Stovetop apple cider is the epitome of fall drinks! This homemade version is filled with mulling spices that compliment the sweetness of fresh apples so well. A batch of stovetop apple cider won’t last long in your house but will fill you all with the spirit of the fall and holidays seasons!
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Spiced Apple Cider recipe
Spiced apple cider is served warm and each cup is full of fall flavor. It’s so good for the soul and I look forward to making this recipe every autumn.
Over the last few years, we’ve started a tradition of serving apple cider on Halloween to the parents walking around with their kids. It started after our son was born.
It’s (surprisingly) difficult to meet your neighbors! And since Halloween is one of the only times throughout the year that the other adults in your neighborhood are out with their kids, apple cider seemed like the perfect thing to do. We found that the time we spent pouring a cup from the slow cooker gave us a few minutes to chat with the parents.
For us in Arizona, Halloween usually has temperatures in the 70s and 80s during the day and Halloween evening is often cool enough to need a sweatshirt or blanket when you’re just sitting outside handing out candy. Apple cider is the perfect fall beverage.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Aside from being a great way to break the ice with your neighbors, apple cider is just so delicious! It is one of my favorite fall drinks and a sign that fall has really arrived.
Here’s why I think you’ll love it too:
- It is so easy to make on the stove, but you can keep it warm in a slow cooker for parties.
- It doesn’t contain a lot of sugar, and you can add less or more as you desire. (See below for my favorite sugar substitutes if you need a lighter version.)
- The flavor is unmatched — homemade definitely pays off here!
- Oh, and it will make your house smell absolutely amazing. Better than candles!
Plus, it’s a fall staple everyone should know!
This spiced apple cider uses just a few simple ingredients. Though the ingredient list looks longer, it mainly comes down to the spices used. Let’s talk about what you’ll need:
- 8-10 apples (I use 6-8 red and 2 green)
- 1 lime
- orange juice
- brown sugar
- ground nutmeg
- whole allspice berries
- cinnamon sticks
- whole cloves
Whole spices make a big difference here because they infuse in the mixture while it cooks on the stove. You can use ground spices instead, but you will need to strain the mixture a few times with a fine-mesh sieve and it may be a bit grainy in texture. You can buy whole spices online, at the grocery store or at specialty food shops.
For apple cider without sugar, you can simply omit the sugar or you can use a sugar substitute. For a natural substitute, try stevia, coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey.
Best apples for homemade apple cider
Green apples are much more tart while red apples are sweeter, so using a mixture provides a nice balance of flavor. However, you can use all red or all green apples if you like, but you may need to sweeten it more if you use green apples.
My go-to apples are Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji or Pink Lady for red apples and Granny Smith for green apples.
How to make spiced apple cider
Stovetop apple cider is actually incredibly easy to make. It’s not necessarily a “quick” recipe but the hands-on time is very minimal.
You literally chop up some apples (you don’t even have to core them or remove the seeds!), add some spices, pour in some liquid and let the stovetop do the rest.
Seriously, it is that easy! Then you can pour it into a slow cooker to keep warm or leave it on the stove. You’ll need a ladle to serve it.
And did I mention it does all this while making your house smell incredible and just like fall? (That may or may not be the real reason I make homemade apple cider!)
Variations & substitutions
If you’ve never made homemade stovetop apple cider, this has to be the year to try it! Here are a few ways to mix it up:
Sugar-free apple cider: Instead of brown sugar, use your favorite sugar substitute such as stevia, honey, maple syrup, agave or coconut sugar.
Apple cider soda: Let it cool down. Fill glasses with ice and top with ginger ale or club soda for a light and refreshing fall drink.
Boozy apple cider: Stir in an ounce or two of bourbon or spiced rum for an extra punch of flavor and warmth.
What to make with apple cider
Got leftover apple cider? How lucky! You can use it in one of these recipes:
It’s definitely worth the effort for a group of friends coming over or for your family for Thanksgiving, and this homemade stovetop version is a must!
Ready to make your own stovetop apple cider? Scroll down to find out how!
Fall drink recipes
Here are a few more fall drink recipes to try this season:
More apple recipes
Serve this spiced apple cider with your favorite apple recipes!
- Apple Crisp with Oat Topping
- Mini Apple Spice Rum Cakes
- Cast Iron Apple Spice Skillet Cake
- Apple Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin
- Caramel Apple Crumble Muffins
- Caramel Apple Smoothie
- 10 apples, cut into eighths
- 1 lime, quartered
- 1 cup of orange juice
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- Chop apples and lime and place into a large stock pot.
- Add spices, orange juice and brown sugar on top of fruit.
- Cover with water until the pot is ¾-full of water. Apples will float at first.
- Bring pot to a boil. Then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for one hour.
- Remove cover, stir and add more water if necessary.
- Simmer for two more hours, uncovered.
- Strain liquid from fruit pulp and spices.
- Serve immediately or allow to come to room temperature, then store in fridge for up to two weeks.
- Optional: Serve with chopped apples in glasses or with a cinnamon stick.
Use a mixture of red and green apples for best results. There is no need to peel or core the apples since the mixture will be strained.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 6 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 6gSugar: 34gProtein: 1g