Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider

Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider

Apple cider infused with oranges, apples, cranberries, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. This Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider has all the flavors of fall, and it’s the perfect cozy drink to share with a crowd.

Jump to Recipe

Story Time:

Many years ago when our daughter was little we started a Halloween tradition with friends and family. It was a fun night of fellowship, food, and trick-or-treating. The person that hosted would provide a simple main dish, while the rest of us would bring snacks and treats. We would fill our bellies, then grab our kids and hot cups filled with warm cider (and some with a splash of merlot or rum) and hit the streets for a wonderful night of laughter and candy. We did this year after year it was some of the best memories we made with our friends and family. As life would have it, our kids are older now and going in different directions (boo 😥) but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy some of the perks of the Holiday season.

This brings me to my Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider. The whole reason you’re here, right! This warm and fragrant drink was an absolute must at our Halloween gatherings. There was always a pot simmering with the aromas of the autumn season. It was so inviting. This warming cup of spiced cider is the definition of cozy and I look forward to it every year.

What Is Spiced Apple Cider?

There is apple cider and then there is spiced apple cider. Traditional apple cider gets its flavors from apples alone. Spiced apple cider is infused with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc. And often times fresh fruit like oranges, apples, pears and berries.

Homemade Spiced Apple Cider vs. Semi-Homemade:

While delicious, Homemade requires a bit more hands on. Lots of chopping, mashing, and long cooking times. Also delicious, Semi-Homemade takes a short-cut using pre-made apple cider, then infusing it with fruit and spices. This apple cider can be your favorite store-brand, or fresh, in-season from a local farm. I tend to fancy convenience and ease, and my Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider fits the bill.

Ingredients For Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider:

  • Apple cider or apple juice– As I mentioned above, fresh in-season apple cider is preferred but not always available. Quality store-brand will also work great.
  • Brown sugar– Adding brown sugar is optional but it really adds a rich sweetness to the cider. I only use 2 tablespoons so it’s not much.
  • Apple slices– Any kind of apples will work for this recipe. A variety adds great flavor and color.
  • Orange slices– Oranges are essential for cider and give it a touch of citrus flavor without overpowering the apple taste.
  • Whole cranberries– I use cranberries because they add beautiful color and just a touch of tartness.
  • Spices– Use whole spices to infuse flavor into the apple cider. I like cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and star anise. If you’ve never used star anise it has a licorice flavor. I use between 2-3 for this recipe and it’s the perfect flavor for us.

Whole, fresh cranberries can be hard to find in the early fall season. Frozen works just fine and can be found in most grocery stores year round. If you can’t get your hands on cranberries, try using blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries.

How To Make Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider:

Step 1. Prepare apples and oranges.

Step 2. In a 6-quart or larger slow-cooker add apple cider, brown sugar, sliced oranges and apples, cranberries, and whole spices. Stir to combine. Place the lid on and set to low. Cook for 3-4 hours.

Step 3. After the cooking time, replace some of the cooked fruit with fresh fruit. This makes it more attractive and colorful. Keep slow-cooker on warm while serving.



What If I Don’t Have A Slow Cooker?

If you don’t have a slow cooker, no problem. Use a large stock pot with a fitted lid. Add ingredients according to the instructions and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil, place lid on, and turn heat down to simmer for 2-3 hours. Keep warm while serving.

Spike it!

For extra warmth and flavor, try adding merlot, spiced rum, bourbon, or brandy.

  • For Merlot: Fill a mug 3/4 full with cider and top off with your favorite merlot.
  • For Liquor: Add 1 shot of spiced rum, bourbon, or brandy to a mug, and fill the rest of the way with cider.

Add Even More Flavor:

Add 1-2 tea bags like Hot Cinnamon, Caramel Apple, or Pumpkin Spice to the Apple Cider mixture while it slow cooks. This will infuse even more flavor into the Spiced Cider.

