October 14, 2020

Slow cooker cranberry apple butter

Finished jar of cranberry apple butter with fresh cranberries and apples surrounding it.

Smooth and tangy and lightly spiced cranberry apple butter is cooked in the slow cooker and then stored in freezer containers to use throughout the year. It's perfect on biscuits, toast, sourdough bread, swirled into oatmeal, and more.

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I usually make apple butter every year after apple picking. But, sometimes I like to change it up and make a cranberry apple version. Cranberries are a favorite in our house and I buy them up as soon as I start to see them at the grocery store. I always use them to make cranberry sauce, but also so many other recipes

I used MacIntosh apples in this recipe. You can use any apples you want, including a mix, but I recommend ones that are sweet rather than tart. The cranberries are already tart and using sweeter apples will compliment the flavor better and also require less sugar to be added.

When making fruit butters, I like to utilize the slow cooker. It's more hands-off for one thing, but it also reduces the likelihood of sticking and burning as the fruits and sugars cook down. I find that fruit butters turn out better for me this way.

My kids like to eat this cranberry apple butter on their peanut butter and sun butter sandwiches, but we've been really loving it swirled into morning oatmeal with an extra dash of cinnamon and some maple syrup. It's a delicious and warming autumn breakfast.

I freeze this cranberry apple butter because it is not a tested canning recipe. I've been doing quite a bit of canning, freezing, and dehydrating this harvest season, but I only ever can recipes that have been published by a trusted source like Ball or the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Side view of a finished jar of cranberry apple butter with a spoon inside.

Yield: about six 8 oz. jars
Author: Amy (Savory Moments)
Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Butter

Smooth and tangy and lightly spiced cranberry apple butter is cooked in the slow cooker and then stored in freezer containers to use throughout the year. It's perfect on biscuits, toast, sourdough, swirled into oatmeal, and more.


  • 10 cups peeled, cored, and diced apples
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup apple cider (or juice or water)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • about 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice


  1. Place the apples, cranberries, cider, and brown sugar in a slow cooker and cook on high for about 2.5-3 hours, until the cranberries have burst and the apples are soft.
  2. Puree using an immersion blender. Or, use a regular blender and puree in batches and then return the mixture to the slow cooker.
  3. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. Taste and add more sugar, if desired. This will depend on your tastes, the type of apples you use, and if you use cider or water. You may also add more spices if you like or others like nutmeg.
  4. Cook on high for another approximately 3 hours, stirring about every 30 minutes (take care to not let water that has accumulated on your slow cooker lid fall into the mixture). When the mixture is cooked down and thick, let cool.
  5. Place in 4 oz. or 8 oz. jars leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch of headspace. Top with a lid and freeze. You may use other freezer containers of your choice as well. Store in the refrigerator for a few weeks, or freeze and use within one year. Your yield will vary depending on cooking length, type of apples used, how much total sugar you add, etc.
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I hope you give this cranberry apple butter a try! Let me know in the comments below.

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Close-up of a small jar of finished cranberry apple butter.

Check out these other recipes for fresh cranberries: 

Cranberry & Brown Sugar Glazed Meatloaf

Cranberry Curd Tart

Cranberry Orange Bread 

Cranberry Apple Pie


  1. I would love some for my scones and sourdough :-)

  2. Mmm, love the combo of apples and cranberries. Haven't had apple butter in years, and never with cranberry. I gotta try this combo! :-) Thanks so much.

  3. A very seasonal butter. Looks so good and like Angie, i would love it on my biscuits.

  4. Love this Amy. It seems I always have a bag of cranberries stuck in the fridge that I need to do something with!

  5. Your cranberry apple butter sounds amazing! My tummy is just growling thinking about having it on a thick slice of homemade bread! YUM! Thank you for sharing!

  6. This sounds amazing! I think it would be great on sweet potato biscuits!


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