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Oatmeal Cookie Recipe No Butter

A great Oatmeal Cookie Recipe with no Butter – Crisp on the Outside, Chewy in the Center – Roasted Pecan Oil, Toasted Oats and Ground Pecans


Oatmeal cookies are a popular dessert in the United States, known for their soft and chewy texture and delicious flavor. These cookies have been enjoyed for generations, with a history that dates back to the early 1900s. Originally known as oat cakes, oatmeal cookies became popular during the Depression era, when families were looking for affordable and filling recipes. Oats were a common ingredient in many households, and these cookies quickly became a staple in American homes. Today, oatmeal cookies remain a beloved dessert, often made with added ingredients such as raisins, chocolate chips, or nuts. Whether enjoyed with a glass of milk or as a sweet treat on the go, oatmeal cookies continue to be a classic American dessert.


There are several good reasons why someone might want to make cookies without butter. For health-conscious individuals, butter is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can be harmful to heart health. By using alternative ingredients like nut oils, they can make a healthier version of their favorite treat. Additionally, cutting out butter can be a big step towards reducing one’s carbon footprint and combating climate change, as the production of dairy products is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Lastly, for those who don’t eat butter for religious or ethical reasons, or have dairy allergies, butter is not an option, so finding alternative ingredients to make delicious cookies is necessary. Regardless of the reason, making cookies without butter is a great way to make a healthier, more sustainable, and inclusive dessert.

Nut oil can be substituted for the butter in a recipe. Just use 3/4 the amount of oil as the butter. Also, mix all the wet ingredients together instead of creaming the butter and sugar. This actually makes the recipe easier and kid friendly.


We created the best oatmeal cookie recipe by collecting tips from lots of different recipes, and then using the best. I love reading recipes and picking up tips and ideas. With lots of recipes for oatmeal cookies available, there are lots of ideas for improving them. We also used the best ingredients. The details on the ingredients are in the section below.

  • Toast the oatmeal to add flavor and then grind some to use as part of the flour to improve the taste and texture of the cookie.
  • Soften the raisins before adding to the dough so they don’t dry out the cookies.
  • Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan or use an air fryer. A few minutes in the air fryer on 300 degrees will toast them to the perfect amount of crunch. Using an air fryer instead of the stove or oven also saves on energy and lowers our carbon footprint.
  • After refrigerating the dough overnight, half the batch can be frozen instead of baking them all. Portioning out the dough and then vacuum sealing them keeps them fresher. We often bake them right out of the freezer, one or two at a time. Individual cookies, or up to four at a time, can be baked in an air fryer. The air fryer doesn’t have to be preheated, and uses only a fraction of the energy of the oven. The secret to using the air fryer is to use a little bit lower temperature than the oven.
  • Add ground nuts for moisture and texture as well as taste.
  • Add two teaspoons of vanilla instead of just one to improve the flavor.


To make great cookies, it is important to understand a little of the science of making them. They are small, so there is less room for error, which is why measuring accurately is so necessary. And they have very few ingredients, so each ingredient has a key roll, and using the best of each ingredient will make a big difference.


Using the brands we have listed will ensure that you make great cookies every time. These brands not only taste better, but production of each is tightly controlled so the product is consistent. The size of the sugar crystal, the amount of protein in the flour, the shape of the salt – all these things will affect the way the cookies bake. Cookies are so small that little differences in the ingredients can lead to a big difference in the cookies. Some of these brands cost more than other available products, but it’s worth it. For some, we include a link to their official websites so you can buy direct and in bulk and often reduce the price.


LA TOURANGELLE – Nut oil is a great substitute for butter. The flavor of nuts works well in cookies, and the oil gives the cookies a fudgy center and crisp edges. La Tourangelle offers a number of different oils, already roasted for added flavor – pecan, pistachio, walnut, hazelnut, almond. Nut oils contain no water, and butter does, so a substitution would be about 3 parts oil for 4 parts butter. We buy some in bulk to save money, but are careful to buy only what we will use in a few months and keep it refrigerated.


