Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

It wasn’t too long ago that I politely responded with “no thank you” at any opportunity to drink a mug of spiced apple cider. I just wasn’t a fan. Hot Chocolate was waaaay better in my opinion. Finally my mother-in-law coaxed me into trying it her way and holy hannah- it was amazing! Really! Just two simple ingredients completely changed my opinion of it!

OK, so I’m going to give you the 1-hour version and the 15-minute version. I think they both end up tasting so similar, I often just go for the 15-minute version. It’s cheaper too!

Please promise me though that you will NOT skip out on adding those last 2 ingredients. They’re VITAL. I’ll tell you why down below…

Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

Long Method Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts apple juice or apple cider
  • 2-4 large cinnamon sticks {the strength of their flavor will correlate with how old they are. If you just bought them, use two, but if they’ve been in the cupboard for a while, use 3 or 4 and add more as necessary}
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 12-15 whole cloves {start with 12, then add more as you like it}
  • juice of 1 medium sized orange, plus the peel

Short Method Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts apple juice or apple cider
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • juice of 1 medium sized orange, plus the peel
BTW- Apple Juice versus Apple Cider- the only difference is the filtration process. I think they taste virtually the same. After you add all the spices too, any taste differences are gone, so I just go with whichever one is cheaper! 
Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

For both methods, all you do is put the apple juice in a medium sized stock pot on medium-low heat. Add ingredients. I only like to float the orange peel for about 5 minutes because I prefer to have a very subtle orange flavor.

Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

When you first begin heating, it seems like the spices don’t want to blend in, but as the juice heats up, it gets a lot easier to whisk them to combine.

Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

If you feel like it needs some added sweet flavor, add in a tablespoon or so of honey. I love honey and think it adds a nice flavor!

For the long method, you’ll want to bring to a boil, then simmer on the stove for about an hour to 1.5 hours, to give the chance for the cloves and cinnamon to release their flavor. Taste it periodically and make adjustments. I like to remove the cinnamon and cloves after about an hour, whereas my mother-in-law leaves hers for the entire duration of whatever family event she’s serving it at.

We’re now ready for the last 2 critical {CRITICAL!} ingredients  Once your spiced cider is done, you’ll want to give it a stir before filling up the mugs. Then once you have it served up you’ll add…

Spiced Caramel Apple Cider
That’s right- add some whipped cream and drizzle it with caramel sauce. Any kind of caramel will be fine and feel free to use cool-whip instead of cream. Just whatever you do, don’t skip these last 2 items! They turn a decent mug of hot cider into hot apple pie in a mug and it’s HEAVEN.
Spiced Caramel Apple Cider


Recipe linked to:
Mandy’s Recipe Box // Skip to My Lou // Six Sisters Stuff // The Girl Creative // A Thrifty Mom
Funky Polka Dot Giraffe // Our Thrifty Ideas // SNAP the Conference // Creations by Kara
Southern Lovely // The Dedicated House // Love Bakes Good Cakes // The 36th Avenue // Delightful Order

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  1. says

    SOunds temptingly delicious. While I do have a sweet tooth period and this is likely better than any other apple cider I have tasted… I might just have to go for hot chocolate still. :)

  2. says

    Maybe it's just because I live in New England, but it's pretty much sacrilegious to say that apple juice and cider taste virtually the same and have very little difference. Anything processed, filtered, and pasteurized is going to lose something and with apple juice it loses a lot.

  3. says

    I would love if you shared this on the CSI Project this week. The challenge is fall food and this is perfect. You can come by everyday for a new tutorial/recipe and then on Wednesday night you can link up. You just might win the challenge and there is a giveaway.<br />www.thecsiproject.com<br />Hope to see you there!!!<br />

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