These vegan no-bake cookies have a great texture, that’s a bit caramel-like, and are super easy to make. I’ve included directions for chocolate chip and cinnamon raisin versions. They’re also gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats.
These no-bake oatmeal cookies are loaded with oats and almond butter, which add a nice nutritional boost. Compared to regular cookies, I think these are relatively healthy.
If no-bake cookies aren’t your thing, here are some other great gluten-free cookies recipes you could try out!
Nothing fancy here. Just normal stuff you almost definitely already have in your pantry!
- Refined coconut oil – I highly recommend refined unless you want to have some coconut taste in these cookies.
- Almond butter – if you want to use another type of nut butter, read the section below!
- Vanilla extract – if you’re allergic to vanilla and must omit it, then use the same amount of water.
- Oats – I used rolled oats in the picture, but quick oats work great. You can not use instant oats nor steel-cut oats.
- Vegan mini chocolate chips OR cinnamon + raisins – I usually use raisins because I just love cinnamon raisin oatmeal cookies. But the chocolate version is also great!
Can I use honey instead of maple syrup?
These no-bake cookies are maple-sweetened, but I’m sure some of you are wondering if you can use honey. Unfortunately, it’s a most definite no.
First of all, it takes a lot longer to boil and the result is some not so very tasty cookies with a totally different texture.
Even after boiling for 10 (instead of 2 minutes), I didn’t get the slightly caramel-like mixture that you see in the picture. And then the cookies tasted overwhelmingly of honey! We didn’t really like those cookies at all, although we love honey.
Can I use a different type of nut/seed butter?
You can definitely experiment, but the trick is boiling the mixture just long enough so that it thickens properly. If you don’t, the cookies won’t set up properly.
That’s because the mixture won’t become caramel-like, and it’ll just be too wet.
I’ve had this happen several times with sunflower seed butter. If you boil it a bit longer, it thickens up properly like the almond butter and peanut butter versions.
But! If you boil it too long, it separates. So there’s a fine line there. I recommend trying first with almond butter to see what the mixture is supposed to be like, and then start experimenting.
How to make them
The first step is to mix everything, except for the oats, together in a saucepan. Then you’re going to stir occasionally until it comes to a boil.
Let it boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently until it’s thickened and becomes caramel-like and looks glossy. The glossiness is probably the best indicator that it’s ready!
This is what it should look like!
If it’s super runny, then the cookies won’t set properly.
Add your oats. If you want to use raisins or some other add-in that’s not chocolate – add that now.
If you want to use chocolate, wait about 10-20 minutes and stir in the chocolate chips. That way, they don’t melt.
I use a medium cookie scoop to get them equally-sized and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet or cutting board and chill them until firm.
These no-bake cookies are super simple, but you have to follow the directions. If you make subs, then they may not work.
If you don’t follow the directions and just try to mix them together without boiling for two minutes first… that’s not going to work. You’ll have a runny mess on your hands!
You must boil the mixture for 2 minutes or until it’s glossy like you see in the pictures, and it looks like caramel sauce. Depending on your nut/seed butter and how processed and oily it is, it may take a little more or less time.
If you only make half the recipe, you’ll need less time (about 80 seconds). And if you double it, you’ll need more time.
But again – don’t boil too long! If you do that, the mixture will separate.
I’ve had that happen several times when I got distracted and ignored a timer or when I walked away from the stove. You really shouldn’t do that.
When that happens, I just stir very vigorously for a minute or so until everything comes back together. But it’s kind of a pain, so set that timer.
Are these gluten-free?
I get so many comments on my Pinterest pins that say, “Oats aren’t gluten-free!!!” But – they are. They’re naturally gluten-free, but the problem is that they can get contaminated in the field or during production.
So if you’re making these vegan no-bake cookies for someone who needs to eat gluten-free, make sure to buy gluten-free oats!
Do note, though, that a small percentage of people who can’t eat gluten also can’t eat non-contaminated oats due to a protein in oats called avenin, which is similar to gluten. For more info, check out this post → Are Oats Gluten-free?
