Simple Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider

It is a fact that the first time I made this Cranberry Apple Cider, a young boy visiting our home looked into the crock pot, saw the floating cranberries, and asked, “Are those berries poisonous?”

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Hey. It was a fair question. He’s been taught well. Never eat berries without first asking what they are and checking to be sure that they are safe to eat. Smart kid, that one.

I assured him that the berries floating in my cider were merely cranberries, but my proclamation meant nothing at all to him. So he stood waiting for me to answer his actual question, “Are those berries poisonous?”

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I’ll admit that for at least two seconds, my mind started heading down the path of possible answers I could but should not give. “We’re not really sure, but we decided to try them and see what happened.” Or maybe, “Yes, but they were so pretty we decided it didn’t matter.”

But only a terrible hostess would scare visiting children, so even though this kid is a regular guest in our home and knows we specialize in sarcasm, I ignored the untrue answers threatening to come out of my mouth and told him, “Yes. But only if you chew them up and swallow them. If they’re just floating in your cup, they won’t hurt you.”

I kid, I kid.

I actually didn’t have to say anything at all because while I was quietly saying, “Nope, they’re just cranberries. Not even a little bit poisonous.” My almost 13-year old was sharing his own scary remarks about how his mom sometimes, but not always, puts poisonous berries in the cider so the family never knows which batch is safe, then ended with, “So. You want to try some?”

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It’s so much fun to be a guest at our house. You should definitely come drink cider with us sometime. If you dare. Mooh-ha-ha.

Well now that we got all the sarcasm out of the way (a Christmas miracle), let’s get on with the niceties about this recipe.

This Simple Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider actually smells like Christmas. Yes, if you’ve ever wondered what Christmas smells like, this is your answer. It also looks like Christmas because what is more festive looking than (potentially poisonous) red berries, oranges, and cinnamon sticks in a crock pot? So pretty!

The best news is that this may be the simplest recipe you can make during the holiday season. Put ingredients into crock pot. Turn on crock pot. Let the smell of Christmas fill your home.

Simple Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider

Simple Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider
Serves: 8-10
  • 64 ounces unsweetened apple juice
  • 1-2 whole oranges, sliced
  • 16-ounces fresh cranberries
  • 3-5 cinnamon sticks
  1. Place all ingredients into a slow cooker.
  2. Heat on low for 3-4 hours.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

TIP: After you make the first round of cider, save the cinnamon sticks, oranges, and cranberries to reuse in another batch of hot cider.

Simple Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider

This cider is fun to leave in a crock pot for several hours during the day so that at all times the house smells wonderful and at any time a cup can be refilled!


  1. Beth says

    Just curious why its called cider- is apple juice used to keep it clearer or does using actual cider mess with the taste so much that the juice is preferred? I’m intrigued and gonna make this for my crew, just wondered since I have cider on hand. Thanks!


    Laura Reply:

    Ha, good question! Cider or juice would work great for this!


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