BEST Oatmeal Cookies – Chewy and Soft

4.5 from 2 votes

I love Chewy Oatmeal Cookies!! I feel like oatmeal is the forgotten cookie, but they’re SO good. I always forget how much I love them until I make them again.

If you want to learn how to make the best oatmeal cookie recipe you’re in the right place. I’m going to teach you how to make them with four different variations AND I’m going to tell you how to make them for different diets, including gluten free or sugar free!

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stack of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies with bite missing

Oatmeal Cookies are the underdog of cookies, but don’t count them out! I think they’re actually my favorite cookie, I just forget until I make them and then I’m like, oh yeah, these are my favorite!

However, I do have some requirements for my oatmeal cookies. They must be:

  • Soft (no crunchy cookies allowed)
  • Chewy
  • Flavorful from the cinnamon, even if I make them plain

The perfect oatmeal cookie is a blank canvas, just like a chocolate chip cookie. It’s the perfect vehicle for adding your favorite mix-ins and flavors to.

Consider this post your ULTIMATE OATMEAL COOKIE GUIDE. I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to make the BEST cookie ever!

Let’s learn how to make the best oatmeal cookies from scratch!

overhead shot of oatmeal cookies

Ingredients in Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Like all cookies, oatmeal cookies have some basic ingredients. Let’s talk about the important ones individually:

Butter: use real butter, okay? I use unsalted butter in this recipe, and you need to start with it softened. Learn how to soften butter quickly here. Butter substitutes and low-fat butter won’t work in these cookies. The only exception to that rule is if you use Earth’s Balance Vegan Butter Sticks (those are a 1:1 sub for butter).

Brown Sugar: instead of mixing sugars in my cookies, these are a brown sugar oatmeal cookie. I love the flavor that brown sugar gives to recipes, plus it adds to the oatmeal flavor of the cookie and keeps them soft for days.

Flour: as written, the recipe uses all-purpose flour. See below for substitutions.

Quick Cooking Oats: I find that old fashioned oats are okay in these cookies but I prefer quick cooking oats because they make chewy oatmeal cookies without being too much.

You can make your own quick cooking oats from old fashioned oats by pulsing them a few times in a blender or food processor (don’t pulse too much or they’ll become oat flour).

stack of oatmeal cookies

Cookie dough is probably one of the easiest things you can make, but these tips will make it a little bit easier.

  • Be sure to cream your butter and sugar before adding any other ingredients.
  • Whisk together your dry ingredients before adding to the wet ingredients.
  • You can make these cookies with a hand or stand mixer.
  • Be sure to use baking soda in the cookies (not baking powder).
  • Don’t forget to chill the cookie dough. This ensures a puffy soft and chewy cookie!
How to make Oatmeal Cookies process photos

How To Make Oatmeal Cookies From Scratch

  • Step 1 – Cream – Cream the butter and sugars
  • Step 2 – Add Wet Ingredients – add the egg and vanilla and mix
  • Step 3 – Add Dry Ingredients – add the baking soda, cinnamon, salt then mix, then add the flour and oats
  • Step 4 – Bake – Bake the cookies at 350°F. You know they’re done because they are lightly golden around the edges and they’ve just lost their glossy sheen.

Mix In Options for Oatmeal Cookies

I’m showing you four different versions of cookies today, but the options for making different flavors is endless!

  • Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies are a huge hit. Simply adding chocolate chips to your batter make one of my favorite chocolate chip cookies!!
  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are a classic. I don’t like raisins, so these aren’t my first choice, but a lot of people love them!
  • M&M Oatmeal Cookies – I love adding M&Ms to cookies. I’ve done it to peanut butter, chocolate chip, and sugar cookies – any cookie can benefit from M&Ms!
oatmeal cookie with m&Ms in stack

Other options for add-ins (or try stuffing the cookies with candy):

  • Peanut Butter Cups
  • Oreo Cookies
  • Rolos
  • Nuts
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of the cinnamon
  • Anything you love!

FAQs About Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

What Makes A Cookie Chewy or Crunchy?

A variety of factors can make a cookie either chewy or crunchy. These are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside thanks to the the brown sugar and oats. To avoid crunchy cookies, make sure to use real butter and don’t over bake them.

What gives cookies chewy texture?

These cookies get their chewy texture from all the oats. Oats in cookies make them chewy by default!

Why are my oatmeal cookies hard?

They are probably over baked. The brown sugar and butter in these cookies keep them nice and soft. Be sure to take them out as soon as they lose their glossy sheen for the perfectly baked cookie.

Tips for Baking THE Best Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

I prefer baking cookies on silicone baking mats (Silpats) but you can also use parchment paper.

Make these cookies any size (photos shown are 2 tablespoon size) or shape: you can make them small bite sized using a 1 tablespoon scoop, or make them into a cookie cake or bar cookie.

