Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

4.83 from 63 votes
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Soft and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are a classic treat. Old-fashioned rolled oats, browned butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg provide toasted caramel flavors and a delightful contrast of crisp and soft textures.

Stack of oatmeal raisin cookies on a wire cooling rack.

Homemade oatmeal raisin cookies with crisp edges and dense, soft centers. To achieve this type of texture, I use butter, vegetable oil, two types of sugar, and just the right ratio of flour to oats. Get ready to enjoy generously-sized treats that everyone will devour.

This recipe incorporates browned butter into the batter for a nutty caramel depth of flavor and to balance the cookie’s sweetness. You’ll find that the brown butter enhances the taste profile dramatically. For convenience, there’s no need to chill the dough before baking like in other cookie recipes. You can make, bake, eat, and repeat!

Browned butter enhances the flavor

Browned butter is considered liquid gold in the culinary world. It’s the secret flavor booster that’s very easy to make. The milk solids react to the gentle heat by simply melting the butter and turning golden in color. The Maillard browning process creates wonderful hazelnut and caramel aromas. The cookies bakes to a deep golden brown hue.

Use two types of sugar

Two types of sugar are incorporated, brown and granulated, to provide sweetness and a molasses note. I prefer adding a higher amount of brown sugar because it binds well with water, keeping the cookies moist over time.

The importance of vegetable oil

You need fat in the recipe, or the cookie will become hard like hockey pucks! Believe me, when I was testing batches, I accidentally forgot to add the vegetable oil, and the cookies had very little spread and were very tough once cooled.

This recipe uses more vegetable oil because unsaturated fats (liquid at room temperature) provide a chewier texture, while saturated fats (solid butter) provide a cakier texture.

Making the dough

Adding eggs and vanilla extract creates a flavorful binder, helping to hold the flakey oats together. The eggs provide extra fat, so the cookies don’t taste dry. A few important ingredient swaps are necessary to make oatmeal cookies chewy, not cakey or crispy throughout.

A ratio of 3 parts oats to 1 part all-purpose flour reduces the cakiness factor but enough flour that still helps the dough stick together. Baking soda helps the cookies spread and make a crisp exterior. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, using a spatula to gently fold them together.

Selecting the right oats

There are several types of oats to choose from at the market. For this recipe, make sure to use only old-fashioned oats to balance softness and chew. Incorporating the oats and raisins is the last step in making the cookie dough. This easy oatmeal raisin cookie recipe just needs hand stirring to bring the dough together.

Typically I use a stand mixer to combine the ingredients, but you don’t want to incorporate too much air into the batter. To keep the cookies dense and chewy, hand mixing is best.

Shaping the cookies

Little boy pressing the back of a measuring cup against cookie to flatten the dough balls.
Step 7. Shape the cookies

The cookie dough consistency will be thick but still easy to shape and roll into balls. Use the bottom of a large measuring cup, a ½ cup or 1 cup size, to flatten the dough directly on the baking sheet. My son James mastered the technique with ease. There are minimal leavening agents in the dough, just a small amount of baking soda and eggs to ensure even cooking and spread.

Bake at 375ºF (191ºC) for about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the warm pan for about 5 minutes to gently complete cooking, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool. These cookies grow to be large, which helps reinforce the crisp edges and chewy interior crumbs. While you’ll definitely be satisfied with just one cookie, it will be hard not to grab a second when they’re hot and fresh from the oven.

These are the best oatmeal raisin cookies! Or at least that’s what my family tells me. Nothing beats a classic, with plump raisins and sweet spices from the cinnamon and nutmeg. Be sure to keep the recipe handy, as these oatmeal cookies will be eaten up fast!

Frequently asked questions

Are oatmeal raisin cookies healthy?

The oats used in the cookie dough are packed with nutrients like fiber-rich carbohydrates, protein, and fat. They are rich in vitamins and minerals like zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, and thiamine. Raisins also deliver fiber. Moderation is key, as the cookies do contain sugar.

Should I soak raisins before baking cookies?

Soaking raisins, rehydrate the fruit so that it’s plumper. If you prefer a chewier texture, don’t soak.

Why do my oatmeal raisin cookies get hard?

You’re overbaking the cookie. Bake until the edges are set but the centers are still soft. Baking too long causes a lot of moisture to be lost. Make sure to use a higher brown sugar ratio than granulated sugar. This acts as a humectant, attracting moisture during storage.

