These Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies are perfect for mid-day snacking, late-night indulgences, a guilt-free after-dinner treat…or just because (the best cookie reason of all!).

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies made gluten free with oatmeal on parchment paper

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Sometimes, a lady just needs a cookie.

Whether it’s with coffee for breakfast, a mid-day pick-me-up, or a midnight snack attack, if you ask me, any time is cookie time.

Working from home, I’m constantly surrounded by tempting treats, including, but not limited to:

I wish I were one of those steely individuals who could eat fruit and call it dessert, but it’s just not who I am—I’m a lady who needs her afternoon (and morning) cookie break.

chocolate chip cherry cookies on a piece of parchment

5 Star Review

“These. Are. AMAZING!!! I’ve made three batches in the last month, now I’m just waiting for my bananas to ripen so I can make more!”

— Elissa —

Therefore, anytime I’m able to create a stellar healthy cookie recipe, they get added into my regular cookie rotation.

These healthy cherry chocolate chip cookies are one of my latest inventions and they are outstanding for several reasons.

  • The recipe uses zero refined sugar. They’re naturally sweetened with bananas, coconut, and cherries.
  • Made with almond meal and wholesome oats, these easy cherry chocolate chip cookies are gluten free (as is this Healthy Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie).
  • PLUS, vegans rejoice because these cookies contain no eggs, butter, or dairy of any kind (these Chickpea Blondies are another vegan favorite).

Skeptical? So was I.

a close up of vegan dried cherry chocolate chip cookies

How to Make Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cherry and chocolate are a dream team flavor combo.

Combined with tender oats, these cookies are securely stationed in “snack-appropriate” territory, which is exactly where I want them to be.


The Ingredients

  • Banana. Forget about the cakey banana puff “cookies” you may have had in the past. In this recipe, the bananas act like eggs to add moisture and help bind the ingredients in these vegan chocolate chip cookies together (similar to these Peanut Butter Banana Cookies).
  • Shredded Coconut. Adds body, texture, and sweetness.
  • Almond Meal. Keeps these gluten free chocolate chip cookies light and tender (just like in Almond Flour Cookies).

Ingredient Note

To make your own almond meal, grind almonds in a food processor until they reach a fine powder. Do not over blend, as they will eventually turn into almond butter.

  • Oats. Give the cookies a subtle nutty flavor, adds texture, and a little chew. (Healthy Oatmeal Cookies will forever be one of my favorites.)

Dietary Note

A reminder to always check your labels. While oats are naturally gluten free, they may not be processed in a gluten free certified facility.

Dark Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies with oatmeal
  • Dark Chocolate. Makes these healthy cherry chocolate chip cookies decadent enough to feel like a special treat.
  • Dried Cherries. I always reach for tart dried cherries when I can, but if you prefer sweet dried cherries, they’re a fine choice too. (If you love cherries, try my Roasted Chickpea Snack Mix too.)

Substitution Tip

Get creative and change up the cookie mix-ins to suit your tastes.

  • Prefer milk chocolate? Go for it!
  • Love white chocolate? Why not?!
  • Not a fan of cherries? Try swapping in raisins or dried cranberries.
  • Feeling rouge? Sprinkle in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or almonds.

The Directions

wet ingredients for gluten free chocolate cherry cookies in a mixing bowl
  1. Stir together the bananas and wet ingredients.
oats, almond meal, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl
  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
Cherry chocolate chip cookie dough in a mixing bowl
  1. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in the chocolate and cherries.
  2. Scoop tablespoon drops of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the chocolate cherry cookies at 350 degrees F for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are golden and set on the edges. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Leftover chocolate chip cookies with cherries can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For best results place a paper towel over the cookies and in between any layers to absorb excess moisture and prevent the cookies from becoming mushy.
  • To Freeze. Freeze cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet until frozen. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before serving.

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Mixing Bowls. This nested set of glass mixing bowls is a must-have for any baker.
  • Parchment Paper. Prevents sticking and makes clean-up a breeze.
  • Baking Sheets. These are my go-to sheet pans for cookie baking.

The Best Mixing Bowls

This 10-piece mixing bowl set is made with highly durable glass that doesn’t warp, stain, retain smells, or leach chemicals into food. They’re dishwasher-safe too!

Dark Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies with oatmeal

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Now to decide where to put these healthy cherry chocolate chip cookies in my rotation…somewhere between these Healthy Pumpkin Cookies and Zucchini Cookies with Chocolate Chips seems about right.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are All Oats Gluten Free?

While oats are naturally gluten free, not all oats are processed in a gluten free facility. For this reason, I always recommend checking your labels while shopping to make sure your rolled oats are certified gluten free.

How Do I Know If Chocolate Chips are Vegan?

While chocolate is inherently vegan since it’s made from cacao beans, you should still always check your labels when shopping. Many popular brands will add milk, milk fat, or other animal-derived ingredients.

Can I Make These Healthy Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies Larger?

Yes. While I have not made these larger myself, you should be able to double the size of the cookies without any issues. Keep in mind, that the cookies may need longer to bake, however, so keep an eye on them and adjust the time accordingly.

chocolate chip cherry cookies on a piece of parchment

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

5 from 6 votes
Gluten free cherry chocolate chip cookies made with oats, dried cherries, coconut, and almond meal. Vegan. Healthy. Naturally sweetened.