GOLD MEDAL UNBLEACHED ALL PURPOSE FLOUR – has a lower protein amount than some all purpose flours – 10.5 percent protein. This is a good flour for baking cookies, since it makes them more tender. In addition, the company ensures that the protein content is carefully calibrated, so you get consistent results. Also, it is important to use the unbleached flour, since bleaching can give cookies an off taste or have unpredictable results.

KING ARTHUR UNBLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR – has a slightly higher protein amount than Gold Medal – 11.7 percent protein. It is good for baking cookies, especially those that are a little more hearty and need some substance. King Arthur is an employee-owned company that responsibly sources the wheat for their flours, and it pays off in the taste and quality. They have a “never bleached” guarantee, which means their flours don’t have an off taste or unpredictable results that can be caused by bleaching. They also carefully calibrate the protein content, which means the flour gives you the same results, every time you bake.


WHOLESOME ORGANIC SUGAR – produced from sugar cane fields that are green cut and are not burned or treated with herbicides or synthetic fertilizers. Burning sugar cane fields contributes to air pollution and climate change, and is a major cause of the destruction of the rainforest. Buying sugar from fields that are green cut helps prevent this destruction. The sugar also has a better taste because of how it is produced. It is more expensive than buying the standard brands, but the difference is only a few cents per recipe, so it’s worth it. We also save money by buying this in bulk direct from the company and storing it in jars in the pantry.


If a recipe calls for brown sugar, we use white, granulated Wholesome Organic sugar and add a small amount of sorghum syrup instead. Brown sugar is just white, granulated sugar with molasses added. Sorghum syrup tastes very similar to molasses. We actually prefer the milder taste of the sorghum syrup. This saves money, since brown sugar is usually more expensive than white sugar, and it saves storage. We don’t make brown sugar by mixing the sorghum syrup and sugar because they don’t mix well, and the syrup is easy to add to a recipe. Also important, sorghum does not come from sugar cane. It is grown more sustainably in colder climates without burning and without cutting down tropical rain forests.

organic sugar and sorghum syrup for making brown sugar


Superfine sugar, also known as caster sugar or baker’s sugar, is just white, granulated sugar that has been ground fine so that it dissolves quickly. It is often much more expensive than granulated sugar, so instead of buying super fine sugar, we make it ourselves and save money. We put the Wholesome organic sugar in the food processor and grind it fine, which takes about a minute, and store it in jars in the pantry.


Powdered sugar, or confectioner’s sugar is just white, granulated sugar ground to a fine powder with some cornstarch added to keep it from clumping. We tried to make it ourselves, but could not grind it fine enough or evenly, so we buy Wholesome Organic Powdered Sugar in bulk and store it in jars. Buying in bulk saves money and it stores well in a jar with a lid.


HEILALA VANILLA – the best tasting vanilla we have ever tried. Plus, it is ethically produced. We double the amount of vanilla usually called for to add extra flavor. Vanilla extract is usually half alcohol and half water, so the extra vanilla will add some liquid.

Heilala vanilla
Heilala vanilla


VALRHONA CHOCOLATE – Using a high quality chocolate makes a really big difference. We use Valrhona because of the quality and because it’s an ethical choice.

Valrhona milk chocolate,
Valrhona milk chocolate,


DIAMOND CRYSTAL KOSHER SALT – pure salt without additives or iodine taste. The weight and structure of salt varies between brands so it is important to choose a salt and stick with it to be consistent.


