is obviously a huge batch because I wanted to use that entire bag of apples, but you can easily halve this recipe if needed. While the Slow Cooker Hot Butter Apples do stay good in the fridge for 4-5 days I’m not sure that they will freeze well due to the cornstarch (although I haven’t had the opportunity to test this yet). To adjust the recipe down, simply change the number of servings in the recipe box below and it will auto-adjust the ingredient amounts for you.

Adjust the Sweetness

One more note about the type of apples used vs. the amount of sugar in the recipe. I used very ripe Fuji apples, which were fairly sweet with just a hint of tartness. If you use a very tart apple like Granny Smith, you’ll likely want to increase the sugar in the mix, but that’s going to depend on your personal preference.

Two bowls of Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples topped with ice cream and granola

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Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples

4.90 from 19 votes
Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples are an easy and versatile dessert that is perfect for using up your glut of autumn apples! 
Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples are an easy and versatile dessert that is perfect for using up your glut of autumn apples!
Servings 6 1 cup each
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 3 hours
Total 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 12 small apples* (about 2" diameter) ($3.99)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.05)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar ($0.04)
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp vanilla ($0.28)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch ($0.18)
  • 4 Tbsp butter ($0.52)
  • 1/2 cup water ($0.00)


  • Peel and slice the apples, then place them in a slow cooker (4 quart or larger). Add the lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, salt, and cornstarch to the slow cooker, then stir to coat the apples in the spices.
  • Divide the butter into pieces, then place the butter on top of the seasoned apples. Pour 1/2 cup water into the cooker down the side so that reaches the bottom without rinsing the spices from the apples.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker, set it to high heat, and cook for two hours. After two hours, stir the apples well, replace the lid, and cook for an additional one hour, then serve hot.

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*I used Fuji apples but any sweet-tart apple will work.
SERVING IDEAS: with granola and ice cream, as a topper for pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal, inside a toasted tortilla as a dessert "quesadilla".


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 271.6kcalCarbohydrates: 53.77gProtein: 0.85gFat: 7.87gSodium: 162.33mgFiber: 7.63g
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Close up of a spoonful of Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples

How to Make Slow Cooker Apples – Step by Step Photos

Sliced Apples in Slow Cooker

Peel and slice about 12 small apples (about 2-inch diameter) and place them in a slow cooker. For this amount of apples, you’ll probably want to use at least a 4 quart slow cooker.

Seasoned Apples with Butter

Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp salt, and 3 Tbsp cornstarch to the slow cooker, then stir to coat the apples in the spices. Cut the butter into a few large chunks and place them on top of the apples. Carefully pour 1/2 cup water down the side wall of the cooker so the water reaches the bottom without washing the spices off the apples.

Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples finished

Place the lid on the slow cooker, set it to “high” and cook for two hours. After two hours, stir the apples, replace the lid, and cook for one more hour.

A bowl of Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples topped with ice cream and granola, being eaten with a spoon.

Then EAT! The reason I like these apples is because they are sweet but not so incredibly sweet that they can’t be use to top something healthy like a bowl of oatmeal. They’re about as sweet as applesauce, but with a deep richness from the butter and vanilla. SO GOOD.

Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Apples in the slow cooker with a wooden spoon

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    1. The apples are peeled, so I’m unsure what you are asking. XOXO -Monti

      1. I was wondering if you could leave them unpeeled (sorry, that typo made a huge difference). 

        1. Ahhh! That makes more sense! Hahahaha. Ok, leaving the peel on is entirely up to you and should not affect cooking time. Though it will affect the texture, as the peel does not break down. XOXO -Monti

      2. Hey Monti, she probably meant unpeeled, and my answer to that is that the peels would really change the final texture – apple peels don’t soften when cooked as the flesh does. Wouldn’t be a total no-no and probably wouldn’t feel so great in your mouth, in my opinion!

        1. Lol!! I just answered the same way!! Great minds. Thanks for being here. XOXO -Monti

  1. Good recipe! Only gave 4 stars because mine was like applesauce before the three hours was up. Also possibly my fault. I only had about 8 apples instead of 12. Wished I had realized sooner that they might not need the whole 3. Maybe I should have stopped at 2 hours. They did seem soft then. Or perhaps I just cut them too thinly? Or my crockpot just runs hotter? Either way the flavor on my ‘applesauce’ was good. I had a little with ice cream. Need to try stirring it into oatmeal tomorrow. I’ll probably be back to try this one again sometime.

  2. I just made a half-batch, and I regret nothing about my life at the moment. Mix of red apples from my farm share, I used wine instead of water (I have a half-open bottle that should go to good use), and a spice blend called Omar’s Indulgence from a spice seller named Auntie Awen (based in Connecticut) and they are amazing. The spice blend includes cardamom, Ceylon cinnamon, orange peel, ginger, and cloves for people who want to try some other options, and I threw in a bit of nutmeg, too.

    (Ok, I do regret that I don’t have vanilla ice cream or yogurt or whipped cream to have with it, but that is fixable next time I do this. I think it’d be amazing on morning yogurt.)

    1. Unfortunately, I am not experienced with canning so I can’t advise.

    2. You probably would be best to find a tested recipe for canning, and the cornstarch is considered a pre-canning no-no.

  3. I have fixed this recipe multiple times for my family and now it’s probably the most requested item I cook.

    1. That’s hard to say objectively, but if he doesn’t like cloves I’d probably at least reduce the amount by half or even leave them out.

  4. If anyone has ever had the fried apples at Cracker Barrel…I wondered how close this recipe would be. It’s quite close and I enjoyed these just as much as I enjoyed the fried apples!

  5. I’m wanting to turn this into a pie, should I just reduce the Time in the crockpot so they aren’t overly done once in the oven? 
    I’ve made this before on its own And it’s amazing! 

    1. Sure, that would be a good solution. :) But I think they’d still hold up fine to baking in the pie, as-is. Kind of like how with canned apple pie filling the apples are already soft.

    1. Hi Hannah! I just emailed you a copy of that recipe to the email address you used to register this comment. If that’s not the right email, just reach out to us at and we can send it to you. :)

  6. Oh my!  I have made this twice now and it is super easy and tasty.  So delicious.  

    1. I’m not sure. Since the apple pieces are so large I don’t think you’d get an accurate or consistent measure using cups. The recipe is pretty flexible, though, so I wouldn’t worry too much about getting the amount of apples exactly right. :)

  7. How long will this keep in the fridge? I like making reasonable big batches when I’m using my crocpot, often for freezing and easy dinners later on. Or maybe this too is freezer friendly..?

    1. I would say probably 4-5 days in the fridge, but that can depend on a lot of variables. I haven’t tested freezing this one, but sauces thickened with cornstarch do tend to separate after freezing and thawing, so I’m going to bet on it not being that freezer friendly. :)

  8. These were easy and delicious. I enjoyed them on pancakes. When I couldn’t eat any more, I put the rest in the freezer. I had about 4 cups at that point. I defrosted them and put them in a greased 8×8″ pan. I topped with crumb topping which I also had stored in the freezer and baked at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. It was delicious! There was no curdling as some commentors mentioned could happen with freezing the apples. Thank you for this recipe and all your amazing recipes.