These Oatmeal Cookies Without Butter are mouth-watering, chewy, and, best of all, dairy-free. Even if butter isn’t off-limits for you, these cookies are just plain delicious!
If you’re a cookie lover but try to stay away from dairy, it can be hard to find really good recipes. Fortunately, this recipe for oatmeal cookies without butter is the best of the best.
These cookies are rich, not-too-sweet, and so tender it’s impossible to have just one. When you use a neutral oil in these cookies instead of butter, you’ll hardly notice a flavor difference. But you won’t be able to ignore the ultra-chewy, decadent texture.
Why You’ll Love these Oatmeal Cookies
- Made without butter – This is the perfect recipe for vegans or anyone who wants to avoid dairy.
- Perfectly chewy – Brown sugar makes these cookies soft and rich, while rolled oats create the ultimate chewy texture.
- Sweet and salty – Sprinkle flaky sea salt onto these oatmeal cookies for an irresistible not-too-sweet flavor.
- Super simple – With only 8 minutes of hands-on prep time, this recipe is as easy as it gets.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Egg – A room-temperature egg will incorporate into the dough easier than a chilled one.
- Oil – Any light, neutral-tasting oil will work for this recipe. I like to use light olive oil, but vegetable, canola, or grapeseed are perfect options too.
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Flour – All-purpose flour adds to the signature chewy texture and crisps the very edges for irresistible cookies.
- Baking soda
- Ground cinnamon
- Rolled oats – Rolled oats maintain their texture better than quick-cooking oats. Yet they’re softer and quicker to cook than fibrous steel-cut oats.
- Sea salt – A sprinkle of sea salt on top is optional but creates irresistible cookies.
There are tons of additions you could mix into oatmeal cookies without butter. Here are some of my favorites:
- Dried fruit like raisins, cherries, cranberries, craisins, and blueberries.
- Flavored baking chips are an easy choice. Try any variation of chocolate, peanut butter, or even butterscotch chips.
- Chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans, or almonds.
- Toasted coconut
- Bowls – You’ll use one bowl to incorporate and set aside the dry ingredients and another larger one to mix the dough.
- Mixer or whisk and spoon – If you have a stand or hand mixer, you’re set. Otherwise, you’ll need a whisk to combine the wet ingredients and a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to incorporate the dry ones.
- Plastic wrap – Use plastic wrap or reusable bowl covers when you chill the dough.
- 1-ounce cookie scoop – This medium cookie scoop is usually labeled as #40. It’s about 2 tablespoons worth of dough.
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat – Either option will prevent the cookies from sticking to the sheet pan.
- Cookie sheet
- Wire rack – A wire rack allows the cookies to cool quickly and evenly.
How to Make
- Mix the dry ingredients – Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and rolled oats in a bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients – Whisk together the egg, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla with a stand or hand mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, you can do this by hand. Just be prepared for an arm workout.
- Finish the dough – Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients so as not to cover your kitchen in flour and oats. Then, cover the dough with cling film and refrigerate it for at least 12 minutes.
- Form the cookies – Next, remove the chilled dough from the fridge and use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough onto an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake – Bake the cookies at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. When done, the cookies will look set, and their edges will have a golden-brown color.
- Cool – Allow the baked cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make sure you scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as you incorporate the dry ingredients. This way, you’ll get even consistency throughout every cookie.
- Don’t skip the chilling step! Chilling the dough solidifies the fats and prevents the cookies from spreading in the oven. Since this recipe doesn’t call for butter, you want the oil as cold as possible, so the cookies don’t turn into a puddle in the oven.
- The longer you chill the dough for oatmeal cookies without butter, the thicker your cookies will be.
How to Store
Room Temperature – Store oatmeal cookies without butter in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Refrigerate – Don’t store baked cookies in the refrigerator, or they’ll go stale. However, you can keep the dough chilling in the fridge for about 3 days.
Freeze – Store baked cookies in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag in the freezer for a few months. Thaw and heat them in a low-temperature oven whenever your sweet tooth strikes.
Frequently Asked Questions
This dough is perfect as a make-ahead recipe. You can store the dough in the fridge for 3 days. Or fill a parchment-lined cookie sheet with 1oz scoops of dough, cover it in layers of plastic wrap, and freeze it for 3 months. Then pop the frozen dough onto a cookie sheet and bake.
Stick to rolled oats for these oatmeal cookies without butter. They’re chewier than steel-cut oats and hold up better than quick-cooking oats. Swapping oat types will alter the texture and bake of this recipe.
Butter adds more flavor to baked goods, but oil is better for recipes like muffins, quick breads, and some cookies. Oil incorporates easier than butter, so there’s less chance of over-mixing and over-developing gluten. That means you’ll have a tender and moist consistency, which is perfect for oatmeal cookies.
Oatmeal Cookies Without Butter
- 1 egg
- ⅔ cup neutral tasting oil, I use light olive oil
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon sea salt for sprinkling
- Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and rolled oats) In a medium bowl, and set aside.
- In a larger bowl, whisk egg, and add oil, brown sugar, and vanilla, mixing well.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
- Refrigerate dough for at least 12 minutes.
- While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 350º.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator after 12-15 minutes, and use a 1 oz. cookie scoop to scoop onto ungreased, or parchment lined baking tray.
- Bake in center of oven for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are set, and beginning to brown on the edges.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes on tray, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Chilling the dough keeps the cookies from spreading too thin. The colder the dough, the thicker the cookie.
- This would be a great recipe to add dried fruit, chocolate chips, or nuts to.