These vegan oatmeal cookies are 100% whole grain and sweetened only with dates. They’re breakfast-worthy due to their stellar nutrition profile!
These cookies you guys. All I can say is, keep your baking streak going strong!
When I set out to make a vegan cookie I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get it right. In all honesty, I don’t discriminate against ingredients (I’ll bake with everything) but I wanted to create something that was focused solely on pantry staples for those times when you run out of some of those key refrigerated staples.
Because sometimes Saturday morning comes and you have two eggs left that can either be used for your breakfast or for baking. Now you don’t have to choose.
Out of butter and/or eggs? These are here for you, and they’re delicious and wholesome at the same time. I think you’ll love them.
Vegan baking can be a challenge, because each ingredient plays an important role. Basically, you can’t just leave things out. Eggs act as an emulsifier, and create structure and stability. They also add softness and the yolks add richness.
Butter adds amazing flavor of course, but also moisture, flakiness (think biscuits), and tenderness. These qualities can be very hard to mimic.
If you want to start experimenting with vegan baking, my biggest tip is to first change your expectations. These cookies aren’t going to match up to your traditional indulgent bakery style (butter-filled) cookie. But they’re still delicious! I find this to be the case for most of the plant-based baked goods I’ve tried. Different, but good.
Ingredients for Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
Cookies are a relatively simple place to start if you want to dabble in vegan baking because they’re less technical and more forgiving than a pastry.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for these vegan oatmeal cookies:
- Oats – for these I used the food processor to chop up rolled oats. You could also make it easy and use quick oats, but I never buy those so this is the next best option.
- Whole wheat pastry flour – just enough to help them hold together; 100% whole grain but still light and fluffy.
- Leavening agents
- Salt – to bring out the flavor (I used fine sea salt)
- Dates – my sweetener of choice. It’s subtle, and pairs so well with the almond butter. You’ll use these to make a paste that gets folded into the cookies. It works beautifully!
- Vanilla paste (affiliate) – this product is so unique and adds great depth of flavor. If you don’t have it, you could also use vanilla extract.
- Almond butter & coconut oil – in place of the butter, I used a combination of these two fats for cohesiveness, flavor and mouthfeel.
How-to Make Date Paste
You’ll notice in the instructions that the dates are processed into a paste before adding to the dry ingredients. This might seem like an extra, high-maintenance step but I promise it’s simple!
If you don’t have a food processor, you should be able to use a blender or magic bullet with no problem. Just pulse the dates with some warm water and vanilla until you get a thick, cohesive paste with few (if any chunks remaining). It’s a non-traditional way to sweeten your cookies and the flavor is really nice.
This is a great “base” oatmeal cookie recipe with plenty of room for personalization. I decided not to do any mix-ins to keep things as simple as possible, but here are some fun options if you’re feeling fancy:
- Stir in chocolate chips, drizzle or dip with melted chocolate (if you want to keep them vegan, be sure to select a dairy-free chocolate)
- Nuts or seeds: chopped almonds or walnuts
- Dried fruit: dried tart cherries, dried strawberries, or chopped dried apricots
- Top with this coconut glaze for a sweeter cookie!
- Dot strawberry preserves in the center (like thumbprint cookies) for adult PB&J vibes
Note: these haven’t all been tested.
The best part about these cookies is that they’re nutrient-dense while still being a treat. Enjoy them as a mid-morning accompaniment to your coffee, or pair with fruit and milk for the kids. They’re perfectly dense, chewy and full of great flavor!
If you like this recipe, you might also like these vegan snacks/treats:
- Maple Tahini Snack Balls
- Coconut Chia Pudding with Ginger and Cacao
- Espresso Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate
Vegan Oatmeal Cookies with Vanilla, Dates & Almond Butter
These vegan oatmeal cookies are studded with flavors of vanilla, dates and almond butter. They’re kid-friendly and breakfast-worthy due to their stellar nutrition profile.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 27 minutes
- Yield: 12 cookies 1x
- Category: Sweets, Snacks
- Method: Baking
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 cup quick oats (or rolled oats, pulsed in a food processor until chopped)
- 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 6 medjool dates, pitted (soaked in warm water for 10 min)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk dry ingredients (oats through salt) in a medium bowl.
- Pulse dates, vanilla and 1 Tbsp of warm water in a food processor until it forms a thick paste. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and add almond butter and coconut oil, stirring until well-combined.
- Add date mixture to dry ingredients and use a spatula to mix until fully incorporated. You might also want to use your hands for this part as you’ll need to sort-of press everything together. Dough should be dense with no crumbles remaining.
- Use a cookie scoop to portion into 12 balls and drop on the lined baking sheet. Press each down slightly with the back of a measuring cup (they won’t spread).
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until bottoms are browned and crispy. Remove to a cooling rack.
- Be sure to use large, medjool dates instead of the smaller, dryer ones. The moisture is key to making the paste!
- If you don’t have the vanilla paste, sub vanilla extract.
- Mixing bowls pictured in the ingredients shot. These are a recent purchase and I use them daily! (affiliate link)
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 120 calories
- Fat: 6 grams
- Carbohydrates: 16 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
Keywords: vegan oatmeal cookies, vegan baking, dates, almond butter, oats
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