Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal cookies are always a treat, but this Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies recipe filled with fresh apple and caramel bits is a true fall favorite! Serve these for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or just because.

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies #cookies #fall #caramelapple #oatmealcookies

Every time I make an oatmeal cookie recipe, a funny parenting moment pops into mind.

The kids and I were standing at the kitchen counter tied up in aprons, covered with flour, making oatmeal cookies. The kids were arguing over eggs.

Carson thought that chickens laid eggs and baby chicks separately and Ava was primly correcting him. With a voice of authority she said, “Carson all eggs turn into chickens at some point.”

Then I piped up and thoughtlessly said, “Actually, only fertilized eggs turn into chickens.”

Before the words were off my lips, remorse flooded my mind. What had I done?! Immediately I was bombarded with an onslaught of questions parents often have trouble answering.

“What does it mean to be fertilized?” (Sheepish answer.)

“How does the chicken get fertilized?” (Another sheepish answer.)

“Why does it take a male and female chicken to make the egg fertilized?”

Deep sigh from mommy, “Guys, Why don’t we finish the cookies and we can talk more about this later when daddy gets home.”

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies Recipe #cookies #fall #caramelapple #oatmealcookies

They both looked at me with wide knowing eyes. Even at ages 5 and 7 they could see right through my attempt to distract them. They looked at each other, then agreed, “No mommy, we want to talk about this RIGHT NOW.”

Panicked on the inside, but calm on the outside, I decided to stick with the word fertilization and tried to answer all their questions without passing out.

Yes, all mammals must be fertilized to make babies.”

Yes, even people.”

Yes, with their special parts. That’s why we keep our special parts covered up. They are meant to be used only for fertilization.” (Really sweating….)

Yes, that means daddy has fertilized mommy.”

Yes, two times! Can we be done talking about this? The cookie dough is drying out.”

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookie Recipe #cookies #fall #caramelapple #oatmealcookies

I just barely made it through that last one.

But at least we’ve had “the talk” be it ever so early. It has come up again a couple times in the last few years, never as in-depth as the first time and always holding strongly to the word fertilization.

Yet every time I think about it, I burst out in a deep belly laugh that only such conversations with children can cause.

Now we’d better get back to the oatmeal cookies before the dough dries out…

Easy Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies #cookies #fall #caramelapple #oatmealcookies

This variation of oatmeal cookies, Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies, is one of my favorites. I added rich Musselman’s Apple Butter to the dough to give it a punch of deep apple flavor, then blended in fresh diced apples and little caramel bits. The combination of the rustic oats and apple butter, dappled with fresh apples and caramel bits, is so enticing. These cookies taste like fall!

The butter and apple butter make this oatmeal cookie recipe ultra soft and tender, almost like breakfast cookies. Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies are wonderful paired with hot apple cider on a chilly day, or for tucking into lunch boxes with XOXO notes.

The apple butter is most definitely the secret ingredient for endless flavor in these Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies.

If you’re looking for more apple butter recipes this fall, I’ve got several here, but make sure to check out Musselman’s New Apple Butter Site. It’s full of great apple-icious recipes and is super easy to navigate!


Yield: 3 1/2 dozen

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Oatmeal Cookies - Caramel Apple Style


  • 2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal Flour
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice (a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup Musselman's Apple Butter
  • 2 3/4 cups dry oats
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups caramel bits (Kraft makes these)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Mix the flour, apple pie spice, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Then cream the softened butter and sugars together in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Scrape the bowl of the mixer, then turn on low as you add the eggs and Musselman's Apple Butter to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl. Then scrape the bowl again and turn on low as you add the oats, apples and caramel bits.
  3. Use a 2 Tb. scoop to drop the cookie dough onto the baking sheets 2 inches apart. Move some of the apple chunks to the tops if desired. Then bake for 15-18 minutes until golden around the edges. Cool on the cookies sheets before moving. Dust with powdered sugar to garnish.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Musselman’s Apple Butter. All opinions are my own. 

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52 Responses to “Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies”

  1. #
    Betty Lynne — October 28, 2013 @ 6:13 am

    Oh my. These sound wonderful! Adding them to the grocery list right now. Love the combo of apples, caramel and oats!


