homemade vegan gluten-free cookies in a stack with a strawberry behind crumbs pink napkin

Vegan Oatmeal Date Cookies is an easy recipe sweetened with dates using gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats – with helpful homemade baking tips, too! (It’s like a recipe with benefits!) The flavor of these clean cookies reminds me of a rather wholesome packaged treat known as a Larabar, so you’re going to love this one as much as we do!

In this recipe article, we’re going to talk about how to accomplish vegan and gluten-free baking at home successfully. It’s not that it’s super tricky to be successful at vegan and gluten-free baking at home. However, there are a few things to be aware of to ensure the best results.

One ingredient that is a super sketchy one when it comes to baking gluten-free is old-fashioned rolled oats. So, in the article, we’ll cover the differences between oats. We’ll identify the specifics that make certified gluten-free oats the only choice for vegan and gluten-free baking.

And since you maybe like me and already thinking about what you’d like to bake next, we’ve got some idea lists working for you. We’re providing you with a collection of homemade vegan and gluten-free cookies to try. We’ve also gathered other types of recipes that are sweetened only with nutritious dates.

strawberries and a stack of vegan cookies with a jar of jam

Helpful Vegan and Gluten-Free Baking Tips

I remember those uncertain days when I first began learning how to bake gluten-free and vegan. Believe it or not, it scared me to death!

I remember walking through our neighborhood health food store, not knowing where to begin. It was alarmingly overwhelming. And that’s why I share as I do; knowledge is power. I enjoy providing you with all sorts of valuable cooking info, and most especially, vegan and gluten-free baking tips!

Sometimes it felt as if I would never get it right. Fluffy muffins and airy, moist baked bread seemed like a thing of the past. Whenever I tried to work with gluten-free flours to make healthier baked items, I ended up with dry, crumbly, or soaking wet in the middle, cookies, and cakes.

Thankfully, I’m not the type to give up easily. Now I’m so much better at gluten-free baking; I’m good enough to feel confident in sharing my method with all of you!

You’ll be happy to know that, these days, my gluten-free and vegan baked goods are moist and tender. I’ve even managed to do things like making crazy-good chocolate cupcakes with frosting that makes people squeal with delight, and every last bite is vegan and gluten-free!

The good thing about all of those times my baking failed is that I learned what not to do, the good old fashioned way, trial, and error. Making mistakes and learning from them is the way to purest delight, let me tell you. That’s how we ended up going with a cutout cookie for this recipe.

After mixing the ingredients in various orders, we found this order creates a batter that is super forgiving that allows you to roll it out and cut out shapes. It’s a quality that’s not easy to find in a gluten-free, vegan cookie.

And aren’t you so lucky; in this recipe post and all of my others, you get to benefit from the mistakes I’ve learned from so that your gluten-free and plant-based vegan baking is moist and delicious, every time!

So, read on and keep the following items in mind when baking gluten-free and vegan.

 rolled out dough showing vegan gluten-free baking tips for cut-out cookies using round cookie cutter on parchment paper background

Helping Your Baked Goods Take Shape Without Gluten

Baked goods may sometimes seem to have a hard time sticking together without gluten. So, to save homemade gluten-free muffins, cookies, and bread from falling apart, many recipes call for gums.  

Gums go by names such as xanthan gum or guar gum and can be helpful to replace the structure that gluten provides.

But to be honest, at this point anyhow, gums are not my first go-to.

Many folks have complicated digestive issues creating sensitivities to thickening ingredients such as gums so I usually try to find ways around them.

recipes sweetened with dates with pitted Medjool dates and tahini in food processor on white and gray marble background

Avoiding Gums May Benefit Some

To avoid adding gums, I tend to rely on ingredients like psyllium husks, agar-agar, chia seeds, flax seeds, or aquafaba in my recipes. Aquafaba is an odd-sounding word that refers to the broth from a can of beans, which I discuss in more detail in this recent article. 

If you find yourself sensitive to to gums, using this list of reliable ingredients in amounts equal to the gums usually works well.

As you browse through our dishes you’ll notice that we don’t typically include gluten-replacers of any type in our recipes. All of our methods are whole food plant-based, gluten-free, vegan, and oil-free using only unrefined sugars and minimally processed ingredients.

I cook like this every day, and as you’ve likely gathered by now, it’s a pleasure to share my tried and true methods with you.

And guess what? The more often you bake, the easier baking gluten-free and vegan will become.

As your experience progresses, you’ll find that there are many ingredients that recipes may suggest you include that you just don’t need. My hope is that this little bit of insight will help you gain comfort in vegan and gluten-free baking.

So, I must admit that my first few baking gluten-free attempts had me buying all sorts of unnecessary ingredients. That’s how I know that you don’t have to use all of those odd ingredients to make delicious oil-free, gluten-free, and vegan baked goods.

These days, I no longer have to find storage space in my pantry for two or three types of gums and other odd and end replacers, and I love that!

food processor of homemade ingredients for recipe sharing vegan gluten-free baking tips

Measure Gluten-Free Ingredients With Care

There are times when measuring is not a big deal, but mostly, when it comes to baking, size matters.

