Peanut Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies are the perfect fall treat! They’re fudgy, delicious, sweet, chewy, and soft cookies that just happen to be free of refined sugar, oil, and animal products. You’ll never believe healthy could taste so good!
Have I got a treat for you all! I promised you a healthy dessert this week, and a healthy dessert you are going to get!
Although let’s be honest, cookies are really a mix of a snack and dessert if they’re decadent enough, and these Peanut Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies definitely are. They’re super fudgy, soft and chewy, and have an incredible flavor profile and texture. They remind me of classic no-bake cookies (like these), but they’re lighter, are baked just slightly, and you can mix the batter for these all in one bowl in under 2 minutes. Fast, delicious, and healthy? Sign me up!
Fall is my favorite time of year to play around with baked goods, and this is my first fall baked recipe of the season, so you know it had to involve pumpkin!
Pumpkin is the secret ingredient to making these cookies come out soft, chewy, and rich-tasting without a drop of eggs, oil, or dairy products. Pumpkin is high in fiber, vitamin A, and is even a great source of plant-based iron, believe it or not. It’s also great for the skin, digestive tract, and immune system, not to mention one of my all-time favorite egg replacers in certain recipes since it’s a great binder and helps add moisture to a recipe. I use pumpkin all year round and love how it’s so versatile in the kitchen while still being nutritious.
My favorite brand of canned pumpkin to use for recipes is Farmer’s Market organic BPA-free canned pumpkin. It’s so pure, plus it’s silky and smooth and always gives great results when using it in smoothies, soups, and baked good recipes. I order it in bulk online to save money so that I’m always stocked up on it, plus it’s a bit more affordable and convenient that way.
I also love to use pumpkin when I want to make lighter recipes because pumpkin helps give baked goods a really nice rich flavor without any added oil. Lighter recipes are much easier on my tummy, not to mention less heavy, but the cool thing is you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything due to the texture and high-fiber content that pumpkin provides. Love when that happens!
More Nutrition Benefits of This Recipe:
Cocoa powder is also a great source of plant-based iron, just like pumpkin, and it’s a fantastic source of fiber, magnesium, and even other trace minerals like zinc, sulfur (which is great for the skin), and copper. I love to use it in recipes to thicken them up in place of flour, not to mention it adds a richness that’s still light in texture.
Oats are high in fiber that is great for your heart and digestion, they’re rich in B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants, and they also happen to be natural sources of plant-based iron. I used quick cooking oats in this recipe, but you could also use rolled oats if you prefer; they’ll just be a bit chewier. Oats are also one of my personal favorite baking staples and I love that they’re so nutritious and satisfying!
Natural peanut butter is also a great source of plant-based protein, along with B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Although it’s naturally high plant-based fats, it’s also low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat which is the healthiest type of fat for our hearts and metabolism. (I always buy oil-free peanut butter too, just to get the best option possible.)
What I love about these cookies is they aren’t heavy in peanut butter per serving thanks to the use of pumpkin, but they have just enough flavor to be decadent and satisfying. You could sub with almond butter or cashew butter if you prefer (or if you have a peanut allergy), but the pumpkin and peanut butter combination is really incredible here, so give it a try if you can! 🙂
These cookies taste JUST like the peanut butter chocolate cookie recipes my mom used to make us as kids, yet they don’t give me a huge sugar crash like those did! They’re sweetened naturally with pure organic maple syrup, which I prefer as my choice natural sweetener. As my body has gotten stronger and healthier over the years since first adopting a fully plant-based diet, I’ve experimented with natural sweeteners here and there.
I find that pure organic maple syrup really works well for me. It’s my favorite of all the natural sweeteners on the market, not to mention the most antioxidant-rich and one of the most natural, unrefined options you can choose. I like pure organic stevia in some applications (like coffee and tea where you just need a bit), but it doesn’t provide the right texture in this recipe, so it’s important not to sub the maple with that without adding some other sort of liquid, which I haven’t experimented with.
