Easy vegan oatmeal cookies that are perfectly soft and chewy and come together in one bowl. These cookies use common pantry ingredients and don't need to be chilled before baking!
Simple ingredients you'll need
Notes about the ingredients
Brown sugar and regular granulated sugar. We're using a combination of sugars for the best of both worlds! The brown sugar gives an irresistible molasses flavor whereas the granulated sugar provides a more classic sweetness. Alternatively, you can use just brown sugar!
Vegan butter, of the block variety. If you only have spreadable butter, it will still work but your cookies will spread a little more! Coconut oil will work but I'd recommend adding extra salt for flavor.
Rolled oats (old fashioned oats), not quick oats.
Dairy-free milk such as soy, almond, or coconut. You can even use water! The liquid acts as a partial egg substitute as it brings the ingredients together and encourages the cookies to spread. You don't need a flax egg to make vegan cookies!
The full list of ingredient quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Preparing the cookie dough
These chewy vegan oatmeal cookies are made just like regular chocolate chip cookies! It's easiest to use an electric mixer or stand mixer but, if you don't have one, you can use a wooden spoon and a little arm power.
First, whisk the sugars and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. This aerates the cookie dough and dissolves the sugars. Once, I didn't beat the sugar properly and when I baked the cookies, the sugar separated and caramelized on the bottom... not a complete fail but it's not what we're after.
Then add your milk and vanilla extract and whisk/stir until just combined. It's okay if your mixture looks a little curdled at this point!
Next, add all your dry ingredients (except your oats) then mix until the dough comes together. By now, it should resemble a very soft cookie dough and have no lumps of butter, sugar or flour.
Lastly, add the rolled oats and beat until combined. Some of the oats will break down while mixing which is absolutely okay! Your final cookie dough should be a little tacky. If the dough is too dry, the cookies won't spread as much so I recommend adding a little milk/water if needed.
Top tips: shaping your perfect cookie!
To shape the cookies, I recommend using an ice cream scoop OR clean damp hands.
For thick cakey cookies, keep the cookie dough as balls on your cookie sheet and bake them for 10-12 minutes.
To make cookies with a soft chewy texture, slightly flatten your cookie dough balls (like below) and bake them for around 12 minutes.
If you want crispy cookies, flatten your cookie dough balls a little more than pictured below and bake them for around 15 minutes.
These cookies are amazing by themselves. However, you can also add:
- vegan chocolate chips (either dark, milk or white)
- raisins (or check out my oatmeal raisin cookies)
- finely shredded (desiccated) coconut or follow my vegan Anzac biscuit recipe
I recommend adding any extras at the same time as the rolled oats. You may need to add a little more milk to help bring the ingredients together.
Expert tips and substitutions
Replace the all-purpose flour with gluten-free all-purpose flour and use gluten-free rolled oats. Gluten-free flour is a little less absorbent than regular flour so you may need to add 1-2 tablespoons more flour or less milk. Make sure your final cookie dough is soft and tacky!
You can see the difference between the regular oatmeal cookies and gluten-free version in this post for Anzac biscuits.
I recommend using coconut sugar. I don't recommend using a liquid sweetener such as maple syrup as it'll be too runny for this recipe.
I haven't tested this recipe using sugar replacers like erythritol. However, from experience, cookies made with sugar replacers don't spread as easily so you will need to flatten them before baking. Some sugar replacers also don't caramelize as easily so your cookies may be paler in color.
More vegan cookie recipes
Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
- ¾ cup (145g) packed light brown sugar, (note 1)
- ½ cup (115g) vegan butter, room temperature (note 2)
- 2 tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar, or more brown/coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30g) dairy-free milk, or water, as needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or extra water or milk
- ¾ cup (95g) all-purpose plain flour, or gluten-free all-purpose flour (note 3)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt, if using unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups (180g) rolled oats, gluten-free, if needed
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper.
Making the vegan oatmeal cookies:
- Add the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar to a large bowl. Use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to beat until fluffy and well combined.
- Add the vanilla extract and milk. Beat until just combined.
- Add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt then mix until combined.
- Add the oats and mix thoroughly or until well combined. The dough should be soft and tacky. If the dough is dry, add an extra 1-2 tablespoons of milk and mix again.
- Use a small cookie scoop or tablespoon measure to divide the cookie dough into 15 balls (around 40g each). Arrange the balls on your lined baking sheets, leaving around 2 inches (5 cm) between each as they will spread.
- Optional: for slightly thinner cookies (like pictured), slightly flatten each ball with your fingers.
Baking the vegan oatmeal cookies:
- Bake the cookies for around 11-15 minutes (note 4). For soft chewy cookies, bake the cookies for shorter or for crispy cookies, bake them for longer. The cookies will look unbaked when you remove them from the oven, but they will continue baking on the tray. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking tray on a wire rack.
- Enjoy the cookies warm or at room temperature.
- Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Alternatively, you may use all regular granulated sugar, dark brown or coconut sugar. The latter two sugars will make the cookies more chewy and dark in color.
- These cookies will work with spreadable vegan butter but your cookies will spread more. Use the butter chilled and add the milk at the end, only if needed. Alternatively, you may also use coconut oil for these cookies, however I recommend adding extra salt for flavor.
- Some brands of gluten-free flour absorb less than regular flour so you may need to add an extra tablespoon of gf flour. Your final cookie dough should still be a little tacky.
- If the ingredients are measured correctly, these cookies usually spread in the oven. If they don't, use a spoon to flatten the cookies after baking while they are still hot.
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