Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies


Here's a classic, chewy Oatmeal Cookie! This was Grandma's favorite oatmeal cookie recipe, made with oats, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, and shortening. Walnuts and raisins are optional.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

I’ve been going through our family’s stash of recipes and came across my grandmother’s oatmeal cookie recipe. She passed away several years ago at age 97 (she was born in 1899).

It’s funny how just seeing my grandma’s handwriting conjures up old memories of being a little girl and making these delicious old fashioned oatmeal cookies with her.

handwritten recipe card for oatmeal cookies

She had a real sweet tooth and we are still amazed she lived so long given her penchant for cookies, lemon meringue pie, and jelly-filled donuts.

My grandmother taught me how to measure, how to mix, and taught me a love of cooking, all through these homemade oatmeal cookies.

Homemade oatmeal cookies in basket

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How Grandma Made Her Cookies

She used shortening (Crisco), not butter, which makes a more tender, chewier cookie in my opinion, though I tend to bake more often with butter than shortening.

Her oatmeal cookies usually included walnuts and raisins, though you can skip either if you want.

Storing and Freezing Oatmeal Cookies

The cookies will keep for several days in an airtight container on the counter. They also freeze well.

  • To freeze unbaked dough: Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Scoop out the raw cookie dough, just as if you were going to bake the cookies now, and arrange the scoops close together on the cookie sheet. Freeze until the dough balls are solid, then transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to a month. Bake as directed from frozen, adding an extra minute or two to the cooking time.
  • To freeze baked cookies: Stack a few cookies on top of each other and then wrap tightly in foil. Repeat until all the cookies are wrapped, then transfer to a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to a month. Thaw on the counter before eating.

Love cookies? Try these

Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (we use Quaker Quick or Old Fashioned. Do NOT use instant.)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (use 1/2 cup if using raisins)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)


1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2 Make the cookie dough: Beat together the shortening and sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat well.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to sugar and egg mixture and mix well. Add a tablespoon of water. Add raisins (if using) and nuts. Add oats last.

3 Bake: Spoon out by heaping tablespoonfuls on to greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack.

4 Cool completely. Cookies will keep for several days in an airtight container on the counter.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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167 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Dena

    One of the best cookies I’ve had. I add about 1/3 cup of coconut for variety. This recipe is definitely a keeper.


  2. Maruka

    Good cookie best in my humble opinion with quick oats . Keep in a jar after throughly cooled to keep them pulling moisture from the air and making them too soft.
    All in all a very good taste.
    Thank you for sharing.


    Show Replies (1)
  3. Cindy

    I followed the recipe exactly and they came out dry and taste like raw oats. Too many oats and not enough dough. To me, it’s like eating dry, raw oats. I even varied the cook time on the last batch to bake longer to see if that helped and it didn’t. Sorry, not a fav.

  4. Janine

    Excellent cookie. My tips–use parchment paper, chill the dough for 30 minutes, and use a cookie scoop. I used quick oats and had no issues.


  5. GAIL

    This is an awesome recipe! The cookies came out crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy inside. I also used butter-flavored Crisco and added raisins. Instead of greasing the cookie sheet, I used parchment paper. This will be my go-to recipe going forward.


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