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Boxed cereal was my everything as a kid. I have vivid memories of excitedly ripping open those colorful packages first thing Saturday morning to fuel my nonstop cartoon watching.
Even now as an adult, just seeing a box of Apple Jacks or Fruit Loops transports me right back to lazy weekends parked in front of the TV with my big bowl of sugary goodness.
While we don’t always keep cereal stocked in my house these days, I will sometimes get a craving for those sweet, fruity flavors from childhood.
Rather than pour myself a bowl, I decided to transform my favorite cereal into a tray of irresistible cookies packed with apple and cinnamon flavor. These Apple Jacks cookies are dotted with real dried apple chips too for even more fresh fruit appeal.
One bite transports you right back to Saturday morning cartoons! The soft cakey cereal cookie studded with crispy apple chips and a hint of white chocolate is an absolute nostalgic dream.
Why You’ll Love Apple Jacks Cereal Cookies
- It’s a nostalgic treat! From the sweet cereal flavor to the fun rainbow flecks, these cookies will make you feel like a kid again.
- They’re SO easy to make. With pantry staple ingredients and just one bowl required, even novice bakers can whip up a batch.
- Extremely customizable. Swap out Apple Jacks for your favorite fruit flavored cereal like Froot Loops or Fruity Pebbles.
- The texture contrasts are amazing. Soft and cakey cookies meet crispy bursts of cereal and real dried apple chips.
- White chocolate chips optional. White chocolate pairs perfectly with the apple and cinnamon flavors but you could skip if you want to leave them out.
- Slightly crush the cereal and apple chips rather than leaving them whole for better distribution of flavors and textures in each cookie bite.
- Skip mixing in any additional spices like cinnamon or nutmeg since the cereal already provides plenty of warmth.
- Take care not to overmix the dough for the softest, cakey cookies. The cereal keeps them tender already so no need to develop much gluten.
- Check cookies at least a minute before the minimum bake time since all ovens vary. You want soft, cake-like cookies rather than crispy ones.
- Swapping out butter for shortening gives an even richer, chewier cookie if that’s your preference. Use melted coconut oil to make gluten and dairy free.
The Main Ingredients
Apple Jacks Cereal
Obviously Apple Jacks provides the big apple cinnamon flavor that makes these cookies shine. Crushing the cereal slightly helps distribute the flavor in every bite rather than just getting whole plain pieces of cookie.
Real Dried Apple Chips
In addition to the apple flavor in the cereal itself, real diced dried apple chips provide little bursts of fresh apple taste and precious texture contrast with every bite.
Granulated & Brown Sugar
A combination of white and brown sugar not only makes these cereal cookies ultra sweet and nostalgic tasting but also provides wonderful chewy texture thanks to the molasses in the brown sugar.
How to Make Apple Jacks Cereal Cookies
Grab pantry staples like flour, baking powder, butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, cereal and apple chips along with optional mix-ins.
Cream Wet Ingredients
In a large bowl, beat softened butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Then beat in egg and vanilla.
Mix in Dry Ingredients
Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Then gradually mix into wet ingredients just until combined.
Fold in Mix-Ins
Gently fold in slightly crushed Apple Jacks, dried apple chips and any other mix-ins you desire like white chocolate chips.
Scoop & Bake
Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to scoop mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
Cool & Enjoy!
Allow cookies to cool slightly on pan before moving to wire rack to finish cooling. Then devour these sweet cereal treats!
What to Serve with Apple Jacks Cookies
- Ice cold milk – Obvious but essential pairing for dunking like you would cereal!
- Apple cider – Warm spiced apple cider would complement the flavors perfectly.
- Hot chocolate – Rich chocolate and sweet fruity cookies are a delightful dessert combo.
- Coffee or espresso – For the adults who want a caffeine kick with their cereal cookie treat!
Possible Mix-In Ideas
- Granola – For some extra crunch
- Toffee bits – For buttery richness
- Maple syrup – For an autumnal twist
- Cranberries – For tart contrast
- Pecans – Toasted for crunch
- Marshmallows – For an extra sweet treat
What kind of apples work best for the apple chips?
Any variety works but for the best flavor and texture, I recommend Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp or Granny Smith. Avoid soft varieties like Red Delicious or McIntosh.
How long do the cookies stay fresh?
Properly stored in an airtight container, the cookies will stay fresh for up to 1 week at room temperature or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Can I use homemade apple chips?
Absolutely! If you have homemade dehydrated apple chips, feel free to use those. Just chop them up a bit smaller to disperse throughout the cookies.
What other cereals work well?
While Apple Jacks is my favorite, Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Trix or any fruit flavored cereal works great. Avoid plain cereals like Corn Flakes though unless you want to add spices and fruit.
Apple Jacks Cereal Cookies
- Electric mixer
- Large bowl
- Cookie sheets
- Parchment paper
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Mixing spoon
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour for a tender crumb
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt to balance sweetness
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (for richness)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar for sweetness
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed (for depth of flavor)
- 1 large egg as a binder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for flavor
- 1 1/2 cups Apple Jacks cereal (or cereal of your choice), slightly crushed
- 1/2 cup apple chips crushed (for a burst of apple flavor)
- Optional: 1/3 cup white chocolate chips for a creamy contrast
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
- In another bowl, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Gradually mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Fold in the slightly crushed Apple Jacks cereal, crushed apple chips, and white chocolate chips (if using).
- Scoop dough using a cookie scoop or spoon onto prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. They will be soft but will firm up as they cool.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.