Honey oatmeal cookies are a lovely treat around the holidays (or anytime) and I often wrap them up as gifts for friends, and these ones are made with healthy whole-food ingredients like spelt flour and coconut oil.
Of course they’re not vegan because of the honey, but they are dairy-free and egg-free. A little ginger spices things up and they turn out a little reminiscent of oat florentines, just not so thin.
I feel like I’ve tested a million healthy honey and oat cookies over the past couple of years, all with disastrous results. They were either dense little rocks or spread way too much. One batch filled the cookie sheet with one giant cookie and I had to peel it off in one great chunk. Finally, success.
This version is just the right amount of chewy with a big honey flavour. There’s so little flour in the recipe that it might seem like it won’t work, but it will! I started with dense little honey pucks and worked my way down to this amount, and it’s just right.
Scroll to the bottom of the post or click “skip to recipe” above to see the recipe card with full ingredient measurements and instructions.
- Rolled oats
- Spelt flour
- Baking powder
- Sea salt
- Coconut oil
- Non-dairy milk (like oat or almond)
- Fresh ginger (optional)
- Add-ins (optional): raisins, chocolate chips, almonds
Start by preheating the oven and lining a couple baking sheets with parchment. The cookies are large and need some space, so unless you have the European style oven-wide baking sheets, use two.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. If you’re using add-ins, mix them in as well.
In another dish, whisk together the honey, coconut oil, milk, ginger, and vanilla.
Add the honey mixture to the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. It might seem a bit thin at this point. If it is, let it rest for a few minutes before forming the cookies.
Place a couple tablespoons for each cookie onto the baking sheet(s), spaced a full 6cm (2 in.) between each cookie. Spread them out to about 1cm (1/3 in.) thickness with the back of a spoon. This is what makes the nice thin cookies without loading up the sugar!
Bake for about ten minutes, or until the edges are quite golden. Let the cookies cool for about ten minutes before carefully removing from the sheet and cooling fully on a rack. They are a bit delicate until fully cooled (the coconut oil helps them to set).
Tips and Notes
These are a slightly finicky cookie and small changes to the recipe will make a difference, so please note the substitutions below. Things like oven temperature will also result in fairly large variations (as it generally does with baking) so if you find you’re having difficulties, I recommend an oven thermometer to keep an eye on it.
If you’re here during the winter holidays and want to make these taste a bit more like a spice cookie, go ahead and add some extra spices in there! A lebkuchen blend is always nice, or go for 1/4 tsp each cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves along with the cinnamon and ginger.
Not really substitutions, but you have the option to add raisins, chocolate, and/or sliced almonds here. Or sunflower seeds, other dried fruit… you get it. Stick with the amount listed, though, because too much will make the cookies hard to handle.
Unfortunately, I don’t find that maple syrup is a great substitute here to make these vegan (too thin?) but date syrup works quite well! It’s a little tricker to find – I have several jars from a brand I’ve worked with – and readers have noted that brown rice syrup also works.
I haven’t tried these with GF flour but as it’s such a small amount, I’m thinking that a blend (like Bob’s Red Mill) would be fine. Alternatively, try these vegan oatmeal cookies for a similar, peanut butter version.
Oils that are liquid at room temperature will result in a very soft cookie. If you don’t have coconut oil, use another type of fat that’s solid at room temperature for the best results. That being said, coconut oil is what adds to the slight crispness on the edges of these cookies.
More Healthy-ish Cookies
Vegan Spice Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Orange Macaroons (GF)
Vegan Lebkuchen (German Spice Cookies)
Vegan Orange Shortbread
Ultimate Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies (GF)
Flourless Chocolate Tahini Cookies (GF)
Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (GF)
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Honey and Oat Cookies
- 100 grams rolled oats
- 40 grams whole spelt flour*
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 60 grams coconut oil, melted
- 60 ml honey
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 2 cm fresh ginger grated (optional)***
- Optional: 1/4 cup raisins chocolate chips, or sliced almonds (60g, 50g, 40g, in that order)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you may need two sheets if yours are small).
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add the raisins or chocolate and the sliced almonds if you're using them.
- In a smaller dish, whisk together the coconut oil, honey, milk, vanilla, and ginger.
- Add the honey mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate. If it seems too thin let it sit for five minutes to thicken up a little before shaping the cookies.
- Place two tablespoons of the cookie dough onto the baking sheet and spread it out to about a 1 cm thickness with the back of a spoon. Repeat until all of the dough is used, leaving 6 cm (2 inches) between each cookie to allow for spreading.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for 10 minutes before carefully lifting them off with a spatula and letting them cool fully on a rack. Store in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
* 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.
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This post was originally published in December 2016. It has been updated with improvements and new pictures as of August 2020.