Soft, chewy, tangy cinnamon sugar cookies made healthier with oat flour and coconut sugar. Vegan, gluten-free, and just 8 ingredients!
Every autumn I’m blessed with a plethora of persimmons thanks to my parents’ and grandpa’s persimmon trees. I’m talking hundreds of persimmons. We give some away to friends but inevitably we still end up with at least 100, and since my parents only eat like one a day, there are a ton leftover for me to enjoy hehe. Usually I just stuff my face with them until I turn orange (I love persimmons!), but this year I decided to experiment with baking with persimmons. I put them in bread, banana bread, muffins, cookies, granola, curry, literally anything and everything I made. (And believe it or not, I’m still not sick of persimmons!) What I learned: persimmon puree works just like applesauce — it doesn’t leave a distinct flavor and is great for adding moisture to baked goods, or sweetening savory dishes like curry. So, I decided to take my classic snickerdoodles and add a healthier twist to them.
These healthier vegan snickerdoodles are made with just 8 simple ingredients:
- oat flour: The base of these cookies. Oats add a bit more of a chewy bite and nutty flavor. You can either purchase a bag of oat flour, or make your own by blending oats in a high speed blender until you reach a flour-like texture. Make sure to use certified gluten-free oats if gluten is an issue for you.
- coconut sugar: A slightly more natural alternative to regular white sugar. However, you can also use vegan granulated white sugar. Your cookies will be a bit lighter in color if you do so.
- persimmon puree: This adds moisture while cutting back on some of the oil/fat. Peel and de-seed a very ripe, soft persimmon and blend it until a smooth paste forms. If you do not have persimmon, you can try using applesauce, or try out these classic snickerdoodles or pumpkin snickerdoodles.
- coconut oil: This is key for that soft, buttery texture. Use refined coconut oil if possible, unrefined will leave a slight coconut aftertaste (which isn’t bad, as long as you like coconut).
- cream of tartar: A key ingredient in snickerdoodles. It adds that subtle tang characteristic of snickerdoodles, and it also reacts with the baking soda to help them rise and puff up slightly.
- cinnamon: The other main flavor of snickerdoodles. Give your cookie dough balls a generous coating of cinnamon sugar. I also like to add a pinch of cinnamon in the cookie dough for more cinnamon-y goodness.
- The other ingredients you’ll need are baking staples such as vanilla extract and baking soda. I also like to add a pinch of nutmeg, but that’s optional.
HOW TO MAKE
- Cream together the coconut oil and sugar.
- Add persimmon puree and vanilla and mix gently till combined.
- Add in the oat flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and mix well. Add 1/2 – 1 tsp of plant milk if the dough seems too dry.
- Scoop about 1 tbsp of dough, shape into a ball, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place on baking sheet (I like to use this silicone baking mat, see notes below about lined vs unlined baking sheets) and slightly flatten into discs.
- Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes. Cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
BAKING TIPS FOR PERFECT COOKIES
Use cookie sheets that are light in color as these absorb less heat. Dark cookie sheets get hot very quickly and may burn the bottom of the cookies. If using a dark cookie sheet, reduce temp to 350°F.
For best results, line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Baking is a science, so in order to best replicate this recipe I recommend weighing your ingredients when possible. You can find inexpensive kitchen scales on Amazon.
The cookies should still feel soft on top (but should be more firm around the edges) when you take them out of the oven, but they will firm up as they cool. Let them cool completely before eating for best results.
Make sure your coconut oil is solid but soft enough to cream, think softened butter consistency. Coconut oil stored at room temperature (about 72-75°F) will work best, but if your coconut oil is liquid then place in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. Or if your coconut oil is too solid then you can briefly warm it in the microwave (but don’t melt it!).
The persimmon puree should also be at room temperature before mixing into the dough. If it is too cold it will freeze the coconut oil and your dough will not form properly.
HOW TO STORE
In general, crispy cookies should be stored in glass containers, like a cookie jar, to allow a bit of airflow so some of the moisture can seep out.
Soft cookies should be stored in an airtight container to keep the moisture in. You can also store them with a slice of sandwich bread, since the moisture from the bread will keep the cookies soft.
Cookies will generally keep at room temperature for about 3 days. For long-term storage, cookies should be frozen.
If you have multiple flavors of cookies, store them separately from each other so their flavors don’t mix.
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS
- Aluminum Baking Sheet: Light colored baking sheets work best.
- Silicone Baking Mat: Or use parchment paper.
- Cooling Rack: Essential for evenly cooling cookies.
- Kitchen Scale: Weighing your ingredients, when possible, is ultimately more accurate than just using measuring cups.
Check out these other vegan cookie recipes!
- Classic Snickerdoodles
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Grain-Free Matcha Sugar Cookies (Paleo)
If you try out these healthier vegan snickerdoodles, please tag me in your recreations on instagram @ellielikes.cooking, and/or leave a comment down below and let me know how you liked it! I absolutely love seeing you recreate my recipes in your kitchen 🙂 Happy baking!
Healthier Persimmon Snickerdoodles (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Set aside a lined baking sheet for the cookies.
- Mix together cinnamon/sugar coating in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Cream together coconut oil and sugar. Add persimmon puree and vanilla extract and gently combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix together oat flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until a cookie dough forms. Add a splash of plant milk if the batter is too dry.
- Scoop cookie dough into balls (about 1 tbsp in size) and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on baking sheet and flatten slightly into discs.
- Bake 10 minutes, until browned and firm around the edges. (The center will still be soft but will firm up as it cools.) Leave on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cookies cool completely before eating for best results.
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