Slow Cooker Mulled Cider

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As the chill of fall sets in and the leaves start to turn, nothing quite hits the spot like a warm mug of Mulled Cider.

a ladle with cider, cinnamon sticks, star of anise, and cardamom pods

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a crock pot with cider, cinnamon sticks, star of anise, and cardamom pods

Crock Pot Mulled Cider

This cozy and comforting drink, filled with the rich flavors of spices, citrus, and sweet apple, is like autumn in a cup. It’s not just a beverage, but a delightful sensory experience that celebrates the season.

Brewing this mulled cider will fill your home with an inviting aroma that promises warmth, relaxation, and a hint of nostalgic charm! So, grab your favorite blanket, and let’s embark on this aromatic journey to create the perfect homemade mulled cider.

cider with cinnamon sticks, star of anise, and cardamom pods

How To Make Mulled Cider

To make this recipe, we will need the following ingredients:

  • Apple Cider: The base, it gives you those warm apple tones.
  • Orange Slices: Adds citrus notes and a little tang. Also, makes the cider more vibrant.
  • Lemon Slices: The lemon balances out the sweetness and adds extra citrusy zing.
  • Cinnamon Sticks: Essential for that spicy, warming cinnamon flavor we all love.
  • Whole Cloves: These bring in a deep, somewhat peppery flavor note.
  • Nutmeg: It adds a hint of warm, nutty spice.
  • Cardamom Pods/Ground Cardamom: Brings a unique spicy, herbal, and citrusy flavor.
  • Star Anise: Offers a licorice-like depth to the spice profile.

Once you’ve gathered ingredients, we will use the following process:

  1. Pour & Prep: In a large pot, pour in the apple cider. Add orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise.
  2. Stir & Heat: Stir the mixture well. Simmer in slow cooker over low heat for about 2 hours; 1 hour on high. Make sure not to reduce heat if it starts to cook down; you just want it hot and steamy.
  3. Taste Test: Give your cider a taste. If it needs more sweetness or spice, adjust accordingly.
  4. Strain: Use a ladle to serve it into mugs, avoiding the spices. Or, strain the liquid with cheese cloth if you prefer.
  5. Garnish: You can add a fresh cinnamon stick or an orange slice in each mug for added flair.
  6. Serve Hot: Enjoy your homemade mulled cider hot, preferably with good company and maybe a warm blanket.
cider in a pumpkin shaped mug with a slice of lemon and star of anise

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Mulled Cider

Don’t Boil: Keep your slow cooker on a low setting. Boiling can make your cider bitter.

Quality Matters: Start with good-quality, fresh apple cider. The better your base, the better the end result.

Taste as You Go: About halfway through, taste the cider to adjust spices or sweetness.

Straining: If you don’t like bits of spices in your drink, consider tying them in a cheesecloth before placing them in the slow cooker.

Citrus Squeeze: Feel free to squeeze a bit of the citrus fruits into the cider for extra zing before adding the slices.

Sweeten Last: If you plan to add any sugar or sweeteners, do it toward the end of cooking so you can adjust to taste.

Customize: Add a splash of rum or bourbon if you’re making this an adult treat. Also, consider extra add-ins like ginger or vanilla extract to make it your own.

Garnish: A fresh cinnamon stick or an orange slice can make your serving even more special.

Leftovers: If you have leftovers, you can store the cooled cider in the fridge and reheat it on the stove or back in the slow cooker.

Serve Hot: Use a ladle to serve the hot cider into mugs, making sure to leave the spices behind.


How long should I cook cider in a slow cooker?

Typically, 2-4 hours on low is sufficient. You can let it simmer for longer if you like stronger flavors, just keep it from boiling.

Can I use apple juice instead of cider?

Yes, you can, but the flavor will be less robust. Apple cider usually has a more complex, earthy flavor.

Can I add alcohol?

Yes! A splash of rum, bourbon, or even a spiced liqueur like Fireball can be added for an adult version. Add it just before serving so the alcohol doesn’t evaporate.

What if I don’t have whole spices?

You can use ground spices, but be cautious with the amounts. Ground spices are more concentrated. And you’ll likely need to strain the cider before serving.

Can I make crock pot cider in advance?

Absolutely. Once cooled, you can store it in the fridge for 3-4 days. Just reheat on the stove or back in the slow cooker, and be sure to remove citrus so the fruit’s pith doesn’t make cider too bitter.

How can I store leftovers?

Cool the cider to room temperature, then transfer it to a lidded pitcher or jug. Store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Can I serve mulled cider cold?

Sure, mulled cider can be enjoyed cold, though the flavors may be less pronounced.

a ladle with cider, cinnamon sticks, star of anise, and cardamom pods

What to Serve With Mulled Cider

Cheese Board: A selection of cheeses like Brie, Gouda, and sharp Cheddar can be delightful with the warm spices of the cider – be sure to see our tips on How to Make a Cheese Plate.

Apple Desserts: Think apple galettes, apple tart tatin, or apple crumble. The apple flavors will complement each other perfectly.

Cookies: Ginger snaps, snickerdoodles, or shortbread cookies can be a hit.

Savory Pastries: Sausage rolls or savory tarts can balance the sweetness of the cider.

Nuts: Roasted almonds or mixed nuts seasoned with similar spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. Our Candied Almonds and Easy Candied Pistachios are perfect with cider!

Sandwiches: Think grilled cheese or turkey and cranberry for a full fall experience.

Fruit: Fresh slices of apple or pear offer a crisp contrast to the warm, spiced cider.

Spiced Popcorn: Make popcorn with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg to keep the spicy theme going.

a mug with cider

Mulled Cider Recipe

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a ladle with cider, cinnamon sticks, star of anise, and cardamom pods

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a ladle with cider in it

Slow Cooker Mulled Cider

Yield: 1 gallon cider
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes

Warm cozy homemade mulled apple cider in a crock pot or slow cooker!


  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1-2 lemons, sliced
  • 4-5 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 8-10 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6-8 cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2-3 star anise


  1. In your slow cooker, pour in the apple cider. Add fruit slices, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and star anise.
  2. Optional: If you're using sugar or maple syrup, add it to the pot and stir to dissolve.
  3. Stir the mixture well. Let cook in the slow cooker for 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high. The longer the better!
  4. Give your cider a taste. If it needs more sweetness or spice, adjust accordingly.
  5. Use a ladle to serve it into mugs, avoiding the spices or strain the liquid if you prefer.
  6. You can add a fresh cinnamon stick or an orange slice in each mug for added flair.
  7. Enjoy your homemade mulled cider hot, preferably with good company and maybe a warm blanket!
Nutrition Information
Yield 16 Serving Size 8 oz
Amount Per Serving Calories 124Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 11mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 1gSugar 25gProtein 1g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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