Friday, December 12, 2014

Two Recipes for Sugar-Free (or Low-Sugar) and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Two different Sugar-Free and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies, made with the sweetener of your choice.

Sugar-Free (or Low-Sugar) and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies found on

(Both versions of these Sugar-Free and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies have only qualify for my new Five Ingredient Fridays, keeping in mind that I don't include common ingredients like salt, pepper, olive oil, water, etc.  I made two versions of this cookie and both were good!) 

This cookie experiment started when I spotted Choco Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies on Mochocholata-Rita which reminded me of something my mother used to make, and I thought it would be fun to come up with a sugar-free version. After a few attempts I ended up with two similar but slightly different cookies and when I tested them on my contractor, he liked both the fudgy and cakey versions. This is a regular Utah guy who's most definitely not on a diet, so when he thought both cookies were good I figured I'd let people decide which one to try.

Photos are of the fudgy cookies, but both versions look very similar. Technically the cookies made with added agave are not really sugar-free, but they're still a very low-sugar cookie. If you're not watching your sugar intake, both these cookies could be made with sugar and the cookies would also be gluten-free if you used gluten-free oatmeal.

Sugar-Free (or Low-Sugar) and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.comFor both versions, first combine rolled oats, Stevia-in-the-Raw Granulated Sweetener or Splenda, cocoa powder, and pinch of salt in a medium-sized bowl.

Sugar-Free (or Low-Sugar) and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.comIn a separate bowl combine olive oil, vanilla, and egg. (For cakey version you'll also be adding 3 T Agave Nectar.

Sugar-Free (or Low-Sugar) and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.comCombine wet and dry ingredients with a fork, stirring until all the cocoa powder has blended with the oil and egg, then chill cookies several hours.

Sugar-Free (or Low-Sugar) and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.comLine a small baking sheet with parchment paper and put small balls of batter (probably about 2 teaspoons.) I smashed the cookies down with a fork before I baked them, which is probably necessary because they don't spread out very much.

Sugar-Free (or Low-Sugar) and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.comFudgy Version of Sugar-Free and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies
(Makes about 12 cookies, recipe inspired by Choco Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies at Mochachocolata-Rita.)

1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup granular Splenda or Stevia-in-the-Raw Granulated Sweetener
4 T cocoa powder
pinch salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla (I used Mexican vanilla)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 egg whites

Combine rolled oats, Splenda or Stevia, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together vanilla, olive oil, and egg white. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together with a fork until the cocoa powder is dissolved and ingredients are well combined. Chill cookie batter several hours.

To bake, preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, then put small balls of batter (about 2 tsp.) spaced apart slightly. Press down with fork to make cookies about 1/2 inch thick. Bake 12 minutes, or until cookies are firm but not hard. They will harden a bit more when they cool.

Cakey Version of Sugar Free and Flourless
Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies

(Makes about 15 cookies.)

1 1/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/3 cup granular Splenda or Stevia-in-the-Raw Granulated Sweetener
1/4 cup cocoa powder
pinch salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
3 T Agave Nectar

Combine rolled oats, Splenda or Stevia, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, and eggs and Agave Nectar. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together with a fork until the cocoa powder is dissolved and ingredients are well combined. Chill cookie batter several hours. (The chilling is especially important for this version.)

To bake, preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, then put small balls of batter (about 2 tsp.) spaced apart slightly. Press down with fork to make cookies about 1/2 inch thick. Bake 12 minutes, or until cookies are firm but not hard. They will harden a bit more when they cool.

Printer Friendly Recipes for Both Versions

South Beach Suggestions:
Two things that caught my eye about these cookies was the use of olive oil, and the fact that the cookies didn't have flour. Both those things make this a great cookie choice for the South Beach Diet. Both these cookies would be phase two or three for South Beach, due to the oatmeal and the Agave Nectar in the cakey version.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Sugar-Free or Low-Sugar Cookies to Try:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Flourless Sugar-Free Pistachio Cookies ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Gluten-Free (Agave Sweetened) Chocolate Chip Cookies from Elana's Pantry
Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Cookies with Almond and Flaxseed Meal ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Banana Coconut Cookies ~ Nourishing Meals
Flourless, Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.

