No sugar, just spice and all things nice… Today we’re sharing our super simple apple cinnamon dog treat recipe. It’s super easy and smells great! You can easily use it as a base for adapting your own special treats with other seasonings or tinting, too. Plus, we’re having holiday fun making our homemade apple cinnamon dog treats using our cute new Christmas plunger cookie cutters.
Spiced Apple Dog Treats
We’ve been sharing some easy yummy dog treat doughs for plunger-style treats use peanut butter, but I wanted to include a plunger recipe in our holiday posting line up that was peanut-butter free for those of you who have nut-free homes or dogs with peanut butter sensitivities. These treats are made with a simple applesauce based dough with a festive sprinkling of holiday spices. Yum!
Plunger Cookies and Dog Treats
Shaping and stamping are some of my favourite ways to decorate homemade dog treats. Plungers combine both in an easy all-in-one cookie cutter and stamp. I used my new four-pieced Christmas plunger cookie cutter set making these treats, but there are all sorts of different shapes, sizes, and styles. Want to give plunger treats a try? Shop around and find a design (and price) that you like. Try specialist baking shops or large online retailers like AliExpress or Amazon. You can check out the plunger cookie cutters Amazon (affiliate link) for product examples and ideas. Beware, though! Plungers can be addictively fun! I already want more…
Apple Cinnamon Dog Treat Recipe
Easy Homemade Applesauce Dog Treats with (Optional) Cinnamon
Plunging or cutting shapes is optional. Any roll and cut dough can be used to make hand formed treats (ball and flatten), pressed into a pan and cut to size, formed as treat bars, and more. See our simple shortcuts for making baked dog treats for ideas.
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup room temperature low-sodium stock or other dog-friendly liquid
- Optional: Sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon
- Approximately 1 + 1/4 to 1 + 1/2 cups of brown rice flour, plus extra for rolling
Making the Treats:
- Preheat your oven to 180C (or local equivalent) and gather together your baking ingredients and materials.
- Combine egg, applesauce, liquid and any optional ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Incrementally add flour, mixing into a cohesive workable dough. The amount of flour required will vary depending on your individual ingredients (especially the applesauce) and any optional add-ins or substitutions. Missed the mark? No worries! You can add a little bit of extra liquid, a small amount of olive oil, or additional flour to adjust consistency if/as needed.
- Rest dough (optional but recommended).
- Roll, cut into desired shapes (see below), and place on a prepared baking pan.
- Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Cooking time will vary with shape/size, so keep an eye on the oven.
- Cool before serving and storage.
Making the Apple Cinnamon Dog Treats Using Plunger Cookie Cutters
To use plunger-style cutters instead of traditional cookie cutters, you need to ensure that you have a nice cohesive dough (see adjustment tips above) that will roll smoothly without cracking, take an impression cleanly, and release from the plunger without difficulty. Thickness of the rolled dough is key for plunger with stamps to create impression designs. Too thick and things get squishy and hard to release, too thin and the design may not stamp. I find it easiest to roll in smaller batches for a uniform thickness. You can double check the depth by pressing on the back of your lifted cookie (second image in the collage above) to ensure that there is no gap between the dough and the plunger.
When working with plungers and stamps, any rising/leavening ingredients in the dough are a risk to the design as they can puff during baking. There are lots of human cookie options without leaveners, but many dog treat doughs are either too sticky, too soft, or too textured to be good candidates for detailed plunger designs. I took a chance since there is egg in this dough, but it worked well for me with these treats and in other stamped treat recipes since. I also like to bake lightly and then dehydrate. No worries either way – the dogs don’t mind if their treats look less than perfect! See our post on decorating homemade baked biscuit (cookie) style dog treats for more tips and ideas.
Baked Biscuit Dog Treat Making Tips and Tricks
- See our posts on making baked biscuit (cookie) dog treats and decorating homemade dog treats for more information and helpful tips.
- We don’t include yield in our treat recipe posts because it is very dependent on what the maker decides for treat shape, size, and thickness when they’re baking. We like to bake small batch treats though (variety is the spice of life!).
- Baked treats can be broken for smaller dogs, or made bigger/smaller. Keep an eye on your time and temperature. The smaller the treat, the shorter the baking time.
- For a crunchier treat, you can let baked treats sit a while in the cooling oven before removing to get a little crispier or pop the baked treats into a dehydrator.
- Homemade baked dog treats are best consumed within a couple of days from baking or frozen for longer storage. See our post on baked dog treat shelf life and storage for information and tips.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks
- Variations in measurements, individual ingredient types, and options and substitutions as well as variations in egg size, ingredient and ambient temperatures, etc. are all part of why we work incrementally when mixing.
- In addition to being doggone delicious and fragrant, cinnamon offers some great health benefits to dogs (and people). However, it’s not suitable for everyone. Pregnant and/or nursing dogs in particular should not be given cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is the recommended variety for dogs, if/when used.
- Want to mix it up a little? A sprinkle of ginger would go great in this recipe, with or without the Ceylon cinnamon.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can use the category and tag labels to find other recipes that might be of interest or use our internal search tools to find something specific. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas from treats that we’ve made ourselves for our pets, but different animals have different preferences (likes/dislikes), just like people. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what’s suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.