These lightly spiced, perfectly sweet, gluten-free and vegan oatmeal raisin cookies are an incredible balance of crisp and cakey and are sure to give chocolate chip a run for its money!
I know raisins are controversial, but I make zero apologies because I LOVE oatmeal raisin cookies . . . ever more than chocolate chip!
I had to test a few versions of this recipe before I got them right. In one version, the cookies spread so much I ended up with one giant cookie instead of one dozen.
So how do you stop gluten-free cookies from spreading? Let the dough rest for 30 minutes before baking. This is a pretty standard cookie baking trick but ever more important without eggs or gluten, and I use it with all my cookie recipes. The good thing about these oatmeal raisin cookies is they’re so easy to make you’ll still have your cookies within an hour, even with the 30-minute rest!
What do you need to know before you make this recipe?
This gluten-free and vegan oatmeal raisin cookies recipe
- requires just one bowl
- uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or that you can find easily in your local supermarket
- takes just one hour to make
I’ve included all the notes for these vegan oatmeal raisin cookies at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale in colour.
Sift the flour, baking powder, xanthan, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into the creamed butter and sugar. Add the raisins and oats and mix until well combined.
Add one tablespoon of milk at a time (you may need less milk if you used non-dairy margarine instead of non-dairy butter) and mix again. The dough should be ever so slightly sticky.
Divide the cookie dough into 10 equal cookie dough balls and let the cookie dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160C and line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper.
Transfer the cookie dough balls to baking trays, making sure they are well spaced apart and gently flatten them.
Bake one tray of cookies at a time for 20 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing them from the baking tray.
Store in an airtight container and eat within 2-3 days.
NOTES: Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
You can use non-dairy butter or margarine for these cookies, but I do think the texture and flavour is superior with butter.
I used the Flora vegan butter (the solid one not the marg), which is available pretty much worldwide.
Alternatively, if you’re in the UK and Europe, try Naturli Vegan Block, which I use all the time and love, or if you’re in the US, I know the solid vegan butter brands are Earth Balance, Miyoko or Country Crock Plant Butter.
Xanthan gum is a binder made through the process of fermenting simple sugars. In this recipe, xanthan gum helps prevent spreading and holds the cookies together in the absence of natural binders like eggs and gluten.
Recipe Questions & Troubleshooting
Why are these cookies baked at 160C?
In general gluten-free bakes are baked at a lower oven temperature for longer. This low and slow approach to gluten-free baking aids the development of crumb structure in the absence of gluten, prevents crumbling and will stop your cookies from drying out.
Why are my gluten-free cookies falling apart?
You left out the xanthan gum. In this recipe (and many others), xanthan gum is standing in for gluten and eggs as a binder and, without it, GF bakes tend to crumble. If you’re opposed to xanthan gum, you can try a flax egg but note that I haven’t tried the recipe with a binder other than xanthan gum.
You didn’t let them cool completely before removing them from the tray. Gluten-free cookies are more fragile than their gluten-containing counterparts. Allowing them to cool on the baking tray allows them to ‘fully set’. If you skip this step, you may find they completely crumble when moved.
Why are my gluten-free cookies gritty?
Rice flour is to blame for a gritty texture. Try using a different all-purpose GF flour or make your own flour mix, I like this recipe for gluten-free flour by Minimalist Baker. For even better results, make it with superfine brown and white rice flour.
Why did my cookies spread so much in the oven?
You skipped the fridge step. Gluten-free cookie dough should always go in the fridge before baking as GF cookies tend to spread excessively in the oven.
In these small bakes, the butter/marg will melt quickly, and without gluten to hold them back you can end up with one giant cookie instead of one dozen. The overnight fridge step in this recipe helps to solidify the source of fat and temper spreading. This time in the fridge will also soften the flour and help prevent grittiness in cookies.