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.

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

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

These baked oatmeal 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 freezer 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!

Updated July 1, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle. No changes to the original recipe.

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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handwritten recipe card


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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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138 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Jarrett

    Is cinnamon a common ingredient in oatmeal cookies?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. jylo152000

    Thank you for this Recipe Elise, I am a retired firefighter and have done quite a bit of baking and the Oatmeal cookie recipe is very good. I like to add Dark chocolate chips to give it even more flavor.


    Show Replies (1)
  3. L Paine

    omg…so I’m finished making a double batch and realized I FORGOT the oatmeal. Happy to say the cookies are still incredible…I can imagine how the cookies would be even more incredible had I remembered the oatmeal. I was wondering why I finished so quickly, dah. Thank you, still, for this recipe that will be made every year…

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Lisa

    OMG, what a wonderful and perfect recipe! This one is a keeper for us. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Your grandma must have been some baker! The texture is perfect, the flavor is spot on.


  5. Liz Hall

    Great recipe made these and mixed in red hot candies. Have to be careful when eating the red hots don’t always melt completely and can be hard so chew lightly gives more cinnamon flavor.

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Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies in BasketGrandma’s Oatmeal Cookies