Tap here to get 5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners

Crockpot Spiced Apple Cider

5 from 11 votes

posted: 09/27/19

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Crockpot Spiced Apple Cider is perfect for fall parties. Easy to make and delicious to drink. Make a kid friendly batch and keep some brandy on the side for the grown ups!

clear mug full of crockpot spiced apple cider with anise seed pods floating in it, apple slices and two cinnamon sticks

Happy Friday friends! I haven’t been sharing much about my personal life on the blog these days because I’m trying to keep it all about the recipes. But! I did overshare a ton on Instagram the other day, so if you want the full what’s what on my life, check it out.

Today, I’m sharing with you an updated recipe for this amazing Crockpot Spiced Apple Cider. It is very easy to throw together and perfect when you serve it with a bottle of brandy next to the slow cooker. That way your crockpot apple cider is kept warm and stays kid friendly while having the option of a boozy treat for the adults.

Let’s jump into how you make it!

Reader Review

An ABSOLUTE must for Halloween. A huge hit during our neighborhood celebration.

What You Need to Make Crockpot Spiced Apple Cider

Most apple cider is not all that different from apple juice (more on that in a minute). By adding all these spices to our drink while slowly warming it up, we are really mixing things up.

You will need:

  • A gallon of apple cider (or apple juice)
  • Oranges
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Star of Anise (see an important note about buying this below)
  • Whole Cloves
  • A Slow Cooker (I’m linking to the one pictured; the one I loved so much I bought two.)

And of course if you want to make this spiked apple cider you will need some brandy.

overhead view of a crockpot to make spiced apple cider filled with orange slices studded with cloves and cinnamon sticks

How to make Spiced Apple Cider in the Crockpot

This caffeine free, perfect for fall crockpot apple cider is super simple. Just combine all of the ingredients in your crockpot (except for the alcohol if you are spiking it) and cook on low for 4 hours.

The reason we leave out the alcohol is because it will cook some of the alcohol off and it’s also just not necessary to heat your alcohol up. The drink will be plenty warm without that being warmed. Also it is a great way to keep this recipe for the kids and the adults.

The Difference Between Apple Cider and Apple Juice

Like I mentioned, you can use either apple cider or apple juice in this recipe. Depending on the brand you are buying, there is very little difference in it. Want to learn more? There is a great article from The Kitchn about it.

The long and short of it is use what you want.

a clear mug of spiced apple cider in front of a crockpot garnished with apple slices, cinnamon sticks, and star of anise

Tips and Tricks for this Crockpot Apple Cider

There are a few little things that make this recipe a little easier. But they are all optional; I’ve done it a number of different ways.

Make small little holes in the sides of the orange slices and put your whole cloves in there. It will save you from fishing them out at the end of cooking.

Alternatively you could use tea strainers for your cloves.

Another option would be to wrap them in a coffee filter.

When I smell star anise all I can think of is licorice, which is not my favorite. I often choose to leave it out of this recipe (which is why it reads as optional), but if you smell it and love it, add it!

If you are looking for star anise and only finding it for a small fortune, try looking elsewhere. If your grocery carries bags of spices that are not well known brands that’s a great place to start. One store I looked at had a jar for $11 and another had a small bag for $1.

A final note, as it is a question out there: If you buy 100% juice, this spiced apple cider recipe will be gluten free. Just be sure to read labels.

If You Don’t Love Brandy

Traditionally, spiced apple cider is paired with brandy. If brandy isn’t your jam, I would highly suggest Fireball Whiskey or another cinnamon whiskey. (You all know from my Fireball Fudge and my Cinnamon Whiskey Sangria how much I love Fireball.)

My neighbor served it that way for Halloween last year and I went back for a second cup!

Other Perfect Fall Drinks

If you are throwing a party and want something else along side this Crockpot Spiced Apple Cider, try some of these:

If you make any of these or this slow cooker apple cider, leave me a comment and let me know!

overhead view of two clear mugs full of crockpot spiced apple cider and garnished with star anise, sliced apples and cinnamon sticks
clear mug full of crockpot spiced apple cider with anise seed pods floating in it, apple slices and two cinnamon sticks
5 from 11 votes

Slow Cooker Spiked Apple Cider

Serves: 16 cups
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
This Crockpot Spiced Apple Cider is perfect for fall parties. Easy to make and delicious to drink. Make a kid friendly batch and keep some brandy on the side for the grown ups!


