Homemade Apple Cider

This delicious homemade apple cider recipe is super-easy to make in the Crock-Pot, Instant Pot or on the stovetop.  It’s made simply with apples, warming spices, water, and your choice of sweetener.  And it is so comforting and delicious.

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe | Stovetop, Crock-Pot or Instant Pot

Pssst, I’m going to let you in on my favorite cold-weather, holiday, ultimate-hygge entertaining tip.  It’s these three simple words right here.

Homemade apple cider. 

If you’ve never tried making apple cider from scratch before, I can’t recommend it enough.  First off, it is absolutely delicious, and tastes so much fresher than anything you can buy at the store.  Second, it’s super duper simple to make in the Crock-Pot, Instant Pot, or on the stovetop.  And when you make your own apple cider from scratch, you get to choose your sweetener and how much of it you add.  Third, it’s the gluten-free, vegan, alcohol-free drink that everyone at a gathering can easily enjoy.  (Or of course, you’re also welcome to keep a bottle of bourbon or brandy nearby, if people would like to spike their cider.)

But I’ve gotta be honest, the main reason I love making apple cider is because it makes your home smell absolutely amazing.  Seriously, a warm pot of cider simmering on the stove will beat out your strongest fall candles any day.  And especially when you’re wanting guests to feel extra cozy and welcome in your home on a chilly winter night, I’m tellin’ ya, this cider is like — poof! — instant hygge.  It’s always the first thing my friends and family comment on when they walk in the door.  And a steaming mug full is guaranteed to everyone up on even the chilliest of days.

So now that the snow is falling, and apples are in season again, it’s time, friends.  Let’s make a batch!

Rainbow of Apples and Oranges | Homemade Apple Cider Recipe

Homemade Apple Cider Ingredients:

So here’s the thing with apple cider — you’re welcome to make as large or small a batch as you’d like.  I typically like to go big and fill my entire stockpot, Crock-Pot or Instant Pot.  (And then save any leftovers in the fridge or freezer for later.)  But you’re also welcome to make a quarter batch in a small saucepan if you’d like.  Whatever sounds good to you.  ♡

In general, you will need (affiliate links included):

  • Fresh apples: As you can see, I enjoy making cider with a rainbow of apples.  But feel free to use whichever varieties (or mix of varieties) that you love most.  I recommend a mix of tart (i.e. Granny Smith) and sweet (i.e. Gala or Golden Delicious) apples.
  • Oranges: Fresh oranges are essential to giving cider its trademark citrusy flavor.  That said, if you would like to reduce the tartness of this cider, you are welcome to peel the oranges before adding them to the cider.
  • Sweetener: Just about any kind of sweetener will work here.  I typically use either maple syrup or brown sugar.  And of course, please add whatever amount you prefer, to taste.
  • Warming spices: I typically add cinnamon sticks and whole cloves to my cider, plus maybe some whole allspice, nutmeg and/or fresh ginger if I happen to have it on hand.  But if you only have dried powdered spices, those will work too!
  • Water: This will be the base of our cider.

You will also need:

Stovetop Apple Cider Recipe

How To Make Apple Cider On The Stovetop:

To make stovetop apple cider, simply:

  1. Combine your ingredients in a stockpot.  Add the apples, oranges*, and spices to a large stockpot.  Then cover with water, leaving about an inch or two of space at the top of the stockpot.
  2. Simmer.  Heat the cider over high heat until it reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the apples are completely soft.
  3. Mash the apples and oranges.  Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, take a minute to mash all of the apples and oranges against the side of the stockpot to release more of their flavors.  Then cover and let the cider simmer a bit longer.
  4. Strain.  Then, using a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth, strain out all of the solids (apples, oranges, spices), pressing them against the strainer to release all of their juices.  Then discard the solids (or save for smoothies or another use).  This will probably take about 5 minutes.
  5. Sweeten.  Then stir in your desired amount of sweetener, to taste.
  6. Serve warm.  And then, your cider is all ready to go!  For extra presentation points, I like to add a few fresh orange slices and cinnamon sticks back to the stockpot for pretty serving.  But however you like to serve it, your cider is now ready to go and enjoy.

Crock-Pot Apple Cider Recipe

Crock-Pot Apple Cider Instructions:

To make slow cooker apple cider, simply:

  1. Combine your ingredients in a 6-quart* slow cooker.  Add the apples, oranges, and spices to the bowl of a slow cooker.  Then cover with water, leaving about an inch or two of space at the top of the slow cooker.
  2. Simmer.  Cover and cook the apple cider on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until the apples are completely soft.
  3. Mash the apples and oranges.  Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, take a minute to mash all of the apples and oranges against the side of the slow cooker bowl to release more of their flavors.  Then cover and let the cider simmer a bit longer.
  4. Strain.  Then, using a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth, strain out all of the solids (apples, oranges, spices), pressing them against the strainer to release all of their juices.  Then discard the solids (or save for smoothies or another use).  This will probably take about 5 minutes.
  5. Sweeten.  Then stir in your desired amount of sweetener, to taste.
  6. Serve warm.  And then, your cider is all ready to go!  For extra presentation points, I like to add a few fresh orange slices and cinnamon sticks back to the slow cooker for pretty serving.  But however you like to serve it, your cider is now ready to go and enjoy.

