Gluten Free Caramel Apple Oatmeal Skillet Cookie

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This mini gluten free caramel apple oatmeal skillet cookie is a fun way to serve a delicious fall inspired gluten free cookie in a 6-inch cast iron skillet!  Oat flour, almond flour, and rolled oats make the cookie gluten free.  And tender cooked Honeycrisp apples swimming in maple syrup caramel make the cookie irresistible!  Top with your favorite ice cream or whipped cream for a wonderful seasonal dessert.

Gluten Free caramel apple Oatmeal Skillet Cookie

Aren’t cookies served in a mini cast iron skillet the cutest?!  Sure, a good old fashioned drop oatmeal cookie like the pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookie is great.  But, talk about a fun way to serve and eat dessert. 

However, this caramel apple oatmeal cookie isn’t my first adventure into baking in a skillet.  I first got the clever idea with my mini cherry skillet cake, and the skillet got even cuter (and smaller!) with the mini dutch baby recipe.

The gluten free oatmeal cookie seemed only fitting to be the next adventure in skillet dessert baking.  The cookie is super soft and chewy on the inside, yet it has a wonderful caramelized exterior that make it spoon-worthy.

To start, making the cookie gluten free isn’t difficult when the base of the cookie already starts with rolled oats.  Plus, a couple extra gluten free flours to give the cookie structure:

  • Oat Flour – The oat flour is simply rolled oats ground to flour, and it will make the cookie light and soft.  You can make your own or purchase it already in flour form.  
  • Almond Flour – Almond flour provides moisture and flavor, and the protein aids in the structure of the cookie.  Almond flour tends to be a major ingredient in all of my gluten free baking recipes.

Is Oat Flour Gluten Free?

Yes, it is.  And for that matter, rolled oats (or oats of any kind) are naturally gluten free.  Where it can be confusing is not all oats have a gluten free label.  That is because they could have been cross-contaminated with gluten products during processing.

I like to play it safe and avoid any cross-contamination possibility and look for products that carry a gluten free label.  I have provided (affiliate) links to the flour and oats I use in the recipe card!

Close up of a bite of apple oatmeal cookie skillet on a spoon.

Mini Skillet Cookie

Is a cookie made in a skillet still a cookie?  Sure it is.  And after this oatmeal cookie, I may try baking gluten free brownies or the gluten free double chocolate chip cookies in the mini skillet!

All that aside, the skillet cookie is pretty popular and you may have also seen it called a Pizookie.  From what I can figure out, the pizookie came about as a way to serve dessert in a deep dish pizza pan.  Or in our case, a mini cast iron skillet.

Regardless, the ingredients in this gluten free oatmeal cookie don’t differ from how I would make drop cookies.  But, most importantly, I love the fact that we bake the cookie safely in a dish.  Which means we don’t have to worry about the dreaded cookie spread!

Can I Wash The Cast Iron Skillet?

If you are asking this, chances are your have heard about not washing cast iron.  And I agree (wholeheartedly) with that.  A lot of times the cast iron will already come seasoned – which means it has been oiled to make the pan easy release and easier to wipe clean.

If we wash it like we normally would a cake pan (soap, scrub, soak, etc.), chances are that seasoning will be affected.  Plus, we don’t want the cast iron to rust!  

I recommend a few things to take care of clean your cast iron – and yes, I think it is still important to do these things even if we use the pan for baking!

  1. Clean the skillet – I like to sprinkle a little sugar or salt (more often sugar since I bake with it) into the skillet, then wipe it around with a paper towel to scrub off stuck-on food.  It’s kind of like exfoliating your skillet!
  2. Rinse the skillet – Rinse the skillet clean with warm water like you normally would.
  3. Dry the skillet over the stoveDo not let the skillet air dry – it will rust!  Instead, dry the skillet on the stove over medium-low heat.  This will evaporate any water.

