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This easy Bourbon Apple Butter has a delicious kick of flavor! You’re going to want to spoon this over everything! 

Bourbon Apple Butter

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we went a little overboard this Fall when our family went apple picking at a local orchard and farm. We came home with a half-bushel bag of a mixed variety of apples – that’s about twenty pounds of apples for just three of us to eat!

We’ve been happily crunching our way through some of the ‘eating apples,’ as well as baking our way through the other apples that are well-suited for baked desserts. But now that we’re down to the bottom of the bag – we made this incredible Bourbon Apple Butter. There are lots of apple butter recipes around – but this Bourbon Apple Butter is truly something special.


Bourbon Apple Butter

How do you make Bourbon Apple Butter?

You can make this recipe with just about any variety of sweet apple, or a mix of several varieties – and it doesn’t matter if it is an ‘eating’ apple or ‘baking’ apple.

Peeled and diced apples simmer together in a saucepan with freshly-squeezed lemon juice, Kentucky Bourbon, water, brown sugar, apple liquor (or apple juice), molasses, and a collection of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. You can leave the bourbon and apple liquor out if you prefer, but both really do add a wonderful complexity and a deep rich flavor to this apple butter recipe. (And the alcohol cooks off as it cooks, if that concerns you.)

Once the apples are soft and tender and the cooking liquids have reduced, you’ll blend the mixture (an immersion blender like this works great) until smooth and creamy.

Bourbon Apple Butter

Cool your Bourbon Apple Butter – and spread it over your morning toast, over ice cream, as a condiment with pork tenderloin, on a burger – or just eat it with a spoon!

This Bourbon Apple Butter recipe uses about five pounds of apples, and it yields about four cups of apple butter.  It also cans wonderfully – so keep some to eat, then can the rest to enjoy for months to come or to give as gifts.


Bourbon Apple Butter

You may like these other gift ideas:

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Bourbon Apple Butter

Bourbon Apple Butter

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 cups
  • Category: condiment
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


5 pounds any sweet apple, peeled, cored and diced small (1/4-inch dice)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 cup good quality Kentucky Bourbon (we used Jim Beam)

¼ cup water

1 cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup apple liquor (this is our favorite brand) or apple juice

2 tablespoons molasses

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon salt


Coat apples with lemon juice as you cut and place in a medium to large nonstick pot.

Add bourbon and water and bring to a boil, cover and cook on a low boil for 10 minutes.

Add brown sugar, apple liquor, molasses, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and salt.

Cover, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer with cover off side letting a little steam escape.

Cook for 30 minutes, stirring often towards the last five to ten minutes as the liquid evaporates.

Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender until creamy.

Can using the water bath method.

Keywords: bourbon apple butter


Bourbon Apple Butter

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  • Erika wrote:

    Could you do this recipe in a crock pot?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Erika – You can, although it won’t thicken as much since the steam doesn’t escape in a slow cooker. It will also take you much longer to cook than if you did it on a pot on the stove.

  • Trisha wrote:

    What size jar for canning and how much head space left in can? how many minutes in water Bath canned?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Trisha – Those are 8 ounce jars in our photos. We used the standard 1/4-inch headspace and 10 minutes in the water bath.

  • Desiree Macy wrote:

    This was fabulous. My son made Apple ever clear and we had all these apples left over and I didn’t know what to do with them. Thanks to you I found what to do with them. So far this tastes delicious Thank you so much

    • Martha wrote:

      Great idea Desiree!

  • gayle reasonover wrote:

    How long do you process in hot water bath?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Gayle – 10 to 15 minutes should be sufficient

  • Donna Landrum wrote:

    What could I use instead of molasses?

  • Kristin wrote:

    Could apple flavored bourbon be used instead of bourbon and apple liqueur separately?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Kristin – Yes – that would work!

  • Danielle Pierce wrote:

    If I plan on making this and giving it as a gift, how long in advance can i make it? How long will it last? I assume it should be refrigerated? So excited to make this!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Danielle – If you properly can this recipe, this apple butter will store for up to a year (in fact, we just opened up our last jar from last apple season). If you don’t plan to can it, I’d say 2 to 3 weeks is a safe length of time to make it ahead – assuming that your recipients will also have it in their refrigerator for a few weeks after that. (I’d strongly suggest canning it for gift-giving.)

  • Jeremy wrote:

    Going to make this with Jim Beam Apple. Thanks for the recipe. My only complaint is that ads keep popping up blocking some of the recipe. It will not let me get out of the ads, even when clicking on the x.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for letting us know Jim – all ads should close…I’ll share your feedback with our ad manager and also watch for examples of that ourselves. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Joan wrote:

    I’m thinking Jim Beam Fire might be good!

    • Martha wrote:

      That WOULD be good Joan! Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Kathy wrote:

    I would love to know the apple liquor you used.. The link posted isn’t working

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