These apple cider cookies taste just like apple cider donuts! These cookies are made with reduced apple cider, brown butter, and cinnamon. They are dipped in browned butter apple cider and rolled in cinnamon sugar. To take the cookies to the next level, they are drizzled with apple cider glaze.
When I was recipe testing these apple cider cookies, I wanted the cookies to taste just like the donuts but in cookie form. I didn't want them to just be snickerdoodle cookies, but to taste like apple cider with a strong apple flavor.
I found that reducing the apple cider gives them a very strong apple cider flavor. They taste just like fall!
For more fall cookie recipes, try Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cinnamon Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Toffee Cookies.
Why This Recipe Works
- Soft and chewy apple cider cookies- These cookies are very soft because of the apple cider and the applesauce. Which helps makes them taste more like the donuts!
- Apple cider browned butter- Both inside the cookie dough there is both browned butter and apple cider. Also, the cookies get brushed with both before being dipped in cinnamon sugar.
- Cinnamon sugar cookies- They are dipped in cinnamon sugar has a thick layer just like the donuts.
- Apple cider glaze- The glaze is simple, it is just powdered sugar and apple cider. It gives the cookies an even stronger apple cider flavor.
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Apple cider- I used apple cider from the grocery store.
- Unsalted butter- The butter is browned and cooled completely.
- Brown sugar- I used light brown sugar.
- Egg- Pull the large egg out 2 hours before baking so it is room temperature.
- Applesauce- Use unsweetened applesauce.
- Powdered sugar- Make sure it is sifted to avoid a gritty frosting.
Step By Step Instructions
Here is how to make and bake these cookies. The recipe is made by hand, so no electric mixer is needed.
STEP 1: Brown the butter. In a medium frying pan over medium heat, heat the butter until it is melted. Heat the butter until the milk solids separate and turn amber in color.
Take off the heat and pour into a bowl. Take out 2 Tablespoons of the browned butter and place in a separate bowl. Cool the butter completely to room temperature.
STEP 2: Reduce the apple cider. In small saucepan over medium heat, heat the 1 cup of apple cider. Heat the cider for 10-15 minutes until it reduces to ¼ cup apple cider.
Cool this completely before using
STEP 3: Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt.
STEP 4: Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, mix the browned butter, reduced cider, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla extract, egg, and apple sauce. Use a whisk to mix everything together.
STEP 5: Add in flour mixture. Next, add the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to mix until just combined.
Let the dough rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes while the oven preheats. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
This allows the gluten to absorb into the wet ingredients, which helps with the spread.
STEP 6: Scoop. Use a large cookie scoop to scoop the cookie dough. Place 6 cookie dough balls per cookie sheet.
STEP 7: Bake. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes. They should be slightly thicker cookies.
Cool the cookies completely on a cooling rack.
Decorating the Cookies Tips
- Brush the cooled cookies with apple cider browned butter while using a pastry brush. If the butter has cooled, melt in the microwave for 10 seconds.
- Immediately dunk the cookies into the cinnamon sugar. Do just the tops of the cookies. Roll the cookie, dab the cookie, and make sure to get the sides. It should be thick layer of cinnamon sugar like these cookies.
- Once they have all been dunked in cinnamon sugar, make the apple cider glaze. It should be thin enough to pour on top of the cookies.
- Place the glaze in a piping bag, ziplock bag, or a squeeze bottle. Drizzle the glaze on top of the cookies.
Yes you can. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop 12 cookie dough balls per cookie sheet. Bake for 8-11 minutes.
Yes they can! Store the cookie dough balls in an airtight container or use plastic wrap. Store in the freezer for 30 days. Let the cookie dough balls thaw before baking.
Yes it does! It will give you a really strong apple cider flavor. A lot stronger than if you used regular apple cider.
Storing and Freezing
Store the apple cider cookies at room temperature in an airtight container up to 5 days.
Freeze the baked cookies in an airtight container and freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating.
Other Cookie Recipes To Try
Make sure to leave a STAR REVIEW if you loved this recipe! Make sure to tag me on Instagram @stephaniesweettreats. To get more ideas follow me on Pinterest.
Apple Cider Cookies
- 1 cup Plus 4 Tablespoons Unsalted butter browned
- ¼ cup Reduced apple cider Start with 1 cup of apple cider
- 1 ¼ cup Brown sugar packed light or dark
- ¼ cup White granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 1 Large egg room temperature
- ¼ cup Apple sauce unsweetened
- 3 cups All-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
Apple Cider Butter
- 2 tablespoon Brown butter use from the butter you browned for the dough
- 1 tablespoon Apple cider regular apple cider not reduced.
- ½ cup White granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
Apple Cider Glaze
- 1 cup Powdered sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoon Apple cider regular apple cider not reduced.