Maple Syrup Caramel Apples

The caramel apples are truly what make this gluten free oatmeal cookie divine.  Not only do they add tremendous flavor, but they give the cookie texture and a little bump of sweetness.

For the apples

I like to use Honeycrisp apples for baking.  They are the apples I use in most of my apple recipes, including the caramel corn apple galette, gluten free apple spice cupcakes, and the popular apple biscoff crisp.

What I love about Honeycrisp apples is they combine the perfect balance of sweet and tart.  And as the name implies, they are crisp which lends to a nice bite in your dessert!  Plus, they are readily available for all of your fall baking!

For the caramel

We use my beloved maple syrup for the caramel to the apples.  Not dissimilar to my maple syrup caramel sauce recipe.  The only difference is that I go all in and use butter for this skillet cookie.  I love the richness of the butter, and it plays a complementary role to the fresh apples.

The result – a silky and creamy caramel sauce spiked with fresh apple juices and fork tender apples that keep their bite even when baked!

Everything You Need To Make The Mini caramel apple Skillet Cookie

Ingredients

  • Apple – 1 medium size Honeycrisp apple.  Or any apple you like to bake with!
  • Pure Maple Syrup – Be sure it is pure maple syrup and not pancake syrup.
  • Unsalted Butter – The butter makes the caramel apples rich and creamy.
  • Ground Cinnamon – We use cinnamon in both the apples mix an cookie mix.
  • Vanilla Extract – A little extra layer of flavor.
  • Oat Flour – You can purchase oat flour or make your own using rolled oats!
  • Almond Flour – I like to use blanched almond flour because it is without the almond skins and it is ground finer.
  • Rolled Oats – Rolled oats are my preference for their size and texture.
  • Organic Cane Sugar – I like to use cane sugar because it is not as refined as regular white sugar.
  • Baking Soda – The baking soda will give the cookie texture and a little lift.
  • Salt – Salt is key for balancing and highlighting flavors!
  • Egg Yolk – Only 1 egg yolk to help with binding, but also add a richness to the cookie.

Baking Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl – That’s right, just one mixing bowl!
  • 6-Inch Cast Iron Skillet – Linked in the recipe if you need it.
  • Small Baking Sheet – Because the skillet is small, I like to use the baking sheet to make getting into and out of the oven easier.  This is totally optional.
Freshly baked caramel apple oatmeal skillet cookie in a cast iron skillet on a wood tray.

Tips For Success When Making The caramel apple oatmeal cookie

  • Use an apple you like to bake with – Just because I like Honeycrisp apples, doesn’t mean you do!  My only recommendation is to choose an apple that is a little more firm, so you don’t end up with applesauce!
  • Peel the apple, if you wish – I did not peel my apple because I like the extra texture.  You certainly can peel yours.
  • Chop the apple into small cubes – This is a small batch cookie recipe, therefore we don’t want huge chunks of apples!  I recommend 1/4 inch cubes (or so).
  • Don’t overcook the caramel apples – If you leave the caramel apples on the stove too long, eventually the apples will cook too soft and the caramel will lose its sauce consistency.
  • Stir the dry ingredients together first – I like to recommend this because it ensures even distribution and mixing of all the ingredients!
  • Lightly grease the cast iron – Since we aren’t taking the cookie out of the skillet to enjoy it, we don’t need to go overboard on the greasing!
  • Don’t fret about the cookie dough – You will ask yourself is there enough liquid in this dough?  And the answer is yes.  Once you add the caramel apples with all their sauce, that will moisten the dough perfectly!
  • Let the cookie cool completely – Or nearly completely!  I find gluten free bakes taste better when cooled.  
Close up of bites of caramel apple gluten free oatmeal cookie in a cast iron skillet.
Can this recipe be doubled?

While I have not tested it, I think doubling the recipe would work, and you could probably use an 8-inch cast iron pan.

Will other flours work?

I think the combination of oat flour and almond flour is what makes this cookie so soft, chewy, and flavorful. You can certainly try other flours, I just can’t guarantee the same result!