I also love organic blackstrap molasses, especially in baking. It’s incredibly nutritious and less refined than other sweeteners, but the texture and flavor of molasses aren’t quite right here. You could also play around with date syrup, organic brown rice syrup or organic raw blue agave nectar since those three natural sweeteners have a similar consistency and texture as maple syrup. However, I highly suggest trying out the maple in this recipe if you can because it’s so good! Plus, the maple really compliments the chocolate and pumpkin quite well. Choose a pure organic maple syrup as the best option, not maple-flavored syrup. I love Crown Maple syrup, and The Maple Guild’s maple syrup is also excellent.
There’s no sugar crash at all from these cookies, just a yummy, delicious cookie experience that will curb those chocolatey cravings in a cinch!
For the peanut butter in this recipe, I used a natural peanut butter with just peanuts as the ingredient list. My favorite brand of natural peanut butter is Crazy Richard’s brand. I used their chunky peanut butter here in this recipe, although I personally prefer creamy peanut butter over chunky peanut butter any day. I was making these cookies to share with my family (who loved them), and they’re chunky peanut butter lovers so that’s what they got! Use whichever kind of natural peanut butter you enjoy, though, as any will work just fine.
I also used plain, natural baking cocoa in this recipe, but you could also use raw cacao powder since it would work beautifully here. Both cacao and cocoa are high in iron and nutrition, not to mention excellent sources of fiber and antioxidants.
So what are you waiting for? All you need is one bowl to mix these up in, 12 minutes to bake them, and 5 minutes to let them cool down a bit. You can even keep them on hand all week long in the fridge, or up to 3 days in a tightly sealed container in the cupboard. I hope you enjoy them! 🙂
- ½ cup pure pumpkin purée from a can (not pumpkin pie mix)
- ⅓ cup natural peanut butter*
- ⅓ cup pure organic maple syrup**
- splash of vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup baking cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
- ⅓ cup + 2 tbsp. quick cooking oats (use certified gluten-free oats if necessary)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet (cookie pan) with parchment paper (don't use non-stick spray). Set aside.
- Add the pumpkin, peanut butter, vanilla, and the maple syrup to a bowl and stir to combine as much as possible (it's okay if it's a bit lumpy, just mix as best you can).
- Stir in the cocoa powder and oats and stir again. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl so everything gets mixed into a thick dough. If it's not thick enough like cookie dough, just add a tablespoon more of oats or cocoa.
- Using a spoon, drop heaping tablespoons (about 1-2 inches in size) onto the prepared baking sheet being sure to spread them out evenly.
- Shape the drops of dough into circles with your hands into cookies. You should get 12 small cookies total.
- Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Don't overbake; they make look like they're not finished, but trust me here.
- Remove from the oven, set the pan on the counter, and let the cookies sit for 5 more minutes on the pan (don't skip this part).
- After 5 minutes, remove from the pan and enjoy! I actually like these better after they're refrigerated and cooled down, but you can enjoy them hot if you wish. See notes for storage tips.
**If you don't have (or don't want to use) maple syrup, you may sub in agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or date syrup.
Storage - These cookies will keep for 1 week in the fridge, up to a month in the freezer in a freezer-safe container, or you can keep them up to 2-3 days in the cupboard if they're stored in a tightly sealed container.
Chocolate, pumpkin, and peanut butter. I can’t think of a better way to start enjoying fall treats, can you? 🙂
You can also check out my other popular cookie recipes on the blog which are all oil-free, vegan, and have no refined sugar:
- Apple Cinnamon Raisin Pecan Cookies
- Healthy and Hearty Fall Harvest Cookies
- The Best No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Strawberry Chia Oatmeal Cookies
Let me know if you try any of these recipes, and if you have a favorite way to eat pumpkin in snacks and desserts, leave me a comment below and let me know!
PIN FOR LATER!
What’s your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin? 🙂