Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal Cookies

4.94 from 61 votes

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These apple cinnamon instant oatmeal cookies are bursting with fall flavors! They have chewy middles, crisp edges, and plenty of oats. Ready-to-eat in 30 minutes!

a plate of oatmeal cookies with M&M's


 

Why you’ll love this recipe:

My husband loves anything with oats, from crisps and crumbles to cookies, muffins, and oatmeal. So when he brought home a ginormous box of instant oatmeal packets, I did what any avid baker would do, I transformed them into apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies!

  • Perfectly dense, soft, buttery, and chewy
  • Bursting with apple cinnamon flavor
  • A great way to use leftover instant oatmeal packets
  • Easy to customize!

Apple oatmeal cookies are comforting, perfectly spiced, and make the entire house smell like autumn. Add crunchy walnuts, sweet dried cranberries, or whatever mix-ins you like the best!

Key Ingredient Notes:

ingredients for apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies
  • Unsalted butter – Butter lends a rich flavor and tender texture to cookies. I buy unsalted butter so I can control the quality and amount of salt I add. If you only have salted butter, don’t sweat it. Just omit the salt from this recipe.
  • Brown sugar – Brown sugar has a caramel-like sweetness that’s ideal for instant oatmeal cookies.
  • Apple cinnamon instant oatmeal – These packets already contain sugar, cinnamon, and dried apples to flavor the cookies. Don’t substitute with old fashioned oats! They don’t absorb the same amount of moisture as instant oats so the ratio of wet to dry ingredients won’t be right. And you’ll miss out on flavor.
  • All-purpose flour – For the perfect amount of spread.
  • Baking soda – Baking soda reacts with the brown sugar to create carbon dioxide bubbles and cause the dough to rise in the oven. Without it, the cookies would be too dense!
  • Mix-in’s – Try chopped walnuts, pecans, white chocolate chips, cashews, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, diced apples, or M&M’s.

How to make this recipe:

Cinnamon apple oatmeal cookies are a breeze to make! Here’s how to do it:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and mix for a minute or so. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the instant oatmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just incorporated.
  • If you’re adding mix-ins, stir them in now.
cookie dough with M&M's in it

2. Scoop the cookies:

  • Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop the cookie dough into 1-inch balls.
  • Place 8 cookies onto the sheet pan evenly spread apart.
  • And flatten the cookies slightly.
oatmeal cookie dough balls on a sheet pan

3. Bake the cookies:

  • Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, or until the edges are set, one sheet pan at a time. The cookies should look underbaked in the centers, but they will set up as they cool.
  • Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for at least 5 minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack.
  • Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
oatmeal cookies on a sheet pan

Tips for Success:

  • Don’t overbake the oatmeal cookies! The edges should be set and golden, but the centers should look slightly under. If the whole cookie looks done, it’s overbaked. Cookies set up as they cool.
  • Let the cookies cool at least 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Hot cookies fall apart!
  • Don’t swap old fashioned oats in this recipe. They don’t absorb the same amount of moisture as instant oats and the cookies won’t come out right.
  • Use a cookie scoop for uniform cookies. The cookies will all be the same size and shape, plus it’s less messy!
  • You can swap the apple cinnamon instant oatmeal with any flavor. Try cinnamon spice or maple brown sugar.
a stack of instant oatmeal cookies

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • I love to make cookies ahead of time! They freeze well unbaked or baked, which means you’re always less than 10 minutes away from a freshly baked cookie.
  • To freeze them unbaked: Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough into 1-inch balls on a half sheet pan or plate. Place the sheet pan into the freezer until the dough is frozen. Transfer the cookie dough balls to a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen as directed.
  • To freeze them baked: Wait until they cool to room temperature, then carefully place them into a ziplock bag and freeze. Don’t overpack the bag lest you smoosh the cookies. Thaw on the counter or microwave in 15-second increments until warmed through.

Storing Tips:

  • Let the oatmeal cookies cool before you store them. Transfer the cookies to an airtight container and store on the counter for up to 5 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze the cookies for up to 3 months, as directed above.
an oatmeal cookie with a bite out of it

FAQs:

How do you keep oatmeal cookies soft?

The best way to keep them soft is to not overbake them! Cookies are baked when the edges are golden, but the middles look underdone. The cookies set up as they cool. If the entire cookie is golden brown when it’s pulled from the oven, they will be crispy when they cool.

What kind of apples are best for cookies?

A firm, tart apple that holds its shape is a perfect match for cookies! Try Granny Smith, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady apples. Dice them small and stir into the cookie dough before baking.

Can instant oatmeal be used in baking?

