Easy vegan oatmeal cookies which are soft and chewy and come together in one bowl. These cookies use common pantry ingredients, are easily customized and don't need to be chilled before baking.
Ingredients you'll need
Notes about the ingredients
Brown sugar and regular granulated sugar. We're using a combination of sugars for the best flavor and texture. The brown sugar provides a delicious molasses flavor whereas the granulated sugar provides a more classic sweetness. Alternatively, you can use just brown sugar!
Vegan butter. I used vegan block butter for this recipe. If you can only access 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-cooking 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!
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Preparing the cookie dough
These vegan oatmeal cookies are made just like regular chocolate chip cookies! I recommend using an electric hand mixer or you can just 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 helps aerate the cookie dough and dissolve the sugars. Once I didn't do this 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 separated at this point!
Next, add all your dry ingredients (except your oats) then whisk 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.
Tips: how to shape your dough for your perfect cookie!
To shape the cookies, I recommend either using:
- An ice cream scoop
- Clean damp hands. Pinch the dough into parts and roll them into balls.
Make sure you arrange the cookie dough balls on your baking sheet with space in between as they will spread when baked!
For thicker cakier cookies, keep the cookie dough as balls on your baking sheet and bake them for 10-12 minutes.
To make thinner cookies with a soft chewy center, 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:
- dairy-free dark, milk or white chocolate chips
- 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
Substitute 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 instead. 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, softened (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 any good quality 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 and granulated sugars to a large mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to whisk until fluffy and well combined.
- Add the vanilla extract and milk (or water). Whisk until just combined.
- Add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt then mix until well combined.
- Add the oats and mix until just combined. If the mixture is dry, add an extra 1-2 tablespoons of milk and mix until combined.
- Use a small cookie scoop or a 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 them as they will spread.
- Optional: for slightly thinner cookies (like pictured), slightly flatten each ball with your fingers.
Baking the oatmeal cookies:
- Bake the cookies for around 11-15 minutes. For soft chewy cookies, bake the cookies for less time. They will look unbaked when you remove them from the oven, but they will continue baking on the tray! For crispy cookies, bake the cookies for longer. (note 4)
- 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 regular granulated sugar, dark brown or coconut sugar. The latter two sugars will make the cookies more chewy and dark in color.
- You can also use chilled spreadable vegan butter to make these cookies. If you do, I recommend withholding the milk and adding it at the end, if your cookie dough is too dry. You may also use coconut oil for these cookies, though I recommend adding extra salt for flavor.
- Gluten-free flour absorbs 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.
- These cookies should 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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