Caramel Apple Cider Floats

Quite simply, these little apple cider floats are divine. You know a recipe has to be good when someone sends it to me one day (thanks, Teresa!), I make it the next and post it the next, bypassing hundreds of other recipes waiting in the wings in the process. Continuing with the theme from Friday, these lovely floats are packed with apple flavor, fizzy ginger ale, creamy vanilla ice cream and the perfect (and most essential) addition of caramel sauce and a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon. Can you even handle it? Do you understand the essence of how delicious these are? Before I work myself into a tizzy, please make them while you can still find fresh apple cider. You know, the really beautiful, murky-in-a-good-way, apple cider that you can usually only find this time of year (not the clear stuff that looks like apple juice, although you could use that in a dire pinch). The bonus is, you can use the leftover apple cider for this and if you do, please overnight me some immediately. Even though the temperatures are positively frigid here, I can always make room for ice cream, what about you?

As a quick P.S.,
my 7-year old has decided he wants to go an entire year (until his next birthday in October 2013) without eating treats. Don’t ask me why, he is quirky and loveable like that. And…and…and…he asked me to do it with him. What’s a mom to do? How could I say no? So, I’m in. Please pray for me. I’ll be accepting applications for taste-testers in the very near future, since heaven knows I’ll still be posting plenty of sweet treats here. Oh, and if you think he won’t last – you don’t know my kid. He has more willpower in his pinkie then I have in my whole body. Hence, the request for prayers. Do you think the detox period will kill me?

Caramel Apple Cider Floats

One Year Ago: Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake
Two Years Ago: Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping
Three Years Ago: My Mom’s Classic Chili

Caramel Apple Cider Floats

Yield: Makes one float (increase as necessary!)

Caramel Apple Cider Floats

Note: If at all possible, try to find freshly pressed apple cider, the "real" stuff - it should be dark and murky and absolutely beautiful, not the clear liquid that basically looks like apple juice. It's usually around only in the fall season and you can often find it at local orchards (or great grocery stores). Use the clear stuff in a pinch but the deep apple flavor won't be quite as strong. Also, I like to chill the glasses in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes beforehand. It helps keep the float nice and chilly. Storebought caramel sauce works, but I like to use this divine caramel sauce or the simple version from this recipe.


  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1-2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Caramel sauce, for drizzling, see note above


  1. In a large glass, combine the ginger ale and apple cider. Drop in one or two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon and drizzle with caramel sauce. Serve immediately!

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Our Best Bites

32 Responses to Caramel Apple Cider Floats

  1. Cindy reams says:

    HOw cool is it that you use my recipe from Taste Of Home !!

  2. Niki says:

    Hi! I made two of your recipes this weekend…. this delicious float and your very yummy Spaghetti Pie! I can see why it is a family favorite. I easily could switch it to being gluten free for our son and he loved it…. had three servings! Thanks for two terrific recipes!

  3. Wow these things sound great! All it needs is a shot of whipped cream vodka in it and you’re ready to go.

  4. Wow! That’s a lofty goal for a 7 year old (I did see your update today but still!). I hope he at least had one of these floats because they look freakin’ awesome and perfect for fall (especially since where I live we are predicted to be in the upper 80’s low 90’s this weekend. Yeah we just fake fall around these parts!)

  5. Christine says:

    I have one of those kinds of kids too… No sodas for a year when he was 11 (it turned into a year and a half), and no sweets for Lent (that turned into 8 months). Only now he’s 20! He had some “cheats” too, like birthdays and Christmas, but he stuck to it. Now he’s super self- disciplined and that’s served him well in college, with studying, exercise, and dieting, etc… I learned a lot from him and it sounds like your son is giving you a gift as well! I’ll keep you in my prayers!

  6. grace says:

    i love ginger ale floats and i love apple cider–combining the two is brilliant! meanwhile, i won’t even joke–a year without sweets would end me.

  7. My husband and I tried these last night. All I can say is “YUM!” They were fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

  8. […] third dessert item was a recipe I saw just yesterday morning on my friend Melanie’s blog – Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.  As soon as I saw the  Caramel Apple Cider Floats she posted yesterday I knew I had to add it to […]

  9. Just had to let you know the Apple Cider floats were a big hit at our neighborhood Halloweenie Roast tonight! YUM. Love the flavor of the cider with the gingerale and I made the caramel sauce and it was to die for!!!

  10. Mel says:

    Ava – don’t stress too much! Based on my son’s meltdown at dinner over cookie dough fudge (and his stress over whether to cave and eat it or not), I’m not sure he’s going to last much longer. And I also did warn him that mom may have to take nibbles of everything she posts (as it is my credibility at stake here!).

  11. Ava says:

    I’m actually a bit devastated as I trust your taste buds.

  12. Christi says:

    Tell Walker he has inspired me. I’m actually thinking about doing this! I eat WAY too much sugar and I know it. Something to think about!

  13. Brittany C. says:

    Wow!! A year with no treats! That really is quite commendable. And crazy impressive a 7 yr old would want to do such a thing- I think that’s every mom’s dream. Good luck! I’ve gone a few months at a time without sugar, it’s not so bad once you get detoxed. Though, I don’t know if I’d have the will power to make treats and not try them!!! I’m gathering you are still planning on doing so? You are stronger than me. haha

  14. Mame M says:

    So I LOVE your blog and I’m an avid reader. Here is the deal with no treats, cheating really is harder! I actually know your friend from college, Clairissa Cooper, she lives sugar free and thankfully introduced me to lots of ‘natural’ treats available!! Good luck!!