Blogger Disclosures:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

In 2009 Kalyn's Kitchen was part of Holiday 2009 at, and this was one of the recipes featured there!counter customizable free hit
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  1. Wow -- any cookie that's sugar free and does not require the extrication of the Kitchenaid mixer is a winner! Will test these this weekend when our diabetic kids are here for the holiday.

  2. Wow, those look good! I'm already working out a sugar-free, egg-free version in my head. . . can't wait to try it in real life ;).

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday, Kalyn!

  3. I can't wait to give these a try! I'm ready for a good SB dessert. Thanks so much for all the hardwork you put into your recipes and your blog. I've been using the recipes from your blog since early Nov (I'm on the SB diet) and it really has made a HUGE difference in my ability to stick with the diet. I love all your recipes - delicious AND easy to follow. The weight loss has been great BUT I've also noticed that cutting out the suger and processed food has made a HUGE difference to my skin!!!! I've suffered from acne ever since the teenage years - trying every type of medication with only limited results (even Accutane - 2x). Within a few weeks, my acne started clearing up and my skin actually FEELS better! I am thrilled! My 3 year old son even loves your roasted garbonzo bean recipe :) I know that as I continue with SB Phase 2 and into Phase 3, your recipes will be an important part of my life. Sorry to go on and on, but I've been meaning to comment for awhile now :) THANK YOU!!!!!! And Happy 60th Birthday!!!!

  4. Lydia, hope you like them. Let me know which ones you try. Or maybe you can improve the recipe even more, since I'm so NOT a baker.

    Ricki, let us know what you come up with, and happy holidays to you too!

    Opus2, That comment just made my night! So glad to hear about your success with South Beach and thanks for taking time to let me know you're enjoying the recipes.

  5. Thanks for sharing these. I have a new sister-in-law who is diabetic, along with a father who is. He hates surgar free stuff, but I'm betting he'll like these!

  6. I love that you are baking this holiday season!! The cookies look wonderful! Have a great Christmas!!

  7. If you replaced the oil with peanut butter these would be what we called "Cow Patty" cookies growing up. I made them with all my classes as a pre-k/Kindergarten teacher because we could make them right in the class room with no oven needed.
    I'll have to give the peanut butterless version a try! Sound so good.

  8. OHH, this is a good option for someone who can't have sugar. Hope he likes them.

    Maria, I'm sure you're amazed! Merry Christmas to you and Josh!

    Vikki, I like the sound of the "Cow Patty" cookies.

    Allison, healthy or unhealthy is a matter of opinion when it comes to sugar. I know some people can't use Splenda, but there are also people who truly can't use sugar (due to diabetes or other health issues) or people like me, who notice huge food cravings and mood swings when they eat sugar. For some of us, Splenda truly is more "healthy." Obviously you don't agree, but I believe everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. And the cakey version only has 1/3 cup Splenda in 15 cookies. That isn't much Splenda. If you come up with a sugar-free version of this cookie that doesn't use Splenda, I'd love to try it.

  9. Wow this is fantastic. Definitely going to try these! They look so delicious, it's hard to believe they're low-carb! Great blog, btw!

  10. opus2, it's so funny that you mention acne. I never had bad acne, just an occasional pimple here and there, but since going South Beach, I hardly EVER break out. Also, I have lost 32 pounds in three and a half months on this diet, which is so exciting. No diet has ever worked so well, so fast.

  11. What a simple chocolaty cookie. I love recipes like this. And for your gluten-free readers- if you use certified gluten-free oats- this is a GF/CF recipe. Happy Holidays, Kalyn! xox

  12. Camemberu, glad you liked look of the cookies.

    Anonymous, nice to hear all these South Beach testimonials. For me, it was also the only diet I could ever stick with.

    Karina, thanks for that info. I was pretty sure that was the case, but I never want to say "gluten-free" unless I'm completely sure.

