Chewy Oatmeal M&M Cookies

I call these oatmeal M&M cookies my “slow bend cookies.” The centers are so buttery and chewy that they don’t crunch and break when you start to bend them. With hearty oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, a touch of molasses, and extra chocolate candies, there’s something for every cookie lover. Chilling the cookie dough for 30 minutes is an imperative step, so make sure you set aside enough time.

oatmeal M&M cookies

If you could only have one cookie for the rest of your life, which kind would it be?

Though the competition is pretty fierce, oatmeal cookies will always be my favorite. Oatmeal cream pies, iced oatmeal cookies, white chocolate chip cherry oatmeal cookies, peanut butter oatmeal cookies, oatmeal scotchies, monster cookies, you name it. And if I had to choose my #1, it would definitely be oatmeal raisin cookies.

But when raisins aren’t on the menu– because some aren’t a fan of those little things!!– oatmeal M&M cookies come to the rescue. These soft and chewy cookies have mega mass appeal. Each bite is filled with brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and vanilla flavors. We’re using my favorite oatmeal cookie base and filling them with colorful milk chocolate M&Ms.

This is what I call a perfect stack!

stack of oatmeal cookies

I originally published these cookies several years ago and after making them at least 1,294,587 times (probably underestimating there), I decided to spruce up the photos and make a couple slight changes to the dough including using more oats, less flour, and a touch of molasses for that classic oatmeal cookie flavor.


The Slow Bend Cookie

Like my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, magic 5 cookies, oatmeal scotchies, and oatmeal raisin cookies, these are soft and chewy in the centers with buttery crisp edges. I’ve never had an oatmeal cookie quite like them. They’re so chewy and buttery that the cookies won’t immediately break when you bend them. That’s what I call a slow bend oatmeal cookie. No matter which add-in you use (raisins, M&Ms, chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels, etc), there’s enough chew to make a salt water taffy jealous. 🙂


oatmeal M&M cookie dough with a spatula

Let’s Make Oatmeal M&M Cookies

  1. Cream butter + sugars: Use a hand or stand mixer to cream the softened butter with brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. For extra flavor and chew, always use more brown sugar than granulated white sugar in oatmeal cookies.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla, + molasses: Add eggs, then mix on high for about 1 minute until incorporated. Add vanilla and molasses, mix until combined.
  3. Dry ingredients: Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a separate bowl. Pour this into the wet ingredients. Combine together on low.
  4. Add the extras: Beat in the oats and M&Ms on low speed. I usually use mini M&Ms so there’s more in each cookie. Regular size M&Ms work too.
  5. Chill: The cookie dough is pretty sticky, so chilling it is imperative. Without at least 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator, your cookies will spread into flat puddles. Chilling cookie dough is one way to guarantee thicker cookies.
  6. Roll: Roll cookie dough into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. I love using these baking mats. Since the cookie dough chilled, it’s much easier to work with.
  7. Bake: Bake the cookies at 350°F (177°C) for 11-12 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. The cookies might look under-baked, but they will continue to set as they cool.

oatmeal M&M cookie dough balls on a baking sheet

oatmeal M&M cookies on baking sheet

oatmeal M&M cookies on a white plate

3 Success Tips

  1. Molasses is an optional ingredient, but I find 1 Tablespoon makes them taste like grandma’s classic oatmeal cookies. I add it to nearly all my oatmeal cookies now!
  2. Use thick old-fashioned whole rolled oats, not quick oats. Quick oats are thinner and more powdery, so you’ll miss out on a lot of texture.
  3. This recipe calls for 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) of room temperature butter. Room temperature butter is not warm or melted in the slightest. Rather, it’s cool to touch and about 65°F (18°C). If the butter is too warm, the cookies will over-spread, which completely ruins their texture (and appearance!).

Don’t forget to save a few M&Ms to stick into the tops of the cookies when they’re warm from the oven. I do this purely for looks, so it’s totally optional!

oatmeal M&M cookies

Let’s pretend the oats cancel out the butter and sugar. Basically health food here. THESE will be the only cookie you want for the rest of your life. (Not dramatic at all.)

But in case you need more choices…

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

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oatmeal M&M cookies

Chewy Oatmeal M&M Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3 dozen
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This is my favorite oatmeal cookie dough with big chewy oats and irresistible chocolate candies. I love using mini M&Ms so more candies are in every bite! Chilling the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes is imperative.


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 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon pure 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 and 1/2 cups (240g) M&Ms*

Instructions

  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, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Beat in the oats and M&Ms 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. Set aside.
  4. Roll balls of dough (about 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. I recommend using a cookie scoop since the dough can be sticky. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look soft and under-baked. 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. Cover and store leftover cookies at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Oats: For these oatmeal cookies, I use and recommend old-fashioned whole oats. They provide the ultimate hearty, chewy, thick texture we love!
  3. Eggs: Room temperature eggs preferred. Good rule of thumb: always use room temperature eggs when using room temperature butter.
  4. M&Ms: I recommend using mini M&Ms so there’s more in each bite. Regular M&Ms work too. If the M&Ms are larger, such as peanut M&Ms or peanut butter M&Ms, I recommend chopping them. If desired, grab an extra 2 Tablespoons of M&Ms and press a few into the top of each cookie when they’re warm from the oven. This is purely for looks!
  5. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
  6. Adapted from Loaded Oatmeal Cookies & Oatmeal Creme Pies. Recipe originally published on Sally’s Baking Addiction in 2012.

