Applesauce Cookies with Caramel Frosting


These cookies are WONDERFUL!

This is another recipe from my grandma’s cookbook, but I added a little something to make them extra special, Caramel Frosting. Where to begin on the Caramel Frosting?!…I used this recipe for my Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting, but I don’t think I gushed enough about how DELICIOUS this frosting is.Hands down, my new FAVORITE frosting.  I could lick the bowl clean after making this frosting.  It is unique and absolutely mouthwatering. Combine this amazing frosting with the flavor from the Applesauce cookies and you get a match made in Heaven.  These cookies are very similar to the Banana Cookie recipe.  The dough is dropped by the spoonful onto the cookie sheets, rather than rolled into a ball.If you haven’t already made your neighborhood gifts or need a cookie for a cookie exchange, then you should definitely try these out!  Even if you have already done those things, still try this cookie out.  You won’t be disappointed.  It is AMAZING! Trust me!

Applesauce Cookies with Caramel Frosting

Super soft cookies exploding with amazing flavor!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 50
Calories 166kcal


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

Caramel Frosting

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
  • Cream sugar and shortening together.
  • Add eggs and applesauce and mix well.
  • Add in dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
  • Drop small spoonfuls of batter on greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes.
  • While cookies are cooling, prepare frosting.

Caramel Frosting

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, heavy cream and brown sugar.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture just begins to boil; remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool, then stir in the powdered sugar.
  • Spread frosting over cookies


Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 89IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
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Filed under: cookies, dessert, frosting

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  1. Heidi

    I am adding these to my Christmas Baking List! Perfect to balance out all of our chocolate favorites. Merry Christmas!

  2. CookieCrazedMama

    Oooh, these do look delicious! I have tons of apple butter, so I'm thinking I might use that in place of the applesauce and minimize the spices. Either way, these are calling my name!

  3. Laura

    These look fantastic!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Chels

    This is perfect! I was needing a cookie recipe that I had all ingredients for that I could take to my daughters music recital on Saturday and I think this might be it :)

  5. Rachel

    oh my word, have to try! stomach is growling, perfect recipe for my Christmas party this weekend :)

  6. Carla

    Caramel and apples are a match made in heaven. I am surprised somebody beside your grandma hasn't already made these heavenly cookies famous!

  7. Kelly

    My grandma had a recipe for applesauce cookies too, but I don't remember caramel frosting. This has to be an improvement on an already wonderful cookie. Can't wait to make these. I haven't thought about these cookies in twenty years. Thanks!

  8. Michele

    They look and sound delicious! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Liz

    Made these last Thursday, and they turned out great!! My family loves them and it's such an easy recipe to follow.I credited you in my blog: all of your recipes!Liz

  10. Erin

    These look and sound absolutely heavenly! I pinned them so I won't forget where I got the recipe. Thanks so much!!!!

  11. Bridget

    These were delish! So nice to meet you at the cookie exchange!

  12. Artsy VaVa

    This sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  13. Michelle

    Oh My these look divine!! Thanks for sharing, I have pinned and will be trying :)

  14. Lucy

    I made these and my family LOVED them! They are absolutely divine!

  15. Monica

    Thank you for this recipe! They turned out Amazing, & oh soo delicious! :) The cookie is so muffin like!

  16. Layne

    These also worked well as a gluten free recipe (which isn't always the case!). I substituted the flour for a gluten free flour mixture and used the same directions. Just make sure you keep an eye on them because they'll have to cook about 5-10 minutes longer. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Anonymous

    Will this recipe work using butter instead of shortening? I hate using shortening!!!

  18. AshleyB.

    I was wondering the same thing about the butter/shortening trade off. I don't even think I'd know where to find shortening in the grocery! :-)

  19. breanne

    I just made it with butter and they worked great. I never use shortening.

  20. Anonymous

    Are cloves the things you use when making baked ham? They look like little wood trees. I didn't think you could eat those.

    1. Dana

      I think it should be ground cloves - that's kind of assumed. :-)

  21. Autumn2012

    AMAZING! The only word to describe them. Made them today. The most amazing cookie I've ever made.

