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Apple Almond Flour Cookies {3-ingredients, vegan, oil-free}

3-ingredient apple almond flour cookies for fall and winter, made with almond flour, a fresh apple, and cinnamon. They are vegan, oil-free, and have no added sugar.

Fall is finally (mercifully!) here! We are still a long way from crisp and cool, but a drop into the 80s is inspiring me to get moving with some seasonal baking.

Today’s recipe will surely bring some joy. It is inspired by a comment from a reader (Susan). She wrote to ask if she could use something other than banana in my Almond Flour Banana Cookies, as her son cannot eat bananas. I was not sure, so I set about testing some options.

Here is the result: 3-Ingredient Fresh Apple Almond Flour Cookies!

I ate half a dozen of them yesterday, post-run. I am proud to say it! 

Healthy Benefits of Apple Almond Flour Cookies

These old-fashioned, homey, cake-like cookies are seriously good, and good for you, too. They are:

  • Vegan
  • Paleo
  • Grain-free
  • Oil-free
  • Added sugar-free
  • Gluten-free

Use a Fresh Apple to Make Flavorful Apple Cookies

The key to making these cookies is to forgo applesauce. I tried, and they were booooring. Flat-ish, cracker-like, zilch apple flavor, and not sweet, unless I added sugar.

Instead of applesauce, these apple cookies are made with a fresh, sweet apple.

Just like baked apples, the apple flavor and sweetness intensify as the cookies bake–without the need for any additional sweeteners! 

I prefer to leave the peel on for these cookies. It is packed with extra fiber (about half the fiber content of the apple is in the peel), vitamins, and the antioxidant quercitin.

If you choose to follow my lead, I recommend using an organic apple. Non-organic apples are often waxed, plus pesticides can be more concentrated in the peel. Further, organic apples tend to be more flavorful, IMHO. If using a regular apple, be sure to peel it.

Step by Step Instructions

(1) Process the Apple into a Thick Puree

To prep the apple, cut the flesh away from the core and cut into chunks (discard the core).

Process the apple in a food processor until it is very fine, stopping to scrape down the bowl several times. The end result should be a mash/puree that looks like apple sauce in raw form.

Measure out 1/2 cup of the pureed apple. Do not pack the measuring cup. If there is more puree, save it for something else (e.g., just eat it–my solution–or add to a smoothie, oatmeal, etc.). Measurements matter with these cookies.

(2) Mix the Dough

To make the cookie dough, stir together the apple puree, 1 cup almond flour and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. I strongly recommend adding the optional 1/8 teaspoon salt; it enhances both the apple flavor and the sweetness of the cookies once baked. 

Mix until a soft dough comes together.

If you taste the dough at this point, it will not be very sweet. This will change as the cookies bake. Nevertheless, feel free to add a smidge of sweetener. It will not take more than 1 to 3 teaspoons (e.g., coconut sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup) to create a much sweeter cookie. It just depends on your particular apple.

(3) Scoop the Dough onto a Baking Sheet

Using a small cookie scoop or rounded spoon, scoop small mounds of the dough onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet .

(4) Bake the Cookies

Bake the cookies for 15 to 18 minutes in a preheated 350F (180C) oven. The cookies need a longer bake than other kinds of cookies in order to brown and bake through the middles.

These are the sweet results of your efforts:

The cookies have some crispness at the bottom edges, but are soft and cake-like otherwise. Yes, please!

Enjoy these cookies, and happy baking!

More Grain-Free & Vegan Almond Flour Cookies to Try

Yield: 12 cookies

Apple Almond Flour Cookies {3-ingredients, vegan, oil-free}

Apple Almond Flour Cookies {3-ingredients, vegan, oil-free}

3-ingredient apple almond flour cookies made with almond flour, an apple, and cinnamon. They are vegan, oil-free, and have no added sugar.

Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small (about 5 oz/142 g) organic sweet or tart-sweet apple
  • 1 cup (112 g) blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional, but highly recommended)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. If leaving skin on, scrub apple well. Otherwise, peel the apple.
  3. Core and cut apple into chunks; process in a food processor, stopping to scrape down sides, until pureed (mixture will look like raw apple sauce). Measure 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the puree.
  4. Place the almond flour in a medium bowl. Add the 1/2 cup (125 mL) apple puree, cinnamon and (optional) salt. Stir until completely blended.
  5. Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough in 12 mounds, spacing 2 inches apart, on prepared cookie sheet.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown and centers of cookies feel firm to the touch. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Notes

Storage: Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at (cool) room temperature for 2 days, the refrigerator for 5 days, or the freezer for up to 3 months.

Apple Tips: In order for this recipe to work well, it is important to (1) use a sweet or tart-sweet apple. For example, red-delicious, gala, Macintosh, or Braeburn; (2) Process the apple very finely, to the point where the juices are releasing. It should look like raw apple sauce (see photo); be sure to measure the amount of apple after pureeing. Do not use more than the 1/2 cup that is called for in the recipe (i.e., do not just go by general size of the apple).

Variation Ideas:

Sweetness Bump: If you like, add a touch more sweetness to the dough. It does not take much to make these much sweeter. Consider adding 2 teaspoons of coconut sugar, brown sugar, or maple syrup, if desired.

Extracts: Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract to dough.

Sugar Sparkle: Sprinkle tops of dough with turbinado (raw) sugar.

Other spices: Replace the ground cinnamon with an equal amount of ground cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, ground ginger, or 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

Chocolate Chip: Add 2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips to the dough. Alternatively, prepare dough as directed and press the chocolate chips into surfaces of scooped dough.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving Calories 60Total Fat 4.7gSaturated Fat 0.3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 24.2mgCarbohydrates 3.7gFiber 1.3gSugar 1.6gProtein 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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Patricia

Sunday 1st of May 2022

Thank you for this recipe. So nice to find sugar free, without added artificial sugar. I am diabetic and most artificial sugars spike blood sugar. Thank you again!

Camilla

Sunday 1st of May 2022

You are so welcome, Patricia, I am so happy these suit your needs 😊 These are my husband’s favorite cookies, Year-round . Cheers ❤️

Arj

Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Firstly, Thanks for the recipe! I appreciate it. Second, I tried it with the same amounts but it only baked a soft sheet and not a proper cookie. Tastes good though haha, but its not a proper cookie. Not sure what I did wrong..

Arj

Sunday 27th of March 2022

@Camilla, thanks for your comments. Just responding to your last comment about the cooked applesauce vs puree-ing an apple. I used storebought no sugar added applesauce (unclear if this is cooked or just pureed and put into a jar; i think the latter). Its 100% natural apple sauce, non GMO and its ingredients are apples, water, Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C).

Arj

Thursday 24th of March 2022

@Camilla, thanks for your response. I actually did not portion them into cookie sizes for baking. I poured and laid the mixture out flat into a 9 inch round pan. I did use 1/2 cup applesauce, and the same proportions of almond flour (1 cup) and salt too. I even added a couple tsps of sugar. The dough wasn't very liquidy when I laid it into the pan, but it was wet. Comparing it to your pictures I'd say it was more wet than the dough you had pre-baking. Do you know what I could do to improve it next time around?

Camilla

Thursday 24th of March 2022

Hi Arj, Im so sorry the cookies did not turn out. Are you saying that you portioned them into cookies and then they all flowed together into a "soft sheet?" If so, it sounds like there most likely was far too much apple in the recipe. Did you measure out the 1/2 cup of apple after processing it (as opposed to using all of the puree)? Did the dough look like the photos before baking? It sounds like it must have been very, very wet if it flowed together. I am just trying to figure out what could have gone wrong since there are no other liquids in the recipe.

Jean Bogardus

Thursday 11th of November 2021

Can you use unsweetened applesauce instead of raw apple?

Camilla

Friday 12th of November 2021

Hi Jean! They might hold together, but they will not be very similar otherwise. The fresh apple gives these cookies much of their flavor, and sweetness. The uncooked apple ashl so gives these cookies a lot of their structure (much of that fiber is lost after cooking into applesauce)

Rose

Sunday 1st of August 2021

What makes this apple and almond cookies hold together without breaking?

Ann

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Can you peel the apple, and then put in in the food processor? Is having the skin on the apple essential to the recipe?

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