I once made the mistake of ordering a caramel apple cider at a little coffee cart on a field trip when my oldest was a toddler. They promptly opened up an apple cider packet, poured it into hot water, and added a couple squirts of caramel sauce. 

It was overpriced and tasted terrible. I don’t think I was able to drink much of it, despite being stuck outside on a cold, rainy day. 

Thankfully, you can make your own at home using better ingredients, and get a delicious result (and think about how much money you'll save). 

I use my homemade caramel sauce that is made using dairy-free ingredients and unrefined sweeteners. It's so good!

We experimented with a wide amount of caramel sauce. We found that 3 tablespoons gave added sweetness and was very good. But to really get that caramel flavor, you have to use the amount of syrup that Starbucks uses — about 10 tablespoons per recipe. In other words, you can add caramel sauce to taste. (We just went with the lower amount for regular drinking as that is quite sweet enough for us.) 

DIY Spiced Caramel Apple Cider 

Serves 2


  • 3 cups of apple cider (organic preferred) 
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 10 cloves 
  • 3-10 tablespoons caramel sauce

1. In a small saucepan, heat the apple cider with the cinnamon stick and cloves until just simmering. Turn down to very low, and allow the spices to steep for about 10 minutes. 

2. Fish out the spices and stir in desired amount of caramel sauce. 

Optional: You can top with coconut whipped cream or regular whipped cream, and drizzle with a little extra caramel sauce, if desired. 


Related on MNN: 

DIY Spiced Caramel Apple Cider
It takes only a few minutes to whip up this delicious cold-weather drink at home.