Small-Batch Apple Cider Recipe

When fall comes around, there's no doubt that pumpkins and apples reign supreme. This season is synonymous with apple picking as well as heading to the apple orchard with family and friends. And what better way to use what you picked at the orchard than by baking some homemade cider? Recipe developer Miriam Hahn came up with this flavorful small-batch apple cider, which tastes incredible. "The flavor is like apple juice, spiced up with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. It just screams fall!" Hahn raves.

Hahn also shares her favorite part of this classic fall beverage. "This recipe has been around my family for a while, and traditionally we make it on Halloween to kick off the fall season! My favorite thing about it is how you can control the sweetness," she raves. "Typically, ciders that you buy are extra sweet, and this recipe is nice because you can go a little heavier on the spices if you like versus the sweet." Hahn adds that she loves how easy this is to make, seeing as you don't have to peel and core the apples. Another plus is "it makes your house smell good for days!" Hahn gushes. Who needs a candle when you can smell the real deal?

Gather the ingredients for this small-batch apple cider recipe

The first step in any recipe always involves a trip to the store. Be sure to check at home for items on your list in case you already have them. For this recipe, you will need two red apples, two green apples, two yellow apples, an orange, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, cinnamon, ginger powder, water, and maple syrup.

Once you have those items, you can whip up this small-batch apple cider recipe.

Quarter the apples and orange

Grab all the apples you purchased from the store and the orange. Then, take out a cutting board and sharp knife. Carefully cut the apples and orange into quarters. The great part about this recipe is that you can leave the skin on, making much less work for yourself. 

Next, place the apples and orange quarters into a large stock pot. "I like using a combo of apples because they all add their own special flavor," Hahn notes. "There are so many apple varieties these days, and it is just fun to mix it up! But you can certainly use what you have on hand too."

Add the spices

Ready to add some flavor to those apples? In this step, you'll spice things up, and we mean that in every sense of the word. Toss in the cinnamon sticks, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger powder. Next, add the water. 

Stir the contents of the stock pot to combine the spices and water with the apples and orange.

Boil the apples and smash the fruit

Place the stock pot on your stove and crank up the heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil for 15 minutes. Once 15 minutes are up, cover the stock pot and reduce the heat to a simmer for about an hour.

Mash the apples and orange against the side of the pot to release more of their flavorful juices. "Mashing the apples is really pretty easy because, at that point, they are ultra soft and don't need much prodding to break down. You can use any type of wooden spoon or mallet," Hahn notes.

Then, cover the stock pot again and let simmer for another hour.

Strain the liquid and add maple syrup

Take the pot off of the heat since it's done cooking. Use a strainer to strain the liquid, removing all the apples, orange, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Since you don't need those items, you can discard them, making sure only to keep the liquid.

Now, drizzle a little bit of maple syrup into the apple cider and stir. Instead of syrup, Hahn says that you can also swap it out for something like "brown sugar, coconut sugar, date syrup, agave nectar, honey, or even monk fruit."

Serve and enjoy

It's finally time to serve this classic fall drink to your family and friends. This cider is super versatile, and you can serve it hot or over ice. "I really like it warm, and that is so great on a chilly day. But it actually is great iced also," Hahn notes. As for serving suggestions? "I usually serve it with orange slices, apple slices and cinnamon sticks so everyone can add what they want. You can actually add whipped cream too," Hahn shares.

If you have any left, store it in the fridge and it will be good for up to five days.

Small-Batch Apple Cider Recipe
4.9 from 27 ratings
Learn how to make this small-batch apple cider recipe that's perfect for fall with spices like cinnamon, ginger, and clove that balance the sweet flavor.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Small-Batch Apple Cider in glass
Total time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
  • 2 red apples
  • 2 green apples
  • 2 yellow apples
  • 1 orange with additional slices for garnish
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • 10 cups water
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  1. Quarter the apples and the orange. (skins and peels stay on) and put in a large stock pot. If you can't find a certain color apple, just mix and match as you like.
  2. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, cinnamon, ginger powder, and water. Stir to combine
  3. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 15 minutes. Then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Mash the apples and orange against the side of the pot to release more of their juices. Cover again and simmer 1 more hour.
  5. Strain the liquid to remove all of the apples, orange, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Discard this.
  6. Add the maple syrup and stir. Ready to serve either warm or cold. Good for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Calories per Serving 183
Total Fat 0.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47.1 g
Dietary Fiber 6.4 g
Total Sugars 36.2 g
Sodium 24.0 mg
Protein 0.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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