23 Best Recipes that Use Apple Butter

By Amanda Paa – Updated August 24, 2023
5 from 2 votes
If you have a jar of apple butter in your pantry and don't know what to make with it, this post is for you! Here are 23 sweet and savory recipes that use apple butter as an ingredient; everything from muffins to cake, donuts to cheesecake, pulled pork to grilled cheese sandwiches and even baked beans. Apple butter is a versatile and flavorful ingredient, with warm spices and a delicate sweetness that can be used in many ways other than as a spread on toast. The smooth and creamy texture of apple butter makes it easy to spread and incorporate into dishes.
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What is Apple Butter?

One of my favorite ways to preserve an abundance of apples is by making a batch of extra smooth, caramelized apple butter!

This delicious fruit spread is simply fresh apples that are cooked down on the stovetop into a thick, spreadable preserve. You’ll be amazed by the concentrated apple flavor, a delicious spoonful of fall. I use my apple butter recipe for canning, and enjoy incorporating the finished product as an ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes throughout the year. Or simply spread onto a piece of sourdough toast for a cozy bite in the morning!

Why Use Apple Butter in Cooking and Baking:

Apple butter is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can be a delicious component in sweet and savory applications. The smooth and creamy texture of apple butter makes it easy to spread and incorporate into dishes. Compared to jams and jelly, apple butter can be a healthier option due to its natural ingredients and lower sugar content, especially if you make it at home.

Apple butter can be a great way to balance sauces, marinades, glazes, sandwich spreads and dressings. It can add depth of flavor and moisture to baked goods like muffins, cakes, waffles, and cookies. And it can be swirled into cheesecake, ice cream, and oatmeal! We love to spread it on warm sourdough discard biscuits, too.

Pairing apple butter with cheese, crackers, and cured meats on a charcuterie board is a perfect choice too. Its sweet and savory profile complements the flavors of cheeses and meats.

liberty apples arranged on a blue surface

What Variety of Apples Make The Best Apple Butter?

Apple butter is as pure as it gets. Just apples and a bit of sugar and spices cooked down, concentrating the flavor of this autumn fruit. For that reason, I like to use a mix of tart and sweet apples rather than just one variety. My favorites are:

  • Cortland
  • Liberty
  • Sweet 16
  • Pink Lady
  • Honeycrisp

Unlike apple pie, in which you need to use firm apples to stand up to the heat of the oven, softer textured apples work well for apple butter because they cook down faster.

Sweet Recipes that Use Apple Butter

apple butter spice cake on a board
1

Apple Butter Spice Cake • Olive & Mango

This apple butter spice cake is ultra soft and flavoured with brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg
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apple butter pancakes with maple syrup and pecans on a white plate
2

30-Minute Apple Butter Pancakes

These golden, fluffy pancakes are cozy and flavorful, the perfect way to use up apple butter! Paired with cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg, they are a taste of fall and so easy to make with a bowl and whisk.
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Apple Butter Cheesecake {No Bake}
3

Apple Butter Cheesecake {No Bake}

Apple Butter Cheesecake is a no-bake cheesecake made with a graham cracker crust filled with a creamy cheesecake and apple butter swirl.
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chewy apple butter cookies stacked
4

Chewy Cinnamon Apple Cookies Recipe

Chewy Cinnamon Apple Cookies are full of warm spiced apple butter and are chewy inside and crispy outside with crackled tops. And they take less than an hour to whip up, including cleanup time!
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Cinnamon Sugar Apple Butter Pie
5

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Butter Pie

This apple butter pie is unlike any other pie you’ve had! Its custard-base filling is made with cozy apple butter and topped off with a layer of cinnamon sugar. It creates a crackly crust on top that’s sweet and so delicious. This entire pie is also baked in a buttery and flaky gluten free pie crust.
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6

Apple Bellini

Put a festive spin on your fall brunch with this apple Bellini! Made with creamy apple butter and a touch of cinnamon, this sparkling apple Bellini is full of fall flavors, quick to prepare and easy to make. You won't find a more perfect fall brunch cocktail.
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apple butter cheesecake bars, stacked
7

Apple Butter Cheesecake Bars (Vegan/GF)

After cracking the code on date-sweetened apple butter, we wanted to put it to use in something approachable yet delicious. We settled on cheesecake bars! Swirled with apple butter and topped with an (optional but delicious) maple oat crumble. 
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8

Apple Butter Cookies

Chewy, soft and spicy apple butter cookies are the best Fall treat! Crisp edges, soft chewy centers packed with the sweet and spicy flavors of apple butter. It's like the purest form of apple butter, but in cookie form! The recipe makes 1 dozen cookies.
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9

Moist Apple Butter Spice Cake | Butternut Bakery

This super moist spice cake is baked with apple butter, fresh apples, and topped with whipped cream cheese frosting. Apple butter is baked right into the cake, and adds so much richness to both the flavor and texture.
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Apple Butter Pull-Apart Bread
10

Apple Butter Pull-Apart Bread

Soft and fluffy pull-apart bread spiced with cinnamon and spread with homemade apple butter! It’s gooey and sticky in all the right ways and the apple butter that’s caramelizes for extra flavor.
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11

Apple Butter Baked Oatmeal

This warm baked oatmeal is filled with apple flavor and tastes delicious on a fall morning! Made with pantry ingredients and reheats well.
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12

Apple Butter French Toast

This easy apple butter french toast is perfect for fall! We're adding a fall twist to classic French toast by swirling a bit of homemade apple butter into our batter for a rich, custardy texture and a slightly sweet apple flavor that's perfect for a seasonal breakfast spread.
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Fluffy Apple Butter Layer Cake
13

Fluffy Apple Butter Layer Cake

What to do with extra apple butter? Make this easy apple butter spice cake with maple fudge frosting! With plenty of fall spices.
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14

Easy Apple Butter Muffins

These easy apple butter muffins use homemade or store bought apple butter and lots of cinnamon! Ready in under an hour. With how-to photos!
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15

Apple Butter Coffee Cake

Apple Butter Coffee Cake is a cozy, spice-infused treat—sure to warm you up on a cold day. A fluffy, moist coffee cake flavored with fall spices and apples, topped with a crumble and dusting of powdered sugar.
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Savory Recipes that Use Apple Butter

apple butter and brie puff pastry tart cut into slices
16

Apple Butter and Melted Brie Tart

A Thanksgiving appetizer that’s as impressive as it is simple to make: apple butter and melted brie tart with bacon & thyme.
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17

Autumn Butter Board

Learn how to make an Autumn Butter Board topped with delicious fall ingredients like apple butter, herbs and nuts. Butter boards are fun and beautiful. Any occasion where bread and butter might be a good addition to the meal or snack offerings, a butter board will be right at home.
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18

Turkey Cheddar Apple Butter Panini

This turkey cheddar apple butter panini is the perfect fall lunch. Pressed until the cheese is super melty with crisp apples, apple butter, greens, and fresh turkey, it’s like fall in a bite.
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19

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Baked Beans

Slow cooked apple butter baked beans with bacon ~this is the best fall side dish ever, think bonfires, tailgating, game days, and cozy family meals.
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Apple Butter Pork Chops
20

Apple Butter Pork Chops

Apple butter pork chops are sweet, savory, and full of Fall comfort. This is the ultimate weeknight meal to cozy up with!
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Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pulled Pork | Wholefully
21

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pulled Pork | Wholefully

Apples and pork are a classic combination, and this slow cooker apple butter pulled pork recipe brings them together in a stick-to-your-ribs sandwich!
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apple butter breakfast sandwich stacked on white plate
22

Apple Butter Breakfast Sandwich

There’s something really wonderful about the slightly sweet apple butter flavor, the crispy salty bacon, and the creamy egg in this breakfast sandwich. It’s one of the best breakfast bites I’ve had.
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apple butter grilled cheese stacked on white board
23

Apple Butter Grilled Cheese

Fall for this autumn-inspired grilled cheese: with a layer of apple butter, thinly sliced fresh apples, sautéed shallots and thyme, and perfectly gooey, melty cheese that blurs the line between sweet and savory. I call this French-toast style grilled cheese, battered and butter-toasted until it’s pe…
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apple butter pancakes with maple syrup and pecans on a white plate

23 Best Recipes for Using Apple Butter + Apple Butter Pancakes!

These golden, fluffy pancakes are cozy and flavorful, the perfect way to use up apple butter! Paired with cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg, they are a taste of fall and so easy to make with a bowl and whisk. Plus 22 other sweet and savory recipes that use apple butter!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :15 minutes
Yield: 6 to 7 pancakes
Author: Amanda Paa

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) apple butter (homemade or storebought)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 145 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, mix together milk and lemon juice and let stand for 5 minutes. Then add egg and whisk until combined. Then add apple butter, vanilla extract, sugar, and butter. Whisk until smooth.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in liquid ingredients. Use a spatula to stir until just combined, some lumps are good. You just don't want to see dry streaks. Batter will be on the thicker side, that is how it is supposed to be.
  • Preheat your griddle to medium heat, about 325 degrees F. Grease with oil or butter, then drop 1/3 cup scoopfuls onto it. Use the back of a spoon to spread out a bit and create nice even circles.
  • Cook about 3 to 4 minutes, until bubbles start coming through the top and when you lift a spatula to pick underneath, they are golden brown. Then flip and cook about 3 minutes more. Remove and set on cooling rack and repeat with remaining batter. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and maple syrup.

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August 9, 2023

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