These one bowl Vegan Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies have everything you could want: crisp edges, soft centers, dark chocolate and walnuts in every bite. Oats form the base of these cookies, making them super tender, flavorful, and low on gluten. Creamy peanut butter eliminates the need for actual butter—and gives these cookies nutty goodness in every bite!
We've been making these cookies for years and won't be stopping anytime soon. The dough can be portioned and frozen, for fresh-from-the-oven cookies whenever the craving hits. But if you're planning to share with family and friends, bake off the whole batch, because these cookies always disappear fast!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Crisp edges, soft in the middle: These delicious cookies are golden on the edges, but soft and tender in the middle. It's the best of both worlds! They're loaded with dark chocolate, walnuts, and peanut butter which really takes them over the top.
- Dairy-free, egg-free, low gluten recipe: This recipe is great for anyone who is avoiding dairy and/or eggs. The base for the dough is mostly oats, so this recipe contains less gluten than traditional cookies. (Note: This recipe is not gluten-free, but this delicious dark chocolate cookie recipe is).
- No specialty vegan ingredients: This recipe doesn't call for specialty vegan butter, vegan eggs, or gluten-free flour blends. And, you probably already have most (if not all) of the ingredients at home already.
- One bowl: The cookie dough batter gets mixed in one bowl. You don't need an electric mixer for this, a spoon/spatula works just fine. Do take care to add and mix the ingredients in the same order listed in the recipe. This will ensure even ingredient distribution, which is especially important with one-bowl baking recipes.
- Tested until perfect: We made this recipe 8 times before publishing it—and have made it countless times in the years since! This recipe works like a dream (—just make sure you follow it).
This recipe doesn't require any specialty vegan products—like vegan butter or eggs. In fact, you probably already have most of these ingredients at home! Here are the ingredients you need:
- Rolled Oats: Use rolled (old fashioned) oats for this recipe—not quick oats. The oats get blended into a flour, which forms the base for the cookie dough. It keeps the cookies soft and tender, with oat flavor throughout.
- All Purpose Flour: This recipe calls for a tiny bit of all-purpose flour to help keep the cookies together. Without it, the recipe would need a gluten-free starch or binder—which is something I wanted to avoid! So, the recipe is not gluten-free, but rather gluten "light".
- Coconut Oil: Start with slightly softened (but still solid) coconut oil. If your coconut oil is liquid-y, pop it in the fridge until firm, then set it out at room temperature to soften slightly before using.
- Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar is recommended for color, but darker brown sugar works too. If you're vegan, check the label to see if it's vegan friendly (organic brands often are!).
- Dark Chocolate: I usually chop up a bar of dark chocolate, but you could use vegan-friendly chocolate chunks or chocolate chips instead.
Find the recipe card below for the complete recipe, including all ingredients and instructions.
How to make (step-by-step photos)
Here's how to make these delicious Vegan Oat Chocolate Chunk Cookies:
Find the recipe card below for the complete recipe, including all ingredients and instructions.
Video for this Vegan Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe
Tips for making these oat chocolate chunk cookies
- Bake by weight (if you can): We always recommend baking by weight where possible. A scale is much more accurate than using measuring cups.
- Stir your peanut butter thoroughly: Creamy all-natural peanut butter has a tendency to separate. Stir the jar thoroughly to incorporate the oil—then scoop out the smooth and runny peanut butter for these cookies.
- Use chopped chocolate (or chocolate chunks) for the gooier cookie: While chocolate chips can be used, they're designed to hold their shape in the oven. If you're a fan of melted pockets of chocolate, start with a bar of chocolate and chop it yourself.
- Garnish with flaky salt (optional): Flaky sea salt pairs really nicely with the dark chocolate—but these cookies also taste great without it! If you are garnishing with flaky salt, add it immediately after the cookies come out of the oven. The salt will stick better when the cookies are hot and the chocolate is melted.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet: These cookies are very tender straight from the oven, in part because they have such little all-purpose flour/gluten. They will firm up as they cool. Let the cookies cool almost completely on the baking sheet, before gently lifting them with a spatula/flipper. (Note: If you can't resist a fresh-from-the-oven cookie, leave them untouched for at least 5-7 minutes, otherwise they might crumble).
