Fresh Spiced Apple Cider Recipe (Crock Pot or Instant Pot)

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Homemade Hot Apple Cider
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I grew up drinking apple cider and homemade wassail (a spiced cider/tea with citrus) around the holidays, so when I had kids of my own I wanted to come up with my own apple cider recipe to keep the tradition going. Plus, given the cost of a gallon of organic apple cider, I thought I could save some money making it at home for my brood.

Most recipes online called for huge amounts of apples (even too much for us) and required canning and special equipment. I wanted to find a way to make a batch without canning since we would probably want to drink it that same day.

I immediately thought of making cider in the Crock-Pot. I loved the idea of the smell of baking apples filling the house all day while it cooked. They say smells trigger emotions and memories in the brain, and I believe it! Hot apple cider does that for me.

It’s easy to make too!

5-Minute Apple Cider Recipe (from Scratch)

We usually also make fresh applesauce when apples are in season in the fall, so the first time I tried making this we had a mixture of different organic apples in the house. I used Fiji, Honeycrisp, and Gala, but any apples would work. I didn’t have to add any sweetener because those varieties were naturally sweet. If you use more sour apples, add a little honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar to the final product.

I was pleased with the hands-on time for this recipe. It took about 5 minutes to wash, peel, and cut 10 apples. (My kids are pretty good with knives in the kitchen thanks to this class so that helps!)

After prep it’s really just a matter of waiting and taking in the heavenly smell of baking apples and spices as they cook down. All that’s left is to strain and serve!

We like cider best served warm, but we refrigerate the leftovers (when there are any) in a stainless steel pitcher and it’s wonderful cold as well.

Make This Apple Cider Recipe Even Better … with Butter!

Every heard of butter in your coffee? On special occasions (and when it’s cold enough outside) we’ve also made this into grown-up cider with this Hot Buttered Rum recipe from Mommypotamus. (It does seem to be true that butter makes everything better!)

If you haven’t ever had cider this way, I seriously urge you to try it … it’s amazing! Cider, maple syrup, a touch of butter, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and a dash of rum!

Now it’s a tradition we happily keep and serve for company during any holiday gathering.

How to Serve Apple Cider … the Wellness Mama Way

Granted, this apple cider isn’t exactly a health recipe as it does contain about 30 grams of sugar per cup. (If you need that, check out this immune-boosting Fire Cider or Apple Cider Vinegar recipe.)

In typical healthy mom fashion, I serve this in smaller cups. I’ve even been known to stir in a few tablespoons of gelatin or collagen for an extra boost of protein to help my kids ride out the sugar rush. (They’ll never know as long as you serve it hot … let it get cold and they might notice!)

Put this apple cider recipe in the slow cooker in the morning and have it ready for a cozy night around the fireplace with the family. Or, keep it warm in the slow cooker for guests at a fall party.

On the flip side, make this at night before bed and cook on low in the slow cooker so it is ready for breakfast (on Christmas perhaps!). Bonus: your house will smell amazing all day!

Homemade slowcooker hot apple cider recipe

Homemade slowcooker hot apple cider recipe

Hot Apple Cider Recipe

Made from fresh apples in a slow-cooker or Instant Pot. Add citrus and cinnamon for a naturally sweet and spicy treat for a winter night!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Calories 79kcal
Author Katie Wells


1 gallon



  • Wash apples and peel if they aren’t organic.
  • Cut into slices and place in slow cooker.
  • Wash orange, cut into 8 slices, and add to slow-cooker.
  • Add spices.
  • Pour water into the slow cooker and turn on low for about 6-8 hours. See notes for 1-hour Instant Pot option! I use my Instant Pot on the slow cooker option since I prefer to make this before bed and have it ready (and the house smelling incredible) for breakfast.
  • Strain out apples, orange, and spices using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer  and serve.


