This recipe for Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cider is a delicious dessert drink that's perfect for a fall or Thanksgiving party! I love that you can make it ahead and warm it up when ready to serve.
About the recipe
Well, my friends, we've made it to the last day of Apple Cider Week on the blog! I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed developing and sharing these recipes. I'm so happy to have a collection of apple cider themed treats in my recipe collection that I can look forward to making every fall season and sharing with family and friends. Here's a recap of what we made this week:
- Boiled Apple Cider Syrup - this flavorful cider concentrate is great on is own but was added to three of the other recipes in Apple Cider Week.
- Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes - I love these little nuggets!
- Apple Cider Sweet Potato Casserole - I really can't wait to make this one again for Thanksgiving.
- Boiled Cider Pecan Pralines - these will be going in my Christmas cookie tin this year!
And today to top it all off, we are ending with a super simple, semi-homemade slow cooker drink that is so cozy and perfect for serving at any holiday party: Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cider.
I love this drink so much - it's literally a dessert in and of itself! This drink was inspired by the only holiday beverage I like at Starbucks: the caramel apple cider. While I rarely buy it anymore, I thought it would be nice to have a version of it I could make for hosting parties or taking something simple and delicious to parties we are invited to.
This warm fall beverage is semi-homemade in that you add fresh apple cider to a slow cooker, and then you have the option to add in homemade salted caramel sauce or store-bought caramel sauce. Either way, the end result will be divine! Let's make some.
- 1 gallon of fresh apple cider - Honeycrisp apple cider is delicious if you can find it! I also love the Spiced Apple Cider at Trader Joe's.
- Salted caramel - as I said above, you can make your own salted caramel to add to the cider, which is what I prefer. I always use Sally's recipe for salted caramel sauce - it is delicious and reliable! But if you are in a hurry or don't want to make the caramel, a jar of high-quality, store-bought caramel will do in a pinch.
- Optional: whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, or cardamom if you want a warming spice flavor. I prefer the simplicity of just the apples and caramel though!
- Optional garnish: you could serve whipped cream with this if you like. I'm not a fan though - so you'll never see a whipped cream garnish on Sweet Cayenne!
Ingredient amounts/instructions listed in the recipe below.
- Warm the apple cider in your slow cooker on high for 2 hours. You want the cider to be nice and hot before you add the caramel in.
- Warm the caramel sauce - if you've made it fresh and it is still warm - perfect! Just whisk it into the hot cider. If your caramel is cool or refrigerated, microwave it in 30-second increments until it is warm and pourable. If you are using store-bought caramel sauce that is not salted, stir in 1 teaspoon of sea salt into the warm caramel before adding it to the cider.
- Set the slow cooker to "keep warm" and serve!
Complete instructions are found in the recipe below.
If you like, you can serve this caramel apple cider with whipped cream on top, and a sprinkle of cinnamon for garnish. This drink stands alone as a dessert since it is rich and sweet, so I'd recommend serving it as an after-dinner drink with an all-appetizer menu:
- Festive Charcuterie Board
- Italian Marinated Mozzarella Pearls
- Chipotle Rosemary Roasted Walnuts
- Warm Olives with Lemon and Rosemary
- Christmas Tree Cheese Crackers
- Ranch Pretzel Bites
- Pesto Cheesecake Christmas Wreath
- Bacon-Wrapped Dates
If you are looking for more delicious fall apple recipes, be sure to check out my Apple Cider Donut Holes, Applepom Fizz Sparkling Cider Mocktail, and these Cheddar Grits Bowl with Cinnamon Apples and Crispy Turkey Sausage!
Are you ready to make this Salted Caramel Apple Cider? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you!
Leave a comment and rate the recipe below. This will help me with the creation of future recipes!
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Slow-Cooker Salted Caramel Apple Cider
- 1 gallon fresh apple cider
- 1 cup salted caramel, warmed to a pourable consistency. (You can use homemade or storebought - I always use the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction | If you use store-bought caramel, add 1 teaspoon of sea salt after heating the caramel).
- Optional: 3 cinnamon sticks, ¼ teaspoon whole cloves in a spice ball for a spiced cider
- Place the cider and spices (if using) in a cooker. Heat on “high” for two hours until the cider is heated through. Add the salted caramel and whisk to combine. Heat for an additional 10-15 minutes. Place the cooker on "keep warm" and serve as desired.
- Chill any leftovers for up to 1 week and reheat as needed. The cream in the caramel may separate from the cider but can be whisked to combine as it is heated.
- Leftovers also freeze well. Simply freeze up to 6 months and thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating in a slow cooker or in a saucepan on the stovetop.