These delicious vegan gluten-free pumpkin oatmeal cookies have the perfect fall flavor and texture. Their light pumpkin spice flavor and soft-yet-hearty oatmeal texture will quickly make them your favorite cookie recipe for pumpkin season.
YOU WILL LOVE THESE PUMPKIN OATMEAL COOKIES
- They're super soft, with just the right amount of chewy texture. I find many pumpkin cookie recipes have a very cakey texture. This can be delicious, but they sometimes read more like little flat pumpkin muffins than chewy cookies. This is likely because of the additional water and fiber that the pumpkin purée adds. While I do love pumpkin muffins, sometimes I want a chewy cookie! By putting just a small amount of pumpkin into these cookies, we balance that chewy oatmeal cookie texture with fall pumpkin flavor.
- They're an easy recipe to whip up. Simply combine wet ingredients, combine dry ingredients, and put the wet mixture into the dry to create the cookie dough. The ingredients come together easily, so there is no need to pull out the stand mixer (unless, of course, you are looking for an excuse to!).
- They're vegan and gluten-free with relatively simple ingredients. These cookies don't use egg replacer, vegan butter, or chia or flax "eggs" to get great texture and flavor. Instead, they mostly are made from ingredients you will find at your nearest grocery store. The ingredients in this recipe that may be more difficult to come by are in very small amounts and optional.
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Gluten-free measure-for-measure flour- my favorite gluten-free flour for baking is King Arthur measure-for-measure flour. However, any baking gluten-free flour blend should work out (Bob's Red Mill is another popular gluten-free baking flour). Of course, if you do not need your vegan pumpkin oatmeal cookies to be gluten-free, you can use all-purpose flour. You could even consider using whole wheat flour to boost the fiber content.
- Old-fashioned oats- It is important to use certified gluten-free oats if you need these cookies to be free from gluten contamination. I would not recommend using quick-cooking oats as they are more likely to absorb moisture and cause the cookie to have a cakier texture, but they may work in a pinch, especially if you like soft cookies!
- Pumpkin purée- It's that time of year to grab a few cans of pumpkin purée! Of course, if you are particularly ambitious, you could try making your own. Make sure you are using pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling as pumpkin pie filling is pre-sweetened and spiced.
- Light brown sugar- I use light brown sugar in this recipe because I usually have it on hand. Plus, I'm a sucker for a little molasses flavor in my cookies. If you are a real lover of the deep molasses flavor, you could even try dark brown sugar. Likewise, if you don't like molasses, any white sugar would also work. If you choose to use a liquid sweetener such as maple syrup, consider omitting the water in this recipe.
- Canola oil- I've used canola oil in this recipe as it is neutral in flavor and easy to find. You can easily use any neutral flavor oil. If you use coconut oil, I recommend melting it first so it will combine well with the other wet ingredients.
- Pumpkin pie spice- What would a pumpkin recipe be without pumpkin spice? But really, you can easily get a very similar flavor by adding cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
- White miso- This ingredient is totally optional but very yummy if you can find it! I love to add a little white miso to my vegan cookie recipes. I feel it adds that umami flavor that you sometimes miss by not having butter and eggs in vegan recipes. If you do not have miso, you can easily add more salt instead.
To make these pumpkin oat cookies, you will first need to combine all the dry ingredients except the oats in a large mixing bowl using a whisk or long-stem fork. When the flour mixture is combined, mix in the oats as well.
Then, in a medium mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients with a whisk or long-stem fork. Be sure they are fully combined, appearing as one pumpkin-caramel color mixture without separation. From here, use a spatula to fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Scoop cookies into about 3 Tbsp-sized scoops (I used two scoops from a small cookie scoop). Space the cookies about 3 inches apart on a large nonstick or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350°F for 13-16 minutes until lightly golden on top. When done, transfer to a cooling rack and sprinkle the cookies with a pinch of smoked salt or coarse salt (optional). Allow the cookies to cool for 3-5 minutes.
- Mix-ins: Prefer chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? Go ahead and add chocolate chips! I think some roughly chopped dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, or walnuts would also be delicious in these cookies. For vegan cookies, be sure to check that your chocolate does not contain milk fat or other dairy ingredients!
- Healthy cookies: While it is completely fine to enjoy a delicious cookie without needing to "healthify" it, sometimes it is a fun challenge to boost the health factor or to suit best your health needs! When I was developing these cookies, I tried making them with oat flour to boost the fiber. While tasty, they felt more like breakfast cookies to me because they were very soft and light. But hey, maybe that's what you want! Another way to adapt this recipe could be to replace some of the flour and oil with nut butter, such as cashew butter, to add additional protein, fiber, and micronutrients.
- Make-ahead: If you want to prepare the dough to cook the cookies at a later time, the dough will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.
- Store: According to the USDA, homemade cookies can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 weeks, though they never make it this long without being devoured in my house! I would not recommend storing the cookies in the refrigerator as it will likely dry them out. They can keep in the freezer for 8-12 months.
If you choose to prep the dough and then bake the cookies at a later date, try to allow the dough to thaw at room temperature for up to 2 hours if able. If you choose to bake them while still cold/frozen, the cookies are unlikely to spread as evenly.
I love to top these cookies with a pinch of flaky smoked salt to add some savory flavor. I feel this helps to add a little balance to the sweetness of many baked goods. If you do not have smoked salt, feel free to top the cookies with coarse salt or omit any salt topping altogether. It is certainly not a "make or break" element of this recipe!
No worries! You can get a very similar flavor by adding 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, and ¼ teaspoon each of nutmeg and allspice. These spices are listed in order of importance so if you also do not have nutmeg or allspice, this is not a big deal whereas not having any cinnamon will change the flavor of the cookie.
Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 pinch smoked salt (optional) OR: coarse salt
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Combine all the dry ingredients except the rolled oats in a large mixing bowl using a whisk or long-stem fork. Once combined, mix in the rolled oats.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients using a whisk or long-stem fork until the mixture appears completely homogenous.
- Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture using a spatula.
- Scoop about 3 tablespoon per cookie of the cookie dough onto a large lined cookie tray, spaced about 3 inches apart.
- Bake for at 350° F for 13-16 minutes.
- Remove cookies from oven, sprinkle with salt, and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes on a cooling rack or 5-10 minutes on the cookie tray.
- Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
This recipe was adapted from Ovenly's Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies.