Best Recipe for Applesauce Cookies

These soft and moist Applesauce Cookies are perfect as a sweet snack. They get most of their sweetness from the tangy applesauce, so they’re also healthier.

overhead of iced applesauce cookies on a white decorative plate


This is the BEST Recipe for Applesauce Cookies

Recently I’ve been experimenting with all things applesauce. My homemade applesauce recipe is so delicious that I’ve started putting it into everything.

Applesauce is a great sweetener for sweet treats and is also a lifesaver in a lot of vegan recipes (not that we make many of those). It’s also a super easy cookie recipe, so it is a good one to do with the kiddos.

Using applesauce in cookies makes them healthier due to the reduced sugar, but also reduced fat. The homemade applesauce adds moisture to cookies, so you won’t need as much fat (butter or oil). Some versions use none of either, but I find still using a small of butter gives them better texture.

angle view of soft applesauce cookies with white chocolate drizzle

These applesauce cookies make for a great snack. They are spiced to perfection, fragrant and incredibly moist. I love having them with coffee, tea or on their own when I’m craving something yummy. 

Why you’ll love Cookies Made With Applesauce

Once you make these old school applesauce cookies, they will become a family favorite. I love these cookies because they are: 

  • Easy to make and takes only 5 minutes to prep
  • Healthier, lower in sugar and fat 
  • Can be made with homemade or store-bought applesauce
  • Incredibly moist and soft 
  • Sweet and fragrant 
  • Perfect for fall 
  • Great for children 
  • Spiced to perfection 
two cookies on a plate, one with a bite taken out of it

Applesauce Cookies Recipe ingredients

Apart from the applesauce, all ingredients used in this recipe can be found in most households. 

ingredients for applesauce cookies
  • Applesauce – the main ingredient in this recipe. You can use either store-bought or homemade applesauce. For more fragrant cookies, I recommend using my homemade applesauce. If using store-bought applesauce, choose a variety without added sugar. You can even try using pear sauce or cranberry apple sauce instead of applesauce.
  • Butter – unsalted works best for this recipe. Ensure the butter is softened before using in the recipe by leaving it at room temperature for 2-3 hours. 
  • Brown sugar – adds a deeper, caramelized flavor to the applesauce cookies. You can also use granulated sugar instead. 
  • Egg – large, organic eggs work best. Ensure the egg is used at room temperature. 
  • Vanilla – adds flavor to the cookies. You can use either vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. 
  • Flour – all-purpose flour works best. Do not use self-rising, as we will be adding separate raising agents. 
  • Baking powder – the main rising agent in the cookies.
  • Baking soda – used to make the applesauce cookies soft and keep them moist. 
  • Spices – cinnamon and nutmeg powder add a spiced flavor that works best with the apple flavor. You can also add cloves powder, allspice or ginger. 

How to Make Applesauce Cookies

Apart from their deliciousness, the best part of these applesauce cookies is how easy they are to make. All you need is one bowl to mix everything. 

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then mix in the egg and applesauce. Get things good and combined at this point. After adding the dry ingredients, you don’t want to mix more than you have to.
  2. Sift or whisk together the dry ingredients so they are evenly distributed. This will prevent pockets of salt or leavener in your cookies. Add the flour mixture to wet ingredients until just mixed. Overmixing makes tough cookies.
  3. Place small scoops of dough onto the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and pat down.
  4. Bake until golden brown.
  5. Remove and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack. Moving them too soon runs the risk that they will break. But allowing them to cool on the sheet can run the risk of overcooking.
how to make applesauce cookies

These cookies are fuss free and they look rustic – that’s their charm! I like to decorate mine with melted white chocolate or dust with cinnamon and icing sugar. 

Applesauce Cookie Recipe variations

Applesauce cookies are very versatile, so you can experiment and customize them as desired. 

plate of soft cookies
  • Add extra spices for a signature fall flavour: allspice, ginger, cloves or star anise. 
  • Extra texture with candied or dried fruit: citrus, ginger, berries, golden raisins and more. 
  • Nuts for days: walnut, pistachio, hazelnut or almond are only a few choices. 
  • Extracts can take you the extra mile: adding a bit of almond extract will make the cookies taste more Middle Eastern. A bit of citrus extract can make the applesauce cookies fresher and more summery. 
  • Drizzle or icing: anything from white chocolate, dark chocolate or salted caramel can change the flavour of your applesauce cookies.
  • Deeper flavours – replace the vanilla extract in the recipe with a dash of maple syrup, golden syrup or even molasses for a richer, deeper flavour.
  • Chips– add chocolate chips or caramel chips, anywhere from 1/2 cup to a full cup.

