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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!

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Gluten Free Apple Spice Cookies

By: Erin
No ratings yet
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 32 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies
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.


  • 1 ½ cups certified gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup coconut oil * melted
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 ¾ cups certified gluten-free quick oats
  • 1 ½ cup apple chunks about 1/4" in size
  • ¼ 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.


Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 118kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 89mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Anita says:

    Hello! I’d love to try these, but I can’t use almond butter or sun butter. Do you think using peanut butter would be okay, or would it significantly alter the flavor or texture?

    1. Jamie says:

      Hello! I haven’t attempted this recipe with this substitution, so I am not sure of the result. If you happen to give it a try, I’d love to know how they turned out. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  2. Molly says:

    I had some apples that were nearing the end and I needed a quick way out. Apples are getting expensive!!! So when I found this recipe and shared it with my mother, she was less than enthusiastic about putting apples in cookies. Determined not to let the fruit turn and simultaneously show her that apple cookies would not fail like my previous attempt at an apple smoothie, I prepped the recipe.

    I did need to add some water, but probably because I was using egg replacer and not real eggs due to allergies. Other than that, they turned out great, tasted positively delectable, and gave me the satisfaction of rubbing it (playfully) in my mother’s face. Yum!

    1. Jamie says:

      So happy to hear you enjoyed the cookies, Molly! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback!

  3. Violet says:

    How large should the chunks be?

    1. Jamie says:

      Hello! You will want them to be fairly small – I’d recommend around 1/4 inch or so. Hope this helps! Happy baking.

  4. Caitie says:

    These look divine! My son has a lot of allergies including dairy, nuts, coconut, and legumes. Can I make these with any other oil like olive or canola? 

    1. Jamie says:

      Hello! If you are able, a vegan butter or butter-flavored shortening might work better. You can try canola or vegetable oil, but I don’t know the exact result. If you give them a try, I’d love to know how they turned out. Happy baking!

  5. Deanna Robinson says:

    If substituting butter for the coconut oil, does the butter need to be melted? Thank you.

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Deanna – Yes, you’ll want to use melted butter if substituting butter for coconut oil. Happy baking!

  6. Angelique says:

    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? 


    1. Erin says:

      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!

  7. Kimberly says:

    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

    1. Erin says:

      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!

  8. Shari says:

    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!

    1. Erin says:

      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! :)

  9. Kayla says:

    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!

    1. Erin @ Texanerin Baking says:

      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! :)