  • Oven Thermometer
  • Instant read thermometer
  • timer
  • Accurate measuring spoons
  • Medium to heavy-weight, light-colored aluminum cookie sheets – dark or thin sheets may burn the bottom of the cookies
  • stand mixer
  • food processor
  • silicone baking mat – much less expensive than parchment paper in the long run
  • silicone heat resistant spatula for scraping the bowl. All one piece is easier to clean and doesn’t come apart
  • thin metal spatula for moving the hot cookies – the thin metal won’t break the cookies
  • cooling rack with a gridded frame – the grid prevents the cookies from falli
  • digital kitchen scale
  • medium wire whisk
  • microplane zester and grater
  • cookie scoops with squeeze release handles
  • fine mesh strainer for sifting


UNDERSTAND THE METHOD – our cookie recipes are made with one of three methods:

  1. BATTER – used for drop, rolled, cut out or formed cookies. Create a batter by stirring the wet ingredients together (nut oil, sugar, eggs, flavorings), then adding the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda). This is easiest method for making cookies and works best in a bowl, stirring by hand.
  2. IRON – creating a thin batter that is stirred together and then fried or baked in an iron. This requires special equipment such as a waffle iron, rosette iron, pizzelle maker, or krumkake iron.
  3. MERINGUE – creating a meringue with egg whites and sugar, sometimes with a flour made of ground nuts. The cookies made this way are often gluten free. This is easiest and works best in a stand mixer, but a food processor is the easiest way to make the nut flour. It can also be done with a hand mixer or whisking by hand, but it would take much longer. There are three types of meringues – French, Italian, and Swiss.
    • French meringue is the easiest and most common type of meringue and is often used in baked goods, since the egg whites are not cooked. It is made with egg whites and sugar that are whipped together until they form stiff peaks. The mixture is can be baked at a low temperature until it dries out and becomes crispy, or it can be mixed with other ingredients to make various types of cookies.
    • Italian meringue is a more complex type of meringue that requires a bit more skill to make. It is made by whipping egg whites and adding a hot sugar syrup then whipping them together until they form a glossy, stable mixture. The hot sugar syrup cooks the egg whites, making the meringue safe to eat. Italian meringue is commonly used in recipes such as buttercream frosting and French macarons. It is denser than French meringue and has a slight sweetness to it.
    • Swiss meringue is made by whisking egg whites and sugar together over a double boiler until the sugar dissolves. It is then whipped until stiff peaks form, resulting in a glossy, shiny meringue. Swiss meringue is often used in recipes such as mousses and buttercream frosting. It has a silky texture and a buttery flavor that is perfect for a variety of desserts. Swiss meringue is also more stable than French meringue, making it a great option for decorating cakes and pastries.


USE A SCALE AND MEASURE IN GRAMS – Use a scale to measure most of the ingredients by weight. This is absolutely essential. The inaccuracies from using measuring cups can easily lead to failure when baking. Different brands of flour and sugar will be different when measured with measuring cups, and not all measuring cups are accurate. Measuring by weight is the same every time. It is also much easier – just put the mixing bowl on the scale, zero the scale, add an ingredient, zero the scale again, add the next ingredient, and so on. Measuring in grams is more accurate, and easier, than pounds and ounces. Since it is a smaller measurement, it is more precise. Also, grams are often easy numbers to remember, making it possible to make the cookies without looking at the written recipe and easy to compare recipes. Clean up is easier, since there will be fewer bowls and no measuring cups to wash. And cooking with children is easier because they quickly learn how to add ingredients until the scale reads the correct amount.

Best Dutch Oven Bread Recipe
Weigh the Ingredients

USE A SCALE TO MEASURE OUT EACH COOKIE – Use the scale to make sure the cookies are exactly the same size. Using a scoop for some cookies makes forming the cookies fast and easy and will also help maintain the same shape, but the scale will make them the same size.

chocolate chip cookies

REFRIGERATE THE DOUGH AT LEAST THREE HOURS OR OVERNIGHT – This allows the flour to absorb the liquid in the dough, making the cookies bake better. You can refrigerate the dough in the bowl covered with plastic wrap, measured out for drop cookies, as a flat square for rolled cookies, or as a log for sliced cookies.

