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Thick and Chewy Classic Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies

Thick and Chewy Classic Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies

This simple recipe for thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies is crispy around the edges, soft and chewy the rest of the way through. In other words, perfect.

This simple recipe for thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies is crispy around the edges, soft and chewy the rest of the way through.

Yup, oatmeal cookies can be made gluten free!

Are you worried that oats aren’t gluten free? Oats are not a gluten-containing grain. They are frequently contaminated with gluten, though, because of the way they are typically grown and stored.

In the United States, there are certified gluten free oats that are grown on dedicated fields, and processed to carefully avoid any contamination. I even buy certified gluten free oats at my local Trader Joe’s for a great price.

It’s worth sourcing the proper oats just to make this recipe for thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies. It’s been a family favorite of mine, in one form or another, for about 20 years (with gluten, at first!).

This simple recipe for thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies is crispy around the edges, soft and chewy the rest of the way through. In other words, perfect.

A very (very) thick cookie dough

You’ll notice in the video that this cookie dough is very thick, and nearly seems like it won’t come together. You might even be tempted to add some water, but resist the urge!

The balance of ingredients is perfect for making oatmeal cookies that are thick and have that delightful chew, and also have crisp, browned edges. The most effective way to integrate the ingredients fully into one another when making the cookie dough by hand is to alternate between mixing the dough and pressing down on the butter with the back of the spoon.

For the easiest way to make the dough, follow the instructions as written, whisking the dry ingredients as instructed. But use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment everywhere the instructions direct you to “mix” rather than “whisk.”

This simple recipe for thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies is crispy around the edges, soft and chewy the rest of the way through. In other words, perfect.

Chilling the dough

Although the cookie dough is so thick, I prefer to chill it before baking the cookies. That ensures the proper texture every time.

You can make it without chilling the dough, though. The cookies will simply spread a bit more, so they won’t be quite as thick. But they’ll still be delicious.

This simple recipe for thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies is crispy around the edges, soft and chewy the rest of the way through. In other words, perfect.

How to avoid over-baking these cookies

Just before the edges of these cookies turn brown in the oven, the tops will still be glossy and look wet. Even when the cookies are done, though, they won’t be firm, particularly on top.

In fact, if you bake them until they’re firm on top to the touch, they’ll be overdone. If you’re concerned about over-baking, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake them for 15 minutes. You’ll still get browning, but reduce the chance of baking out much of the chewiness of the cookies.

This simple recipe for thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies is crispy around the edges, soft and chewy the rest of the way through. In other words, perfect.

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy: I’ve made this recipe with Melt brand vegan butter in place of butter, and it worked really well. The cookies didn’t brown quite as nicely, and they spread a bit more, but overall the substitution worked great. Miyoko’s Kitchen brand of vegan butter is also a great choice.

Eggs: In place of each of the two eggs in this recipe, you can try one “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). I haven’t tried this substitution, though, so I’m afraid you’ll have to experiment.

Oats: If you can’t have oats, you can replace the old fashioned oats in this recipe with flattened (or beaten) rice. If you can’t have oats, I recommend having a look at our full discussion about replacing oats in gluten free baking.

You’ll even find a photo in that post of a batch of these very oatmeal cookies made with beaten rice. They look perfect, and although the texture isn’t identical to oats, it’s closer than I ever thought I’d get for oat-free oatmeal cookies!

 

Stack of crisp outside, chewy inside gluten free oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips.

This simple recipe for thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies is crispy around the edges, soft and chewy the rest of the way through.Gluten free oatmeal raisin cookies image raw, baked, and served on a platter.This simple recipe for thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies is crispy around the edges, soft and chewy the rest of the way through. In other words, perfect.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

2 1/2 cups (250 g) certified gluten free old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup (218 g) packed light brown sugar

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips*

10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

*The chocolate chips can be replaced by an equal amount (by weight) of raisins for a more traditional cookie.

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the granulated sugar and oats, and whisk again to combine. Add the brown sugar and mix, breaking up any lumps in. Add the butter, and mix with a large spoon, pressing down with the back of the spoon to moisten the other ingredients. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla, and mix until the dough comes together. It will be very thick, and a bit difficult to stir, but continue to alternately press the cookie dough with the back of the spoon and stir, until the dry ingredients are nearly absorbed. Add the chocolate chips, and mix to distribute the chips evenly throughout and until the dough is completely integrated.

  • Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces, each about the size of a golf ball, on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Press each piece of dough with the palm of your hand to flatten it into a disk of about 3/4-inch thick. Place the baking sheets in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. Once chilled, place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown all over (and a bit browner around the edges). The cookies will still be soft to the touch. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet until firm (about 10 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2012 and updated a bit in 2016. Original recipe tweaked slightly (reduced oats and increased butter a bit). Photos and video new.

Love,
Nicole

  • Matthew Sbrissa
    July 7, 2020 at 4:11 PM

    Oh. My. God. So good! This was my first time making homemade oatmeal cookies and they came out amazing, and I’m so glad my mom who’s GF can indulge as well! I sprinkled some coarse salt on top and added raisins, amazing!! Thanks for the recipe<3 :)

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 7, 2020 at 6:20 PM

      That’s so great, Matthew! Coarse salt and raisins sound great, and I’m so glad you’re able to enjoy them with your mom. 🙂

  • Laura
    July 5, 2020 at 3:48 AM

    Just baked a batch (lovely!!) and then had meet-up for which they were baked postponed. Any clue if they are freezable? I could easily scarf them all myself but….😀

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 5, 2020 at 10:52 AM

      Oh my goodness, Laura, yes yes yes. They freeze beautifully. I consider all cookies freezer-friendly unless proven otherwise, and I’ve frozen these many, many times with great success.

  • Liz
    July 2, 2020 at 1:57 PM

    Am I able to toss the bowl in the freezer and then roll them out after? Our freezer is so small and narrow, one baking sheet let alone 2 wouldnt fit in it. :(

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 2, 2020 at 5:28 PM

      If you chill the dough before you shape it, it tends to be difficult to shape properly, and your hands will warm it up quite a bit during the shaping. Maybe try shaping the dough and placing the pieces on a lined plate (or anything else flat and small that will fit in the freezer). Once they’re chilled, transfer them to the baking sheet and bake.

  • Emily
    June 29, 2020 at 9:33 PM

    I made many subs due to running out of a bunch of ingredients. I used bobs red mill 1:1, coconut oil instead of butter, 1 cup of coconut sugar instead of brown, and 1/3 cup lankanto instead of the granulated sugar. Oh and I only had 2 cups of oats so I tossed in a 1/2 cup of oat flour. Even with all my subs.. these are SO good. Exactly what I was hoping for. Yum. Thanks for sharing this recipe

  • Penelope
    June 29, 2020 at 12:16 PM

    This recipe is DECADENT. I melted my butter to make them extra chewy and they did not disappoint. I do however wish they were less sweet. Will try to play around with that to see if I can get half the sugar at least. Highly recommend 👌

  • Aaya
    June 19, 2020 at 3:59 PM

    Make these often and I have no gluten reaction and I am gluten intolerant. They come out perfectly every time, I usually use dark chocolate cut into bits and it really complements the cookie. Thank you for this awesome recipe.

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 20, 2020 at 9:03 AM

      Dark chocolate chopped into bits beat chocolate chips every time, Aaya.😊

  • Janie
    June 13, 2020 at 7:01 PM

    I made these oatmeal cookies gluten free and sugar free. I used Pamela’s baking/pancake mix and for the sugar substitute I used Swerve. Turned out good. Had to bake them a few more minutes though.

  • Dana Jaszczult
    May 30, 2020 at 11:35 PM

    These cookies are great! I always use Bob’s Red Mill in gf baking and have had no problems. I do think measuring by weight is critical.

  • Kristina
    February 6, 2020 at 2:45 PM

    Ours came out a bit dry. Any tips?

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 6, 2020 at 7:41 PM

      If you made any substitutions, Kristina, including not using one of my recommended flour blends (many people want to use one of the inexpensive but subpar blends like Namaste or Bob’s Red Mill, but they simply won’t work as expected, I’m afraid), or measuring by volume instead of by weight, those are the top reasons why a recipe wouldn’t turn out as expected.

  • GF Mum
    January 29, 2020 at 7:31 PM

    Made these for dinner tonight and they were a big hit! Half raisins, half chocolate chips… my daughter’s favourite way!

  • JC Clark
    January 29, 2020 at 1:20 PM

    I’m sorry but there is no such thing as GF oats. Every GF oat I have tried gives me a gluten reaction. Writer must not be a celiac.

