Baker Bettie

Homemade Crock-Pot Apple Cider

Did you know you could make crock-pot apple cider from scratch at home? Set in the morning or before bed and in 8-12 hours you will have a house that smells amazing and fresh apple cider!

A cup of homemade apple cider beside some whole apples

A few years ago I learned that you can take fresh apples, an orange, and some spices and make crock-pot apple cider from scratch. My mind was blown. I put everything in my crock-pot before work and when I got home, I had the most amazing apple cider waiting for me. Not to mention my house smelled insane. Holiday candles don’t hold a flame (pun intended) to crock-pot apple cider cooking away!

Red and green apples in a strainer

I like to use a variety of tart and sweet apples in my cider. For this batch I used some honeycrisp, granny smith, golden delicious, and braeburn. But you can use really any apples you want. I would avoid using all tart apples, such as granny smith, though.

Red and green apples and oranges being sliced up

Making apple cider in your slow cooker or crock-pot really couldn’t be simpler. You just quarter all of the fruit and put it in the pot with water and spices and let it heat on low for 8-12 hours.

Apple and orange slices, cinnamon stick and other spices in the crockpot before being cooked

I imagine how amazing this would be to set up on Christmas Eve and have the family wake up to warm apple cider in the morning, with the house smelling amazing. I get giddy thinking about it.

Or it would be so fun to have it going all day on Halloween so that it is ready to add some bourbon to in the evening when you are passing out candy! This stuff tastes GREAT with some bourbon!

Apple and orange slices, cinnamon stick and other spices in the crockpot after being cooked

The first few times I made this, I just spooned the cider out of the crock-pot with all of the apples and spices still floating around in there. It was great. But then, I read some other crock-pot apple cider recipes and learned that if you take a potato masher and mash up all the apples then strain it, you get more appley flavor!

Crockpot mixture after being mashed with a potato masher

I originally published this recipe in 2012, but this week I made it again with updated pictures and a new video to show you just how darn easy it is to make! I had also heard from some readers that there was a slight bitter taste to their cider. I have never had a problem with this, but I decided to change the amount of orange from 2 to 1 and decrease some of the spices to help remedy the problem. It continues to taste amazing and I think the risk of bitterness has been eliminated!

Apple cider still in the crockpot with fresh apple slices for garnish

Now that I have all this apple cider in my fridge, I’ve got to find some recipes to use it up! Maybe some apple cider cocktails? Or baking recipes involving apple cider?! Do you have any favorites?!

Apple and orange slices, cinnamon stick and other spices in the crockpot before being cooked

Homemade Crock-Pot Apple Cider

Yield: 12 Cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

Prepare this homemade apple cider in the morning or before bed and in 8-12 hours you will have a house that smells amazing and fresh apple cider to enjoy!


  • 6 quart slow cooker (reduce the amounts for a smaller cooker)
  • 8-10 medium size sweet apples (I like McIntosh, Empire, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, and Braeburn, do NOT use Red Delicious apples)
  • 1 orange
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 TBSP whole cloves
  • 2 tsp whole allspice
  • 2 inch knob of fresh ginger (optional)
  • sweetener of choice, up to 1 cup (granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or combo)


  1. Chop apples and orange into large chunks keeping the peels on.
  2. Put apples, orange, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger in the slow cooker.
  3. Fill the slow cooker with enough water to cover all of the apples. It should fill it pretty much to the brim of the pot.
  4. Turn it on low and put the lid on.
  5. Allow to brew for 8-12 hours. (12 hours is best and even longer would be fine too!)
  6. Take a potato masher and mash all of the apples up. Strain the cider through a fine mesh sieve or through cheesecloth for a more clear cider.
  7. Add sweetener of choice to taste for your sweetness level.
  8. Store left over cider in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


A few readers commented that their cider tasted a bit bitter. I have re-tested the recipe and made changes to eliminate the risk of the cider tasting bitter. Most of our palettes are used to tasting sweet cider, so make sure you add some sweetness to yours because it does dramatically change the flavor.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0

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67 comments on “Homemade Crock-Pot Apple Cider”

  1. How delightful! Looks so homey and elish!

  2. How delightful! This looks so homey and delish!

  3. Mmmm that sounds so yummy! We add pineapple juice and a touch of honey to ours. Love cider!

  4. I'm in for this one for sure. Ever since I moved west I can't find fresh cider…imagine!

  5. What do you think it would do if I used clementines instead of oranges? I think they are sweeter, so it might make it nicer. Also, wth does whole allspice look like? LOL off to Google!

  6. Great idea! And I love the ‘mouth hallucination’…totally going to use that term from now on! Happy Holidays!

  7. I can smell it (nose hallucinations) just from your description! And the only thing that could possibly be better than home-made hot cider would be home-made hot cider with bourbon. I love your Christmas Eve suggestion, too. Sounds like we’ll be having hot cider with our cinnamon rolls Christmas morning…

  8. yeah. mouth hallucinations. That totally sounds legit.

  9. i think we will try this in the upcoming weeks :9

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  11. Can't wait to try this…I LOVE cider.

  12. Are most commercial ciders made with the same spices or with spices at all?

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  14. Do you remove skins on the oranges and apples before you put them in?

  15. I don't! I like the flavor the zest brings. BUT if you are worried about it getting a bit bitter you can. I personally don't think it's necessary.

  16. Still have lots and lots of apples, I think I'll be trying this next.

  17. Hey Baker Bettie!
    So I saw your recipe for this and went out and bought the ingredients for it…put it all in the crockpot aroung 7, and now its 11am the next day and i just tried mine and it seems a bit sour-ish. I bought red delicious apples for it sonce you said to do a variety but i think it might be the red delicious apples that are aking it taste like this. The taste isnt terrible, its just not as apple-ly as id like it to be. Maybe next time ill do it with just gala, fuji, and honeycrisp, or put more spices? Anyways, thank you so much for the recipe!
    – Shalay

  18. Want to try this today but only have cinnamon sticks, crushed clove, crushed nutmeg and crushed ginger? What do you think the amounts of the crushed spices ought to be?

  19. can you use the powder cinnamon instead

  20. Where do you buy whole cinnamon sticks and allspice? Just a regular grocery store? Because I want to make it too! YUM.

    • Cheaper on amazon. If you plan to use alot. I use a 1 LB bag all year long. Read reviews, they either tell alot of info to know. Or lie up a storm but if 20 negatives and 1 race review it’s easy to spot the fake

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  23. Taylar Ray you can get these in the spices section of your local grocery. I got had to go to two to get both the whole allspice and whole cloves, but they are there.

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  25. Does this freeze and then thaw well?

  26. Set in the pot for 8 hours — tastes good, but it has a bitter aftertaste even after adding sugar. Any ideas about where I might have erred? 🙁

    • I would use less spices, maybe. My crock pot is only about 5Q and I used only 2 cinnamon sticks and just under 1T each of allspice and clove but I think I needed just slightly less than that. But it was delicious! I enjoyed it cold better than warm. I think the spices and flavors mingled better. I also only had 1 orange so I added 1 lemon

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  28. My rating didn’t save, it is 5!

  29. This is a fabulous recipe. But, I have one question? What should I do with all of the “fruit compost”? Can I freeze it and use it as a stove-top potpourri, perhaps?

    • Hi Tracie,

      You could definitely try that or even try making apple sauce from it. But honestly, most of the flavors and aromas from the fruit have probably been extracted once it has finished brewing. These things may not be very flavorful or fragrant but definitely worth a try!

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  31. Do you remove skins on the oranges before you put them in?

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  33. Great resapie for cider. Thank you very much

  34. This recipe was great. However, leaving the skins on gave the cider a bitter aftertaste that I did not enjoy. I made it a second time and peeled all of the fruit. Turned out MUCH better. Thanks for a great, simple recipe!!

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  36. This recipe looked simple and tasty, and I was excited about giving it a try. I already had whole cloves and cinnamon sticks and was able to find whole allspice at the grocery store, so I didn’t have to substitute ground. I also used the optional fresh ginger. My apples were a mixture of Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Envy. I wanted the cider to be sweet but not too sweet, so I used half a cup of brown sugar. When cutting and adding all the ingredients to my crock-pot, I had high hopes for the recipe. Separately, all the components smelled wonderful. As the cider cooked and released its aroma, I began to have doubts. It DID smell good, but it was more like a nice potpourri smell than an edible food smell. Sure enough, when I tasted it at the end, it had an overly spiced taste and slight bitterness that lingered unpleasantly in the mouth. I would like to try making it again, maybe peeling the fruit (as above poster suggested) and cutting back on and/or changing out spices next time.

