These vegan Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Cookies are soft, chewy, sweet, and “buttery.” They have the perfect amount of texture and crunch in each bite. Gluten-free and ready in just 30 minutes!
Festive enough to be a Christmas cookie, but quick and easy enough to enjoy any time of year.
Easy to customize with your favorite mix-ins.
The texture of the cookie reminds me of the Oatmeal Creme Pies that were popular when I was growing up. Keep in mind that I haven’t had one of those in probably 30 years, though, so I may be off on that. Either way, these Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Cookies are so delicious and I bet you can’t eat just one!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Oats ~ Use old fashioned rolled oats for best texture. Look for certified gluten-free oats if you need this recipe to be gluten-free. While oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often processed in a facility that also processes wheat.
If you can’t have oats at all, try my Vegan Cranberry Cookies made with almond flour!
Flour ~ I use oat flour to keep these cookies gluten-free. Again, look for certified gluten-free oat flour if you need. You could also grind your own using rolled oats in a food processor or coffee grinder.
I haven’t tried it, but all-purpose flour should work as well as an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.
Butter ~ Use vegan stick butter for best results. Use it cold straight from the fridge…no need to soften it first.
I don’t have much luck finding unsalted vegan butter, though I know that Earth Balance makes one. This recipe was developed using the yellow box of Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.
Sugar ~ I typically use a mixture of cane sugar and brown sugar. I have also used all brown sugar. Both options are perfectly sweet and tasty.
Flax ~ This is a binder. Whisk 1 tablespoon of flaxmeal with 3 tablespoons water and let it sit for a few minutes until it thickens.
Spices ~ Just some cinnamon, a splash of pure vanilla extract, and a little salt is all you need.
Cranberries ~ Dried cranberries are sweet and tart and chewy. You could use other dried fruit, like raisins, dried cherries, dried blueberries, chopped dried apricots, or chopped dates.
Chocolate chips are always a good option as an alternative. Or try my recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (oil-free and butter-free!)
Walnuts ~ Chopped walnuts are the perfect complement to oats and cranberries. Chop them into pieces similar in size to, or even smaller than, the dried cranberries. Pieces too big will make it harder for the cookie dough to hold together.
Don’t have walnuts? Use almonds, pistachios, or pecans instead. You can also use pumpkin seeds if you prefer. Or you can just leave them out.
How to make the recipe
Please scroll down to the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements and instructions.
In a small bowl whisk the flaxmeal with 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside to let thicken. This is the flax “egg.”
Add the cold vegan butter and sugars to the bowl of an electric mixer (1).
Beat until the mixture comes together creamy and smooth (2). Add the flax “egg” and vanilla and mix to incorporate.
In a separate bowl add the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt (3). Whisk to combine (4).
Add the oat mixture slowly to the butter and sugar mixture in the electric mixer and mix until well-combined (5).
Add the dried cranberries and chopped walnuts (6) and stir to evenly distribute throughout the dough.
Scoop the dough 2 tablespoons at a time (I like to make these cookies fairly big. You can do smaller ones if you prefer.). Roll the dough into a ball and place on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Repeat until the pan is full, making sure to space out the cookie dough leaving plenty of space for the cookies to spread (7).
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies have spread and the edges have started to set (8).
Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 3 to 4 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to continue to cool completely (9).
Storage and freezing
Counter: Store leftover oatmeal cranberry walnut cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.
Fridge: Store them up to 10 days in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Freezer: You can even freeze these baked vegan cookies! For best results, place cookies in one even layer on a large plate or baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cookies to a freezer safe plastic bag. They should keep well for up to 4 months.
You can also freeze the cookie dough before baking. Portion out the dough by rolling 2 tablespoons each into a ball. Then place onto a rimmed baking sheet (no need to space them out) and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cookie dough balls to a freezer-safe plastic bag. They will keep well for up to 3 months. Baking cookies from frozen usually takes an extra few minutes.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Use cold vegan butter straight from the fridge. Do not soften it first. Vegan butter doesn’t perform quite the same as dairy butter. The oils tend to separate out when warm, which will happen when creaming with the sugars. Starting with cold butter slows down this process. But don’t worry, it will break down easily, and allow for the perfect creamy texture.
~ Use old fashioned rolled oats for best texture. Not quick oats and definitely not steel cut oats.
~ Measure the flour by lightly spooning it into a measuring cup, then leveling off the top by sliding the back of knife across it. This is called the spoon-and-level method.
~ If the cookie dough is crumbly and won’t hold together, add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing again in between each addition, just until the dough comes together.
~ Space out the cookie dough on the baking sheet. These cookies will spread!
~ After baking, let the cookies rest on the pan for about 2 to 3 minutes before removing them to a wire cooling rack to continue to cool completely. They will be too soft to move straight from the oven.
~ To make this recipe gluten-free, use certified gluten-free oats.
~ To make this recipe nut-free, simply leave out the walnuts.
I haven’t personally tried this. Whole cranberries are larger in size than dried cranberries and the cookies may not hold together as well. If you have fresh or frozen cranberries, try my Cranberry Banana Bread, Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins, Cranberry Oat Crumble Bars, Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce, or Creamy Cranberry Jalapeño Dip.
You probably used too much flour or oats. To fix this, add water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition, until the dough sticks together when pressed between your fingers.
Too many mix-ins will also cause the dough to crumble. Chop the walnuts finely and don’t use more than 1 cup of mix-ins for the recipe.
Yes! Transfer the cooled cookies to a large plate or baking sheet and freeze. Once the cookies are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe plastic bag. This way they won’t stick together in the bag. They should keep well up to 3 months.
You can also freeze the cookie dough before baking. Portion out the dough by rolling 2 tablespoons each into a ball. Then place onto a rimmed baking sheet (no need to space them out) and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cookie dough balls to a freezer-safe plastic bag. It will keep well for up to 3 months.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
Be sure to sign up for my FREE Newsletter to be the first to get my NEW recipes! You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Vegan Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Cookies
- 1 tablespoon flaxmeal
- 3 tablespoons water
- ½ cup vegan stick butter I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks in the yellow box
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup cane sugar or more brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups oat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 1 to 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxmeal and water. Set aside to thicken. This is the flax "egg."
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the cold vegan butter, brown sugar, and cane sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and flax "egg" and mix until smooth.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Slowly add the oat mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until well combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again to ensure all the ingredients are properly incorporated.
- Add the dried cranberries and chopped walnuts and stir to evenly distribute throughout the dough.
- Roll the dough into balls 2 heaping tablespoons at a time and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Space out the cookie dough with at least 2 inches in between each one. These cookies will spread.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies have spread and the edges are starting to set.
- Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 3 to 4 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
Nutrition facts calculated per cookie based on 2 heaping tablespoons of dough per cookie.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.