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Baking Memories with Gluten-Free, Bakery-Style Oatmeal Cookies

Posted on by Alisa Fleming in Nutrition Headlines with 15 Comments

Gluten-Free, Vegan Oatmeal CookiesAlisa Fleming ~ My earliest kitchen memories involve me, kneeling on a barstool, packing 1 cup of brown sugar as firmly as I could muster (I’ve always taken directions quite literally), as my mom prepared the other ingredients for a nice big batch of chocolate chip cookies. Those occasions were so special to me, that I used every major holiday as an excuse to bake cookies, and Easter was certainly no exception.

Some years I attempted frosted sugar cookies, but my decorating talents are sorely lacking. So I usually stuck with the basics, simple cookies that I knew everyone would love.

This year, it looks like oatmeal cookies are on the agenda. A few weeks ago we featured a recipe for Bakery-Style Oatmeal Cookies from Hannah Kaminsky. Following that post, we received a few emails requesting a gluten-free version. Unable to resist a challenge, I headed to the kitchen and preheated my oven …

I was elated to have a successful recipe on the first pass, and look forward to making these again this weekend. My adapted version is still vegan (egg-free and dairy-free), but thanks to some flour swaps, certified gluten-free oats, omitting the nuts, and using more common sweeteners, these babies can be enjoyed in most free-from households. So get out the mixing bowls and barstools, it’s time to do some holiday baking with the kids …

Gluten-Free, Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Gluten-Free Bakery-Style Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Tree Nut-Free, Peanut-Free, Soy-Free, and Wheat-Free. You can even go all out, making them refined sugar-free by replacing the brown sugar with coconut / palm sugar or evaporated cane juice.

These cookies have a soft and chewy texture. Store them in an air-tight container to keep them from drying out.

  • 1 Cup + 1/2 Cup Oats, Divided (for gluten-free, use certified gluten-free oats)
  • 1/4 Cup Tapioca Starch
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Rounded 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Dairy-Free Margarine (I Used Earth Balance Soy-Free)
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips And Raisins (I used Dream Chocolate Chips)

Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Place the 1/2 cup of oats in a spice / coffee grinder (a food processor or high powered blender should work too) and grind for about 30 seconds, or until you get powdery oat flour.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the fresh oat flour, the 1 cup oats, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the margarine, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla. Stir in the reserved flour mixture until it is all incorporated and you have a nice thick dough. Stir in the chocolate chips or raisins.

Drop the dough by the generous tablespoon-ful onto your prepared baking sheet. I used slightly damp hands to shape the cookies – if the dough is too moist to handle, feel free to refrigerate it for an hour or so to help it firm up.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they just begin to brown. Let them cool for at least 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Gluten-free cookies (especially ones without xanthan gum) tend to be fragile when still hot.

Makes 14 cookies

Article, recipe, and photos by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org, blogger at Alisa Cooks, and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

View all posts by Alisa Fleming →

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living


  1. OliviaJanuary 17, 2013 at 9:02 pmReply

    I’m so excited to make these! I’m dairy and gluten free! Thank you, Alisa! :)

  2. EmilyFebruary 17, 2013 at 6:09 pmReply

    I tried your recipe and followed it exactly, my cookies turned out quite dry and disappointing :( I don’t know what I would do differently? The dough tasted delicious so I had high hopes. I only baked for 10 min.

    • Alisa FlemingFebruary 18, 2013 at 7:16 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Emily, I’m sorry the cooked version didn’t work for you! I’ve received excellent feedback on this recipe and made them many times myself, so I’m thinking it is just an oven temp and/or humidity issue. Particularly if the dough was good. Dried out cookies implies that the oven temp was off and/or that the cookies were baked too long for where you are. I would reduce the cooking time to 8 minutes. Also, note that the dough is a little moist unless refrigerated. If yours isn’t moist, you can add a touch of applesauce. Also, do not use a low fat margarine, and make sure that your brown sugar is fresh (not dried out).

  3. DeniseMarch 20, 2013 at 6:06 pmReply

    I just made these today and they are fabulous! I have made the coconut snicker doodles multiple times, my family loves them as we’ll! Thank you so much for these recipes!

    • Alisa FlemingMarch 20, 2013 at 9:10 pmReplyAuthor

      Denise, so glad you are enjoying my recipes! I love baking cookies :)

  4. suzanneJune 19, 2013 at 8:50 amReply

    Is there a particular maple syrup???

    • Alisa FlemingJune 22, 2013 at 6:57 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Suzanne, I use grade B pure maple syrup as it has more flavor than grade A.

  5. DinahNovember 12, 2013 at 5:42 pmReply

    I attempted them with coconut oil instead of margarine since I can’t have soy or dairy. They taste great, but are completely flat and I had to scrape them off the cookie sheet.

    • Alisa FlemingNovember 12, 2013 at 6:05 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Dinah, oil isn’t an even swap for margarine in baked goods such as cookies. Do you have a copy of Go Dairy Free? I explain how to sub oil (including coconut) for margarine in cookies in the book. It requires a few ingredient modifications.

  6. linda watsonMay 31, 2014 at 4:05 pmReply

    what can I substitute for tapioca starch?

    • Alisa FlemingJune 1, 2014 at 1:27 pmReplyAuthor

      Starches vary a little, but for the most part can be used interchangeably in baked goods. Cornstarch or arrowroot starch are two that should work well.

  7. KarissaSeptember 26, 2014 at 9:02 pmReply

    I already have oat flour ground from oats….any idea how much oat flour to use rather than grinding another 1/2 cup oats? Thanks! :)

    • Alisa FlemingSeptember 29, 2014 at 4:22 pmReplyAuthor

      It can vary, but I typically use 1:1 – 1/2 cup oats = 1/2 cup oat flour, with similar results. You can weight 1/2 cup oats and then use the same weight of oat flour to ensure the right amount.

  8. hilaryOctober 29, 2014 at 7:48 pmReply

    I used organic canola oil instead of margarine and it worked. They’re good! Thanks!

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