To make the pancakes: In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, apple cider, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir just until combined and moistened, then fold in apples. Do not over mix.
Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray or oil. For each pancake, drop 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes, until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and bottoms appears golden brown. Flip carefully and cook another 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Make sure to coat the skillet before every pancake or batch of pancakes to prevent sticking.
To make the topping: In a medium bowl, toss together apples, sugar, and cinnamon. In a medium heavy skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add apple mixture to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft but not mushy and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
Serve pancakes with the apple topping while they’re still warm.