Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

These soft and chewy apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies are exploding with sweet apple flavor. Filled with cinnamon and apple spices, loaded with applesauce and apple chunks, and topped with a creamy maple frosting, they’re absolutely perfect for the fall season.

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

In the fall months, apple desserts are often overshadowed by pumpkin spice. While these soft pumpkin cookies always hit the spot, today’s apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies have climbed to the top of our fall cookie list.

Speaking of favorite desserts, have you tried salted caramel apple pie yet? It’s our #1.


Tell Me About these Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

  • Texture: These apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies are soft and chewy with moist centers and crisp edges. They’re much softer and more airy than our oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies. Each is loaded with apple chunks and topped with creamy frosting. So much texture in just 1 cookie!
  • Flavor: You’ll enjoy many fall flavors in each bite including apple spice, cinnamon, and maple. If you’re looking for a maple cookie to try, these maple brown sugar cookies are a popular choice.
  • Time: The apple oatmeal cookie dough comes together quickly. Some cookie doughs require chilling in the refrigerator and others don’t. This recipe doesn’t, but some readers have found chilling the dough helpful because it helps reduce over-spreading. (We don’t usually chill the dough, but see step 1 below.)

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies: What Works & What Doesn’t

Here are a few helpful tips my team & I learned while testing this recipe.

  1. Use this trick for melted butter. The first ingredient is melted butter, but the temperature is important. If it’s too hot, the dough will turn into an oily puddle. If it’s too cool, your cookies will taste a little too cakey. Here’s what we do: melt the butter and set it aside for 10 minutes while we prep the rest of the ingredients. It’s still warm, but not piping hot. Perfect!
  2. Bake right away. The oats will soak up a lot of the moisture if you let the cookie dough sit too long. This isn’t a bad thing, but we find the centers are much softer if the dough sits. You’ll get a better cookie if you bake them right away. Impatience finally pays off! 
  3. Next day flavor wins. Even though you want to bake the cookies right away, eating them is another story. Like banana bread, these cookies have even more flavor on the 2nd day… if you can wait that long to eat them!

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookie batter in a glass bowl

Choosing the Right Ingredients

Here are some of the key ingredients in apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies.

  • More oats than flour = chewier cookie. You need 2 cups of whole oats and 1 cup of flour to achieve the perfect chew.
  • Sugars. You’ll need both granulated sugar and brown sugar in this recipe. We prefer dark brown sugar this time of year, though light brown sugar works just as well.
  • Applesauce. While applesauce can make cookies taste a little rubbery, the melted butter keeps their chewy texture in check. We recommend using a thick unsweetened applesauce to prevent overspreading. Avoid thin and soupy applesauce.
  • Walnuts. We love adding walnuts to these apple cookies, but you can leave them out if desired. The nuts are completely optional.
  • Apple chunks. Make sure you cut the apple into very tiny chunks. We use only 1/2 cup for the cookies– you don’t want to use much more than that because the dough will be too moist.
  • Spices. We recommend using apple pie spice and cinnamon. If you don’t have access to store-bought apple pie spice, use a little extra cinnamon or you can make your own with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. If you have and love apple pie spice, you’ll enjoy it in our baked apple cider donuts too!

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies on a silpat baking mat on a baking sheet before baking

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies on a baking sheet

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

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apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 20 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These soft and chewy apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies are exploding with sweet apple flavor. Filled with cinnamon and apple spices, loaded with applesauce and apple chunks, and topped with a creamy maple frosting, they’re absolutely perfect for the fall season.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (170g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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 applesauce*
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark or light brown sugar (I prefer dark here)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) 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) chopped walnuts

Maple Icing

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180gconfectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk

Instructions

  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… because it’s just so good.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Iced cookies stay fresh covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The 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 5. 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.
  2. Applesauce: Make sure you are using a thick applesauce. Anything too thin and liquid creates excess spreading.

Keywords: apple cinnamon cookies, apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies

103 Comments

  1. Favorite oatmeal cookies! Very soft and I love lal the apples and cinnamon.

  2. GREAT COOKIES!!! So soft and I love all the cinnamon flavor.

  3. These were definitely the BEST oatmeal cookies we’ve ever had even though mine came out flat and sticky. It has to be the apple sauce since the parchment paper was wet once I put the cookie dough on it. The next time I make these cookies I’m going to make my own apple sauce and see how it goes. I’ll let you know the outcome.

  4. This recipe is a KEEPER. My first try resulted in flat and sticky cookies which were delicious. I baked a batch yesterday and substituted apple butter for the applesauce, reduced the amount of sugar by about 10 grams, as Sally suggested, and used raisins instead of the diced apple. They were great. Thank you Sally for all your efforts in sharing your knowledge and expertise with us.

  5. This looks absolutely stunning! Do you think this could be made egg free by using a flax egg instead?

    1. I haven’t tested this with an egg substitute but let me know if you do!

  6. Followed the recipe perfectly and mine turned out flat, sticky and easily fell apart. Why? They are delicious though.

    1. Hi Brooke, did you change anything in the recipe ingredients? I wonder why they’re sticky and falling apart. Make sure you’re using whole oats and not quick oats.

  7. I actually haven’t tried the recipe yet but it looks amazing… I am wondering if letting the diced apples dry a little bit would help with the moisture issue? I might like to add more of the diced apple but would hate to compromise the balance!

    1. Hi Katie! Using slightly dried apples would definitely decrease some of the moisture. If you try adding more apples, let me know how it goes!