How to store Apple Sauce Cookies

These old school applesauce cookies are best stored at room temperature. Place in an airtight container and store in a dry place for up to 3 days. Although these cookies can last for longer, they can taste stale after 3 days. 

For longer storage, you can also freeze applesauce cookies. Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3-4 months. Thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. You can also wrap in a paper towel and heat in the microwave for 15 seconds to get them warm and gooey again.

Recipe for Applesauce Cookies FAQs

How does applesauce affect cookies?

Applesauce can be used as a healthier alternative to some or all of the fat in cookie recipes, but more so for flavor and texture. It can result in softer, more cake-like cookies with a subtle apple flavor.

What does applesauce do in baking?

Applesauce is used in place of fats (oil, butter or shortening) and to keep baked goods soft and moist.

applesauce cookies recipe for pinterest

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close up of applesauce cookies with white chocolate drizzle
overhead plate of applesauce cookies

Applesauce Cookie Recipe

4.41 from 59 votes
These soft and moist Applesauce Cookies are perfect as a sweet snack. They're also healthier than full-sugar cookies, so eat up!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24




  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy, approximatelyt 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the egg, then mix again to combine. Pour in the applesauce and mix once more to fully incorporate.
  • Separately, whisk or sift the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Using a spatula, combine the dry and wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  • Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, place the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet and pat down to flatten. Leave 1 or 2 inches spaces between the cookies, as they will spread when baking.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until the surface looks golden. Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, drizzle with melted white chocolate.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!


Calories: 121 kcal, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Protein: 2 g, Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 17 mg, Sodium: 67 mg, Potassium: 50 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 8 g, Vitamin A: 131 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 20 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Author: Hanelore Dumitrache
Calories: 121
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: applesauce cookies, healthy cookies
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 4 stars
    what is the box grater for???? Cookies are in the oven now – very sticky dough! The taste is very good but mine look nothing like your photos – the dough was so sticky impossible to create a circle…but I am calling them Rustic Applesauce cookies. I added coconut on top before cooking and walnuts in the dough.

    1. Hmmm- we will double check the recipe. The box grater was a typo and was correct (as per your first comment) 🙂 Enjoy your rustic cookies- I love the addition of coconut- I’ll give that a try when I retest it!

    1. It’s on the recipe card- there is a jump to recipe button at the top, but you probably scrolled past it to get to the comments section. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This is great. I made according to recipe for the first batch.

    Because I can leave nothing alone, I made a second batch adding Toasted and slightly sugared pecans as well Increased the applesauce to 1 cup. Dusted with powdered sugar instead of chocolate. Equally good but woth nuts.

    1. I hear ya- the hardest part of writing a blog for me is actually writing down the exact recipe and resisting the urge to eyeball it all. Thanks for the feedback!

  3. At the top of your cookie recipe you said that baking soda kept the cookies soft and made them moist. But, my dear, you are only partially correct. Baking soda releases a carbon dioxide gas when mixed with an acid and helps leaven the dough, creating a soft, fluffy cookie. It also creates a chewy texture and helps the cookies brown.

  4. 5 stars
    Tried this for the first time. They did not spread much. they were soft but not moist. more like chewy. I used Namaste GF baking mix which they claim is a substitute for regular flour in any recipe cup for cup. wonder if I should use less of that flour or maybe more applesauce?

    1. Hi Richard, I am not really an expert at GF baking and we don’t test flour alternatives, so I’m not sure how to make it better, but I’m sure someone else will chime in.

  5. 5 stars
    These cookies are perfect for when you want a sweet treat. The applesauce adds sweetness and also keeps them moist.

  6. 5 stars
    Applesauce cookies looks incredible, love the variations you have listed, with all those suggestions, these delightful cookies can never be boring!! Thanks for sharing!