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Easy Apple Cider Recipe – Homemade (No Sugar Added)

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Homemade – easy apple cider recipe. Using only a few simple spice ingredients, you’ll be sipping on a delicious cup of fresh hot apple cider in no time. And bonus, freeze this made from scratch recipe to enjoy all winter season!

On a cold winter evening, there is nothing better than cuddling up with a warm blanket and a hot cup of homemade apple cider. And this delicious recipe will have your house smelling yummy.

It’s the perfect spiced apple drink!

Apple season is here and there is no better time to stock up on a bushel or two of sweet juicy apples. Then use them for homemade apple sauce, apple pie filling, and so many more delicious recipes.

But you can also fill your freezer with small batches of apple cider to enjoy all winter season. And apple cider can be served hot or cold in the autumn for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It makes a great drink for seasonal parties.

RELATED: Apple Butter Recipe for Canning

What is Apple Cider?

Apple cider can called be a couple of different things, but it should not be confused with apple juice. Cider is sometimes referred to as soft cider or sweet cider. It is an unfiltered beverage or drink made with apples that can be enjoyed either hot or cold.

There is also a drink called hard cider. This is a beverage made from fermented juice and contains alcohol, but an apple cider drink is alcohol-free.

Best Apples for Making Homemade Apple Cider

The choices of apple varieties are endless. There are 100’s of varieties to choose from. Some of my favorites to use are Cortland and Gala for a really sweet cider. But if you prefer a more tart cider I’d recommend trying Pink Lady or a Braeburn apple.

cup of hot apple cider sitting beside a fresh apple, apple peels and 2 cinnamon sticks.

Of course, you can always play around with a blend of apples to see what flavor your family prefers. Other apple varieties I’d recommend for making this cinnamon apple cider recipe are:

  • Fuji
  • Golden Delicious
  • McIntosh
  • Mutsu
  • Jonagold

And of course, there are many others, but these are some of the more popular.

Easy Apple Cider Recipe – Stovetop

This recipe covers how to make apple cider on the stovetop. It does not include slow cooker, crockpot, or instant pot instructions.

quartered apples in a large stock pot for making homemade apple cider recipe


  • Apples – Fresh apples are a must. If you can gather them locally, this is wonderful, but apples from a market will work well too. My favorite apple is Cortland, as I mentioned, but feel free to use a mixture of varieties.
  • Spices – Spices are the ingredients that define cider from apple juice. They add that extra flavor for a delicious old-fashioned apple cider. I use whole allspice berries, whole nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks.
  • Orange Juice – I use unsweetened orange juice. But of course, if you have access to fresh oranges, feel free to use one. (You will need 1-halved)
  • Sweetener – (optional) Sweetener is not required. It’s used only for the tartness/sweetness of the apples and how you prefer the taste. You be the judge of the amount of sugar if any.
  • Water – This makes the base for your cider.


  1. Wash apples, remove stems, and quarter – (no need to peel)
  2. In a large stockpot, combine apples, water, orange juice, spices, and, sugar (if desired).
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours – stirring occasionally.
  4. Then if using fresh oranges, remove and toss them into the compost. Next, use a potato masher to mash apples and continue to simmer for 1 more hour.
  5. Remove from heat, strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Pressing solids with a wooden spoon or rubber spatulas to gain as much liquid and pulp as possible. Don’t worry if pulp goes through a strainer, this is part of the deliciousness of apple cider.
  6. Serve hot or pour into a 1-gallon glass jug and store in the refrigerator.

Fresh apple cider will last in the refrigerator for 7 days.

Can You Freeze Apple Cider?

Yes! It’s simple to freeze this super easy apple cider recipe. Allow cider to cool completely to room temperature, this is a process called sweating. This time helps to break down the natural sugars adding extra flavor to the cider.

Then pour into freezer-safe containers. I use quart and half-gallon size canning jars. But freezer-safe plastic containers will work as well.

Divide cider into portions. Fill freezer container to three-quarters full leaving room for expansion and seal. Label and date. Place inside the freezer. Apple cider will keep in the freezer for 9-12 months.

How To Thaw Frozen Apple Cider

Defrosting frozen apple cider a couple of ways:

The easiest is to take it out of the freezer and put it into the refrigerator to thaw. This does take some time depending on the size of the container.

A second way is to place the container inside the microwave and defrost for 20-30 seconds. This will speed up the thawing/defrosting process.

Once thawed, warm on the stovetop if desired.

More Apple Recipes

Yield: 1 Gallon

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe (No Sugar Added)

cup of fresh hot apple cider sititng beside a fresh apple, apple peels and 2 cinnamon sticks

Nothing says autumn more than a hot cup of easy homemade apple cider. Made with simple ingredients, it's the perfect drink for holiday parties.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes


  • 5 lbs. - Fresh Apples (quartered and cored)
  • 1 cup - Pure Orange Juice, unsweetened
  • 1 gallon - Water
  • 4 - Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 tsp - Whole Allspice
  • 2 tsp - Whole Nutmeg Berries
  • 1/2 cup - Organic Cane Sugar (optional)


  1. Wash, quarter and core fresh apples. (No need to peel)
  2. In a large stockpot, combine apples, orange juice, water, spices, and sugar. (optional)
  3. On high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Next, using a potato masher, mash apples and continue to simmer for 1 more hour.
  5. Remove from heat, strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing with a spatula to remove juices. Discard solids.
  6. Pour into a 1-gallon container, serve hot.


Fresh apple cider can be frozen for up to 12 months.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 23gProtein: 1g
cup of hot apple cider on a surface with cinnamon stick and apple peels with text overlay that says Easy Homemade Apple Cider Recipe

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