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 30 mins

Servings: 30 small cookies, approx.

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large ripe bananas well mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus 2 teaspoons (use extra light for the most subtle flavor, though regular extra virgin olive oil can easily be substituted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal*
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut sweetened or unsweetened
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries

Instructions
 

  • Place rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the bananas, olive oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold together until combined. Fold in the chopped chocolate and dried cherries. The dough will seem very moist.
  • Scoop small tablespoon-sized drops of dough (not rounded) onto a parchment paper (or Silpat-lined) baking sheet, 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies brown lightly and appear dry on the sides. Let rest on baking sheet for 4 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Leftover healthy chocolate cherry cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For best results place a paper towel over the cookies and in between any layers to absorb excess moisture and prevent the cookies from becoming mushy.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet until frozen. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before serving.
  • *To make your own almond meal, grind almonds in a food processor until they reach a fine powder. Do not over blend, as they will eventually turn into almond butter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 30)Calories: 60kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgPotassium: 72mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 54IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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20 Comments

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  1. Hi Erin! I just discovered your blog and I’m loving it! This is the recipe that first caught my eye since I am the biggest cookie monster and I’m always looking for ways to satisfy my sweet tooth without overdoing it on the sugar. This one is perfect – I’ll be making them today! Can’t wait to try out some of the other recipes as well!

    1. Hi Lauren! I’m so happy that you found my blog. Thanks for saying hi, and enjoy the cookies. I’d love to hear what you think of them too!

  2. Have you ever tried freezing these? I made these today and am hoping to store them until Christmas without them getting funky

    1. Hi Laura! I have never frozen these, but I do generally have good luck with freezing cookies, so I think it is worth a shot if you don’t think you are going to be able to eat all of them. I would suggest setting them out at room temperature to thaw. Thanks for trying the recipe and I hope you love them!

      1. Thank you! I’ll give it a try. They are delicious! Hopefully putting them in the freezer will help me avoid downing all of them in a day or two :-)5 stars

  3. These were soooo yummy! My husband and 5 year old loved them too. I’m going to try to freeze some as well and see how they do. Thank you for the recipe :)
    I just found your blog and spent an entire evening pinning recipe after recipe. Can’t wait to try more.  I also enjoyed reading about you and your husband. Y’all are way too cute!5 stars

    1. Jennifer, I am so excited to hear that you and your family enjoyed these cookies. Thanks so much for taking time to let me know, and I’m glad that you found my blog too! It’s wonderful to have you here :-)

  4. Excellent cookies!  Rave reviews from all who tasted them this afternoon straight from the cooking rack.  I chopped 2 ounces of a Ghirardelli 86% dark chocolate bar.  My chunks seemed to melt a bit too much in the oven.  What is your advice for beautiful and delicious cookies with chopped dark chocolate?  Do I need to leave my chunks larger in size perhaps or is there a certain variety that works best in baking?5 stars

    1. Amy, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed these! I think melty chocolate might just come with the territory when you use the real deal. Chocolate chips have stabilizers to hold their shape, but good quality chocolate bars usually do not. You can either use chocolate chips if you prefer less melting or try the larger chunks you suggested. Thanks for letting me know how they turned out!

  5. Can’t wait to try these! Can you easily sub the olive oil with coconut oil?  I am thinking you can but just wondering if you have tried. Thanks! 

    1. Hi Brittney! You can use olive oil, but make sure it is a very LIGHT olive oil, or the flavor may throw off the cookies. You could also try a more neutrally flavored oil, such as canola oil. I hope you enjoy the cookies!

  6. I am the worst baker because I just can’t resist making changes to recipes, an urge that sometimes results in baking disasters. This recipe, however, proved resilient enough to survive all my “improvements.” I substituted coconut oil for olive oil, and because I like crunch in my snacks, I added flax seeds and cacao nibs. These are delicious and easy. I made the first batch just dropping the cookies onto the parchment from my teaspoon scoop, so they were like cookie mounds, and the next batch, I rolled and flattened slightly (cookie shaped), I did prefer those. Thanks for this recipe and all you do!5 stars

    1. Scarlett, I am THRILLED to hear this! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and sharing your thoughts. It really means a lot!

  7. These. Are. AMAZING!!! I’ve made three batches in the last month, now I’m just waiting for my bananas to ripen so I can make more!5 stars

    1. Elissa, I am so so happy to hear this! May the bananas ripen quickly :) Thanks so much for taking time to leave your comment too!

  8. Hi Erin, the recipe looks great! I had gone cherry picking last weekend and have a surplus of fresh cherries! So can I make these cookies with fresh cherries instead of dried ones?

    1. Samia, I am envious of your cherry hall! Fresh cherries will actually make the cookies pretty liquidy. I’d recommend dried ones here. But, I do have lots of great fresh cherry recipes for you to try out! You can find them here: https://www.wellplated.com/tag/cherry/

  9. Hi Erin- I’d really like to try this recipe but I am not a fan of coconut. Is there anything I can substitute for it?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sue! I’ve only tested this recipe as written, so it would be hard to advise on a substitution. If you decide to experiment with them, let me know how it goes!