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Soft Apple and Salted Caramel Cookies: A Complete Guide

As temperatures begin to drop and leaves start changing colors, my mind always drifts towards warm, cozy baked goods that remind me of fall. One of my favorite recipes to enjoy during this time is Soft Apple and Salted Caramel Cookies. I love how these cookies combine the flavors of classic apple pie with the decadent sweetness of caramel. The blend of brown sugar cookie dough, soft cinnamon apples, and salted caramel sauce layers the tastes of fall into every bite. When I bake these cookies, my kitchen is filled with the warm aromas of the season. Family and friends go crazy for these chewy, irresistible treats. After they are cooled, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the pantry or fridge and will stay soft and delicious for several days. The spiced apples and ribbons of caramel throughout make each cookie a burst of comforting flavors.

Soft Apple and Salted Caramel Cookies

While I enjoy baking with apples all year long, these cookies have become a signature part of my Fall baking. Similar to my mom’s old apple pie recipe she used to make, they remind me of cozy autumn evenings spent in the kitchen surrounded by the wonderful scents of the season. Let’s make it.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

Easy to Make

One thing I love about this recipe is just how simple it is to prepare. There’s no need for complicated cooking techniques or specialty equipment – just a mixer, a big wooden spoon, and a heatproof spatula are all you need. You can cream the butter and sugar together in one bowl and then stir in the remaining wet and dry ingredients until uniform. No tricky steps and minimal cleanup make this the perfect easy recipe for any baker.

Soft and Chewy Texture

These cookies get their incredible soft, chewy texture from the addition of apples. The fruit adds natural moisture that helps the cookies preserve their melt-in-your-mouth richness whether straight from the oven or retrieved from the fridge days later. I find myself unable to eat just one because of how soft and satisfying each bite feels.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Small diced apples are gently folded into the dough to provide bursts of fruity flavor in every cookie. They cook so quickly once baked that they barely hold their shape, but let cool completely so the centers set firm for a truly indulgent treat.

Salted Caramel Drizzle

Once cooled, a salted caramel drizzle is spooned onto the top of each cookie. The hint of salt plays up the natural sweetness for an over-the-top delicious finish that makes eating just one impossible.


All Purpose Flour

AP flour is the choice for making these chewy cookies as it is universally accessible and helps ensure the right texture in the final cookie dough. Be sure to measure accurately.

Dark Brown Sugar

Using dark brown sugar results in cookies with a more rich caramel flavor thanks to its higher molasses content compared to lighter brown or white sugars.

Fresh Apple

Any variety of firm, red or green apple will work in this recipe. I love using Honey Crisp, Fugi, or Granny Smith as they hold up well to the cooking process. Dice the apple into 1⁄2-inch chunks that are not too big or small so they bake away but still distribute evenly.


Cinnamon and apples are an undeniable combination, so feel free to add even more cinnamon if that’s your preference.


For the richest flavor, use unsalted butter in this recipe. If using salted butter, you may want to reduce the amount of added salt in the other ingredients.

Salted Caramel Sauce

You can either find or easily make a salted caramel sauce to drizzle over the cookies once baked. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.


First, make the apple mixture.

Step 1

Dice the apples without peeling or chopping them into 1⁄4-inch to 1⁄2-inch chunks.

Step 2

In a frying pan, gently cook the diced apples with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the apples are slightly softened but still firm in the center.

Step 3

Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl to cool completely.

Make the Cookie Dough

Step 1

In a large bowl, using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Step 2

Incorporate the egg and vanilla into the mixture, stirring until just blended. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

Step 3

In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt then whisk to blend evenly. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold with a spatula just until combined.

Step 4

Fold in the cooled apple mixture delicately to distribute. Spoon about half of the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, then fold in the remaining apples over the top and gently fold until just combined.

Step 5

Chill the dough covered in the fridge for at least 1 hour before baking or overnight for best results or if the dough feels too soft.

Step 6

Preheat oven to 350 °F (176 °C). Scoop rounded heaped portions of dough using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-16 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Step 7

Once completely cooled, drizzle the tops with your favorite Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce.