  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 2 oranges sliced
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise pods optional
  • 1 TBSP whole cloves
  • 2 cups brandy


  • After slicing the oranges, make small holes in the rinds with the tip of a knife and insert the cloves in them so that they don’t float free in the cider.
  • In a 6 quart slow cooker , combine the cider, oranges, cinnamon sticks, star anise pods, and cloves. Cook on low for four hours.
  • Just before serving add the brandy.


Please note that the nutritional information does not include the brandy.
Serving: 8ounces Calories: 128kcal (6%) Carbohydrates: 32g (11%) Sodium: 60mg (3%) Potassium: 142mg (4%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 30g (33%) Vitamin C: 8mg (10%) Calcium: 2mg Iron: 3mg (17%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
clear mug full of crockpot spiced apple cider with anise seed pods floating in it, apple slices and two cinnamon sticks

did you make this

Slow Cooker Spiked Apple Cider

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks says

    It was HOTtttt all week in SoCal, I guess you’d expect that since it’s typically hotter now than it is most of the spring and summer. Like it was 89F at the coast most of last week. But now it’s in the 70s and I would drink your cider all day long!

  2. Krystal Herrera says

    Awesome! This can be a perfect drink for the upcoming holiday. Anyways, this is really interesting. Will practice making this recipe haha. Cheers! I love it!

  3. John Marc Ramirez says

    5 stars
    It is a delicious drink that I want to try soon. This is a great post. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  4. Claire Mercer says

    5 stars
    Hi, I love the sound of this but just want to check so I don’t buy the wrong thing (and/or get minors drunk :S) is the “apple cider” something different where you are? because here (UK) it’s alcoholic, or does the slow cooker ‘burn’ most of the alcohol away.

    • Lisa Longley says

      In the U.S. Apple Cider doesn’t come with alcohol, so that’s why I have you add it at the end.

  5. Chloe says

    What would you add to substitute the brandy if I don’t want any alcohol?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Just leave the brandy out! No need to sub anything.

  6. Julie Desrochers says

    Made this delicious recipe twice it’s was a great hit.I also kept the alcohol on the side so the children at the family gathering may enjoy this festive drink. The first batch I had added the apple sclices the got muchy and soft they didnt look nice at all . The next time I decided to keep the apple slices d out of cřock pot on the side girtge quests to add the their glass as a decoration and flavor… and all a great recipe I would highly recommend and will redo…the house smelled delicious

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you liked it Julie!

  7. Lacie says

    If you substitute the brandy with fireball to you use the same amount? Thanks!

    • Lisa Longley says

      My gut reaction is yes. But given the spiciness of Fireball, I would try half and add from there.

  8. Laree Butman says

    I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Laree! This comment kind of cracks me up because we did a HUGE overhaul of our site and a complete restructure to make it easier for users, literally 5 days ago. While pictures are beautiful (and honestly one of my very favorite parts of this gig) unless they are process shots they aren’t all that helpful to users trying to learn how to make a recipe. I find that tips and tricks I write out are much more beneficial. We just might not see eye to eye on this one. That being said, at least there are four beautiful pictures in this particular post, rather than just 1 or 2.

  9. Tammy says

    How much Brandy or fireball would you add to each cup if jeep it on the side? 1 shot?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I think that’s a personal call. I think 1 shot is great, but I certainly have guests who would go for more!

  10. Michelle Alcalde says

    If you can’t find the star of anise can you use ground anise? If so how much?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I personally would just skip the star of anise rather than using ground. It’s such an intense flavor, I think ground will overwhelm the cider.

Broccoli Pasta"Omg! I didn’t think anything so simple could be so good!"
overhead of skillet of Cajun Shrimp Pasta ingredients on a cooling rack with toasted bread sitting beside
Cajun Shrimp Pasta"My family absolutely loved this recipe. Even my finicky eaters."
overhead photo of a gray skillet filled with beef and broccoli recipe, garnished with sliced green onions
Beef and Broccoli Recipe"I have made this a couple or more times. It’s easy & quick to prepare. I like this for a quick meal. It will be my go to recipe."


5 Secrets to Make Amazing Cocktails



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners