Cider Beetles: A Teacher Gift

cider beetles

Before staying home with my kiddos I used to be a teacher. I was always very spoiled every holiday by my student’s parents and received so many gifts, too many to remember. But I will always remember one year when a student made me a Cider Beetle attached to Apple Cider. It was so stinking cute that I told everyone about it. I decided this year I would re-create this adorable little gift.

cider beetles

I was so happy to find the recipe on the Imperial Sugar website. Imperial has a great Christmas page full of recipes and craft ideas you can do with your kids! They are also running a Kids Cookbook Giveaway that runs through Dec. 19th.

The boys did almost all the work here and LOVED it! I love boys who love to cook :)

cider beetles

How to made your own Cider Beetles:


  • 12 oranges
  • 5 cups Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
  • 24 (1 1/2-inch) stick cinnamon
  • 24 small whole nutmegs
  • 48 large whole allspices
  • 192 whole cloves (8 legs on each beetle)


  1. Slice oranges in half crosswise; scoop out the pulp, and reserve for other uses.
  2. Place orange half shells, cut side up, on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 250°F for about 2 hours or until dry and hard. Let these cool completely before assembling the beetles.
  3. Pack brown sugar firmly into each orange shell, mounding it slightly. Arrange spices in brown sugar to resemble a beetle, pressing slightly into the sugar. Use cinnamon sticks for bodies, nutmegs for heads, allspices for eyes, and cloves for legs. If not using immediately, cover tightly with plastic wrap secured with a ribbon. Store in the refrigerator.
  4. To use, unwrap beetle and drop into 1 1/2 quarts apple cider or straight apple juice, simmer 30 minutes. Remove rind and spices to serve. Store the unused cider in the refrigerator.

We started with our oranges.

cider beetles

Remove all the “insides” of the orange.

cider beetles

Then place them on a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for about 2 hours.cider beetles

Then for the fun part… making the beetles! Pack the orange full of Imperial Brown Sugar.

cider beetles

cider beetles

cider beetles

Then you arrange all of the beetle parts.

cider beetles

cider beetles

cider beetles

cider beetles

I wrapped them in plastic wrap as soon as we finished and tied them up with a rubber band.

cider beetles

Then I just attached some ribbon around the apple cider and attached the beetle to the top for a perfect little teacher gift! I also attached some directions on how to brew it but I forgot to attach that before I took this picture. Brewing them is the best part because of the smell :) I hope you guys love making these as much as we did!

cider beetles

cider beetles

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    A few things. first, why did they have to show the bugs havnig bug-sex?? The ladybugs?? Wow. Second, I thought it was a silent movie (I watched with my 3yo who loved it!) and he did something to the sound and about 20 mins in, he did something else and the sound came back. Third, who can tell me where the spider scenes are? He really wants the spiders, and it’s just not appealing to me to sit through more than an hour of it. 20 mins was bad enough! This momma can do with out the creepy-crawlies!

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