banana no bake cookies (vegan, gluten-free and no added sugar)

I feel like, as of recent, my recipes sound like something out of a sitcom punchline. The wife says, “Honey, I made some vegan, gluten-free, no sugar added cookies for dessert.” And then the husband turns to the camera with a look of disgust on his face. And then there is a laugh track.

I hate sitcoms like that. Because usually they consist of a wife that is smart, beautiful and savvy paired with a husband that is dumb, lazy and not-so-attractive. You’d never see a sitcom with the roles reversed. Thankfully, Babyface is not a sitcom husband. He loves these cookies. The only laughing you’ll hear is our giggles of joy when we bite into these cookies. No laugh track required.

Thanks to the elimination diet, Babyface and I have been struggling a bit with quick and easy dessert choices that fit in with our stipulations. Pre-elimination, we’d almost always ended dinner with a square of dark chocolate or a black bean brownie. But since both of those were out, it was time to figure out a elimination-friendly quick dessert.

The requirements:

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • No refined sugars
  • Preferably, no added sugar
  • Deeply chocolate

These suckers passed the test with flying colors.

If you want these to be truly vegan and soy-free (like we do), look for chocolate chips that are non-dairy and soy free. A lot of vegan chocolate chips have soy lecithin in them as an emulsifier. If you want to avoid soy, make sure to look out for this. There are brands out there that only have three ingredients: cane juice, chocolate liqueur and cocoa butter. Sounds good to me.

These cookies are sweetened thanks to the service of two bananas. I think bananas often get a bad wrap when it comes to cooking and baking. They are relegated to banana bread and muffins, but really, a banana is a great way to add moisture and sweetness to almost anything. When paired with a strong flavor like chocolate, the banana tends to fade away and be a background flavor.

Unlike a lot of vegan versions of cookies, these actually hold their shape at room temperature. They are a little softer than the traditional no bake, but they definitely stick together. For the ultimate staying power, keep them in the fridge or freezer for quick access. When cold, they become fudgy and somehow, even more decadent.ย  Pair a few of these with a nice tall glass of (almond) milk and you have one awesome dessert that doesn’t just taste good, but also packs a nice nutrition punch as well. For each large cookie, they run about 120 calories with 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein.

They are health cookies. I’m gonna go eat another.

Banana No Bake Cookies

Inspired by Oh She Glows

Deeply-chocolatey and sweetened with bananas, these cookies are a great way to squash a sweet craving without overdosing on refined sugars. Use dairy-free chocolate chips and gluten-free oats and you’ve got a vegan and gluten-free treat that’ll satisfy anyone. They’ll stay in tact at room temperature, but pop ’em in the fridge or freeze for a solid, fudgy treat.

Makes 18 large cookies

Print this recipe


  • 2 medium bananas, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup soy-free, dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled gluten-free oats


  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine banana chunks, chocolate chips, almond butter, chia seeds, cocoa power, milk and salt. Heat for 2-3 minutes or until just beginning to bubble.
  2. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the bananas in chocolate mixture until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, add in vanilla.
  3. Stir in oats until well-coated.
  4. Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool. Chill in fridge or freezer for a more solid cookie.

Do you eat dessert after dinner often?



  1. Katherine says

    Mmm, these look good! I’m gonna have to find a good substitute for the banana though, because I’m really allergic. Maybe I could just up the almond butter.

    Hey Cass, where did you get your soy-free chocolate chips? I’ve been trying to cut back on my soy intake as much as I can (I’m sure you’ve discovered that soy is in EVERYTHING), so these would be an awesome addition to granola or oatmeal cookies if I can get my hands on them. Oh, and I eat dessert every day. Without fail. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. says

    Hey there! Just discovered your blog via “Honey I Shrunk the Gretchen.” Very cute! These cookies sound awesome…you’d think they’d have nothing in them with all that stuff out of them but…as is case with so many healthy foods, I”m sure they are delicious. CAn’t wait to try them and check out your blog more!

  3. says

    I’d like to rush home and make these right now. I will be trying this weekend. Have you ever added dried fruit into this mix before? I was thinking cherries might be good with the chocolate. Yum!

    • says

      Hi Cassie! I tried out your recipe with a few tweaks and added dried cherries this past weekend. What a great treat, thank you for the inspiration. I posted them over on my blog, your pictures are far prettier – I’m still learning. Thanks again!

  4. Chelsey says


    Just made these tonight wondering if you know the nutritional value of these or how to figure it out?!
    They’re soooooo good!!!

  5. Marianne Krist says

    I just made these, using the following substitutions:
    peanut butter for almond butter
    flax seed for chia seed
    electric hand mixer for the potato masher
    and since I hate the work, the time needed and the mess of spooning out individual cookies (and since I don’t have wax paper), I lightly oiled a square glass baking pan, but the dough in that, covered it with foil and put it in the freezer. MMMmmm breakfast tomorrow!

  6. Jessica says

    i just made these and they turned out so yummy! i tweaked the recipe slightly since i didnt have all of the ingredients. i used crunchy peanut butter instead of almond butter & flaxseed. and i used a little bit of agave nectar instead of vanilla extract. super easy, the whole process took me less than 10 minutes and they turned out great!

  7. Ashley says

    I just made these today (on a whim!) and they’re delicious! I’ve never made a vegan dessert so this was new territory for me but I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
    I wanted to work with what I had on hand so I used flaxseed instead of chia seeds, agave nectar instead of vanilla extract, raw cacao powder in place of cocoa powder, and I used vegan carob chips. So tasty!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>