What about the sugar(s) – can I swap those with something else?

For the cookie, you can try regular granulated sugar. Same with the caramel. But again, I can’t say how it will turn out.

I don’t have a mini cast iron skillet. Can I use a different pan?

You can, but then it wouldn’t be a skillet cookie! You could try a small casserole dish or even a 6-inch cake pan if you like.

Can I just bake these into cookies?

You certainly can! I would use a medium size cookie scoop and they probably only need to be baked about 10 to 12 minutes. But you will want to keep an eye on the bake time.

How do I store any leftovers? Do I need to take the cookie out of the skillet?

Any leftover cookie can stay in the skillet. Just cover with foil or plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.

Caramel apple oatmeal cookie skillet with scoops of vanilla ice cream on a table.

Gluten Free Caramel Apple Oatmeal Skillet Cookie

Yield: 2 Servings
This mini gluten free caramel apple oatmeal skillet cookie is a fun way to serve a delicious fall inspired gluten free cookie in a 6-inch cast iron skillet!  Oat flour, almond flour, and rolled oats make the cookie gluten free.  And tender cooked Honeycrisp apples swimming in maple syrup caramel make the cookie irresistible!  Top with your favorite ice cream or whipped cream for a wonderful seasonal dessert.
Prep15 mins
Cook25 mins
Total40 mins

Ingredients

Caramel Apples

  • 1/2 cup apples, chopped - about 1 medium apple; I used a Honeycrisp apple
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup - or any sweetener of choice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glute Free Oatmeal Skillet Cookie

Instructions

Caramel Apples

  • Chop the apple into small cubes (about 1/4 inch). Peeling the apples is optional.
  • In a small skillet, add the maple syrup and butter. Heat the syrup over medium heat until the butter melts and the syrup starts to bubble and thicken. About 3 minutes.
  • Add the apple cubes and cinnamon. Cook the apples over medium heat until the juices are released and cooked out, and the syrup turns back into a caramel. About 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract at the end. Note – Once the apples are added to the caramel, the juices from the apples will thin it out. You want to cook the apples until the caramel turns back into caramel.
  • Transfer the caramel apples to a small bowl or dish, and let cool at room temperature while you prepare the skillet cookie.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Skillet Cookie

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Lightly grease a 6-inch cast iron skillet.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oat flour, almond flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Note – I use a fork to stir since all the ingredients are going into one bowl.
  • Add the egg yolk to the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Add the cooled caramel apples – along with all the caramel sauce! – and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened and a cookie dough forms. Note – It will seem like there isn't enough wet ingredients to make a dough. Rest assured, the caramel apples will moisten the dry ingredients sufficiently!
  • Spoon the cookie dough into the prepared skillet. Press the cookie dough evenly into the skillet, all the way to the edges. Set the skillet on the small baking sheet to make getting the cookie in and out of the oven easier. Bake the cookies for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the top and edges are golden brown. Note – For a chewier cookie, check it at 23 minutes. For a crispier cookie, bake for 26 minutes and check it.
  • Cool the cookie completely in the skillet set on a wire cooling rack. Top with your favorite ice cream or whipped cream and Enjoy!
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Notes

  • Serving Size – This is a mini skillet cookie that will yield enough for 2 to 4 people – depending on your serving size.
  • Mini Cast Iron Skillet – The skillet I use and have linked in the recipe actually measures about 6.5 inches.
  • Gluten Free Oat Flour – Oat flour is naturally gluten free, though it can be subject to cross-contamination in processing.  Look for gluten free labeled flour.
  • Make Your Own Oat Flour – You can make your own oat flour by grinding rolled oats into flour in a blender or food processor.
  • Ingredient Substitutions – I have only tested the recipe as written.  You can swap the maple syrup for regular granulated sugar in the caramel apples.  Or, swap the cane sugar for regular granulated sugar in the cookie.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

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