  15. laura says:

    that float looks really delicious you can text for free at’

  16. Hayley says:

    Amazing. Good luck with the treats goal. I need someone like that to help me take on a treats fast! I could never do that alone.

  17. kate C. says:

    wow, I could never do a whole year. I thought it was big to cut my near-daily ice cream before bed down to two times a week maximum. I do think that not eating sweets every day made me crave them less though, after a while anyway. GOOD LUCK!!

  18. Mel says:

    A year DOES sound like a really long time but Walker got it into his head he wanted to go all the way until his next birthday so who am I to dissuade him? (Ok, actually, I tried really hard to dissuade him but he’s committed, man.) He even said he doesn’t care about the Halloween candy. He’s going to stay here and help me hand it out to the other kiddos that come by instead of going trick-or-treating. As for what constitutes a “treat” we are sticking to the blatant obvious. Anything that would be a dessert after lunch or dinner. Cookies, cakes, ice cream, brownies…anything that’s sweet, sweet, sweet. Brian and I agreed that it was such a lofty goal that if he achieves it (and me, too!), he’ll get a trip to Disneyland. Huge! We invited all the other kids to participate but they basically looked at us like we were crazy and said, “Ha! Whatever! Even the Happiest Place on Earth isn’t worth that.” So Brian’s staying with the treats team and Walker and I are sticking this one out. We told Walker that no matter how far he makes it, two weeks or two months or 12 months, when he decides to cave, I’ll still take him out for a blizzard at DQ. Just the two of us. I know…Blizzard or Disneyland. We’ll see what ends up winning out. I did give him three strikes and you’re out – meaning he can have three authorized “cheat” times (uh, and me, too). Anyway, that’s the gist of it so far. I’ll keep you all posted and Brian wants me to assure everyone that although sweet treats won’t be going down my gullet, they’ll still be going down his and he’ll glad take one for the team and test them out to make sure they are blog worthy. What a guy.

  19. Erin says:

    Good luck! Your 7 year old sounds like my seven year old. So much willpower! And totally didn’t get it from me, haha. Like when we told him to stop sucking his thumb at age 4, he did in one day. Stared at it a lot, but never put it in his mouth again. This recipe sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Amy says:

    Yes!! I definately think you can do it! Little children are so connected to their bodies, and they know what isn’t good for them, and what is. I think we should all learn from children, as they are more in tune with themselves then adults can be. Detoxing is the way to go, and you will be amazed at great you can feel without sugar. Sugar is addicting, and our bodies need that break. Good inspiration comes from your son.

  21. Kathryn says:

    Define “Treats”. Good Luck! It’s definitely the right thing to do but what will he do about Halloween???? I wish I wanted to go without treats for a day!

  22. Well I know that detox period would kill me – I don’t even know if I could go a week. Good luck! More power to ya! 🙂

  23. We are hosting our neighborhood Halloween party and this is going to be a last minute addition to the menu! Love it and can’t wait to try.

    As far as that treat free thing goes – you go girl!!

  24. Leslie says:

    I am going to have to save this recipe for next summer. It is blizzarding up here in Canada so I’ll just stick with regular apple cider!
    As for going treat free I am excited for you! Hopefully that means you’ll post some good sugar free treats (are those allowed?). My only advice is what worked for me – don’t even cheat once! Once that sugar is in your system it takes forever to get the cravings to go away! You can do it and you will probably never want to eat treats again!

  25. Bethany says:

    Mmmm! I once went without treats for 10 weeks. It was actually easier than I though it would be. I did allow myself to have honey… That saved me. There were days when a pb & honey sandwich was simply a necessity. Or four…

  26. A year sounds like a really long time to me. I bet once you get past the initial first phase, you’ll love it, though. I went for a while with no sugar and as my palate adjusted, I discovered that there is plenty of sweetness in what nature gives us.

  27. Jen T says:

    Good luck with the no sweets thing! I would/could never do that. Maybe you could sneak when he is in bed 🙂 Good luck! These look divine! Thanks!

  28. I can see why you’re so crazy about these! They look/sound amazing. If you make them again and need to make sure they’re just as good as before, just send them down to Carolina! 🙂

  29. I’m always up for ice cream! Oh, and sign me up to be your taste tester. . .it would be a dream job! 🙂

  30. CherylP says:

    This looks yummy! and I bet it would be awesome with my homemade fizzy water kefir instead of ginger ale! 🙂

  31. Kim in MD says:

    This looks like the perfect Fall treat! You son sounds adorable, and kudos to you for joining him in is treat free year. You are an AWESOME mom, Mel! What timing your little guy has, with Halloween this week! No, giving up sweets won’t kill you, but I’m thinking you might want to sneak some dark chocolate in every once in a while? 😉

  32. Holly W says:

    Oh Mel! You are so good to support your little guy. I wish I had some of his willpower myself! Crossing my fingers and praying for you! :o) The float looks yummy and here in Utah it’s supposed to be so mild this week the kids won’t even need their jackets – a great week for a float without freezing in the process!

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