Apple Cinnamon Cookies with Maple Glaze
These apple cinnamon cookies are delicious any time of year and truly perfect in the fall! Quick, easy, and they taste like apple crisp in a soft, cake-like cookie. Don’t skip the maple glaze for an irresistible finishing touch.
Apple, cinnamon, and oats belong together. You really can’t beat the flavor combination any time of year, but it’s especially perfect in early fall.
The first time I made apple cinnamon cookies, we were living in Brussels, and the weather seemed to transition straight from glorious and sun-filled to frigid, damp cold. In denial, I began clutching wildly at “fall-ish” recipes, choosing to believe there was still a sliver of crisp air-cozy sweater-lattes-apple-and-pumpkin season to be enjoyed. A few days when I might pull on a hat or a quilted vest for fun, rather than out of sad, cold necessity.
There have been a few falls to enjoy since then, and whatever the weather, these cookies always hit the spot! There’s a lot to love:
- Flavorful and perfectly spiced. Apples + cinnamon + cloves = the best combination.
- Soft, cake-like centers.
- Very slightly crisp edges.
- Maple glaze! Pretty and delicious!
- Simple. Everyday ingredients mixed in one bowl. No dough chilling required.
Ingredients and helpful notes
Here’s what you need! Some ingredients are flexible, others, less so. Be sure to scroll down to the complete recipe for full amounts and instructions.
- Apple! Granny Smith apples are particularly good for these cookies and other baked goods, because of their tart flavor, but I’ve made these with Fuji and other varieties, as well, and the results are always delicious.
- Flour. I’ve made these with both all-purpose and a mixture of all-purpose and white whole wheat, and loved both results. I’m sure you could experiment with other combos, as well.
- Old-fashioned rolled oats. Be sure to use rolled, or “old-fashioned” oats, not quick cooking or instant, as those types will absorb too much water and not hold the right consistency or shape.
- Spices: ground cinnamon and ground cloves. This makes magic!
- Butter. Salted or unsalted is fine. You will want it to be at room temperature — use this quick trick if needed!
- Brown sugar. Light or dark, use what you’ve got.
- Baking basics: vanilla extract, baking soda, salt.
- Lemon juice. Just a smidge really brightens the apple flavor. That said, if you don’t keep lemons or lemon juice on hand, it’s not a deal-breaker.
- Powdered sugar, milk, and maple syrup. For the glaze!
More mix-in ideas
If you love your cookies really packed with mix-ins, try adding chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, butterscotch chips, cinnamon chips, or toffee bits for even more flavor.
Perfect apple cinnamon cookies: tips and tricks
This is a simple and classic recipe, but a few hints can help guarantee your success each and every time.
- Dice apples small, and don’t use too many. The variety of apple you use matters less than that you dice it into small pieces — about 1/4″ square — so they become very tender while baking. Also, it can be tempting to throw in a few extra pieces, but keep it very close to a level cup of apples for best results. Too much apple will make it difficult for the dough to hold together.
- Use a cookie scoop. This makes it so quick and easy to portion out the dough. I used this scoop for the cookies shown here. Bonus: kids enjoy using the scoop as well, so it’s an easy way to get them involved.
- Flatten, or don’t. I like to gently press the balls of dough down before baking, for the results shown here, but you can definitely skip that step if you like puffier cookies.
- Bake (just a little!) longer than usual. The inclusion of fresh apple keeps these cookies very tender and moist, so bake them just a minute or two longer than you might be used to for other cookies. They’re done when the tops are just set and lightly golden.
Get the glaze effect you want
The maple glaze is a wonderful finishing touch! It’s so easy to make with just a liquid measuring cup and a spoon. Since apple cinnamon cookies scream “cozy comfort” anyway, I usually drizzle the glaze right on with a spoon and don’t worry too much about appearance. This is what results in the mix of thin and thick stripes you see in these photos.
If you want the cookies to look bakery-style, it’s not hard: just transfer the glaze to a small piping bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner, so you can drizzle it on with controlled, even lines.
If you love these cookies, you’ll be equally smitten with an old-fashioned apple crisp!
Just want the oatmeal cookie, no add-ins or fuss? These crisp oatmeal cookies are straight from Grandma’s kitchen to mine to yours, and win hearts and minds every time.
If you try these apple cinnamon cookies, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
Apple Cinnamon Cookies with Maple Glaze
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup peeled and finely chopped apple 1/4-inch cubes or smaller, see note
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats, if desired, and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer if possible, cream together the butter and brown sugar on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix well to combine.
- Sprinkle the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, and salt over the dough. Mix on low speed until mostly even.
- Sprinkle lemon juice over chopped apples and toss gently. Add apples to the cookie dough and stir gently to combine. Scoop dough into rounds of about 2 tablespoons each (I use this cookie scoop), place slightly apart on the prepared baking sheets, and press down gently to flatten a bit.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the tops are set and the edges are lightly golden. Cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the maple glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk or stir well until smooth. Use a spoon to drizzle glaze over the cookies, and set aside, without stacking, until the glaze sets.
- Apple Varieties: Granny Smith apples are particularly good for these cookies and other baked goods, because of their tart flavor, but I have made these cookies with Fuji and other apple varieties, as well, depending on what I have on hand, and the results are always delicious.
- Apple Amount: You may be tempted to use a heaping cup of chopped apples, but keep it to a level cup for best results. Too much apple will make it difficult for the dough to hold together.
- Glaze: If you prefer a more uniform look to the glaze, you can transfer it into a piping bag with a very small tip or hole, then drizzle it onto the cookies that way.
- Storage: Cookies keep well tightly covered at room temperature for 3-4 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week. The flavor deepens on day 2 and beyond!
- Make Ahead: This cookie can be made in advance and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, then scoop and bake as directed. You can also freeze the unbaked balls of cookie dough for 2-3 months, and bake straight from frozen, adding just 2-3 minutes to the baking time.