Frequently asked questions
Yes, after scooping the individual cookie dough balls, you can freeze them on a parchment lined baking sheet until firm. Then, transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container. Cookies can be baked from frozen. They may need an extra minute or two in the oven, so follow the recipe's visual cues for determining when the cookies are done.
Yes, you can substitute the oats for oat flour instead. Substitute the oats for an equal weight of oat flour, and skip the step of blending the oats. Weights (in grams) are available in metric.
Cookies are always best fresh! For best results, store in an airtight container and enjoy as soon as possible (up to 3 to 4 days).
Vegan Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts
- 2 tablespoons ground flax
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1¼ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup smooth natural peanut butter (unsalted, see note 1)
- ½ cup coconut oil (solid)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup chopped dark chocolate
- Flaky sea salt (for garnish)
- Preheat: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Flax egg: In a small bowl, whisk together ground flax and water until smooth. Set aside to thicken.
- Oat flour: Add oats to a blender and process until it's a fine powder.
- Mix dough: In a large bowl, stir together peanut butter, coconut oil, and brown sugar. Mix until the mixture is a smooth liquid (no clumps of coconut oil should be visible). Stir in vanilla. Add oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well combined. (Up until this point, you don't need to worry about over-mixing).
- Finish dough: Stir in the flax egg until well mixed. Add all purpose flour and stir just until combined. Gently fold in walnuts and chocolate.
- Bake: Scoop dough into golf-ball sized balls (about 3 tablespoons each). Use your hand to roll the balls until smooth, then gently press down to flatten the tops. Arrange dough over the two baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time, until golden brown at the edges, about 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking tray (they will be quite delicate at first, and firm up as they cool). Sprinkle with flaky salt.
- Peanut Butter: Use smooth, natural peanut butter (no sugar added). Since natural peanut butter has a tendency to separate, make sure the oil is thoroughly mixed in before measuring and using. You want the peanut butter to be fairly runny since it'll assist with binding the dough.
Made these once, made them twice, made them at least three more times. They are so good!
Woohoo! Glad to hear you're liking these cookies Shawn. Happy baking! (And eating!)
Hi, I don’t have any coconut oil, can I sub it for another oil?
Hi there! I haven't tested it with a different kind of oil, so I can't say for sure! If you're up to risk it, I'd recommend another oil that acts similarly to coconut oil (ie. primarily solid at room temp)...so something like real butter or a vegan butter substitute. Make sure to cream it together quite well since both of those tend to stay firmer for a little bit longer than coconut oil. Good luck!
I made these today and omg they are soooo good! I subbed pretzels instead of walnuts as I wanted the extra crunch and salt. Amazing! I can't wait to make these again!
Hi Sarah! Yay so glad to hear you loved these cookies! Thrilled that substituting pretzels for the walnuts worked out:) Thanks for sharing. Hope you get a chance to make (and eat) these again. xx Bri
Can you substitute almond butter for the peanut butter 1:1?
Hey Jessica! You sure can! Just tested that version today and it worked out well, so you can definitely go ahead and substitute almond butter for peanut butter 1:1. Side by side, we're a bit partial to the flavor of peanut butter - it tastes a wee bit more "nutty" in the cookie, but honestly, they both taste great. I'll update the recipe notes in case any other readers have the same question! Hope you enjoy - and let us know what you think of the cookies! xx
Sara Sestito says
What if I have oat flour on hand? Can I use that? How would the measurements differ?
Hi! Quick question I have both solid and liquid coconut oil .... which should I use?
Hi Cindy! Use your solid coco oil for this one. Usually if the coconut oil is supposed to be melted, most recipes will write "coconut oil, melted", but sometimes that's not the case, so good call checking! I added the note to the recipe as well in case others had questions too! Enjoy the cookies xx Bri