1-Bowl Cowgirl Cookies (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

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Hand reaching in to pick up a partially eaten cowgirl cookie from a stack of more cookies

We call them cowgirl cookies. But Google says they’re cowboy cookies. Who says a cowgirl can’t have cookies, too!? We shared these cowperson cookies with many non-gluten-free friends, and they all kept going back for more…that’s when you know they’re good!

Chewy, nutty, and perfectly sweet, these cookies are LOADED with goodies (oats, coconut, chocolate, and walnuts or pecans). They’re inspired by the satisfying cowgirl cookies of our childhood, but made vegan, gluten-free, and with just 1 bowl in 20 minutes. We’re so excited for you to give them a try! Let’s get cookie-in’!

Flaxseed meal, vegan butter, oats, almond flour, brown sugar, coconut, walnuts, chocolate chips, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and gluten-free flour blend

What are Cowboy (or Cowgirl) Cookies?

Cowboy cookies are kind of like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies but with extra goodies going on — extra oats, PLUS coconut and pecans. They’re kind of the best.

Their origin story isn’t clear, but some say they originated in Texas while others claim the cookies could last a long time in the saddlebags of cowboys. They became popular sometime after 1992 when they won the presidential bake-off competition in Family Circle Magazine. Moment of gratitude for the wonderful soul who created them, whoever they are!

How to Make a Vegan, Gluten-Free Version

Our easy, vegan, gluten-free version of these cookies begins with making a flax egg as the binder.

Mixing flaxseed meal and water in a bowl to make a flax egg

Then we add melted vegan butter (or coconut oil), brown sugar (or coconut sugar), and a cookie essential: vanilla extract! For the dry ingredients, almond flour and our DIY gluten-free flour blend give the cookies an undetectably gluten-free texture, while baking soda helps them rise and salt adds flavor.

Using a wooden spoon to stir almond flour and gluten-free flour blend into the wet ingredients

Next we stir in the goodies: walnuts (or pecans), oats, chocolate chips, and shredded coconut.

Bowl of cookie dough next to balls of dough on a baking sheet

Lastly, roll the dough into balls, then flatten them out and bake!

Flattened circles of cookie dough on a baking sheet

Once the cookies are out of the oven, you’re up against the hardest part (wink): Let them cool for 10 minutes to help them firm up. But if that’s too much to ask, we get it. These cookies are tempting!

Hand reaching in to grab a cowboy cookie off a baking sheet

We hope you LOVE these cowgirl (or cowboy) cookies! They’re:

Perfectly sweet
A little wholesome
Loaded with nuts + chocolate
Quick & easy
& SO snackable!

They would make the perfect treat to have on hand throughout the week or to take on hikes, camping trips, and beyond! Serve with coffee, hot chocolate, or dairy-free milk for the ultimate satisfying combo.

More Vegan Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Half eaten cookie on a stack of oatmeal walnut oat chocolate chip cookies

1-Bowl Cowgirl Cookies (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

Chewy, nutty, and perfectly sweet “cowgirl” cookies with walnuts, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips! Undetectably gluten-free and vegan, with just 1 bowl and 20 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Close up shot of a cowgirl cookie on a baking sheet
4.80 from 20 votes
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 22 (Cookies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal (to make flax egg*)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp water (to make flax egg*)
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter or coconut oil (we like Miyoko’s)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour (if nut-free, try a seed meal)
  • 3/4 cup DIY gluten-free flour blend* (if not gluten-free, try all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (or sub pecans or peanuts)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (if oat-free, sub more coconut and walnuts)
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chips for less sweetness // we like Enjoy Life mini chips)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (also called desiccated coconut)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
  • Prepare flax egg in a large mixing bowl by mixing flaxseed meal and water. Set aside for 5 minutes to let gel.
  • To the flax egg, add melted vegan butter (or coconut oil), brown sugar (or coconut sugar), and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the almond flour, gluten-free flour blend, baking soda, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Then stir in the walnuts (or pecans), oats, chocolate chips, and coconut until evenly distributed.
  • Use a spoon or 1 ½ Tbsp cookie scoop (we like this one) to scoop the dough into balls, then flatten into discs (~2 inches in diameter) and place them on the baking sheets, spacing them 1-2 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes until slightly darker on the edges and a little firm to the touch. Let cool for 10 minutes before enjoying (they will firm up as they cool)!
  • Leftover cookies keep at room temperature for 3-4 days, in the refrigerator for 1 week (though the texture will change slightly), or in the freezer for 1 month.

