This recipe is vegan, easily gluten-free and made just with oats (no flours needed), as well as being sweetened only with fruit. It’s the perfect breakfast cookie but just sweet enough to be a light dessert.
I like to fill these with blackberry jam that my godmother makes and the pairing of apple and blackberry is just right. You can, of course, fill the thumbprints with whatever you like – see below for some suggestions.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Chia seeds: this hasn’t been tested, but I think ground flax could be subbed for the chia. Use slightly less (maybe 1 1/2 tablespoons) and it should be fine.
- Oats: rolled oats will give the best texture to the cookies. Quick oats can be used in a pinch but steel-cut won’t work, and I haven’t tested with any other flake types like quinoa or spelt.
- Milk: I always use oat milk, but any kind of pourable milk can be used without any change in amounts.
- Jam: the blackberry jam could be replaced with raspberry if that’s easier for you to find, but definitely look for something that isn’t extremely sweet or even just make some speedy chia seed jam (definitely go that route if you’re looking to keep these free of added sugar).
If you dampen your thumb slightly, it’s easier to make the thumbprints in the centre of each cookie. The cookie edges might crack slightly when pressed, but can simply be pushed back together gently before baking.
This is more of a breakfast cookie and not so sweet or short like butter cookies. They’re on the moist side of things with the apple and dates, and more chewy than anything from the oats.
How to Store
Storage: the cookies can be kept in a sealed container on the counter for a couple of days if the temperature is cool. Otherwise, store in the refrigerator for several days.
Freezing: place cooled cookies in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
- Don’t worry about over mixing: this is a gluten-free recipe and since the base doesn’t include any flour at all, there’s no gluten to overwork. Mix until combined and no need for concern about toughness.
- Change up the filling: any type of jam you like will be good. Something with a bit of tartness (blackberry, raspberry, and mirabelle are my favourites) is best. Lemon curd might even work.
- Try a blender: if you don’t have a food processor, an immersion blender will work just as well. A large blender might be fine, but I think it may not work due to the low liquid content.
More Oat Recipes
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Oatmeal Thumbprint Cookies
- 200 grams rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 if fresh
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 large soft dates seeds removed
- 60 ml non-dairy milk
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or another light-tasting oil
- 1 large tart apple shredded*
- 12 teaspoons blackberry jam
- Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F) and grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
- Place the oats, chia, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine.200 grams rolled oats, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Blend the dates in a food processor until a smooth paste forms, then add the milk and oil. Blend again until everything is fully incorporated.6 large soft dates, 60 ml non-dairy milk, 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Add the date mixture and the shredded apple to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until the dough sticks together easily. You will likely have to use your hands as it’s difficult to mix.1 large tart apple
- Form approximately equal balls of dough, about 2 tablespoons per cookie. Place on the cookie sheet (they won’t spread so don’t worry about leaving too much space between them) and use your thumb to make an indent in the centre of each cookie. You may need to gently push the sides back into place after making the thumbprint.
- Fill each thumbprint with a teaspoon of jam, and bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for ten minutes before moving them to a rack to cool completely. Store on the counter for up to three days or in the fridge for a week.12 teaspoons blackberry jam
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was first published in September 2016. It has been updated with no changes to the recipe as of January 2023.