    • Nicole Hunn
      January 29, 2020 at 1:59 PM

      Just because you have a reaction does not mean you are reacting to gluten in the oats, JC Clark. If you feel you must avoid oats, please continue to do so. Your oats may have been contaminated or you may simply be sensitive, also, to oats. And my son is, indeed, a celiac.

  • Nancy
    September 4, 2016 at 5:23 PM

    I am not fond of raisins in anything but I am tired of making chocolate chip cookies. I read the post by Saints and Spinners saying “rum soaked raisins would be thrilling”, I know she was kidding but I decided to try it. I soaked the raisins in dark rum and the cookies are amazing, the rum flavor really comes through. I did use quite a bit of rum and soaked them for a couple of hours. My chocolate chip cookie freak husband loves them!

  • diane
    August 22, 2016 at 3:50 AM

    Have tried lots of your recipes,& love the results,,still tial & error,but have a whole file full so far ! It’s so nice to find such a helpful site Nicole .My one question is,our unsalted butter price here in South Africa has ‘gone through the roof’,’ what can I substitute,or if using the salted one,will they just be a little salty ? Can I use a good margarine too.
    Diane

  • Dudette
    August 21, 2016 at 3:48 PM

    Nicole, love love love your blog, my fave place to get g-free recipes. I am off dairy also, could these be made with earth balance, I know butter makes the best cookies, but need to avoid for now. These cookies look amazing!

    • August 22, 2016 at 8:31 AM

      Hi, Dudette,
      In place of butter, I’d actually recommend using Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, not Earth Balance. They even have a butter flavor. Earth Balance has much, much more moisture than butter, and the cookies would likely spread a ton if you use it. Hope that helps!

  • Olinda Paul
    August 18, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    OK LADIES…OMG Whip out your kitchen stuff and make these right away. I made them exactly as stated…ok, tha’s a slight lie…. I did add chocolate chips, a handful of pepita seeds, a large handful of chopped up dried fruit of choice, including raisins and cranberries. OMG….I just ate one and you wont regret it. This is THE best recipe I have come across. Kudo’s to You Nicole…YUMMO.
    and Oh I used Bob Red Mill Pancake mix for the flour…see how desperate I was? Perfect. Just think how it would taste with the regular complete recipe. Desperation makes us do funny things.

  • youngbaker2002
    August 18, 2016 at 8:32 PM

    O-M-GOSH. I came on the blog today to see if you had a chewy oatmeal cookie recipe. I swear you can read minds. These look so good. My little brother is a huge oatmeal cookie fan and now that he knows you have a recipe I ‘ll have to make them! Yay! :)

  • basketpam
    August 17, 2016 at 7:12 PM

    These look so good. I hope to make them for ME in the next few days and by the way, I too am one of those non raisin fans. I tried SO hard to learn to like raisins as a kid. Back in the dark ages kids used to bring those tiny boxes of raisins in their lunches. I thought they were SO cute. This is long before the days of dried cranberries, blueberries, and all the rest. I finally managed as an adult to eat raisins in a few family holiday traditions such as a great aunt’s applesauce cake, my one grandmother’s filled cookies, another great aunt’s white fruitcake and a few others.I think because they baked for a long time they broke down a bit. It made them easier to eat.

  • May 10, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    This is a good recipe, Nicole. It even stands up to the bean-based flour that caused so much disappointment in the beginning. That email from the “not-funny” person reminds me of my favorite spam ever: on my blog, someone wrote, “Get a life, losser” [sic]. Maybe it’s funny to no one but me, but I snicker when I think about it. As a “losser,” I am easily amused.

    You speak of putting in raisins for a more traditional cookie. I know there are people who don’t like chocolate, or don’t want it in their cookies. I respect the preference. De gustibus non est disputandum, and all that. I like raisins, too. However, a couple of times now, I’ve reached for what I thought was a homemade chocolate chip cookie, thinking, “This is the treat for which I’ve been ‘saving up’ my dessert calories,” only to bite into the cookie and realize that the chocolate chips were actually raisins. Raisins!

    Now, rum-soaked raisins would be thrilling….

    xo,
    Farida

    • May 10, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      Farida! I love how you sic’d the losser. I’m afraid it might only be funny to the two of us, you and me, but it is indeed funny to me. It just underlines the irony of it all, I think. It seems I’m a losser, too. I don’t mind. I’m in good company. :)
      A raisin chip cookie? No thanks, man…
      xoxo Nicole

  • Darlene
    May 9, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Oh my. These look awesome. I can’t wait to try them.