Serving Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider:

Set out mugs, (or hot cups with lids) cinnamon sticks, whipped cream, and depending on the occasion, merlot and a dark liquor. Everyone can serve themselves and customize their own drink.



Can I Freeze Leftover Spiced Apple Cider?

The short answer is, yes! Cool completely and pour in a freezer safe jar, leaving 2-inches of open space from the top. Secure tightly with a lid and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to consume, place in the refrigerator to thaw. This will take several hours or overnight. Tip: As the cider thaws, it will release moisture on the outside of the jar. Place a towel down first, then the jar to help soak up excess liquid. Consume thawed cider as soon as possible.


RATE THE RECIPE⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I appreciate your comments and reviews! Be sure to leave a comment or rating below for suggestions, questions, or if you make the recipe. I’d love to know how it turned out for you!

Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider

Apple cider infused with oranges, apples, cranberries, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. This Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider has all the flavors of fall and the perfect cozy drink to share with a crowd.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Course Beverage, Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 8 cups
Calories 150 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 6-quart slow cooker or large pot with fitted lid

Ingredients
  

  • 8 cups fresh or favorite store-brand apple cider
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 apple, sliced thin, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 orange, sliced thin, plus extra for garnish
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Instructions
 

Slow-cooker instructions:

  • Add all ingredients to slow cooker and stir to combine. Place lid on and set temperature to low. Cook for 3-4 hours.
  • After the cooking time, replace some of the cooked fruit with fresh fruit. This makes it more attractive and colorful. Keep slow-cooker on warm while serving.

Stove-top instructions:

  • Add all the ingredients to a large pot with fitted lid and stir to combine. Bring to a gentle bowl, place the lid on, and turn heat down to the lowest setting, Cook for 2-3 hours.
  • After the cooking time, replace some of the cooked fruit with fresh fruit. Keep warm while serving.

Notes

Tips:
More fruit & berry options- Add these in addition to the apples and oranges- sliced pears, peaches, pineapple, cherries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. 
Spike it- For those that want a little kick, add merlot, spiced rum, bourbon, or brandy to the cider. 
  • For Merlot: Fill a mug 3/4 full with cider and top off with your favorite merlot.
  • For Liquor: Add 1 shot of spiced rum, bourbon, or brandy to a mug, and fill the rest of the way with cider.
Freezing leftovers- Cool cider completely and place in freezer safe jars with a sealed lid. Cider can be frozen for up to 2 months. When ready to consume, set in the refrigerator on a towel for several hours. 
 
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be understood as an estimate rather than a guarantee. The Menu Maid makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
 
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cup
Servings: 8
Amount per serving  
Calories 150
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.4g 0%
Saturated Fat 0.1g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 37.7g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1.5g 5%
Total Sugars 34.2g  
Protein 0.4g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 369mg 8%
Keyword Apple Cider, Apples, Brown sugar, Cinnamon sticks, Cranberries, Oranges, Star anise, Whole cloves

Note: Some of the links on my website are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra charge to you.

Most Recent Posts:

  • Non-Alcoholic Christmas Sangria

    Non-Alcoholic Christmas Sangria

    This beautiful Non-Alcoholic Christmas Sangria is perfect for the holiday season. It’s fruity and fizzy, and studded with lots of fresh in-season fruit. Everyone will enjoy this festive holiday drink. We usually have lots of kiddos at our holiday gatherings and some adults that don’t…

    Read more

  • Kitchen Sink Blondies

    Kitchen Sink Blondies

    Everything but the Kitchen Sink Blondies. Lots of goodies from sweet chocolate and butterscotch chips, to salty pretzels, rice krispies, and gooey marshmallows. These will go fast! Have you ever tried “everything but the kitchen sink cookies“? The concept is a fully loaded cookie with…

    Read more

  • Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken

    Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken

    3-ingredient Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken is the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and savory. Chicken thighs slow cooked with apricot preserves and pickled jalapenos makes an easy and flavorful meal any night of the week. Serve over rice, quinoa, or potatoes. I love a good…

    Read more




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating