Crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle, these Tahini Oatmeal Cookies are made with rolled oats and oat flour, perfectly rich and sweet, and filled with warming spices. Even better, these vegan tahini cookies are made without refined sugar or oil! But they're so tasty no one will even know.
In my trusty old recipe binder I have a printout from nearly twenty years ago for Spicy Oatmeal Crisps. It was a recipe from the December 2000 issue of Cooking Light (looked it up just now).
While I can't remember exactly how many times I made those cookies back in the day, I know that I LOVED them and turned to that recipe often for parties and during the holidays.
For years I've intended to make a vegan version, and that day has finally arrived!
But I didn't just veganize those spicy oatmeal crisps, I also made them quite a bit healthier, opting for oat flour instead of all-purpose flour, tahini instead of butter, and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
The result is a crisp-yet-chewy, irresistibly spiced oatmeal tahini cookie that will keep you coming back for more!
The full recipe is below, but here's a quick glance at what you'll need:
- oats and oat flour - look for regular, old fashioned rolled oats. And oat flour can either be purchased or made by blending rolled oats into a fine flour.
- spices - cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg black pepper
- tahini - this is simply toasted sesame seeds that have been ground into a paste
- coconut sugar - or sub brown sugar
- maple syrup
- non-dairy milk
- vanilla extract
Technically, you can make these in 1 bowl. But if you're in the mood to play it safe, go ahead and mix wet ingredients in one bowl and dry in another bowl, then combine.
I use this inexpensive Wilton cookie scoop, but a standard tablespoon also works.
Scoop up a scant 1 ½ tablespoons dough per cookie, roll into balls, then flatten each one with a fork creating a criss-cross pattern on top. Easy peasy!
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden. The cookies will be soft straight from the oven. So let them cool for a few minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
The tahini helps them crisp up on the outside and get nice and chewy as they cool.
Tips and Substitutions
This recipe is inspired by that non-vegan cookie recipe I mentioned, but the base of the cookies more closely resembles my Oat Flour Peanut Butter Cookies.
So far I've only had a chance to test these with oat flour, but other whole-grain flours should be fine, too. And similar to my Cashew Butter Cookies, a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend should also work (use just ½ cup).
Feel free to use store-bought oat flour, or make your own by blending rolled oats until finely ground.
I recommend weighing the flour with an inexpensive kitchen scale for the best results. If you don't have a scale, measure oat flour by lightly spooning it into the measuring cup, then leveling off the top.
As written, I would describe these cookies as lightly sweet and not super over the top spicy, but of course, these things tend to be subjective!
After trying the recipe you may decide to increase the cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and/or black pepper, or you might even decide to decrease the spices.
Or try them with just the the cinnamon and nutmeg for a more classic tahini oatmeal cookie flavor.
Coconut sugar gives these cookies a molasses-y warmth and non-cloying sweetness. If you choose a different granulated sweetener, like brown sugar, they will taste a bit sweeter.
The small amount of maple syrup called for in the recipe contributes to the overall flavor, sweetness, and moisture.
I recommend using maple syrup if you can, but if you don't have any and really want to make cookies, replace the maple syrup with 1 ½ tablespoons coconut sugar plus 2 teaspoons non-dairy milk.
To make these cookies you'll need a mixing bowl, baking sheet, and parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Store the cookies in a container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. These cookies also freeze well.
More oil-free vegan cookies and desserts:
Rosemary Tahini Cookies
3-Ingredient Almond Flour Cookies
Cashew Butter Cookies
Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
Double Chocolate Cookies
Vegan Protein Cookies
Healthy Banana Brownies
I hope you enjoy these Spiced Tahini Oatmeal Cookies. If you try the recipe be sure to leave a comment and star rating below to let everyone know how they turned out!
Spiced Tahini Oatmeal Cookies
- ⅔ cup oat flour - Certified gluten-free if needed. See Notes.
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper - Medium grind
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup tahini, stirred well
- ½ cup coconut sugar - Sub light or dark brown sugar if desired.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 to 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C), and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium-size bowl whisk together the oat flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt, pepper, cloves, and nutmeg. In a mixing bowl combine the tahini, coconut sugar, vanilla, maple syrup, and 1 Tbsp of milk. Stir until smooth.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl, and stir to combine. The dough should be thick and somewhat sticky; if it seems too dry, add 1 more tablespoon of milk.
- Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to scoop up approx. 1 ½ tablespoons of dough per cookie. Roll the dough between your palms to form a smooth ball, and place on the prepared pan about 3 inches apart. Use a fork to create a criss-cross pattern on the top of each cookie, gently pressing down to flatten. Dip the underside of the fork tines in coconut sugar to prevent sticking.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden. The cookies will be very soft straight out of the oven. Allow to rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack. As they cool the outsides will crisp up while the insides remain chewy.
- Once cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or freeze for longer storage.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.
Delicious!! Even better with the addition of chocolate chips.
Wonderful recipe! I make a lot of tahini based cookies and these are so different and delicious with all the warming spices. They'll definitely be a staple this fall and winter! thank you!
Beautiful cookie! Crunchy outside, chewy inside, wonderful mixture of flavors. Thank you for sharing! Xo
These were great in flavor profile and I like how it's gluten free. At 1/2C of sweetener, it was slightly too sweet for me, but that's just personal preference. Great recipe!
Made these last Friday. Everybody loved them!
Oh that's great to hear, Evan. Thank you for the feedback!
These are delish. These cookies offer a blend of spices that I have not tasted before, never having ground pepper in a cookie, and the crisp factor was on point. I tested two batches with different sugars. In one batch, I used dark brown sugar and the other date sugar. The dark brown sugar batch came out like the pictures here. Both were delectable. This recipe will be a great holiday cookie to share with friends and family, and it is s a solid oil-free vegan cookie recipe that I will use again. Highly recommend!
Yessss! I'm so with you on that crisp factor, Rose. Thank you for the awesome feedback. 😀 I'm so happy you love them!
Hi, is it possible to substitute the tahini with oil? My son is allergic to tahini as well as all other nuts and seeds.
Hi Faith, great question! You definitely can use oil, but it might take a bit of experimentation to get the ratio just right for this recipe. Coconut oil works very well in cookies, if your son is okay with that one. Otherwise, I believe Earth Balance buttery spread is nut-free, and the new Country Crock plant butter might be, too, but you might want to verify with them. For any of these options I would start with 1/3 cup (instead of the 1/2 cup tahini). Melt it gently then measure 1/3 cup.
Let me know if you give them a try!
These turned out wonderfully. I love that they are oil free. They are a great texture, just like a regular cookie. They did get a little overcooked, so I’ll watch them closer next time. And I forgot the coconut. Thank you for the great recipe.
So glad you like them, Melody!