These gluten-free, almost raw vegan oatmeal raisin cookies with vanilla cashew buttercream are downright dreamy. A simple, nearly raw oatmeal cookie base is made with a combination of walnuts, oats, dates, and raisins. This naturally sweetened dough is formed into cookies and slathered with an ultra thick vanilla cashew buttercream. The chewy oatmeal raisin cookie base pairs perfectly with the sweet buttercream icing, making this recipe one for the books.
This post is sponsored by Silk. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I've mentioned this before, but I come from a long line of dessert lovers. My mouth is lined with sweet teeth, and a dessert-free day is a very rare occurrence.
Even my great grandma Murphy, who lived to the grand age of 96 (and shoveled the deep Chicago snow out of her own driveway nearly as long), enjoyed oodles of sweet treats right up until the very end. And my goodness was the woman a firecracker. Rumor has it that as she blew out the candles on her 96th birthday cake, she joyfully proclaimed that her birthday wish was to die, because she'd done everything she'd wanted to do in her lifetime (she passed just a few weeks later).
Some genes skip a generation, but that doesn't appear to be the case with dessert loving. It's really got a hold on our family lineage.
Given its strong roots, sweet things are a much-awaited staple at holidays and family gatherings. From cakes to truffles to pies to crumbles to ice cream to crisps to cookies, there's a sweet for every craving.
That said, there are a few tried-and-true favorites that have made repeat appearances throughout the years.
One of the all-time favorites being my uncle's oatmeal raisin cookies with vanilla buttercream. If you have my cookbook, this is the same uncle that inspired the mini banoffee pies on page 253. My uncle swears these cookies are nothing fancy—merely the oatmeal raisin cookie recipe off the back of the Quaker Oats tub—yet they become something so darn special with a thick slathering of buttercream.
I've veganized the original version of his cookies a few times but haven't loved the results. Perhaps it's the vegan buttery spread (not my favorite) or maybe my sweet teeth have gotten a little less sweet over the years, but a straight-up vegan conversion of those cookies just doesn't do it for me.
So, for years, I've been wanting to create a version of those decadent oatmeal raisin cookies that keeps things a little closer to the earth and a bit more natural.
And well, I guess you know where I'm going with this, but the day has come, and these cookies are even more amazing than their classic Quaker Oats predecessors.
To make these almost raw vegan oatmeal raisin cookies with vanilla cashew buttercream, you'll start by making the icing.
The vanilla cashew buttercream is a vanilla-forward, non-tangy version of the icing in this blondie recipe and this cake recipe. It's naturally sweetened and made with a small handful of plant-based goodies.
To make it, you'll add raw cashews and Silk Unsweetened Almondmilk to a high-speed blender. Blend, blend, blend until it becomes a super thick and very smooth cream.
Then, add the remaining ingredients—melted coconut butter, pure maple syrup, coconut flour (naturally thickens the icing), vanilla, and sea salt. Give it all another blend until smooth.
Finally, transfer the icing, which will be a bit on the runny side, to a shallow bowl, and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes or more.
Whisk the buttercream every 10 to 15 minutes to prevent freezing, until it becomes super thick and slather-worthy like so...
While the buttercream chills, you'll get to work on the cookies.
Add raw walnuts and rolled oats to a food processor and process for just 30 seconds to a minute, or until ground into a coarse meal.
Then, add pitted medjool dates, vanilla, and sea salt, and pulse until the mixture forms small, sticky clumps of dough.
Finally, add a heap of soft, chewy raisins and pulse several times to incorporate.
The cookie dough will appear crumbly yet easily stick together when pressed...
Scoop out small mounds of the dough and drop on to a lined baking tray.
Then, press and compact each mound of dough into a round cookie, like so...
And now for the best part...
Slather, slather, slather.
Grab that bowl of vanilla cashew buttercream and a handy spatula, and slather the top of each cookie with a generous mound of icing. This is no time to be frosting-shy...
The cookies will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days but can also be frozen for up to two weeks.
These oatmeal raisin cookies make my heart happy. I hope they make yours happy, too!
Almost Raw Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Vanilla Cashew Buttercream
Vanilla Cashew Buttercream
- ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) and drained
- ½ to ¾ cup Silk Unsweetened Almondmilk
- ½ cup melted coconut butter (it should be runny and pourable—see note*)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour**
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- ⅛ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup packed and pitted soft, sticky Medjool dates
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or to taste
- 1 tablespoon filtered water if needed
- ¾ cup raisins
For the Vanilla Cashew Buttercream
- Add the soaked cashews and ½ cup of the almond milk to a high-speed blender, and blend on high until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as often as needed. If absolutely necessary, add as much of the remaining almond milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to blend the cashews until smooth. The texture should resemble a very thick cream.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blend for 30 seconds, or until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Scoop the icing into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to thicken. If you have the time, I recommend chilling for up to 1 hour and vigorously whisking every 10 to 15 minutes (to prevent freezing) to thicken to a fluffy, easily spreadable texture.
For the No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Add the walnuts and rolled oats to a food processor. Process for 1 minute, or until ground into a coarse meal.
- Add the dates, vanilla, and sea salt. Pulse several times and then process until the dates are thoroughly chopped and the mixture begins to form small, moist clumps. If it's not coming together, add the filtered water and process again. The mixture should be slightly damp and sticky enough to easily hold together when pressed yet able to crumble fairly easily. If needed, add more pitted dates, one at a time, until the mixture begins to gather on one side of the food processor.
- Add the raisins and pulse several times to incorporate and chop into the cookie dough. The dough should appear crumbly yet easily stick together when pressed between your fingers.
- Line a small baking pan with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop (or small ice cream scoop) to scoop out and compact heaping 1 ½ tablespoon mounds. Drop on the lined pan and repeat.
- Use your fingers to press and compact the balls into round cookies. Freeze for 15 minutes to set.
- One at a time, slather each cookie with a generous amount of the buttercream (if using).***
- Store the cookies, frosted or unfrosted, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.