Not only is this Slow Cooker Hot Spiced Apple Cider recipe seriously easy, it’s also quintessentially autumn. Mulled cider looks like fall. It tastes like fall. It makes the entire house smell like fall. Some call it hot spiced cider, others wassail. I just call it delicious. (Actually, I call it all of the above).

How easy is it?

  1. Grab an orange.
  2. Stick some cloves in it.
  3. Throw it in your Crock Pot along with a few cinnamon sticks and a bottle of apple cider.
  4. Turn it on.
  5. Wait four hours.

You have Slow Cooker Apple Cider! The mulled cider of your dreams. A wassail wonderland. (And your house smells wonderful, too.)

Ladleful of Crock Pot Hot Spiced Apple Cider in the slow cooker

My favorite part about this hot Crock Pot apple cider recipe is the orange. It just looks so festive, and the tiny amount of orange juice that comes out, the oils from the peel, and the cloves impart the most wonderful, heady flavors – both into your cider and in the air. Hot spiced apple cider is seriously the ultimate air freshener.

Orange with cloves in it for Hot Spiced Apple Cider

This hot apple cider warms you up after an hour or two of kicking around in the fall leaves or picking out that perfect pumpkin or trick-or-treating on a perfectly frosty night when you can see your breath.

Two mugs of slow cooker hot spiced cider on a stump

And for the adults, you can add a perfect extra little warming factor: RUM.

I know, I know, by now we’ve all seen a gazillion hot spiced apple cider recipes. But this mulled cider, I think, is special because it takes only four whole ingredients – no special mulling spices required.

Plus, it utilizes that wondrous kitchen appliance – the slow cooker – so you don’t have to stand over the stove or worry about keeping it at the perfect temperature once it’s ready to be served. It just sits there on your kitchen counter, being awesome, until everyone happily drinks it all down.

Yep. Bring it on, fall!

Mugs of hot spiced apple cider on a stump and mittened hands holding a warm mug of cider

Frequently asked questions:

Can I make this mulled cider on the stovetop?

Yes, you can! Use a large pot and bring just to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to just below a simmer and cover. Warm for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld then serve.

Do I peel the orange before poking in the cloves?

No, leave the peel intact. It’s those glorious oils in the peel that give it the wonderful mulled cider flavor. Slicing the orange exposes the pitch and can make the batch bitter.

If I double or triple this wassail recipe, do I need to add more than one orange?

Nah, one orange should do it! I would add a few more cloves to the orange for oomph though.

Can I make this mulled cider beforehand then reheat when I want to serve it?

Yes, absolutely. When we do this, we either just cover the cooled Slow Cooker crock with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge or we will even pour the cooled cider back into the cider bottle to store it.

Can I add rum or brandy before I heat it up instead of after?

Please don’t! It’ll all evaporate. Add your spirits when serving.

More scrumptious slow cooker drinks

If you try this recipe, please leave a rating! And, if you find it share-worthy – which I hope you do – please share. Tag #kitchentreaty on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, and don’t forget to check out my other recipes!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 10 mins

Slow Cooker Hot Spiced Apple Cider (Wassail)

5 from 6 votes
With just four ingredients - okay, five if you spike it with your favorite rum - this Crock Pot hot spiced apple cider couldn't be any easier to make. It's the perfect excuse to get out there and rake the leaves.
Yield: 8


  • 2 quarts apple cider (64 ounces or 8 cups)
  • 6 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1 medium organic naval orange*
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • Rum of your choice (optional)
  • Additional cinnamon sticks for serving (optional)


  • Pour apple cider into a 2.5-quart or larger Crock Pot or other slow cooker. Add cinnamon sticks.
  • With a toothpick, poke holes all around the orange, about 1/2 inch to 1 inch apart. Carefully poke the cloves into the toothpick holes in the orange.
  • Place orange into the cider in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low until hot and spiced through, about 4 hours. Ladle into mugs along with an ounce or so of rum if using. Place a cinnamon stick in each glass if desired and serve.


* I prefer an organic orange because it's going into the drink, peel and all. It just makes me feel better about the whole thing. If you prefer to go non-organic, totally fine - go for it!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 125kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 12mg, Potassium: 288mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 45IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 1mg

Simple Slow Cooker Hot Spiced Apple Cider

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