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The Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are soft and chewy on the inside but crunchy around the edges. They have a lightly spiced flavor and are loaded with rolled oats and raisins!
I have been developing these oatmeal raisin cookies for years and I can tell you with certainty that they are the best. They spread just enough to allow for a thick cookie with a little crunch– the ideal combination of crispy and chewy! These are even thicker and chewier than Quaker’s vanishing oatmeal raisin cookies! Packed with oats, raisins and cinnamon, I’ve seen these cookies vanish within seconds of serving. The little hint of nutmeg rounds out the flavor and piles on the nostalgia factor.
Table of Contents
- Why these are the best oatmeal raisin cookies:
- Professional tips for the best oatmeal raisin cookies:
- Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ingredients
- How to Make the Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe
- Before You Go!
Why these are the best oatmeal raisin cookies:
- Big, thick and chewy cookies: These easy Bakery-style cookies are the ideal companion for your morning coffee or weeknight dessert!
- Crunchy edges: There is a significant amount of granulated sugar in this recipe, which is what makes them crunchy around the edges but chewy in the center. It also allows for the perfect amount of spreading!
- Packed with oats and raisins: You’ll notice that there is just enough dough to hold all the oats and raisins. This is by design. If you’re on the hunt for a simple sugar cookie, your family will love my perfect chewy sugar cookies!
Professional tips for the best oatmeal raisin cookies:
- Carefully measure: That thick, chewy center is all about the ratio of butter to flour. Furthermore, the crunchiness of the outside is due to the ratio of light brown sugar to granulated sugar, so measuring is key!
- Cream properly: In order to get that light, sweet texture you want to properly cream your butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.
- Freeze before baking: To get the fattest, chewiest cookies possible, you really must take the extra step and freeze the dough before baking. In my oatmeal raisin cookie video tutorial, you’ll see that I froze them directly on a baking sheet in a single layer. This is a trick that helps them freeze in under 30 minutes! Make extra and store them in your freezer so you can have freshly baked cookies anytime you want!
Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ingredients
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour has just the right amount of gluten to make a perfectly chewy cookie.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda reacts more powerfully than baking powder and will therefore create a more dramatic rise, but it will not continue to react in the heat of the oven or without the presence of an acid.
- Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is less salty than table salt and a teaspoon weighs less than other finer ground varieties. It heightens the flavor here and will keep your cookies from tasting dull or flat.
- Cinnamon: I use Saigon cinnamon but any cinnamon will be lovely.
- Ground Nutmeg: This recipe is written for pre-ground nutmeg. If you use freshly ground, then you’ll need to adjust the quantity by half. Fresh nutmeg has a wonderful flavor but it is stronger.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter for baking, because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding. Every brand is different and it makes adjusting the recipe a challenge. I use butter for flavor, which is why I don’t use shortening in my oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.
- Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar is here for sweetness, but if you add too much in proportion to the butter and flour, the cookies will spread rather than stay tall and chewy.
- Light Brown Sugar: Using light brown sugar adds sweetness along with a little moisture. This will keep the cookies softer while offering a nice, rich molasses flavor.
- Whole Egg: The eggs are here to add fat, moisture and leavening. The fat from the yolk adds richness and helps keep the cookies chewy. Beating in the eggs just enough will add a little or a lot of leavening depending on the desired texture. Eggs also emulsify the batter and keep everything texturally perfect.
- Old Fashioned Oats: Whole rolled oats are a major dry ingredient in these cookies. They are gluten free and they act as a dry binder for all the wet ingredients. If you want a completely uniform batter, you can use quick oats instead.
- Raisins: Raisins add a little sweetness and a wonderful soft chewy texture to these cookies. Use any brand of raisins but be sure to check the ingredients for additional, unnecessary, added sugar.
- Old Fashioned: If you’re feeling extra old-fashioned, these old fashioned oatmeal raisin cookies were inspired by my Grandma’s recipe!
- Bite-sized: You can opt to make smaller (or maybe even ‘regular-sized’) cookies! Just portion and roll each ball of cookie dough smaller. They will taste just as delightful, as long as you remember to shorten your bake time.
- Chocolate chip oatmeal raisin cookies: This cookie dough, as written, is jam-packed with mix-ins already, so why not add some chocolate chips? You can safely add a ½ cup of chocolate chip to this recipe! Use any leftover chocolate chips in a batch of my thick chewy chocolate chip cookies.
