This delicious and comforting Homemade Caramel Apple Cider is absolute perfection. We sweetened it with pureed dates, giving it a rich caramel flavor. It is spiced just right, not too sweet, and is one of our favorite ways to warm up on cold nights.
The Very Best Caramel Apple Cider
I know that hot chocolate probably holds the title as the most popular beverage on cold winter nights. But for me personally- I’ll choose a warm mug of spiced cider any day of the week. For the past few years, I’ve been using date caramel to sweeten my apple cider. It adds the perfect amount of sweetness, a rich caramel flavor, and thickens it just so (not to mention a boost of fiber and antioxidants). It’s absolutely delicious and so easy to make.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Caramel Apple Cider:
- Apple Juice– We used 100% pure pressed apple juice. Avoid using apple juice with added sugars.
- Dates– We use Medjool dates to sweeten this caramel apple cider. It adds a delicious caramel-like richness and thickens the cider ever so slightly. It’s delicious!! You don’t get any ‘date’ flavor. However, you can sweeten with brown sugar if you prefer.
- Cinnamon Sticks– We simmered our cider with cinnamon sticks, but you could also add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
- Ground cloves, allspice and cardamom– I found this to be the perfect combination of spices, but you can play around with your favorite combination. Ground nutmeg or ginger would also be yummy!
How to Make Caramel Apple Cider:
- Make the date caramel. Add 8 -10 pitted dates and 1/4 cup water to a high speed blender. Puree until smooth, adding additional water a bit at a time if necessary. Set aside.
- Make the cider. In a large saucepan, add the apple juice, cinnamon sticks, and ground spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the caramel. Whisk in about half of the date caramel. Taste, and add additional caramel until you reach desired sweetness.
- Serve. Pour the cider into serving mugs. Top with whipped cream and ground nutmeg if desired. Enjoy!
Tips & Suggestions
Use other sweeteners:
If you don’t want to use date caramel, you can also sweeten your apple cider with brown sugar or maple syrup.
How to soften hard dates:
If your dates have become too hard, don’t toss them! Simply put the dates in a medium sized bowl and add enough boiling water to cover them. Allow to soak for at least 10 minutes. Drain the water and proceed with the recipe.
We coated the rims of our mugs in cinnamon sugar to add an extra little something. Completely unnecessary, but that’s the fun of it! To do this, add some apple juice (or water) to a shallow bowl. To another shallow bowl, add about 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. We also added a bit of turbinado sugar for a bit of sparkle. Stir to combine. Take the rim of your mug and dip it into the apple juice. Allow the excess to drip off, then roll it in the cinnamon sugar.
We then topped our apple cider with whipped cream, ground nutmeg, a drizzle of caramel, and a thin slice of apple.
Store leftover date caramel in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Looking for More Delicious Recipes?
Caramel Apple Cider
- Bring first five ingredients to a boil in a large pot.
- Reduce heat; cover and simmer on low-medium for 20 minutes.
- To make date caramel, blend 8 -10 pitted dates with 1/4 c. water in a high speed blender until smooth.
- Whisk in the date caramel to simmering cider. Serve warm with whip cream on top. Enjoy!
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie