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


My earliest kitchen memories involve me, kneeling on a barstool, packing 1 cup of brown sugar as firmly as I could muster, 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. 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 Gluten-Free Bakery-Style Oatmeal Cookies. Unable to resist a challenge, I headed to the kitchen and preheated my oven …

Gluten-Free, Vegan Oatmeal CookiesI 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 Bakery-Style Oatmeal Cookies

Reader Raves

Jodiann tried this recipe when I first shared it on my old blog. She had the following to say.

BEST COOKIE EVER!!! My daughter couldn’t stop eating them. Said it’s the first thing she’s had “allergy free” that tasted like the originals…

Special Diet Notes: Gluten-Free Bakery-Style Oatmeal Cookies

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. Optionally soy-free.

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

Baking Memories with Gluten-Free, Bakery-Style Oatmeal Cookies
Serves: 14
  • 1 cup + ½ cup oats, divided (for gluten-free, use certified gluten-free oats)
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • ⅓ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (corrected - this previously said tablespoon)
  • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Rounded ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup dairy-free margarine (I Used Earth Balance Soy-Free)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips and raisins (I used Dream Chocolate Chips)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
  2. Place the ½ 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Store leftovers in an airtight container.


About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food 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, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Enjoyed the cookies! However, there is a strong taste of baking soda. Should the recipe read 1/2 teaspoon instead of 1/2 tablespoon? I used clarified butter and don’t care for the taste of it. Do you have any suggestions? I can’t use soy, coconut oil, dairy or anything with casein-am condsidering lard. After reading the reviews I added a drizzle of butter flavored olive oil and a little water. Also, sprinkled a smidgen (less than 1/8 tsp xanthum gum) over the dough. Loved the cookie.

    • Yikes, thank you for pointing out what the problem was! I somehow couldn’t see it. Yes, it should be TEASPOON. Fixed it!! So sorry for the problem, but I appreciate your feedback on this Christine.

  2. I made these cookies last night. Pardon my negative feedback, but the cookies turned out extremely dry because there’s barely any liquid in the recipe. I ended up doing a 1/2 cup of dairyfree margarine and a TBSP of oil and it’s still too dry. I might end up throwing them away. 🙁 The cookies themselves are very tasty, though.

    • Hi Mara, don’t be sorry, feedback is appreciated one way or another! These cookies have gotten quite mixed reviews – from raves to not working – so I’m going to test them again now and make sure I didn’t have an error when I typed up the recipe and make sure it produces an awesome cookie for all! I’m very sorry that they didn’t work out for you and feel terrible about the waste! I’ll be checking ASAP!

    • try adding a 2 tablespoons of water.
      sometimes dry baked goods need moisture in the form of H20 when tenderizerizers (fats) don’t work to provide balance.

    • also add the water last once all other ingredients are mixed and the dough is formed that way the fat coats the starches before the water can be absorbed by them. I hope this helps. And I hope you don’t mind me sharing advice on your site Ms. Alisa. Thank you.

  3. Pingback: Over 60 Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookie Recipes! | gfe--gluten free easily

  4. I made these this morning with the only substitution being coconut sugar for the brown sugar. They baked up perfectly but have a grainy, slightly bitter flavor. I thought coconut sugar was a good substitute but perhaps not. Otherwise the recipe was great.

    • Hi Stephanie, coconut sugar is a little grittier and doesn’t always dissolve – I recommend grinding it in a spice grinder first, to powder. Also, it’s less sweet and some gluten-free flours can have slight bitter notes. You might want to use more if subbing in coconut sugar, and I would reduce the baking soda to 1 teaspoon.

  5. Pingback: GF Oatmeal Cookies | All Gluten-Free Desserts...All the Time

  6. 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! 🙂

    • 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

    • 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).

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