- Rum raisin oatmeal cookies: In a small bowl place raisins and rum, a good ratio is 2 tablespoons of dark rum for every ½ cup of raisins; soak until the raisins are plump and the rum is almost completely absorbed. Just like in my Brown Butter Rum Raisin Banana Bread, you can speed up this process by placing the raisin and rum in a small saucepan over low heat. If you choose to use the heating method, add an extra tablespoon of rum. You don’t want to boil them and make sure they are cool before adding to the batter!
- Different dried fruit: If you want that trademark homemade oatmeal cookie, but raisins are not your thing, not to worry! You can substitute the raisins with a dried fruit of your choosing, like cranberries or chopped dried mango or apricot. Visit my tropical overnight oats recipe for some inspiration!
- Alternate spices: Though classic oatmeal-raisin cookies have cinnamon, you could replace it with your favorite secret ingredient such as pumpkin spice mix or apple pie spice mix. I won’t tell if you don’t!
- Soft healthy oatmeal raisin cookies: You could make a gluten-free dairy free iteration of these by ensuring that your oats are gluten free, using Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour instead of all-purpose, and substituting the butter for a vegetable shortening. This isn’t my area of specialty, so I haven’t tried it in my kitchen yet, but feel free to let me know in the comments what ends up delivering the best cookies!
How to Make the Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Use these instructions to make the very best oatmeal raisin cookies every time! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below!
Make the cookie dough:
Step 1: Temp the butter. This simply means taking your butter and either leaving it on the counter in advance or slightly warming it up. We want it to be slightly softened, and cold but still pliable.
Step 2: Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl; set aside.
Step 3: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter until light. Turn the mixer up and add the eggs one at a time. Turn the mixture down again to a low speed and add your flour mixture slowly.
Step 4: Once the flour mixture is completely incorporated, add the oats and raisins. Mix just to combine (we don’t want to over-mix the dough here!).
Portion, freeze, and bake:
Step 5: Scoop or spoon out large cookie dough portions, approximately the size of half a tennis ball (70g). Shape into spheres and then freeze. You can store them in a zip-top bag in the freezer for several months if desired.
I freeze mine directly on a baking sheet in a single layer. This is a trick that helps them freeze in under 30 minutes! If you do this, be sure to transfer to a new pan before baking in the oven.
Step 6: Preheat the oven to 325°F convection, if possible. If you do not have a convection setting on your oven, preheat to 350°F.
Step 7: Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake them from frozen in the preheated oven for 20-23 minutes, or until the outsides are golden brown and the centers no longer look raw.
You can also bake your dough from the refrigerator, but they will spread more and bake faster.
Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip
Be mindful when adding your dry ingredients. You don’t want to overwhelm the dough but you also don’t want to wait forever to add more. Add the next large spoonful of flour mixture just before the last one has fully incorporated. Over-mixing will develop you too much gluten, and your cookies will turn out tough.
Frequently Asked Questions
Rolled oats vs. quick oats make very different cookies, but either is entirely usable. Rolled oats will give more texture and ultimately make the cookies chewier than using the same amount of quick oats. Quick oats will incorporate more and almost disappear into the cookie dough.
Not only should you refrigerate this oatmeal cookie dough before baking, I actually recommend you freeze it! This will get you the thickest, chewiest cookie results. You can make this cookie dough and chill up to 3 days before baking, or freeze the raw cookie dough balls for up to three months.
I store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days. When they are stored in an airtight container, they will lose a bit of the crispness around the edges. You could leave a corner cracked but they will dry out faster. These cookies freeze well and they keep for several months!
The amount of butter in relation to the sugar and flour determines how much the cookies will spread. More butter will allow for more spreading but will result in thinner cookies. Baking the cookies from frozen also limits spreading. The cookies are most likely not spreading because there is too much flour. Be sure to weigh or properly measure your dry ingredients.
If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!
Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Temp the butter. This simply means taking your butter and either leaving it on the counter in advance or slightly warming it up. We want it to be slightly softened, and cold but still pliable.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter until light. Turn the mixer up and add the eggs one at a time. Turn the mixture down again to a low speed and add your flour mixture slowly.
- Once the flour mixture is completely incorporated, add the oats and raisins. Mix just to combine (we don’t want to over-mix the dough here!).
- Scoop or spoon out large cookie dough portions, approximately the size of half a tennis ball (70g). Shape into spheres and then freeze. You can store them in a zip-top bag in the freezer for several months if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F convection, if possible. If you do not have a convection setting on your oven, preheat to 350°F.
- Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake them from frozen in the preheated oven for 20-23 minutes, or until the outsides are golden brown and the centers no longer look raw.
Before You Go!
I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious, chef-developed cookie recipes!