There are a lot of -frees, here, I know, but these really are tasty! With peanut butter, dates, banana, and chocolate, you really can’t go wrong. The base is just rolled oats with no flour needed.
These can optionally be made without oil, but they are a bit nicer with that little addition. You can leave it out if preferred (see notes below). Everything is done in one bowl if you don’t mind a little workout mashing the fruit by hand! Otherwise, use a food processor.
We really like these little banana oat cookies as an afternoon snack and keep them in a container in the refrigerator. They can be stored at room temp but taste great chilled, and last longer, in the fridge.
See below for nut-free subs and more.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
Fruit-sweetened oatmeal cookies, without any added sugar, and lots of peanut butter and chocolate. What could be better?
- It’s a one-bowl recipe: since these are gluten-free, everything can very easily be made in one bowl. You might want to use a food processor, but you don’t have to.
- They make a great breakfast: with essentially oats, fruit, and nuts, it’s pretty much müsli and a very good on-the-go morning meal. I like one or two for second breakfast.
- They’re soft and chewy: because of the added fruit and only using oats, without flour, the cookies are a bit like a muffin top/cookie combination.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Rolled Oats: or use quick cook – both work well here. I haven’t tried with other flakes.
- Dates: soft, if possible, or soak in hot water for half an hour beforehand.
- Peanut Butter: natural without oil or sugar added. To make these nut-free, sub sunflower seed butter for the peanut and use seeds instead of nuts in the dough.
- Coconut Oil: just a bit for improved flavour and texture. For oil-free cookies, simply omit the coconut oil. It makes the cookies better but they’ll still work fine without.
Step by Step
1. Mix wet ingredients: mash the fruit (use a food processor if desired) in a large mixing bowl and stir in the other wet ingredients.
2. Add dry ingredients: mix in the oats and other remaining ingredients to combine.
3. Scoop dough: scoop or form 16 equal cookies onto a baking sheet.
4. Bake: for about 18 minutes, or until lightly firm to touch.
If you can’t see the accompanying video, please watch it here.
I would typically use a food processor for the wet ingredients to puree, but couldn’t bring mine when we last moved. A bowl and fork works just as well but takes a bit longer. If using a food processor but you want to keep the dishes down, puree the banana etc. and then remove the blade and stir in the dry ingredients by hand into the bowl of the mixer.
There is no substitution for the banana and dates. I’m not sure about oats – I haven’t tried making these with quinoa flakes, for example, and I’m not sure how they’d turn out. Use certified GF oats if necessary.
If your peanut butter is quite salty, either halve the added salt or omit, depending on your personal preference.
The baking time isn’t an error. They do need a bit longer than usual to bake due to the high fruit content.
These inspired the base for these peanut butter banana popsicles.
How to Store
Storage: keep the cookies in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about a week. They don’t keep very well at room temperature.
Freezing: freeze in an airtight container for at least a month, but they don’t taste as good the longer they’re in the freezer.
- Use soft peanut butter: the hard, dry bits at the bottom of the jar aren’t ideal for this recipe. It should be runny, or at least spoon-able, but not dry.
- Use parchment paper: while recipes sometimes call for paper when greasing will do just as well, this isn’t one of those times. You must use parchment paper for this recipe as the cookies will stick to a baking sheet, no matter how well greased.
- Check oven temperature: this is a common problem. Home ovens often run 10-20°C off from what they’re set at (I’ve had an oven that was often 50°C too hot!) so a small oven thermometer works wonders. If you find that your bakes are often failing despite following the recipe exactly, you may need to check this.
- Use ripe bananas: the cookies are sweetened with the banana and dates, so the riper the banana, the better the cookies will be.
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Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies
- 2 ripe bananas
- 100 grams soft dates
- 70 grams natural peanut butter
- 30 grams coconut oil
- 150 grams rolled oats
- 50 grams roughly chopped nuts
- 80 grams dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- If you have a food processor, blend the bananas, dates, peanut butter, and coconut oil until completely smooth. Otherwise, add to a large bowl and mash very well with a fork.2 ripe bananas, 100 grams soft dates, 70 grams natural peanut butter, 30 grams coconut oil
- Add the rolled oats, nuts, chocolate, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix very well.150 grams rolled oats, 50 grams roughly chopped nuts, 80 grams dark chocolate, chopped, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Drop about two tablespoons for each cookie onto the prepared baking sheet. They should be spaced about 3cm (1 in.) from each other but won't spread much.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack for a couple of minutes, or until the cookies can be handled. Remove and cool completely on the rack.
- Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to a week or freeze up to a month.
* 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 March 2015. It has been updated with new photos, improved instruction, and some slight changes to the recipe as of January 2022.