Chewy, soft and spicy apple butter cookies are the best Fall treat! Crisp edges, soft chewy centers packed with the sweet and spicy flavors of apple butter. It’s like the purest form of apple butter, but in cookie form! The recipe makes 1 dozen cookies.

Apple butter cookies on sheet pan with cinnamon sticks in background.

If I lived in an area that had cool enough tips for growing apples for apple picking, these apple butter cookies would be the first thing I make. Instead, I just bring home jars of homemade apple butter after visiting my husband’s family, and put it to use in these chewy, spiced cookies.

These cookies do not lack spice–we’re using jarred apple pie spice, and we’re using a lot of it. The dough has apple pie spice in it, but we also roll the cookies in a sugar mixture that contains it before baking, too. They’re extra spicy, and extra delicious! Plus, I love that we only need to get out one spice jar, not the whole spice cabinet, to make these.

I love the way these cookies crackle as they cool, and I love the crisp sugar dusting on each bite. You also might like that the apple butter stands in for a lot of the butter in this recipe, making 12 cookies with just 2 tablespoons of butter. In this case, the apple butter brings enough moisture and sugar to keep these cookies delicious. They do not taste low calorie at all, but I thought you might like to know.

You can absolutely double or triple this recipe for apple butter cookies to make enough cookies to share, but please note that a doubled recipe needs two eggs yolks, not the whole egg. Similarly, a triple batch of this recipe needs three egg yolks. I have a guide on how to use leftover egg whites in desserts, and I would love to suggest my mini pavlova most of all.

The reason these cookies crackle and have a lovely chewy texture is three-fold. First, this cookie recipe contains a high amount of sugar, both granulated sugar and in the apple butter. Second, the addition of baking soda makes the cookies more acidic, intensifying the ‘bubble creation’ in the dough while it bakes, resulting it cracks and fissures of steam escaping. And finally, these cookies bake quickly at a higher temperature than regular cookies (at 375 Fahrenheit rather than the standard 350). The quick spreading of the cookies resulting from the higher oven temperature helps ensure cracks will form. And, cracks are the best part about chewy cookies!

Stack of cookies next to glass of milk.

Ingredients:

  • Butter. Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature is best.
  • Apple Butter. This recipe was tested with store-bought and homemade apple butter. Ensure your apple butter is rich, thick and silky.
  • Granulated Sugar. We need sugar for the 
  • Egg Yolk. Just the egg yolk; save the egg white for another recipe.
  • All-Purpose Flour.
  • Apple Pie Spice. Most apple pie spice mixtures contain cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Fancy apple pie spice blends can even contain ground ginger and cardamom. Use a jar that smells lovely to you.
  • Baking Soda.

How to make apple butter cookies:

  1. Gather all ingredients: softened butter, apple butter, sugar, egg yolk, flour, apple pie spice, and baking soda. With this particular recipe, there is no need to grease the pan or use any kind of non-stick parchment paper or silicone mat. The cookies bake best right on the metal pan, and I promise they won’t stick.
    Apple butter cookie ingredients.
  2. First, add the softened butter, apple butter, and granulated sugar.
    Butter, apple butter and sugar in a clear bowl.
  3. Beat the mixture with an electric mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Then, add the egg yolk.
    Egg yolk in cookie batter bowl.
  4. Beat the egg yolk until the mixture is homogenous, and then sprinkle the flour, baking soda and apple pie spice on top.
    Cookie dough with flour and spice on top.
  5. Beat the dry ingredients in, just until no streaks of flour remain.
    Apple butter cookie dough in clear glass bowl.
  6. Chill the dough for one hour.
  7. Then, preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Scoop out 12 dough balls, and roll them in the mixture of sugar and extra apple pie spice before spacing them evenly on the baking sheet.
    Cookie dough balls on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake the cookies for 13 minutes, or until the edges are set and slightly more golden brown than the centers of the cookies.
    Baked crinkle cookies on a sheet pan.

The apple butter cookies are best if they cool slightly on the cookie sheet, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely. The apple pie spice aroma will fill your house, and make you so excited for Fall!

Close up of apple butter spice crinkle cookies.

Again, this recipe has been tested with homemade apple butter and store-bought apple butter, and both work great. If you would like to make your own apple butter, my slow cooker apple butter is a great place to start. It’s so easy to make, and mostly hands-off! It’s a great way to put pounds of apples to use after apple picking.

How to store:

These cookies kept best at room temperature in an air-tight container.

How to make ahead:

You can freeze the dough ahead of time, and add an extra 1-2 minutes onto the baking time, if your prefer. You can also freeze already baked cookies, and rewarm them in a toaster oven. Since the dough for these apple butter cookies requires a one hour chill-time, you can chill it longer, up to 2 days tightly covered in plastic wrap. Before baking, let it rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, or until soft enough to scoop.

Yield: 12

Apple Butter Cookies

Close up of apple butter spice crinkle cookies.

Chewy, sweet apple butter cookies that crinkle on top.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 23 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) jarred apple butter
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

For rolling:

  • 1/4 teaspoon apple-pie spice + 1/4 cup (60 grams) sugar for rolling

Instructions

    1. Gather the ingredients. Apple butter cookie ingredients.
    2. In a medium bowl, add the room temperature butter, apple butter and granulated sugar. Butter, apple butter and sugar in a clear bowl.
    3. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture together on high speed until very well mixed, about 30 seconds. Then, add the egg yolk, and beat again. Egg yolk in cookie batter bowl.
    4. Sprinkle the flour, apple pie spice, and baking soda evenly over the top. Use the electric mixer on low, just to bring the mixture together. If the dough seems dry, keep beating until it comes together. Cookie dough with flour and spice on top.
    5. Refrigerate for 1 hour, and then preheat the oven to 375. Apple butter cookie dough in clear glass bowl.
    6. Divide the dough into 12 tablespoon-sized balls, and roll in the apple pie spiced sugar. Space evenly on the baking sheet (no need to grease or use parchment paper). Cookie dough balls on a baking sheet.
    7. Bake for 13 minutes. Let rest on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Baked crinkle cookies on a sheet pan.

Notes

Butter: Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature is best.
Apple Butter: You can use either store-bought apple butter or homemade. This recipe was tested with both. Either way, ensure your apple butter is rich, thick and silky.
Egg Yolk: Just the egg yolk; save the egg white for another recipe.
Apple Pie Spice: Typically, apple pie spice mixture is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. It can also have ginger or cardamom. Just use a jar that smells lovely to you.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 28mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

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