Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Soft and chewy apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with crisp edges and tons of flavor! So quick and no mixer! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It was one of those chilly and rainy weekends that you actually appreciate. Normally I’d let gray weather rain on my parade (literally), but I soaked it all in. Also quite literally! It was nothing but smiles the past few days because it finally feels and looks like fall outside. And even a little rain won’t take that away.

My parents came to visit, I did some recipe testing, caught up with a few friends, pumpkin crumb cake muffins made an appearance, and packed for my trip this week. Guess what? I’m on my way to Phoenix right now! (Where I hear it totally does not feel like east coast fall.) I’ll be there for a couple business meetings and I’ll also be shooting some promo video material for the big paperback release. It will be a busy week, but I’m thrilled to be on my way. Never been! Any must sees or must eats? Emphasis on that last one. Tell me tell me tell me!

Soft and chewy apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with crisp edges and tons of flavor! So quick and no mixer! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here’s one of the recipes I played around with before I left. I know I’m not alone when I say I looooooove apple desserts. Here’s hoping you use that many o’s as well. Apple is very much overshadowed by pumpkin this time of year. I understand I’m completely guilty of this as I throw pumpkin muffins and cookies at you all day long, but ya know what? There’s room for everyone at the fall table. And I’m sorry for throwing muffins and cookies at you.

These apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies have climbed to the tippy top of my favorite cookie list. How unpredictable. I got this recipe idea from all of you. Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten several requests for chewy oatmeal cookies packed with chunks of real apples and apple spice flavor. (YUM!) But to be honest– I’ve never had luck with them. My apple oatmeal cookies always turn out a little dry and cakey, though the flavor usually seems to be on point. And looking back, I know now that it was mostly a ratio thing; not enough oats, too much flour and applesauce etc.

So I revisited things and here’s what to love about today’s cookies:

  • Chewy with crisp edges
  • Soft and moist centers
  • Flavorful, spiced, and chunky
  • Pretty. Look at that gorgeous maple icing. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

How to make apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Some science for you! (Sorry, it’s Monday)

These are quick and easy. The first ingredient is melted butter, not too hot and not too cool. Too hot and the dough and cookies will become an oily puddle (albeit delicious) mess. Too cool and your cookies will taste a little too cakey. So what I always do is melt the butter and set it aside for 10 minutes as I prep the rest of the ingredients. It’s still warm, but not piping hot.

Next = sugars. I like to use dark brown sugar in recipes this time of year though light or dark are equally delish. You’ll scarf them down no matter which you use! For extra apple flavor, whisk in some applesauce. I recommend using unsweetened applesauce. I find the apple flavor is much more pronounced when there isn’t a bunch of added sugar in its way.

Applesauce can usually make cookies taste a little rubbery, but the melted butter will keep the chewy texture in check.

How to make apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You can leave out the walnuts if they’re not your thing! ↑ ↑

How to make apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

For the apple chunks, make sure they’re pretty small. There’s only 1/2 cup of apple chunks– you can probably get away with 2/3 cup, but any more than that will lend too much moisture. Between those and the applesauce, there’s still plenty of flavor. We’ll also add lots of cinnamon and apple pie spice, if you have it. If you don’t have any, just use a little extra cinnamon.

More oats than flour = chewier cookie. You’ll need 2 cups of whole oats and only 1 cup of flour. The oats will soak up a lot of the moisture if you let the cookie dough sit for too long. This isn’t a bad thing, but I find the centers are much softer. You’ll get a better cookie if you bake them right away (impatience wins today). Though I will say the cookies have 50x more flavor the next day if you can actually wait!!

Soft and chewy apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with crisp edges and tons of flavor! So quick and no mixer! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I wasn’t going to top these with any sort of glaze or icing, but then I remembered HELLO maple icing and the rest was history.

Soft and chewy apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with crisp edges and tons of flavor! So quick and no mixer! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (170g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (or an extra tsp cinnamon)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup (90g) unsweetened applesauce1
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark or light brown sugar (I prefer dark here)
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely diced apple (about 1/2 of a large apple)
  • optional: 1/2 cup (63g) Diamond of California chopped walnuts

Maple Icing

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk

Directions:

  1. Some readers have found that these cookies spread a little too much without chilling the cookie dough first-- I haven't run into that problem, but feel free to chill this cookie dough for 1-2 hours after step 4--before rolling and baking. Enjoy!
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  3. Whisk the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and apple pie spice (if using) together in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk the butter, applesauce, brown sugar, and white sugar together until combined. Then whisk in the egg and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Fold in the apples and walnuts. The cookie dough will be thick and sticky.
  5. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough into balls (about 2 Tbsp of dough each) and place 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the balls out-- see picture above-- as the cookies won't spread much unless you help out first!
  6. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned and set on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before icing.
  7. Make the icing: Whisk all of the ingredients together and drizzle over cookies. You may have a little icing leftover. Drizzle more on each... it's so good!