Expert Baking Tips for Caramel Apple Cookies

1. Ensure butter is at room temperature

Having the butter at room temperature is important as it will mix well with the sugar.

2. Measure flour accurately

Be sure to accurately measure the flour, ideally using a digital scale. Spoon flour into the measuring cup and gently level it off without packing it down. Too much flour can result in a stiff dough that’s harder to mix in the apple mixture.

3. Use firm apples

When choosing an apple variety, I recommend firms ones like McIntosh or Cortland as they will hold their shape better in the recipe.

4. Avoid over-cooking apples

Over-cook the apples and they will soften too much. Aim for them to be softened a bit but still firm in the center so they don’t become mushy when baked into the cookie dough.

5. Thoroughly cool apples

Let the cooked apples cool completely and then chill thoroughly in the fridge before using – this is important for preventing them from smearing too much into the cookie dough.

6. Bake until set but not overdone

Bake all the way through so the cookies are firm, nicely golden brown and set, but avoid over-baking which could dry them out. An under-baked cookie will lack structure from uncooked moisture in the apples.

Serving and Storing This Recipe:

These soft apple and salted caramel cookies are best enjoyed in their fully assembled state, straight from the oven while the caramel drizzle is still warm and glistening. However, for storing any leftovers, the best method is to place the filled cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Storing them this way will help the cookies stay fresh and tasty for up to a week. The chilled temperature helps preserve the moistness of the baked apples. As an alternative, you can also opt to fully bake and assemble the cookies a day ahead of serving. Then leave the filled cookies at room temperature to enjoy later. No matter how you choose to consume these irresistible treats, I think they look most beautiful and inviting arranged on a large platter as a batch of the warm, just-baked cookies piled with caramel on top. Bon appétit!

Expert Success Tips

Oven Thermometer

An oven thermometer is important to have as many standard ovens can run hot or cool from their stated temperature. Make sure to calibrate your oven as needed by leaving the thermometer inside so you know the accurate temperature, which is crucial for how these cookies bake.

Kitchen Scale

Using a kitchen scale that measures by weight rather than volume ensures standardized and exact measurements. Dry ingredients especially can vary significantly when measured in cups, so weighing produces the best results batch to batch.

These tips will help you perfectly execute this cookie recipe to produce the moist, chewy texture and flavors the first time, every time.

Recipe Variations:

This delicious cookie recipe lends itself to many delicious tweaks depending on your taste or what seasonal fruits are available. Some ideas:

  • Cherry Compote Cookies – Swap the diced apples for a homemade cherry compote folded right into the dough.
  • Berry Jam Cookies – Use your favorite store-bought jam or preserves like peach, apricot, or a fruit filling instead of the caramel drizzle.
  • Blueberry Topping Cookies – Make a quick Homemade Blueberry Topping to spoon over instead of caramel. It only takes a tad longer to thicken than 10-Minute Raspberry Sauce.
  • Strawberry Compote Cookies – Fill with a delicious 10-Minute Strawberry Compote instead of apples for a pop of summer.
  • Peach Cobbler Cookies – Substitute diced peaches for apples and add a streusel or crumble topping like viral recipes for Peach Cobbler Cookies suggest.

Experiment with your favorite seasonal fruit combos to enjoy these cookies all year long!

Special Tools

Cookie Scoop

For consistent cookie size, using a #16 cookie scoop or #60 ice cream scoop will make perfectly sized balls of dough.

Baking Sheets

Have your trusted baking sheets or a favorite non-stick pan on hand for baking the cookies.

Silicone Baking Mat

I prefer using a reusable silicone baking mat to line my sheets. It reduces waste compared to parchment and is washable for reuse.

Optional tools that make this recipe even more enjoyable and ensure beautiful, evenly baked cookies include a stand mixer, offset spatula, and cooling racks. But these core tools are the special equipment you’ll need to achieve pro-level results right at home. 


NutrientAmount Per Serving
Total Fat5g
Saturated Fat3g
Trans Fat0g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.5g
Monounsaturated Fat1g
Total Carbohydrates18g
Dietary Fiber1g
Total Sugars11g
Vitamin D0%

While these cookies are lightly sweetened, they still provide hearty portions. Enjoy in moderation as a special seasonal indulgence! 

