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. Don’t forget to chill the cookie dough!

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, 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!

oatmeal cookies

oatmeal M&M 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

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

oatmeal M&M cookies on baking sheet

oatmeal M&M cookies

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*
  • 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, toss 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. 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

84 Comments

  1. Omigosh are these good! I can’t wait to make Oatmeal Scotchies with this recipe. I’ve never used dark brown sugar with a cookie recipe but I really like the flavor it adds and how it stands up to the oatmeal.

  2. We’ve made these a thousand times and love them, but this time we used whole wheat flour and they didn’t turn out the same…it’s like it’s taking longer to bake? Any ideas? Thanks

  3. Just made these and ate 6 hot from the oven. Incredibly good. Made them for Christmas Eve. I love that they keep their shape and don’t spread out flat. I’m usually not a big fan of oatmeal cookies but these are fantastic. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Thanks for the tip about the brown sugar….love what it does to choc. chip and oatmeal cookies. I may try it with an old family oatmeal recipe I found. It was a toss up between these and the Soft & Chewy Oatmeal recipe, but I opted for these without the added molasses, plus used quick oats, and chopped raisins instead (no M&Ms on hand). Worked fantastic…thanks again.

  5. Can you freeze these? I’ll be baking them 1 week before serving them at a Fiesta party. The m & m colors are perfect. Thanks for your yummy recipe!

  6. I have been making these cookies a lot lately. This weekend, I made the cookie base and added white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. I love how versatile this recipe is! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Just made these tonight and OMG!!! Seriously the most delicious cookies I’ve ever had!!! The oatmeal makes them taste so light and not too sweet. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! 

  8. Holy crap are these good cookies! I was looking for an easy to take cookie to take on our “girls getaway” weekend, just something to nibble on in the hotel room in the evening. I have tried lots of oatmeal cookie recipes in the past, but I’ve never found one that I was totally happy with – either too crunchy or too chewy or overpowering add in flavors. These are simple, crispy and chewy at the same time and not so cloyingly sweet that you can only manage one at a time. I didn’t have any M&M minis in the house but I DID have Reese’s mini’s in the pantry…peanut butter and oatmeal, magical combination! I did make a double batch, I wanted to take some but also have some for in the house too, and I ended up with close to 5 dz! Thanks for a great recipe!

  9. These are amazing! I substituted m&m for smarties as we have a peanut allergy in our house. I was pleased to find a “monster cookie” recipe without peanut butter. So good! Thank you!

  10. These are my absolute go-to cookie! I’m not normally a fan of oatmeal cookies, but these are so addictive I can’t (and neither can my partner!) get enough! An absolute staple – thank you all the way from New Zealand!

    1. I’m so happy that you both enjoy them so much, Amanda. And yes, they are so much more than “just” and oatmeal cookie 🙂

  11. I’m not the best at baking but I love it since my mom is amazing at it. I also love oatmeal cookies. I would assume it’s the cinnamon that gives the unique taste, but I love these cookies and I would make them again, thought I would most likely double the batch because it didn’t even fill up two baking sheets. But anyway, thank you for sharing this recipe!

  12. Hi Sally, These look delicious! Does the recipe require an add in? Sounds like these may be just what I am looking for without any of the add ins.

    1. Hi Cathy! You can definitely leave out the M&Ms. Feel free to add a little more cinnamon for extra flavor, if desired!

  13. Call me odd but I prefer quick cooking oats better… maybe because that is what I am used to, who knows. I did not make this recipe but did the other one in your beautiful book. Thanks for trying so hard to please us all.

  14. These look SO LOADED Sally!!! I love oatmeal cookies……more than choc chip cookies! 😉 So chewy and textured and flavourful…And these ones are loaded with so many mini M&Ms – you’re the only baker/blogger I’ve found to whose recipes I don’t have to up the amount of add-ins! You always have the perfect amount with add-ins in every single bite…thank you Sally!These look SO LOADED Sally!!! I love oatmeal cookies……more than choc chip cookies! 😉 So chewy and textured and flavourful…And these ones are loaded with so many mini M&Ms – you’re the only baker/blogger I’ve found to whose recipes I don’t have to up the amount of add-ins! You always have the perfect amount with add-ins in every single bite…thank you Sally!

    1. So sweet, thank you Gemma! These cookies are definitely loaded with the perfect amount of M&Ms in each bite 🙂 Hope you enjoy them!

  15. Hi Sally,
    These look great for back-to-school snacks! Have you tried replacing half the butter with apple sauce? Would love to hear your thoughts on making a lower fat version . Thanks!

    1. I have not tried using applesauce in these cookies. You can certainly try it, just keep in mind the chewy texture will not be the same. If you are interested in some healthier cookie recipes search the blog for “breakfast cookies” and you will find many options!

  16. Hi Sally. Am I ok to make the dough and leave it in the fridge for a day? Wasn’t sure since it has oats in it – not sure if this messes up the moisture factor. Thank you!

    1. Yes, it will be just fine! If it’s too difficult to scoop when you remove it let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes until it’s soft enough to scoop.

  17. I’ve never baked with coconut flour but have a bunch of it so am curious if anything would change in the proportions if I were to use coconut flour. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Brittany, Coconut flour is not an easy 1:1 swap for all purpose flour. It it much more absorbent and will change not only the taste but also the texture of whatever you are baking. Without extensively testing this recipe with it I’m unsure of what other ingredients should be altered for the best results.

  18. I made these cookies twice last week, using different flavored baking chips. You absolutely cannot go wrong with this recipe, everyone LOVED them and they were gone so quickly. Thank you for another GREAT recipe Sally! It’s going in my FAVORITES book.

  19. Awesome cookie recipe! I followed this to a T and was so pleased with how they turned out! This is the first time I probably used butter at the correct temp and they held their shape and were wonderfully chewy. People were quite impressed, can’t beat that!

  20. Hi Sally,
    Did you change the recipe to include molasses? I never put molasses in until the batch I made tonight and it definitely changes the consistency. If not, perhaps there was another oatmeal recipe without molasses. Please let me know, I loved the simple oatmeal cookie recipe without it.

  21. :O What happened?! This has always been our family favorite / never fail cookie recipe but when I pulled up the site tonight everything was different :O I’ve never used molasses and my recipe always included raisins! I checked and double checked because I was sure I had the wrong site! Could you please repost the old page for those of us that loved the cookies just the way they were before?! 🙂 Thank you!!

      1. No, I had this link saved multiple places :)I know this was “the one”! lol 🙂 Maybe you had the molasses as an optional? I’m just so confused? Oh, well, thanks for replying I can keep trying recipes till I figure out what we like! 🙂

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