If making something with oats for a gluten-free friend, it’s probably a good idea to ask if they’re okay with oats.
That’s it for today! I hope you’ll enjoy these cookies. If you make them or any of my recipes, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Please hashtag them #texanerin so I can find them.
No-bake Oatmeal Cookies (gluten-free option)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 10 cookies
- 3 1/2 tablespoons (49 grams) refined coconut oil
- 1/2 cup (128 grams) natural almond butter1
- 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) maple syrup2
- 1/4 teaspoon salt3
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (138 grams) rolled oats4
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 3/4 cup (113 grams) raisins
- 1/2 cup (85 grams) mini vegan chocolate chips
For a cinnamon raisin version:
For a chocolate version:
- In a medium pot over low heat, stir together the coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup and salt.
- Stir occasionally until the coconut oil is melted.
- Turn the heat up to medium, and while stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a full boil.
- Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly and adjusting the heat as necessary. Turn it down as low as you can with it still remaining at a full boil.
- The mixture will thicken and become caramel-like. It should also be glossy. Don't boil it longer or it may separate.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Stir in the oats and raisins until well combined.
- After adding the vanilla, stir in the oats and let the mixture sit for about 10-20 minutes so that it's not so hot that it melts the chocolate chips. Then stir in the chocolate.
- Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out balls of the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper. They'll firm up after a few hours at room temperature (provided your home isn't super warm) or you can chill them to firm them up quicker.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to about a week. If you want to take these out as an on-the-go snack and it's especially warm, you'll probably want to freeze them first.
If making the cinnamon raisin version:
If making the chocolate chip version:
For either version:
- Use the kind of almond butter with just almonds and no added fat or sugar.
- I've tried these several times with honey and the texture comes out totally different and not in a good way. The cookies also taste overwhelmingly of honey. Whether brown rice syrup, agave or other liquid sweeteners works, I don't know as I haven't tried them. Granulated sweeteners will not work.
- If your almond butter is salted, you may want to reduce or omit the salt.
- Make sure to use gluten-free oats if you're gluten-free.
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41 comments on “Vegan No-bake Cookies (perfect texture, GF option)” — Add one!
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Okay to sub peanut butter if calories aren’t the concern? Thx!
You can use peanut butter! I have that version posted here – Gluten-free No-bake Cookies. Enjoy!
Hi! I have made this recipe several times and it’s always a hit. For me, agave has always worked very well as I usually don’t have maple syrup on hand. And Nestle now makes dairy-free chocolate chips so that’s awesome. Sometimes I throw some shredded coconut in these too.
Ooh, it’s great to know that adding shredded coconut works well! Thanks for the tip. I’m glad that you’ve been enjoying the recipe! I also still make this recipe quite often when I get an oatmeal raisin cookie craving. Thanks for your feedback! :)
The photos look appetizing. Thanks for sharing your recipe for the easy no-bake oatmeal cookies. I like that it’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and 100% whole grain. But I’m quite worried whether this is something I can actually eat. I feel like it is too sweet and will cause my blood glucose to rise. But if not, I would definitely give this a try.
I’m sorry for just now seeing your comment! If you’re worried about your blood glucose, I’d recommend a low-carb recipe. This recipe is unfortunately far from low-carb. :(
Do you have the nutrition value figured out for these cookies as you made them, with the almond butter, etc?
Hi! I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like. :)
Would these be okay to freeze?
Definitely! I’d love to hear how they come out. :)
Do you think the recipe would still work if I omit any sweetener?
It would unfortunately most definitely not work. Sorry about that!
