Thick and chewy gluten-free oatmeal cookies are so easy-to-make. This one-bowl recipe is loaded with gluten-free oats, chocolate chips (or raisins, it’s up to you!), and just a hint of cinnamon.
Today we’re making gluten-free oatmeal cookies. This is a recipe that’s ridiculously easy to make and rewards your (little) effort with deeply flavorful cookies. But…I hesitated to share it for a while now. Why? It contains oats.
“Um, of course, it contains oats. You said that we’re making gluten-free oatmeal cookies. Why is this news?”
It matters because some folks on the gluten-free diet don’t consume oats. The reasons are varied. For solid information on oats and the gluten-free diet, you should check out Gluten-Free Watchdog’s Oat Q&A.
If you include oats as part of your gluten-free diet, you’ll love this recipe. In fact, I think you’ll love, love, LOVE this recipe. They’re thick. They’re chewy. And they are so easy-to-make.
Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies: Key Ingredients
- Gluten-Free Flour: I developed this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour. It makes gluten-free oatmeal cookies that are thick and chewy (to be fair, the chew comes mostly from the oats.). If you prefer a different gluten-free flour blend, the texture of the cookies might come out differently.
- Purity Protocol/Certified Gluten-Free Oats: Oats are a gluten-free grain. However, some are handled in a way that exposes them to gluten. Look for purity protocol or certified gluten-free oats.
- Brown Sugar: You can use either light brown or dark brown sugar in this recipe. I prefer dark brown sugar because I love the extra molasses flavor with oats.
- Cinnamon: This sounds funny but you can’t really taste the cinnamon in these cookies but if you omit it, they don’t taste quite as good.
Oatmeal Cookies: Chocolate Chips vs Raisins
We shall now enter the great chocolate chip vs raisin debate. You might have noticed that I put chocolate chips first. There’s a reason for that. I prefer them in oatmeal cookies. I basically prefer chocolate chips to raisins in almost everything. (But here’s a weirdness! I really like Raisinettes. I know. I don’t get me either.)
If you use raisins in this cookie recipe, be sure they’re soft. This is not the time to use the last of those hard, years-old raisins that have been sitting in the back of your pantry. (You can use those in other baked goods if you soak them first. But adding soaked raisins to oatmeal cookie dough changes the texture of the dough and causes them to spread too much.)
Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies: Key Steps
- Stir together the brown sugar and melted butter until smooth. This step does two things: it gets rid of any lumps of brown sugar. (If they remain, press on them with your spatula or back of your wooden spoon.) And it cools the butter a bit so it won’t cook the egg when it’s added.
- Add the egg and vanilla. Stir until the egg is combined. The mixture looks like a thick caramel sauce at this point. It’s really lovely.
- Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until no dry flour clings to the bottom of the bowl. The dough will look very soft. This is fine. It thickens (a lot!) when the gluten-free oats are added.
- Add the gluten-free oats and chocolate chips and/or raisins. Stir the dough until the oats look shiny, not dry.
- Scoop and bake. Use a cookie scoop to ensure the cookies are all the same size. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake until set. These cookies don’t spread much. They bake up thick and chewy. Look for the edges to be golden brown and set.
Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies: Keys for Success
Use a Cookie Scoop. It makes it easy to “roll” the cookie dough. The scoop takes care of it for you. And every cookie is the same size which ensures even baking. If you don’t own a cookie scoop, use about two tablespoons of dough per cookie.
Use a Baking Sheet with Parchment. Greasing the sheets with butter or vegetable spray causes the cookies to spread and bake unevenly.
Slightly Underbake. For gluten-free oatmeal cookies that are chewy in the center, remove them from the oven when the center still looks soft. They finish baking on the pan and retain a soft texture when cooled.
Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies: FAQs
What oats are best for oatmeal cookies?
I’ve tested this recipe with both quick cook and old fashioned oats. The truth is that both types of oats work! Oatmeal cookies made with quick cook oats aren’t as chewy as those made with old fashioned oats. Quick cook oats, because they are so thin, tend to almost fade into the dough. Old fashioned oats dot the dough, adding the classic oatmeal cookie texture.
Just be sure to avoid steel-cut oats. They don’t work!
(And, as mentioned above, look for certified gluten-free oats/purity protocol oats.)
Why are my oatmeal cookies hard?
If overbaked, oatmeal cookies can turn out hard. Next time, bake them for a few minutes less. It should solve the problem.
Can I make these cookies dairy-free?
Yes. Replace the melted butter with a melted dairy-free butter substitute.
Can I make these egg-free?
I haven’t tested the recipe without an egg. However, I believe this recipe would be a good candidate for egg-free baking.
Can I make oatmeal cookies without sugar?
I haven’t tested this recipe with a sugar replacement. Sorry.
Other Easy Gluten-Free Cookies You’ll Love
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies
- Gluten-Free Soft Sugar Cookies
- Gluten-Free Sparkle Sugar Cookies
Easy Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies
Thick and chewy gluten-free oatmeal cookies are so easy-to-make. This one-bowl recipe is loaded with gluten-free oats, chocolate chips (or raisins, it's up to you!), and just a hint of cinnamon.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly (4 ounces/ 113 grams)
- 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar, see note (6 ounces/ 170 grams)
- 1 large egg (about 2 ounces/ 57 grams, out of shell)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup gluten-free flour, see note (5 1/4 ounces/ 150 grams)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked (5 1/4 ounces/ 148 grams)
- 1 cup chocolate chips OR 1 cup raisins (about 6 ounces/ 170 grams)
Preheat oven. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Make the dough. Stir together melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. The mixture will look like caramel sauce. Add the gluten-free flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Sir until you don't see any streaks of flour. Add the oats and chocolate chips or raisins. Mix until combined.
Scoop and Bake. Drop dough, about two tablespoons each, onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Space dough about one inch apart. These don't spread much. Bake until set, about 12 minutes.
Cool. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the pan for minutes. (While they cook, bake the remaining dough on the second baking sheet.) Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Store. Keep the cookies covered on the counter for up to four days or freeze for up to three months. To freeze cookies: place in a freezer container and separate layers with a piece of wax or parchment paper. Thaw overnight on the counter.
Gluten-Free Flour: This recipe was developed with Bob's Red Mill's 1:1 Gluten-free Baking flour. Using a different gluten-free flour might affect the texture of the cookies.
Brown Sugar: Use light or dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar gives the cookies a more pronounced molasses flavor.