Oatmeal Lace Cookies

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Crispy, lacy oatmeal cookies. So impressive on a cookie tray.

Photography Credit: Irvin Lin

Thin and crispy oatmeal lace cookies can seem magical if you have never made them before, but they are actually very simple.

Just melt sugar and butter, and then add the oats and flour to make a thin batter. Don’t be scared of how thin it seems!

The cookies spread and caramelize in the oven, creating a thin and crispy network of sugar that’s just substantial enough to hold the oats together.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

I use thick-cut rolled oats because I think they give more “bite” and substance to the cookies. Look for thick-cut oats in both the cereal section and the baking section – I like Bob’s Red Mill oats, personally. It’s fine to substitute regular rolled oats if you have trouble finding the thick-cut, though instant or quick-cooking oats might make the cookies too fragile. (But let me know if you try them and what you think!)

When you’re melting the butter and sugar together, you don’t need to worry about cooking it, checking the sugar temperature, or anything so fussy. You only need to heat them long enough to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar.

Stir a few times as this is happening to make sure the butter and sugar are melting evenly. It’s ready when you have a thick brown paste. Also, it’s fine if you see some streaks or puddles of separated butter; the butter and sugar don’t need to fully combine for this recipe to work.

The other secret to making this cookies is to spread the batter into a thin layer on the baking sheet so the cookies bake evenly.

If you just pile the cookie batter in heaping spoonfuls, the center of the cookie will be thicker than the edges and the cookies won’t become fully crispy. You want an even distribution of oats and a thin layer of batter to create the crispy, lacy magic.


Oatmeal Lace Cookies Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies

I like thick-cut oats in this recipe since they make a more substantial cookie, but it's fine to substitute regular rolled oats if you have trouble finding thick-cut.

Make sure to spread the batter into a thin layer on the cookie sheet so the oats are in a single flat layer before you bake them.

The cookies will continue to spread during baking, so make sure to place the cookie batter at least two inches apart.


  • 1/2 cup (115 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (220 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups (170 g) thick-cut rolled oats (or substitute regular rolled oats)


1 Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2 Melt the butter and sugar: Place the butter and brown sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat. Warm, stirring frequently, until the butter and brown sugar melt into a thick brown paste. It's fine if you see some streaks or puddles of separated butter; the butter and sugar don't need to fully combine.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies Oatmeal Lace Cookies

3 Mix in the flour: Remove the pan from heat and stir in the flour, vanilla, and salt. The batter will be very thin. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

4 Mix in the egg and oats: Once the liquid has cooled (it’s OK if it is still warm, just not piping hot), add the egg and mix with a fork until incorporated. Add the oats and stir until well distributed.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

5 Divide and shape the cookies: Spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter onto the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches or more of space between each one. Use the back of a spoon to spread each cookie into a very thin circle, so the oats are in a single layer. If you don't have enough room on one baking sheet, bake the cookies in batches.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies Oatmeal Lace Cookies

6 Bake the cookies: Bake in the oven for 8 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to turn dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the parchment paper. The cookies should peel easily from the parchment, but use an offset spatula if any are sticking.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days between sheets of parchment paper.

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Irvin Lin

Irvin Lin is an IACP award-winning photographer, food writer and recipe developer, blue-ribbon baker, public speaker and occasional social media consultant. His blog is Eat the Loveand his first cookbook is Marbled, Swirled and Layered.

More from Irvin

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Showing 4 of 45 Comments

  • Don MacLeod

    I used nearly a cup of slivered almonds In Addition to the recipe as given. The cookies stay intact, the oat+almond flavor is great, and the slivered almonds have nice texture.

  • Clarice G Plotena

    Hi, i just made these cookies now. They seem to get stuck on the parchment paper. What do you think am i doing wrong?

  • Pen

    Hi! How many mins does it take to melt the butter and sugar? Also, is it ok to use regular brown sugar and not the dark one? I tried it twice w/the regular 1, 1st I made sure the sugar is melted but it turned as hard as a candy. So the 2nd time even the sugar still had crystals, I removed it from the heat and the same outcome, candylike :)

  • kelly

    Would earth balance (margarine) work instead of butter? I’d love to make these without dairy! Thanks. :)

  • Sandy

    I made these and they turned out great. Can I freeze them?

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