Simple and delicious – this Instant Pot Apple Cider recipe comes together without too much fuss! Simply pile in the fresh fruit, a few additional spices and aromatics of your choice and water then cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Once cooked, strain, sweeten and enjoy!
Enjoy hot or cold – making your own homemade apple cider couldn’t be easier when made with an electric pressure cooker!
There’s no need to tend to a pot simmering away on the stove. Once you’ve added your ingredients and sealed the pot you can walk away and forget about it. Come back later to find that your house smells like a delicious fall candle and you’re well on your way to the perfect drink to enjoy this holiday season!
How to Make Instant Pot Apple Cider
Altogether this is quite an easy recipe. The prep is quick and painless – you don’t even need to peel or core the apples. Simply add a handful of ingredients to the pot, cover with water then seal and cook. Once time is up, strain out the fruit solids, sweeten as you please and enjoy.
- Add chopped apples, one fresh orange, a chunk of fresh ginger and a few cinnamon sticks to the pot.
- No need to peel or core the apples. The pressure during the cook time will be enough to completely break down the fruit making it easy to strain out later.
- You can leave on the orange peel but you might need to increase the added sweetener later.
- I recommend you smash up the ginger slightly before adding it to the pot to amp up its spicy flavor.
- Top with water.
- You need to cover the fruit with water, but make sure not to fill up the pot past the max fill line. I made my instant pot cider in a 6 quart instant pot which in the end was just barely filled to the max. If you make this in a smaller pot, you may need to scale down the recipe.
- Add any additional ground or wholes spices you might enjoy.
- I took this opportunity to add my homemade apple pie spice blend. Since it’s a combination of a few different seasonal spices it meant that I didn’t need to supplement with several spices.
- Let the pot depressurise naturally at least 15 minutes before switching open the quick release.
- The cider is going to be hot and steamy which is difficult to work with right away. Just be a little patient and enjoy how great your kitchen now smells.
- Mash & sweeten.
- Use a wooden spoon to press any remaining large chunks of fruit against the side of the pot.
- Stir in the sweeteners while the cider is still hot and mix in until dissolved.
- Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large heat-safe bowl. Carefully pour the contents of the pot into the strainer a little bit at a time. Use the wooden spoon to press the juice through the strainer as needed. In the end you should end up with a bowl full of juice and strainer full of an applesauce-like pulp.
- Taste, sweeten and serve.
- After filtering the cider through a fine mesh strainer, taste one more time to sweeten or season as you see fit.
- Enjoy this as hot beverage or cool drink. Whether you want to cozy up with a mug of hot apple cider on a cold day or cool down with an iced glass of cider – it’s great both ways.
Can I make this on the stove top?
- Yes! The method is similar, but it will take longer.
- To make this on the stove top:
- Add the fruits, ginger and spices to a large pot and cover with water. Bring the pot to a gentle simmer over a medium-low heat and cook for about 2 hours. Leave the pot partially covered to keep too much water from evaporating. When the fruit softens to the point of easily breaking down, add the sweetener. From here you can strain and complete the recipe as usual. Use a potato masher to help break down the fruit if needed.
Can I make this in a slow cooker?
- Yes! I actually have a similar Apple Pear Cider made in the slow cooker already.
- To make in a crock pot or slow cooker:
- Add the fruit, spices and water to pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. An hour before the cook time is up, use a potato masher to mash up the fruit. Strain out the fruit then stir in the sweeteners as needed.
What type of apples should I use?
All apples are good apples if they’re ones that you like. Sweet apples, tart apples – it’s ultimately up to you.
I do recommend that you use a variety of apples here so that you can get a better balance of sweet, tangy and tart flavors. I used a combination of honey crisp, pink lady and granny smith apples. You can use all one type of a mix of apples.
Substitutions and Additions
- Make it paleo: use coconut sugar in place of brown sugar.
- Alternative sweetener of your choice:
- You can use white sugar instead of brown sugar.
- Light or dark brown sugar both work.
- Use honey or agave syrup in place of maple syrup (remember that honey is not vegan).
- Use 3/4 cup all brown or white sugar (if you want to make this without a liquid sweetener.)
- Aromatics and spices to add or swap: Whole spices are great because they will infuse more flavour into your apple cider without leaving behind any potential grit. That being said, you can still absolutely make this recipe with ground spices on hand. No need to rush off to your nearest grocery store to pick up spices.
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon in place of whole cinnamon sticks
- a teaspoon of apple pie spice
- 2-3 star anise
- a teaspoon of whole cloves or 2 teaspoons of ground cloves
- Add cranberries: Make the most of seasonal produce by adding 1-2 cups fresh cranberries to your cider.
- Alternative citrus fruits: The citrus from the orange is really what makes this drink pop. If you don’t have any oranges you can add lemon or lime. Stick with just one citrus fruit to begin with as you can always add an extra squeeze of lemon juice if needed.
- No fresh citrus on hand? Add at least 1/4 cup orange juices (or more) instead.
And that’s it! An easy apple cider made with real apples. Cozy up with a good book, a soft blanket and a hot mug and enjoy. It also makes for a perfect holiday drink you can serve up this fall and winter.
If you enjoy this instant pot apple cider recipe you might also be interested in checking out my instant pot apple sauce as well!
- 8 medium or large sized apples, peeled and cut into quarters (use an assortment of apples)
- 1 large orange, peeled and cut into quarters (or 1/4 cup orange juice)
- 3 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1 inch chunk of ginger, peeled or unpeeled (smash gently with the back of spoon to release some of its juices)
- 1/4 cup | 55 g light or dark brown sugar (or more to taste)
- 1/4 cup | 80 g maple syrup (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon optional spices (see notes for recommendation)
- 8-10 cups water (or enough to cover the fruit)
- Add the quartered apples, orange, smashed ginger and optional spices to the pressure cooker.
- Add enough water to cover the fruit. Stir everything together.
- Close/seal the pot. Set on High Pressure for 20 minutes and start.
- When the 20 minutes are up switch to Cancel/Keep Warm and allow the pot to depressurize on its own for at least 10 minutes. Then release the valve and let any additional steam escape before opening the pot.
- Add the maple and brown sugar while the cider is hot. Stir until dissolved. Let cool about 15 minutes uncovered before you start straining out the solids.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a large, heat-safe bowl. Gently pour the contents of the instant pot into the stainer to filter out everything that's not cider.
- Taste and sweeten with more sugar or syrup to suite your preferences.
- Serve hot or cold. To serve cold, wait for the cider to cool fully before transferring to refrigerator friendly closed containers. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and enjoy.
- Additional Time is estimate of how long it will take the instant pot to warm up and cool down.
- This was made in a 6qt instant pot. You shouldn't need to change anything if using an 8qt pot - The main difference between the two here is that the 8 takes longer to come up to pressure/temperature but the actual cooking time stays the same.
- Make sure not to fill the pot up past the max fill line.
- Add coconut sugar instead of brown sugar for a refined sugar free/ paleo option.
- Honey can be used in place of maple.
- White sugar can be used in place of brown sugar.
- Use all brown (or white sugar) and omit the maple: use 3/4 cup sugar
Additional Spices (optional)
- 2-3 star anise
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- apple pie spice