Perfect Oatmeal Cookies

I don't often call recipes perfect, but these oatmeal cookies are soft, chewy, and warmly spiced - everything a good oatmeal raisin cookie should be.

Oatmeal cookies

Happy Friday! I’m so excited to share these oatmeal cookies with you today because they truly are the best. A few weeks ago, I got an intense craving for a good oatmeal raisin cookie. I ran to the kitchen and hastily threw together ingredients that I happened to have on hand and, without really measuring, I made some ok oat-ball kind of cookies. They halfway hit the spot, but my craving continued. So when I flipped through Sarah Copeland’s beautiful new book Every Day is Saturday, her oatmeal cookie recipe grabbed my attention.

Sarah writes, “there are three kinds of oatmeal cookie: over-sugared and raisin-laden; too wholesome (a hippie cookie in disguise); and then these little nuggets of joy you can’t stop eating – that just right kind of cookie. These live in the third camp: sugar under control, but present, and no skimping on the butter (although I used coconut oil and they were still perfect). Cinnamon and vanilla give these big flavor. And for the sweet-toothed, a sprinkling of raisins, and buttery pecans (I used walnuts) do the trick.”

My personal verdict? These cookies totally hit the spot! They were exactly what I was craving, the only problem is that they disappeared too quickly!

Sarah is the author of some of my favorite cookbooks including the Newlywed Cookbook and Feast. Her newest book, Every Day is Saturday, is a gorgeous book full of recipes that are easy and doable for weekdays but that will infuse a dreamy weekend vibe into your everyday.

Oatmeal cookie recipe ingredients

Oatmeal Cookie Recipe Ingredients

The ingredients to this recipe are simple – you likely already have them in your pantry!

  • All-purpose flour and whole rolled oats are the base of the dough.
  • Baking powder and baking soda make them nice & puffy.
  • Brown sugar adds the perfect caramelized sweetness.
  • Sea salt offsets the sweet sugar and raisins.
  • Cinnamon and vanilla extract give them that delicious warm, spiced oatmeal cookie flavor.
  • Coconut oil or melted butter adds moisture and richness. I used coconut oil, and these tasted wonderfully buttery just the same!
  • 1 large egg + an extra egg yolk give them a rich, thick dough and a moist, light final texture.
  • Raisins dot them with chewy pops of sweetness.
  • And walnuts add nuttiness and crunch.

Pouring wet ingredients into a bowl of dry ingredients

How to Make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Making this oatmeal raisin cookie recipe couldn’t be easier. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. In separate bowls, whisk together the dry and wet ingredients.
  2. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. Fold in the oats, raisins, and walnuts. The mixture will be thick!
  4. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Then, roll it into balls.
  5. Bake the balls at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes, until nicely golden brown.
  6. When you take the cookies out of the oven, they should look slightly under-baked. Don’t worry, though – leave them on the hot baking sheets for 5 minutes out of the oven, and they’ll be delectably soft and chewy.
  7. After 5 minutes, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely, and enjoy!

Spatula folding together wet and dry ingredients in a mixing bowl How to make oatmeal raisin cookies Cookie dough in a mixing bowl with spatula

Oatmeal Cookie Recipe Tips

Sarah has a few excellent pointers in her book. These are her tips for making the best oatmeal raisin cookies:

  • Use brown sugar. Instead of using a mix of brown sugar and granulated sugar, Sarah opts for all brown sugar. It gives these oatmeal raisin cookies a delicious caramelized sweetness.
  • Go for melted, not creamed, butter. According to Sarah, creamed butter cookies are unpredictable: they can easily spread too much or be too firm. With melted butter, though, you’ll get moist, chewy cookies every time.
  • Let the dough rest 20 minutes before baking. Those 20 minutes will make your dough easier to roll into balls, so the cookies will keep their shape and develop a yummy chewy texture in the oven.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely for the best texture and flavor. It may be agony, but letting these oatmeal raisin cookies cool completely only makes them better. They’ll be chewier and fully infused with brown sugar flavor. Sarah likes these best a few hours to 1 day after baking. (Though I can attest that they’re still good if you can’t wait that long.)

How to make oatmeal cookies

My Favorite Variations for Oatmeal Cookies

If you follow this recipe as written, you absolutely will not be disappointed: these oatmeal cookies are buttery, nutty, and perfectly spiced. If you want to step outside the traditional oatmeal raisin cookie box, though, here are a few suggestions to change them up:

  • Substitute chocolate chips for the raisins to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, or use a mix of both.
  • Try using pecans instead of walnuts.
  • Swap the raisins for dried cherries or cranberries.
  • Add a dash of cardamom or ginger to the dough.
  • Skip the raisins and use butterscotch chips or a mix of chocolate and butterscotch chips for extra-buttery flavor.

What’s your favorite way to make oatmeal cookies? Let me know in the comments!

Folding raisins, nuts, and oats into oatmeal cookie recipe dough

Make-Ahead Oatmeal Cookies

If you’re someone who likes to keep cookie dough on hand in the fridge or freezer, this oatmeal cookie recipe is for you. You can mix up the dough and keep it in the fridge for 7-10 days or freeze it for up to a month.

To store the dough, roll it into balls and freeze them briefly. Then, transfer them to airtight plastic containers or Ziploc bags and refrigerate or freeze. You can also roll the dough into a log, using an 8×12-inch piece of parchment paper as a guide. Wrap the log tightly in parchment to refrigerate or freeze, and slice the cookies into rounds before baking.

