Dairy Free Cowboy Cookies

A stack of four dairy free cowboy cookies on a little bit of parchment paper.

If you’re looking for a delicious cookie recipe, look no further than these dairy free cowboy cookies! These hearty cookies are perfect for any occasion, chock full of nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips. They’re sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

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What are Cowboy Cookies?

Cowboy cookies are a type of cookie thought to have originated in the Southern or Midwest United States. They are typically made with oats, pecans, chocolate chips, and coconut. Sometimes raisins or other dried fruits are also added to the mix (though we’re not going that route in this recipe).

This type of cookie became more commonplace with Laura Bush’s rendition of them in the early 2000’s, but they’ve certainly been around for many decades prior. Some speculate that cowboy cookies may have gotten their name because they were were a hearty sweet snack that would sustain cowboys on long rides – but there’s no actual historical evidence for this that I could personally find.

Regardless of the uncertain history, this cookie is sure to be a new favorite in your house!

Ingredients

Here’s a photo of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe, along with selected ingredient notes:

Flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, egg, dairy-free butter, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.
  • Chocolate chips – While not all chocolate chips are dairy free, you can find a lot of dairy free options on the market these days. My personal go-to is Enjoy Life – their dark morsels are easy to find and have a very high-quality taste and texture. As an alternative, you can use Nestle Allergen Free Morsels or Walmart “Free From” Morsels, both of which are allergy-friendly lines. Always check product labels prior to buying, as these brands also have non-allergy-friendly lines, so you want to make sure you’re selecting the right products.

Instructions

You’ll find the full recipe instructions and amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the post, but here’s a helpful overview with photos.

Start by creaming the dairy-free butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. I usually use my stand mixer with the paddle attachment for this, but you can also use a hand mixer if you prefer.

Dairy-free butter and sugar creamed together in a bowl.

Next, add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until everything is light and fluffy, like this:

Eggs and vanilla mixed in with the dairy free butter and sugar.

Add your dry ingredients to the bowl – the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until just combined.

Fold in the chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut.

Cookie dough in a silver mixing bowl.

Use a small cookie scoop or heaping tablespoon to portion out the cookie dough on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Unbaked cookie dough on a baking sheet.

Pop those in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, let cool fully, then dig in!

Baked cookies on a baking sheet.

Recipe FAQ

Here are some common questions that may come up as you prepare this recipe:

How should you store dairy free cowboy cookies?

Store the cookies at room temperature in a zip top bag or airtight container. For best quality, enjoy within 4 to 5 days.

Can you freeze cowboy cookie dough?

Yes. Use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough and place it on a baking sheet. Pop that in the freezer for two hours to flash freeze, then transfer the cookie dough balls to a freezer-safe bag or container for longer storage. Use within 3-4 months. You can bake from frozen; you may need to increase the cooking time slightly.

Can I use coconut oil instead of butter in cookies?

Yes – however, if you use coconut oil, you’ll need to chill the balls of cookie dough for an hour prior to baking. Keep in mind that if you use unrefined coconut oil, these will have a stronger coconut taste; refined coconut oil will offer a more neutral taste.

Allergen in this recipe

Disclaimer:  Always double check ingredients and labels yourself prior to making a recipe.  While I try to check all ingredients for allergens, there’s always the chance I may miss something, or manufacturer formulations can change.

As written, this recipe is dairy free.

Depending on the ingredients used (specifically, the type of chocolate chips and dairy free butter), these cookies may contain soy. For example, I used Country Crock Avocado Oil Sticks and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, which made this recipe free of those allergens by ingredients – but the Country Crock sticks do state “may contain soy” as a voluntary cross contamination warning.

This recipe does contain wheat/gluten, tree nuts, and eggs. Here are suggested modifications if you need to adjust for these allergens:

  • Wheat/gluten:  Use an all-purpose gluten free flour blend instead of regular flour, and double check that your oats are certified gluten free.
  • Eggs: I don’t recommend using an egg replacement for these cookies, as the egg helps hold the structure together with all the add-ins. (If you’re looking for an egg-free recipe, try these coconut oil chocolate chip cookies instead).
  • Nuts: Leave out the pecans and add an extra quarter cup each of coconut and chocolate chips. Also, double check to ensure your dairy-free butter and chocolate chips are nut-free.
A woman's hand holding a cowboy cookie.

More Cookie Recipes

Looking for more tasty dairy free cookies? Try one of these options:

I hope you enjoy these dairy free cowboy cookies as much as I do! If you get a chance to try them, I’d love for you to leave a recipe rating or comment below.

Dairy Free Cowboy Cookies

These dairy free cowboy cookies are chock full of coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips – for a hearty sweet treat everyone will love!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dairy free cowboy cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 30 cookies
Calories 123 kcal
Author Dairy Free for Baby

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dairy-free butter (i.e. Country Crock Plant Butter Sticks with Avocado Oil)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar (using either the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or a hand mixer).
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  4. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
  5. Fold in the shredded coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.
  6. Use a small cookie scoop or heaping tablespoon to portion the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly golden brown on the edges and cooked through.

  7. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Feel free to use sweetened shredded coconut if that’s what you’ve got on hand.
  • For best results, spoon and level flour.

 

Nutrition analysis (per cookie): 123 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 75 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g fiber, 8.5 g sugar, 1.5 g protein, Vitamin D: 0%, Calcium: 1%, Iron: 7%, Potassium: 1%

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Several dairy free cowboy cookies stacked on top of each other with a baking sheet in the background.

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