Apple Cider Cookies
- In a medium frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Heat the butter until the milk solids separate and turn amber in color. Pour in a separate container. Take out 2 Tablespoons of butter and place in a separate bowl. Cool completely. You will have 1 cup total of brown butter for the cookie dough.1 cup Plus 4 Tablespoons Unsalted butter
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 cup apple cider. Cook for 15 minutes. The apple cider should reduce down to ¼th cup.¼ cup Reduced apple cider
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.3 cups All-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon Baking powder, ½ teaspoon Baking soda, 1 teaspoon Salt, 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- In a large bowl, mix the browned butter, apple cider, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla extract, egg, and apple sauce. Add in the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to mix until just combined.1 ¼ cup Brown sugar, ¼ cup White granulated sugar, 1 Large egg, ¼ cup Apple sauce, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Let the dough rest while the oven preheats.
- Use a large cookie scoop to scoop the dough. Place 6 cookie dough balls per cookie sheet.
- Bake 13-15 minutes. Bake one tray at a time. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
- In a small bowl, mix the brown butter and apple cider. If the butter is solid from cooling, heat in the microwave for 10 seconds. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.2 tablespoon Brown butter, 1 tablespoon Apple cider, ½ cup White granulated sugar, 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- Take a pastry brush to brush on the butter on the cookie. Immediately dunk in the cinnamon sugar. (do one cookie at a time). There should be a lot of cinnamon sugar on the cookie.
- In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and apple cider. It should be thin enough to pour. Drizzle the glaze on top of the cookies.1 cup Powdered sugar, 2 ½ tablespoon Apple cider
I made these cookies a few months back and they were THE BEST cookies I've ever made. Everyone loved them!
I made them today and I swear I did everything right. The dough felt really thick to me. The flavor was fantastic but they were almost cakey, spongey. They never spread at all from the cookie scoop I used. They were in for almost 20 minutes and still didn't feel cooked. I used convection 350 for 15 minutes.
I'm going to try again because they were SO GOOD the first time I had them. Can you think of where I messed up so I don't make the same mistake next time?
PHENOMENAL!! I forgot to review this a few weeks ago when I made these cookies for a Halloween party, but now I'm back making these for thanksgiving! These cookies are truly delicious. They take a little bit of work but like it's so clear what each step will be, and it's so easy to follow. I let the butter brown and cider reduce at the same time, and just leave them out for both to cool for me to easily jump back in a few hours later. These taste crisp, appley, nutty and deep because of the brown butter- and are total show stoppers. Most people don't expect the main fave dessert fish to be a cookie- so keep your eyes out to see people's reactions and you'll see their shock at how stand out these are! I also love how the recipe lists tjr ingredient amount under each step- something I think all other recipe sites should follow forever after this. (No more scrolling up and down 50000 times!). The only thing I changed was refrigerating the dough before baking, just to ensure I have a strong structure and the cookies won't spread too much. I'll be trying other cookies and more from Stephanie after finding this delicious recipe! Thank you for all the hard work you clearly put into recipe testing and crafting it for us to follow.
Super easy to follow and OH MY GOD THESE TASTED AMAZING!!!
My husband made these this weekend while I was out and OH MY I have never tasted a better cookie I don’t think. I made him send me the recipe immediately because I’ll be making a double batch of these for Thanksgiving (never made cookies for thanksgiving before, but these have me thinking “screw pie!”) Lol! Best cookies ever ever ever. Thank you so much!
The end result of these cookies is a definite 5/5 - they are soft, chewy, and hit the marks of an apple cider donut. I would definitely make these again.
HOWEVER...I have to agree with Hilary and Violet that this recipe is written very confusingly. I have used and rated lots of recipes on your site (and I freaking love them all!, but I think this one needs editing.
In the written part of the step by step instructions, it says to reduce the apple cider down to 1/4 cup, then in the actual recipe, it says reduce to 1/3 cup, use 1/4 cup for the dough and save the rest (which is only about a single tablespoon of cider). It also says to use the rest 'for the butter *or* the glaze,' but both the butter AND the glaze call for apple cider, calling for an additional 3.5 Tbs of reduced apple cider.
In the assembly instructions, it's not clear if you're supposed to mix the apple cider and browned butter because it never explicitly says it, it just references 'apple cider browned butter.' On top of the apple cider confusion, the recipe calls for 1 cup + 2 Tbs of butter and says to remove 2 Tbs and set aside to brush the cookies with. But in the comments, you say that the total should be 1 cup plus FOUR tablespoons. It's all very unclear!
Luckily, I think that this recipe is pretty forgiving. I was able to use some extra tablespoons of regular apple cider for the glaze and brushed butter, but I wasn't confident that I executed the recipe as intended, despite reading through everything multiple times. I hope you'll consider adding some clarity!
