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Homemade Apple Cider Recipe – Easy and delicious homemade apple cider recipe made with apples, oranges, and spices. Simple to make on the stovetop or with my slow cooker apple cider recipe with step-by-step instructions for both methods! 

Homemade Apple Cider in glass mug surrounded by fresh apples and spices // addapinch.com

Oh my goodness, you guys! Is there anything better this time of year than apple cider?! Warm cider is one of my most loved drinks as the weather turns cooler.

Wait. Who am I kidding?

I drink it any time of the year. Talk about refreshing over ice in the summertime and steamy hot in mugs that warm your hands throughout the fall and winter. It really is a year-round favorite.

And today, I want to share with you this delicious homemade apple cider recipe.

You can make it on the stovetop or enjoy my even easier slow cooker apple cider recipe with step by step instructions for both methods!

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe

Photograph of fresh apples, oranges and spices in slow cooker. // addapinch.com

How to Make Homemade Apple Cider

You’ll need these ingredients:

  • Apples – use a variety of sweet and tart apples
  • Oranges – make sure you peel them for the smoothest, best tasting cider!
  • Cinnamon  – can use sticks or ground cinnamon
  • Cloves – can use whole or ground cloves
  • Fresh Water
  • Dark Brown Sugar – it’s optional,  and sweeten the cider to your taste
  • Garnish – also optional, but so festive and appetizing when use apple slices, orange slices or cinnamon sticks!

What Apples Should I Use for Homemade Apple Cider?

The most important part of any apple cider is the apples that you use. I like to use a blend of apples so that the apple flavor is more pronounced with a little more depth.

For my apple blend, I like to use both a sweet and tart apples. For the sweet taste, I like to use Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Gala, or Rome apples. For the tart taste, I just don’t think you can go wrong with using Granny Smith apples.

Other Fruits to Include

You would think that you’d just want to use apples in your cider and while they are definitely the key ingredient, adding a bit of orange helps to round out the flavors, I think. But, for the orange, do be sure that you peel it before adding it into the stockpot or the slow cooker as the oils and pith from the orange peeling add bitterness.

Spices to Include

Once you have your blend of apples and your peeled and sectioned orange added to the stovetop or the slow cooker, you’ll want to add your spices. I like to keep it simple by just adding cinnamon and cloves.

Homemade Apple Cider in tall glass pitcher // addapinch.com

I give you the option of using whole cinnamon sticks and whole cloves or using ground spices instead. If you use whole cinnamon and whole cloves, I recommend that you add these to a piece of cheesecloth that you tie and place into the stockpot or slow cooker. This makes it much easier to remove these items as you begin to mash your fruit.

Otherwise, if you use the ground spices, they simply blend in with the fruit and there is no reason to remove them. If I am in a hurry and looking for the easiest way to make it, I tend to lean toward using the ground spices. Just a tip. 🙂

Homemade Apple Cider in glass mug garnished with cinnamon stick, surrounded by fresh apples and spices // addapinch.com

You’ll want to make sure to use a fine mesh strainer to strain away the pulp of the fruit from your apple cider. You can also use cheesecloth, but I find that the stability of the fine mesh strainer is most helpful.

After I’m done making my cider, I like to reserve the cooked fruit to make my Homemade Applesauce.

Make-Ahead Apple Cider

Once made, you can store in the refrigerator for up to five days or in an airtight, freezer safe container for up to three months – a perfect little make-ahead recipe for the holidays or anytime you have apples that you need to use!

Homemade Apple Cider in glass mug surrounded by cinnamon sticks, cloves and apples // addapinch.com

Other Favorite Recipes with Apple Cider

If you love the comforting flavor and amazing aroma your home has after making this cider (I sure do!), then give these recipes a try too!

Apple Cider Donut Muffins

Apple Cider Waffles

Apple Fritters

Sweet Cinnamon Biscuits with Apple Cider Glaze

Here’s my homemade Apple Cider Recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do!

5 from 9 votes

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe

Drink 3 hrs 10 mins

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe - Easy and delicious homemade apple cider recipe made with apples, oranges, cinnamon, and cloves. Stovetop and slow cooker instructions included! // addapinch.com
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Servings 12
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Homemade Apple Cider Recipe – Easy and delicious homemade apple cider recipe made with apples, oranges, cinnamon, and cloves. Stovetop and slow cooker instructions included!

Ingredients  

  • 10 -12 medium apples assorted such as Honeycrisp, Gala, Rome, and Granny Smith
  • 2 medium navel orange peeled and sectioned
  • 4 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves or 2 ¼ teaspoons ground cloves
  • about 1 gallon fresh water
  • dark brown sugar to taste, optional
  • optional garnish: apple slices orange slices, cinnamon stick

Instructions 

Slow Cooker Homemade Apple Cider Recipe:

  • Wash the apples, core and cut into wedges. Add the apple and orange slices to the slow cooker. Place the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves into a small piece of cheesecloth and place into the slow cooker or add the ground spices to the top of the fruit. Add the water, enough to cover the fruit plus about 1 inch, and cook on low heat for 7 hours or on high heat for 3 hours.
  • Remove the cheesecloth of spices, if using, from the slow cooker and mash the fruit with the back of a wooden spoon or with a potato masher as much as possible. Reserve the cooked fruit for another purpose, like apple sauce, or discard.
  • Taste your cider for sweetness and add the brown sugar until you reach the desired sweetness.
  • Serve your homemade apple cider warm or transfer to a heat safe container and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Stovetop Homemade Apple Cider Recipe:

  • Wash the apples, core and cut into wedges. Add the apple and orange slices to a stockpot. Place the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves into a small piece of cheesecloth and place into the stockpot or add the ground spices to the top of the fruit. Add the water, enough to cover the fruit plus about 1 inch, and cook on high heat for 30 minutes, stirring often, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Add water as needed to keep the fruit covered.
  • Remove the cheesecloth of spices, if using, from the stockpot and mash the fruit with the back of a wooden spoon or with a potato masher as much as possible. Reserve the cooked fruit for another purpose, like apple sauce, or discard.
  • Taste your cider for sweetness and add the brown sugar until you reach the desired sweetness.
  • Serve your homemade apple cider warm or transfer to a heat safe container and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

Make-Ahead:
Store homemade apple cider in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Apple cider may need to be shaken or stirred before serving as ingredients may settle. 

Nutritional Information

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 16kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Potassium: 32mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe - Easy and delicious homemade apple cider recipe made with apples, oranges, cinnamon, and cloves. Stovetop and slow cooker instructions included! // addapinch.com

Make-ahead Recipes

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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Recipe Review




Comments

  1. Another add on I used for flavor is bourbon and/or dark spiced rum…the alcohol cooks off, but awesome flavors. I use these for pies, crisps, etc. I use 4 different kinds of apples. Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, Red Delicious. Peels on, chunked. I can add the Kraft baking caramel (little balls) into it as well for a change. Got lots of grand champions at the fair with these ideas.

    1. This recipe has made me very popular during the fall and winter months! Very tasty and easy to make, thank you for sharing it!

  2. I don’t know what I did wrong, it’s bitter. I made half the recipe and I peeled the orange first. Is there a way to fix it? I don’t want to throw it out.

    1. I’m not sure what happened, Audrey. This should not be bitter. Did any of the orange rind cook in the mixture? Did you cut the amount of spices in half, too? I’m not sure if adding more brown sugar will help.

    1. I would use the gallon of water suggested in the recipe, Andrea. When the fruit is less dense than water, it will float.

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