Apple Cookies with streusel topping are a pretty addition to any bake sale or dessert table. Packed with caramel bits and drizzled in a sweet glaze, they capture all your favorite flavors of fall. Make oatmeal apple cookies for a sweet treat in under an hour!
Each bite of these caramel apple streusel cookies is bursting with gooey sweetness, and the crisp topping adds a delicious texture as well.
Pumpkin Spice Crinkle Cookies capture another popular fall flavor. The secret to the intense flavor is pumpkin spice coffee creamer!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Apples – Choose your favorite sweet, firm variety. You’ll need to peel, core, and dice the fruit into small pieces before starting this apple cookies recipe.
- Lemon Juice – The acidity in citrus juice prevents the apple bits from turning brown. You won’t taste it in the cookies once baked.
If preferred, you can soap apple pieces in salt water (1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to every 1 cup room temperature water) for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse before using.
- Caramel Baking Pieces – These are simply small, bite-sized chunks of caramel that come unwrapped so you can add them straight to your baking.
You may find them labeled as “caramel bits” as well. If you can’t find them, cut up baking caramels into smaller pieces or use caramel chips instead.
- Old-Fashioned Oats – Use these for the crisp topping in this apple cookie recipe. They may also be labeled “rolled oats.”
Quick oats are fine in a pinch, but they will come out a bit chewier.
Tips for Making Oatmeal Apple Cookies
- Dry your apples.
Pat the pieces with a paper towel before adding them to the dough. Otherwise, the added moisture will cause the cookies to fall flat.
- Chill the dough.
This is an important step, so don’t skip it! Doing so will keep your apple cookies from spreading too much in the oven.
- Use a cookie scoop.
Not only will it give you perfectly round cookies, but you won’t have messy hands from the sticky dough.
- Don’t overbake.
Pull streusel cookies out of the oven just when the center is set and the oats are lightly browned.
They will continue to cook on the baking sheet as they cool, so leaving them in longer will cause them to harden and dry out.
How to Make Oat Crumble Topping
All you need to do is combine the ingredients until they form a crumbly texture. However, there are a few important steps to guarantee your success!
- Use cold butter. Unsalted is preferred, and it should be used straight out of the refrigerator so the topping holds its shape.
Cut it into small cubes so it blends quickly and doesn’t soften too much.
- Cut-in instead of mixing. A fork or pastry cutter is the easiest way to do this, but your fingers will work too.
Don’t press or twist too much, or you’ll end up with a more solid, creamed mixture.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Vegetable Peeler – Makes quick work of peeling apples too!
- Mixing Bowls – I like a variety of mixing bowls and prep bowls and this set has them all.
- Electric Hand Mixer – Use this to cream the butter and sugar if you don’t want to do it by hand.
- Baking Sheet (with sides) – Used for anything from cookies to roasting, a good baking pan will last for years.
Apple Cookie Recipe FAQ
For these streusel cookies, you’ll want to choose a sweeter variety that will also hold its shape in the oven heat.
Feel free to use your favorite or mix two different kinds for a more complex flavor.
These apple cookies will be just fine at room temperature in a sealed container or storage bag.
Enjoy within 3 days for best results, though they are perfectly safe to eat after that.
Absolutely! In fact, you could make a big batch and freeze it in storage bags for up to a year!
If you’ll be making just the amount needed for this apple cookies recipe, store the oat crumble topping in a sealed container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.
Cinnamon is a classic choice, creating a warm flavor just like your favorite apple pie.
You could also use nutmeg, cloves, or even ground ginger in this apple cookies recipe, though you should use each of them sparingly — just 1/8 teaspoon to start.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Fruity Cookie Recipes
Apple Cookies with Streusel Topping
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced (About 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup butter, 2 sticks – softened
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup caramel baking pieces
- 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- Peel, core, and dice apples and toss in lemon juice and put in the refrigerator until needed.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar (you can use a fork or a hand mixer).
- Add in eggs and vanilla and mix well until smooth.
- Slowly stir in flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until combined.
- Use a paper towel to pat the apples dry and fold apples and caramel pieces into cookie batter.
- Chill dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- While your dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and make the crisp topping.
- Using a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands, combine the butter, brown sugar, unbleached flour, and oats until crumbly. Set aside.
- Using a cookie scoop, create 1” cookie balls with your dough (dough will be sticky).
- Roll the cookie balls in the crumb topping before placing them 2” apart on baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 12-13 minutes until the center of the cookie is set. Do not over bake.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- For the glaze, combine powdered sugar and water until a smooth glaze forms. You can add more/less powdered sugar or water to get the consistency you want.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published November 2020, updated and republished November 2023
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