Easy Homemade Apple Cider
“How to make a delicious, bold homemade apple cider recipe from scratch. Made with a variety of fresh apples, oranges and lemon with lots of cinnamon, cloves, vanilla extract and sweetened with brown sugar”
Growing up we had a day called Leaf Raking Day! It was my mother’s cleaver way of getting us outside to burn energy and rake the yard at the same time.
We’d rake up huge piles of leaves and jump in them and have bag filling contests. It was a long, fun and exhausting day that always ended with a cozy mug of homemade apple cider.
That warm apple cinnamon aroma would make its way outside and drive us crazy!
Have you ever made apple cider from scratch? It’s so easy and a fantastic way to use up extra apples. I adore apples and they are so doggone cheap around this time of year when you hit up a pick-your-own apple orchard.
I come home with big boxes full of apples and get to work creating all of my favorite apple recipes like these apple fritter doughnuts holes, apple caramel pizza, mini candy apples, apple fritter coffee cake, apple fritter bread, and mini apple pies!
Me and the boys make huge batches of apple cider and flavored applesauces to last all season long. This homemade apple cider recipe is hands down my favorite!
It’s made using three varieties of apples (tart granny smith, sweet gala, and juicy red delicious). I throw in some oranges and lemon as well because I love that hint of citrus tang that it gives the cider. It compliments the apples so well!
If you want just a pure, traditional apple-cinnamon taste then by all means replace the orange and lemon with more apples!
Even with the citrus, this easy apple cider is still bursting with that classic apple-cinnamon-clove flavor but with hints of zesty oranges and lemon and sweetened with brown and white sugar and a splash of vanilla extract to finish it all off.
It has so many levels of flavor and you really can taste all of them! You can serve this easy apple cider recipe ice cold or steaming hot!
I like it steaming hot and garnished with a cinnamon stick and chopped apples.
Let me tell you, there is nothing like coming in from outside on a brisk, autumn day and cozying up to hot mug of homemade apple cider. It really is the signature drink of Autumn!
I make my apple cider in a crock pot and let it cook all night, but you can also make it in a large pot on the stove top.
Our fall family house cleaning day is coming up and as always this will be simmering away all day long so that we can have serval piping hot mugs throughout the day. It’s a fun tradition and makes the house smell heavenly!
Watch me make this homemade apple cider from start to finish!
Get the Recipe: Easy Homemade Apple Cider Recipe
- 12 apples, a variety of gala, granny smith and red delicious, sliced
- 1-2 large oranges, peeled and quartered (optional)
- 1 lemon, peeled (optiona and will leave slight hint of lemonl)
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
- 3-4 teaspoons whole cloves
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- brown sugar and white sugar, to sweeten
- Add apples, oranges, lemon, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves to a slow cooker. (See stovetop version below)
- Fill slow cooker with water.
- Cover and simmer for at least 4 hours or until apples are super tender. (I just let mine cook on low overnight, very flavorful this way!)
- Use a potato masher to mash up all the ingredients.
- Cover and cook for another hour.
- Strain mixture several times into a pitcher using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth until smooth.
- Stir in vanilla extra.
- Add enough brown sugar and white sugar to reach desired sweetness. (I like really sweet cider so I added about 3/4 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar)
- Serve steaming hot or ice cold, garnished with a fresh cinnamon stick and chopped apples.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftover cider.