Homemade apple cider is a quintessential fall drink, so I’m teaching you how easy it is. We’re using a slow cooker, fresh fruit, and fall spices to make this simple and flavorful cider– your house will smell like fall all day long! Cheers.
There’s something very special about homemade apple cider. I love how the house smells as it simmers, the delicious ways to serve it all season long, and that it’s made with 100% real ingredients– no preservatives or crazy additives. It’s actually really easy to make and I have a feeling you’ll revisit this recipe every year!
Apple Cider Ingredients
You only need 5 ingredients to make slow cooker apple cider. Because there are so few ingredients, the flavors truly shine and you can actually taste the homemade goodness.
- Apples: Use a variety of apples for best tasting cider.
- Orange: One orange balances out the apple flavor and pairs wonderfully with the spices.
- Cinnamon Sticks + Cloves: These spices go hand-in-hand with anything apple.
- Sugar: Adds sweetness.
Best Apples to Use in Homemade Apple Cider
For the best flavor, I strongly encourage using a variety of apples– some sweet, some tart.
- Sweet apples I love: Jazz, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Gala, Fuji, and Cortland
- Tart apples I love: Granny Smith, Braeburn, Jonathan, and Pacific Rose
How to Make Homemade Apple Cider
This is a set it and forget it crockpot recipe.
- Place everything in the slow cooker.
- Add water. Use enough to cover the fruit.
- Cook. 6-7 hours on low heat, 3 hours on high heat.
- Mash the fruits. Take a giant spoon and begin mashing up all those warm apples and oranges. (At this point, they’ll be super soft.)
- Simmer. Allow this liquid mash to simmer for another hour.
- Strain. Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the cider.
No slow cooker? Use a large stock pot instead. Place all ingredients into your pot and bring everything to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Continue with mashing the fruit, cooking for an additional hour, and straining as instructed.
You Control the Sugar & Spices
What I love most about homemade cider is that you can control the amount of sugar and spices. I find apples to be super sweet on their own, so I add very little sugar to my homemade apple cider. We all have different preferences, so make sure that you add enough sugar to suite your tastes. For apple cider similar to what you purchase at the store, I recommend using 1/2 cup of granulated sugar.
More Cozy Fall Recipes
- Apple Cider Sangria
- Apple Cider Donuts
- Brown Butter Apple Blondies
- Pumpkin Scones
- Apple Bundt Cake
- Pumpkin Bread
For the best flavor, I strongly encourage using a variety of apples– some sweet, some tart. See recipe notes for how to make this apple cider on the stove.
- 1 orange
- 10 medium apples (use a variety– I use Honeycrisp and Granny Smith)
- 3 cinnamon sticks (or 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon)
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- granulated sugar*
- Peel the orange and place the segments in the slow cooker. (Pictures show unpeeled- I prefer peeling it. Less bitter.) Wash the apples, cut into quarters, and place in the slow cooker. Add the cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, and sugar. Add enough water to cover the fruit.
- Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours. (Or high heat for 3.)
- After 6-7 hours, the fruit will be very soft. Use a large spoon to mash the fruit and release its liquids. Allow the cider to cook on low for 1 more hour.
- Very slowly strain the chunky liquid though a fine mesh sieve into a large pot or pitcher. You can discard the solids. Strain the cider one more time to rid any other solids. Serve the cider warm. Leftover cider keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. Warm up on the stove before serving– or drink it cold!
- Freezing Instructions: Cider can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
- Sugar: Adjust the sugar to your taste. I only use a couple Tablespoons of granulated sugar because I prefer spicy cider as opposed to sweet. If you prefer your apple cider on the sweeter side (like the kind you buy at the store), use 1/2 cup (100g) of granulated sugar.
- No Slow Cooker? No Problem! In step 1, place all of the ingredients into a large stock pot instead of a slow cooker. Turn the stove up to high heat and bring everything to a simmer while stirring occasionally. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Mash the fruit as described in step 3. Then, allow the cider to cook for 1 more hour. Continue with step 4.
- Special Tools: Slow Cooker (4-quart or higher), Fine Mesh Sieve, Ground Cloves, and Glass Mugs
- Adapted from All Recipes.
Keywords: apple cider, slow cooker apple cider