I have been experimenting lately with using olive oil instead of butter in some of our favorite cookie recipes… with, as you might guess, varying degrees of success. Despite what we might all want to believe about substituting oil or applesauce or any of the other alternatives for butter, cookies made with butter USUALLY really do taste better! :o)

no-butter pumpkin oatmeal cookies

These pumpkin cookies are one of the exceptions. They taste delicious… the texture is wonderful… and no one would ever guess they are a “no-butter” cookie. In our family we have four types of cookies that have been special favorites for years and years… since I’ve been making these pumpkin cookies, I have been told I definitely need to add them to that list.

The pumpkin cookie recipe I started with did not include an egg… this is one of my tweaks… and I think the well-beaten egg probably has a lot to do with the light texture of these cookies. If you have someone who is allergic to eggs, you might want to try the recipe without the egg. I also use light olive oil instead of vegetable oil because of our soy allergies. I plump the raisins because I prefer soft raisins in a cookie, and I add an equal amount of walnuts. I also substitute brown sugar for half of the white sugar… the brown sugar and the walnuts go especially well with the flavor of the pumpkin.

I always make at least a double batch of these. The cookies are soft and chewy, very light, and delicious. I usually get about forty-eight 2 1/2-inch cookies from a double batch of dough. They freeze wonderfully, too.

1 cup flour
2/3 cup uncooked oats
3/4 cup sugar (I use at least half brown sugar)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice (I use slightly more)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a whisk. Add:

1 egg, well-beaten
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I use a light olive oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix until well-combined but do not over-mix. Add:

1/2 cup raisins (I put raisins in boiling water to plump them, then drain in colander)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Stir in raisins and nuts. Drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough on a greased cookie sheet, or use a small scoop. Flatten the dough slightly. Bake at 350°F for approximately fifteen minutes. Test for doneness.

Add Your Comment

All comments are moderated... your email address will not be published.

Talk to me! :o)



Those *do* look and sound soooo-ooooo good!!!!! I know what you mean about the substitutions. I have tried them all and results are often disappointing. I definitely will be making these.


Thank you – thank you – thank you. I have tried recipes with oil instead of butter and didn’t like the cookies so much but I certainly will try this recipe.


Sounds like another great recipe! I really appreciate your website and the helpful articles you post. We are enjoying our apple pies out of the freezer thanks to your earlier article about freezing the apples all “pie-ready”. They come out PERFECT…Great stuff!


I made these today and they are *FANTASTIC*! If they aren’t the best cookies I have ever eaten – I can’t think of any that is better. I’m taking some to work tomorrow. Thank you so much.

Toni P.

Instant hit with my family! This recipe was so easy and quick, I needed to make a bunch of cookies for a pot luck and will definitely be making these again. So yummy!


Yum! Thank you! I made with reg extra virgin olive oil. I didn’t even notice it being too strong. I also used a combo of dark and light brown sugar. These are terrific!


I substituted cranberries instead of raisins and it turned out superb!!


Delicious! I made two batches, one as written without the nuts and one substituting King Arthur gluten free baking mix for the flour. I put dried cranberries and gluten free mini chocolate chips in the latter. These are pillowy soft not too sweet cookies. Oh, I reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup, half granulated and half light brown. So good!


Oh in the gluten free version, I also used GF oats.


They turned out great! Good recipe.