Apple Pie Cookies are the perfect fall treat that’s made with fresh, crisp apples and pantry staple ingredients! A crowd-pleasing dessert that takes under an hour to make!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe For Apple Pie Cookies
These Apple Pie Cookies are a sweet, fun twist on a slice of classic Apple Pie! You’ll enjoy skipping over the hassle of pie crusts, those tricky lattice tops, and a messy egg wash, yet still indulge in that delicious apple pie flavor!
Sweetly spiced apple pie filling nestles into a soft apple pie spiced cookie that’s baked to perfection. The cookies are then drizzled with caramel sauce and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Absolutely mouthwatering, right?
To ensure that all the mouthwatering excitement is worth your time, I made sure these cookies turned out the very best by making them with homemade apple pie filling!
What You’ll Need For Apple Pie Cookies
- Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples
- fresh lemon juice
- granulated sugar
- light brown sugar
- apple pie spice
- caramel sauce
- salted butter
- bread flour
- instant vanilla pudding mix
- baking powder
- ground cinnamon
- unsalted butter
- large eggs
- vanilla extract
As with any apple pie recipe, the dessert will only be as good as the filling, and the same goes for these Apple Pie Cookies! Therefore, I made sure to make the very best homemade apple pie filling by first choosing the right apples.
When making apple pie filling, I always reach for crisp, juicy apples such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. I find that their flavor is the perfect complement to the light brown sugar, apple pie spice, and caramel sauce that makes up the filling in this cookie recipe.
If you’d like, you can also use Cortland or Braeburn apples or even a mixture of different types of apples. After all, the filling will taste best when it’s made with your favorite apples!
Apple Pie Cookie Substitutions & Variations
- Bread Flour – Though these cookies turn out slightly softer when made with bread flour, you can use an equal amount of all-purpose flour in its place.
- Homemade Filling – For added convivence, you can swap the homemade apple pie filling out for a can of storebought filling. To do so, I recommend adding 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the canned filling as well as chopping the apple pieces up to become smaller before adding the filling to the cookies.
- Instant Pudding – The instant vanilla pudding mix can be left out and replaced with 2 tablespoons of powdered milk and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
- Unsalted Butter – Feel free to use salted butter when making the cookie dough instead of unsalted butter. Just reduce the amount of salt to 1 teaspoon if you choose to make that swap.
- Light Brown Sugar – This can be substituted for dark brown sugar, though it may alter the final taste of the cookies by giving them a bit deeper flavor.
- Cinnamon Sugar Mixture – If you’d like, you can make the cinnamon sugar coating for the cookies with light brown sugar instead of granulated sugar.
- Dutch Apple Pie Cookies – Love that crumb topping? Me too! Go ahead and make a half batch of the topping from my Dutch Apple Pie Recipe to use as topping on these cookies!
How To Make Apple Pie Cookies
Step 1: Prepare the cookie coating by whisking the granulated sugar with ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Set this aside.
Step 2: Prepare the apple pie filling by first peeling, coring, and finely dicing up the Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples. The apple pieces should be about the size of a dime or smaller.
Step 3: Whisk water, fresh lemon juice, and cornstarch together in a medium saucepan. Stir in the diced apples, light brown sugar, and apple pie spice. Next, heat the saucepan of filling over medium-low heat until the juice from the apples begins to boil.
Step 4: Continue cooking the apple pie filling and allow it to thicken. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 5: Add in the caramel sauce and salted butter, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir until the butter has melted, then allow the filling to cool until it’s ready to use on the cookies.
Step 6: Begin preparing the cookie dough by whisking the bread flour, box of instant vanilla pudding mix, baking powder, ground cinnamon, salt, and apple pie spice together in a large bowl. Set the bowl of dry ingredients to the side.
Step 7: Cream the butter and light brown sugar together in a separate large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the butter mixture until it becomes smooth.
Step 8: Add in the large eggs one at a time, mixing after each just until they become incorporated.
Step 9: Pour in the vanilla extract and mix until light and fluffy. Stop to scrap the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Step 10: Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time as the mixer is running on low speed. The cookie dough will resemble a Play-Doh-like texture and not be sticky.
Step 11: Portion the cookie dough out and roll it into balls. Then, roll the cookie dough balls into the cinnamon sugar mixture and place them on the prepared baking pan.
Step 12: Create a well in each ball of cookie dough by pressing the bottom of a round tablespoon into the center of each ball. Then, fill each well with a heaping tablespoon of apple pie filling.
Step 13: Bake the cookies in the preheated oven as you prepare the next batch of apple pie cookies.
Step 14: Remove the baked cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 15: Drizzle the cooled cookies with caramel sauce or icing.
Apple Pie Cookie Recipe Tips
- Gram Measurements – When testing this fall cookie recipe, we found that measuring by grams using a kitchen scale delivered the most accurate cookie. However, you can still use measuring cups if that’s your preferred method, though I do suggest making sure that you measure the flour correctly to avoid dry, crumbly cookies!