How do you know when your cookies are done? They’ll be golden around the edges and have just lost that glossy sheen on top.

stack of oatmeal cookies

Dietary Substitutions

I have tested these oatmeal cookies with a few different ingredients in case you’re on a special diet or can’t find certain ingredients.

Make these cookies Gluten-Free by using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Flour (light blue bag). (Substitute it equally for the AP Flour.) Be sure that you use Quaker Gluten Free Oats too – regular oats are naturally gluten-free but sneaky bits of gluten can sneak into the batch, so Quaker has a completely GF line.

Make these with whole wheat flour by substituting ½ cup whole wheat flour with ½ cup all purpose flour. (Using all whole wheat flour requires other changes to the dough.)

You can substitute bread flour equally for the all purpose if you don’t have AP flour.

You can make these sugar free by using 1 ¼ cups of Swerve Brown Sugar. It’s the only completely 0 carb brown sugar on the market and really does taste good in recipes!!

Make them dairy-free by using Earths Balance Vegan Butter Sticks in place of butter (and omit any dairy add-ins, obviously).

stack of oatmeal cookies with hand picking up one

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BEST Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Oatmeal Cookies are one of the best cookies! These are soft and chewy cookies and this is the ultimate cookie recipe with choices for substitutions and baking sizes!
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 32 minutes
Yield 24 cookies
Serving Size 1 cookie


  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups mix-ins (see below) optional


  • Note: this dough needs to be chilled. Plan ahead!
  • In a medium bowl, whisk cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and flour. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can also use a large bowl and a hand mixer.) Cream until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla, beat until smooth.
  • Gradually mix in dry ingredients until smooth, being careful not to over mix. Add oats and mix, then stir in desired mix-ins.
  • Scoop 2 tablespoon sized balls of dough and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat and place the cookie dough balls 2” apart.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottom is slightly golden. Cool on cookie sheets for 10 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to 2 months.

Recipe Notes

Mix in options:

Use 1 ½ cups of M&Ms, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, raisins, or other candy.

Baking options:

  • 1 tablespoon cookies (8-10 minutes)
  • Two (9-inch) cookie cakes (18-25 minutes)
  • 9×13-inch pan (20-28 minutes)

Dietary Substitutions:

  • Substitute equal amount Earths Balance Vegan Butter Sticks for the butter called for.
  • Substitute equal amounts of bread flour or GF 1:1 AP flour
  • Substitute half whole wheat flour and use AP flour for the remaining amount
  • Substitute 1 ¼ cups Swerve Sweetener Brown Sugar for the brown sugar to make them sugar-free.
This recipe can be halved easily!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 256IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cookie, oatmeal
stack of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies with bite missing

Learn how to make the best Chewy Oatmeal Cookies in this comprehensive ULTIMATE OATMEAL COOKIE GUIDE!

Last Updated on March 9, 2021

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46 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. If you aren’t fond of raisins, I’d suggest sub’ing dried cranberries. Great flavor combo! Enjoy your blog and recipes. Good health wishes to you and your family.

  2. Can I use almond flour or oat flour?
    They look so yummy even better with raisins and chocolate chips.
    Take care

  3. Hi, just want to start by saying I really enjoy reading your articles and LOVE your recipes. I have always wanted to bake a COOKIE CAKE and was wondering if you had a recipe (step by step, lol) for a cookie cake, preferably chocolate chip 🙂 Along with it being decorated with frosting or whatever you like. Thank You!

    1. Christine, using the search function at the top of this page search: “cookie cake”. There are a few.

  4. Hi, just want to start by saying I really enjoy reading your articles and LOVE your recipes. I was wondering, I have always wanted to bake a COOKIE CAKE and was wondering if you had a recipe (step by step, lol) for a cookie cake, preferably chocolate chip 🙂 Along with it being decorated with frosting or whatever you like. Thank You!

  5. I do not like raisins in anything but tried craisins instead, in oatmeal cookies, these are wonderful. But then, I love craisins/hate raisins.

  6. These look heavenly! I am planning on making these for my little ones. I have a question about the brown sugar. Do you use light brown or dark brown? Would it make a difference?

    1. I usually use light, because I always have it on hand. If you have dark, it shouldn’t make too much of a difference!

  7. You’re too cute Dorothy! I totally agree with you on Requirements 1-3, but… I’m a huge raisin fan. So maybe I can eat all of yours and we’ll both be happy! 😉 But I’ll never say no to chocolate chips or M&Ms either. You know me and chocolate!

  8. mmmmm comfort cookies!!! Soft and chewy oatmeal cookies are the best-and now I’m thinking how yummy they’d be with pb m&m’s!

  9. Absolutely NO RAISINS IN SIGHT?! *rejoices* this is my idea of a perfect oatmeal cookie!