Apple Cookies with Streusel Topping

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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!

titled: Apple Cookies with Streusel Topping


Apple Cookies

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!

For another delicious apple cookie recipe, try these Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies instead.

Or, make Brown Sugar Cookies with brown butter drizzle for a treat that tastes as good as it looks!

overhead: ingredients to make caramel apple streusel cookies

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.
bowl of tiny pieces of chopped apples

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.

dough for apple cookies with caramel bits

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.
apple cookie dough balls on parchment lined pan

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.
closeup: caramel apple cookie dough ball
What are the best apples for baking?

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.

Granny Smith

Do oatmeal apple cookies need to be refrigerated?

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.

Can I make the streusel topping ahead of time?

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.

What spices work best with apple cookies?

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.

holding streusel cookie with bite taken out of it

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stacked apple cookies with glaze

apple streusel cookies

Apple Cookies with Streusel Topping

Donna Elick
Apple Cookies with streusel topping are a pretty addition to any bake sale or dessert table. Make these for a sweet treat in under an hour!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 52 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 36



  • 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

Crisp Topping

  • 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.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 187cal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 156mg | Sugar: 19g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): apple cookies with streusel topping

Originally published November 2020, updated and republished November 2023

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  1. 5 stars
    These apple cookies are beyond delicious and so easy to make. I’ll definitely be adding this to my regular baking rotation.

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