Video

Notes

*If not vegan/egg-free, you can try subbing 1 chicken egg in place of the flaxseed meal and water.
*We slightly prefer vegan butter and brown sugar in this recipe, but coconut oil and coconut sugar also work well (they do change the color slightly).
*You can substitute an equal amount of our NEW Minimalist Baker Gluten-Free Flour Blend for the DIY Blend in this recipe.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Adapted from our Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies.

Nutrition (1 of 22 servings)

Serving: 1 cookie Calories: 149 Carbohydrates: 14.3 g Protein: 2.3 g Fat: 9.8 g Saturated Fat: 4.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.8 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 108 mg Potassium: 76 mg Fiber: 1.5 g Sugar: 6.9 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 26 mg Iron: 0.7 mg

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  1. Squid says

    These cookies turned out so good!
    I’m not gluten intolerant or fully vegan, so I used one egg and all purpose flour (did not used almond flour) and they turned out perfect.
    I did end up refrigerating the dough for a couple days because I forgot about them. They were very dense and flavorful. Keeping this recipe for sure :)

  2. Donna says

    Hello I would like to make this recipe. I have a question: in place of almond flour you mention a substitute of seed meal. What would a seed meal be and would you also use a similar measurement of 1 cup?
    Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Donna, yes, we’d recommend a similar measurement. We haven’t tested this recipe with a seed meal and do think the result will be different, but it can generally be an okay sub for almond flour if nut-free. We’d suggest pumpkin seed meal.

      • Donna says

        Thank you for your response.
        I’m not quite sure I understand what exactly is a pumpkin seed meal? Do you make it from actual pumpkin seeds? Or is it something already made that you purchase and where would you purchase it?
        I am highly allergic to almonds so that is why I am asking for clarification. Thank you on advance.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Donna, you would grind up pumpkin seeds (pepitas) in a blender to make pumpkin seed meal. There might be places to purchase it online as well, but we haven’t seen it in stores.

  3. Lori says

    These are amazing, chewy, nutty, chocolately delicious. I do add in about 2 extra tablespoons of vegan butter (I use earth balance) and I find they are nice and moist.

  4. Jenna Price says

    These were so easy and are delicious! I used pecans, coconut oil, and a combo of almond flour and regular flour because I didn’t have the GF blend. I used a small ice cream scoop and then slightly flattened them. They turned out crispy on the outside and soft inside. Because they were on the thick side, I needed to add a little to the cooking time. Will definitely make these again and might add some dried cherries or cranberries.

  5. Zoia says

    Hello Minimalist Baker,
    My name is Zoia and I go to an elementary school in Canada. We are making a recipe book for a project right now, so I was wondering if I could use this recipe in the book. we are just making a digital copy and if we do get it printed it will just stay in the school.

    thank you for taking the time to read this!

  6. Colette says

    These cookies were tasty and made you want more! Since I try to be oil free, I subbed 4 oz. of prune purée baby food jar for the oil or vegan butter. My substitution worked great land I highly recommend it. A GF family member enjoyed them so much that she requested the recipe, which is the ultimate compliment!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kay, we do not pack the almond flour. Just scoop it and level it like you would normal flour! Hope this helps.

