For the love of cookies

Apple Cider Cookies

Apple Cider Cookies

A brown sugar cookie dough is flavored with reduced apple cider, cinnamon chips, and apples for a delicious holiday cookie.

Apple Cider Cookies
Warm, buttery, and filled with cinnamon and apple flavor.

My mother loves all desserts with apples. It is no surprise that I know how to make various types of apple cakes, strudels, tarts, and pies with little instruction. Any holiday or birthday is an excuse for her to chime in, “will there be a dessert with apples? Everybody loves apples!” It wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I realized my father actually didn’t love apple desserts on his birthday despite my mother assuring me it was his favorite.

Every Christmas my grandmother would make homemade apple pies, pie tins of all sizes would adorn her kitchen table as the smells of toasty cinnamon, hot apples, and salty pie crust filled the air. It was at my grandmother’s house in Michigan my mother would meet her new in-laws and experience her first American Christmas. She would encounter her first bite of apple pie, a classic American dessert, and her life would be forever changed.

Homemade apple pie would be one of my mother’s biggest cravings when she was pregnant with me, and her love of all thing’s apple transcends to a space in time that were hallmarked with exciting firsts. I can understand her love for heavily spiced apple desserts, and I oblige her every season I can with a new twist on an old favorite. These apple cider cookies combine all things apple flavored with cinnamon chips and roasted walnuts as gracious supporting actors in this glorious cookie.

Although I still can’t quite make an apple pie as good as my grandmother, a skill I feel is a blessing earned through time and devotion to sharing love through baked goods, this cookie is a humble nod to the tradition of apple desserts on Christmas from my family.

I have tasted one of these cookies, ridiculously good, as the rest will be going to my mother as a Christmas cookie surprise. Happy Holidays!

If you love apple desserts be sure to check out my Snickerdoodle Apple Pie Cookie.

Apple Cider Cookies
Snickerdoodle Apple Pie is also a great apple dessert!

Why I Love This Recipe

Flavor-The base of this cookie is a brown sugar cookie and has reduced apple cider syrup added to it. Apple cider has a great apple flavor with a slight tartness and is reduced significantly for the syrup. This gives the cookie a punch of apple flavor without having to add fresh apples which would make the cookies too moist and decrease the shelf life. I also used an apple spice drink mix to deepen the apple flavor further to ensure apple flavor in every bite. The addition of cinnamon chips adds to the cinnamon apple flavor in the cookie while also creating small pops of cinnamon flavor. The roasted walnuts add crunch but also balance the sweetness of the cookie dough and cinnamon chips. Lastly, this recipe also includes freeze dried apples which give the cookie an apple flavor with a nice balance of tang to create a well-rounded apple flavor throughout the cookie.

Texture-Turbinado sugar is used as a coating on the cookie dough prior to baking creating a sparkling crunch to exterior of a soft and chewy cookie. The cookie is soft but more on the chewy side from the addition of the cinnamon chips, walnuts, and freeze-dried apple pieces. The crumb of the cookie is dense but not heavy and is soft but not cakey. Truly a delicious cookie.

Apple Fans-If you or a loved one is a fan of all things apple, this is the cookie for you. It has layers of apple flavor and is uniquely spiced for a warm, apple, holiday treat.

Apple Cider Cookies
Too bad you can’t smell the delicious aromas of this cookie through your screen!

Ingredients You Need

-Butter- unsalted room temperature butter.

-Brown & Granulated Sugar-extra granulated sugar will be used to roll cookies in .


-Apple Cider-unsweetened, unfiltered.

-Apple Cider beverage packet- I used Alpine brand. This can be omitted BUT it does add a lot more apple flavor and tang to the cookie.

-Vanilla Extract

-Salt-for flavor.

-Baking Soda & Powder


-Allspice-can be omitted if the flavor is too strong. This spice pairs well with cinnamon and apple.


-Cinnamon Chips

-Frees dried apples-I used a small packet of freeze-dried apples in this recipe and I am so glad I did. They add a fresh apple flavor and tartness while not compromising the moisture and shelf life. If you would like to add fresh apple instead, use ½ cup finely diced apple pieces that are peeled. This will add moisture to your cookie and have a shorter shelf life, but they will have that fresh apple element which is super yummy.

-Walnuts-toasted in a pan until fragrant. I cannot stress enough how much better walnuts taste when toasted before adding to cookies. The texture is crisp and less mealy. Please, toast your nuts.

-Turbinado Sugar-for rolling the cookie dough in. It is a raw and unrefined sugar that is darker in color and is a larger granule. It works beautifully as a coating because of the caramel flavor it imparts to baked goods. If you don’t have it, you can use granulated sugar as a substitute or even granulated sugar mixed with a teaspoon of cinnamon for a more spiced cookie exterior.

