Learn how to make oatmeal cookies from scratch! These chewy oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies are easy to make, and you can use only chocolate chips, raisins or leave out both. It's my basic recipe for oatmeal cookies with soft centers, crispy edges, and a mind-boggling chewy texture. They are a family's favorite for a reason. Eat them either warm and fresh or prepare them in advance.
Before you make the best oatmeal cookies recipe, check out my ultimate guide on how to make cookies and learn about the most common mistakes, plus my favorite troubleshooting tips.
Which oatmeal is best for cookies?
The simple answer is old-fashioned oats. Old-fashioned oats are whole grains, steamed and then flattened. Quick oats are thinner than old-fashioned oats and have less texture. Instant oats are powdery and don't contribute any oatmeal texture to cookies. So, old-fashioned oats are the only oats that bring the desired chew texture to these oatmeal raisin cookies. Learn more about the different oatmeal types for baking.
Ingredients notes and substitutions
- Vegan oatmeal cookies - to make vegan oatmeal cookies use my vegan cookies recipe as a guide on how to substitute the butter and the egg in cookies. Swap the ingredients to your liking and follow the recipe as directed below.
- Gluten-free oatmeal cookies - substitute the all-purpose (plain) flour with Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour.
- Raisins and chocolate chips - I added half raisins and half chocolate chips to the dough but you can replace one for the other or leave out both to your liking. Also, other add-ins like walnuts, white chocolate chips, or cranberries can be used. Make sure that you don't add more than 1 cup of add-ins in total.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes.
Then, add the egg and vanilla and mix until creamy and well combined.
Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
Stir in the oats just until combined. Then add the chocolate chips and raisins and mix just until well distributed.
The dough will be slightly sticky (depending on the absorption rate of the flour). Cover and chill for 1 hour.
Scoop equal-sized balls of cookie dough,...
roll into balls,...
place on the prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly with your fingers. Then bake.
Why don't they spread?
Chewy oatmeal cookies made from chilled cookie dough usually don't spread much during baking because of the increased amount of liquid-absorbing ingredients used in these cookies. The flour and the oatmeal absorb the liquid; therefore, the cookies spread less than regular cookies made without oatmeal. My oatmeal cookies don't spread that much for that reason, either. That's why it's important to flatten them before baking.
However, if you want them to spread more and desire a flatter and thinner cookie, simply skip the chilling process. In this case, the flour and oatmeal don't have time to absorb the liquid that much. Unchilled oatmeal cookie dough is sticky and spreads more during baking. After making the dough, scoop balls of dough on a baking sheet without flattening and bake.
But be aware that not only the texture changes but also the taste if you skip chilling. In my how to make cookies guide, you can read more about the chilling process and how it affects your cookies. You find there also other useful tips and tricks to get perfect cookies every time.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the baking results of chilled and unchilled cookie dough:
Good to know
- Unchilled dough leads to thinner cookies with browner and crispier edges, and the taste is sweeter. I recommend increasing salt to ½ tsp in this case.
- Chilled dough leads to thicker cookies with well-balanced flavors. The more you flatten them, the thinner they turn out, though.
- Both are soft and chewy.
Make ahead and freezing instructions
- Prepare the dough up to 2 days in advance and chill it covered in the fridge. Let it stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes until it's a smooth and spoonable dough.
- Make the dough as described and chill for 1 hour. Then scoop balls of cookie dough, roll, and flatten them, and transfer to freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw them at room temperature for 1-2 hours before baking, or thaw in the fridge overnight and then let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
- Wrap baked and chilled cookies in plastic wrap, place in freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
More cookie recipes
Find here some of my favorite recipes which are loved by family, friends, readers around the world:
- Brown Butter Cookies
- Pistachio Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies with Oatmeal
- White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
- Chocolate Cookies
Recipe and Video
Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup raisins
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes. Then, add the egg and vanilla and mix for about 1 minute, until creamy and well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until incorporated, about 30-60 seconds. Stir in the oats just until combined. Then add the chocolate chips and raisins and mix just until well distributed. The dough will be slightly sticky (depending on the absorption rate of the flour). Cover and chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Scoop 16 equal-sized balls (about 2 tablespoons [45g]) of cookie dough, roll into even balls, and place 6-8 cookies, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) apart, on each prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly with your fingers. Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are set and lightly browned and the centers look underbaked, pale, puffy, and dry.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, or until firm enough to move. Then, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. The cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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