Homemade oatmeal raisin cookies cooling on a wire rack.
Step 9. Let them cool

Type of oats to use in oatmeal cookies

Old-fashioned rolled oats absorb moisture from the batter and soften without losing shape. Do not use instant oats. The grains will become mushy and not have a distinct chew. Avoid extra-thick oats, as they’ll make the cookie tough and dry.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

A classic chewy oatmeal raisin cookies recipe made better with old-fashioned rolled oats, browned butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4.83 from 63 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings 16 cookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ cup raisins

Instructions 

  • Preheat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the center position. Preheat to 375ºF (191ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Mix the Dry Ingredients – Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together in a small bowl.
  • Brown the Butter – Heat butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to melt evenly. Stir and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula until the butter is golden brown and nutty in aroma, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Mix the Sugars – Transfer browned butter to a large bowl, scraping the bits from the pan. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and oil. Whisk together until combined.
  • Make the Dough – Whisk in eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth. Use a spatula to fold in the flour mixture until combined, 1 minute.
  • Add the Oats and Raisins – Stir in oats and raisins until combined. The dough will be stiff in texture.
  • Shape the Cookies – Divide the dough into 3-tablespoon (60g) portions. Roll into a ball and place 2" apart on the baking sheet, 8 cookies per pan.
    Use the bottom of a large measuring cup to press each dough ball into 2 ½-inch wide cookies. Re-form edges into a circle if needed.
  • Bake – Bake one cookie sheet at a time. The edges should be set, lightly browned on the surface, and the centers soft but not wet, about 8 to 10 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through.
  • Let Them Cool – Cool the cookies for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack. Let cool completely before serving.

Notes

  • Cookie Dough Size: 2 ounces; 60g; 3 tablespoons.
  • Make it Gluten-Free: Substitute gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour, and make sure the rolled oats are certified gluten-free. I recommend Bob’s Redmill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour.
  • Storing: Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 7 days at room temperature. Freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Recipe Adapted From: America’s Test Kitchen The Perfect Cookie Cookbook.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 16 cookies
Calories 262kcal (13%)Carbohydrates 38g (13%)Protein 3g (6%)Fat 11g (17%)Saturated Fat 7g (35%)Cholesterol 30mg (10%)Sodium 154mg (6%)Potassium 137mg (4%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 16g (18%)Vitamin A 120IU (2%)Vitamin C 0.3mgCalcium 23mg (2%)Iron 1.4mg (8%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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29 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Cathy says

    I thought I had found the prefect oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. There wasn’t enough batter to hold the oatmeal and form balls. I double checked the measurements and couldn’t fine a problem there . What did I do wrong?

    • Thea says

      I ran into the same issue. Just tried to keep them together as best I could to bake.
      They were wonderful despite being a challenge to roll into a ball.

  2. jackie says

    can I make these in 1 ounce balls rather than 2 ounce balls to make more cookies? would I need to change any of the directions? They sound really good. Thanks Jackie

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, you can make the cookies into smaller portions. I would just check the cookies a few minutes earlier to ensure it doesn’t get too brown on the bottom since they are smaller.

      • jackie says

        thanks Jessica one last thing should I plump the raisins in hot or boiling water and then dry them well before using? sorry for all the questions Thanks again Jackie

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Was the dough stiff in texture after you mixed it? If not, perhaps let it cool slightly to make it more firm. How did you measure the flour? Were you able to weight it out?

  3. Carol says

    Hello Jessica
    I am 68 yrs old and have used the same oatmeal cookie recipe for a long time, but I thought I would give these a try. These are outstanding in taste texture and ease of prep. Looks like you can teach an old dog new tricks. This will be my new go to recipe.
    Thank you and be safe during this pandemic.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you, Carol! I’m so happy that you enjoyed this recipe and gave something new a try. Happy baking!

  4. Donna says

    Theses are very good! I will definitely be adding this recipe to my “must keep” file. Not to sweet and picture perfect! Thanks!

  5. Katie Kruse says

    Jessica,
    I was craving a good Oatmeal Raisin cookie and thought if anybody has a good recipe it will be Jessica. I was right! The cookies were delicious. I especially appreciate the directions. I think they were crucial for my success. I made little “cookie bags” and drove them to several family members doorsteps. Everyone raved about them! Thanks for another winner!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hey Katie! So good to hear from you. You’re always so sweet, thinking of others and sharing tasty treats!

  6. Jay says

    Hello! If I want to substitute the raisins for chocolate chips… should I use the same amount of chocolate chips as raisins in this recipe?

  7. Ana says

    How much would you sell each cookie?
    I made some to my family, but everyone loved them and asked me for more…. and my brain just think about some extra money…

  8. Barbara says

    Hi Jessica, I want to make these delicious looking cookies. Two questions: can I use extra virgin olive oil (which vegetable oil do you recommend) & can I freeze the dough to bake later (recommendations for storing in the fridge and freezer)? Thanks ?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Barbara- I think the extra virgin olive oil will have too strong of a bitter taste. Perhaps a light olive oil would be better. I would shape the cookies, press them and then freeze or refrigerate. Let them come to room temperature and then bake. Let me know how it goes!