*Feel free to use a smaller (3.5 or 4-quart) slow cooker if you would like.  Just halve the recipe.

Instant Pot Apple Cider Recipe

Instant Pot Apple Cider Instructions:

To make pressure cooker apple cider, simply:

  1. Combine your ingredients in your Instant Pot.  Add the apples, oranges, and spices to the bowl of your Instant Pot.  Then cover with water until the level reaches the max fill line.
  2. Cook.  Place the lid on the Instant Pot, set the valve to “Sealing”, and cook on Manual for 25 minutes, followed by a quick release.  Do not turn off the Instant Pot.
  3. Mash the apples and oranges.  Once all of the steam has been released, remove the lid of the Instant Pot.  Then, using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, take a minute to mash all of the apples and oranges against the side of the Instant Pot to release more of their flavors.  Cover and let the cider simmer a bit longer.
  4. Strain.  Then, using a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth, strain out all of the solids (apples, oranges, spices), pressing them against the strainer to release all of their juices.  Then discard the solids (or save for smoothies or another use).  This will probably take about 5 minutes.
  5. Sweeten.  Then stir in your desired amount of sweetener, to taste.
  6. Serve warm.  And then, your cider is all ready to go!  For extra presentation points, I like to add a few fresh orange slices and cinnamon sticks back to the Instant Pot for pretty serving.  But however you like to serve it, your cider is now ready to go and enjoy.

How To Make Apple Cider

Possible Variations:

There are all sorts of ways that you can mix things up with this apple cider recipe.  For example, feel free to:

  • Use a chai tea bag: In place of the dried spices (or in addition to them), feel free to add in a chai tea bag or two to spice your cider.
  • Add in fresh ginger: I also love adding an inch of fresh ginger to my cider for an extra gingery kick.
  • Spike your cider: As mentioned above, feel free to serve your cider with a splash of bourbon or brandy or any other spirits that you might like to add.
Print
Homemade Apple Cider Recipe | Stovetop, Crock-Pot or Instant Pot

Homemade Apple Cider

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 180 minutes
  • Total Time: 190 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x

Description

This delicious homemade apple cider recipe is easy to customize with your preferred type and amount of sweetener.  See notes above for Instant Pot (pressure cooker) and Crock-Pot (slow cooker) instructions.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1012 medium apples (assorted types), quartered
  • 2 oranges, quartered (also peeled, if you would like your cider less tart*)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • optional extra seasonings: 1 teaspoon whole allspice, 1 whole nutmeg, and/or 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 16 cups water, more or less
  • 1/2 cup sweetener (I recommend brown sugar or maple syrup)

Instructions

  1. Combine your ingredients in a stockpot.  Add the apples, oranges, cinnamon, cloves and (optional) extra seasonings to a large stockpot.  Cover with water, leaving about an inch or two of space at the top of the stockpot.
  2. Simmer.  Heat the cider over high heat until it reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the apples are completely soft.
  3. Mash the apples and oranges.  Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, take a minute to mash all of the apples and oranges against the side of the stockpot to release more of their flavors.  Then cover and simmer for 1 more hour.
  4. Strain.  Using a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth, strain out all of the solids (apples, oranges, spices), pressing them against the strainer to release all of their juices.  Discard the solids.
  5. Sweeten.  Stir in your desired amount of sweetener, to taste.
  6. Serve warm.  Then, your cider is all ready to go!  For extra presentation points, I like to add a few fresh orange slices and cinnamon sticks back to the stockpot for pretty serving.  But however you like to serve it, your cider is now ready to go and enjoy. Or feel free to let the cider cool to room temperature, then transfer to a sealed pitcher and refrigerate for up to 5 days.  Or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

*Oranges: Peeling the oranges first will reduce the tartness of the cider, if you would like.


Easy Homemade Apple Cider Recipe | Stovetop, Instant Pot or Crock-Pot

Leave a Reply

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

150 comments on “Homemade Apple Cider”

  1. Pingback: Fun with Fruit: 11 Creative Ways to Save your U-Pick Bounty

  2. Pingback: Χριστουγεννιάτικο ρόφημα | Christmas Greece

  3. Pingback: Fun with Fruit: Creative Ways to Save Summer’s Bounty | Free In L.A.

  4. Pingback: Top 50 Apple Recipes - I Heart Nap Time

  5. Pingback: What to Do With Leftover Apples | Emily Brungard

  6. Pingback: 14 Lip-Smacking Apple Cider Drink Recipes

  7. Pingback: Simple Mulled Apple Cider - Call Me a Hippie

  8. Hi Ali, 
    I was blown away by the cider that resulted from your recipe! It was so delicious it didn’t last more than a night between the four of us. I’m currently writing a post about ways to cook with apples and would love to include a picture/link to your recipe, would that we okay?