VACUUM PACK AND FREEZE EXTRA DOUGH – After refrigerating the dough overnight, extra cookie dough can be frozen. Vacuum sealing keeps the dough fresher.

 freeze extra cookie dough as cookies in a vacuum packed container.
freeze extra cookie dough as cookies in a vacuum packed container

USE AN OVEN THERMOMETER – Use an accurate oven thermometer to check the oven temperature before putting the cookies in. The temperature of ovens vary, and may not be the temperature on the dial.

ALLOW THE COOKIES TO COOL ON A RACK – Allow the cookies to cool for a minute on the pan, then transfer them to a rack to keep them from getting too dark on the bottom. The cookies will become more crisp as they cool on the rack, though we realize allowing them to cool before eating them is almost impossible.

The best oatmeal cookie recipe
The best oatmeal cookie recipe

It’s not hard to make your own cookie mix, and you can use any of your favorite recipes. Just mix the dry ingredients together ahead of time.  Then later add the butter, eggs and vanilla, and bake. The cookie mix makes a nice gift when you package it in a canister with a ribbon and label… and, of course, instructions.

The Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe


Pin Recipe Share on Facebook Add Comment Print Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 day
Total Time: 1 day 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 Cookies
Calories: 223kcal
Author: Lisa LeCoump
This is the Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe – Crisp on the Outside, Chewy in the Center – Roasted Pecan Oil, Toasted Oats and Ground Pecans


  • scale


For certain products, the choice of brand will make a big difference in the outcome of the recipe and in your carbon footprint. So, for those products, we have listed the brand. We are not paid to mention a brand and have no affiliates.



  • Toast the pecans in an air fryer on 300° F for 4-5 minutes, or in a dry skillet on medium-high heat until they just start to brown. Immediately transfer to a plate to cool. After they are cooled, grind half the nuts to a powder, but not so long that they become nut butter. Place the ground nuts in a medium sized bowl. Roughly chop the other half, leaving some whole to place on top of the cookies.
  • Toast the oatmeal in a dry skillet on medium-high heat until it just starts to brown. Immediately transfer to a plate to cool. After the oatmeal cools, finely grind 50 grams to a fine powder. Add the ground oatmeal to the ground nuts in the medium sized bowl.
  • Soak the raisins in hot water (or bourbon for a more adult flavor) for 5 minutes to soften. Then drain and transfer the raisins to a paper towel.
  • Put the medium sized bowl with the ground nuts and oatmeal on the scale, zero it and measure in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir together and set aside.
  • Place a medium sized mixing bowl on the scale. Measure in the pecan oil, cinnamon, sugar, sorghum syrup, vanilla, egg and yolk, zeroing after each item. Stir to mix , wait 5 minutes, then stir again and wait another 5 minutes. Then stir in the flour mixture, stirring just until mixed. Then stir in the oats, nuts and raisins.
  • Portion out the dough into balls 3 tablespoons in size. Using a 3 Tablespoon cookie scoop makes this easier and more accurate. Cover the balls with plastic and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 ℉ (or bake in an air fryer at 300℉).
  • Place the cookies on the baking sheets, leaving space between each. allow them to come to room temperature. Then, using a glass, flatten the cookies into thick disks. Place a whole pecan or two on the top of each cookie. (The balls can also be vacuum packed and frozen at this stage.)
  • Bake 1 tray at a time. Bake until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and centers are still soft – about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a minute and then transfer them to a wire rack. Allow them to cool before serving.


Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg


Check out the chart on the blog post to see how food choices affect climate change. This recipe uses responsible brands and items that are lower on the chart and the production creates less greenhouse gas.
Tried this recipe?Show us on Instagram and Mention @tonyfitzgeraldphotography

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


We have listed the brands for some of the ingredients because ingredients are everything, especially in something small like cookies. We have found that these brands give superior results. And by using brands like Wholesome sugar we cut our carbon footprint in half and are helping to control climate change.

Photos by Tony Fitzgerald Photography

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