Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce

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This Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce recipe is so delicious, it will knock your socks off. Plus its so sweet, you won't believe it was made without sugar.

This Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce recipe is so delicious, it will knock your socks off. Plus its so sweet, you won’t believe it was made without sugar.

Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Nothing says fall like homemade applesauce.  I bought a pretty big (I think it was around 30 pounds) box of freshly picked organic honeycrisp apples at my farmer’s market.  The guy who always helps me at the booth couldn’t believe I was buying it on top of all my other produce.  I go a little crazy in the summer time because I just can’t get enough.  Food is a priority in our household.  In addition to many more gorgeous jars of applesauce than what is pictured above, I also used some of the applesauce to make applesauce muffins that the kids gobbled up and the parents grabbed on the go, a rich and decadent apple compote vanilla bean cheesecake, and I even made some maple bourbon apple cider from a batch of applesauce that I cooked too long!

The key components to making this wonderful applesauce are:

  1. Good quality apples.  I only make my applesauce with freshly picked organic honeycrisp apples.  I’m particular like that and proud of it!  They are crisp, juicy, sweet and tart.  Take my advice on this one.
  2. Vanilla beans.  Its one of my top ten most favorite things in the world and you’ll never see my pantry without them.  That’s a promise.
  3. Cinnamon sticks.  I love the flavor of cinnamon but I don’t always want the over powering flavor of powdered cinnamon.  I think using a cinnamon stick in this recipe not only flavors your applesauce perfectly, but it doesn’t change the beautiful light color of the apples.
  4. Lemon juice.  It keeps your apples tart, adds a bit of acid in case you want to can for later, and keeps your apples from turning brown from oxidation.
  5. Slow cooker.  Set it and forget it folks.  If you cut your apples thin, all you’ll need to do is give it a stir when its done and you’ll have perfect applesauce.  BAM!

Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Anyway, we brought these beauties home and I got to work.  I’ve never put sugar in my applesauce.  I just make sure that I start with a delicious apple and not sugar is needed.  My two most favorite apples in the world are Pink Ladies and Honeycrisps.  Lucky for me, the honeycrisps are in their peak season late summer and the pink ladies are in the stores in the early spring, making for year round happiness for me.

Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce | Self Proclaimed Foodie

I have a never ending supply of vanilla beans in my house because I make a huge batch of homemade vanilla extract.  Once I take the vanilla extract out of the jar to give away as holiday gifts, I continue to use the vanilla beans year round.  You should try it!

Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce | Self Proclaimed Foodie

I filled up all different sizes of mason jars when I can using a water bath canning set simply because I like the way it looks.  I gave this jar below to Javier, my favorite Farmer’s Market employee, who always sells me this wonderful produce and always gives my kids a piece of fruit to munch on while walking around the market.  The next week he told me the applesauce didn’t last in his house – he and his son devoured it in just a few minutes.  He said his son even got a straw to slurp up the bits in the corner of the jar.  That’s my kind of kid.

Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce | Self Proclaimed Foodie

You see those little black dots in that photo below?  That’s what I call taste bud heaven, or in other words, vanilla bean seeds.  YUM!

Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce | Self Proclaimed Foodie

5.0 from 4 reviews
Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce recipe is so delicious, it will knock your socks off. Plus its so sweet, you won't believe it was made without sugar.
Recipe type: side dish
  • 5 large honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean
  1. Put apple slices in large slow cooker.
  2. Juice lemon, pour over apples, and toss to coat.
  3. Add cinnamon stick to slow cooker.
  4. Split vanilla bean and scrap seeds with knife. Add bean pod and scraped seeds to slow cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. There should be no need to add water. When done, stir with large spoon to achieve desired consistency.
  6. Can in water bath for storage or store in refrigerator in airtight container up to 2 weeks.


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    • spfoodie says

      Hi Saundra, I buy my vanilla beans in bulk online. I got this batch from a company called Olive Nation. I have no idea how many WW points this dessert is, but its definitely rich so a small slice satisfies!

      • Anita says

        Olive Nation is a great source and they often run discount sales. I have an unopened packet of 25 vanilla beans in my pantry; the fragrance is so sweet and strong that it permeates the packaging. 🙂

      • spfoodie says

        Oh yes. Single vanilla beans are always outrageously priced. I buy mine in bulk online. Olive Nation or Beanilla have been more sources. They last forever if you keep them moist. -Krissy

    • spfoodie says

      Hi Sandi, Unfortunately I have no idea about the nutritional information of anything I cook. I just make things that taste good and share the recipes. My guess would be to find out the number of carbs in a honeycrisp apple and multiply that amount by how many apples you cook down into sauce. Because there’s no additional sugar, I would think you’d be able to enjoy it, but I am not able to give you an accurate number. – Krissy

    • spfoodie says

      Yep! I peel them by hand and make sure every last bit of peel is gone because I don’t use a food mill to remove them. – Krissy

  1. lori richardson says

    How long will the applesauce last when water bath canned? I have wanted to learn and this just might be the recipe to start with!!

    • spfoodie says

      We’re still eating applesauce that I canned well over a year ago! I have no idea how long it will or should last, but I know that the lemon helps add acidity to an already acidic fruit, so there’s low risk. I’m not an expert canner, but I’ve done a ton of peaches and applesauce. Hope that helps! Krissy

      • says

        Hello I’ve just come across this recipe and can’t wait to try it! I’m wondering if you could please tell me a bit about canning it. Does it need anything else or do you just ladle it in jars and process it? Headspace? Also do you recommend bottled or fresh lemon juice? Thanks so much!

