dairy-free oatmeal cookies

Soft and Chewy Dairy-Free Oatmeal Cookies

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Updated on March 26, 2024

In the world of baking, few delights rival the comforting aroma and irresistible taste of freshly baked oatmeal cookies. However, for those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, indulging in this beloved treat often comes with a sense of hesitation or even disappointment. Fortunately, there is good news on the horizon for dairy-free dessert enthusiasts—the rise of dairy-free oatmeal cookies.

Gone are the days when dairy-free baking meant sacrificing flavour and texture. Today, dairy-free oatmeal cookies have evolved into delectable creations that not only cater to dietary restrictions but also tantalise everyone’s taste buds with their deep flavours and satisfying textures.

In this article, we will delve into the world of dairy-free oatmeal cookies, exploring the ingredients, techniques, and creative variations that make them a must-try for anyone wanting a healthier twist on a classic favourite. From the creamy richness of coconut oil to the natural sweetness of maple syrup or applesauce, dairy-free oatmeal cookies offer a spectrum of delicious possibilities that will leave you craving more.

Let’s hop into it.

Dairy-Free Oatmeal Cookies


Regular chocolate chip cookies use softened unsalted butter, so there is no straightforward dairy like milk. Oatmeal cookies also use dairy butter and eggs.

In the next sections, we are going to give you different substitutes not only for the butter but also for the sweetener and eggs so you can make your oatmeal cookies extra healthy.

Dairy-Free Butter Substitutes

There are many dairy-free butter substitutes you can use in your oatmeal cookie recipe. You could try any vegan butter brand available at your local store or coconut oil. While not technically a butter, coconut oil is a common plant-based alternative used in baking and cooking. It has a high-fat content and solidifies at room temperature, making it a suitable substitute for butter in many recipes.

Olive oil works fine, too, but stay aware of its unique taste. If you want to avoid this altogether, use avocado butter. It is made from the pure flesh of ripe avocados and has a super creamy texture with a mild, slightly nutty flavour. Almond and cashew butters are also great options for this recipe. All of those can be used as spreads as well.

Another very common spread is margarine, which is typically made from different vegetable oils such as soybean, canola, or palm oil, and it adds an extra flavour twist to your cookies. If you prefer something with no fat, applesauce or dairy-free yoghurt are also great alternatives and will help keep your dough moist.

Alternative Sweeteners

dairy-free oatmeal cookies

Classic oatmeal cookies use brown sugar and granulated sugar. Like with dairy butter, there are multiple other alternatives to sugar to make this healthy treat even healthier. 

For instance, you can swap regular sugar with granulated monk fruit. This sweetener is served directly from the sweet monk fruit that is famous for growing in China. You can also use swerve. This is actually the brand name for a type of sugar substitute known as erythritol, a sugar alcohol that happens naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. However, it does not contain any alcohol. It just uses the same name.

This is not to mention the best natural sweetener of all time, mister honey. You can also use maple syrup, which is typically made from the sap of sugar maple trees. It does contain natural sugars, like those in honey, but it is not made from processed white sugar like granulated sugar or cane sugar. Agave nectar is also derived from the sap of the agave tree, so it is a perfect substitute for sugar.

Apart from those, you can use any other sweetener that comes from natural sources. All of those work best in dairy-free oatmeal cookies in keeping them soft and giving them a nice golden brown colour when baked.

Egg Substitute 

Oatmeal cookies, whether with dairy or without dairy, use eggs. However, if you want to make this recipe vegan, there are multiple egg substitutes you can use. Here are some common ones:

  1. Flaxseed or Chia Seed “Egg”: Mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds with three tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes until it thickens and becomes gel-like. This mixture can replace one egg in recipes.
  2. Applesauce/Mashed Banana: Use a quarter cup of unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana to replace one egg. Both of them add moisture to the dough and help bind the ingredients together.
  3. Silken Tofu: Blend a quarter cup of silken tofu until smooth and creamy to replace one egg and make your cookies denser.
  4. Commercial Egg Replacer: There are also commercial egg replacer products available that are specifically designed for baking. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for substitution ratios.

When choosing an egg substitute for oatmeal cookies, consider which flavour profile you want to achieve. For example, mashed banana or applesauce will add sweetness and flavour, while flaxseed or chia seed “eggs” will add a nutty taste. Experiment with different substitutes to find the one that best suits your preferences.

Oatmeal and Mix-Ins

dairy-free oatmeal cookies

Oatmeal is the star in your dairy-free oatmeal cookies. It has a lovely chewy feel and a nutty taste. You can use quick oats or old-fashioned ones to get different textures. Quick oats make softer cookies, while old-fashioned ones give them more crunch.