  2. #
    Tieghan — October 28, 2013 @ 6:26 am

    Caramel and apple and oatmeal are one of the best combos! My post tomorrow includes all three! These cookies are perfect in every way! YUM!


  3. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — October 28, 2013 @ 6:52 am

    DYING laughing as I read this. I can say these cookies would definitely distract me from any conversation, so at least your kids are determined :)


    • Sommer — October 28th, 2013 @ 7:00 am

      Yes, they are certainly determined, to say the least. ;)


  4. #
    TidyMom — October 28, 2013 @ 6:54 am

    oh what a funny story Sommer! who would ever think making cookies would lead to “the talk” haha!!

    these look delicious! we LOVE Musselman’s Apple Butter!


  5. #
    Kevin @ Closet Cooking — October 28, 2013 @ 7:13 am

    These apple cookies sound amazing!


  6. #
    Carolyn — October 28, 2013 @ 7:28 am

    Oh yeah, girl. You opened a big can of worms with that one! Just shove some cookies at them to get them to stop asking THOSE questions. ;)


  7. #
    Erica — October 28, 2013 @ 7:36 am

    Oh my. Thanks for kicking off my Monday with such a wonderfully awkward story! These cookies sound delish. Fall is my favorite season, and I love foods that taste of it.


  8. #
    Heather Christo — October 28, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    That is so funny. I am totally chuckling! My kids ask these questions ALL the time. I just distract, distract. But maybe next time I will take a page out f your book and use the term “fertilize” that is awesome! Also these cookies look wonderful Sommer- love the addition of apples :)


  9. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — October 28, 2013 @ 8:17 am

    Haha, oh man, the joys of parenting. I’m dreading the day that I’ll have to explain to my kids that, too. These cookies look wonderful and when I make them, I’ll always remember your funny story!


  10. #
    Ali | Gimme Some Oven — October 28, 2013 @ 8:51 am

    HA! Oh my goodness. Love that this conversation came up first around eggs. Perfect for a food blogger. ;)

    These cookies look wonderful!!


  11. #
    Diane {Created by Diane} — October 28, 2013 @ 9:05 am

    that is a funny story and these cookies look so delicious Sommer, I really NEED to make some….or you could send me some and I would TOTALLY be fine with that :)


  12. #
    Jenny Flake — October 28, 2013 @ 9:20 am

    What fun little cookies! Perfect for this time of year!!


  13. #
    Tracy | Peanutbutter and Onion — October 28, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

    Love these. Love the icing sugar… it really gives them a touch of class


  14. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — October 28, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

    LOL!! I think you may need to write a “fertilization book” for parents:) Love these cookies, Sommer!


  15. #
    Coco in the Kitchen — October 28, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

    Oh, no, the dreaded “Mommy, where do babies come from?”
    We’re still safe (Daisy’s only 2) but that day is coming…. yikes!

    Love the addition of caramel & apples to oatmeal cookies. Might whip up a batch tonight for after dinner. Thanks, Sommer!


  16. #
    naomi — October 28, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

    Love the cookies, Sommer. As for the conversation — well, looks like you handled perfectly! :)


  17. #
    Ash-foodfashionparty — October 28, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

    lol..on the question. I’ve always dreaded that one.
    These cookies look so good, the caramel and apples, perfect.


  18. #
    Ashley M | Our Full Table — October 28, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

    I’ll take two please! Yummy!


  19. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — October 28, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

    Did you say caramel apple? I’ll take a dozen, please!


  20. #
    Melanie @ — October 28, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

    They look yummy! I love all the different flavors rolled into one.


  21. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — October 28, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

    I would call these breakfast! So yummy!


  22. #
    Kristin — October 28, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

    Gah! YUM! I don’t know how you manage to do this all so quickly! Amazing! You’re my foodie hero!


  23. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — October 28, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

    Conversations like that terrify me as a parent. I would have shoved dough into their little face holes and told them to wait until DAD got home… That’s what is happening to Ben when that time comes….Sucker.