Stephanie Rutherford says
I appreciate this feedback. I went and updated the recipe so it should be clear now. For the glaze and brushing the cookies, you can use non-reduced apple cider so just plain apple cider. You do need 1 cup + 4 TBSP of butter total for the cookies and I went updated that as well. 1 cup plus 4 tbsp will reduce down to 1 cup plus 2 tbsp of browned butter (the water in the butter will cook off some which is why it is less). Then take the 2 tbsp of brown butter and set aside for brushing the cookies. So you are left with 1 cup of butter for the cookies.
Thank you so much Stephanie! You can see that I'm a huge fan of your blog with many 5* ratings, so I'm so happy this recipe has been updated. 🙂
I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one confused with the quantities despite reading it through quite a few times. Made a batch and although they tasted amazing they spread too much to my liking. Making them again for Thanksgiving and sure with the updated recipe they’ll be perfect!
Nancy E says
Made exactly as written these are probably the best cookies I’ve ever had!
Silly question I know - Is it 1 cup butter in the dough and 2tbsp for the dip, or is it 1 cup + 2tbsp in the dough plus another 2tbsp for the dip?
Stephanie Rutherford says
In total you need 1 cup plus 4 tbsp.
Haven't tried to make these yet but I had to tell you that you are my absolute hero for putting the measurements under the instructions! No more scrolling up and down and bouncing between sections! Thank you! Can't wait to try
The apple flavor comes through without too much spice.They’re big and cakey, just delicious for fall! I sat down to write this and realized I hadn’t put the glaze on, but I’m going to skip it, they’re perfect as they are!
Cookies came out great! I added a smidge more spice because I just love spice but the cookies had a great chewy and soft texture and the sugar on top was reminiscent of apple cider donuts
Hillary Harper says
The recipe was amazing but VERY confusing to follow
These are AMAZING. Easily in my top five cookies now. They sound more labor intensive than they actually are, but that little bit of extra work is 100% worth it. SO GOOD.
So good for fall and makes the house smell amazing!!
I just made these, they have an incredible taste but were much more soft than I thought they would be. Also, I know it's a dessert but I'm not used to putting that amount of sugar into a dessert. Have you experimented with less brown sugar in the recipe?
Omg, these are incredible! A little labor intensive but definitely worth the end result. I even loved the cookie dough before it was even baked, it was so flavorful. If you want to impress friends with your baking skills, make these bad boys.
What kind of apple cider did you use ?
Stephanie Rutherford says
I used apple cider juice, don't use apple cider vinegar!
Sam Gardenswartz says
Delicious flavor and texture! My whole apartment smelled like fall.
I creamed the butter, sugar, and eggs together for 7-8 minutes until fluffy and then alternated rest of wet ingredients with dry ingredients. I also chilled the portioned cookies for an hour before baking to help maintain shape.
Came out great! Delicious! Definitely recommend!
A perfect autumn recipe!
I love the soft, cake-like texture of these cookies!
I dipped some of them in a cinnamon/sugar mixture instead of the glace, and they were so good!
I made these as smaller cookies and they turned out great! With the smaller cookies I ended up needing a little more browned butter and reduced cider for the cinnamon-sugar dip, so I'll know to make a little extra next time- but definitely will make again. Perfect fall cookie!
My new favorite cookie! These were so easy to make and truly remind me of apple cider donuts. I’m excited to make these again and share them with friends and family.
Probably the best cookie I've ever had. Made it a second time with a cream cheese frosting and it was delicious as well. Making for a third time today for a new mom! Perfect recipe.
sandra h. says
Just made these and they are the perfect cookie for fall. I knew they would be delish when I tasted the batter. I used a smaller scoop and ended up with 30 3 inch cookies. I ran out of time for the last step with the glaze, but they tasted amazing with just the cinnamon sugar topping. Will definitely be making another batch real soon.
I made these yesterday and brought them to my friends. They were a big hit!!! So yummy, thank you for sharing!
Have you made these with an egg substitute and if you have, what did you use?
Stephanie Rutherford says
I have not. However, I would do 1/2 cup total of apple sauce to replace the egg. (1/4 cup to replace the egg and 1/4 cup already in the recipe.)
The doubled and tripled recipe calls for the same amount of apple cider. It's a bit confusing
Stephanie Rutherford says
I just answered this question that someone just asked in the comments.
Not very good at baking, still pulled this one off! Incredibly delish desert and fairly easy to make!
The apple cider is the same amount for the doubled and tripled recipe? It's a bit confusing
Stephanie Rutherford says
The part where it says start start with 1 cup is under that ingredients description, so it won't double or triple that part. However, for 2x the recipe it is 2 cups of apple cider. 3x is 3 cups.