        • Krissy says

          Hi Shianna, I just followed standard water bath canning procedures which do call for head space. I prefer fresh lemon juice but I’m sure bottled would work just fine. -Krissy

    • spfoodie says

      I’ve only ever made my applesauce with honeycrisps. I’m a total food snob and will only eat honeycrisps or pink ladies. I’m sure Fuji would work perfectly, though. They’re sweet enough that I might want to give them an extra squeeze of lemon. You can’t go wrong! Krissy

        • spfoodie says

          Hi Meredith. It completely depends on how big your apples are. I fill my slow cooker (6 quart) and it cooks down by up to half. At that point, I’m able to can 3-4 quarts. But I end up making batch after batch because I buy my apples in bulk. – Krissy

    • spfoodie says

      Hi Betty, Absolutely! Just cook it over medium heat with the lid on and give it a stir every so often. – Krissy

  2. SakuraMari says

    Hi there….

    My kids are begging me to make this… but I need to make one substitution. My hubby has diverticulitis, and can’t eat small seeds. (I cut the seeds out of his tomatoes for a salad…can’t be too careful!) Since I can’t use vanilla bean, I use quality extract, but I was wondering if you might give me an estimate of how much might equal a bean that’s simmered in the crock pot?

    Thanks so much!

    • spfoodie says

      I’ve never frozen applesauce but I’ve frozen most everything else. I’d like to say yes, you can, but I can’t tell you that with 100% certainty.

      • Alyssa says

        I’ve frozen applesauce in ziplock bags and I have some left from last year that is still fine. It freezes very well. Just thaw in the fridge or with warm water when you want to eat it.

  3. says

    I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (, a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

    • spfoodie says

      Did you have any remaining apple peel when you cooked it? That would definitely add to the color and the tartness. -Krissy

  4. says


    • spfoodie says

      Wow. I’m really sorry to hear that. I posted the recipe exactly as I had made it and I made about 5 batches the same exact way and they all turned out perfectly. I’ve seen a ton of comments on facebook and pinterest as well where people said they made my applesauce and it turned out perfectly for them as well. Do you think there might be something wrong with your slow cooker? -Krissy

  5. Cheryl Rafuse says

    ive frozen applesauce in mason jars many times. It goes quickly so I don’t have it much past a couple months. Very nice treat.

  6. Debby says

    This recipe looks delish! I am getting ready to make a batch and was wondering if the temperature of the crockpot is to be set on high or low. Also, I assume that the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean pod comes out in the end. Is that correct?

    • spfoodie says

      Hi Debby, I set my slow cooker to high. And yes, you are right – remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean when done (or reuse in next batch). 🙂 Krissy

  7. Sharon says

    Made this with Pink lady apples. It is delicious! The only thing I would add is I needed to stir my crock pot several times as the apples shrunk. Any apples stuck to the side would start to burn if left for 4 hours unattended. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Alicia says

    I love anything vanilla so I gave this a try… Your information contained herein was not completely accurate. You failed to mention that I would want to eat all of it in one setting…. I have restrained myself for now, but this is absolutely delightful. My husband said it tastes like apple pie filling (which is good because he has been having a serious sweet tooth!). Thank you for the wonderful recipe!!!

    • spfoodie says

      Thank you so much for your comment! When I started reading, my heart sank and I said “uh oh”. Way to wake a girl up! So glad you liked it!!! -Krissy

  9. Dani says

    I am wanting to make this, but I was wondering which type of vanilla bean do you use. I was looking online to buy some, and there are quite a few different options. I wasn’t sure if it would make a difference. Thanks!

    • Krissy says

      Hi Dani, I have bought both Madagascar and Mexican vanilla beans and, honestly, I couldn’t really tell a difference. I’ve bought from both Olive Nation and Beanilla and both were of high quality. Hope that helps! Krissy

  10. Dawn says

    Have to say this seriously has become my families favorite applesauce! It’s the only one I can and freeze. Even made some for my Granddaughter 🙂 I do add a extra vanilla bean and cinnamon stick.
    Thank you for an awesome recipe that has now become a family favorite and is requested all the time

  11. Kerry says

    I have a question I have never used Vanilla beans before. Would Grade B work for this I found some grade B for a good price. But I didn’t want to get the wrong type. Thanks

    • Krissy says

      Hi Kerry, I really don’t know. I’ve only purchased high quality ones before. If you buy them and they smell good, I don’t see why not? -Krissy

  12. Patricia says

    This was not a favorite recipe for applesauce in our home. We love honeycrisp apples. However, we felt there was too much lemon juice and made it too tart. Also, the cinnamon stick did not infuse enough to have a distinct flavor. We did however, like the idea of vanilla bean. This is not a bad recipe, just not to our liking. In addition, I can’t put my head around waiting 4 hours for applesauce when on the stove top it’s done in 20-30 on low heat. Giving it 5 stars because you live it!

  13. Jax says

    Just wanted to let you know I have made this recipe a gazillion times. Its an absolute fave and a Thanksgiving must. Found it again today to send link to family out west that couldn’t make it home this year (i do it by sight now but wanted something a little more exact to share). Thanks!


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