Slow Cooker Apple Cider

Today I’m sharing how to make slow-cooker apple cider for all of those around the world who don’t have access to cider mills. With just a few minutes of prep time you’ll have delicious cider that will make your whole house smell like fall. It’s the ultimate aromatherapy.

After years being abroad, I have learned some new ways to bring the seasonal delights that I adore home to us no matter where we are in the world. Every three years we head somewhere new, and we have no idea when we will spend another Autumn in America. So whether you live within minutes of a cider mill, or all the way in Africa – you can make this homemade naturally sweetened spiced apple cider in your crock pot.

slow cooker apple cider in a tall glass with apples in the background

Updated recipe in October 2021:

Apple cider is simple to make and requires minimal ingredients, all of which you can locate easily in your local grocery store.. Many recipes call for apple slices, a variety of whole spices and a hint of citrus. This particular recipe does not. I find that homemade slow cooker apple cider really tastes best with red delicious apples and minimal spices, and when I skip the citrus all together. Previously, I had a recipe for apple cider with only honey to sweeten, and plenty of spices and some ginger. This year I went traditional, and this easy recipe (newly updated) is truly the best fresh apple cider you’ll try this holiday season. Hosts and hostess are always sincerely thankful and impressed when I drop off this perfect drink at holiday parties.

overhead shot of ingredients for slow cooker apple cider - red apples, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks laid out on a marble surface

Ingredients you need to make slow cooker apple cider

  • 10 apples, quartered, seeds, stems and cores removes to prevent bitter apple cider
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, you could also use coconut sugar – but brown sugar tasted best in recipe testing
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 whole cloves

overhead shot of apple cider in a glass

Step by step how to make this easy apple cider crockpot recipe:

  • Start by prepping your apples by cleaning and cutting them into quarters. You can remove seeds and stems to prevent apple cider from becoming bitter during your cooking time.
  • Add apples, water, and spices into your slow cooker. Cover with water.  Water should fully cover apples.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to mash the apples and into the side of the pot to release their flavor. Then, continue to cook on low for another hour or two.
  • Strain apple cider into serving vessel of choice. Use the potato masher or wooden spoon to extract all additional liquid from apples before discarding them. Note, we like to use these apples for apple sauce!
  • Stir in the brown sugar, tasting and adding more until you reach your desired level of sweetness.
  • Serve warm or chilled with a cinnamon stick.

Variations:

  • For thicker cider, cook over low heat for 20 minutes to allow it to reduce
  • For a sweeter cider, add an additional tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Serve hot or cold

Benefits of making your own homemade apple cider at home

One of the major benefits of making your own is that you don’t end up with a large plastic jug, and the ingredients can all be composted. You can also use this recipe to make any of your favorite apple cider recipes, including donuts, cakes, or cocktails.

Don’t have a crockpot or slow cooker? No problem! Here’s how to make the apple cider on the stove:

  • Cut your apples and place them in a large stockpot.
  • Add all of your ingredients into the stockpot.
  • Cover ingredients with water.. You will want to add enough water cover all of your ingredients by at least 2 inches. Depending on your pot size, this may vary. Start with 8 cups and add more if needed.
  • Simmer for three hours.
  • Strain apple mixture through a fine sieve. Discard solids. Drain cider again though a cheesecloth-lined sieve.
  • Pour cider into a large sauce pan and reduce for several minutes until it’s thickened to your taste.

shot of woman's hand pouring champagne into a glass of apple cider for apple cider mimosa

Make it an alcoholic beverage:

Instead of fermenting this apple cider, there are a few ways to turn it into an alcoholic beverage

How to store homemade apple cider:

We store our apple cider in an airtight container, like this one –  for up to two weeks in our refrigerator. You can freeze if you make too much!

Recipes to use your apple cider in:

cover shot overhead of pouring homemade apple cider into glass mug

Slow Cooker Apple Cider

5 from 8 votes
Today I'm sharing how to make slow cooker apple cider for all of those around the world who don't have access to cider mills. With just a few minutes of prep time you'll have delicious cider that will make your whole house smell like a dream. It's the ultimate aromatherapy.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:5 minutes
Additional Time:6 hours
Total Time:6 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8-10 apples quartered, seeds, stems and cores removes to prevent bitter apple cider. You can use either red or green apples. Our family prefers sweet red apples!
  • 3/4 - 1 cup brown sugar you could also use coconut sugar or any sweetener of choice. Brown sugar adds a lot of depth from its molasses, which is what I recommend most. Start with 3/4 cup and add more if needed after tasting
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 nutmeg freshly grated
  • 8 cups water more if needed

Instructions

  • Start by prepping your apples by cleaning and cutting them into quarters. You can remove seeds and stems to prevent apple cider from becoming bitter during your cooking time.
  • Add apples, water, and spices into your slow cooker. Cover with water.  Water should fully cover apples.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to mash the apples and into the side of the pot to release their flavor. Then, continue to cook on low for another hour or two.
  • Strain apple cider into serving vessel of choice. Use the potato masher or wooden spoon to extract all additional liquid from apples before discarding them. Note, we like to use these apples for apple sauce!
  • Stir in the brown sugar, tasting and adding more until you reach your desired level of sweetness.
  • Serve warm or chilled with a cinnamon stick.

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Bring cider to room temperature before storing in the fridge.
Consume within two weeks.
Freezes well.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade cider
Servings: 8 cups apple cider
Calories: 173kcal
Author: sarah

Looking for more seasonal food recipes?

Making lots of apple recipes? Check out this post on how to use your apple scraps!

Homemade cinnamon apple peel pancake syrup

Will you be trying to make your own apple cider this year? If so, let me know how it goes in the comments!

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