This is by far our favorite way to make homemade apple cider—in the slow cooker. Simply add apple juice and a handful of other ingredients to your crock-pot or slow cooker, walk away, and let it simmer. In no time, your entire house will smell delicious and you’ll have the tastiest apple cider to enjoy.
This apple cider recipe is delicious any time, but we love to make it for:
- Fall bridal or baby showers
- Halloween night to ‘treat’ adults (they can choose to spike or not!)
- Thanksgiving day with festive fall or turkey cups
- Christmas parties or holiday get-togethers with family using fun holiday cups
Fun fact: we often call this ‘crock-pot apple cider’—but slow cooker is the appliance name and Crock-Pot is actually a brand of slow cooker. Kind of like Kleenex vs. tissues.
Easy Slow Cooker Apple Cider
Here’s what you’ll need to make the best homemade apple cider.
Apples: any red variety will work; for example, red delicious, gala, or fuji apples. You can also use golden delicious.
Oranges: this recipe calls for chopping the orange, which will leave some pulp in your cider. If you prefer not to have small bits of orange in your drink – then you can use cuties instead and skip the slicing.
Other variations: if it’s close to Thanksgiving or Christmas and you need a holiday feel – add some whole fresh cranberries. You can also add star anise for a unique licorice flavor or allspice berries.
Spiked apple cider: it’s easy to turn this cider into a warm cocktail! Try adding your favorite rum, whiskey, or bourbon. For a stronger cinnamon taste – go with Fireball. For a caramel apple twist – try a caramel vodka or salted caramel whiskey.
Slow cooker: you’ll need at least a 5-quart slow cooker. If you have something bigger like a 7-quart, feel free to add more apple juice and a few more cinnamon sticks. If you only have a 4-quart crock-pot – add just a bit less to leave room for the fruit.
Serving cups: if you have enough traditional mugs for everyone, perfect. If not or you want something disposable, you can use insulated paper cups with lids. For holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas), we love to serve cider in festive paper cups. TJ Maxx always has the cutest cups and holiday paper goods. You can also find cute options at Target or on Amazon.
How to Make Apple Cider in the Slow Cooker
Gather your slow cooker, cutting board, chopping knife, and all the required ingredients. Begin by chopping the red apple into chunks. You can use any variety of red apple or golden delicious.
Next, chop the orange into pieces. Then stick 2 to 3 whole cloves into each orange slice. (Orange rind is much easier to pierce compared to apple skin.)
As noted in the ingredients section—adding chopped fruit to the cider will create some pulp in your cider. If you want to avoid this, just use whole cuties instead (still adding cloves) and forgo the chopped fruit.
Next, add the apple juice to your slow cooker, leaving space to add the diced oranges, apples, and cinnamon sticks. (Depending on the size of your slow cooker, you can add more or less apple juice than the 128 ounces.)
Keep one of the empty apple juice bottles for an easy way to store the apple cider leftovers in the refrigerator when you’re done. Use a funnel for mess-free pouring.
Now that you’ve added the apple juice, carefully add the chopped apple and orange slices (with cloves). Finally, add the cinnamon sticks.
Add a few more cinnamon sticks if you decide to use more than 128 ounces of juice.
Set your slow cooker to ‘low’ and simmer for several hours (2 to 3 hours). Your house will start to smell amazing! You can serve it as soon as the cider is hot. Of course, the longer you let it simmer – the more flavorful it will be. When it’s hot, switch to the ‘warm’ setting.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator after it has cooled. (As mentioned above – save an empty apple juice bottle for easy storage or use a pitcher with an airtight lid.)
Slow Cooker Apple Cider Recipe
Here’s the full printable recipe with ingredients, instructions, and nutrition information. Get ready for your home to smell like fall!Print
The best homemade hot apple cider, perfect for fall and winter gatherings.
- Chop both the apple and orange into chunks.
- Stick whole cloves into the orange pieces (orange rind is much easier to pierce than apple skin). Use 2 to 3 whole cloves per orange slice.
- Add the apple juice to your slow cooker, leaving space to add the oranges, apples, and cinnamon sticks.
- Finally, add chopped apple, orange with cloves, and cinnamon sticks.
- Set your slow cooker to ‘low’ and simmer for several hours (2 to 3 hours), stirring occasionally. Your house will start to smell amazing! And you can serve it as soon as the cider is hot, of course, the longer you let it simmer – the more flavorful it will be.
- After 2-3 hours, move to the ‘warm’ setting.
- Use a ladle to pour the cider into glass mugs or insulated paper cups.
Depending on the size of your slow cooker, you can add a little bit more or less apple juice than the 128 ounces. Adding more? Add a few more cinnamon sticks as well.
For an easy way to store leftover apple cider – keep one of the empty apple juice bottles. You can easily add the extra cider and keep it in the fridge.
As noted in the ingredients section, adding chopped fruit to the cider will create a little pulp in your cider. If you want to avoid this – just use whole cuties instead (still with cloves) and forgo the chopped apples.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 8 ounces
- Calories: 130
- Sugar: 26 g
- Sodium: 12.4 mg
- Fat: 0.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 32.2 g
- Protein: 0.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: fall drink, halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, fall party, winter party
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