Make ahead tip: Iced cookies stay fresh covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Their flavor is even better on day 2! You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Make sure you are using a thick applesauce. Anything too liquid-y could cause excess spreading.

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Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

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Glass Mixing Bowls |Apple Peeler | Colorful Measuring Cups | Stainless Steel Measuring Cups | Cookie Scoop | Silpat Baking Mat | Baking Sheet

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How to make apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

140 comments

  1. What apples do you suggest to use?

  2. SO, I made these cookies for a cookie party I went to last night. In addition, I made some oatmeal raisin cookies. I followed the recipe exactly and when I baked them they spread out like thin pancakes. I then left the dough in the fridge overnight and it made no difference. I even tried the freezer for 2 hours, still the same outcome. I decided to bake them anyway. I let them cool completely on the cookie sheet after I took them out of the oven. They came out like a crisp chewy very thin like a cracker cookie. I decided to add them on my platter with the oatmeal raisin cookies and everyone LOVED them! There wasn’t one left and we had 2 tables full of different cookies. I am assuming the apple sauce I used caused the spreading. I couldn’t find any thick applesauce anywhere. I will try to use less applesauce next time to see if that helps. If you run into the same problem bake them anyway! They are still good!

    • Stefanie, so sorry you ran into problems! Definitely make sure you are using a thick applesauce. Anything too liquid-y could cause excess spreading. But so glad they were still a hit!

  3. Hi Sally, will I run into issues using quick oats versus rolled oats?
    thanks!

  4. I also had the spreading problem.  I doubled the recipe, and I used store brand unsweetened applesauce which was a little liquidy, so it may have been the culprit.  I melted the butter but did let it sit while I chopped the apple and mixed the other wet ingredients.  I’m at high altitude (Denver) but generally don’t adjust cookie recipes much or at all.  I didn’t even use a mixer for any of it, just a whisk, and I used Granny Smith apples.

    I think I will try again with room temp butter and reduce or omit applesauce.  I wanted to try this recipe because it promised “Chewy with crisp edges” – another recipe I tried recently resulted in REALLY moist/gooey cookies which is just not my thing.

  5. Happy Christmas eve from the UK! I have just been making these with my children and they are DELICIOUS, I don’t think santa will be getting any of these tonight, have an amazing Christmas xx

  6. My apple sauce says that a 1/4 cup was 90g in its individual cup, but the recipe calls for 1/2 cup which you also say is 90grams. Do I follow the cup measurement or the gram measurement?

  7. If your applesauce is quite runny, try putting it through a fine sieve ( i have a metal one that I also use for sifting). I’ve done this with other recipes and it works well.

    • Naomi, thank you for the suggestion. I had hubby buy the applesauce plus other ingredients I didn’t have, . He had a difficult time finding a brand that wasn’t too runny and one that wasn’t unsweetened. Hopefully with your suggestion and chilling the dough for a few hours I won’t experience the spreading. When it comes to the sweetness, I’m going to cut back on one of the sugars. Fingers crossed that they come out as they’re supposed to…

  8. This is a great recipe. I made it diabetic friendly by drastically reducing the sugar. I put a bit less than 1/4 brown sugar and a bit less than 1/4 cup raw sugar in.  Cookies still taste sweet. No spreading issue.  I ended up with 12 cookies instead of 20, bit I may have made them a bit bigger.

    Oh, and I didn’t have any apple sauce so I used mashed banana.  I found it had a good thick consistency.

  9. Could you use dried apples instead of fresh?

  10. These look amazing… Mom said she wanted oatmeal raisin, but she can suck it up for now. I’ll make those later!

  11. Hi Sally, this is the first time I’ve made a cookie recipe that is not the regular with chocolate chips or sugar cookie. I was kind of skeptical but these cookies are A M A Z I N G ! My family loved them and I couldn’t resist eating four (YES 4!) with greek yogurt (amazing combo). Thank you for this recipe. 

    I chilled the dough and the result was great.  

  12. Hey. . i am baking these cookies right now for my toddlers .. I want to cut back on sugar.. How to you think i should do that .. I want the cookies to be just a little sweet plus i have organice honey in my pantry.. Cn you please quickly guide me with the substitute and amount ..

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