    These would be a perfect distraction for THAT conversation haha


  24. #
    marla — October 29, 2013 @ 4:52 am

    Love the fall flavors in these cookies!


  25. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, — October 29, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    love love these! I could dive in


  26. #
    Marian (Sweetopia) — October 29, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    Sommer, these look amazing! I’ll take two, please! xo


  27. #
    Rosene — October 29, 2013 @ 9:41 am

    I am a new fan of your page!! I love all of your recipes. I am gonna have fun this week learning all about your cooking. Thanks for such amazing recipes!


  28. #
    Courtney @ Neighborfood — October 29, 2013 @ 9:52 am

    AHhahaha! This was a fantastic story. Especially that last answer- Yes, two times!! :) At least you got to have the talk while making delicious cookies. For some reason, that seems less intimidating.


  29. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — October 29, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

    Love these. Perfect fall cookies.


  30. #
    Andra — October 29, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

    Question! I’m ready to make these pretty little gems, but I have a silly question! When you say “dry oats”, does that mean rolled oats or can I use the quick oats I already have? If the recipe calls for rolled oats, would I still be able to use the quick oats? Thank you!


    • Sommer — October 29th, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

      Andra, Not a silly question at all! You can use either in this recipe. It has enough moisture to offset the texture of rolled oats, but quick oats work just fine.

      Happy Baking!


  31. #
    Jeanette — October 29, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

    Yes, I remember all those “big” talks…I think the boys were more uncomfortable with me talking about it than I was LOL. Love how moist these sound.


  32. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — October 30, 2013 @ 3:10 am

    I couldn’t help but burst out laughing, what a conversation to have over cookie making!


  33. #
    Angie — October 30, 2013 @ 7:58 am

    These oatmeal cookies look so good!


  34. #
    Aggie — October 30, 2013 @ 8:08 am

    Oh my gosh I love oatmeal cookies – these sound so awesome Sommer!!!


  35. #
    Laura — October 30, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    I love apple butter. What a cleaver idea to add it to oatmeal cookies!


  36. #
    DessertForTwo — October 30, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

    What a great use for Apple butter!


  37. #
    Jackie — October 30, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

    Hi Sommer

    What kind of apple did you use in this recipe.


  38. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — October 31, 2013 @ 7:02 am

    Ahhhhh…those questions are always fun. NOT! :) Awesome cookies!


  39. #
    Marly — October 31, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

    Hmm, this must be why I always like to have music playing when making cookies. Love this recipe – can’t wait to try it!


  40. #
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate — November 2, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

    Too funny! I am never going to think of oatmeal cookies the same!


  41. #
    Deborah — November 4, 2013 @ 11:04 am

    I HAVE to try these. Wow, they look amazing!


  42. #
    Natalie @ In Natalie's Shoes — November 5, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

    These are similar but also totally different than a recipe for Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies a friend just gave me. Might have to have a bake-off!


  43. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — November 5, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

    These cookies look SO SO tasty, I love seeing the chunks of apple :) it’s so enticing!


  44. #
    Shaina — November 7, 2013 @ 11:26 am

    These look so good. I have made apple cookies before, but never with apple butter. I can’t wait to try.


  45. #
    Rachel — November 14, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

    I made these today, they where really yummy! I have to say though the caramel was everywhere! Next time I make them I am going to melt the caramel and drizzle it on top of the cookies once they are done baking.


  46. #
    Leslie — December 8, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

    I’m a fan of anything apple & oatmeal! I’m stopping by from Pinterest. I’m also saving this recipe. Yum!


  47. #
    Aimee D. — November 26, 2014 @ 7:15 am

    I made these for a Thanksgiving potluck at work. I made a double batch so that my husband could bring some to his work and we could share some with our families. They were a HUGE hit with everyone, and they all wanted the recipe (so of course I shared the link to your blog). My husband’s family wants me to make them again tomorrow : )
    My only modification was that I couldn’t find caramel bits ANYWHERE, so I bought Werther’s Hard caramels and pulsed them in my blender until they were small enough pieces.
    Also, a commenter asked what type of apple you used…I used Cortland. It softened nicely without turning to mush.



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