I’ve tried so many variations of oatmeal cookies, but these, these are the ones. They’re spot on with dessert-worthy sweetness, and boast just the right balance of cinnamon and vanilla. And yes, these tender dairy-free oatmeal raisin cookies have a great soft and chewy texture.
Perfect Soft & Chewy Dairy-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
There are a few things about the ingredients that make these dairy-free oatmeal raisin cookies so awesome. But that doesn’t mean the recipe isn’t flexible. Here are some notes and tips on the ingredients I use, and answers to common substitute FAQs.
Will these Work as Bigger Cookies?
Definitely! You can use 1 1/2 or even 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. They might need a couple minutes of additional baking time. I just find it easy to keep the cookies uniform with an even tablespoon, and I like the smallish size for grabbing one, two, or three, based on the size of my cravings.
Are Quick Oats or Old-Fashioned Oats Better in Oatmeal Raisin Cookies?
You might have noticed, I use both, but the old-fashioned rolled oats are optional. Many recipes for oatmeal raisin cookies call for just old-fashioned rolled oats because the creators feel they lend a “chewier” texture. The problem is, you get a flatter, greasier, more sugary cookie and most of the “chew” is the oats themselves. I prefer quick oats (not instant oats) because they create a more balanced texture that’s still chewy, but doesn’t taste like you’re eating greasy, sugar coated, nearly raw oats. We decided we liked just a little bit of old-fashioned oats added for contrast in the texture and a solidly oatmeal cookie. But they definitely aren’t required.
But Can I Use Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats Instead?
You can, but it isn’t our favorite. The cookies will spread more and you will taste more oat chew. I know many people like it this way, so it’s up to you! You might want to add more oats if using old-fashioned. I would start with the 2 1/2 cups and add up to another 1/2 cup if your dough looks way too sticky. I also prefer to refrigerate the rolled oat dough for at least 1 hour, to help soften the oats more.
What Can I Substitute for the Raisins?
If you aren’t a raisin fan, I recommend dried cranberries, dried blueberries, or chopped dried apricots for delicious cookies with the same vibe. You could also go a different route and sub chopped nuts or dairy-free chocolate chips. You could also simply omit the add-ins. But we love the chewy texture and taste of dried fruit in this recipe.
Can I Use Butter Flavor Shortening?
Definitely! I like to use Spectrum shortening because it’s non-hydrogenated, allergy-friendly, lends good flavor, and works great in baking. But any shortening, including butter flavor shortening, should work just fine.
Can I Substitute Butter Alternative for the Shortening?
Yes, but keep in mind that the cookies will spread more, and it might add more salt to the flavor. I think Miyoko’s will work best, because it is a firmer, more shortening-like plant butter, and it’s less salty. Brands like Country Crock and Earth Balance will cause a more spread and are both saltier. See my best butter baking guide for visuals. If you are concerned about saltiness, you can reduce the salt by a pinch or two. I use shortening because it provides the best texture, and it still provides great richness in the flavor.
Can I Substitute Coconut Oil for the Shortening?
I haven’t personally tested coconut oil in these dairy-free oatmeal raisin cookies. I’ve seen similar recipes where people say the coconut oil works great. But depending on your climate, it might cause a lot of spread. Using oil can also lead to greasy cookies with overly crispy edges. And of course, there can be a slight coconut taste if you use an unrefined type of coconut oil. You will want to melt the coconut oil before adding it, and then refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes to ensure the coconut oil firms back up before baking. Other types of oil definitely won’t work without modifications. If you’re looking for a more wholesome recipe using coconut oil, try these breakfast cookies or these almond-oat cookies.
Can I Use Less Sugar?
These are actually lower in sugar than most of the recipes for oatmeal raisin cookies that I’ve seen online. That said, if you’re looking for less dessert and more snack, you can reduce the sugar. They will be less chewy. Sugar does affect texture quite a bit in baking. You also might want to try my classic breakfast cookies, which have less sugar. But if you want dessert-worthy, dairy-free oatmeal raisin cookies, then bake these …
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
For gluten-free needs, see one of our dairy-free gluten-free oatmeal cookie recipes. We have a bakery-style gluten-free & vegan version, a simple overnight recipe, and one that uses gluten-free flour blend.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shortening (I use Spectrum)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½ cups quick oats
- 1½ cups raisins
- ½ cup rolled oats (optional; see post above for oat options)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the shortening, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat to combine.
- Stir in the quick oats, raisins, and rolled oats (if using), until combined.
- Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or more.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop the dough by the tablespoon onto your prepared baking sheet. It will spread a little, so space the dough mounds about 2 inches apart. The cookies are about 2 to 2½ inch in diameter.
- Bake the cookies for about 8 to 11 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges. The ones in the picture were baked for 9 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a plate to cool completely. They will firm up more as they cool.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for longer keeping.