    • Ok, so I’ve been working with my cider this morning trying to figure out how I’m going to use it all up. I combined equal parts cider and water to tone down the spices. Next, I did a second strain through a coffee filter, which got rid of pretty much all particles/sediment and almost eliminated the bitter taste. It was still a little strong, so I heated it up in the microwave and melted in a little ice cream to add vanilla flavor and further dilute spices. The ending result was pretty good, and my daughter guzzled it down.

  37. Can I use ground allspice instead of whole allspice? And if not, is whole allspice available at Walmart or Publix?

  38. It’s still cooking in my Crock Pot now! Thanks so much for this! I am adding honey and a little bit of white sugar. I was wondering if you could make this and hot bath can it to save for later? I know my husband would love to be able to take a jar to work!

  39. How much cider does this make? I’m trying to figure out how much we would need to drink over the 3 days that the recipe states it good for in the refrigerator. Thanks!

    • Hi Sarah! This makes about 3 quarts of cider! Hope you enjoy! I am updating the recipe to reflect this and it should also state that it can be kept for up to 5 days under refrigeration.

  40. Makes the house smell ALMOST as good as it tastes!

  41. How do you tehestvsnd hiw long can it stay on low in the crockpot to be good? Hours? 3? Or more?

  42. Worst rancid recipe I have ever tried. That is horrible, even adding more sweetener would not save that.

    • Hi Lizz, I’m so sorry to hear that this recipe did not work out for you. I have made it several times a year for the past few years with no issues, so I would love to help figure out what may have gone wrong. Can you explain more by what you mean by “rancid?” Did it taste bitter? Can I ask what kinds of apples you used? I’m going to make a note in the recipe to definitely avoid Red Delicious apples as I can see how that variety would not taste good at all in this. I’m wondering if by chance that is what you used?

  43. Looks fantastic. I’m going to try it but core the apples and peel the orange as I’m guessing the seeds and peel are the culprits for those that found this to have a bitter after taste. 

    Also, the revised recipe calls for NO red delicious or granny apple but the video seems to promote both (I get it, the vivid colors!).  🙂

  44. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    I had a 2.5 quart cooker and was able to fit about 7 or 8 apples (about 2 Ginger Gold and the rest Gala).
    I didn’t have any oranges, allspice, or whole cloves on hand so I omitted the orange, and used about 1/8 tsp of ground cloves. I also ended up using 2 cinnamon sticks and used about a 1/4″ sliver of peeled fresh ginger as I know the skin tends to be bitter.
    About a quarter of the way through cooking, I mashed the apples and let it continue to cook. After the cider was all cooked down and finished, I mashed it again and squeezed it through a nut cloth bag and added a little less than 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
    This cider turned out soo well!
    Next time, I’ll make sure to try it with the orange 🙂

  45. Just made this recipe but changed a few things. I just love apple cider but not all the ingredients called for. I used ground cinnamon an orange peeled and did not add the peel, and a good shot of celery salt. When the apples were nice and soft I ran them through the blender, poured the mash into a flour bag and hand squeezed it. The cider came out nice and sweet just the way I like it.

  46. So I made the recipe and I love the  initial taste but it’s got a after kick I’m not quite fond of. I used 11 Apples because I made a slightly larger batch at 16 cups. I used 7 empire and 4 gold  delicious. At the time to add sugar I used 100% pure maple  syrup. I was going for a bit more sweet. Where did I go wrong?

    • When you say it has “quite a kick” did it taste bitter? I’m really not sure what might have gone wrong. Did it taste too strong? Maybe it needed to be diluted a bit?

  47. I zest and then peel the Orange yo avoid the bitter. The white pith of the Orange is what makes it bitter. I just grab my vegetable peeler and shave the zest off the Orange then peel it and break into chunks

  48. Hi Bettie,
    This is my first time at making homemade
    apple cider and it did not turn out what it
    is suppose to look like. It turned pure black.
    It taste somewhat ok but not like the true
    apple cider taste. I used different types of
    apples (no red delicious) followed recipe. So
    What do you think I did. Maybe to much cloves

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