Now, let’s talk about mix-ins that can add colour and flavour and pretty much more fun to your cookies. Raisins are a top pick for mix-ins, but you can try other dried fruits, like dates, apricots, or cranberries.

If you want a more classic mix-in, use chocolate chips. It adds a rich, chocolatey flavour that pairs perfectly with the oats. When making dairy-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, you can use vegan chocolate chips or make your own by melting non-dairy dark chocolate.

Cocoa powder is also an excellent addition as it intensifies the chocolaty taste and gives the cookies a deep colour. Whether you prefer semisweet or dark chocolate, adding these ingredients will take your dairy-free oatmeal cookies to the next level of deliciousness.

Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans also work great, giving your oatmeal cookie an extra crunch. They are abundant with healthy fats and protein. Seeds, on the other hand, such as chia or flax seeds, add fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.

To elevate the taste of your dairy-free oatmeal cookies even more and make each batch unique, add in some spices and flavourings. Some popular options include cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, which give the cookies a warm and cosy flavour.

Step-by-Step Recipe

dairy-free oatmeal cookies

Now that we are done with the substitutes, let’s make some crunchy, delicious dairy-free oatmeal cookies.

Here are your ingredients:

  1. 1 cup of rolled oats
  2. 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  5. 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  6. 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  7. 1/2 cup of pure honey, packed
  8. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  9. 1 flax egg
  10. 1/2 cup of raisins or chocolate chips

Now, to your elaborate, step-by-step recipe, yet make sure you preheat your oven to 175°C first. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.

1. Creaming the Butter and Sweetener

First, take your coconut oil. It should be at room temperature, not melted. Put it and the honey into one bowl to mix them together. This is called the creaming process.

Use a whisk or an electric beater until they are blended well together. Then, add the flax egg—mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of water and let it sit for five minutes to gel before use—and add vanilla extract and blend it with the coconut oil and honey at low speed.

The mixture will look fluffy and light in colour when you are done. This smooth mixture is what you need for our oatmeal cookie dough base.

2. Adding Wet and Dry Ingredients

Next, combine the dry parts into this mix to form the cookie dough. Add in the rolled oats, flour, baking soda, and salt and mix them with the dough base using a spatula, not the electric beater.

This will give your oatmeal cookies a chewy feel.

3. Mixing in Mix-Ins

dairy-free oatmeal cookies

When it comes to making dairy-free oatmeal cookies, mixing in mix-ins is a fun and creative step. You can customise your cookies by adding delicious ingredients like raisins, chocolate chips, or nuts.

To mix them in, simply fold them into the cookie dough once all the wet and dry ingredients are combined. Gently stir until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough. This way, every bite of your dairy-free oatmeal cookies will be filled with tasty surprises.

4. Chilling the Dough

This dough-chilling step is totally up to you. If you are in a rush as your mother-in-law is arriving in minutes or if you yourself cannot wait to enjoy those crunchy healthy cookies, you can skip the waiting time altogether and get right to baking. However, if you are making the cookies ahead of time, it is better to chill them in the refrigerator for an hour or so.

Chilling, in fact, does your cookie dough a great favour. It allows the flavours to set and develop, improves texture by solidifying fats, reduces stickiness, makes the dough easier to handle, and prevents the cookies from spreading too much during baking.

So, yes. Chill your cookies.

5. Baking the Cookies

After your cookie dough has chilled enough, it is time to start the baking process. 

Take small portions of the dough and roll them into balls before placing them onto a baking sheet that you lined with parchment paper earlier. Flatten each ball slightly with your hand so that they spread out evenly while baking. 

Bake the cookies in your preheated oven at 175°C for about 10-12 minutes or until they turn golden brown around the edges.

Let your cookies cool before serving them with tea or dairy-free milk.

Storage Tips

If you can chill your cookie dough for a few hours before baking, that means you can actually make it way ahead of time and store them for whenever someone calls you up unexpectedly and says, “Is your home number 17 or 27? Guess what? I am coming over!”

So here are some tips for storing and enjoying dairy-free oatmeal cookies:

  1. Store your dairy-free oatmeal cookies in an airtight container container at room temperature for three to five days.
  2. If you want to keep them fresh for longer, you can store the dough in the freezer for up to two months. When you are ready to enjoy your cookies, simply take it out ad let it set at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.


Dairy-free oatmeal cookies are a delicious and healthy choice for those with dietary restrictions or allergies. With simple substitutions like dairy-free butter and alternative sweeteners, anyone can enjoy these soft and chewy treats.

Whether you prefer classic oatmeal raisin or indulgent chocolate chip, there are endless variations to suit your taste. So grab your apron and start baking some dairy-free oatmeal cookies today.

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