AIP Dairy-Free (DF) Gluten-Free (GF) Paleo Recipes Whole30
Apple Shrunken Heads Cider (AIP, Paleo, Whole30, GFDF)
October 23, 2019
Image Credit: Martha Stewart

I stumbled across this apple shrunken heads cider over at and had to add it to the Halloween recipe lineup this month. These little shrunken heads are way cool. Such a creative idea!

If you let them sit out, they turn into the scariest garnish ever, the way the apple ages and gets all wrinkly, they look so real and creepy! You can even bake them at a super low temperature or use a dehydrator to pull the moisture out of them to speed up the process.

They’re so cool, they’re not just for adding to cider or punch. I would totally go so far as to hang these guys from the ceiling with a rope around my table or create a bouquet of them for added decoration.

The guys over at Country & Victorian Times have a great and detailed description of how to make shrunken heads for his purpose.

Find Halloween Punch Bowls on Amazon!

If you do decide to use the apples to make apple shrunken heads cider, you have to find a creepy way to serve it! Dry ice or a fog machine can add the extra creepiness. You can also serve it in a creepy cauldron like a witches brew.

Serve this cider alongside creepy snacks like spider deviled eggs, shrimp ears, and Frankenstein’s fingers string cheese snacks.

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apple shrunken heads cider

Apple Shrunken Head Cider

  • Author: Heather Cooan
  • Prep Time: 1 Hour
  • Cook Time: 90 Minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


These apple shrunken heads in this cider are so creepy and awesome. You’ve got to make these for your next Halloween party!


  • 2 Cups of Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs. Coarse Salt
  • 8 Large Granny Smith Apples
  • 32 Whole Cloves
  • 2 Gallons of Apple Cider
  • 2 (12oz.) Cans of Frozen Lemonade Concentrate, Thawed
  • 2 Cups Spiced Rum (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together lemon juice and salt; set aside.
  • Peel apples and cut each in half through the stem; remove seeds and core. Using a sharp paring knife, carve a face, as desired, on the rounded side of each apple half. Place apples in the lemon mixture for one minute; transfer to paper towels to drain.
  • Place apples, face-side up on the prepared baking sheet and transfer to oven. Let bake until apples are dry and begin to brown around the edges, about 90 minutes. Remove apples from baking sheets and press cloves into the “eye” sockets.
  • Combine cider, lemonade, and rum (if using) in a large punchbowl; float shrunken heads on top.
  • Category: Garnish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: apple shrunken heads


About author

Heather Cooan

Heather is a marketing executive turned nutrition consultant and educator. Heather advocates for informed consent, bodily autonomy, and healthcare authorship. She speaks and writes on nutrition and lifestyle design interventions for health recovery. Heather successfully recovered her health from vulvar cancer, Hashimoto's, and lichen sclerosus. She reversed estrogen dominance, insulin resistance, arteriosclerosis, and fatty liver utilizing a food-as-medicine and integrated clinical treatment approach. Heather is a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner and Nutrition Therapy Practitioner.

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