Made with real apple pie filling, this Apple Pie Spritz Cookie recipe is perfect for a 4th of July cookout or picnic! I made this recipe up last fall and blogged it with a big assortment of fall shapes. When pondering what to make for the 4th I thought oh my gosh what’s more American than apple pie? It presses easily and the decorating is simple. Dyed dough, a little edible pearl dust, some white icing, and star sprinkles. Easy!

I asked the family for ideas for this post and my kids said I had to include their 4th of July favorites- sweet corn and watermelon. So I got to play with 3 of our new disk sets – and realize that the citrus slice in Fruits also doubles as a watermelon slice! I used all but the star in the Patriotic disk set, the corn from the Veggies disk set, citrus slice from the Fruits disk set, and also a second eagle from our new Birds disk set!

This pretty plateful of cookies looks deceptively complicated. It was SO easy. I used all of my favorite cookie decorating techniques: coloring the dough, adding icing accents, adding sugar decors, and painting with pearl dust. But I did so little of each it was a breeze. Coloring dough is a few minutes of kneading dough (It’s kinda therapeutic!) Decors and icing are quick and painting a few simple segments on the fireworks, watermelon, corn, and blue corner on the flag literally took a few seconds on each cookie. No artistic talent required. Result? Gorgeous!

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Let’s bake the Apple Pie Spritz Cookies!

1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature (not melted) (I recommend Land O Lakes brand as I know it creams well. I have had trouble with some generic butters not creaming properly and making the dough hard to press)

2/3 cup granulated (white) sugar

½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/3 cup canned apple pie filling, pureed (FYI you might be able to substitute applesauce but I have NOT tried it! The pureed Apple pie filling has a more gelatinous, creamy feel than applesauce.)

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon LorAnn Apple Flavor super concentrate

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Gather your ingredients

Preheat your oven to 400°F

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.

Puree your apple pie filling with any kind of food processor and set it aside. I used my little magic bullet. Blend it till its smooth and creamy. It has a different texture than applesauce! It’s more gelatinous and sweeter. I also added just a 1/4 teaspoon of LorAnn apple flavor just to make sure the apple really stood out in this recipe and wasn’t too bland. I used Lucky Leaf apple pie filling. I mixed the flavor right into the puree.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter very well. I am admittedly rather repetitive about this, but it’s the thing I stress the most about making spritz cookies. Set that mixer on the highest setting and pretend you’re making frosting.

Now add the sugars and whip it well until you have a fluffy mixture. Next add the pureed apple pie filling/apple flavor and cream again. Add the vanilla and egg and do it one more time! It’s a beautiful dough at this stage and the apple scent is delightful. The apple adds an interesting texture.

Slowly add the flour mixture on low speed. Mix until the flour is completely incorporated and you have a consistent texture and a slightly stiff dough. This dough does well if you let it sit for about 10 minutes before putting it In the press. It becomes drier, stiffer, and easier to press as it sits. If it doesn’t set quite stiff enough, remember you can troubleshoot any dough by adding flour a tablespoon at a time to overly soft dough, or adding vanilla a teaspoon at a time to overly stiff dough.

Spritz dough has a beautiful breakable texture. It is malleable in your hands but it breaks nicely as you press it. If you’re new to this watch any of my videos to see how it should look and feel. 

Tint your dough whatever colors you like, using gel food coloring (liquid changes the consistency too much!).

 I use toothpicks to add the color to my dough and knead it by hand. Remember to start with just a little color – you can always add more, but you can’t take it out! TIP: keep this dough from getting too warm. Chill it in the fridge for 10 or 15 minutes if it gets too soft. Just make sure to knead it so the temperature is even or your cookies will press lopsided. When you hand-knead the color in the dough gets warm, so don’t be surprised if you need to chill it for it to press well and for them not to spread and puff too much when baking.

When your dough is just right, pack it into your cookie press, using the back of a spoon to remove all air pockets as you go.

Spritz cookies have to stick to the pan as you press their shapes, so never grease cookie sheets and don’t use non-stick pans. 

Always remember that the first few cookies often come out wrong, as pressure needs to build up in the barrel. If you press out a few or even a row of goofy-shaped cookies, just toss them back in the bowl to be re-pressed. No biggie! Once you are achieving a good shape, try to press in a consistent rhythm.

Remember that with one-click-per-cookie presses, some shapes might take a bit less than a full click yet others might require you to squeeze a little more after the click. A cookie press is simply a dough pump. Just think of it as a way to extrude the dough, regardless of “clicks”. If you seem to get out of synch and it just isn’t working, try pressing a cookie into the air, just letting dough come out. It will re-establish proper pressure. Just wipe the dough away and put it back in the bowl to be re-pressed.

Only one shape needs a tweak. To make watermelon slices out of the segmented citrus slice, simply pinch the gaps together with your fingers and smooth it out with a damp fingertip or a knife. Shape them till they look good.

These cookies take about 9 minutes in my oven. I recommend setting the timer for 6 minutes and checking often to figure out what works with your oven. Remember, small cookies bake faster and large cookies take longer. Keep that in mind when pressing. Group like sizes together if you can to avoid burned or under-baked cookies. Do NOT overbake this recipe! Once they puff up, look dry and not shiny, and start to crackle a bit on top they are done. They get crunchy when you bake them longer. Honestly, we all preferred them just barely done. They were tender and light but became chewy once you started munching. Glorious texture!

Let them sit on the pan for just a few minutes and move them to a cooling rack. Keep your spatula flat to avoid breaking.

Decorating for this recipe is easy. Most of the work was done by coloring the dough! You only need to add a few accents. White icing makes stripes on the flag and stars on the banners and hats. I also traced the USA and #4 in icing to make them stand out more. I added green and white to the corn and watermelon with edible pearl dust, brushed on wet like paint with clear imitation vanilla as the liquid. You can also brush dry but for precise things like tiny stripes it’s easier wet. In the first photo below, the corn and watermelon are half done. You can see how the pearl dust is just like paint! The cookie edges, ridges, and outlines make it VERY easy to paint precisely and make these look amazing. It’s like a coloring book on a cookie. 🙂

Any clear alcohol makes dust into a “paint”. I use a small bowl or dish and pour liquid in there, and use a big brush to transfer a small amount at a time to my “palette” plate. Swish it in to the dust piles and voila, paint. I have other posts with more extensive tutorials on painting. It’s fast, fun, and ridiculously easy like a coloring book! Spring Spritz Cookies is great, or the Halloween Post with Video has painting if you need some more in-depth instruction.

NOTE: Always make sure you are using EDIBLE dusts! Some lustre/pearl/glitter dusts on the market are “non-toxic” but that does not mean they are edible. Plenty of brands have actual food ingredients and are marked “edible”. ONLY use those for safety’s sake!

In this photo the icing has been added, too. The stars are edible metallic silver stars. Search online they’re available at multiple sellers. Or use a different kind of star! There are many decors out there. Whatever you use, attach them with a dab of icing.

That’s it! Easy as, well, PIE!

Disk sets pictures below. 

A personal note. I want to acknowledge that the last few years have been tough for our country. I make this post in hope that someday we are a more united people. ❤

Happy 4th and Happy Baking everyone!


Disk Designer/Co-Owner at Impress! Bakeware, LLC

Our website with all of our 200+ disk shapes, press, and more about our Women/Family Owned company!

Our products are also available on Amazon:

We have an Etsy Shop! )

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The Patriotic Set:

The Birds Set:

The Veggies Set:

The Fruits Set: