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Vegan Oat Thumbprint Cookies {gluten-free, flourless}

VGFNF

These jam-filled vegan oat thumbprint cookies are a mouth watering and delicious treat, suitable for breakfast, snacks & dessert! They are gluten-free & easy to make.
vegan oat thumbprint cookies on an aged baking sheet

I have many friends and acquaintances, as well as one husband and one son, who have strict ideas about what constitutes the perfect cookie. It tends to be some variation of crisp at the edges, chewy at the center, studded, stuffed or gilded with chocolate, and free of raisins and nuts.

My standards are far more flexible.

More precisely, I have no standards beyond delicious. It might be a youngest child phenomenon (any unclaimed cookie is a good cookie), or that my mom baked a wide diversity of cookies (chocolate chip cookies were the least common option in our house). But I tend to think it is more of a nature than nurture phenomenon:

I was born to love all kinds of cookies.

This is my long-winded way of justifying another cookie recipe post today :). The cookies in question are 100% oat thumbprint cookies that can be eaten for dessert, certainly, but for healthy breakfasts and snacks, too.

overhead close-up of a vegan oat thumbprint cookie

Despite being an equal opportunity cookie enthusiast, I nevertheless have a preference for wholesome, not too sweet cookies (more license to eat them throughout the day :)). And although I like chocolate, a cookie with dark sugars (e.g., coconut sugar, brown sugar, molasses, or dark maple syrup) and jam is definitely my jam. 

Healthy Benefits of Vegan Oat Thumbprints

These thumbprints are all of the above, and then some. The then some includes the following:

  • Vegan (egg-free & dairy-free)
  • Gluten-free
  • Flourless
  • Low in sugar (4.7 grams per cookie)
  • Easy-to-make

If all of that sounds good to you, too, then let’s make some cookies!

Ingredients for Vegan Oat Thumbprint Cookies

The list of ingredients for these cookies is minimal, as well as elastic:

  1. Rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick -cooking)
  2. Smooth nut or seed butter
  3. Coconut sugar (brown sugar is fine, too)
  4. Avocado oil (any oil you like will do; or sub with applesauce for oil-free)
  5. Baking soda, salt & a bit of spice (I used cardamom and cinnamon)
  6. All-fruit preserves (or any jam, marmalade or preserves you fancy)

ingredients for making vegan oat thumbprints, laid out on a cookie sheet

If you are wondering why I’ve placed a measuring cup full of split pea soup in the photo above, fear not: it is actually my homemade pepita butter :). Any smooth nut or seed butter (e.g., peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter) will work in the recipe.

Sunflower seed butter can also be used in the recipe, but see my recipe notes for preventing the sunflower seed butter from turning the cookies green.

How to Make the Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies are novice friendly. Shaped cookies can be tricky for new-ish bakers, but that’s not the case here. I’ll explain in a moment (hint: it has to do with the absence of gluten).

But first…

Step 1: Grind the Oats

Place the rolled oats in a food processor and grind to a rough flour consistency. You can grind the oats fine, too, if you prefer. I happen to like the rougher texture for making these cookies. Note that you can use either old fashioned oats or quick-cooking oats.

overhead shot of oats that have been ground into a rough meal in a food processor

Step 2: Combine the Dry Ingredients

Transfer the ground oats to a large bowl. Add the other dry ingredients–coconut sugar, salt, baking soda and spice–and stir to combine.

glass bol with the ground oats and other dry ingredients for the thumbprint cookies

Step 3: Add the Wet Ingredients

Add the wet ingredients–the nut or seed butter, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons oil (or applesauce), and vanilla–and stir until completely blended and the dough comes together in clumps. If the dough seems dry (due to variations in the types of nut/seed butter used), simply add another teaspoon or two of water.

cookie dough for the vegan oat thumbprints in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon

Step 4: Shape the Dough

Use a small cookie scoop or measuring spoon, to portion the dough into 2 teaspoon portions. Roll each dough into a ball and place 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Flatten each ball (slightly) with your palm and make a deep thumbprint impression in the center of each. Press and shape the cookies as much as you need to.

Here is the ease I mentioned earlier. Traditional cookie doughs, made with glutinous flour, require very gentle handling so as to avoid activating the gluten (which leads to tough cookies). This leaves very little wiggle room for getting the shape just right. These cookies do not contain gluten, so work and press the portions of dough as much as you like to craft a perfect shape (without compromising the cookie outcome).

vegan oat cookie dough being scooped and shaped onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet

Step 5: Add the Preserves

Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of preserves into the indentation of each cookie. I used all-fruit berry preserves, but any variety of preserves, jam, jelly or marmalade will work. Apple butter is another delicious option during these autumn months.

unbaked oat thumbprints being filed with jam from a wooden spoon

Step 6: Bake!

Bake the cookies in a preheated 325F oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown and firm to the touch. 

You’ve got cookies!

baked vegan oat thumbprints on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet

What Do the Cookies Taste Like?

The texture of the cookies is reminiscent of soft granola bars, with a bit of crispness at the edges. Pure comfort and satisfaction! The preserves provide a satisfying & energizing hit of of sweet without any subsequent crashes. Yay!

Happy baking, everyone!

More Easy & Amazing Baked Treats to Try:

  1. Pumpkin Latte Mini Muffins {vegan, oil-free, flourless}
  2. 3-Ingredient Almond Flour Cookies {Vegan, Oil-Free, Keto Option}
  3. Chocolate Coconut Flour Cookies {Vegan, Keto Option}
  4. Healthy Chocolate Banana Oat Cookies {vegan, oil-free, GF}
  5. 2-Ingredient Banana Oat Cookies {gluten-free, vegan}
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overhead close-up of a vegan oat thumbprint cookie

Vegan Oat Thumbprint Cookies {gluten-free, flourless}


  • Author: Camilla
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 14
  • Total Time: 24 minutes
  • Yield: 18 cookies 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These jam-filled vegan oat thumbprint cookies are a mouthwatering and delicious treat, suitable for breakfast, snacks & dessert! They are gluten-free & easy to make.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups (200 g) rolled oats (certified gluten-free, as needed)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or packed brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or spice(s) of choice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) smooth nut or seed butter (e.g., peanut, almond, pepita)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) avocado oil (or oil of choice; see note for going oil-free)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-fruit preserves (or jam or preserves of choice)

 

 


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the oats until they resemble a coarse flour or meal. Transfer the oats to a large bowl.
  3. Add the coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt to bowl of oat meal; stir to combine.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (except the jam), stirring until completely blended.
  5. Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, scoop dough in 2 teaspoon portions. Roll each portion into a ball and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Flatten (slightly) each dough ball, and then press a deep thumbprint size impression in the center. Fill each impression with 1/2 teaspoon preserves.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completley.

Notes

Storage: Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 2 days, the refrigerator for 1 week, or the freezer for up to 3 months.

Ready to Use Oat Flour: You can use pre-ground oat flour if you have it on hand! Use the same weight (200 g), which is about 1 and 2/3 cups.

Sunflower Seed Butter: The cookies are great made with smooth sunflower seed butter. However, sunflower seed butter can turned baked goods green (it’s a natural reaction and perfectly safe). If you do not want green cookies, do the following when using sunflower seed butter: (1) replace the baking soda with 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, and (2) add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar to the dough along with the water.

Oil-Free Option: The oil can be replaced by an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce.

  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 85
  • Sugar: 4.7 g
  • Sodium: 60.9 mg
  • Fat: 3.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.9 g
  • Fiber: 1.2 g
  • Protein: 1.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: oats, flourless, flourless oat cookies, vegan oat cookies, gluten-free, gluten-free cookies, vegan cookies, jam thumbprints

 

 
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Recipe rating

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Jill

Saturday 30th of January 2021

First time making thumbprint cookies and they turned out so delicious! I didn’t have avocado oil so I opted for olive oil instead. I also used sunflower butter for the nut butter.

Camilla

Sunday 31st of January 2021

Hooray! So glad they were a yummy success, Jill!

Em

Sunday 29th of November 2020

Camilla, I just made these as well as your chickpea bread and they are both divine. For a novice baker, they were so easy and fool proof, I really appreciated it. I also appreciated your clear instructions and subbed apple sauce instead of oil. You are so correct when you said these tasted like chewy granola bars with a hint of jam. Off I go now to try more of your recipes and buy a cookie scoop. Thank you from the bottom od my heart.

Rona

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Would tahini work as a sub for nut butter?

Camilla

Friday 30th of October 2020

Hi Rona,

Yes, tahini should work great :)

Leslie

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Just made these and they are delicious!!! Thank you!!

Camilla

Friday 30th of October 2020

I am so happy to hear that they were a success, Leslie!

mika

Thursday 29th of October 2020

How much oat flour is that? Can we just use oat flour instead of grinding the oats?

Camilla

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Hi Mika! Yes, you definitely an use ready to use oat flour. I’ll add notes to the recipe about weight. You will need about 1 and 2/3 cups ready to use oat flour (same weight as the rolled oats, 192 g).

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