Nutrition Facts
Hot Apple Cider Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 79
% Daily Value*
Sodium 1mg0%
Carbohydrates 20.9g7%
Sugar 15.6g17%
Protein 0.5g1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Serve hot or cold. Keep refrigerated for up to one week if there’s any left!
1-Hour Instant Pot Option:
  1. Add all ingredients to pot.
  2. Fill with water to just below max fill line.
  3. Set to 1 hour on high pressure.
  4. Allow natural release and strain.

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Which drinks are a family tradition at your house?

Delicious and simple homemade apple cider recipe that you can make in a crockpot with apples, an orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


61 responses to “Fresh Spiced Apple Cider Recipe (Crock Pot or Instant Pot)”

  1. Sandy Avatar

    Way too much water. Didn’t even taste like cider, more like water. If you look at other recipes you only use enough water to cover apples, maybe even less for crockpot.

  2. Jussy Avatar

    5 stars
    wow, thats awesome. Finally I found two great websites, one with cool tools for kitchen HomeGadgetsDaily.com and your’s >… Thank you :))

  3. Rachael Avatar

    If using whole cloves, poke them into the orange slices (through the peel). It looks pretty and you don’t have to pick them out later.

  4. Nichole Avatar

    My family holiday favorite drink and has been for tradition since I was a child is homemade eggnog. My mother use to make this every year for us growing up. So I made it for my children and now I make it for my grandchild and many to come.

  5. Doris Avatar

    I tried the recipe and the whole family loved it a lot! It is great to make this from scratch rather than using store bought apple cider as a base. I also made this into mulled sangria using the leftover spiced shiraz from my poached pears. Absolute heaven!

  6. Fiona Avatar

    You’re right, the smell is wonderful but the taste is a bit bland. I had to add some honey and extra organic apple juice to punch up the flavour a bit. Love that it cooks overnight though.

    1. Courtney Avatar

      I added maple syrup and that made it sweeter and made it taste better I still liked it without the syrup though

  7. Terry Avatar

    5 stars
    I’ve always wondered how they turned apple juice into apple cider. It must be the whole apples and the cooking process? My son loves apple cider but every time I look at the ingredients I can’t bring myself to buy it. This will satisfy him, I’m sure. Thanks again, Katie!

  8. Crystal Avatar

    I love your site so very much. I’ve been reading for almost a year and have learned so much. I did a similar apple cider recipe about a month ago. I didn’t have any apples so I used no sugar added organic apple juice and I’m not great with a crockpot so I used a regular pot. You’re right about the smell. It really is amazing. I’ll be trying your recipe very soon. Thank You.

    1. Amanda Jones Avatar
      Amanda Jones

      How long did you have it in the pot and on what heat? I don’t have a slow cooker and am having a tough time finding someone in my area who has one. Thanks!

  9. Kim Avatar

    Hi, I want to make this, but the recipe seems incomplete. Do you strain the final juice? Do you blend it or mash it first and then strain? Please answer! I really want to make this. Love all you do! Thanks for your hard work. : )

  10. Jenna Avatar

    I would love to make this for Christmas! Can ground cinnamon be substituted for the cinnamon sticks? And if so, how much would be the proper ratio?

    1. Courtney Avatar

      I used ground cinnamon but I can’t remember how much and you could also probably use one drop of cinnimon essential oil if you have that

    1. Courtney Avatar

      5 stars
      Yes cause the apples get really mushy and fall apart when you are trying to get it outlet but if you like pulp in your drinks then I guess not

  11. Courtney Avatar

    This looks fabulous. I am going to try it. Perhaps I’ll add some sparkling water to the leftovers (if there are any) for a non alcoholic drink at dinner. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Rosemary Avatar

    …you leave the orange peal on, right? ‘Cause that will give it a lovely citrus flavour!
    Then when it’s cooked you strain out the fruit or put it through muslin?
    I’ve never tried anything like this before. Is it alright to cool it in the fridge then drink it? I think it might be nice for the hot summer days we are having….
    Many thanks for the wonderful information you provide on your Website.
    Merry Christmas

  13. cameron Avatar

    You genius you! I have been looking for a cider recipe as well and this is perfect and I can’t wait to wake up Christmas morning to this smell!!! Happy Winter Solstice!

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