These no-bake pumpkin cookies are deliciously flavored with pumpkin pie spice and made with oats and pumpkin puree. I make them vegan-friendly with vegan butter and oat milk. Cook a few ingredients together, form your cookies, and you will have these tasty seasonal no-bake cookies ready to enjoy in no time at all!
Who loves pumpkin season and pumpkin recipes as much as I do? Check out this post with all the vegan pumpkin recipes – both sweet and savory – from Veggie Fun Kitchen!
Sometimes I’m in the mood to do some old-fashioned cookie baking! You know, measuring the many ingredients, mixing and stirring till the texture is just right, then baking in batches till fresh homemade cookies are all ready to go, setting prettily on festive plates to present to my loved ones (who will all ohh and ahh before digging into my lovingly prepared delicious freshly baken homemade cookies).
And then other times, I just want cookies! And I want them now! Well, short of going out and buying up all of the Oreo cookies in the store and munching them down, I’ve discovered the joy of no-bake cookies. They are less effort and take less time to prep than traditional baked cookies, yet they are so so very tasty!
These are the best pumpkin oatmeal cookies you’ll make! You’ll love these seasonal no-bake pumpkin cookies. They are easy to mix and the mixture cooks within minutes. Then with a little patience for cooling and setting time, you’ll have a tasty pumpkiny treat ready to eat!
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Ingredients needed to make vegan-friendly no-bake pumpkin cookies recipe:
- oats – I use a combination of quick oats and old-fashioned oats. See the details below. If you are gluten-free, these cookies can certainly be gluten-free if you ensure the ingredients you use are certified gluten-free. If you check out Amazon and search for gluten-free oats, you’ll see several varieties. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free is my go-to.
- vegan butter -we are a vegan family and I was so happy to discover that this recipe works well with vegan stick butter. If you are not vegan you can easily substitute with salted dairy butter. Make sure the vegan butter you use is one you enjoy the flavor of because you will definitely taste the flavor of the butter in this recipe.
- oat milk – Or you can use another plant milk of your choice. Again, if you are not vegan then dairy milk should work fine.
- sugar – Use white granulated sugar. You can use organic sugar if that is your choice.
- pumpkin pie spice – can’t find pumpkin pie spice at the grocery store? This is a seasonal item, and also tends to sell out during the season. You can make your own pumpkin pie spice, or find pumpkin spice on Amazon.
- salt and vanilla extract
- pumpkin puree – You can certainly make your own pumpkin puree. If you have a little leftover then this is the perfect recipe for it because you only need a one-quarter cup of pumpkin puree. If you buy it at the grocery store then make sure to use “pure pumpkin puree” or “solid pumpkin pack” – do not use the kind labeled “pumpkin pie filling”.
- You will also need two large cookie sheets lined with either parchment paper or silicone mats.
- You will need a heavy-bottomed medium-sized cooking pan to cook the sugar/pumpkin ingredients.
About the oats
When I first started making no-bake cookies, I used quick oats because that’s what all of the recipes recommended. Quick oats are also known as one-minute oats and are basically oats that have been steamed and rolled very thinly so that they break apart into smaller pieces and are easier and quicker to cook.
The no-bake cookies made with quick oats were all very tasty – but the texture was a little…unsubstantial. Yet It’s what the recipes called for, so that’s what I used.
Now, in my home, we only use old-fashion oats for cooking oatmeal dishes so I had to make a special trip to the store every time I wanted to make the no-bakes. Old-fashioned or rolled oats are also steamed and rolled, but not as thinly so they don’t as easily break down. They are considered more of a whole food than quick oats. They take longer to cook and absorb a little more water in the process than quick oats do.
Read more from Quaker Oats about the different varieties of oats. One type of oats you do not want to use for no-bake cookies is steel-cut oats which are hard pieces and would not work at all for this recipe.
One day, when I was just out of energy to go to the store, yet wanted to make no-bake cookies, I decided to go ahead and use the old-fashioned oats I had on hand, hoping they would turn out the same.
Happily, the flavor was the same but the texture was definitely different! While the cookies made with quick oats were a little “unsubstantial”, the cookies made with old-fashioned oats were definitely more substantial to the point of being a little…spikey!
So I thought I would experiment and make my next no-bake cookies using a combination of both quick oats AND old-fashioned oats. I played around with the ratios and discovered that two cups of quick oats and one cup of old-fashioned oats gave the best texture. Substantial without being too spikey!
How to make vegan-friendly no-bake pumpkin cookies
The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.
Step 1: Prep and measure
I don’t often say this, but do read through the instructions on the recipe card one more time just before making this recipe. Once the mixture boils you need to move fast and won’t have the luxury of stopping to reread everything.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or with silicone mats. These cookies don’t actually bake so you can use any type of large pan, container, or tray.
I measure out the oats into a large bowl before I even get started so that they will be ready to go once the mixture has cooked. You don’t want to delay at this point to measure your oats.
For this reason, I also measure out my pumpkin puree and have my vanilla handy and ready to go.
Step 2: melt and boil the butter/sugar mixture
In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, melt the vegan butter, oat milk, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice on med/high heat. Mix and stir as the mixture is melting.
In a few minutes, the mixture will have come to a frothy boil. Set your timer for 2 1/2 minutes. Turn the heat down to med/low and continue to boil, stirring the entire time.
The mixture should remain at a light frothy boil, but the stirring and the lower heat will keep the mixture from boiling over.
Step 3: add the pumpkin and vanilla
When your 2 1/2 minute timer goes off, remove the boiling mixture from the heat. Stir in the pumpkin puree and the vanilla extract.
Whisk and stir until all of the pumpkin puree has been fully incorporated and your mixture is a nice orangy brown.
Step 4: Stir the mixture into the oats
Pour the hot mixture over the oats and stir until the oats are completely covered and the liquid has been incorporated. You will need to work very quickly once the hot mixture has been stirred into the oats.
Step 5: Form the cookies
Don’t wait for the mixture to completely cool or your cookies will not hold together well and will be a crumbly mess. Spoon the cookie mixture onto a cookie sheet in individual cookie mounds. The cookies will not flatten or spread or change shape in any way as they cool. Make sure you are happy with the shape. Press down slightly with a spoon if they are too rounded and high for you.
Final step: Cool, set, and enjoy!
These no-bake pumpkin cookies take up to two hours to fully set. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container and consume them within a couple of days. They will continue to dry out as they set and might get hard and crumbly if left too long before eating.
Now enjoy your yummy pumpkin cookies with a nice glass of oat milk! You deserve it:)
A few FAQs
This recipe can be made gluten-free because many of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free. If this is your goal, then please check with the manufacturer of the various brands you use to ensure they are certified gluten-free.
The number of cookies will depend on the size you make them. Dropping from a small spoon you could actually get up to 36 cookies – but they will be small. A much larger cookie will likely fall apart. I drop from the larger spoon you’d use for soups and such and get around 24. You might need to experiment the first time.
If you have followed the recipe, then these no-bake pumpkin cookies should set up enough to eat and enjoy in one to two hours. If for some reason they are being stubborn and not setting up, just pop them in the fridge for a few minutes.
Do you have too many cookies you didn’t eat and need to freeze some? I don’t understand this question haha! But seriously, if you need to freeze the cookies, then freeze them in a single layer so that they don’t stick together. Later later you can pop them in a freezer bag. I recommend freezing the cookies for no longer than a couple of months. Thaw them in the bag on the countertop when you are ready to eat them.
Looking for some more yummy vegan desserts from Veggie Fun Kitchen?
These no-bake pumpkin cookies are super yummy and easy to make. You might want to consider some of these other tasty vegan treats! For more pumpkin recipes, both savory and sweet, read this post! Read on for more vegan desserts:
The Printable Recipe Card for no-bake pumpkin cookies
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No Bake Pumpkin Cookies, Vegan Friendly
- 2 cups quick oats see notes
- 1 cup old fashioned oats see notes
- 4 Tablespoons vegan butter see notes
- 4 Tablespoons oat milk or other plant milk of choice
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice see notes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree see notes
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Measure out the oats and have them ready in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. I use a combination of quick oats and old-fashioned oats for this recipe. Please see the notes below.I also measure out the pumpkin puree and have the vanilla handy to measure and add at the end.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the vegan butter, oat milk, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix as you are melting.
- Stir frequently, cooking over medium heat until the mixture reaches a rolling boil. Turn the temperature down to low. Set the timer and continue to cook for two and a half more minutes, stirring constantly. It will continue to be frothy and boiling even at this lower temperature. If the boiling ever stops then for a few seconds stop the stirring, or perhaps you've turned it down too low.
- Remove the boiled mixture from the heat and stir in the pumpkin puree and the vanilla extract.
- Pour the hot mixture over the oats and stir until the oats are completely covered and incorporated.
- Work VERY QUICKLY! Spoon the cookie mixture onto a cookie sheet in individual cookie mounds. The cookies will not flatten or spread or change shape in any way as they cool. Make sure you are happy with the shape. Press down slightly with a spoon if they are too rounded and high for you.
- Cool completely before removing the no-bake cookies from the baking sheet. This will take up to two hours.
- Store in an airtight container and consume within a few days.