the best vegan oatmeal fruit & nut cookies


Who would have thunk it that Cher from Clueless, who already had a pretty sweet life – like totally kissing on cutie Paul Rudd – could bake up a mighty mean cookie. Okay, so it’s the actress Alicia Silverstone who has this cookie in her vegan cookbook and it’s Oprah’s website that I have to thank for the recipe. This cookie not only has star power but it’s probably the best oatmeal cookie I’ve ever eaten in my life. Yup, I’m trumping it as The Best.

I wanted to satisfy a late-night cookie craving and these fit the bill. I was out of eggs, so a vegan recipe sounded perfect. The original recipe called for walnuts and dried plums (hmmm, does she mean prunes?), but I went with dried cranberries, coconut and pepitas which I think took this cookie over the top. Instead of using sugar, the recipe calls for maple syrup for the sweetness and I think this helps with the texture. The texture was perfect – crispy along the edges and chewy in the middle. Not only did they taste great, but they were easy to put together.

One quick tip. Instead of dropping the batter from a tablespoon, I found the dough was really easy to handle, so I just picked up a spoonfuls worth and rolled it between my hands into a ball. Each ball went on the cookie sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart from one another and I flattened each ball slightly with my fingers. I think this is why they look so pretty and are so evenly sized.

46 comments to “the best vegan oatmeal fruit & nut cookies”

  1. 1
    Gretchen @   August 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    These look delicious! And I agree with you–dried plums are just a silly name for prunes. I like your substitution of cranberries/pepitas/coconut much better.

  2. 2
    ursula   August 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    These look great, I can’t believe they’re from Alicia Silverstone! That’s so funny.

  3. 3
    Jacqui   August 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I love a good oatmeal cookie and these ones are so pretty too! If there was ever to be a great fall time cookie, these seem to fit that perfectly!

  4. 4
    heather   August 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Ironic — I had a cookie eerily similar to this at a conference on breastfeeding I attended for work yesterday. It was a thick, cake-y oatmeal cranberry cookie with what I think was a hint of cinnamon and maple. Pepitas, especially toasted, never hurt a recipe, and I think just a touch of the unsweetened coconut would balance it all out. I thought about recreating the recipe from scratch, but now I’m set thanks to you!



  5. 5
    Meister @ The Nervous Cook   August 30, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I want these. So bad. Right now. With coffee, please.

  6. 6
    paige   August 30, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    These will be a breeze to de-glutenify. I’m going to substitute tapioca and sorghum flours for the wheat, but everything else sounds delicious as is!

  7. 7
    christine [the sugar apothecary]   August 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Mmmm mmm mmmmm! These look GREAT. Pepitas, prunes (or dried plums, if you’re fancy) and cranberries?! Oh man, they sound amazing. They’ve got to be magical if you say they’re the best oatmeal cookies you’ve ever eaten!

  8. 8
    Robert   August 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Tasty, but mine came out flat as a pancake. I suspect that I accidentally used too much oil. Also I substituted cherries for cranberries and agave syrup for maple, but I doubt those caused the problem.

  9. 9
    Julia @ The Spotted Sparrow   August 31, 2011 at 3:04 am

    So I may have just licked my monitor. I am definitely making these this weekend.

  10. 10
    Joanne   August 31, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Best ever? Those are some pretty bold statements, but I believe you. I love your choice of mix-ins! Oatmeal cookies are my favorite so these are SO getting made.

  11. 11
    alana (at) the food   August 31, 2011 at 6:24 am

    mmm making these tonight!

  12. 12
    Robert F   August 31, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I wanted to tell you about shopping with ELS. I access a lot of sites via an RSS reader. I don’t know how you and your husband do it, but ELS is by far the most readable blog on my Android device. I can scroll down to the ingredient portion of a given recipe, and the list occupies about 70% of the screen. Your chosen colors, typeface, and layout mechanics (e.g. no need to move left and right while reading) seem optimally designed for mobile device reading. So I can glance at the screen, lock the device, shop produce, unlock, glance, etc. Well done.

  13. 13
    cecilia g   August 31, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    The only cookies i make to eat myself are oatmeal.. and am endlessly looking for the Perfect Oatmeal Cookie.. so ..i am definitely going to try this recipe next.. thank you c

  14. 14
    hag   August 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Dried plums sound much more elegant than prunes…perhaps more Hollywood! These do look great. I try and stay away from baking batches of cookies… but every now and then I am called upon to make “something”. I will make these ones the next time – thanks!

  15. 15
    kickpleat   August 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks Gretchen – the subs are delicious!

    I know, Ursula! It’s so funny but she has a vegan cookbook out and everything.

    I agree, thanks Jacqui!

    Heather, these aren’t cakey or thick, but they are chewy and crispy around the edges – in other words, perfect! I hope you like these just as much.

    Coffee, yes, Meister 😉

    Oh, I’m so glad to hear that Paige – I’m curious how the gf version would be!

    Christine, I skipped the prunes but they are a great cookie with my own substitutions. Magical? Definitely 🙂

    Robert, it could have been too much oil. The agave shouldn’t have made a difference. At least they were tasty!

    Thanks Julia!

    Joanne, I’m prone to best of statements, but these really are!

    Alana, let me know how it goes!

    Aw, thanks so much Robert – I actually haven’t seen it on an adroid device (we’re iphones over here), but I’m glad to know it’s readable and useful! Thanks so much!!

    Cecilia, give these a try and let me know. I just loved them!

    Hag, yes, so much more Hollywood. Maybe I’ll bring you a batch next time we meet up!!

  16. 16
    MadCalicoJess   September 1, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I just read about something very similar over at Saveur!
    They are doing a special over the summer of one recipe comic a week.

