Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

These soft & chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are just like how grandma used to make them. Nothing fancy or complicated, just pure homemade goodness.

Soft-Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Nothing fancy or complicated, just pure homemade goodness!

There are two types of people in this world. Raisin haters and raisin likers. I don’t know if anyone actually *loves* raisins except for me? I’m 80 years old.

I’m going to be real honest here. Besides apple pie, oatmeal raisin cookies may just be my favorite dessert. Their chewy texture, plump raisins, soft centers, buttery and cinnamon flavors all make my heart sing. They’re my ultimate weakness any day of the year. Sorry, raisin haters. I’m not hiding my love anymore!!

I have oodles of oatmeal cookie recipes on my website. Have you tried these loaded oatmeal cookies yet? Or my oatmeal creme pies? Or these lip-smackin’ milky way beauties? Chances are you have and you love all three. I combined the recipes to make the best version of an old-fashioned favorite.

Seriously the BEST Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. A family favorite!

Moist and tender centers, slight crisp on the edges, sweetened with brown sugar (of course), studded with raisins for sweetness, and spiced with cinnamon for depth of flavor. Today’s oatmeal raisin cookies undoubtedly the best I’ve ever had.

And yes, I absolutely overindulged in them this week. And then had boring salad for dinner. It all balances out, I swear.

Soft-Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Nothing fancy or complicated, just pure homemade goodness!

Let’s chat about the cookie dough real quick.

Which is all sorts of ridiculously good, by the way. The dough starts with creamed butter, brown sugar, and granulated (white) sugar. A good thing to note is that the sugar we use here is not only for sweetening the oatmeal raisin cookies. Rather, it provides structure and tenderness. I like to use more brown sugar than white sugar because (1) I love brown sugar’s taste and (2) brown sugar contains more moisture than white – and thus produces a moister cookie.

Don’t leave out my little addition of molasses. The 1 scant Tablespoon enhances all the wonderful flavors of these buttery, cinnamon-sweet oatmeal raisin cookies.

There are a ton of oats in this recipe. 3 whole cups. I prefer oatmeal cookies to taste very oat-y. (Technical terms here.) Oats provide that fabulously chewy texture you know and love. And they hold onto so much moisture as the cookies bake. One of the most confusing ingredients in the world are oats. There is always the question of which type of oats to use in recipes. Quick? Instant? Whole? For these oatmeal raisin cookies, I use old-fashioned whole oats in this recipe. They give more texture: hearty, chewy, thick, goooood.

Soft-Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Nothing fancy or complicated, just pure homemade goodness!

This oatmeal raisin cookie dough is sticky. Don’t be alarmed! It’s supposed to be that way. The dough will need to chill for about 30 minutes before you roll and bake. Not much longer or else your cookies won’t spread. The cookies will be incredibly soft when you take them out of the oven – perhaps even look underbaked. That’s what you want.

I like chopped nuts in my oatmeal raisin cookies. 10 year old Sally would hate this cookie recipe. But I’ve warmed up to these little chunks in my baked cookies. They give so much toasty flavor and enhance the texture. I even (gasp!) like walnuts in my brownies.

Don’t worry, the nuts are totally optional.

Soft-Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Nothing fancy or complicated, just pure homemade goodness!

By the way, the verdict from my friends? “Your best cookies yet.” That says a lot about an innocent little oatmeal raisin cookie. Watch how they’re made!

Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs1
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (yes, Tablespoon!)
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (240g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 cup (140g) raisins2
  • optional: 1/2 cup (64g) chopped toasted walnuts

Directions:

  1. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and molasses and mix on high until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Beat in the oats, raisins, and walnuts (if using) on low speed. Dough will be thick, yet very sticky. Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator (do the full hour if you're afraid of the cookies spreading too much). If chilling for longer (up to 2 days), allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  4. Roll balls of dough (about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 11-13 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft and undone. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will continue to "set" on the baking sheet during this time.
  5. Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Baked cookies freeze well - up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well - up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Room temperature eggs preferred. Good rule of thumb: always use room temperature eggs when using room temperature butter.
  2. Soak your raisins in warm water for 10 minutes before using (blot very well to dry them) - this makes them nice and plump for your cookies. OR even try them with Raisinets!

Adapted from loaded oatmeal cookies,  oatmeal creme pies, and brown butter milky way cookies.

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More oatmeal cookies:

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Soft & chewy Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. Sweetened with brown sugar and loaded with butterscotch, M&Ms, and chocolate chunks!

Homemade Oatmeal Creme Pies

Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Thick Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies (yep, raisinets!)

Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Magic 5 Cookies (butterscotch and coconut!)

Magic 5 Cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Soft and Chewy Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Surprise Monster Cookies

Peanut butter cup monster cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Soft-Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Nothing fancy or complicated, just pure homemade goodness!

498 comments

  1. Made these yesterday and they were so yummy!

  2. I just finished baking these cookies and they are delicious! I cut the recipe in half and added more cinnamon. I love that it’s not to sweet and I used pecans because that is what I had available. I think the molasses have it a special touch. They are soft and moist very yummy! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Trying to master this whole cookie thing. However, I keep making batches that come out flat as panckages, and not these thicker, chewy cookies These now added to my cookie pancake list. I’ve tried reading your tips in Baking Basics, but I thought I’d come right to the source. 

    Could it be my butter is too much at room temperature? Not chilling enough (I chilled this dough for 60 min)? 

    Gotta get this down by the time your cookie cookbook comes in September.

    • Your butter could be too soft. You want it still quite solid, but no longer cold to touch. Chilling is imperative and you can try chilling for longer.

  4. Sally I love all your recipes but I want to use this recipe for Nutella stuffed oatmeal cookies (which I’ve had at Starbucks and trying to replicate) can i use this recipe and add Nutella or another of yours? There are so many to choose from it’s overwhelming lol xx

  5. Also Odille, your cookies could be flat because of how you measure your flour. You DO NOT spoon the flour into a measuring cup like you would for cakes to get a lighter crumb. You should try DIPPING or SCOOPING the measuring cup into the flour and then level it off. So the flour is a tad bit more compact. It’s all about technique darling. I hope this helps your pancake cookie list. 🙂 ~Professional baker for 39 years~

  6. Hi Sally. I really want to make these delicious looking cookies, but I only have backstrap molasses. Do you think that would work, maybe in a smaller amount? Or do you think it might overpower the cookie? I do have dark karo syrup also as a possibility. I may just have to wait till I can get to the store and get plain molasses. I just didn’t want to wait haha. I love all your recipes.

  7. Sally, what about the flour technique that Tracy suggested above (May 4) — I thought your suggestion was to spoon in a cup and level off?? You didn’t comment on it so I’m confused!!

  8. I had two potlucks coming up so I doubled the recipe. I replace 1/2 the butter with equal amount of applesauce and replaced the white sugar straight across with honey. I also used only 1/2 the raisins called for and added an equal amount of dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, chopped almonds, and chocolate chips (actually about 3/4 of the chocolate chips!).

    I call ’em cowboy cookies. People who like sweet avoided them. People who’re health conscious love ’em.

  9. Tried this to compare with my traditional recipe I’ve been using for years. In place of molasses I used golden syrup, and tried chilling half the dough to observe any difference. Both batches were well received! Thanks for sharing Sally.

    • You are welcome! Glad golden syrup is a bit more mild and sweeter in flavor than molasses. So just a slightly different flavor but still delicious!

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