  22. ♫ christine

    This cookie & frosting combo is VERY good. I describe the cookies more as muffin or cake like. They're soft and light. The frosting - what can I say besides... ahhh! Lick the bowl clean, you say? I may have done that already! lol - I did omit the cloves because my hubby detests them. They still turned out wonderfully. Also, this batch makes a LOT of cookies! They're all over my kitchen, it seems! :) Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  23. Michelle

    Found you through Pinterest...totally going to try caramel!

  24. Anonymous

    Does anybody know how many cookies this recipe makes???

  25. Anonymous

    I found it made about 4 dozen. She's not kidding when she says place LITTLE (one tsp full) spoonfuls either - they expand a lot. Also, I added more powdered sugar to the frosting (about 1/2 cup) and it was still really runny. Still delicious though, everyone loved them!

  26. Anonymous

    Does the recipe call for regular applesauce or natural applesauce without added sugar?

  27. Anonymous

    These are like muffin tops! Very cakey...I think the flour could be a bit less?? Still a great cookie!! I did not use cloves, and added more cinnamon to the sugar mixture. Perfect for breakfast! :D. Thanks for the recipe!!

  28. Jennifer

    Should I use sweetened applesauce?

  29. Chelsea

    Hi there! No matter what I do with this recipe, these come out looking like muffin tops. they don't spread AT ALL like in the lovely photo. Flavor is great though! I have followed the recipe to a "t" over and over. Any suggestions?

  30. Taylor Buscemi

    My friend pinned this recipe a few weeks ago, and I was in a baking mood tonight and happened to have heavy cream on I decided to finally try them(: And boy am I glad I did! I made these cookies tonight and I absolutely loved them! The cookies do spread out a lot and seriously taste like fluffy muffin tops. Thank you so much for the recipe! I'm definitely going to follow your blog and try many more recipes from it! These will be on my blog very soon as well(:

  31. Darcy

    Just made these. FANTASTIC. I used butter instead of shortening, and spooned each cookie out so they were about a tablespoon. We didn't make the frosting since we didn't have heavy cream on hand, but they delicious plain. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Chris

    Is there a way to make them a little less soft? Mine are very cake like and a bit on the sticky side. Hard to store all together in a container. Will the frosting get hard or will that be soft too? I have to make that yet. I presume the cookies are so soft because of the applesauce. Never baked with that before. Wondering if anyone altered the recipe a bit somewhere and got them to be a little harder.

  33. Betty Ann

    I made these last week and was very disappointed.
    The cookies turned out soft and puffy.
    Perhaps the recipe calls for too much baking Powder or Soda?
    This was a lot of work and a lot of product.
    Please help!!

  34. Emma

    Do you think these cookies would freeze well?

  35. sara

    These look fantastic. This reminds me of my grandma's applesauce cake, but in cookie form. Love!

  36. Tamra

    I just made these for a cookie exchange this week and have taste tested quite a few. Made about 80 cookies (wasn't expecting that many so some will be going to work). I found the perfect way to frost the cookies... Went and got a 99 cent squeeze bottle from the store (like a ketchup or mustard except mine was clear), used a funnel and poured the frosting in the bottle. Put cookies on wax paper and squeezed away!!!! Thanks for the awesome recipe. I bake once a year at Christmas but just have to make these again soon.

  37. Leah

    my cookies ended up in the consistency of cake.. i wonder what went wrong.

  38. Maria

    These cookies are amazing! All though they are more of a cake consistency than cookie, they are delicious, had them for breakfast today! I did make a few adjustments, for anybody wondering, you don't have to use the shortening, I do not use shortening, just the thought of buying it makes my arteries clog, let alone eating it. I substituted with coconut oil, I use it for it's health benefits, they turned out just fine, I also doubled the cinnamon since I love cinnamon! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  39. Micheal

    These were fantastic!! I used an AirBake cookie sheet so mine needed 12 mins before they were done. I also used a candy thermometer and brought the temp of the caramel to 248 which is the 'soft ball" stage of sugar. The first time I baked these, I spread the frosting with a knife, but many people said there was too much frosting, so this time I used a piping bag with a small tip and just piped the frosting on which seemed to work better because I could more easily control the amount of frosting and they were much more visually pleasing as well. I will make these again hopefully so because the last batch was gone before I could enjoy them.

  40. Sonya

    I'm going to try these....mmm they look delicious!!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. L.B.

      I saw these on pinterest this morning and made them tonight. AMAZING. so soft and tasty. That frosting is so good. Thinking I will try it on chocolate cupcakes soon.

