Does Apple Butter Go Bad and How Long Does It Last?

Does Apple Butter Go Bad and How Long Does It Last?

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One of my all-time favorite things to prepare throughout the autumn and holiday seasons is apple butter. This delectable, delicately spiced delicacy shouts autumn and comfort, and it’s a present that no one can refuse.

That being said, not everyone will be sipping apple butter all year. Since a little of this baby goes a long way, you’ll need to know how to make the most of it.

Is apple butter perishable? Absolutely, apple! But, if kept correctly, apple butter may survive from three months to two years.

My name is Angie, and I have over ten years of expertise as a self-taught baker. I know how crucial it is to keep your food fresh, having operated my own baking company, and I’d want to share that expertise with you.

In this post, I’ll teach you how to determine whether apple butter has gone bad, how to keep it and for how long, and answer any other questions you may have about it.

Let’s get started without further ado!

Does Apple Butter Go Bad?

While apple butter was created as a way to store apples for a long time, incorrect storage as well as bacterial infection may degrade apple sauce and render it unsuitable for consumption.

How Can You Tell If Your Apple Butter Has Gone Bad

These are five signs that your apple butter has gone bad.

Tip #1: Smell

Spoiled apple butter has a distinct rotten smell. My advice is to avoid putting it in the fridge if it no longer smells like apple butter.

Tip #2: Appearance

If you find mold spores developing on the surface or anyplace within the jar, your apple butter has gone bad. Throw away at all costs!

What If You Eat Apple Butter That Has Gone Bad

Bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum may develop and grow in inadequately canned and kept apple butter, despite the fact that this is exceedingly unusual.

Foodborne botulism symptoms include trouble eating or speaking, paralysis in the muscles that govern your face, blurred vision, stomach discomfort, and nausea. If you are not treated, you may get paralysis.

Botulinum poisoning is dangerous, therefore get emergency medical assistance if you experience any of the symptoms listed above. Your doctor should start antitoxin treatment immediately soon.

How Long is Apple Butter Good for?

It will keep for a varying period of time depending on how you store your apple butter.


Homemade apple butter can keep in the fridge for three months and in the freezer for up to a year.


Whether you purchased your apple butter from the farmers market or the grocery store, we’ll assume for this part that it was professionally canned and packed.


Unopened apple butter will keep indefinitely. Well, not FOREVER, but 12-18 months on the pantry shelf, nice and cold and dry, should be OK. If you keep your apple butter refrigerated, it will last a bit longer, and if you freeze it, it will survive for up to two years.


Your apple butter should keep for around a month if kept continually chilled. By freezing your apple butter, you may prolong its shelf life by one to two years.

How to Properly Store Apple Butter

Apple butter may be kept in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer. I propose that you store it in a jar or a container, wherever you prefer to put it. Vacuum sealing apple butter prevents air from being trapped within.

If your apple butter is exposed to air, it is far more likely to degrade since oxygen offers a habitat for bacteria to develop.

If you want to freeze your apple butter, use a freezer-safe container to avoid the glass container bursting and freezer scorching your apple butter. By examining the label, you should be able to determine if the container is freezer safe.

Additionally, leave an inch of room at the top of your container in case your apple butter grows during freezing.

Once frozen, your apple butter will need to be thoroughly thawed before it can be eaten again. For optimal results, defrost your apple butter in the fridge overnight. Keep in mind that this procedure should only be done once.

Apple Butter FAQs

The following are some more frequently asked questions concerning apple butter shelf life and preservation.

Why is apple butter called butter?

Because of its smooth, thick, buttery feel, apple butter is called butter. There is no butter or even a drop of oil in apple butter. The texture is created by mixing, boiling, and caramelizing the apple until virtually all of the water content has evaporated.

Do you have to refrigerate apple butter?

You don’t have to refrigerate apple butter, but it will definitely last longer if you do.

Is applesauce the same as apple butter?

Yet I can understand why you’d want to know. They are similar in that both are created by slow-cooking apples with a variety of spices.

Applesauce, on the other hand, has a much more liquidy texture and may include apple bits.

Apple butter, on the other hand, is considerably thicker and more concentrated, and will keep for a much longer period of time!


Apple butter may spoil despite its lengthy shelf life. That being said, don’t feel obligated to throw away your cherished jar of apple butter as soon as it has exceeded its expiry date. Its scent and look should indicate if it is still edible.

I hope these suggestions have been as beneficial to you as they have been to me. If there is anything I have overlooked, please let me know in the comments area and I will respond as soon as possible.

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