    And whoever that person was is a poopyhead.

  • May 9, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Ok. I’m going to try these. I have done all of your cookie baking success suggestions save the oven thermometer, and there is now a brand spankin new thermometer in my craptastic God-only-knows-how-old oven. I am going to make decent cookies if it freaking kills me. I will be making them with chocolate chips, as raisins in cookies are why I have trust issues. ;)

    • May 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      The oven thermometer is going to be the key to your success, Jen. Honestly. Even a brand spankin’ new oven isn’t too useful without a proper thermometer. And almost all ovens are off, new and old. I hope the cookies fortify you with trust. No raisins for you.
      xoxo Nicole

      • May 9, 2012 at 10:23 PM

        Made French fries tonight. My oven is off BY MORE THAN 100 degrees (too cold). ::headdesk:: So I think I may have found the problem and now I get to figure out how to recalibrate the danged thing. Gah.

        • May 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

          Wow, Jen. Crazy, and not uncommon, I’m afraid (although usually ovens run hot). I wouldn’t bother recalibrating the oven, since it will happen again over time. Just go by the temperature on the separate oven thermometer, and all but ignore the dial. :)
          xoxo Nicole

        • May 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

          I have to try something; the temp never got above 300. :/ The whole kitchen, nay the whole HOUSE, is like this. :( We’re looking at a kitchen reno in a few years, but the oven has to hold on til then. The dishwasher didn’t make it. LOL

        • May 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

          Oh, no, Jen! Yeah, you definitely need to get that oven serviced, then. :)
          xoxo Nicole

  • Stephanie
    May 9, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    Yum! I had just gotten a bag of GF oats and thought about oatmeal cookies. This recipe looks perfect. Hopefully, adding the chocolate chips will get my 6 year old to eat it. He makes funny faces when dad eats oatmeal, but I wanted him to try the oats. Thanks Nicole.

    Stephanie

  • Ashley
    May 8, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    I would read your blog regardless of the amazing eats you bring to my celiac diseased life. I always brag about your smart off-beat humor to my lawyer-husband. I tell him what good taste I have in discovering awesome people, both in real life and in the cyber-sphere. Then again, maybe I just have a thing for lawyer-types.

    On the real, though, I LOVE your blog, your warm and funny spirit, and of course all the outstanding GF recipes.

    • May 9, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      Well, clearly you have great taste in everything, Ashley. Your husband and I can attest to that. Thanks for all the kind words. Glad you’re here!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Michelle O
    May 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    I must try this. I am still in search of a recipe that replaces my FAVORITE all time cookie called cinnamon nip. It is a snicker doodle meet oatmeal without any chocolate or raisins. With cinnamon in the dough, and then rolled in cinnamon sugar ~ :) yum me drooling now! They were always thick, crispy on the edges and gooey soft in the middle. I had tried making them to the recipe with just Better Batter and they were pretty good. The texture was a little off due to the dairy free part I had to do. I think I will break the DF rule, and make a batch just for me :) Thanks for sharing!

    • May 9, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      Cinnamon nip, huh, Michelle? I’ve never heard of that, but it sounds fabulous. I might have to try to do a mashup of this recipe with my recipe for snickerdoodles. Interesting… If you’re doing dairy-free cookies, by the way, I always suggest shortening instead of margarine, if that helps any.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Tammy
    May 8, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Just pulled these out of the oven and OMG! My daughter is going to do back flips when she bites into one!
    Mine didn’t go as brown as yours did and I had to adjust the cooking time to 17 minutes as we’re at 3500 ft above sea level…

    They are sooooo goood! <3

  • Maggie
    May 8, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    I’ve been missing a good oatmeal cookie in my life. My husband and kids will be very happy that it has chocolate chips….unlike me, they don’t care for raisins cooked in things. Me….I’m glad that I can still make them with raisins….the way a good oatmeal cookie should be. You ROCK sista!!!!!!!!!

    • Maggie
      May 9, 2012 at 7:41 PM

      I’ll have to try making them with currants once mine are ripe. The currant bush is loaded so I have high hopes this year.

      • May 10, 2012 at 9:42 AM

        I am and will remain terribly jealous of your currant bush, Maggie.
        xoxo Nicole

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