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These Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies are a timeless and easy crowd-pleaser! The dough doesn’t require chilling so you can bake a batch in 30 minutes! Cinnamon, a touch of clove, juicy raisins, and hearty oats combine to offer the most irresistible and slightly cakey cookie.
Bake up Grandma’s Old Fashioned oatmeal cookies and bake up a batch of nostalgia. These perfectly spiced cookies have the absolute best texture, complete with crispy outer edges and a soft chewy center. A wholesome afternoon snack, cozy birthday present, or back-to-school lunch box treat. Grandma really does know best!
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies join many other recipe gems on the blog that have their origins in the pages of old cookbooks, like these chocolate halfway bars and (my favorite) old fashioned butterscotch brownies.
Table of Contents
Why you will love old-fashioned oatmeal cookies:
- Easy homemade treat. These cookies are easy to make with pastry staples! I take you through the simple steps from oats to crowd-pleasing cookies in no time.
- Comes together quickly. The cookie dough doesn’t need to be chilled prior to baking , which means you can have fresh cookies in under 30 minutes!
- Soft, tender & slightly cakey texture.. These cookies have a slightly cakey texture unlike my chewy oatmeal raisin cookies, because there is half as much sugar.
Professional Tips for easy oatmeal cookies from scratch:
- Sugar ratio is essential. The cookies will not be as thick and will spread more if you increase the ratio of sugar to flour and butter. This recipe has the exact measurements for a cakier cookie, so be sure to properly measure your ingredients, or try my chewy oatmeal raisin cookies for a thick, chewy oatmeal cookie!
- Don’t overmix your dough. Incorporate your dry ingredients slowly, so you can mix just to combine. Over-mixing cookie dough leads to tough cookies, and we want to keep them chewy.
- Use quick oats for softer cookies. I used quick oats (rather than old fashioned) for these cookies to keep them soft and tender. You can use old fashioned oats for more texture and a chewier cookie.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter for baking, because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding. Can you use salted butter? Yes, but if doing so, omit the added salt entirely.
- Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar is obviously 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
- 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. Eggs also emulsify the batter and keep everything texturally perfect.
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour has just the right amount of gluten to make a soft chewy cookie.
- 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. Though the results will be slightly different, yes you can make oatmeal cookies with instant oatmeal or quick oats instead.
- Whole Milk: There is just the right amount of milk to pull the dough together but not so much to make them tough. The addition of a liquid means we have to be extra careful not to overmix the dough and activate the gluten in the flour.
- Baking Powder: Double acting baking powder will react instantly when it is mixed with an acid and then again when it is heated.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda reacts more powerfully than baking powder and will create a more dramatic rise, but 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 use whichever cinnamon you like best. Cinnamon is also the star ingredient of our most popular old-fashioned recipe, the cinnamon flop!
- Cloves: I generally buy pre-ground cloves but the flavor is even more sensational when you grind them fresh. Use a spice grinder and then sift to remove any larger pieces. Cloves are intense and no one will enjoy the crunch of a whole clove.
- Raisins: Raisins add a little sweetness and a wonderful chewy texture to these cookies. Use any brand of raisins but be sure to check the ingredients for unnecessary added sugar.
- Walnuts: You can finely chop walnuts with a knife or pulse in a food processor until the desired size. Sometimes, I like to toast them for this recipe.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Spice varieties: Play with spice variations! These would also be delicious with my homemade apple pie spice mix or ground ginger! Visit my gingerbread oatmeal recipe and American gingerbread cake for added inspiration!
- Mix-ins: Can I add chocolate chips? Bring it on! You can safely add a ½ cup of chocolate chip to this recipe! Looking for a delicious peanut butter oatmeal cookie? My monster skillet cookie has you covered! Swap out the walnuts for some chopped pecans or almonds for extra flavor, or even substitute in some dried cranberries.
- Iced oatmeal cookies: While you’re waiting for your cookies to cool completely, whip up a batch of my favorite cream cheese frosting for cookies, or use a simple icing made with powdered sugar, vanilla extract and just enough milk to make it run smoothly off a whisk.
- Even chewier: While not in the old fashioned recipes, chilling the dough before baking really helps maintain a soft and chewy cookie. If you chill them in one layer on the baking sheet, they’ll chill even faster!
- Gluten Free: To make this old fashioned oatmeal cookie recipe gluten free, make sure your oats are gluten free and gluten free all-purpose flour. I always use Cup 4 Cup because it has the best texture.
- Oats: Use any type of oat that you want. Sometimes I use quick cooking oats for a smooth batter, but rolled oats will give a nice texture to the final cookie.
- Alternative milks: Though I prefer to use whole milk, in a pinch, I will use low fat milk or unsweetened almond milk in this recipe. Any alternative milk will do. Just make sure you like the flavor!
How to Make Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Use these instructions to make original old fashioned oatmeal cookies perfectly every time! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below!
Make your cookie dough:
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. While you’re at it, take your butter out of the fridge and put it on the counter, you’ll thank me later.
It’s always helpful to temp your 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: Combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and oats in a bowl. Add raisins and walnuts. Mix to coat and distribute evenly; set aside.
Step 3: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, with an electric mixer, or by hand, cream the granulated sugar and butter until light. Turn the mixer up and add the eggs one at a time.
Step 4: Lower the speed of your mixer and alternate adding the dry mixture and the milk and mix to just combine.
The original recipe said to add the milk ‘to make a stiff dough’. No one knows what that means. It’s ok to just add the milk and then stir, it’s not that serious!
Portion and bake:
Step 5: Drop tablespoons of dough on a baking sheet 1- inch apart.
While chilling the dough is optional, I do recommend it for thicker, chewier cookies.
Step 6: Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on your desired “doneness” and how chilled your dough is. You ideally want the outsides to be golden brown and the centers to no longer look raw.
These cookies really don’t spread, and so it helps them cook evenly if you tap the top down a little when they come out of the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
I store them in an airtight container at room temperature or frozen. 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 oatmeal raisin cookies will keep up to 10 days at room temperature or several months frozen.
To make a smaller batch, divide the recipe by the amount you’d like to make or just make larger cookies. For larger batches, you can toggle the recipe card to multiply for you. You are only limited by the size of your stand mixer.
Oatmeal cookies are still a dessert, but oats themselves are packed with fiber and nutrients! By using quality ingredients you can bypass unnecessary sugars and chemicals. There are less than 140 calories in an oatmeal raisin cookie.
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!
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies
Make your cookie dough:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. While you're at it, take your butter out of the fridge and put it on the counter, you’ll thank me later.
- Combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and oats in a bowl. Add raisins and walnuts. Mix to coat and distribute evenly; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, with an electric mixer, or by hand, cream the granulated sugar and butter until light. Turn the mixer up and add the eggs one at a time.
- Lower the speed of your mixer and alternate adding the dry mixture and the milk and mix to just combine.
Portion and bake:
- Drop tablespoons of dough on a baking sheet 1- inch apart.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on your desired “doneness” and how chilled your dough is. You ideally want the outsides to be golden brown and the centers to 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!