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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, white chocolate macadamia oatmeal 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. We use a higher brown sugar to white sugar ratio in chewy chocolate chip cookies, too.
  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 my top tip for how to prevent cookies from spreading.
  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. And chocolate chip cookies, of course. (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 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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.


  • 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 (188g) 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*


  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.


  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

Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. Definitely! Cover and store leftover cookies at room temperature for up to 1 week. Or you could make the cookie dough ahead of time, freeze, then bake fresh the day of – see recipe notes. Enjoy!

  1. I chilled my dough for over an hour but my cookies still spread like flat little pancakes. Very good taste, but disappointed in how much they spread.

    1. I had the same thing happen. I wonder if my food scale was off and I didn’t add enough flour??

  2. Turned out pristine!!! I did Chocolate Chip and M&M. First batch was great. Second batch was a bit undercooked so I placed it back into the oven and slightly over cooked them due to boyfriend talking to me.


  3. I’m not sure what I did wrong but these did not turn out right at all. I followed the instructions exactly as written and even used a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients, and I chilled exactly as it said. However, when I baked them they would only bake on the outside edge and bottom, and the top center was completely raw. No matter what I tried I couldn’t get the center to bake right without burning the rest of the cookie. I ended up having to throw all of it out. 🙁

    1. Hi Rachel! Sounds like your oven may have been running a bit hot – that’s usually the cause of uneven baking. We always suggest using an in-oven thermometer for the most accurate temperature reading and baking results. Thank you for giving these cookies a try!

  4. These are fabulous.

    My question is, do you recommend using convection on your oven?

    I’ve made them a few ways with very minor tweaks.

    1) Triple batch using mini reeses pieces per my partner’s preference, an extra tablespoon (3 total) of vanilla extract, and one less tablespoon (3 total) sugar. I always add extra vanilla and drop a bit of sugar for things like cookies. I tell myself it’ll work out swapping in some “wet” via the water portion of vanilla extract for sugar, considered a wet ingredient. This has worked on unfussy recipes.

    The triple batch was too much for my 6qt stand mixer. I made it work with a lot of manual intervention but do yourself a favour and double the batch at most.

    2) I’ve also made them gluten free by using GF oats, GF chocolate chips instead of M&Ms, and subbing in Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour 1:1 for the AP flour, with a half tsp of guar gum and xanthan gum mixed in to for each cup of the brown rice flour before adding to the mix. For a single batch of this recipe that works out to 1.5 cups brown rice flour and 3/4 tsp guar gum + 3/4 tsp xanthan gum. You could also just sub in one of the fabulous AP flour replacer mixes that are now commercially available. I like the effect of the brown rice flour substitution, and started doing it before commercial blends were popular or very good.

    They all turned out fabulously despite my fiddling with things along the way. They’re now a staple in our household, and beloved among my GF family members and friends.

    1. Hi Chantelle! All of the recipes on this site are written for conventional settings. Convection ovens are fantastic for cooking and roasting. If you have the choice, we recommend conventional settings when baking cakes, breads, etc. The flow of air from convection heat can cause baked goods to rise and bake unevenly and it also pulls moisture out of the oven. If you do use convection settings for baking, lower your temperature by 25 degrees F and keep in mind that things may still take less time to bake.

  5. Can you make these without any add-ins? Just plain old fashion oatmeal cookies like my great grandma made.

  6. I totally disappointed may just want to give up after this.
    I followed the instructions just as they where only didn’t use two this because one my daughter is allergic to cinnamon and In my county they don’t sell molasses. My cookies stayed like a ball, I had to press them down. 🙁

  7. Turned out perfectly! Added chopped salted peanuts and used regular M&M’s. Used a large cookie scoop and baked for 14 minutes. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  8. I would like to add creamy peanut butter to this recipe, but don’t know how much, and if I then need to subtract or decrease any of the other ingredients. Please advise.
    Ps, I have used manny if your recipes and my favorite is the raspberry jelly shortbread cookies with icing. A family favorite at holiday time.

  9. These tasted amazing! Unfortunately mine spread out like crazy even after chilling for an hour +. I’d like to add a little more flour or maybe baking powder?? In hopes they’ll get a little puffy and not bake so flat. Is that a bad idea? Any recommendations?

  10. These cookies are AMAZING! Such a beautiful chewy texture with all those amazing oats and a nice richness with the molasses! Disappeared in no time in our house!

  11. I absentmindedly forgot to add vanilla and molasses . I later added them after the m&ms and oats. Please tell me it would still turn out well

  12. Hi there! I was wondering how i could make these cookies a bit less sweet without altering the texture? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Meg, we haven’t tested it, but some readers have reported reducing the sugar and having good results. Let us know if you try it!

  13. I have made this give or six times with great success. Thank you for another reliable and delicious recipe. Sometimes I make it with choc chips instead of M&Ms and it is also very yummy.

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