Hi Bold Bakers!

Homemade Apple Cider is the perfect way to use up all those delicious in-season apples you may have gotten a little overzealous collecting at an orchard! 

There are so many wonderful parts to this fall recipe — it’s made with all fresh, natural ingredients, it smells like heaven and fills your whole house with a warm cinnamony apple scent, and it is so easy!

Another bonus? This homemade apple cider recipe keeps perfectly in the freezer for up to 2 months, meaning less work around the holidays! And there’s nothing wrong with adding a little splash of whiskey for a fun holiday cocktail!

Homemade Apple Cider ingredients in a pot before cooking.

The Difference Between Apple Cider And Apple Juice

They’re both drinks made out of apples, so what is the difference between cider and apple juice? The answer is how they are prepared. 

This cider is made from mashed apples that are then pressed through a cloth to make fresh juice. It’s a bit cloudy and has excellent sweet and tart flavors. 

Apple juice is filtered to remove any pulp and then pasteurized, which is why it can remain on the shelf for so long. 

Use These Apples For Homemade Apple Cider

The good news is you don’t need expensive, fancy apples to make a delicious cider. I like to use Granny Smith apples because I find they add a really delightful tartness to brighten the sweetness and the spices used in this recipe. But you can use whatever you love.

Homemade Apple Cider after cooking for hours.

What You Need To Make Homemade Apple Cider

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Large Saucepan
  • Large Pot
  • Potato Masher or Wooden Spoon
  • Fine Strainer
  • Thin Tea Towel or Cheesecloth

How To Make Homemade Apple Cider

I promise you’ll never buy a gallon of cider again after you realize just how simple making apple cider is! This recipe will definitely become a new fall tradition for you and your family. 

  1. Add apples, orange, spices, and brown sugar into a large saucepan over medium heat. Pour in water, cover with a lid, and bring to a simmer. Allow it to simmer steadily for 2 hours. 
  2. After 2 hours, remove the oranges and use either a potato masher or wooden spoon to mash the apples. Bring it back to a simmer, uncovered, for 1 more hour.
  3. Place a fine strainer over a large pot and line it with either a thin tea towel or cheesecloth. Pass the apple mash through the strainer, pressing on the solids with your spoon, to make sure you get all the juices out. Throw away the solids. 
  4. Serve the apple cider warm — but it’s delicious cold too!

The perfect cup of homemade apple cider.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Homemade Apple Cider

  • Freeze it for up to 2 months.
  • Keep the cider warm in a crockpot for hours to enjoy throughout the day.
  • Make your own brown sugar!
  • Use a tea towel or cheesecloth to strain the cider.
  • Add a splash of whiskey for a warming, delicious cocktail. Or make it a delicious dessert by adding some caramel sauce and top with whipped cream. 

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Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 3 hrs

Fall means apples. Fall means spices. Fall means making my incredible Homemade Apple Cider recipe and cozying up in the warm, fruity flavor!

Author: Gemma Stafford

Servings: 2 quarts


  • 10 large apples quartered
  • ½ medium orange halved
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • ½ cup (3oz/85g) brown sugar
  • 3 quarts (3 litres) water


  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, add apples, orange, spices, and brown sugar. Pour over the water, cover with a lid and bring to a simmer. Simmer steadily, covered for 2 full hours.

  • After the 2 hours, remove the pieces of orange and then use a potato masher or wooden spoon to mash the apples. Return to a simmer, uncovered, and let simmer for 1 hour more.

  • Place a fine strainer over a large pot. Lay a thin tea towel or cheesecloth in the strainer. Pass the apple mash through the strainer, pressing on solids with a wooden spoon to squeeze all juices out. Discard solids.

  • Serve apple cider warm on a cold fall day. Irish it up with a drop of whiskey. Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. It will also keep well frozen for up to 2 months.

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