The name says it all — these oatmeal cookies are big, soft, buttery and all around perfect bakery-style cookies! Made with old fashioned rolled oats, a hint of cinnamon (optional), and plenty of butter, this old-time favorite cookie is a classic favorite, and I hope you’ll give it a try!
The Best Oatmeal Cookies
My mom makes oatmeal cookies every year for Christmas. Not just oatmeal cookies, she also makes double and even triple batches of chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, and sugar cookies (which is more than enough and we’re usually snacking on leftover cookies well into the New Year). But it’s the oatmeal cookies that have always been my favorite.
They are usually the first cookies to disappear from the cookie tins. It took me so long to perfect my own oatmeal cookie recipe because it was important to me that it give hers (which came from the back of the Quaker oats lid) a run for its money. Well, guess what. Ever since I perfected this recipe over two years ago, she’s been making this version instead of her old go-to for the holidays. So I think I can comfortably (and maybe a little boastfully) say mission accomplished.
This recipe took months to perfect (the classics always do… just ask me how long it took to get my chocolate cake perfect) but the result is sheer, soft oatmeal cookie perfection. Buttery and soft, super chewy, enhanced but not over-whelmed by oats… I think you’re going to love this one.
What You Need for Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
- Oats. Use old-fashioned.
- Sugar. We use a blend of white granulated and also light brown. The brown sugar adds moisture and flavor, helping to make these cookies nice and soft.
- Butter. Soften before beginning. I recommend using unsalted butter, but if you only have salted on hand you can substitute, just see my guide on salted vs unsalted butter.
- Eggs. 2 large. As usual I recommend using room temperature eggs.
- Vanilla extract.
- Flour. All-purpose. I get a lot of questions about using self-rising flour for this recipe but have never tried it and can’t recommend it. Self-rising contains baking powder, which this recipe does not use, and salt, which we have already accounted for.
- Corn starch. As I mentioned, this is one of my favorite ingredients to use in my cookies. It makes them nice and soft and chewy without making them cakey. It’s a key ingredient in my peanut butter blossoms, too!
- Baking soda.
- Ground cinnamon. You can leave this out if you have allergies but the flavor of these oatmeal cookies is so perfectly enhanced by a dash of cinnamon.
- Salt. For flavor, of course!
No surprising or unusual ingredients here (unless you’ve never baked from my blog before, then the cornstarch might be new to you).
Can I add Raisins/Chocolate Chips/Nuts to My Oatmeal Cookies?
Yes you can! Any of these can be added to the oatmeal cookies without having to make any other alterations to the recipe. I recommend adding about 1 ½ cups of your favorite add-ins after stirring in your oats. Chocolate chips, raisins, walnuts, all are great choices (OK maybe not the raisins but that’s my own personal bias showing there and I’ll try not to judge you if you use them).
How to Make Oatmeal Cookies
This is really a straightforward, simple oatmeal cookie recipe.
- Cream together butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs and stir well. I do recommend using a stand mixer or electric mixer to adequately cream the butter.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients (except for the oats).
- Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet until completely combined. Stir in the oats and any other add-ins at this point.
- Cover the dough and chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator (the cookie dough may be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator).
- Drop cookies by rounded 1 ½ Tablespoon onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown.
You’ll want to watch for the edges to just be beginning to turn a light golden brown. The centers may still appear under-done, but as the cookies cool on your baking sheet (and you’ll want them to cool completely there) they will finish baking without becoming dried out. Bake them for too long and your cookies will end up dry and/or crumbly.
Tips for Perfect Oatmeal Cookies
- Measure your ingredients properly. Especially your flour. For best results use a kitchen scale (<–that one is my favorite), but if you don’t have a scale make sure to measure your flour properly. This means stirring it, lightly spooning it into your measuring cup, and then leveling it. Don’t scoop the flour directly into the measuring cup. Too much flour will give you dry cookies in a hurry.
- Don’t over-mix your cookie dough. This is a bigger issue with cakes than it usually is with cookies, but you don’t want to beat the heck out of your dough or your butter and sugar. Stir until completely combined, then give it a rest.
- Chill. Oatmeal cookie dough needs to chill for at least 30 minutes before baking, though it can be prepared and left in the refrigerator (covered) for up to 5 days. If you chilled your dough for 30 minutes and it still seems sticky and the cookies are spreading while baking, give it a bit longer in the fridge.
- Don’t over-bake. Bake your cookies just until the edges are beginning to turn a light golden brown. When you remove them from the oven the centers may look a bit under-done still. This is perfect. The cookies should be allowed to cool completely on their baking sheet where they will actually finish baking without over-baking. If your cookies are baked all the way through once you pull them out of the oven they’re going to over-cook and end up dry by the time they’ve cooled. Not good!
Can You Use Quick Oats in Oatmeal Cookies?
I do not recommend using quick oats when making oatmeal cookies. They tend to dry out the cookies and make them too thick (not in a good way) and crumbly.
More Classic Cookies to Try:
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- 1 cup unsalted butter softened (226g)
- 1 cup light brown sugar¹ tightly packed (200g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 2 large eggs room temperature preferred
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (215g)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (cornflour in UK)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (285g)
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or raisins optional!
- Beat butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or using an electric beater) for about 30 seconds. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy (pause to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, if needed).
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture until completely combined. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so ingredients are well-mixed.
- Gradually stir in oats until completely combined. If using raisins or chocolate chips, stir them in at this point.
- Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F (190C) and prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper.
- Drop cookie by rounded 2-3 Tablespoon-sized ball onto parchment paper, spacing at least 2" apart.
- Bake on 375F (190C) for 10-12 (edges should be slightly browned, centers may still be slightly underbaked but shouldn't be raw, they'll bake completely as they cool).
- Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before serving and enjoying.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This recipe for simple oatmeal cookies was originally published 04/27/2017. Photos have been updated, additional tips have been added, and a video has been added. Recipe remains the same.