Hot Spiced Apple Cider (No Added Sugar)

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Hand holding a glass mug filled with homemade spiced apple cider

There’s nothing quite like the sweet and spicy smell of homemade spiced apple cider filling your home in the fall. And it tastes just as good as it smells. This version is quick & easy, made with accessible ingredients, and has no added sugar, allowing the natural sweetness of the apples to shine. OH yes!

It’s a crowd-pleasing drink perfect for holiday entertaining, chilly days, and celebrating apple season. Did we mention it’s SO easy?! Just 4 ingredients, 1 pot, and 20 minutes required! Let us show you how it’s done!

Apple cider, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and cloves

How to Make Spiced Apple Cider

This EASY spiced apple cider begins with your choice of apple juice or cold-pressed apple cider. While apple juice is easier to find, it usually doesn’t have the same rich apple flavor you’ll find with cider. But there’s a work-around: Choose a high-quality brand of apple juice made from whole apples or with apple purée in the ingredient list. Voilà, problem solved!

Adding cinnamon sticks to a saucepan of apple cider

When you’re ready to turn it into spiced cider, simply add the juice or cider to a saucepan with cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange peel. That’s it. No added sugar here because apples are a sweet gift from nature all on their own!

Simmer the mixture to allow the spices to infuse into the liquid, then prepare for a house filled with sweet fall vibes and aroma!

Saucepan of apple juice with cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel

We hope you LOVE this spiced apple cider! It’s:

Subtly spiced
Easy to make
Naturally sweet
& SO comforting!

It’s perfect for chilly days, celebrating fall, and serving at holiday gatherings. Pair it with our Apple Cider Baked Donuts (V + GF), and you’ll be living your best life!

More Cozy Beverages for Fall

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Glass mugs of hot spiced apple cider with cinnamon sticks and orange peel in and around them

Hot Spiced Apple Cider (No Added Sugar)

Fragrant, warming spiced apple cider perfect for fall entertaining! No added sweeteners and just 4 ingredients, 1 pot, and 20 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Hand holding a mug of homemade spiced apple cider
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 (~1 ¼ cup servings)
Course Beverage
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week


  • 1 quart unsweetened apple juice* or cider
  • 3 (3-inch each) cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole cloves (or sub 1 tiny pinch ground cloves)
  • 2 (3-inch) strips orange peel (organic recommended // orange part only — the white pith will add bitterness)


  • Add all ingredients to a large saucepan or pot and bring to medium-high heat. Once simmering, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
  • Serve hot on its own or add a dash of bourbon to make it a boozy hot toddy. For entertaining, you can keep the cider warm in a slow cooker or on the lowest setting on the stovetop.
  • Store cooled leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen in an ice cube tray to keep for longer. Reheat on the stovetop.



*If using apple juice vs. cold-pressed cider, choose a high-quality brand (made with whole apples or with apple purée added) for best flavor. We prefer RW Knudsen organic.
*Loosely adapted from our cookbook and the lovely Grandbaby Cakes.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 3 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 153 Carbohydrates: 37.5 g Protein: 0.3 g Fat: 0.4 g Saturated Fat: 0.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 13 mg Potassium: 335 mg Fiber: 0.7 g Sugar: 31.9 g Vitamin A: 6 IU Vitamin C: 3 mg Calcium: 27 mg Iron: 0.4 mg

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  1. Diana says

    Hello, if you want to quadruple this recipe, would you use eight cinnamon sticks and 8 cloves. That seems like a lot.
    Thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Diana, that does seem like a lot! We haven’t tried quadrupling this recipe, but think starting with half that amount should work. If it needs more flavor after that, you can add additional spices and let it sit for 10-15 minutes longer. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amy, we’ve only used local brands and can’t remember the names! But almost any should work wonderfully. Enjoy!

  2. Dana Brown says

    How can I upload one of your wonderful recipes and either text or email the recipe to myself? There is no forwarding ability on your site.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dana, in the recipe box, you can use the print function and save it as a PDF, then add that to an email. Or you could also copy and paste the link into an email or text. Hope that helps!