Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

These oatmeal raisin cookies are just like Grandma's, except with butter instead of shortening! They're made with old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, and plenty of raisins.

Overhead view of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies cooling on a rack.
Ciara Kehoe

My favorite cookies in the whole wide world are these oatmeal raisin cookies. They're a little chewy in the center and a little crispy at the edges. Each bite is loaded with oats and sweet bursts of raisins.

My grandmother used to bake oatmeal raisin cookies with me from the time I was old enough to stand on a chair and hold a spoon. Making these cookies taught me how to measure, how scrape down the sides of a mixing bowl, and the purest pleasure of all—licking the bowl.

Whoever helped with the cooking got first dibs on the bowl, so guess who was the first to volunteer to help?

Overhead view of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies cooling on a rack.
Ciara Kehoe

What Are the Best Oats for Oatmeal Cookies ?

Old-fashioned rolled oats or quick rolled oats are the best to use for oatmeal cookies. We've always used Quaker brand.

Do not use steel-cut oats (they'll be too hard) or instant oats (they'll cook up too mushy).

Butter vs. Shortening?

My grandmother used shortening, not butter, when making her cookies (see her original oatmeal cookie recipe). These days I almost always use butter. Either will do; the shortening cookies I think tend to be a bit chewier.

Overhead view of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
Ciara Kehoe

Storing or Freezing These Cookies

Once cooked, keep the cookies stored in a covered container on the counter. They'll stay fresh for several days.

You can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 2 days (cover tightly with plastic wrap), before scooping and baking. Or, you can scoop out individual cookies onto a baking sheet, freeze them until firm, then transfer them to a storage container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Frozen balls of cookie dough can be baked from frozen (no need to thaw), but might need a few extra minutes of baking time.

Overhead view of a plate of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
Ciara Kehoe

More Oatmeal Cookies to Love

Crispy or Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: You Pick!

Butter will make these cookies crispier. Shortening will make them chewier. Use these other tips to get the texture you like best.

For chewier oatmeal raisin cookies:

  • Chill the dough for an hour.
  • Don't overbake the cookies. Remove from the oven when the edges are just brown and the center is barely set.
  • Replace the baking soda with an equal amount of baking powder.
  • Make extra large cookies and cook them for about 20 minutes.

For crispier oatmeal raisin cookies:

  • Don't chill the dough.
  • Fully bake the cookies till the centers are cooked, but be mindful not to let the bottoms burn.
  • Lower the temperature of the oven to 325°F. The lower temperature will allow the dough to thin out and the thinner cookies will be crispier. You may need t bake them a little longer than directed.

A Few More Tricks for the Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • Chill the dough for at least an hour for if you want chewier cookies.
  • Use consistent size scoops so the cookies are uniform in size and consistent in texture. This recipe calls for large tablespoon-size scoops.
  • Use the middle rack of the oven, and only bake one sheet of cookies at a time for even airflow.
  • Always allow the baking sheet to cool before adding the next round of cookie dough on it.
  • This dough freezes well. Scoop the dough out as if you were going to make the cookies and place on a baking sheet. Put in freezer until just frozen through. Remove the frozen scoops from the baking sheet and pop them into a zip top bag. You can then cook just a cookie or two at a time straight from the freezer - just add a few more minutes to the baking time.
From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Servings 24 servings

My grandmother used shortening, not butter, when making these cookies. These days I almost always use butter. Either will do; the shortening cookies I think tend to be a bit chewier.

By the way, if you make the cookies extra large, they will be chewier, just cook them longer (20 minutes instead of 10).

Do not overbake these cookies! The edges should be brown, but the rest of the cookie should be very light in color.

If you use salted butter, omit the salt called for in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, OR 1 cup shortening

  • 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark), packed

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

  • 3 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or quick; do NOT use instant)

Method

  1. Preheat and prep:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two large cookie sheets or line with Silpat or parchment paper.

  2. Combine the butter, sugar, and eggs:

    In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar and white sugar, beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract.

    Hand mixer making the dough for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
    Ciara Kehoe
  3. Add the dry ingredients:

    Mix flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in medium bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture. Stir in the raisins and nuts. Stir in the oats.

    A metal bowl with the dough for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies inside.
    Ciara Kehoe
  4. Scoop out the dough:

    Spoon out the dough by large tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie.

    Oatmeal Raisin Cookies scooped on a parchment lined baking sheet.
    Ciara Kehoe
  5. Bake the cookies:

    Bake until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Note that the cookies will seem underdone and lightly colored everywhere but the edges. That's okay, they will firm up as they cool.

    Side view of baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
    Ciara Kehoe
  6. Cool, transfer, and store:

    Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Then carefully remove them, using a metal spatula, to a wire rack. Cool completely. They will be quite soft until completely cooled. Store tightly covered.

    Scooping Oatmeal Raisin Cookies off a baking sheet.
    Ciara Kehoe
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
193 Calories
9g Fat
26g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 193
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 101mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 127mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.