These classic oatmeal raisin cookies are made with brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and lots of oats. They’re soft and chewy, never dry, and definitely win in the flavor and texture categories. It’s the the perfect recipe if you’re looking for cookies that are full of flavor and never boring.
**This post was updated May 18, 2023 with new photos and baking tips**
The Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
The perfect oatmeal raisin cookies are extra soft with a deliciously chewy texture. They need a hint of cinnamon and lots of flavor to complement the raisins. They should taste comforting, homey, and just like grandma made. And that’s exactly what these oatmeal raisin cookies are. It’s an easy recipe that turns out way better than anything store-bought, and tastes delicious with a cold glass of milk.
To be totally honest, as a child I was not a fan of oatmeal raisin cookies. I firmly believed that 1) raisins did not belong in cookies, and 2) adding oatmeal was my parents’ way of secretly making cookies healthy. I was not OK with either. But even if you don’t like raisins in cookies – I urge you to try these. There’s so much flavor and chewy texture that you just might be changing your mind.
Now – if you’re wondering why I don’t just take my oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe and swap the chocolate chips for raisins – here’s why. With oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I like them extra thick so that they can hold a ton of chocolate chips. Whereas, for oatmeal raisin cookies I prefer them a little softer and with more spices to complement the raisins.
Often when I hear people say that they don’t like oatmeal raisin cookies it’s usually that they find them too bland or dry and crumbly. So for this recipe, there’s a few tricks and secret ingredients to ensure they’re flavorful, soft, and chewy. You’ll need:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (AKA plain flour in Australia)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Key for the perfect flavor – I typically use 1 teaspoon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg. If you’re really in a pinch, you could leave this out. But I recommend adding nutmeg for the perfect combo of spices.
- ½ teaspoon baking soda to help the cookies rise.
- ¼ teaspoon salt to balance out the sweetness.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature.
- ½ cup brown sugar – you can use light or dark.
- ¼ cup granulated sugar.
- 1 large egg – the egg should be at room temperature to avoid the batter curdling.
- 1 tablespoon honey or molasses. The honey not only adds flavor – but it also key for creating cookies with the perfect chewy texture.
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract – again for more flavor.
- 1 ½ cup old-fashioned oats. You want to ensure that you’re using rolled oats (as opposed to steel-cut oats). I prefer old-fashioned over quick oats for this recipe because they give more texture. If you’re in a pinch – quick oats will work.
- ⅔ cup raisins. You want to make sure that the raisins aren’t all stuck together in 1 lump.
Making the Cookies
I’ve included step-by-step photos below so you can see exactly what to do in each step of the process.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. This step ensures that the spices and baking soda are evenly distributed within the flour for easier mixing later.
- In a separate large bowl, beat together the softened butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat together until creamed – meaning you shouldn’t see lumps of sugar or butter and the mixture should look almost fluffy.
- Then mix in the honey, vanilla and egg until smooth.
- Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and slowly mix together. I typically do a few stirs by hand first so that the flour doesn’t blow everywhere when you turn on the mixer. You’ll notice that the batter is sticky at this point – that’s OK and expected.
- Then stir in the oats and the raisins. I always do this by hand because the batter is thick.
- Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 48 hours. The dough needs to chill for at least 30 minutes to avoid the cookies spreading too thin. If want extra thick cookies, then I recommend chilling for at least 2 hours.
- Take the dough out of the fridge, preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Form the dough into balls with about 1.5 tablespoons of dough each and place 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time for about 11-3 minutes, or until the tops look just set. It’s important to only bake 1 cookie sheet at a time in the middle of the oven. If you bake 2 trays at a time, the top tray tends to end up with cookies where the tops are overbaked, whereas the bottom tray has cookie bottoms that are too brown.
Baking Tips & Tricks
- Make sure your butter is softened to room temperature, but not melted. I typically take my butter out of the fridge 30-60 minutes before making the cookie dough.
- Use a cookie scoop for more uniform shaped cookies.
- If you feel that your cookie dough balls aren’t flattening down enough as they bake, you can press them down slightly before baking.
- Oatmeal raisin cookie dough is sticky. This is normal. Using the cookie scoop also makes it easier to work with the sticky dough, as well as chilling the dough.
- Slightly underbake the cookies. The tops should look just set when you take them out of the oven. Then let the cookies cool completely on the baking tray. This makes the cookies extra soft.ake
So, if you love oatmeal raisin cookies – high five, you’re going to love these. If you don’t – I dare you to try them. Soft and chewy with a delicious brown sugar and cinnamon flavor – you just might cross over to the oatmeal raisin loving dark side.
Or for more oatmeal cookie recipes, be sure to try:
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Cookie Sheets
- 1 cups all-purpose flour (125 grams)
- ½ - 1 teaspoon cinnamon to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (112 grams) softened to room temperature
- ½ cup packed brown sugar (105 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon honey (15 ml) or molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 and ½ cups oats old fashioned or large flake
- ⅔ cup raisins
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Beat the honey, vanilla extract and egg into the butter mixture.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
- Stir in the oats and raisins. The batter will be sticky.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, form the dough into balls of about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons and place 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake 1 tray at a time, on the middle rack of the oven for 9-11 minutes or until the tops look just set.
- Remove from the oven and cool fully on the cookie tray.
- Oats: This recipe is developed using large rolled oats (sometimes called old-fashioned oats). Quick oats will work, but I personally prefer the texture with large rolled oats. Do not use instant oats or steel-cut oats (AKA Irish oats).
- Freezing Cookie Dough: Cookie dough balls can be placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 2 months. Bake form frozen, as directed in the recipe. They will need 1-2 minutes longer baking.
- Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Baked and cooled cookies can be frozen in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 cookie, assuming the recipe yields 24 uniform cookies.