Soft, perfectly pumpkin spiced, and somehow gluten-free and vegan, these easy and healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies are ideal any time of day, preferably when they’re generously coated in the optional maple glaze. Only one bowl and no mixer needed for this recipe and despite having no eggs, no dairy, and no gluten, these are delicious fall-flavored pumpkin oatmeal cookies!
Please don’t stop reading just because I said gluten-free and vegan! You will not know it – I promise, despite their “healthy” label, these pumpkin oatmeal cookies are amazing and unbelievably easy.
If you love pumpkin recipes, check out these other options:
- Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting
- Easy small batch pumpkin spice muffins
- Pumpkin pancakes
- Pumpkin chocolate chip bread
- Baked pumpkin donuts with maple glaze
Inspiration for the Recipe
These super soft and delicious cookies came about because — have you caught on to how I create recipes yet? — I was feeling lazy a couple weekends ago. It was cool and crisp and very October-y outside, we were lounging around watching college football, and I really wanted some pumpkin cookies.
I actually have a go-to pumpkin cookie recipe from a friend that is chock full of gluten and definitely not vegan. It’s also one of those recipes that somehow contains four different kinds of sugar, and it involves creaming of butter and folding of flour and …all those fun baking things I sometimes have the energy to do, but this day did not.
Nope, on this particular day I felt like stirring everything together with a fork and dropping it on a cookie sheet and eating cookies as soon as possible. I had a football game to watch, after all. It’s feelings like these that, in the past, have inspired such joys as my easiest chocolate chip cookies, so I knew my lazy tendency had the potential to lead me somewhere new and possibly great.
I have a tried and true recipe for banana breakfast cookies on here that uses only oats for the flour, and I thought maybe I could swap pumpkin in for the banana and use pumpkin spice instead of cinnamon. I figured I would also have to alter the maple syrup amount slightly since pumpkin is not nearly as sweet as bananas. On the whole, though, these were already shaping up to be FAR healthier and easier than my traditional recipe, and the only question was whether they’d measure up in taste.
Spoiler alert: they did.
How a few simple ingredients can come together and create something this magical without the use of eggs, butter, or sugar, I still really don’t know. It’s baking magic.
- Old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if needed). We’ll be turning half of them into oat flour; see below for details. Alternatively, you can use commercial oat flour!
- Pumpkin puree
- Maple syrup (can substitute honey or another liquid sweetener)
- Olive oil (can substitute another neutral oil)
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Baking soda
How to make healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies
This recipe is unbelievably easy, no mixer needed.
Step 1: Use a blender to grind half the oats into flour, and half of them into chopped pieces. If you have commercial oat flour, you can skip this step – see recipe card for details!
Step 2: Stir oat flour and oats with the rest of the ingredients thoroughly, until well-combined (no gluten formation to worry about here, yay!).
Step 3: Scoop the cookies into a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten slightly with your fingertips if desired. If you don’t flatten them, no problem, they’ll just be a bit puffier.
Step 4: Bake for about 15 minutes until the edges are a little brown. If desired, make your maple glaze while they’re baking (simply stir together maple syrup and powdered sugar, with a little water to thin if needed).
The whole recipe takes about 10 minutes to make (less if you’re faster at measuring than me), plus baking time. The pumpkin oatmeal cookies come out soft, perfectly spiced, and just sweet enough to curb the cookie craving but not cloyingly sweet. Hooray!
These healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookie will keep, glazed or unglazed, at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also store them in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer up to 3 months.
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
Maple Glaze: I am of the opinion that nearly everything benefits from a maple glaze, and these pumpkin oatmeal cookies were no different. They came out of the oven smelling amazing, and they tasted amazing too, but they were just a little too plain for a dessert cookie. So I made a simple glaze of 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbsp maple syrup to drizzle on, and it made all the difference for me.
Could you skip the glaze and call these breakfast cookies? Definitely. Would I tell anyone if you used the glaze and still called them breakfast cookies? Definitely not.
Add Chocolate Chips: This is another version that I’ve tried instead of using the glaze and it’s delightful. Pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that are healthy, gluten-free, vegan, egg-free, all the things, but still absolutely delicious?? It’s wizardry. I would add 1/2 cup (85 grams) of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate to this recipe.
- use commercial oat flour instead of making your own oat flour (see recipe card for details)
- use any liquid sweetener in place of the maple syrup
- use any neutral oil or even melted butter in place of the olive oil
- use cinnamon or a combination of spices instead of pumpkin pie spice
I highly recommend trying these on a day you’re feeling only semi-ambitious in the kitchen. You’ll feel super accomplished in a very short amount of time. And you’ll have cookies — but not for long.
More Healthy-Ish Recipes:
- Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies (vegan, gluten-free; this recipe is adapted from that one!)
- Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins (gluten-free, vegan option)
- Honey Almond Granola (gluten-free)
- Salted Maple Pecan Granola (vegan, gluten-free)
If you make these healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies, please leave a star rating and review to help other readers! Thank you!
Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
- Blender or food processor
For the pumpkin oatmeal cookies:
- 2 cups (180g) old-fashioned rolled oats divided (see below)*
- 1 cup (260g) canned pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 1/3 cup (78 ml) pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the maple glaze (optional):
- 1/2 cup (56g) powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
For the pumpkin oatmeal cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 1 cup (90g) of the rolled oats in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend on high speed until the oats become a flour-like consistency – you now have oat flour. Place in a large bowl.
- Take the other 1 cup (90g) of rolled oats and place in the same food processor or blender, and pulse or blend on low speed until the oats are in small pieces – about 30 seconds. Do not grind them into a flour. Place in the same large bowl with the oat flour.
- Add the pumpkin puree, olive oil, maple syrup, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to the bowl and stir vigorously (I like to use a fork) until everything is well-blended.
- Scoop batter using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon onto two baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges are golden and cookies are set. They will be soft!
For the maple glaze:
- While cookies are baking, in a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar and maple syrup until smooth. Drizzle over cookies in whatever pattern you like!