    • Thank you Sarah, we’re happy to hear you loved this! and of course you can include a photo and link back to the recipe, thanks for asking! :)

  9. Pingback: 10 delicious apple recipes to make this Fall - Polkadot Stationery

  10. Pingback: The Best Gluten-Free Apple Crisp {With Pumpkin}

  11. Pingback: Fall Flavors | Clove | 12 Creative Recipes to Try Using Whole Cloves, Ground Cloves and Clove Oil | The Olive Shoe

  12. Pingback: Recipe: Five Favorite Apple Dishes - WHAT'S DOWN IN TOWN

  13. Pingback: 11 Best Apple Recipes EVER!! - Carmela POP

  14. Pingback: Apple Cider Glazed Chicken Thighs | Nat's Next Adventure

  15. Pingback: 10 Different Ways To Use Your Fall Apples | Live in the Now | Natural Health News | Natural Health Resources

  16. Pingback: 10 Best sprinkle recipes EVER!! - Carmela POP

  17. Wow — just saw the retraction/apology from the PR firm that used your photo and recipe in an email. Congrats for standing up to such craziness — you’d think, a PR firm of all organizations, would understand copyright law. PS And guess who just happens to have a whole pile of apples needing attention.  

  18. Came here because of the PR retraction as well. Nice to see the original recipe and source. Love your blog. :)

  19. I had this warm with wine in it. It was delicious!  When its cold outside.

  20. Pingback: Hot Buttered Rum with Apple Cider | Cooks with Cocktails

  21. Okay, I have to be the person to ask it – any idea on the calories of this?  I know obviously the brown sugar, but I assume there’s some natural sugar added from the fruit as well.

    I am definitely going to give this a try, though.  Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Brittany! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps, and we hope you enjoy this! :)

  22. Pingback: Paleo Apple Cider Recipes

  23. Pingback: Christmas A-Z

  24. Pingback: 10 trucs pour garder le sourire durant l’hiver | Les trois Chefs

  25. Pingback: Currently inspired by, #10 - The Charming Avenue

  26. Pingback: December bucket list - The Charming Avenue

  27. I came across this recipe via Pinterest. I will be doing this some time soon. I love the idea of all those flavors filling my home.

  28. So excited to make this cider! I love hot cider, but a glass of cold cider is always refreshing too. Can you drink this cold, or is there a different method for cold cider? Thanks!

  29. Pingback: 15 Easy & Healthy Apple Recipes | running with spoons

  30. Pingback: Small Batch Spiced Apple Cider | PurposeFull Life

  31. My son loves apples probably more than I do! :) We have not tried making apple cider, but after seeing this recipe, I think we need to give it a try this fall. Cider is my favorite fall-time treat.

  32. This is amazing and looks so beautiful! I’ve been wanting to try something like this, thanks for creating and sharing this recipe! 

  33. Pingback: Apple Cider Mezcal Margarita | Caribbean Blogz

  34. Pingback: Apple Cider Mezcal Margarita | Your News On Time!

  35. This looks so amazing! I would have never thought making cider would be that easy. Definitely trying this!

  36. Can a substitute ground cinnamon  if I don’t have cinnamon  sticks? If so how much would you recommend? 

  37. Pingback: Eight must-haves for your fall bucket list - BYU-I Scroll

  38. Can you make this using a slow cooker instead? Looks great – thanks!

  39. Pingback: 16 Creative Ways to Use Apples - A Frugal Home

  40. Oh how I miss going to the cider mills in Michigan. I will give this a try, though I am no cook. I’ll need to buy a pot, cheesecloth, a sieve & all the ingredients! LOL

  41. I am bringing this to my mother-in-law’s house for Thanksgiving! We always love having some cider with our dessert and vanilla ice cream. I love how it is infused with apples – it’s like hot Sangria!

  42. Great recipe, adding the oranges was a nice twist. Just a tip, I use the pulp to make apple butter..no waste and sooooo yummy!!!!

    • Thanks, Lisa, and we like that tip, that’s an awesome idea! :)

    • I just made this and it is amazing! My husband has never had apple cider and he loves it. My question is how would you go about turning the pulp into apple butter?

  43. Minus the cloves, I think this will be a hit with the family. Thanks!

  44. Wow this is gorgeous! Throwing a baby shower soon, and am excited to add this to the menu!

  45. I am cooking his right now! Thanks for the recipe!

  46. Pingback: Welcoming the Fall with Apple Cider

  47. Can you use ground spices instead of whole? I have all of them but they are ground.

    • Unfortunately we wouldn’t recommend that for this recipe, Sarah. You really want to use whole spices since you’re infusing the cider (then straining it later). We hope you can still give this a try!

  48. 5 stars
    We make your recipe every winter. Love it!!

  49. Pingback: Holiday Herbal Treats Recipe Roundup • One World Herbal Community