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Apple and Salted Caramel Cookies

Recipe by Whisk and NibbleCourse: Cakes and DessertsCuisine: European-inspired cuisine


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Here is the recipe ingredients, and instructions. You can also print the recipe for your ease.


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 medium Fuji or Honeycrisp apple, diced


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until dough forms. Fold in diced apples.
  • Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto a greased baking sheet.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes, until light golden brown.
  • Drizzle finished cookies with salted caramel sauce.


  • Indulge in the comforting flavors of fall with every bite of this classic and cozy recipe featuring baked apples and caramel. Refrigerate leftovers.


Whether you’re looking to enjoy the flavors of fall or want a delicious homemade treat to share, these Soft Apple and Salted Caramel Cookies are sure to delight. Their blend of textures from the crispy cookie and soft fruit make for an irresistible snack. With easy ingredients and simple preparation, this recipe allows you to embrace autumn in every bite.

Recipe FAQs

How to make homemade caramel sauce?

It’s easy to make caramel sauce at home with just 4 simple ingredients. There are two common methods – the wet method and dry method. Follow step-by-step videos and recipes on this site.

Why did my caramel turn grainy?

Caramel can turn grainy if the sugar recrystallizes. This usually happens if liquid sugar syrup splashes onto the sides of the saucepan. Immediately wipe any crystals with a pastry brush to prevent them from touching and melting back into the hot caramel, which could cause seizing.

How to prevent grainy caramel?

Brushing down the sides of the pan with water can help dissolve any crystals that start to form. Sometimes a small amount of foreign matter is enough to induce crystallization, so swirl the hot syrup carefully and melt any visible grains or crystals with the tip of a gas stove flame. Cook the caramel to an amber color once the sugar syrup is completely clear and free of lumps, then whisk in butter or cream.

How to save grainy caramel sauce?

If the caramel clumps up, you can try to return it to heat and bring it to a boil while whisking vigorously. This may help dissolve any sugar recrystallization. A little cream can also help to smooth it out once cooled, if contaminated with a piece of dust or other particulate that induced crystallization.

How do I know when my caramel apple cookies are finished baking?

The cookies are ready when they are evenly browned on the bottom and around the edges but may take a minute or two longer than usual to bake since there is moisture from the apples.

How do I store caramel apple cookies?

Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. For warmer climates, refrigerating will keep them fresher for longer. I LOVE how they taste cold straight from the fridge too!

How long do caramel apple cookies last?

Properly stored in the fridge, these cookies should stay soft and chewy for about 5 days.

What makes cookies soft or chewy?

The chances of getting soft, chewy cookies increases when using a recipe with ingredients that serve a specific purpose – granulated sugar for crispy edges and tenderness within, butter for moisture and tenderness, egg for structure and chew, flour for structure, and sometimes cornstarch too which acts as an oh-so-necessary component for chewiness.

What is the secret to moist cookies?

Baking cookies quickly at a hot oven temperature of 375 °F (ca. 191 °C) helps them bake fast before having a chance to dry out from the oven’s hot air. Slightly underbaking them also leaves them softer. Using the full amount of any moisture ingredients like butter, eggs, etc listed in the recipe also helps keep them moist.

Why are my cookies soft and not crispy?

The ingredients, their use, and shape all play an important role in whether cookies turn out crispy or chewy. Sugar will make edges crispy, while butter and flour can make the inside chewy. Cookie dough that contains more eggs, is made with melted and softened butter, and uses all brown sugar is more likely to bake up soft rather than crisp.

What ingredient keeps cookies soft?

Adding extra moisture to the dough in the form of butter, egg yolks, or brown sugar can make cookies softer since these ingredients contain more fat and fluid to retain their softness longer once baked.

Whisk and Nibble

Whisk & Nibble is a blog devoted to all things related to food - from sharing recipes for meals and drinks to highlighting the latest dessert trends and culinary lifestyle content. Visitors can find ideas and inspiration for all eating occasions while enjoying engaging writing about food culture. Whisk & Nibble aims to bring readers together over the shared joy of cooking and dining.

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