While this recipe for Vegan Oatmeal Date Cookies is quite forgiving when it comes to measuring ingredients, that’s not always the case in gluten-free baking, or any baking, for that matter.

I have a few recipes where I call for bananas and don’t specify a weight or other measurement. And there are other recipes where I decidedly say one and one-half cups of mashed bananas. However, a recipe suggests quantity, follow its lead, and you’ll be fine.

Here’s a very useful bit concerning flour. When using gluten-free flours, spoon the flour into your measuring cup rather than scooping and packing the flour into your measuring cup. That same tip is spot on for conventional baking as well.

When you scoop flour from a container directly into your measuring cup, it packs the flour in and creates a dense, heavy-feeling baked good. A little air is a good thing when it comes to measuring flour, gluten-free or otherwise.

a scoop of gluten free rolled oats with Medjool dates jar of oatmeal and stack of gluten-free vegan cookies

Are Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats Always Gluten-Free?

Since we asked the question, you’re guessing right if you answer YES.

But then why aren’t all old-fashioned rolled oats thought to be safe for those who must remain entirely gluten-free?

If oats are inherently gluten-free, what’s the problem?

Oats are naturally gluten-free, so the issue lies with the production process.

Oats can only be one hundred percent gluten-free when processed in a facility that is certified gluten-free. That special certification means that no foods containing gluten are prepared in that facility so that there is no chance of contamination.

It’s important to understand that most regular oatmeal is processed in plants that handle wheat, barley, and rye, all of which contain gluten.

You may think that such tremendous precautions sound extreme, but celiac disease is nothing to take lightly. When shopping for your gluten-free rolled oats, do so knowingly.

Celiac Disease: It’s Not the Same as Gluten Intolerance

When someone has Celiac Disease, it is more than gluten intolerance, which is no picnic either. But Celiac Disease, on the other hand, can be extremely problematic, and though it’s not usually categorized as life-threatening, it is life-altering!

Even coming into physical contact with gluten can cause real health consequences for a person with Celiac Disease. And while Celiac Disease itself does not attack, progress, and kill like cancer, it is recognized that those suffering from the disease do have an increased risk for deadly diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and respiratory disease. Left untreated, Celiac Disease increases the risk of digestive system cancers.

Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance are why we try to remind folks to look for gluten-free certified oats when our recipes call for oatmeal. It’s also becoming incredibly common to have an intolerance. All of our recipes are gluten-free in response to this increasing intolerance.

To learn more about Celiac, we suggest reading this article.

scattered old fashioned gluten free oatmeal on counter with stack of date cookies strawberries and glass jar of jam

9 Easy Recipes for Homemade Vegan and Gluten-Free Cookies

Lucky for you, and us too, as our vegan and gluten-free baking experience increases, so does our collection of delicious cookie recipes!

Add this newest one for Vegan Oatmeal Date Cookies to the list, and that makes ten plant-based, vegan oil and gluten-free recipes – just waiting to create some joy! We’re proud to say that you’ll be making all of these cookies with wholesome, clean ingredients such as gluten-free rolled oats!

Recipes for Homemade Vegan and Gluten-Free Cookies:

hand removing a cookie from a stack of cookies sitting beside a jar of strawberry jam with raw oats scattered nearby

Recipes Sweetened with Dates (Nature’s Candy)

For the longest time, I was pretty sure that dates were not my thing. In fact, years ago, a friend from the Middle East gave me a tightly sealed package of dates along with a beautiful smile. He’d said he figured I would love them since I was a good cook, which made me smile just as big. Little did he know that at that time, this was long before I went vegan, I’d had no idea what to do with his generous gift!

But these days, dates are on my recurring shopping list. It’s one of the ingredients I order in bulk to stretch my budget and score the best organic Medjool dates available!  I’ll share the links to purchase organic Medjool dates in the recipe portion below.

Dates are a healthier way to sweeten things up, and I use them in nearly everything I make that’s sweet! Here’s my favorite reason for sweetening recipes with dates:

Dates assist blood sugar balance.

And while it’s true that dates have a very highly concentrated level of sugar, one recognized study found that dates have a low glycemic index and shouldn’t significantly increase blood sugar.

So, while those who monitor their blood sugar may need to moderate their intake of dates when occasionally and mindfully reaching for something sweet, dates may be the best alternative.

round cookies with flecks of oatmeal cooling on a wire rack

12 Original Recipes Sweetened With Dates

So given all of the terrific health benefits of sweetening with dates, the following recipes get their sweetness from dates!

Be sure to apply the vegan and gluten-free baking tips we shared and you’ll be up to your ears in vegan and gluten-free baking tips expertise, in a jiffy!

By the way, most of the Homemade Vegan and Gluten-Free Cookies we listed earlier are sweetened with precious dates, too – including our new one for Vegan Oatmeal Date Cookies.

And you might appreciate knowing that the first five recipes below are no-cook!

Recipes Sweetened With Dates:

a spoon of strawberry jam in front of a wire cooling rack full of round homemade cookies

Thank You For Reading About Delicious Vegan Oatmeal Date Cookies & More!

From time to time, folks mention my appreciation and excitement about food makes them enjoy reading our recipes. It’s pretty cool because our joy for vegan and gluten-free cooking is what makes us do what we do!

And let me pause to say that your kindness in sharing those kinds of good vibes is much appreciated!

Mike and I do enjoy what we’re doing, so it’s easy to be excited about sharing our creativity with you. I especially enjoy providing you with helpful tidbits such as the vegan gluten-free baking tips in this article. Little tricks and methods helps make time in the kitchen successful.

It’s wild because while it is work to prepare our recipes to share with you, it’s also incredibly invigorating! Sure, creating this original content has its challenges as all work does, but ultimately, it’s a pleasure.

I guess you can say that it’s our passion to connect with you that makes the work part a pleasure. We count every word, scoop, splatter, sprinkle and photo worth the effort and strive to do it better each time.

So, thank you for your kind words of encouragement and support. And as always, thank you for sharing your precious time with us!

There’s one last detail to share about these homemade vegan gluten-free cookies. These new Vegan Oatmeal Date Cookies taste amazing topped with a lovely little dollop of no-cook Strawberry Chia Jam.

As I mentioned earlier, the flavor of these wholesome cookies reminds me of a Larabar. And when you top something already so wonderfully delicious with a smudge of deliciously clean fruit spread like wholesome chia jam, well, it’s an irresistible combo!

By the way, did you know that there is no table in the word irresistible? Me, either.

Happy Eating!

hand holding a vegan oatmeal date cookie toped with chia seed jam
a tall stack of seven vegan oatmeal date cookies strawberry jam in background

Vegan Oatmeal Date Cookies (Gluten-Free)

  • 10
    Prep:
  • 8
    Cook Time:
  • Yield: 24 Servings

Right out of the oven, your first taste of these beautifully clean cookies may remind you of a higher quality packaged treat known as a Larabar. This quick cookie requires no excuses. Each fabulous round is under 100 calories with very little fat and takes under 20 minutes to make! And these taste fabulous with a generous smear of no-cook chia jamOur favorite way to eat these is to grab a couple and cozy up with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350º F. Then, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable nonstick baking mat to keep these healthy sweet treats oil-free. Otherwise, use a light spray of cooking oil on your baking sheet to prevent sticking.
  2. In a food processor, place the pitted Medjool dates, tahini, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and the vanilla. Chop to mix the tahini and pitted Medjool dates using a pulse action. Stop as needed to push the ingredients on the side back into the mix as needed. Once it's all combined to a texture you like, give it a taste for salt and add more if needed.  If you do not have a food processor, chop the dates using a sharp knife and stir the ingredients together by hand.
  3. Now, add the oats to the mix and pulse a couple more times until everything is combined.
  4. There are two methods to get this dough ready for baking. You can pinch the batter/dough into one to two-inch sized balls or do a cut-out cookie after flattening the dough. The flattening and cutting out the cookies takes a couple more minutes, but it's pretty fun because this dough is super cooperative. So, we opted to roll and cut; the following step explains how we did that. If you opt for the faster 'ball' method, form the dough balls in your hands and then flatten them just a bit using the back of a glass, or your hand, before baking.  
  5. For the super fun cut-out cookie method, empty the processor bowl of dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Shape the dough/batter into a ball. Place another sheet of parchment on top of the dough and roll it flat, using a rolling pin or a glass or can or whatever you have that rolls. Alternate directions as you go, trying to keep the dough in a circular shape with uniform thickness. Roll it out until it's about 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into about 24 rounds. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes. See the notes below for additional options for baking methods. We enjoy these cookies with a generous smear of no-cook chia jam to munch with a hot cup of tea or coffee. These healthier cookies are also excellent with a cold sip of plant-based milk like this one that's so delicious!

Notes

  • If you prefer a firmer cookie and choose to leave them in the oven longer than 8 minutes, watch the bottoms as they tend to brown rather quickly.
  • And if you prefer a completely uniform color on both the top and bottom of your delicious cookies, flip the cookies halfway through the baking time.
  • This cookie keeps well when stored in an airtight container.  Ours have lasted well over a week, but of course, as with all baked goods free of preservatives,  your cookies should be kept in the freezer until needed when storing beyond a five days or so.

Nutrition

% DV

Calories Per Serving: 97
  • Total Fat 3.1 g 5 %
  • Saturated Fat 0.4 g 2 %
  • Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
  • Sodium 28.9 mg 1 %
  • Carbohydrates 17.1 g 6 %
  • Fiber 2.2 g 9 %
  • Sugar 10.2 g ---
  • Protein 2 g 4 %
  • Vitamin A 1 %
  • Vitamin C 0 %
  • Iron 5 %
  • Calcium 3 %

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