Several years ago, a reader named Phillip emailed in this traditional and time-tested recipe for dairy-free applesauce cookies. He said, “My Mom, Muriel, got this from Laura Goddard, a friend of hers.” I decided to give this recipe a test myself and take some pictures.
These applesauce cookies are very soft and a bit cake-y, almost like muffin tops. And they have just the right sweetness. I enjoyed them with hot tea or almond milk. The apple theme gives them a school-time vibe, and they are perfect for tucking into lunchboxes. But I think these tender bites are also nice for gifting over the holidays or simply baking on a special day.
You can enjoy these dairy-free applesauce cookies plain, or spike them with dried fruit and/or nuts for some extra interest. I chose to stick with the apple theme by adding Bob’s Red Mill diced dried apple pieces. I re-hydrated the bits for a few minutes, and then stirred them into the dough for lovely apple spice cookies.
Special Diet Notes: Applesauce Cookies
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, and vegetarian.
For vegan, I would recommend just omitting the egg. The batter is rather loose as is.
For gluten-free, you might have luck swapping in your favorite gluten-free flour blend for the flour. But I would keep the egg and add in a little extra starch if the dough is too moist.
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup dairy-free buttery spread or non-hydrogenated margarine (I used Earth Balance)
- 1 cup sugar (see Sugar Options below)
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup diced dried apples, raisins, or dried blueberries (see Fruit Note below) (optional)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice or nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Put the buttery spread or margarine and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until creamed, about 3 minutes.
- Add the applesauce and egg to the butter-sugar mixture, and beat with the hand mixer until combined. Stir in the flour mixture until combined.
- Fold in the dried fruit and/or walnuts, if using. The dough will be somewhat loose and moist. If it is too wet to work with, you can refrigerate it for 1 hour before baking.
- Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto your prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on how golden you like your cookies.
- Immediately remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely while you bake the next batch!
Fruit Note: If your dried fruit is very dry, re-hydrate it in some hot water for 5 minutes. Drain the fruit and gently press out any excess moisture, before adding it to your batter.
Key Pantry Supplies: Dairy-Free Applesauce Cookies
These cookies are exactly that….yummy muffin tops!
I made a few substitutions to make them vegan and gluten-free, and they turned out absolutely delicious!
I used gluten-free flour, 1tbsp ground flax + 3tbsp water instead of the egg, only half the sugar (brown) and lastly, I used fresh shredded apple rather than dry diced.
Thanks for sharing all of your substitutions Medea – I’m so glad this worked out so well for you!
Thanks for sharing your apple substitute I want to use fresh Apple as well
I bet my kids would love these–they eat applesauce by the pound!
These cookies look moist and delicious
I like the idea of grinding the coconut sugar to get a finer texture. I’ll have to try that in this recipe. They look great! and I love that there are real fruit pieces in there!
I used butter, as I’m not dairy free but I love your recipes. I am short of eggs and trying to make as many cookies as I can before company. Our roads are currently covered in ice with freezing rain making travel perilous. I skipped the eggs. I don’t have dried apples. I made half with raisins and half with mini chocolate chips. Refrigerated dough overnight. Absolutely wonderful cookies. I used my smallest cookie scoop. Made 55 cookies.
Hi Ricia, I’m so glad they worked out well for you without the eggs and that you enjoyed the recipe!
My kids love applesauce cookies! They are always so moist and yummy.
These look so soft, moist, and delicious! The perfect cookies!
Yum! I’ve never had applesauce cookies, but these sound quite delicious. I’m going to sub with gluten free flour and vegan egg. Can’t wait to try them!
oh wow, applesauce cookies sound lovely! I WILL try these with my gf flour and without the egg… cannot wait to taste them!
Doubling down! I’m so curious if that works out well for you.
What delicious cookies! I love adding apple sauce into baking– it really makes for moist and tasty treats.
Yes, indeed. It has such different properties.
I’ve never heard of applesauce cookies but since we’re cookie-baking this weekend we’ll add them to the list! Yum!
I can almost smell these applesauce cookies! They look so easy and delicious!
Yum! These look so amazing. Love healthy and delicious cookies like these!
They do have a look of muffin tops almost. And aren’t those the best part?! Can’t wait to try these!
I think so! I bake up muffin tops sometimes 🙂
These cookies sound absolutely delightful! I love the idea of adding in diced apples! Yum!
Those diced apples are so convenient!
These cookies look soft and delicious! I’m sure the applesauce gives them a great texture.