Soft Apple Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

stack of apple butterscotch oatmeal cookies

Soft oatmeal cookies studded with chunks of tart apple and sweet butterscotch chips are the perfect fall treat!

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stack of apple butterscotch oatmeal cookies

These cookies have a serious fall vibe. The whole wheat flour and old fashioned oats gives them a hearty flavor that makes you feel like you’re almost eating something good for you. The little bits of fresh apple add in a pop of tartness while the butterscotch gives it some extra sweetness.

Let’s talk ingredients and substitutions:

  • Brown sugar and maple syrup: we use brown sugar to add moisture and the maple syrup adds complexity and sweetness.  Because it’s technically “sweeter” than sugar, we don’t need to use too much maple syrup to pack a delicious maple punch.  Just be sure you use pure maple syrup and not that fake stuff you put on your pancakes as a kid. If you don’t have any pure maple syrup, you can use an additional 2/3 cup brown sugar instead.
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg: warming spices that just scream autumn! If you don’t have cinnamon and nutmeg, you can use 2 teaspoon apple pie spice OR 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice instead.
  • Whole wheat flour: whole wheat flour uses all the parts of the wheat to create a hearty flavor that combines nicely with the cinnamon and nutmeg. If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can use all-purpose flour instead.
  • Oatmeal: you can use either old fashioned oats or quick oats.  I used old fashioned oats for this recipe. If you don’t have old fashioned oats, you can use quick oats instead BUT quick oat will absorb more of the water from the apples so your cookies may have a thicker, cakier texture.
  • Apples: dice ’em up small.  You want little pockets of apple awesome.  The apples will lend a little bit of tartness to the cookie. If you don’t have fresh apples, you can use dried apples, about a cup.
  • Butterscotch chips: little pockets of carmel-y sweetness. If you don’t have butterscotch chips, you can use caramel chips.
apple butterscotch cookie top view

What kind of apples should I use?

I used one large Granny Smith apple in these cookies. I like the pop of tartness that a Granny Smith provides plus they hold up well to baking. Other apples that are also good choices for your cookies (or any apple baking project) are: Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Crispin, Winesap, and Pink Lady.

How is butterscotch different than caramel?

Butterscotch is typically made from butter and brown sugar. It is traditionally a hard candy (think Grandma’s purse during church) but is excellent as a flavor for pudding and even better as baking chips.

Butterscotch differs from caramel because it uses brown sugar rather white sugar. The brown sugar adds notes of complexity because of the molasses added back in after refining. Caramel also typically contains milk or cream, where butterscotch does not.

The butter part of the name is pretty clear, but it seems to be a little fuzzy where the scotch part comes from. Some people contend that butterscotch comes from Scotland (hence the scotch) where others think it’s because the candy is cooked at such a high temperature the sugar is “scorched”

Either way, makes for a tasty tasty treat.

Apple butterscotch cookie pan

Soft Apple Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

Soft oatmeal cookies studded with chunks of tart apple and sweet butterscotch chips are the perfect fall treat!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 dozen


  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 10 ounce package butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup peeled, diced apple about 1 large apple or 2 small apples


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or grease the cookie sheets).
  • In a large micrwave safe bowl, melt 1 cup of butter in the microwave.
  • Add in 1 cup brown sugar and the maple syrup. Stir to combine.
  • Add in the 2 eggs and stir to combine.
  • Add in the vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir to combine.
  • Add in the whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir to combine.
  • Add in the old fashioned oats and stir to combine.
  • Fold in the butterscotch chips and diced apples.
  • Take tablespoons of the dough and plop onto your greased or parchment lined cookie sheets leaving 3 fingers of space between each ball of dough.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies start to brown and the tops are no longer shiny.
  • Allow to cool and enjoy!

If you’re looking for more apple flavored treats, you might want to try these apple hand pies or this easy apple tart.

If you’re looking for more “fall” flavored cookies, try these pumpkin spice latte cookies or these caramel apple cookies!

Did you make this recipe? Tag me @bakincareofbusiness on Instagram so I can see what you made!

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Happy Baking!



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