I just made these tonight and they are very reminiscent of the oatmeal, chocolate and peanut butter no-bake cookies I grew up with! After combining some of the wet ingredients, I realized I didn’t have enough maple syrup, so I had to use honey (I know, there are disclaimers all over: DO NOT USE HONEY! lol But for me, they turned out amazing! Here’s what I did so the honey wasn’t overwhelming and th consistency was perfect as a no-bake cookie should be:
In lieu of regular nut or seed butter, I used 1/2 cup of powdered peanut butter (PB2), which removes 85% of the fat. The instructions use 1 part water to 2 parts powdered pb, so I added 1/4 a cup of water. I used 1/2 cup of honey and boiled all for 2 minutes. I added the chocolate chips the same time I added the oats because traditional no-bake cookies are essentially melted pb and chocolate heaven! So my chocolate chips melted right into all the mixture. I then scooped them out onto a tray with a silicone mat and froze them for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, they were firm and quite chilled, but not frozen through. I think, perhaps, the removal of oil from the powdered pb and the melted chocolate chips allowed the honey to work well in this slightly altered version. Thank you for bringing back a favorite childhood memory in a healthier recipe! ❤️
Haha. Well I’m happy you at least saw the disclaimers! I tried to put in enough so people wouldn’t attempt it (but it seems okay that it didn’t work on you ;)) That’s awesome that your PB2 and honey version worked out well! Did the honey mixture become caramel-y like you can see in the video? That was my issue with it. It boiled and boiled and boiled and it finally thickened, but all we could taste was honey. Thanks for your comment and the tips for anyone else wanting to use PB2!
These are my kind of cookies! YUM!
These would be perfect when I’m running out to the gym and need a quick bite of energy :)
I want to pop one in my mouth right now! They look YUMMY!
These look beautiful and congratulations!!!
What a fantastic recipe! My kids and I are going make these today (with sunbutter instead of almond butter due to allergies). I will report back!! YUM!
Oh, yay! I hope you’ll enjoy them. Can’t wait to hear how they work out with Sunbutter!
Oh my gosh, I had no idea. Congratulations, Erin. I’m so happy for you.
I love this recipe. I adore oatmeal cookies and just don’t make them enough. These look incredible.
Thank you so much!
These look really great! I’m eager to make these this week. What a great treat when my sweet tooth calls!
I hope that you’ll love them as much as we do!
Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!! <3 I love the news and these cookies!
These sound delicious and with the heatwave hitting us this week, the more I can avoid the oven the better!
Right?! Too hot to bake!
I love when I can keep my oven off to make cookies!
It’s definitely the best way! :D
Congrats! Being pregnant AND moving are two major things so kudos to you for being able to post anything but I’m so glad you did because they look so yummy!
Haha. Well my posting of new recipes has been really infrequent for the last 6 months but at least I have these cookies. :D Thanks so much!
The AHA report that was so negative about coconut oil was written by people with lucrative ties to canola oil, big pharma, and the beef industry. Medical research shows that the saturated fat in coconut oil may raise LDL, but it’s the unharmful (fluffy) form. Also epidemiological evidence shows that people who consume coconut oil as their main fat have very low risk of heart disease compared to other populations that consume other forms of fat. Here is an article that explains it more fully… http://urcleansing.com/confused-by-the-coconut-conundrum/
Exactly! Thanks for sharing. All these articles citing the AHA article are so frustrating. :/
Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s extremely hot here in northern Italy and I hate using the oven during the summer!!! These will be perfect. <3 Congratulations on moving to Munchen, we have some pastor friends that live there as well. We used to live in Stuttgart…..ex-pats, we're everywhere LOL! Congratulations on your pregnancy too. <3
Thanks so much! One of the big advantages of living in Munich is that it’s so close to Italy. :D I’m very excited about that! I hope that you’ll get to try the cookies! I’d love to hear how they come out. Thanks for your nice comment and enjoy the Italian summer. :)
WOW!!! A big CONGRATULATIONS to both of you. You are good at keeping secrets. HA!! 2 secrets actually. HA!
These cookies look pretty tasty.
Thanks so much, Charlotte! I guess I am a pretty good secret keeper. ;) Hope you get to try the cookies out!
Hi, sounds like a great recipe but one question: I’ve read several articles about coconut oil and my doctor expressed the same opinion that is largely saturated fat and not at all healthy despite all the recent hoopla about it.
Would some other kind of healthier oil work on this?? Thanks
Thanks! Butter might work but I haven’t tried it. Olive oil and other oils liquid at room temp won’t work. Concerning the recent article that came out about coconut oil, I recommend reading this article. And this one, too. :)