Yes! It’s important not to use instant oatmeal in any recipe that calls for oats. Look for recipes that call specifically for instant oatmeal, like this one!

Can I use quick oats instead of rolled oats in cookies?

Quick oats make delicious cookies! That being said, quick oats are not a 1:1 substitution with old fashioned oats. Instant oats absorb more liquid than rolled oats. Look for a recipe that calls specifically for quick-cooking oats.

a plate of oatmeal cookies with M&M's
4.94 from 61 votes

Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal Cookies

These apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies are bursting with fall flavors! They have chewy middles, crisp edges, and plenty of oats. Ready-to-eat in 30 minutes!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 30 mini cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (115g) unsalted butter softened
  • 1/3 cup (65g) brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (40g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 packets apple & cinnamon instant oatmeal Note 1
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups add-ins like M&Ms, chocolate chips, nuts

Equipment

  • stand mixer with the paddle attachment or electric hand mixer
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • sheet pan
  • medium cookie scoop

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, place the butter and both sugars. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add egg and vanilla extract and mix another minute or so.
  • Add instant oatmeal, flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Stir in the add-ins of your choice. I used 1 cup of M&Ms and ½ cup of chopped pecans here.
  • Using a medium cookie scoop (about 1 tablespoon of dough), shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place 8 cookies per baking sheet. Flatten the cookies slightly.
  • Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, or until the edges are set, one sheet at a time. The cookies will look a bit under-baked, but they’ll set nicely once cooled.
  • Cool the cookies on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.

Tips & Notes

These cookies are on a smaller size, about 2-inch circles.
Note 1a: 1 packet contains 43g of oatmeal, so total you’ll need 215g of instant oatmeal for this recipe. Do not substitute with rolled oats.
Note 1b: You can definitely use different flavored instant oatmeal packets!
Storing Tips:
– Let the oatmeal cookies cool before you store them. Transfer the cookies to an airtight container and store on the counter for up to 5 days.
– For longer storage, freeze the cookies for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 112kcal
Carbohydrates: 14g
Protein: 1g
Fat: 6g
Sugar: 10g
Sodium: 48mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

4.94 from 61 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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123 Comments

    1. 5 stars
      How fun! I would have never thought of making Oatmeal Cookies with oatmeal packets. They turned out great and the Apple Cinnamon added a unique sweet twist.

  1. 5 stars
    DELICIOUS! I have always had so many leftover oatmeal packets so I’m very happy to have found this recipe! I used bananas and cream oatmeal, a big dash of cinnamon, extra vanilla (as always), walnuts, raisins and chocolate chips! I used a 1 1/2 tbsp cookie scoop and baked a little longer, 11 minutes. It made 28 cookies. I can’t wait to try other varieties! I may buy a box of plain oatmeal just to play around with other add-in’s 😋

    1. Hi, Stacie! So happy you tried and loved these cookies!!! Thank you so much for your feedback!!! I love your plan to experiment with different flavors!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing!! So easy, especially for a non-baker. I too had a husband with excess instant oatmeal packets he no longer wanted. This recipe is so great and easy I made one batch with choc. chips, butterscotch chips and pecans. The next batch I used peanut butter chips and pecans. The recipe is so versatile. Thank you so much for posting it.

    1. Yay, so happy you got to try this recipe, Zinny! And I’m so glad you loved it! Thanks for your feedback!

  3. 5 stars
    Omg!!! I’m so happy I followed your recipe!! I’m keeping this one for sure. My cookies turned out perfect!! Yummy crunch and soft chewy inside. Not overly sweet… so good. I added chocolate chips. 🥰🙌 Thank you for an amazing recipe and easy one at that!

  4. 5 stars
    Hi Shinee,
    Made an Eggless version of your recipe with a few additions. It worked out great! They were the best cookies I made! Our neighbor’s kids are competing with each other to eat them! Thank you!

    Used plain instant oats, Added Applesauce (wanted to use it up), cinnamon, couple spoons of cream cheese and 2 Tbsp of Flax seed powder into the flour.

  5. 5 stars
    Yumm! I substituted 4 packets of raisin date walnut and 1 cinnamon spice, we didn’t have vanilla extract so I substituted woodford reserve bourbon added additional walnuts and some chocolate❤️ The dough is delicious, you are warned 🙃

  6. 5 stars
    The best oatmeal cookie ever, plus it uses up those pesky leftover instant oatmeal packets. Easy to make, and a lovely flavor. I have to admit an error though. I accidentally used almond extract vs. vanilla. Because I did so, I used my cinnamon spice packets, and as I said before, best oatmeal cookies ever! A true win-win.