This slow cooker apple cider recipe is infused with citrus and spices and simmered to perfection. You’re going to want this crock pot mulled cider at all of your holiday gatherings!
This apple cider recipe starts with apple juice to make life a little easier, and is a fragrant and delicious combination of aromatic spices, cinnamon and orange. It takes just 5 minutes of prep time and makes the whole house smell amazing!
Is there anything better than a warm mug of apple cider on a cold day? I didn’t think so! This slow cooker apple cider is super easy to make, and is the hit of any party. There’s just something special about the combination of apples and spices that really makes it feel like the holidays. Make a big batch of this warm drink for your holiday event and watch the rave reviews come in.
How do you make slow cooker apple cider?
This recipe starts with apple juice. The ingredients here are quite simple, so you want to go for high quality. I use an organic, unfiltered apple juice, it has SO much more flavor than your standard grocery store brand apple juice. It really makes a difference in this recipe! The apple juice is simmered in the crock pot with brown sugar, whole aromatic spices, and orange slices.
Tips for slow cooker apple cider
- It’s best to use whole spices to let them slowly infuse the juice as it simmers in the crock pot.
- I garnish my cider with sliced oranges and apples to add a little color, and to give my guests a hint about the flavors in this drink. I also add a handful of fresh cranberries just because they’re so pretty and seasonally appropriate.
- You can turn this into a cranberry apple cider by using 4 cups of apple juice and 4 cups of sweetened cranberry juice.
- You can make your apple cider into an adult beverage by adding some bourbon to the finished cider.
I typically cook my cider on the low setting of my slow cooker for about 3 hours. You can actually let it simmer for longer, just be aware that the longer it simmers, the more prevalent the spice flavors will be. When the cook time is up, I turn my slow cooker to the keep warm setting, then put out a ladle and some mugs so my guests can serve themselves.
What spices are in apple cider?
I use a combination of cinnamon sticks, allspice berries and cloves to add a little spice to this cider. I also add in one star anise. Star anise have a licorice flavor and add a unique touch to the cider. That being said star anise can be expensive and some people don’t like the licorice flavor, so feel free to omit.
Slow cooker apple cider is a must-have for all of your holiday gatherings. You won’t believe how good it tastes, and it makes the whole house smell wonderful! This recipe serves 8, but if you need to serve more people, you can simply add more juice to your crock pot along with the stated proportions of spices in the recipe.
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Slow Cooker Apple Cider
- 8 cups apple juice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 star anise optional
- 1 orange sliced
- garnishes: cinnamon sticks, sliced apples, oranges and cranberries
- Place the apple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, cloves, star anise and orange in a slow cooker.
- Cook on HIGH for 1 1/2 hours or LOW for 3 hours. Remove whole spices and orange slices. Serve, garnished with cinnamon sticks, apples, oranges and cranberries if desired.
This slow cooker apple cider is sponsored by Nielsen-Massey. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Dinner at the Zoo possible! This post was originally published on November 9, 2017 and was updated on November 7, 2018 with new content.
Our family loves this cider! It’s so easy to make, delicious, & makes the house smell incredible! I’ve made it for Christmas morning the last few years & it’ll continue to be one of our Christmas morning staples – apple cider & homemade cinnamon rolls.
I’d like to make this and then let it cool and put in cute glass containers (like a growler) to give to friends. Have you let it cool and reheated it? If so, how does it taste? Does anything break down? I don’t want it to look strange in the bottle.
You could strain the cider before you put it into bottles to avoid any residue!
I made this for our cookie exchange and it was very good! Bonus that it makes the house smell amazing!
This was delightful, made the entire house smell so good! It’s now a new family tradition to have this apple cider recipe at all our holiday events, we even bought an extra crockpot to designate to the apple cider! I followed the recipe exactly exact I did not use anise!
Oh – I also added a sprinkle of nutmeg!
Yummy and it made my house smell so amazing!
Hi, thanks for this wonderful recipe! How do I remove the allspice & cloves?
I use a strainer or slotted spoon!
Loved this and it made the house smell so inviting!
I can’t seem to find whole all spice berrries and I just have ground cloves. Can I used ground all spice and ground cloves as an alternative? If so, can you tell me what the measurements would be if it is different? Thanks!
I’d just use 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves and 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice!
What serving is this for?
It makes 8 servings, each serving is about 1 1/4 cups.
Its lovely that you provided information on calorie count etc. I have never actually tried this recipe or any versions of it but I think I might just try this one.
Slow cooker cider is the best. It is so soothing to the throat and the smell is heavenly.
Hot Apple Cider has been a part of our Christmas celebration for years. This looks like a great recipe and it turns out beautiful!
I think slow cooking the cider brings out so much of the flavor and makes the house smell wonderful. I love that you used whole cranberries as embellishment.
I’m not sure what part of hot cider I love the best, the smell or the taste. Beautiful pictures!