Gluten Free Apple Spice Cookies

Gluten Free Apple Spice from Texanerin on

These soft gluten-free apple spice cookies are bursting with fall flavor and because they’re oat-based, also happen to be 100% whole grain.

Hi there! I’m Erin from Texanerin Baking, where I blog all about healthier whole grain, gluten-free and grain-free sweets that taste just as yummy as the original not-so-healthy versions. I’ll be over here from time to time to share some gluten-free treats with you, starting off with these gluten-free apple spice cookies.

I adapted them from my 100% whole grain chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. It’s my favorite oatmeal cookie base and I figured that it’d probably be easy enough to make gluten-free. I added some almond butter to help hold everything together, which is usually gluten’s job, and I replaced the whole wheat flour with oat flour. Oat flour is simply ground up oats but it can be quite expensive. Luckily, you can make your own by finely grinding quick or rolled oats in a food processor or coffee grinder. I also increased the cinnamon and added some nutmeg and cardamom, which compliments the apple nicely and turns regular oatmeal based cookies into spice cookies that are just perfect for fall!

Gluten Free Apple Cookies from Texanerin on MyBakingAddiction.comWhile these apple spice cookies aren’t quite as chewy as the original oatmeal raisin recipe, they’re wonderfully soft and just a little chewy. I found also that rolling the cookie dough in sugar adds a thin, crisp sugary crust that makes these cookies all the more irresistible.

Because I used oats and oat flour, these apple cookies are 100% whole grain in addition to being gluten-free. While oats are naturally gluten-free, they’re often contaminated in the field or during production, so it’s necessary to buy certified gluten-free oats if you need these cookies to be gluten-free.

Gluten Free Apple Spice Cookies Recipe from Texanerin on MyBakingAddiction.comI often get asked if rolled oats can be used in place of quick oats and vice versa. Sometimes it’s okay but in these, I definitely recommend quick oats because they yield chewier and less cakey cookies. Coconut oil also contributes to a chewier texture and makes these cookies dairy-free, and while butter does work here, it yields a slightly cakier cookie. I’m all about giving people options so if you don’t need a gluten-free version, you can use whole wheat flour (and I’m guessing all-purpose flour would work, too) in place of the oat flour and omit the almond butter.

A lot of gluten-free recipes call for several special flours and other ingredients most non-gluten-free households typically don’t have. If you’ve been wanting to bake something special for friends or family with gluten sensitivities, these soft apple spice cookies are the way to go!

Gluten Free Apple Spice Cookies

Yield: 36 cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes


1 1/2 cups certified gluten-free oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut oil,* melted
1/2 cup almond butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 3/4 cups certified gluten-free quick oats
1 1/2 cup apple chunks (about 1/4" in size)
1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling


1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted coconut oil, almond butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs.

3. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir just until combined.

4. Stir in the oats until almost combined and then stir in the apples. The dough will be quite sticky.

5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until the dough is firm enough to be rolled into balls.

6. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Place the sugar in a small bowl.

7. Roll the dough into 1" balls and roll in the sugar.Place the dough balls 3" apart on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 9-12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies no longer appear wet on the surface. They will be quite soft but will firm up slightly as they cool.
Let cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


* Butter is also okay but the cookies are chewier with coconut oil. If using coconut oil, I prefer refined coconut oil, which has no coconut taste. If you don't mind a slight to mild coconut taste, unrefined coconut oil also works.

Gluten Free Apple Spice Cookies from Texanerin

by Erin Dooner

Hi there! I'm Erin and I'm the blogger behind Texanerin Baking, which focuses on making healthier desserts that taste just as delicious and decadent as their unhealthy counterparts. I also firmly believe that no meal is complete without at least a little dessert and that we'd all be a bit happier if we'd just indulge in more cheese and carbs.

more by Erin »

28 Responses to “Gluten Free Apple Spice Cookies”

  1. sue/the view from great island — October 29, 2014 at 11:03 am

    These sounds so good, I love oat flour and use it all the time, even though I don’t need to eat gluten free — the flavor and texture is fabulous!


    • Erin @ Texanerin Baking — October 29, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Thanks, Sue! I also don’t eat gluten-free (though I do a lot of GF baking!) but still use oat flour every now and then. I love that it doesn’t give sweets that gritty and unpleasant taste that you get with a lot of other GF flours.

  2. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — October 29, 2014 at 11:51 am

    How yummy do these look?! So fun to see Erin on here. These are definitely going on my “to bake” list.


  3. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy — October 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    These look divine! I can smell them already, and since they’re made with oats and oat flour…you can eat them for breakfast, right? ;)


    • Erin @ Texanerin Baking — October 29, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      But of course! They’ve got apples, too. Perhaps I should have called these breakfast cookies. ;)

  4. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — October 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    These cookies look so good! I could eat a dozen! Well done, Erin!