  13. Kalyn, I agree with you about Splenda. There are so many websites out there claiming that Splenda is more or less chlorine, which is absolutely untrue. Not to delve deep into the science, but sucralose (Splenda) is created when three chlorine atoms substitute three hydrogen-oxygen atoms on a sugar molecule. The chemical result is chloride, not chlorine, and chloride naturally appears in the foods we eat and in the water we drink. The great thing about sucralose is that it starts out as sugar chemically speaking, but the body doesn't recognize it as sugar and therefore doesn't metabolize it. You essentially 'pass' the sucralose unchanged. And almost every major study on sucralose has confirmed that sucralose is perfectly safe for human consumption. For people who are diabetic or sensitive to sugar, Splenda is a godsend. Also, it seems silly to speculate about sucralose when every study has shown and every person in the world knows that real sugar is VERY unhealthy and has no nutritional value whatsoever. You don't have to eat Splenda, but don't trick yourself into believing that sugar is a better alternative. :)

  14. Adriana is responding to an earlier comment from someone who took offense at my use of Splenda in this recipe. I hesitated about publishing the original comment, since I'm not sure why someone would think they can come to my blog and tell me what I can and cannot cook, but I did publish it. Then when that person came back to make another comment, which I considered to be argumentative and rude, I decided to delete the first comment and not publish the second one.

    I rarely reject or delete comments on Kalyn's Kitchen, but when a commenter comes back with argumentative comments or claims I said things that I didn't say (with a "how dare you say . . ." approach), I choose not to have those types of comments on my blog. This is a post about Christmas cookies, and I don't wish to turn it into a debate about the pros and cons of Splenda or sugar.

    And for the sake of preventing any further attempts at arguing, I'm not a diabetic, so any lectures about that topic aren't really called for either.

  15. Hey Kalyn!

    I'm actually a 16 year old guy who decided to try out this recipe. I don't cook much (this was probably the furthest I've wandered from PB&J land). Somehow I came across this entry, and decided to try out this low glycemic snack.

    I made some substitutions (Peanut butter for oil, as another poster suggested :D) and they turned out great! I love how eggs and oatmeal are used (egg=fluffy+protein oatmeal=flavor+crunch!)

    I used a small amount (1 T) of honey instead of splenda (not that I'm against it lol) because I think I lost my sweet tooth to the tooth fairy. That, with the oatmeal, cocoa, and eggs makes the perfect pre-workout snack. I down a couple of these before jogging and its great!

    Thanks for this great recipe! (I'm definitely going to check out the others soon)

  16. Cookie Monster, now I think I should try your version, maybe using agave instead of honey. Glad you liked them!

  17. Hi,

    Due to a temporary pregnancy-diabetes thing I've been on insuline and severe 1300 cal.-sugarfree-low-fat-low-carb diet. Your cookies are the first ray of light in 7 weeks. (being pregnant and being hungry makes one mad, I swear). although the diabetes due to hormonal imbalance vanishes within 24 hours after delivery (max 3 weeks from now !) I intend to take some of the sugarfree-wisdom I've come to learn with me, and your recipes are just perfect!

    Instead of Splenda I use something that is developed in the country where I live (Belgium) which is called tagatose, which to my opinion has a better aftertaste... I also cut the amount in half (I wasn't sure about how sweet splenda is in comparison to tagatose, and I think I might downsize on the tagatose again next time...

    thanks and keep up the good work ! I'm a fan!


  18. Loved the SF, flourless chocolate and oatmeal cluster cookies BUT not with the olive oil. I used organic canola oil for much better results. Of course, taste is so subjective, so I'm sure there are those who love it with the olive oil.


  19. Anne, organic canola is a great choice for this too.

  20. YUM! I just made these and wow! so rich and delicious. Thank you! I'm sending this recipe to my mom who is diabetic. I'm sure she's going to love it.

  21. Great, I hope she likes them.

  22. Wonderful! I made these 2 days ago, and was glad to see them highlighted in the blog again today. They are easy, tasty, and not-so-sweet that I must have 10 at once. Thank you!

  23. Wow, this recipe looks great! I have a quick question though, if I wanted to add a 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to the recipe, would I take out some oil or leave it in??