Apple Cider Cookies
Perfect for gifting, these apple cider cookies are a unique holiday cookie.

Apple Cider Syrup

First things first, I make the reduced apple cider first so that it has time to cool while I gather my baking ingredients.

In a small sauce pan I add a cup of apple cider. I used Louisburg Apple Cider in this recipe. I turned the heat to medium high on  the stove and waited for the cider to come up to a boil.

Once it was at a boil, I reduced the temperature to medium low to bring the cider to a simmer.

I let the cider simmer for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring the liquid.

The cider will reduce significantly in this time. After 10 minutes mine had reduced to around 2 tablespoons. It was thick and bubbly and looked like thick golden honey.

Using a spatula, I scraped the syrup into a small bowl and let it cool while I began the cookie dough.

Let’s Cookie

I place the butter and both types of sugars into the bowl of my stand mixer with a paddle attachment. A handheld mixer would work just as well here too. I cream the butter and sugars on medium high speed for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture is pale, fluffy, and creamy.

I scrape down the sides of the bowl then add in the eggs, vanilla, and the reduced apple cider syrup ( it should be cooled to room temperature before adding it in). I turn my mixer on medium high and beat for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is very creamy. I scrape down the bowl once during this time.

I add the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon, apple cider beverage powder, and salt then I mix on low speed. I let it mix just until the dough comes together.

Next, the chopped nuts, freeze dried apples, and cinnamon chips get added to the dough and mixed in until evenly incorporated.

In a small bowl I pour a half cup f turbinado sugar for rolling the dough.

I use a 2-ounce cookie scoop to scoop the cookie dough into the sugar, roll, then place on a parchment lined baking sheet. I repeat this process with the remaining cookie dough to make 18 apple cider cookies.

Apple Cider Cookies
These apple cider cookies are so flavorful, they don’t need any glaze or toppings. Well, ice cream wouldn’t hurt…

I place the sugar-coated cookie dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The dough will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days and can also be frozen and stored in a sealed bag for up to 6 months.

Chilling the dough will allow the flavors of the spices to develop as well as the flour to fully hydrate and relax for thicker cookies that won’t spread too much.

I bake these cookies 6-8 at a time at 350*F for 12-14 minutes. I know they are done when the edges are slightly golden, they have puffed up, and look dry on the tops.

I transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. The middles are warm and gooey when fresh out of the oven but will set up as they cool down on a wire rack.



If you try this recipe and love it as much as I do, please tag, follow, and like @sunshinetxcookies on Instagram and Facebook. New posts every Thursday so be sure to follow me for more delicious cookie recipes. Happy Baking!

Apple Cider Cookies

Apple Cider flavors these brown sugar cinnamon cookies with cinnamon chips and freeze dried apples.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18


  • 2 sticks butter unsalted, room temperature.
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tspn salt
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 packet apple cider drink mix Alpine Spiced Apple Cider packets is what I used.
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • ¼ tspn allspice
  • ½ tspn baking powder
  • ½ tspn baking soda
  • cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cinnamon chips
  • 1 cup walnuts toasted until fragrant then chopped.
  • .70 ounces freeze dried apples 2 small snack packets from the store.
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar for rolling cookies.


  • In a saucepan, heat one cup apple cider over medium heat until a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook down for 10 minutes until there is only 2 tablespoons of reduced syrup left. It will look like thick honey. Take off heat and allow to cool in a small bowl before adding to the cookie dough.
  • In a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer, combine butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and mix on medium high heat until pale and creamy. About 3-4 minutes.
  • Add in eggs, vanilla extract, reduced apple cider syrup, and mix until the eggs are thoroughly mixed in. This will take a minute or two.
  • Next, add in apple cider drink powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and flour. Mix just until combined.
  • Add in chopped toasted walnut pieces and cinnamon chips and mix just until they are evenly combined in the dough.
  • Using 2-ounce scoop, scoop 18 portions of dough. Roll the dough in a bowl of turbinado sugar until evenly coated.`
  • Bake at 350*F for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are brown and the tops are dry.
  • Enjoy!


Reduced apple cider and cinnamon chips add an oomph of apple flavor to these warmly spiced apple cider cookies.
Keyword Apple cider, apple cider cookies, holiday cookies

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Chrissy Grundy

Content Creator

Howdy! I love creating delicious cookie recipes. I enjoy spending time with my kids and husband in Buda, Texas and I am a huge supporter of local Texas producers. I am so happy you are here! Let’s start baking!

Chrissy Grundy

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