Caramel Apple Cookie Cups

Chewy sugar cookies are formed into a cup, then stuffed with soft cinnamon apple chunks and a sweet homemade brown sugar caramel sauce! These Caramel Apple Cookie Cups are mini homemade apple pies in cookie form.

A caramel apple cookie cup on a piece of wax paper with one bite taken out of it

Decadent Caramel Apple Pie Cookies

It’s no secret that I love cookie cups. They’re a fun spin on classic cookies that allows you to add more textures, layers and flavors with ease. All you have to do is spoon your favorite fixings into a deliciously chewy vessel that was just as easy to make as a basic cookie.

After a single bite, my husband enthusiastically declared that these are the best thing I’ve ever made. And the kitchen is my happy place, so that’s saying a lot! But honestly, I can’t argue with him – the cookies themselves are moist and tender, the apples are soft, juicy and perfectly spiced, and don’t even get me started on the brown sugar caramel sauce. It’s my favorite homemade caramel of all time. I’ve been caught spooning it into my mouth on multiple occasions!

These cookies taste great warm, chilled or at room temperature. It all depends on your personal tastes. The caramel is soft and gooey when the cookies are warm, somewhat soft when they’re served at room temperature, and very firm when the cookies are cold. No matter what temperature you serve them at, you simply can’t go wrong!

Seven caramel apple cookies on a cake stand with two striped straws in the foreground

What You’ll Need

Without further ado, let’s get into the ingredients you’ll need to make these festive fall cookies happen.

For the Cookie Cups

  • Butter: Let it come to room temperature.
  • Brown & White Sugars: You’ll need half a cup of each.
  • Egg: For chewy cookies that hold together well.
  • Vanilla Extract: Use a high-quality extract for the best flavor.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Not self-rising flour.
  • Cinnamon: A teaspoon of cinnamon goes a long way in these cookies.
  • Baking Soda: Not baking powder.
  • Cornstarch: This creates a tender texture.

For the Caramel Apple Topping

  • Caramel Sauce: You can make this in advance to cut down on prep time if you’d like.
  • Chopped Apples: I use red delicious apples because I like their flavor and the fact that they stay a little crunchy when cooked.
  • Nutmeg: A pinch of nutmeg provides great flavor to supplement the cinnamon.
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar: To coat the apples with the cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Butter: This helps soften the apples.
A close-up shot of three caramel apple cookie cups with a fresh red delicious apple behind them

How to Make Caramel Apple Cookie Cups

Each component of these lovely apple cookies is super easy to pull off. And putting everything together is so satisfying!

Make the Cookies

  1. Prep for Baking: Coat a cupcake pan with non-stick cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream Butter & Sugars: Cream the butter and sugars together for 5-7 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Add Egg & Vanilla: Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  4. Add Dry Ingredients: Add all of the the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient mixture and combine until smooth. The dough will be thick.
  5. Form Cookie Cups: Make balls of about 2 tablespoons of dough. Press the dough into the bottom and about halfway up the sides of each cupcake divot, forming a cup shape.
  6. Bake: Bake the cookie cups for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Let Cool: Remove your cookies from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. If the centers aren’t cupped enough to add the fillings, use the end of a wooden spoon or the bottom of a tablespoon to press the centers down a bit.

Make the Caramel

  1. Prepare Caramel: Make the caramel sauce according to the instructions in the recipe linked in the ingredients section.
  2. Let Cool: Allow the caramel to cool for 2-3 minutes. If you’ve made it in advance, remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature while the cookies are cooling.
  3. Add to Cookies: Pour your prepared caramel into the cooled cookie cups, leaving enough space to add the cinnamon apples on top. I like transferring my caramel to a measuring cup with a spout to make pouring easier.

Make the Apples & Assemble

  1. Set Caramel Cookies Aside: Set the cookie cups aside to let the caramel cool while you make the cinnamon apples.
  2. Coat Apples: Combine the chopped apples, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar in a medium-sized pan and toss to coat all of the apples.
  3. Add Butter & Cook: Add the butter and cook your apples for about 10-15 minutes, or until they reach your preferred softness.
  4. Top Cookies: Top the caramel-filled cookie cups with the prepared apples. I recommend doing this as you serve them in case you have leftovers.
Three caramel apple cookies on top of a napkin and a sheet of parchment paper

Tips for Success

These simple suggestions will help guide you through the process of making these cookies. Don’t forget to give them a read!

  • Use Tart, Firm Apples: Any time you’re cooking apples with cinnamon and sugar, it’s a good idea to pick an apple variety on the tarter and firmer side. Tart apples won’t get overly sweet amid the sugar and caramel, and firm apples will not become soggy when cooked. Granny Smith, Gala and Pink Lady are all great options if you’re not crazy about Red Delicious apples.
  • Don’t Skimp on the Creaming Time: A well-creamed butter and sugar mixture acts as the base for your cookie dough, so you definitely don’t want to skimp on the creaming time. Keep on beating until the mixture lightens in color and texture.
  • Cook the Apples to Your Preferred Softness: The longer you cook the apples, the softer they’ll become. You can always spoon out an apple chunk, let it cool and test it to know whether or not they’re ready.
  • Add the Apples to Individual Servings: Rather than adding your apple topping to all of the cookies at once, spoon it on as you serve them. If you end up having extras, it’s better to store the apples separately.
Three apple pie cookies on a white plate with an apple and two straws in the background

Serving Suggestions

Want to add even more yumminess to your caramel apple cookies? Try one of these simple serving ideas.

