It’s apple cider season! This slow cooker apple cider is cozy and super easy to make. It requires only a few minutes of prep work. The spices in this slow cooker apple cider will make your house smell divine!
Fall is my favorite season of the year. All the good stuff is here: apples, apple cider donuts, fall baking, roasted butternut squash, soups…and super cozy warm drinks!
This slow cooker apple cider is the definition of fall. Here’s what’s in it: apples, oranges, cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, whole cloves, water, and brown sugar. Now, imagine all of that in the slow cooker, filling your house with the smell of apples and aromatic spices. So cozy and comforting!
I used a 4-quart slow cooker for this slow cooker apple cider recipe. It serves about 6 people. Or 1 person if you want to drink it all yourself. I’m only half-joking here…!
Why You’ll Love this Apple Cider
There are so many things to love about this warm apple cider! It’s honestly my favorite drink of the season.
Here are my favorite things about it:
- Super easy to make! Only 10-15 minutes of active prep time. The rest is the slow cooker’s job.
- Homemade is always better!
- You can customize the flavor profile. For aromatics, I used cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, and whole cloves. You can also add ginger or even cranberries.
Most importantly, it will make your house smell like heaven. I don’t know what could be better than that!
Slow Cooker Apple Cider Ingredients
You only need 7 ingredients for this easy Crock Pot apple cider recipe:
- Apples: I’d recommend using gala apples. Don’t bother peeling or coring the apples since it will be discarded anyway.
- Orange: It will add vibrant tones to the apple cider. Plus, the aromatic oils of the orange peel will take it to the next level. The orange peel adds a pleasant bitter tone to the apple cider, but if you want it to be less bitter, simply peel the orange.
- Cinnamon Sticks: Not ground cinnamon.
- Whole Nutmeg: 1 whole nutmeg is enough. Not ground nutmeg.
- Whole Cloves: These can be quite powerful. Use 1 teaspoon. Not ground cloves.
- Brown Sugar: I started with 1/2 cup brown sugar, and added 2 more tablespoons at the end.
- Water: about 8-9 cups of water are enough for a 4-quart slow cooker after adding the apples, orange, and spices.
One quick note about why I’m using whole cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and cloves: the flavors of the whole spices will slowly release, infusing the apple cider. They are usually very easy to find at the grocery store.
If you prefer to use ground spices, be careful with the amount you add since they can be overpowering. See note in the recipe card below for tips.
Special tools and equipment you will need are:
- 4-quart slow cooker
- Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Potato masher, a fork, or tongs
How to Make Slow Cooker Apple Cider
It’s a super simple hot apple cider recipe. 15 minutes of active prep work only!
- For a 4-quart slow cooker: cut 7-8 medium apples into quarters. No need to peel or core the apples. Slice an orange.
- Into the slow cooker, add the quartered apples, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, whole cloves, brown sugar, and water. I used about 8 cups of water.
- Cook on HIGH for 4 hours.
- One hour before the cook time is up, transfer the apples to a large bowl and mash them. Return to slow cooker and let it finish cooking for the remaining hour.
- Strain using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Discard apples, oranges, and the rest of the ingredients. Enjoy!
I love to serve my apple cider warm with a slice of orange to add brightness. For garnish or decoration, you can use cinnamon sticks.
I am so excited that fall is here! The weather is getting cooler, the trees are starting to show signs of orange, and I’m a happy camper. Can you tell how much I love fall?
Thank you for reading and feel free to leave any questions in the comments section.
If you’re looking for more recipes that scream fall, be sure to check these out:
- Classic Apple Pie (my absolute fall fave!)
- Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
- Apple Dutch Baby Pancakes
- Stuffed Acorn Squash with Wild Rice and Mushrooms
- Kale and Apple Salad
And please don’t forget to pin this recipe! Much appreciated, and happy Fall, friends!
Tips for Amazing Slow Cooker Apple Cider
- Use sweet apples. I used gala apples, but you can use other kinds of apple. My other top choices are Fuji and Honeycrisp. Stay away from Red Delicious. If you want to add some tartness, use a few Granny Smith apples.
- To strain most of the solids, even the bits and pieces, use cheesecloth instead of a fine mesh strainer.
- Want to use ground spices instead? Ground spices will overpower the apple cider, so the amount of ground spices will vary based on preferences. Once the liquid is hot enough, add your ground spices 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon at a time and stir to combine until you get the flavors you want.
Slow Cooker Apple Cider
- 7 medium gala apples
- 1 navel orange
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, plus more to taste
- 8 cups water, plus more as needed
- Cut the apples into quarters. No need to peel or core the apples.
- Slice the orange. Note: orange peel can add a nice touch of bitterness that I love in my apple cider, but you can choose to peel the orange to make it less bitter.
- To a 4-quart slow cooker, add the quartered apples, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, whole cloves, and sugar. Add water to fill the slow cooker. 8-9 cups of water should be enough.
- Set the slow cooker on HIGH for 4 hours. 1 hour before it's done cooking, remove the apples and mash them using a fork or a masher. Return the mashed apples, including the bits and pieces and extra liquid, to the slow cooker. Cook for another hour.
- Strain the solids with a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Serve warm and enjoy!
- Special equipment: 4-quart slow cooker.
- Want to use ground spices instead? Ground spices will overpower the apple cider, so it's important to use the right amount to your liking. To do so, once the liquid is hot, add the ground spices. Start with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons at a time and stir to combine until you get the flavors you like.
- Sugar: Feel free to add more sugar if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time to be cautious.
- Storing: Let the apple cider cool completely, and store in the fridge in a container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove. Or enjoy cold!