Hello, foodie friends and lovers of cozy, comforting beverages! As the leaves start to turn and the air becomes crisp, it’s the perfect time to share a recipe that embodies the essence of fall and brings warmth to your heart and home — our Slow Cooker Caramel-Spiced Apple Cider.
There’s something incredibly nostalgic and comforting about homemade apple cider; it’s a drink that invites you to curl up with a good book or enjoy a quiet moment by the fire. Our version, slow-cooked and infused with caramel and aromatic spices, is not just a beverage, it’s an experience. It’s like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket on a cool day, or the feeling of coming home after a long journey.
The beauty of this Slow Cooker Caramel-Spiced Apple Cider lies in its simplicity and the depth of flavors achieved through the slow cooking process. Fresh apples, coupled with the right blend of spices and a hint of caramel, simmer gently over hours, allowing the flavors to meld and intensify. The result is a cider that’s sweet, spicy, and wonderfully aromatic — a true celebration of fall in a cup.
Whether you’re hosting a fall gathering, looking for the perfect Halloween or Thanksgiving drink, or simply want to treat yourself on a quiet evening, this Slow Cooker Caramel-Spiced Apple Cider is your ticket to a blissful culinary journey. It’s easy to prepare, incredibly comforting, and will make your home smell like a dream.
So, gather around the slow cooker and get ready to fill your home with the irresistible aroma of apples and spices. Let’s embark on this delicious adventure and create a beverage that’s sure to become a fall favorite. Cheers to cozy moments and delightful sips!
This warm, spiced apple cider is packed with some of the best flavors of fall… apple cider, pumpkin pie spice, and delicious, silky caramel.
½ gallon apple cider
1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
2 T. pumpkin pie spice*
2 t. real vanilla extract
3 cinnamon sticks
¾ c. homemade caramel sauce, divided** (recipe included below)
Maple-whipped cream*** (recipe included below)
If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can make your own by combining 3 T. cinnamon, 1 T. ground ginger, 1 T. ground nutmeg, 2 t. ground allspice, and 2 t. ground cloves. Store in an airtight container.
½ c. heavy cream
1 c. white sugar
2 T. water
4 T. unsalted butter
Maple Whipped Cream:
1 pint heavy whipped cream
1-2 T. real maple syrup
For the Caramel Sauce:
Preheat oven to lowest setting.
Warm the heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. (You’ll want to slightly warm the cream to prevent curdling when it is added to the hot liquid).
Add the sugar and water to a heavy-bottomed oven-safe saucepan and stir to combine. Set spoon aside and do not stir the sugar mixture again. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. If sugar crystals remain on the sides of the pan, gently brush them back down with a moistened silicon baking brush.
Continue boiling until the mixture turns a nice amber color. Do not overcook. If mixture gets too dark at this stage, you will need to start over. If a dark spot forms on one side due to uneven heating, lift the pan and gently swirl until the color is even again. Return pan to the burner and reduce heat when the desired color is achieved.
Slowly whisk in the warmed cream until thoroughly incorporated. Be very careful while doing so because the sugar mixture will be extremely hot and will bubble up when the cooler cream is added.
Remove from heat and add butter. Stir with a clean spoon until butter is totally incorporated into the mixture. Cool and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For the Maple Whipped Cream:
In a large glass bowl, blend 1 pint of heavy whipping cream with a hand or immersion blender until it doubles in size and changes texture. Then, drizzle maple syrup into the bowl and continue blending until the mixture is light and fluffy.
For the Apple Cider:
Add the apple cider, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and cinnamon sticks to your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
After 2.5 hours, stir in ½ cup caramel sauce. Cover and allow the flavors to mingle for remaining 30 minutes.
Remove and discard cinnamon sticks. To serve, ladle the hot cider into mugs and top with maple whipped cream and drizzle with additional caramel sauce.