  7. Pooja says

    These are our new favorite cookies! (Of note, our previous favorite cookies are also from your blog :)) We make our favorite foods on repeat a lot so I LOVE when something new makes it into the rotation. I subbed some things as I always do so I’ll share for anyone else – 1/2 cup of brown sugar vs the 3/4 cup, oat flour instead of GF flour mix (and I usually need a bit less maybe 1/2 cup prob bc I used less sugar). I usually get Miyoko’s butter but I used MELT brand this time which is a cashew/nut free vegan butter we had from when my sister visited (she avoids cashews bc of her ayurvedic constitution/imbalance) in case anyone is looking for a good nut free vegan butter seems to be a similar quality in comparison to miyokos :)

  8. Danielle says

    I made these cookies, they are very good, hubbie like them. Making some more today but will slightly reduce the coconut sugar and coconut oil.
    Very good recipe for cookies without the white sugar.

  9. ellen meyers says

    Love these + a couple tweaks I made.l made flax egg w/ 3 tbs water, used 1/2 cup coconut sugar, added 1/3 cup dried cranberries…my husband’s new favorite!

  10. VICKY says

    Great cookies, just too sweet for my taste, my kids love them but picked out the nuts lol I’ll half the sugar next time and I bet they’ll be perfect!

  11. Jennifer says

    Such a good tasting and healthy cookie. I did use 1 egg instead of the flax egg in the recipe. I also mixed the dry ingredients before I introduce them to the wet ingredients. My Gluten free flour mix is one from Cooks Illustrated. Not sure that it makes a difference with this great recipe if you mix the wet and dry separately, just my own habits. I also know that baking on the middle rack is optimal for cookies – I used two pans, so one on rack above middle and 1 rack below middle. I live in CO: 5K ft elevation. I baked both cookie sheets at the same time and after 10 mins I rotated the pans 180 degrees and put the rack above now below on the lower rack and the sheet that was on the lower rack is now on the upper rack – baked for another 4 mins until they all just started showing golden brown. I did use the parchment sheet as this is easier to slide them off my baking stone all in 1 piece and onto a cooling rack. One thing I have learned about baking with gluten free flours is to let the dough rest for 30 mins before baking – this allows the ingredients to combine and hold together better once bakes so you don’t have such crumbly cookies and breads – I didn’t do this on my 1st batch, but will on the next to see if there is a difference. Still — They DID set up more after they cooled and were perfect. We think they are delicious!! Thank You Minimalist Baker for sharing your recipes. <3

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Thanks so much for the wonderful review and for sharing your experience, Jennifer!

  12. Name says

    Delicious. Modifications: Olive oil. Halved the sugar and chocolate. For the flour blend, did 50/50 whole wheat + AP flour. Added a splash of milk just before shaping the cookies. Came out perfectly.

  13. Gabrielle says

    Holy moly Sister!! Made these using King Arthur’s gluten free flour plus the called for almond flour and added a few more Walnuts. Perfectly delicious!

  14. The Vegan Goddess says

    These cookies are very rich and filling. They garnered the approval of a picky eater.

    Making them was a messy process. I had difficulty forming the cookies without them falling apart because of all of the greasy coconut oil. But after they baked, they were wonderfully firm and solid. Coconut oil is a good substitute for butter – you’d never know the difference in baked goods like this.

    In a word … delicious!

  15. Anita says

    Thanks again for a lovely recipe. I was wondering if I could use aquafaba instead of flax eggs, since I usually have aquafaba on hand and don’t want to waste it. Would it generally work for the recipes on your website, to use aquafaba instead of flax eggs? And if so in which proportions?
    Thank you so much for all your amazing recipes, always a hit here!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anita, we’re so glad you enjoy our recipes! Thank you for your kind words! Aquafaba can a provide more light, fluffy texture but can also be a bit more drying, depending on the recipe. If you want to try it in this recipe we’d suggest ~3 Tbsp aquafaba. We’d also suggest checking out our guide to egg substitutes.

  16. Manjari says

    I want to make these so bad!! Definitely going to be my next thing to bake. Just wondering if you think they’d turn out okay with using Almond meal rather then Almond flour? I somehow only have 5 packets of almond meal but not almond flour 😂

  17. Maddison says

    Hi! These are super delicious! I left out the coconut as it’s not my fav in cookies and added just a smidge more oats. I also used an egg rather than flax egg. My cookies turned out a little dry in texture. Im wondering how I can make them more moist? Im at high altitude if that makes a difference! Or if my changes to the recipe are what made them a bit dry? I also only baked them for ten minutes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maddison, our best guess is that the egg made them dry, as flax eggs do typically create more tender baked goods. Let us know if you’re still having issues after trying with a flax egg!

