Your method sounds fine except I would not have used the splenda. Just personal taste. Anyhow ... as far as coming closer to the commercial ciders you like with your own ...
Well, for Angry Orchards Crisp ...
It has 29 carbs ... 23 sugars.
The sugars would contain all the common ones including any "residual" fructose or natural occurring sugars.
The curiosity is what are the other 6 grams of carbs. They can be fiber or starches including complex carbohydrates ... of which maltodextrin is one. Also, “sugar alcohols” (a type of sweetener) are listed under *Carbohydrates* unless they claim to be sugar free or if the product contains more than a single sugar-alcohol ... in which case they have to be listed separately by name.
Duplicating the sweetness of your favorite cider would mean taking your dry cider (that you’ve made) and backsweetening it to 23 grams of some sort of sugar.
23grams would equal about 5-3/4 teaspoons of table sugar in a 12 ounce bottle ... which to me seems like a lot and very sweet. But that’s what the label says. (a teaspoon contains approx 4g of sugar)
For what it’s worth ... that AO Crisp cider is pretty sweet as ciders go. Other cider examples would be ...
Crispin ... 12 sugars ... 18 carbohydrates
strongbow dry ... 12 sugars ... 12 carbohydrates
Hornsby ... 20 sugar ... 24 carbs
AO Hard Cider (regular) ... same as the crisp ... 23 sugar ... 29 carb
About those other missing 6 grams of mystery carbohydrate ...
-- Fiber? ... now there’s a health food for you. But no, I doubt it.
-- “sugar alcohols” ... doubtful ... there’s more than enough straight “sugars” to need any sweeteners of that nature.
-- Maltodextrin?? ... that I’d believe.
The brewing guys would have a better grasp of the use of maltodextrin for mouthfeel in a product. I’ve used it in a somewhat bizarre ale that I’ve made from a variety of sugarbeets ... but that’s it. I would strongly suspect that there is maltodextrin in many commercial hard ciders.
For the most part, increasing tartness or acidity - i.e. “brightening” wine (which is what cider is related to) is generally done with Citric Acid (carefully) ... even though Malic Acid is the predominant acid in applejuice, and as LeBreton notes above, commercially malic is added to commercial ciders. Personally I think I'd try a side-by-side taste comparison before I did my whole batch.
I would work with the tannin content first to see how that affects flavor before I adjusted the taste with acid though.
The taste of tartness ... and IMPORTANTLY the overall flavor of your cider ... is also in part dependent on tannin content ... read here ...
By the way ... the Lull Farms cider you started with is almost *certain* to have NOT been made with higher tannin apples - bittersharp or bittersweet.
Because they are ugly, non-eating apples they are very uncommon to see in cider-mill ciders available locally.
No doubt you could backsweeten with Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate and get more apple flavor too.