  • Top with Whipped Cream: My easy Homemade Whipped Cream is the ultimate topper for any treat, including these apple pie cookie cups. You only need 3 ingredients to make it!
  • Serve with Ice Cream: Enjoying these cookies warm with some creamy vanilla ice cream on the side is always a great idea. This is definitely my preferred serving method for a holiday – it just feels so luxurious!
  • Add Chopped Nuts: Topping your cookies with chopped pecans or walnuts is a wonderful way to add crunch and flavor. You can toast the nuts first if you’d like.
Three caramel apple cookie cups on a table with an apple and a dessert stand in the background

How to Store and Reheat Caramel Apple Cookies

These cookies should be stored in an airtight container, and you can either keep them at room temperature or in the fridge. The apples should be refrigerated in a sealed jar or a resealable bag with all the air squeezed out. Once assembled, you can warm up each cookie in the microwave for 5-10 seconds if you’d like.

Can I Freeze These?

While these cookies are freezer-friendly with the caramel on top, I don’t recommend freezing your cooked apple slices. Their texture won’t be the same after they thaw, so I suggest whipping them up just before serving.

To freeze the cookies, place them into a freezer-safe container with a sheet of parchment or wax paper in between each layer to avoid sticking. Thaw them out in the fridge and serve within 1 month of freezing.

Print
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Three apple pie cookies on a white plate with an apple and two straws in the background
Recipe

Caramel Apple Cookie Cups

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 16
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Chewy sugar cookies are formed into a cup, then stuffed with soft cinnamon apple chunks and a sweet homemade brown sugar caramel sauce! These Caramel Apple Cookie Cups are mini homemade apple pies in cookie form.


Ingredients

For the Cookie Cups

  • 3/4 cups butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

For the Caramel Apple Topping

  • 1 recipe’s worth of this caramel sauce
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter

Instructions

Make the Cookies

  1. Coat cupcake pan with non stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream butter and sugars together for 5-7 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Dough will be thick.
  5. Makes balls of about 2 tbsp of dough. Press cookie dough in bottom and about 1/3-1/2 way up the sides of each cupcake cup, forming a cup shape.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling. If the centers aren’t cupped enough to add filling, use the end of a wooden spoon or the bottom of a tablespoon to press the center down a bit.

Make the Caramel

  1. Make caramel sauce according to instructions.
  2. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then pour into cookie cups, leaving enough space to add apples on top. I poured it into a measuring cup with a spout to make pouring easier.

Cook the Apples & Assemble

  1. Set cookie cups aside to allow caramel to cool while you make the cinnamon apples.
  2. Combine apples, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar in a medium pan and toss to coat.
  3. Add butter and cook apples for about 10-15 minutes, or until at preferred softness.
  4. Top cookie cups with apples.

Notes

  • Makes 16-18 cookie cups
  • These can be stored in the fridge or at room temperature for 2-3 days. They’re best served warm if you like gooey caramel. After they’ve cooled, they can be warmed up in microwave for 5-10 seconds.
  • To freeze the cookies, place them into a freezer-safe container with parchment/wax paper between each layer to avoid sticking. Thaw in the fridge and serve within 1 month of freezing. I don’t recommend freezing the apples.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Cookie Cup
  • Calories: 283
  • Sugar: 21.5 g
  • Sodium: 81.6 mg
  • Fat: 16.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33.7 g
  • Protein: 2.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 52.6 mg

Keywords: apple cookies, caramel cookies, apple pie cookies

More Festive Apple Dessert Ideas

Apple desserts are obligatory for fall, and the following recipes are the best of the best! You have to try them out next.

Easy Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Cheesecake Cookie Bars
Apple Pie Lasagna

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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Recipe rating

84 Comments
  1. Ann

    They look so sweet. My darling tells me this is the best caramel apple cookie cups he ‘s ever eaten. He luvs this cookie very muchhh!!!

  2. Nickie

    I made these tonight for my husbands birthday (per his request from looking at the website). They turned out amazing. I loved them, he loved them and my picky kids loved them. No leftovers!!!

  3. Jasmine

    DO NOT TRY THIS RECIPE!! it came out horrible!! the dough for the cups has way too much butter. it’s an impossible pain to get it formed in the pan without having to constantly put it back in the fridge and chill it, and then because there is so much butter in it, it didn’t stay in cup shape when it baked. it melted into nothingness. this recipe sucks.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      I’m not sure where the error was, but it sounds like too much butter was added. I promise you the amount listed is correct and should actually yield a pretty thick cookie dough. I’ve made them several times and have not had that problem.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Creaming the butter and sugars means beating them with a mixer for about 3 minutes. You’ll actually notice a change in the texture and color of the mixture. It’ll go from a little smoother to quite fluffy and get lighter in color. This adds air to the mixture and makes a nice cookie dough.

  4. Danielle

    I’ve made these twice in the last week!! These are now my favourite cookies of all time. Thanks for sharing!!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12