      • Michelle says

        Made these this week and these are absolutely delicious!!!! The best vegan cookie I’ve had ever as I’m new to being plant based. I can’t wait to make these again… had to stop myself from eating them all in 1 sitting lol.

        I ended using regular all purpose flour and dark brown sugar and they turned out perfectly. I will try adding a touch a cinnamon and more oats as I loved the oaty flavor they gave to the cookies. Thanks again for a wonderful recipe!!!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Woohoo! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Michelle. So glad you enjoyed!

    • T OBrien says

      These are so yummy. I left out the coconut and added hemp seeds & raisins. I will definitely make these again!!!

  18. Jan says

    These were pretty good but I thought lacked some flavor. Next time I think I would add dried cranberries, raisins or do you think currants would work? Maybe some cinnamon as well. These will be wonderful with coffee! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jan, sorry to hear they didn’t turn out as flavorful as you were hoping. Cinnamon would be lovely! We also wonder what brand of vegan butter you were using? That could impact the flavor.

      • Jan says

        I used Miyokos as that’s what I had on hand. It’s probably just my tastebuds so will add some cinnamon next time and maybe raisins as well! A great basic recipe, thanks!

  19. Madison says

    These are my new favourite cookie! I made them with coconut oil and coconut sugar, and used 1/2 cup boba red mill gluten free 1:1 blend and 1/4 cup quinoa flour in place of the DIY blend and they turned out fantastic.
    Thank you!

  20. Genevieve says

    Made these using a mix of all-purpose and spelt flour since I’m not gluten intolerant, and I also cut the sugar down to 85 grams, since I was using a sweeter chocolate. They’re wonderful! They feel wholesome but still like a treat.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Genevieve! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  21. Sadie says

    Thanks for the reminder about cow(folk) cookies! I made them as fuel for a folk festival next weekend!

    They are a bit too sweet for me…next time I’ll make them with half the sugar… or with unsweetened chocolate or nibs

  22. jacquie says

    these look yummy and i’m wondering if i could replace the butter with a nut butter to up the protein a bit?

    thanks.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jacquie, we haven’t tested that, but it might work in place of half of it? Just keep in mind they probably won’t crisp up as well. Let us know if you try it!

  23. Mel says

    I made these as written(substituted gluten free flour with a mix of whole wheat and white all purpose flour), and they are THE best/most delicious cookie ever! Thank you so much!

  24. Carol says

    Have you tried making a version of this recipe oil free? 10 g of fat per cookie is a lot for me…cuz I’d want to eat more than one! ha ha! Maybe using applesauce instead of the vegan butter?

  25. Lulu says

    Hi ! Can we put all purpose-flour instead of almond flour ? those cookies look so yummy but I don’t have almonds or seeds

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lulu, we haven’t tested that, but if you do, we’d suggest starting with less all purpose flour because it’s more absorbent than almond flour. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  26. Suzy says

    Just made these and they are so good!. Next I will double the recipe! Made as directed I did not substitute anything. I love these! You get a little bit of everything…some chocolate, some coconut, some nuts & some oatmeal…perfect

  27. Lucy says

    If I could give these 100 stars, I would. Made as written using coconut oil and brown sugar, almond flour with regular flour as I am not GF. I substituted raisins for the chocolate chips only because I didn’t have any. They are so, so good. My non-vegan, beef rib eating husband said he’d go vegan if he just got to eat these. I have to hide the tin from him now.

  28. Haylee says

    Literally the best gluten free cookies i’ve ever made!! I’m also oat free so I added extra pecans (didn’t have walnuts in the house), and they came out AMAZING!! You have to try this recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sylvia, we don’t think that would work, unfortunately. Coconut flour is more absorbent, which would cause the cookies to be dry.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jenn, gluten free blends vary by brand so we cannot guarantee results, but we think it should work! Let us know how it goes!