Keywords: M&Ms, chocolate, oatmeal

122 Comments

  1. These were really excellent. I made them with Smarties (I am from the UK) which, unfortunately, totally lose their colour in the oven but they still tasted great.

  2. SO GOOD! For me, they quickly went from not quite done to slightly overdone, so watch those babies closely toward the end of baking time. I will make these again!

    1. I need someone to take these away from me. These cookies are one of the best I’ve ever had and I made them yesterday. They’re already almost gone! I can’t stop eating them they’re just soooo good

  3. Excellent texture and taste!

  4. Sooo goood!

  5. Lee Rosenthal says:

    Can these be made as bars?

    1. Sure can! I’m unsure of the bake time needed.

  6. Cookies turned out perfect! My husband loved these! I would definitely make these again.

  7. Melissa Mann says:

    Hi Sally!
    I don’t have any molasses right now. Could I substitute maple syrup or corn syrup?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Melissa, The molasses is optional so you can simply leave it out if you don’t have any.

  8. Can I scoop into balls and place in freezer; thereby skipping refrigerating the dough?

    1. You can, but I recommend chilling the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before doing so– the cookie dough is very sticky before any sort of chilling!

  9. These cookies are amazing! I made them last night and they are so soft, chewy and full of flavor! I do think I’ll try to reduce the sugar a little next time but I’m keeping this recipe to make again soon!

  10. Made these for a camp out with the nieces. They were great! Used the baking M&M’s, is there much of a difference between the two? Will make again, thanks! 🙂

    1. No difference at all! So glad you all enjoyed these.

  11. My new favorite fool proof cookie!!! I subbed shortening for 1/2 of the butter…

  12. This cookie is great! Took exactly 12 minutes each time to bake. It stayed soft and just the right amount of chewy. It was also really fun to make with my toddler.

  13. This is my go to cookie recipe!! My son loves them. I’ve made them with just chocolate chips or m&m’s and they turned out perfect each time. I love the cinnamon and molasses in them.

  14. AMAZING!!
    I subbed vegan butter for regular butter and subbed 2 flax eggs for eggs. They turned out amazing.

  15. These were delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe..will definitely be making them again and again!

  16. Hello Sally,
    Question, what would happen if I add some baking powder to this recipe? I have a cc cookie recipe that includes both baking powder & baking soda. I almost always chill my cookie dough for 72 hours, yielding delicious results. 🙂
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Tina, the cookies won’t be quite as chewy. They would have a cakey texture to them, depending on how much you add. For best results, I recommend following this recipe as written and tested.

  17. plan on making this today. can i add raisins and how much would you say? i also need to triple the batch. is this one i can simply triple with same/ similar results?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Krista, You can replace some of the M&Ms with raisins. Keep the total amount of add-ins to about 1.5 cups (i.e. 1 cup M&Ms and .5 cup raisins, or 3/4 cups each). You can double this recipe but be careful of tripling it – depending on the size of your mixer you can overwhelm it!

  18. Can I use whole wheat flour instead of regular flour?

  19. I was super excited about this recipe. Oatmeal cookies made with molasses AND M&Ms!? Beauty combo. However I was a tad disappointed with how they turned out. I fully admit it could’ve been a baker’s error but the flavour wasn’t what I was expecting and the bottoms and tops were almost overcooked and the cookies seemed dry. I always have to adjust my oven temp and bake time, especially depending on my pans, which I allotted for.

    They’re still good, but not outstanding like I was hoping for ‍♀️

  20. runny dough- to much Vanilla! I used almost all of my $30 jar. When baked they came out very flat. Ive used a lot of these recipes but this is not the best one.

  21. These are certainly health food because of the oats, right?

    Watch carefully, as they go from good to go to overbaked in a quick span of time, that’s the only watch-out.

    Great recipe. I’ve made it 4x, about to start 5 right now.

    1. Oh yeah, I forgot. just go get the molasses. NOT BLACKSTRAP. It’s really not optional, and you’ll thanks Sally for recommending it!

  22. Sally, I love ya, but there are so many pop-ups here that I can’t read the actual recipe.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Keith, we’re actively working on having the intrusive ads blocked ASAP. No ads should actually be blocking the recipe or its instructions, though. You may just have to keep scrolling to continue to the recipe.

  23. Hi Sally, I don’t have time to make a bunch of cookies, is it possible to make the same recipe as bars rather than cookies?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Sure can! We’re unsure of the bake time needed.

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