- Avoid Overmixing – As the dry ingredients are mixed with the wet ingredients, it’s possible that some of the flour mixture may sink to the bottom of the bowl. To ensure any hidden dry bits are incorporated into the dough, use a rubber spatula or even your clean hands to work the ingredients into the cookie dough. I don’t suggest using the mixer to do this, as this can cause the dough to become over-mixed, which can result in dense cookies.
- Creating The Well – It’s important that the cookies have a nice, secure well to rest the filling in. If the well is too shallow, the filling may bubble over. I have found that using the bottom of a round tablespoon creates the perfect-sized well that holds just the right amount of filling without bubbling out during baking.
- Two Baking Sheets – When baking these cookies, it’s best to use two cookie sheets to keep the process moving. Two baking sheets will also prevent the cookie dough from being placed onto a hot cookie sheet, which could lead to altering the structure of the cookies.
How To Serve Apple Pie Filling Cookies
First, allow the cookies to cool for at least two hours before sinking your teeth into them! This time allows the inside of the cookies to finish cooking and firming up.
Once the Apple Pie Filling cookies are set, you can enjoy them as is, or you can pop them in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds, one at a time, to warm them up. For an a la mode experience, top each apple pie cookie with baby scoops of vanilla ice cream and a dollop of homemade whipped cream!
Apple Pie Cookie Storage
Since these cookies are made with a gooey filling, I’ve found that their taste and texture are best enjoyed the day that they’re made. This is because the filling starts to cause the cookie to become soggy.
However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container and eat them up within a day.
Apple Pie Cookie FAQs
What can I use to thicken apple pie filling?
If the apple pie filling hasn’t thickened up from boiling, you can stir in some cornstarch or flour. I’d recommend stirring a little bit in and then allowing the filling to set before checking its consistency again. Just be careful not to add too much accidentally!
Can I bake cookies on a silicone baking mat instead of parchment paper?
Yes, you can bake these apple cookies on a silicone mat. However, I personally don’t recommend it, as cookies tend to bake faster and spread more on silicone mats.
How can I make my cookies perfectly round?
For perfectly round cookies, place a large round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter around the cookie on the baking pan.
Then, very carefully swirl the cookies around in the cutter to give them a round shape, being careful not to fling the hot apple filling while doing so.
How many apple pie cookies does this recipe yield?
When the cookie dough is portioned out into 2-ounce portions using a #16 cookie scoop, the recipe will yield two dozen apple pie cookies.
If you don’t have a #16 cookie scoop, then you can weigh the dough out using a kitchen scale or use a 1/4 measuring cup to portion the dough out.
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Apple Pie Cookies Recipe
- 4 cups bread flour 545g
- 1 (3.3oz.) box instant vanilla pudding mix 93g
- 2 teaspoons baking powder 12g
- 1½ teaspoons salt 10g
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1 cup unsalted butter 227g, cold
- 1½ cups light brown sugar 315g, packed
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Mix together ¼ cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
- Peel, core, and finely dice 4 Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples into small pieces so that you have about 2 cups of apples. The pieces should be dime sized or a little smaller.
- Before turning on the heat, whisk ¼ cup water, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch together in a medium saucepan. Add the diced apples, ¼ cup light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice to the pot. Then cook over medium-low heat until the juice from the apples begins to boil.
- Then cook over medium-low heat until the juice from the apples begins to boil and allow the mixture to thicken – about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add in the 2 tablespoons caramel sauce and 1 tablespoon salted butter at the end and remove from heat. Stir until butter has melted and let cool until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two 12×17-inch baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 4 cups bread flour, 1 (3.3oz.) box instant vanilla pudding mix, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the 1 cup unsalted butter and 1½ cups light brown sugar for 1 minute until smooth.
- Add in the 3 large eggs one at a time, mixing after each just until incorporated.
- Add the 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract and mix for 2 minutes until light and fluffy (it will resemble buttercream frosting), scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients a little at a time to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. The dough should come together in a play-doh texture and not be sticky.
- Measure the dough into 2-ounce portions (I use a #16 scoop) of dough.4 Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples
- Roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place them on the pan. Add 9 cookies to each pan with 3 inches of space between them.
- Press the bottom of a round tablespoon into the center of the ball to create a well. Fill with a slightly heaping tablespoon of apple pie filling.
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Prepare the other baking sheet with the next batch while the first cooks.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled, drizzle with caramel sauce or icing if desired. Top with baby scoops of vanilla ice cream for an a la mode experience.
- It is best to go by the gram measurements in this recipe. During testing, we measured both ways for each batch to ensure that the measurements were correct both ways, but grams will be the most accurate. If you are going to use measuring cups, make sure you are measuring your flour correctly.
- We tested this with both homemade and storebought filling, the homemade was much better but we get that sometimes storebought makes things a whole lot easier. If you decide to use storebought, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the mixture and chop the apple pieces up small before adding to the cookies.
- It’s best if these cookies cool for at least 2 hours before consuming; this allows the inside of the cookie to finish cooking and set up. You can pop the cookie in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds if you want it warm.
- All-purpose flour may be used instead of bread flour, but we found the bread flour yielded a slightly softer cookie.
- Using two baking sheets is important because you don’t want to put the cookie dough down on a hot pan.
- 2 tablespoons of powdered milk and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch can be used in place of pudding in this recipe.