  24. April I might take out at least 1 T of the oil, but that's only a guess since I haven't tried it and I don't know which recipe you're talking about.

  25. i think ive made 4 batches of these cookies in the last 2 weeks. i liked them because they are gluten free and i have a massive amount of oats. i am not using fake sugars, so i used half the amount of sugar in the raw instead. i finally figured out i therefore needed to cut the cocoa powder down to 2 TBS. i also make these using half the sugar, and 2 TBS of cinnamon instead of cocoa and i add a quarter cup of raisins for oatmeal raisin cookies. DELICIOUS! i have to stop myself from eating the whole batch myself in like an hour. i think i will try making a gingerbread variation next.

  26. MeLISSa, so glad they are working out for you. Thanks for the tips about subbing sugar and other ingredients too for others who might like to try that.

  27. These look fantastic! I just picked up some GF oats yesterday so I'll be trying this out for sure. One (probably stupid!) question: would I use sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder? Thanks!

  28. This is made with unsweetened cocoa powder, sold near the baking supplies. (Not the powder you use to make hot chocolate!)

  29. ran accross you blog and just can't wait to try some of the recipies, was reading this one and although it reads gluten free to make it complety gluten free and safe for those of us with celiac disease we need oats that are labeled gluten free (bob's red mill has them) the oats on the grocery store (like quaker) has been processed with the same mills as wheat ans as such those with the medical DX cannot eat these and be safe, but the recipie looks great and I will be using GF oats

  30. Julie I did say in the beginning of the post that these recipes would be gluten-free *if* you used gluten-free oatmeal.

  31. Just baked the cakey version of these (swapping some PB for a tbs of the oil, and also adding a 1/4cup of unsweetened coconut) and they were amazing! In another life I would've had more than one, but these were so dense and filling, one was enough :) thanks for the recipe!

  32. Lindsey, I love your variations! Glad you enjoyed them.

  33. Really great article with very interesting information. You might want to follow up to this topic!?! 2012

  34. I just found this recipe as I am eliminating sugar and flour from my daily consumption. YUM YUM is all I have to say. I made both versions and they are each very delicious. I am going to try the PB in lieu of oil when I whip up another batch. Thank you!!!!

  35. Does anyone have any idea of how many calories and carbs these cookies have???

  36. Under "Frequently Asked Questions" there is a link to the site I recommend if you need to calculate nutritional information.

  37. Thanks Kalyn. Calorie count is a wonderful website!!!

  38. Hi Kalyn. I'm recently new to South Beach. The regular bloggers rave about your recipes and they are not over-stating your wonderful, helpful talents!

    That being said, I wondered what you would consider a south beach serving of these please? They look so good, cannot wait to make them.

    Thank you for all your hard work, wonderful recipes and kind heart to take the time to share and blog. :)

  39. Thanks for the kind thoughts about the blog! These are definitely Phase 2 or 3 for South Beach, and if you're actively trying to lose weight on phase 2 I would limit to one or two cookies per day.

  40. If you don't want to use some of the ingredients I've mentioned here (Splenda, Agave) either make substitutions or just don't make the cookies. But "foodie police" comments aren't really welcome here. I believe everyone gets to make their own food choices.

  41. wow these look so delicious and easy

  42. Yummy! I'm going to try the fudgy one since I don't have the agave nectar on hand. One question though. If I didn't want to use egg whites, should I replace that with 1 whole egg....or 2 whole eggs? Thanks for a great site. You really help me with my low-carb efforts!

    1. Elizabeth, so glad the site is helpful for you. I haven't tested the fudgy version with whole eggs, so I'm not sure what to recommend. (I'm not a good baker, so don't know much about baking substitutions.) I would guess 2 egg whites = 1 egg, but whether it would act the same way in a recipe I have no idea.

  43. Thanks for your speedy reply, Kalyn. I Binged my question and got varying answers. I think I'll try it with 1 whole egg and see what happens. If they don't work right, it's not the end of the world...I'll just go back to your original recipe. Merry Christmas!


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