These caramelized apple oatmeal cookies are like apple pie in breakfast form (but are great for dessert too)! They're vegan, gluten free, and healthy, and are super easy to prepare.
Caramelized apples are one of the best things you can add to any breakfast (or dessert)! I've had these on oatmeal more times than I can count, but they're also great on toast, baked oats, or even pancakes.
So while we're in the middle of fall there's really no better time to bring on all the apple recipes, especially these Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies!
They're healthy, vegan, and gluten free and are super simple to whip up. It's basically apple pie in breakfast form that you can easily grab & go on a busy morning.
If you don't have time to make these now, click here to save the recipe on Pinterest! That way, you can always come back to it.📌
And now, onto the recipe!
ingredients in apple oatmeal cookies
- chia seeds: these act as the binder (instead of eggs) for this recipe, to keep it vegan! When mixed with water, they form a gel which prevents these cookies from falling apart. Chia seeds are also packed with nutrients and are high in protein, omega-3s, and fiber.
- applesauce: unsweetened applesauce keeps these cookies moist!
- avocado oil: applesauce alone can add moisture, but oil really helps to level that up and make it taste more like a cookie than baked oatmeal. Avocado oil is my favorite because of it's neutral taste and omega-3s, but light-tasting olive oil or other neutral oils will work as well.
- granulated sugar: cane sugar is my go-to, but really any granulated sweetener is fine here.
- maple syrup: using a mix of granulated and liquid sweetener creates the ideal texture for these cookies! Honey, agave, or another syrup can also work.
- rolled oats: these are pretty important for oatmeal cookies! If you need these to be gluten free, be sure to use a brand that's certified gluten free.
- oat flour: oat flour is really just blended up oats; I always make it at home! This is important for the texture, because using whole oats alone won't give you as nice of a cookie.
- caramelized apples: they're super easy to make! A full explanation is in the next section. 🙂
how to caramelize apples (3 ingredients!)
Caramelizing apples is super simple and only takes a few minutes. However, you do want to be careful and stand by the stove the whole time! I have let my apples burn more times than I'd like to admit from trying to multitask and leaving them unattended.😅
All you need is chopped apples, oil, and maple syrup.
Heat a pan to medium high, or 75% heat with the oil and wait until it fully preheats.
Put one apple chunk on the pan first, to test--if it sizzles loudly on impact, you're ready to add the rest of the apples!
Next, add the maple syrup and cook down until softened and caramelized. Stir constantly to avoid sticking and burning!
Set aside to cool. Use only the apples for the cookies; leave out any remaining caramel. That, you can lick right off the pan *once it cools--don't go burning your tongues!*
caramelized apples vs raw apples
Why take the extra step to caramelize the apples when you can easily throw them in raw?
Well, you can totally just throw them in if you'd like; there's nothing wrong with that! But, I do prefer this method for two reasons.
The first: caramelizing apples gives it so much more flavor! It tastes way more like an apple pie and that caramel you get to lick afterwards is soooo worth it.
The second reason is that apples contain a lot of moisture and caramelizing cooks a lot of that moisture out.
You may have noticed that sometimes adding fruit to baked goods makes them soggy, and results in an inconsistent texture. We want our cookies to be moist, sure, but wet is a different story.
Cooking out the moisture keeps a consistent texture, and no weird wet spots.🥳
I really hope you like this recipe! If you decide to make it, be sure to post a picture/story and tag me @nutritiousdelights on Instagram–I’d love to see!💕
More recipes you might love:
Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies [Healthy, Vegan, Gluten Free]
- 1 large apple cubed
- 1-2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds or flaxseed meal
- 6 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cup oat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Heat a small pan to 75% heat with the oil. Once heated, add the apples and maple syrup and cook down until softened and caramelized. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mix the chia seeds in water and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk the chia seeds mixture (which should have gelled), applesauce, oil, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients: oat flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, then the caramelized apples.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter on your prepared baking sheet, or use a cookie scoop. Flatten the cookies in a circle using a spoon.
- Bake for about 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack or enjoy immediately.