Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider


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Sweet, tangy and perfectly spiced. This Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider is perfect for any holiday gathering!

I love a good apple cider, though I rarely make it myself. This stuff is way better than the instant apple cider and has even more flavor with cranberry added.

2 mugs of cranberry apple cider
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This Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider has so much more flavor than plain apple cider! The tanginess from the cranberry and sweetness from the apples is a perfect pair. Also, the use of whole spices in this cider gives it a unique flavor.

cran apple juice, apples and cinnamon sticks in front of a slow cooker.

I have never used star anise before. You can see the star anise below,  it looks like an 8 sided star. It’s slightly licorice tasting, I HATE licorice, but this was really subtle, and tasted good with the clove and cinnamon. Star Anise is one of the flavorings in Chinese Five Spice, which I love!

overhead shot of cranberry apple cider.

I love the pretty color of this cider! I got out my clear Crate and Barrel mugs and saucers which have been collecting dust.

cranberry apple cider in a mug with an apple slice and cranberries

I have a great fall recipe scheduled for next Monday, so stay tuned! I can’t believe the holidays are just around the corner, I already feel overwhelmed! Have a great week!

cranberry apple cider in a mug

Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Vibrantly-hued, tangy yet sweet, this cranberry apple cider is the perfect fall and winter beverage.


  • 64 oz Ocean Spray Cran-Apple Juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 2 Gala apples, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries


  • Add everything to the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or until heated.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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  1. Maree says:

    I can’t get the cran apple juice, could I use cranberry juice and apple juice together instead? Or cranberry and apple cider?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Yes! Either will work well, if you can find cider, that’s great.

  2. Donna Miedema says:

    I want to try this recipes but I have a concern in as much as your recipe say (“See Notes”) but I can not find any notes.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Hi, I remember the note on this was outdated and I deleted it. Sorry for the confusion. We are in the middle of going through 400 recipes and converting to new recipe cards. Will keep an eye out for mistakes like this.

  3. Joanie says:

    Do you drink this hot or cold?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Hot :). But cold later would be good too.

  4. Jordan says:

    Should you add the vodka prior to heating or after to the cider?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      After. And don’t let the cider get too hot or it will cook the alcohol off.

  5. Heather says:

    Hi! There are cranberries in the picture, but the instructions don’t seem to specify when the cranberries were added. What would you suggest? Thanks.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Hi Heather, I used a half cup, I add them at the beginning.It’s not an important ingredient in the recipe, I used them to make the cider look pretty. Thank you for letting me know. I added it to the recipe card.

  6. Melanie Rodriguez says:

    Tried this at a holiday staff party and it was a hit. Not a fan of cranberry juice, but with these spices it was very delicious. Time to make another batch so there will be some to share with my family. Yummers!

  7. Ann says:

    Hi! I’m very interested in this recipe. It sounds delicious. Do you have any suggestions what someone would add to their glass in the way of an alcoholic beverage if they so desired?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      I would add cranberry vodka! Or maybe green apple.