Bake your cookie dough straight from the fridge. If it’s frozen, allow it to rest for 15 minutes at room temperature before putting it in the oven.

Balls of oatmeal cookie dough on a baking sheet

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

If you love these oatmeal cookies, try one of these yummy cookie recipes next:

Oatmeal cookies in a pan

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

rate this recipe:
4.98 from 77 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Serves 20
These soft and chewy oatmeal cookies are the perfect afternoon treat! Try stirring in chocolate or butterscotch chips for a fun variation. From Every Day is Saturday by Sarah Copeland.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour,

    spooned and leveled

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup whole rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, sugar, whole egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, whisking vigorously.
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir in the oats, raisins, and walnuts, if using, folding into a tight batter. Set the dough aside for 20 minutes while the oven preheats. (Note: if your dough seems too wet to become scoop-able, chill it in the fridge for this 20 minutes and it'll firm up). If your dough is too crumbly, stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons water.
  • Scoop into 20 tablespoon-sized balls and roll lightly in barely damp hands to make them round. Spread out onto the prepared baking sheets and bake until puffed, golden, and a touch underbaked-looking, 10 to 11 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

130 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Ariel
    07.26.2021

    Can I use honey instead of Sugar?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.26.2021

      Hi Ariel, no not in this recipe.

  2. Maria
    07.23.2021

    Can we use quick oats instead of while rolled oats?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.23.2021

      Hi Maria, the texture might change, so I’d recommend sticking with the rolled oats.

  3. Anna
    07.09.2021

    5 stars
    By far THE BEST oatmeal cookie recipe I’ve tried!!! Crisp edges with a soft center. Super flavor and texture!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.10.2021

      I’m so glad you loved these too 🙂

  4. Cloey
    06.25.2021

    5 stars
    I’ve made these cookies many times, and they are a HIT! With and without nuts. Do you think these cookies would work without raisins?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.26.2021

      I’m glad you loved them! You could skip the raisins if you’d like, I might add chocolate chips instead.

  5. Harriet
    05.23.2021

    5 stars
    OMG! These were soooo good! I subbed the raisins for dried cranberries and I did both walnuts and hazelnuts. I also did a 1/4 of the portion and they came out amazing (not every recipe works this perfectly when divided by 4😉). Will be making them soon again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.23.2021

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  6. Kim
    04.30.2021

    Outstanding recipe can toss the rest!

  7. Kat
    04.19.2021

    5 stars
    These were extremely tasty! I would say that they work better as drop cookies, I like that they come out flatter that way, and it’s less work!

  8. Laurie
    04.13.2021

    5 stars
    Heavenly! I put in 2 whole eggs and used 1/2 butter and 1/2 coconut oil. They are delicious.

  9. Deb
    03.03.2021

    5 stars
    Just made these cookies. Really good !

  10. DB
    02.26.2021

    5 stars
    Wow! I’ve never been a huge oatmeal raisin cookie fan…but these, I can eat a panful! My hubby and kids are big oatmeal/raisin fans and they also LOVE these. Don’t know why I like them so much more than others I’ve tried…maybe it’s the perfect balance – not too raisiny or sweet, not crumbly, and the walnuts are just right!! Thank you, so glad I found this!!

  11. Sondra C
    01.30.2021

    5 stars
    I made these today but I had to use vegan butter for my husband who can’t have dairy. I used Earth Balance sticks instead of butter, just 1 stick. Everything else I kept the same but added Craisins instead of raisins and added a bit of fresh ground nutmeg. I did not melt the better completely, instead I melted it to where it was soft and slightly melted. I usually don’t bother with mixing the dry and wet ingredients separately – I mix the wet ingredients first then add the dry ingredients. I also didn’t chill the dough and did not have any problems scooping dough into balls. I baked them about 11-12 minutes and they came out perfect except that they didn’t flatten much but my husband didn’t mind at all. He said they were perfect and had just the right amount of butter, spice, vanilla, nuts and fruit. I think you could also make these completely vegan using flax eggs or vinegar. Will definitely make again but may make me a batch too with real butter! The ingredients and amounts are perfect!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.31.2021

      Hi Sondra, I’m so glad you enjoyed these! I often make them with coconut oil – that may have a better result than vegan butter.

  12. Chria
    01.23.2021

    Can I grind up steel cut oats?

  13. Senodie Jayasundara
    01.20.2021

    4 stars
    I tried this recipe today and the cookies turned out great. However, I recommend to bake the cookies in the oven for about 15-20 minutes instead of 10-11 minutes.

  14. Margaret Guzman
    01.14.2021

    5 stars
    Delicious!! Made it with coconut oil. Not too sweet. Just right

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.14.2021

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  15. Deirdre
    01.14.2021

    5 stars
    Fantastic!! Not at all overpowering. Nice balance on ingredients. Perfect texture.
    Thank you!

  16. Maureen
    01.03.2021

    Hi
    Can I use Bobs Red Mill 1to 1 gluten free flour.

  17. Shirley Conley
    12.16.2020

    Do I use salted butter or without

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.17.2020

      unsalted

  18. Nancy Ramsey
    12.16.2020

    5 stars
    Very good, those are the best Oatmeal cookies I have made. Thanks

  19. Abi
    12.10.2020

    If you make it before hand id say to roll them out so its a lot easier to manage, or use an ice cream scoop haha

    And if you do make them before hand, maybe let them sit out a little so its softer when they go in.

  20. Abi
    12.10.2020

    Do I have to put raisins in? I want just a straight oatmeal cookie.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.