    • Erin @ Texanerin Baking — October 29, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Thanks, Anna! A dozen sounds good but if you could make it 18, you’d get all your fiber in for the day. You can do it! ;)

  5. Karen — October 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    These look great for fall. I love anything baked with apples, and will give these a try for my gluten-free daughter. Thanks!


    • Erin @ Texanerin Baking — October 29, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you, Karen! I hope that you and your daughter will both enjoy the cookies. I’d love to hear how they come out!

  6. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom — October 29, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    love these cookies!! I’ve been so surprised lately with the delicious taste of gluten-free cookies and baked treats. . pinning this one and will totally give this one a try!


    • Erin @ Texanerin Baking — October 29, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks, Alice! That’s what I love about oats and oat flour – they don’t taste weird or produce funky textures, which is hard to say about some of the other GF flours. I hope you’ll enjoy the cookies if you do try them and thanks for pinning!

  7. Rose | The Clean Dish — October 29, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Erin, I loooove the look of these apple spice cookies! Can’t wait to try your recipe!! I love oats so this will be a nice project for my next baking adventure :)


    • Jamie — October 31, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by!


  8. Angela — October 30, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I think I will try substituting sorghum flour for the oat flour. I do have to eat gluten free and I love using sorghum flour in breads and other baked goods. Looking forward to trying these!!


    • Jamie — October 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by.


  9. Kim — October 31, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Hello! I’m so excited about this recipe as I was just ordered to go gluten-free. However, we have a nut allergy in our house as well. What would you consider a good substitute for almond butter? I’m not familiar with taste or consistency and I’m afraid to compare it to peanut butter.


    • Jamie — October 31, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Hi, Kim! You could use SunButter, which is made from sunflower seeds. I’ve never used it myself, and I can’t guarantee that it’d work in these, but I know a lot of nut-free households use that instead of nut butters. Just be warned that it can turn your treats green! I hope that you and your family will enjoy the cookies. :)

      Thank you and I hope you’re having a nice Halloween!


  10. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen — November 5, 2014 at 2:52 am

    I can’t WAIT to make these cookies! I love the simplicity of the ingredients – oat flour is one of my favorite gluten-free flours to bake with. And that crispy sugar on the outside? Sounds addicting!


    • Erin @ Texanerin Baking — November 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      I hope you’ll enjoy them, Sarah! And I agree – oat flour is awesome. Wholesome and not at all funky tasting! ;)

  11. Kayla — March 16, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Hi! I just found your recipe and it looks AMAZING however I need it to be but free in addition to gluten and dairy free.. Any suggestions for replacement for the almond butter? thanks so much!


    • Erin @ Texanerin Baking — March 17, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks, Kayla! I’ve made these without the almond butter but they’re extremely delicate that way. Delicious, but they fall apart easily! I’ve never tried SunButter but I hear it’s a good sub for almond butter. Whether or not that’d actually taste good here – I’m not sure. I do very little with xanthan gum but maybe you could try adding a little of that? I hope that helps! :)

  12. Shari — July 3, 2015 at 12:18 am

    That’s nice, but oats are not necessarily gluten free.  They have to be guaranteed gluten free oats (grown no where near wheat, rye or barley), processed on gluten free machinery, and then there is still a protein in oats that can cause the same reaction as gluten does in coeliacs.  So any coeliacs be careful with this recipe.
    Thanks to Erin for her GF Baking efforts tho!


    • Erin — July 3, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Thanks for your comment, Shari! I pointed out in the post and in the recipe that certified gluten-free oats must be used for these to be considered gluten-free. Concerning people who react to avenin – according to this, “perhaps less than 1% of celiac patients show a reaction to a large amount of oats in their diets.” I think because it’s such a small percentage, certified gluten-free oats are widely used in the gluten-free community. Thanks for the reminder, though! :)

  13. Kimberly — April 28, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I tried your apple oatmeal cookies last night.  They tasted great but they di?????d not form well. The first batch crumbled apart and then i added another egg and they just spreaded out on the pan.  I made my own oatmeal flour and came out great.  Used coconut oil and regular butter. What went wrong???? Help


    • Erin — April 29, 2016 at 1:50 am

      I’m sorry to hear that! Did you make any subs? And what kind of almond butter did you use? The dough is quite sticky but after refrigerating, it should be easy to form. When you take them out of the oven, they’ll be quite soft but firm up as they cool. Did they not do that? And adding an extra egg is what caused them to spread out on the pan so I wouldn’t do that. I’m happy that they were at least tasty!

  14. Angelique — October 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Can I freeze the dough? I went apple picking and am making a ton of these cookies but wanted to do it in batches to last for a couple of months. How long can I freeze it? 



    • Erin — October 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      I haven’t tried it but I’m assuming it’d work to freeze the dough for up to 3 months. I hope you’re enjoying the cookies!

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