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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies with Maple, Buckwheat, and Flaky Salt {Vegan and Gluten-Free}

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies with Maple, Buckwheat, and Flaky Salt {Vegan and Gluten-Free}

Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies with Buckwheat, Maple, and Oats {Vegan and Gluten-Free}

By Alanna Taylor-Tobin, originally published on The Bojon Gourmet.


Colder weather = a great excuse to stay indoors listening to music, drinking tea, and baking cookies; preferably soft and chewy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, but any cookie will do so long as I get to stay in my jammies.

I got inspired to make these gluten-free and vegan treats from a few different sources. First, Dana “Minimalist Baker” Shultz’s beautiful gluten-free, vegan cookies packed with chocolate and peanut butter. Second, Heidi’s vegan peanut butter cookies, loaded with whole grain flour and sweetened with maple syrup. I decided to combine the two, trading the olive oil in Heidi’s recipe for coconut oil, using milder almond butter in place of the peanut, and keeping the flours gluten-free.

I whisked together almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, then moved on to the dry ingredients. Since buckwheat goes so well in chocolate chip cookies, I decided to use it in conjunction with sweet rice flour, which is naturally sticky and adds chew to baked goods. And inspired by these oatmeal cookies from Flourishing Foodie, I added not one, but two kinds of oats: quick oats to absorb more moisture and keep the cookies thick, and old-fashioned rolled oats for hearty flecks and a bit of chew. I stirred in a ton of chopped chocolate, scooped the dough into balls which I topped with flakes of salt and more chocolate, and baked them into chewy pillows of cookie love.

Then I made them three more times because, hey, it was raining. Also, I keep giving them away to all the gluten-free and vegan people I know, which is a lot.

I never thought I’d be able to make a good cookie that was both gluten-free and vegan, so I’m thrilled with the results. The texture is indistinguishable from conventional cookies: thick, chewy, soft, and moist. Sweet rice flour and protein-rich almond butter help to take the place of gluten, and they also let the robust flavors of chocolate, buckwheat, and maple shine through. The oats give you something to sink your teeth into, and the occasional burst of flaky salt makes them utterly addictive.

I love the whiff of earth and spice that buckwheat flour adds to these cookies but if you don’t have any on hand, you can likely trade both flours for a gluten-free all-purpose blend, or wheat flour if gluten isn’t an issue. Do be sure to use oats that are certified gluten-free for those cookie-eaters who are severely gluten-intolerant, and seek out chocolate that is vegan. Bittersweet chocolate doesn’t usually contain dairy, but refined sugar can be processed with animal bone char which is a no-no for vegans.

And be sure to have a tall glass of something milk-like to wash down gooey, warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies. Because that is one of life’s little pleasures…

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies with Maple, Buckwheat, and Flaky Salt {Vegan and Gluten-Free}

Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet
Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

A few tips for cookie success:

These cookies are a bit sensitive to temperature; cold ingredients and a too hot oven can equal cookies that don’t spread, while warm ingredients and a cool oven can result in excess spreadage. For the best results, have your ingredients at room temperature (I usually store my maple syrup and almond butter in the fridge, so I pull them out and stick them on top of the warming oven for half an hour or so before mixing up the dough). I recommend using an oven thermometer since most ovens don’t run exactly true to temperature, and this can affect cookies more dramatically than other baked goods. Ideally the temperature here is 375ºF or a little cooler. I recommend baking off a test cookie or two to make sure they spread correctly; if you want more spread, flatten the scooped cookies a bit before baking and lower the oven temperature by 25 or 50 degrees. If they spread too much, chill the dough for fifteen minutes or so before scooping and turn the oven up by 25 degrees.

I do recommend making this recipe with the ingredients listed for the best results. I tried a simplified version using only buckwheat flour and old-fashioned rolled oats, but they weren’t as thick and chewy as this version. I tried using a darker chocolate (85% cacao mass) which I found too bitter and overpowering. But I wouldn’t want a sweeter chocolate here, nor would I want to decrease the maple syrup in the dough as it will make for less spready cookies. I find the sweetness here just right. I do think you could successfully substitute a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend for the buckwheat and sweet rice flours, however, or a gluten-full flour (AP, whole wheat, spelt, or rye – in this case, skip the step of beating the dough for 20 seconds). To measure the flours by volume, dip your dry measuring cup into the bag or jar, fluff up the flour a bit, and sweep the excess flour off with a knife or your finger, leaving it flush with the cup. Be sure to use oats that are certified gluten-free, and chocolate that is certified vegan, if those are concerns for you or your cookie-eating helpers.

All ounce measurements are by weight

Makes about thirty-two 2 1/2″ cookies

See Also


  • 1/2 cup (2.75 ounces / 80 grams) sweet rice flour (mochiko)
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces / 70 grams) buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (1.75 ounces / 50 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats, plus an extra handful for the tops
  • 1/2 cup (1.5 ounces / 40 grams) quick (baby) oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or 1/4 teaspoon if your almond butter is salted)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces / 225 grams) smooth, unsalted almond butter
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8.5 ounces / 240 grams) maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons (2.5 ounces / 70 grams) melted but cool coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces / 225 grams) coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (preferably 65-70% cacao mass), plus some extra chunks for the tops
  • flaky salt such as Maldon, for the tops (optional)

Position a rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375ºF. Line two or three cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweet rice and buckwheat flours with the old-fashioned and quick oats, baking soda, and sea salt.

In a large bowl, stir together the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined, then stir vigorously for 20 seconds. (This helps create a chewy texture.) Stir in the chocolate.

Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls (either with two teaspoons or with a #40 spring-loaded ice cream scoop) and place at least 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets. If you like, top each cookie with a few flakes of flaky salt, a few oats, and a chocolate chunk or two.

Bake the cookies, rotating the pans from front to back and top to bottom after five minutes, until the cookies are puffed and slightly cracked on top, and set around the sides, 8-10 minutes. (They will seem underdone, soft, and fragile at first, but will firm up as they cool.) Let the cookies cool completely, then store airtight at room temperature. They will stay soft and chewy for up to 3 days.

See the original post for step-by-step images.

Alanna is a recovering pastry chef who loves sharing fresh, seasonal recipes from her San Francisco kitchen via her blog, The Bojon Gourmet (bojon = no job, backwards). Learn more about the Tao of Bojon here.