These salted tahini oatmeal cookies are vegan and gluten free. They’re made with healthy ingredients, including oats and oat flour, olive oil, a flax “egg,” dark chocolate, and shredded coconut. Enjoy one (or two!) of these flavorful, dense cookies for a better-for-you dessert.
I’m a sucker for a good cookie, especially of the chocolate chip/chunk variety! Even though I love a sweet cookie as much as the next gal, I also enjoy experimenting with healthier baked goods. I often find myself hankering for a not-so-sweet cookie that still satisfies my dessert craving without being too decadent, like my Oatmeal Raisin Sweet Potato Cookies or Oatmeal Date Almond Butter Bars.
At this point, true cookie lovers may choose to exit this webpage. I understand. But if you’re still with me and can relate at all to what I just shared, keep reading! I have the perfect cookie for you, especially if you also like bittersweet undertones or are a fan of things like coffee and dark beers.
What kind of cookie could this be, you ask? Tahini oatmeal cookies have entered the chat! Tahini — ground sesame seeds, if you’re wondering — adds a bitter yet slightly sweet flavor, while dark chocolate, a little bit of maple syrup, and shredded coconut balance it out.
In lieu of butter and white flour, I used extra virgin olive oil and ground and whole oats. To keep the cookies vegan, I subbed a flax “egg” for a real one. Then, when the cookies came out of the oven, I sprinkled them with Maldon flaky salt. Are your bittersweet taste buds drooling yet? Go on and give these cookies a try, and report back if you do!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Old fashioned oats: Also known as rolled oats. Look for certified gluten free oats if you need the cookies to be strictly gluten free. I love Bob’s Red Mill brand.
- Oat flour: I make my own oat flour by grinding rolled oats in a food processor. You can also purchase oat flour at most stores. If you are making your own oat flour, use about 1.5 cups oats to get 1.25 cups flour. I have not tried it, but I think that all-purpose flour would work well in place of oat flour.
- Baking soda, salt, and cinnamon: Don’t skip these.
- Tahini: My favorite Tahini brands are Soom and Mighty Sesame Co squeezable tahini. I really like the squeezable kind because it’s so easy to measure out for recipes.
- Extra virgin olive oil: You can substitute melted butter or vegan butter, coconut oil, or canola oil.
- Maple syrup: You can substitute honey in the same amount.
- Vanilla extract: Yum.
- Flax egg: Make by combining 1 tablespoon milled flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for a few minutes until thickened.
- Dark chocolate: Use 70% or more dark chocolate. I like Hu or Endangered Species brands. Be sure to choose a brand that’s vegan if you need tahini oatmeal cookies to be strictly vegan. You can substitute semi-sweet chocolate chunks if desired.
- Maldon sea salt flakes: Any brand of flaky sea salt will do.
The full recipe card with step-by-step instructions, ingredient quantities, and notes is at the end of the post. Here is a preview of the steps.
Whisk together the wet ingredients in a large bowl: tahini, olive oil, maple syrup, flax egg, and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, mix together the oat flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones.
Fold the shredded coconut and chopped dark chocolate into the batter. The batter will be very sticky.
Spoon rounded tablespoons of the batter onto a lined baked sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until slightly browned around the edges. Don’t worry if the centers don’t look solidified. They will firm up while cooling. Sprinkle cookies with flaky salt.
You can substitute other fix-ins in place of the dark chocolate and shredded coconut if desired. I recommended using some type of chocolate, even if it’s just chocolate chips, to keep the flavors balanced. For a fruity variation of tahini oatmeal cookies, try dried cherries, dried cranberries (maybe with some orange zest!), or sliced dates. You could also incorporate chopped walnuts or pecans.
Equipment and Tips
The batter for these cookies is very sticky. I recommend using a spoon or ice cream scoop to help form balls of the batter to put onto the baking sheet. It’s nearly impossible to work with the batter with your hands, so use a utensil to help.
If you are grinding your own oats to make flour, I suggest using a food processor or high-powered blender and blending them long enough to make a fine flour. Since you’ll also be adding whole oats to the batter, it is important to get the oat flour as fine as possible so that the cookies aren’t too crumbly. Using store-bought oat flour is a great option, too, since it tends to be very fine.
Finally, I recently discovered the ease of using Silpat baking mats for making cookies. I highly recommend them. My cookies turn out perfectly (without burnt bottoms!) if I use my Silpat.
Keep tahini oatmeal cookies in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I like to keep them in the fridge so that they last a little longer. The cookies do taste best if eaten sooner rather than later, though.
You can also freeze these cookies. Let them cool completely then transfer to a freezer safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 6 months.
Other Healthier Sweets
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Vegan Tahini Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 tablespoon milled flaxseed - mixed with 3 tablespoons of water to form a flax "egg"
- ½ cup tahini
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil - can sub coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1.25 cup oat flour - if grinding your own, use 1.5 cups oats to yield this amount
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces dark chocolate - roughly chopped
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- Flaky sea salt - for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- Prepare the ingredients. First, make the flax "egg" by whisking together the flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit until thickened while you gather the rest of the ingredients.
- Whisk together the flax "egg," tahini, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the oat flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ones, and stir with a rubber spatula until combined.
- Fold in the chopped dark chocolate and coconut. Stir until everything is combined. The batter will be very sticky.
- Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to form rounded tablespoons. Place them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. You may need to do 2 rounds of baking depending on the size of your baking sheet.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are very lightly browned. The centers will not look firm yet, but they will firm up while cooling. Sprinkle the cookies with flaky sea salt. Let the cookies cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Use certified gluten free oats and oat flour if you need these to be strictly gluten free and vegan dark chocolate to ensure they are vegan.
- Store cookies in an airtight container on the counter or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. They taste best when eaten in the first few days. You can also freeze them for up to 6 months.
Happy baking! – Lizzie