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Oatmeal Cookies Without Butter

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Oatmeal cookies are a delicious treat that pairs well with coffee or tea in the morning or after dinner as a dessert. They certainly feel a little healthier because after all – it’s oatmeal!

There is something so comforting about oatmeal, whether it’s a big bowl of oatmeal with different toppings or baked into cookies or bars. Oatmeal is always so filling and satisfying, perfect for rainy days when you’re stuck inside.

The perfect oatmeal cookie has a slightly crispy outside and chewy texture on the inside. That’s exactly how this cookie recipe turned out.

And as a bonus, they will make your kitchen smell heavenly as they bake.

Oats are a nutritious grain with many health benefits. Adding oatmeal into your diet is a great way to add more fiber.

They also generally help you stay fuller longer which means you probably won’t eat all of your cookies too fast (although you may want to!).

What To Expect From This Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

This recipe doesn’t use butter because it may be difficult right now to get some perishable items. This recipe uses pantry staples that are found in most households.

Instead of butter, this recipe calls for vegetable shortening which does not have to be refrigerated.

I have had a large unopened can of shortening in my pantry for a while and I’m so glad that I found it. Now is the perfect time to use those pantry staples to experiment with baking and enjoy some comforting baked goods.

What Is Shortening?

Shortening is defined as fat that is solid at room temperature, used to make pastries and other baked goods.

Vegetable shortening is a semi-solid fat which has a higher smoke point than butter. Shortening is cheaper than butter and does not have to be refrigerated like butter does. It might also be a good option for baking if you cannot have dairy.

The properties of shortening and butter are somewhat different which will affect the texture of your baked goods. Because butter contains some water it can create crispier cookies than shortening which has no water. Butter also melts faster than shortening and this can create a thinner cookie.

Shortening can create thicker cookies but the flavor will be different than with butter. Many people prefer butter over shortening but it works very well as a substitute and these oatmeal cookies are proof of that.

Which Oats To Use?

When baking with oatmeal you can use rolled oats or quick-cooking oats. Both of these types of oats will work well in baking but will produce a slightly different texture.

Quick-cooking oats will absorb more moisture which will make your cookies softer. Rolled oats will create a slightly more chewy cookie.

While both quick cookie oats and rolled oats can be used interchangeably in baking, do not use steel cut oats. Steel cut oats take longer to soften and will have to be cooked before using them in baking so they are not preferred for making cookies.

Mix-ins and Spices

While these cookies are delicious as is, you can certainly add many different ingredients based on your own taste and what you have available. You can add in one of these mix-ins or combine two for a different flavor.

Here are a few options:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Walnuts
  • Sliced almonds
  • Raisins
  • Dried Cranberries

I like a classic cinnamon and oatmeal flavor but it’s easy to change this up with other spices.

You could add pumpkin spice, which is a blend of different spices that would be perfect for holidays. Other spices you could try are ginger, nutmeg, or cloves.

If you don’t have vanilla extract you could also swap with another extract like almond or maple.

How To Make Oatmeal Cookies Without Butter

Below are the step-by-step instructions and pictures of the cooking process. I hope you find these instructions helpful and enjoy the cookies!

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Step 2: In a large bowl, cream the brown sugar and shortening

Step 3: Beat in egg and add vanilla

Step 4: In a separate bowl. mix together the oats, flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon

Step 5: Add half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and combine

Step 6: Add in milk and the rest of the dry mixture. Mix until all ingredients are combined

Step 7: Form dough into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet

Step 8: Bake for 15-18 minutes until cookies are slightly browned

Oatmeal Cookies Without Butter

Oatmeal Cookies Without Butter

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes


  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups instant oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


    1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

    2. In a large bowl cream the brown sugar and shortening.

    3. Beat in egg and add vanilla.

    4. In a separate bowl mix together the oats, flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.

    5. Add half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and combine.

    6. Add in milk and the rest of the dry mixture. Mix until all ingredients are combined.

    7. Form dough into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.

    8. Bake for 15-18 minutes until cookies are slightly browned.

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