  41. Lisa

    Is the shortening, like Crisco, or is it butter. I get so confused sometimes. Thanks

  42. Sonya

    These cookies with their frosting are delicious!!! I just made them today, after bookmarking this recipe forever-ago, and loved them. They remind me of two similar recipes I had; Spiced Pumpkin and Walnut Cookies (The Mixer Bible) and Frosted Ginger-Apple Cookies (King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking), if you're looking for more variations. They were different enough to be worth making all three again. This cookie base tastes like a spice cake to me; the other two are obviously pumpkin and apple flavored, respectively. Love, love love these!!!

    I posted about them on my blog, sending readers back to you for the recipe :) Here's a link to my post if you're interested:

    Thank-you for a GREAT recipe!

  43. Linda Vermett

    Have to try these cookies they sound wonderful .

  44. Rebecca Parker

    I made these today and followed the recipe exactly and they were really runny. I added more and more flour. Finally gave up and just baked them in a bar......Not sure what happened.

  45. Jill Smith

    Hello, is that light brown sugar or dark brown sugar for the caramel frosting it just has brown sugar!

    1. Chef in Training

      I use light brown sugar

  46. Wilma A.


    These are the easiest and most tasty recipes I have found in a long time. Majority of ingredients are on hand already. I have tried mostly the "sweets" but others sound appetizing also.

  47. Linda

    These look fabulous! The only thing I was wondering is that the recipe doesn't indicate if the applesauce is sweetened or unsweetened?

  48. Donna Karp

    Can these be frozen? With frosting?

  49. Melissa Brown

    can you sub butter for shortening?

  50. Judy Hayes

    Can you freeze these cookies?

  51. Christine


    I've made these a few times and they are soooo good!!!

  52. Amanda


    I have had this recipe pinned for awhile and finally got around to making these last night. They are so delicious! Big, soft, and puffy. I really like the frosting as well. Will be making these again!

  53. Koni Greatwood

    How much butter do I add to the cookies? It doesn't mention butter in the ingredients.

  54. Jim

    couple of questions:

    1. Butter, salted or unsalted?

    2. cloves, whole or ground?

    3. shortening, i am assuming Crisco?

  55. Kirstyn Rodriguez

    How many cookies does one batch make?


  56. Lisa


    I found this recipe in 2012 on Pinterest, and they have been a family favourite ever since. Thanks so much for sharing.

  57. A birthday cake

    Your grandmother seemed to knew her way around the kitchen pretty well! Love the recipe! Thanks, Kate <3

  58. Nancy Jackson

    I will be making these tomorrow for a cookie exchange. I can't wait to taste them! I do not see how many this recipe makes, did I miss it?

  59. Kris

    These are the best applesauce cookies I have ever made! In the fall, I make a lot of home made apple sauce and at least 3 batches of these cookies. They are great with cream cheese frosting too.

  60. Katie


    Cookies are pretty amazing in flavor without frosting. Made 52 cookies the size of my palm. I suggest putting cookies that are waiting to bake in freezer so they don't spread. With frosting they were a bit too sweet for me. Next time if I frost them I will cut the sugar to 1 1/3 cups for dough. I sprinkled just a smidge of sea salt on frosted cookies. So glad you shared!

  61. jacqueline greenwood

    please update to state (roughly) how many cookies each batch yields....

  62. Sharon

    Can these be frozen ( for about 2 weeks) once they are frosted..?

  63. Billie


    Applesauce cookies with caramel icing...flat out delicious. Everyone that indulged in the batch that I baked said, "best darn cookies...ever." Wow! I will use the caramel icing from now is the one!

  64. Susan

    Can butter be used instead of shortening?

  65. Sue


    I've been looking for this recipe for years, my mother used to make them in the 1970s
    Thank you!!

  66. Karin B


    We really enjoyed these! We'd probably call these small cakes because of their light texture, but they are very tasty.
    I was reading the recipe again, but an advertisement is always covering up the top of the recipe. What is the ingredient above 2 cups of sugar please?

  67. Katrina Hodges


    This recipe is amazing. The cookies turned out moist and fluffy. And the caramel frosting is the perfect topping for this delicious cookie. I got 67 cookies from this recipe and the frosting was just enough to frost them all. Perfectly perfect cookie recipe. I can't wait to pass them out to family and friends! Thank you!