These deliciously chewy sugar free oatmeal cookies have a lovely crunch on the outside and a soft centre. Even better, they are ready in just 25 minutes. Find out in the post which substitution I'm using to make this classic recipe low carb - into proper keto oatmeal cookies!
Oatmeal raisin cookies used to be one of my favourite cookies as a kid, and as we all know, some things never change.
There's comfort in a simple cookie that just hits the spot, whether you have it with a glass of milk after school or with a cup of tea taking a break from work. My mum had a secret sugar oatmeal cookies recipe, as probably your mum or gran did, and your friend's or neighbour's mum or gran. And if you're lucky, they'll pass it on to you!
Of course, going on a low carb diet changes a few things. First of all, the raisins had to go. But what about the oats?
Is oatmeal keto friendly?
Oats are whole grains and therefore high in carbs. One portion of cooked oats provide 12g of carbs, according to the USDA (portion size 100g, oats cooked in water). 100g (roughly ⅔ cup) of uncooked rolled oats come in at a whopping 55 net carbs.
You can do the maths. If you want to keep your net carbs anywhere between 20 and 40 per day and your blood sugar levels stable, then oats, or oatmeal, are not a good choice.
Can there be such a thing as keto oatmeal cookies?
If you're on the keto diet, you'll know that (almost) anything is possible with clever substitutions. We can make cakes, pizza, bread and yes, even oatmeal or overnight oats that taste as good as the "real" thing. And dare I say it, sometimes it'll taste even better :).
Let's straighten something out. I just don't want to start calling these cookies "noatmeal cookies" or "no-oatmeal oatmeal cookies", only because I'm not ACTUALLY using oats. I like to keep things simple. Since my cookies TASTE like oatmeal cookies, that's what they are to me. Gluten free, keto oatmeal cookies!
I'm using a combination of almond flakes and coconut flakes to mimic the chew of oats. Somehow, they have a similar melt-in-the mouth quality. Mixed into a buttery almond flour cookie batter, they add that texture we all love about oatmeal cookies.
I've had these cookies both as a snack and for breakfast and can confirm either is a great choice!
How do you make sugar free oatmeal cookies from scratch?
First, let's take a look at the ingredients. You'll need almond flour or ground almonds, coconut flakes and almond flakes, melted butter, a granulated sweetener such as erythritol, one large egg, baking powder and vanilla extract.
I'm also using a pinch of salt and xanthan gum. Neither is strictly necessary. I'd say though that the salt improves the taste and the xanthan gum gives a stronger crumb structure.
If you omit the xanthan gum, your cookies will be a little flakier, but the recipe still works well.
1.) Using a sharp knife, chop ½ cup (50g) of sliced almonds and the coconut flakes to resemble the size of oats.
If you prefer, you can also pulse them in a food processor.
2.) Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl (almond flour, erythritol, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, chopped flaked almonds and coconut). Stir to combine.
Then, add the melted butter and egg and mix to form a dough. Use coconut oil for dairy free!
Roll the mix into 9 balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Chop the remaining ¼ cup (25g) almonds and press them into the top.
Now, flatten the cookies to about ¾ inch thickness and shape the edges with your figures to remove cracks.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly golden. As with all low carb cookies, be sure to let them COOL COMPLETELY before handling. Almond flour baked goods are fragile when hot and will firm up as they cool down.
Almond flour vs coconut flour
The one question I always get when I post a low carb baking recipe is about flour substitutions.
Normally, you can substitute almond flour for coconut flour using ⅓ of the amount stated for almond flour (sometimes a little more). Coconut flour is more brittle than almond flour, so you'll definitely have to use the xanthan gum for a stronger texture.
Note though that I have not tried this myself yet. Also, you will change the taste of the cookies considerably and my guess is they will definitely NOT taste of oatmeal cookies any more. The great thing about almond flour is that it is very neutral in taste.
Which low carb sweetener can I use?
You've got options! Use either pure granulated erythritol or an erythritol blend with either stevia or monk fruit. A brown sugar substitute such as Lakanto Golden or Sukrin Gold would work well, too.
Xylitol or allulose are also a possibility, although allulose will result in a much softer cookie.
You can also use Splenda. Note that Splenda MUST be measured using US cup measurements. It's lighter in weight than erythritol.
If you're using a granulated stevia sweetener, check on the pack that it's a 1:1 sugar substitute. The ones I have tried are often twice as sweet as sugar.
If you have a sweet tooth...
...consider adding a little more sweetener. Low carb palates are all over the place, and I know people who love their cookies without ANY sweetener (true story!).
I'd say this recipe is not VERY sweet - just right for me. Always, always taste the dough and add a little more if you think it's necessary!
Flat vs thick cookies
My sugar free cookies did not spread much because I used a cold egg and I made sure I only JUST melted the butter so it was not hot. If you used a room temperature egg and your butter was very hot, the cookies would spread more.
If your cookie batter is too soft, simply let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes before baking.
To achieve crunchier cookies, flatten them more and leave them in the oven longer. The rule of thumb is here: the flatter, the browner, the crispier.
Add-ins for sugar free oatmeal cookies
Regular oatmeal cookies often contain added raisins. Since raisins are very high in natural sugars, I don't recommend adding them. Chopped prunes are slightly lower in carbs (I'm using them in my low carb Christmas pudding), so that would be a better option.
You could add either dried unsweetened cranberries or dried unsweetened blueberries. Or how about low carb oatmeal chocolate chip cookies?
Low carb oatmeal cookies WITH oats
My friends, because I love you I have actually calculated the net carbs if you used ACTUAL oats instead of my sliced almonds and coconut flakes!
If you added ⅔ cup or 100 grams of oats, your net carbs would be 7.6g per cookie. It's the combination with the almond flour that keeps the carb count in check.
My sugar free keto oatmeal cookies come in at less than a third - 2.1g net carbs per cookie.
Store these almond flour oatmeal cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.
Note: My keto oatmeal cookies are on the large side. One makes for a very satisfying snack (or small breakfast!). But of course, you can make these as small as you like. Keep in mind you may need to reduce the baking time by a little too!
More simple keto cookie recipes
Click on the images to check them out!
Keto Sugar Cookies
No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies
Chocolate Avocado Cookies
Fiber rich Breakfast Cookies
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Keto Sugar Free Oatmeal Cookies
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- Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C / 160 fan and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Using a sharp knife, chop ½ cup / 50g sliced almonds and the coconut flakes to resemble the size of oats. Option to use a food processor and pulse if you prefer.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl (almond flour, erythritol, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, chopped flaked almonds and coconut. Stir to combine.
- Add the melted butter, vanilla and egg and mix to form a dough.
- Roll the mix into 9 balls.
- Chop the remaining ¼ cup of almonds.
- Place the balls on a baking tray and press crushed almonds into the top.
- Flatten the cookies and shape the edges with your figures to remove cracks. Bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly golden.
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First published in July 2020. Recipe updated in October 2021.