  17. 17
    Brenda   September 1, 2011 at 7:42 am

    These do sound great – I like that there isn’t an egg in it(I’m not vegan). I prefer using coconut oil instead of canola, so I’m going to sub that (plus it bumps up the coconut flavor). I don’t have a good oatmeal cookie recipe, and they are my husband’s absolute favorite. Won’t he be surprised!

  18. 18
    Bijoux   September 1, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Yum!!!! Such an easy recipe to make. I have pepitas in my fridge and have been wondering when to use them so this is THE perfect opportunity!

  19. 19
    kickpleat   September 1, 2011 at 8:48 am

    MadCalicoJess, love the recipe comix!!! Thanks for pointing me to them 🙂

    Brenda, these would be great with coconut oil – I hope you and your husband enjoy them!

    Yes, get out your pepitas, Bijoux, these are delicious!

  20. 20
    Guy   September 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Just a quick note, since it blew my mind when I found out, but prunes and plums are actually 2 different fruits. If you shop around you find both dried plumbs and dried prunes in the store.

    There’s even a slightly confusing Wikipedia article about this.

    I got to try a fresh prune recently in Hungary:

  21. 21
    Sandi   September 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I just made these with my kids. We aren’t vegan, but making vegan cookies means I don’t need to worry about the kids eating the batter. They smell wonderful! Hopefully they’ll be cool enough to eat soon.

  22. 22
    renee@sweetsugarbean   September 2, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I haven’t made oatmeal cookies, in like forever, and now I simply must. I think the maple syrup and pepitas would really put them over the top!

  23. 23
    Kasey   September 3, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I’ve actually heard really good things about her cookbook from vegetarian friends. I must admit that I’m a little scared of vegan cooking (a few forays to vegan restaurants did not sit well in my belly) but when it comes to cookies, really, how can you go wrong??

  24. 24
    kickpleat   September 4, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Thanks Guy for the info – who knew?? I know there are fresh prune plums at the market (which look like your photo). Hmmm!

    Sandi, I hope you and your kids loved the cookies! Thanks for giving them a try.

    Renee, break out of your oatmeal cookie desert and give these a go. So good!!

    Yeah, I’m curious about her cookbook now too, Kasey. I’ve had many great vegan meals so I have no qualms trying out recipes. And these cookies are def amazing!

  25. 25
    DeDe   September 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I made these this weekend and they were a hit. I didn’t have pepitas so i subbed sunflower seeds. Yum! I love that they are chewy and crispy at the same time.

  26. 26
    Janet   September 7, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I have a batch cooling now, they smell divine! I subbed in pine nuts since I’m out of pepitas. Did this really make only 12 cookies for you? More than double that here, and I used a pretty generous tablespoonful of dough per cookie.

  27. 27
    kickpleat   September 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Dede so glad you loved them & substitute away! Hooray!!

    Yup, Janet, only 12 (though maybe 13 – I can’t recall). I remember not getting very many cookies out of it and being a bit bummed about it since they were soo good! Hooray for getting double the amount!

  28. 28
    sascha   September 12, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    We made these for our playgroup this morning. I thought i would be coming home with some spare biscuits, but alas they were all eaten. They were a massive hit with both the little ones and us adults. Thanks once again.

  29. 29
    kickpleat   September 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    All eaten is a good sign, Sascha! I guess you’ll just have to make up some more 🙂

  30. 30
    Ashley   September 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I looove quick easy delicious vegan cookie recipes like this! And your description of the chewy middle and crisp edges sounds so good.

  31. 31
    kickpleat   September 23, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Ashley, I really loved these cookies & I’m sure you will too!

  32. 32
    Theresa   December 20, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Delicious, but oh my goodness they were an oily mess – I could squeeze out the oil and it would drip from my hands! Did that happen to you? Did I do something wrong?

  33. 33
    kickpleat   December 21, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Theresa, nope that didn’t happen to my batch at all. Perhaps you missed adding the flour or maybe added too much oil. Mine turned out well – sorry you had troubles!

  34. 34
    Robert F   January 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Theresa and I made the same mistake, we skipped the flour. When you publish the book, I’d suggest changing the first sentence to read: “In a large bowl mix together the first six ingredients.”

  35. 35
    kickpleat   January 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Robert F, I thought the instructions were clear enough, but obviously not! I’ve used your much more concise phrasing in the recipe. Thanks again!

  36. 36
    Christine   September 7, 2012 at 1:39 am

    What in the heck are pepitos? They look like the insides of pistachios or pumpkin seeds.

  37. 37
    kickpleat   September 7, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Christine, pepitas are the insides of pumpkin seeds – you can find them at most supermarkets.

  38. 38
    Naomi   February 11, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Mine are in the oven as I type, smelling gorgeous!!!! Do you think I can freeze the cooked cookies for lunches?

  39. 39
    kickpleat   February 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Naomi, you can always freeze cookies! Just not too long – you don’t want them to be freezer burned.

  40. 40
    Karen   February 26, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    i just made these … followed the recipe to the “T” … they were very thin and just spread out like a pancake. Tasty, but my hubby didn’t like that they were flat. Next time I’ll cut the oil in half.

  41. 41
    Emily   June 8, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Just made these and THEY ARE AMAZING. I used a little less oil and maple syrup and full disclosure…I subbed the fruit and nuts for chocolate chips. They were great!

  42. 42
    Emily   June 8, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Oh! Also forgot to say I used coconut oil instead. Long story short you can sub lots of different things and they still taste super good. This will be my go-to cookie recipe.

  43. 43
    Tara   August 21, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Omigoodness – I made these two days ago – they are wonderful!! I substituted half aquafaba for half the oil (followed the rest of the recipe as written here:-) – still moist and delicious 3 days later – thank you so much for sharing this!

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