  8. Santana & Little Zoey says:

    I love your recipe. My daughter and I made this recipe and added only two additional ingredients of Our Own. We took the cookies and melted marshmallows in between them to make apple cinnamon oatmeal pie cookies. It was delicious!! We also drizzled cream cheese frosting on top. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I made these yesterday! I had a bag of honey crisp apples that were looking sad so I peeled them threw them in the crockpot with a stick of butter and a 3/4 cup of brown sugar, a 1/2 cup of water and a tap of cinnamon and let them cook on high for about 4 hours! Then I mashed them up and was afraid my liquid was going to make them spread out when baked. I followed the recipe with the exception of adding brown sugar, butter, and I increased the oats by a half of a cup! They are fantastic! I made two batches! Like a cake cookie!

  10. Perfect apple cookies! I added extra cinnamon and they are so soft and very flavorful! Will keep this on rotation

  11. Hi! Am I able to make this recipe with steel cut oats?

    1. I don’t recommend it.

  12. My research says that melted butter results in a cookie that spreads and Is thin. Softened butter results in a chewier, more compact cookie which I prefer. Can I substitute softened butter, cream it with sugars, add dry ingredients and then add egg and applesauce.

    1. Hi Jackie! Melted butter typically produces a chewier cookie, but that– of course– depends on the other ingredients in the dough and ratio of those ingredients as well. Feel free to alter this recipe as you see fit and let me know how your testing goes!

  13. I made them today and they came out flat and chewy, I even refrigerated the dough for an hour to try and firm it up! But it was so soft I think there must have been too much moisture. Sad! I was so excited for them

  14. Hi this recipe sounds delicious. Do you think you could replace the flour with ground oatmeal?

    1. For recipe success (and to prevent excess spreading), I recommend sticking with all-purpose flour.

  15. I recently discovered your website and these were the first cookies I tried. This is absolutely yummy. I love the fact its tried and tested recipes. Because of lockdown I couldn’t get hold of applesauce and replaced it with butter. They still were a big hit. Thank you, can’t wait to try more of your recipes

  16. I made these cookies today for my mom and she loved them! I did use instant oats because it was all we had in the house and I couldn’t go to the store, but the cookies still came out wonderfully chewy and delicious. I also added a spoonful of chia seeds for a smidge of extra nutrition and they worked well to soak up excess moisture from the apples. Thanks for this great recipe!

  17. These are absolutely amazing! I made them last week with my five-year old son, and the whole family loved them. He gets to choose one recipe a week to make, and he is choosing this one again! Thank you!

  18. Really loved this receipe. I make my own applesauce, as you can’t get it in the UK (5 peeled and diced apples, tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 cup water in a slow cooker for 3 hours) and it comes out quite thick and great for baking. I chilled the dough for an hour and made 10 bigger cookies, baking them for around 28- 30 minutes. I did find them very sweet though. I reduced the sugar to 250g, but next time I’ll cut it down to 150g or even 100g. I’d recommend the same for others who don’t like a sugar crash!

  19. Am I reading the notes right that these cookies have to be kept in the refrigerator after they are baked? Or can I leave them out on the counter at room temp? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Suzy, We recommend storing these in the refrigerator as they contain fresh apples. They will stay fresh covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

  20. These cookies are delicious! Made two batches and for the 2nd batch, We added 3/4 cup of raisins to the dough. They were great! Thanks for the recipe Sally

  21. Made these today and they are just excellent. Probably the best cookie I have ever made. A big hit with the family.

  22. Flavor is there, but man oh man did these spread. I even chilled the dough. The flavor is there that we ate them anyways. Going to up my dry ingredients a bit more for second batch.

  23. I wanted to use up cooking apples from my garden so this recipe looked great. We don’t like things too sweet so I put 150g Demerara sugar (the only sugar I had in) and 100g ground almonds. I added some chopped pecans and they are oops ….. were scrumptious .

  24. Love the recipe, thank you, I made these tonight- wondering how I can do better next time because mine spread so thin that they were hard to pick up without breaking – the flavor was AMAZING though. How can I make them thicker next time ?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tabarik, You can chill this cookie dough for 1-2 hours after step 4–before rolling and baking, which should help if they are spreading. A few more tips are to make sure that your butter has slightly cooled before using (if it’s too hot the cookies will spread) and that you are not using a super thin/watery applesauce. Thank you for trying this recipe!

  25. Made’em today for The Boss to take on the road as a snack. Pretty darned good, Sally! Used homemade applesauce so had to up the oats as batter was bit too thin. Also added 1/4 tsp allspice to 11/2 tsp cinnamon. Thanks for this great cookie!

  26. Sharon K Roodhuyzen says:

    Super flavorful and simple to make. I used Sally’s recommendations to let butter cool and to chill the dough before baking. They did not spread too much. My family was very happy with them, will make them again!

  27. Hi Sally! Is there a substitute for applesauce?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tin, You can try a ripe mashed banana, or canned pumpkin if you wish. Or you can even make your own applesauce by simply cooking some peeled and sliced apples on the stove until they are soft enough to mash.

  28. Nancy Mcleary says:

    Hi Sally
    Well, I agree, this cookie is fantastic!!!
    I just finished cleaning up after baking these for the first time.
    I prefer smaller cookies so I used only one tablespoon. The best baking time, after varying the times for the first three batches, turned out to be 12 1/2 minutes,not to be too exact or anything!
    They are so delicious Sally! Thanks for your always successful recipes! I used Trader Joe’s unsweetened apple sauce. It is quite thick. My cookies did not over spread at all.

  29. Realized after I had already started that the kiddos had finished off the apples. I ended up subbing in raspberries and they were still amazing. I think this will be my go to recipe when I have fruit that needs to be used up.

  30. Mikayla Madison says:

    I made these for my friend!

    I chilled the batter for 24 hours and WOW! The cookies were AMAZING! Absolutely delicious cookies, probably the best I’ve ever made! My friend is still talking about them!

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