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Think of these iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies as the holiday version of regular iced oatmeal cookies. They’re every bit as chewy, soft, nostalgic, and wholesome, but brimming with gingerbread spices and topped with spiced vanilla icing. Pair with peanut butter blossoms and Christmas sugar cookies for a trio of classic Christmas cookie flavors.

stack of iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies

This recipe is part of my annual Christmas cookie countdown called Sally’s Cookie Palooza. Every year since 2013, I work on a handful of new Christmas cookie recipes and publish the 10 best ones for readers to enjoy! You can browse dozens of recipes on the Sally’s Cookie Palooza page.


Iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies are definitely part of my cookie trays this year and I’m thrilled to share the new recipe with you. After 1 bite I immediately said “this is the best cookie I’ve ever made.” And I’ve made A LOT! Maybe it was my exhaustion talking… I had just spent the day testing 3 new recipes and vacuuming spilled sprinkles… TWICE… but oats + spices + molasses + icing is certainly a recipe for something delicious.

I think you’re going to love them too.

gingerbread oatmeal cookies with icing and cinnamon on top

Tell Me About These Iced Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies

  • Flavor: These are gingerbread cookies and plain iced oatmeal cookies in 1. Generous amounts of ground ginger and cinnamon plus nutmeg, cloves, molasses, and brown sugar supply each cookie with cozy, comforting flavors. Truly– and I don’t say this often– you could skip the icing and be plenty satisfied.
  • Texture: Like the regular version, these are mega chewy oatmeal cookies with buttery soft centers and slightly crisp edges. The key to their texture is pulsing the oats in a food processor or blender to gently break them down. The result is an uneven mixture of broken oats and coarse crumbs, a texture medley giving us a compact and chewy oatmeal cookie.
  • Ease: The prepwork is simple and pulsing the oats takes a few brief seconds. Make sure you set aside about 30-45 minutes to chill the cookie dough before baking. Molasses makes the dough quite sticky and without time in the refrigerator, the cookies will over-spread. Luckily, it’s a quick chill time and your cookies will be ready soon!

Key Ingredients in Iced Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies

  1. Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is a key ingredient in many cookie recipes because not only does it sweeten the cookies, it adds flavor, softness, and a little moisture too.
  2. Spices: I found the best ratio of spices is 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. These are the same spices you use when making gingerbread whoopie pies. I like a little extra ground cloves in my gingerbread recipes, so I usually add another pinch. It’s a strong flavor, so be careful if you decide to add a little more.
  3. Molasses: Molasses adds deep, rich flavor. Use dark molasses that’s labeled unsulphured. Avoid blackstrap molasses in this cookie recipe because it will overpower everything else.
  4. Oats: As mentioned above, taking an extra few seconds to pulse the oats will completely transform the texture of your finished cookies. No matter if you use whole oats or quick oats, pulse them a few times in your food processor to obtain the correct consistency.

Here’s what the oats will look like:

pulsed oats in food processor

gingerbread spices and cookie dough

gingerbread oatmeal cookie dough balls on lined baking sheet

Success Tip: Use a Cookie Scoop

Use a cookie scoop because this is a textured and sticky dough. A cookie scoop not only prevents a mess, it helps ensure all cookies are the same size and shape. I recommend a medium cookie scoop which holds 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough. The cookies spread nicely, so keep each baking sheet/batch at around 8-9 cookies.


Spiced Vanilla Icing

Thick vanilla icing is the iconic finishing touch on regular iced oatmeal cookies. But since we’re crafting a generously spiced version, let’s not miss the opportunity for extra flavor on top. I love adding a pinch each of ground cinnamon and ginger to this icing. It doesn’t alter the texture at all– the icing will still set/dry nicely on the cookies– but it does elevate the flavor.

If dipped lightly, the thick icing will set on the cookies so you can easily stack, transport, or gift these flavorful beauties. Instead of dipping, feel free to drizzle the icing on top. Enjoy!

cinnamon spice icing in glass bowl

gingerbread oatmeal cookies without icing and one being dipped into icing

gingerbread oatmeal cookies with icing and cinnamon on top

Sally's Cookie Palooza

This recipe is part of my annual Christmas cookie countdown called Sally’s Cookie Palooza. Every year since 2013, I publish 10 new cookie recipes in a row. It’s the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Browse dozens of Christmas cookie recipes over on the Sally’s Cookie Palooza page including:

and here are 75+ Christmas cookies with all my best success guides & tips.

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stack of iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies

Iced Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies are chewy, soft, and brimming with gingerbread flavor from molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. If dipped lightly, the icing will set so you can stack, transport, and/or gift the cookies.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups (160g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 and 2/3 cups (210g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) unsulphured dark molasses

Icing

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) sifted confectioners’ sugar*
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1.52 Tablespoons milk
  • small pinch each: ground cinnamon and ground ginger, plus extra cinnamon for garnish if desired

Instructions

  1. Make the cookies: Pulse the oats in a food processor 10-12 times until you have a variety of texture– chopped oats with some oat flour. See photo above for a visual.
  2. Whisk the pulsed oats, flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and molasses and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be very thick and a little sticky. Cover and chill the dough for 30-45 minutes in the refrigerator (and up to 4 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before scooping and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  6. Scoop cookie dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
  8. Make the icing: Combine confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and 1 Tablespoon of milk in a medium bowl. Use a fork to whisk until combined. It will be impossible to fully combine because this isn’t enough liquid. Add only enough extra milk to make a very very thick icing. I only add about 1 more Tablespoon of milk. Whisk in a very small pinch each of ground cinnamon and ginger. (Taste and add more if desired.) Lightly dip the tops of the cookies into the icing or lightly drizzle icing on top. Feel free to dust/sprinkle more ground cinnamon on top of the icing for garnish. Icing will set after a few hours, so you can stack, transport, and/or gift the cookies.
  9. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies with or without icing freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Oats: Pulsing the oats in step 1 is the trick to this recipe. If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender. If you don’t have either, give the oats a rough chop on a cutting board. Even if you’re using quick oats, pulsing the oats is necessary– you just won’t have to pulse them as much as whole oats. Do not use oat flour in place of the pulsed oats.
  3. Confectioners’ Sugar: Sift confectioners’ sugar before measuring.

Keywords: gingerbread oatmeal cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi Vivian, we don’t recommend it. Both almond flour and coconut flour have different baking properties and it would take some recipe testing to ensure results. Best to stick with all-purpose flour here.

  1. I don’t have food processor or blender any suggestions and I only use old fashioned oats in recipes. Assume that cookies will have texture of oatmeal cookies. Any suggestions.

    1. Hi Juliane, you can use whole oats in this recipe. Give them a rough chop on a cutting board before mixing with the other dry ingredients.

  2. What would be a good egg replacement for this recipe? (Daughter’s boyfriend is allergic to eggs.) Thank you!

    1. Hi Malissa, we haven’t tested these cookies with any egg substitutes. If you decide to give any a try, let us know how it goes!

  3. These are delicious and baked up perfectly. Really great mix of the chewiness of an oatmeal cookie and the rich spiciness or gingerbread.

  4. This is my first time participating in Palooza Party! Just made these. They are so delicious as all your cookie recipes I’ve made are! Looking forward to the next Paloozalishious recipe!

      1. Absolutely! I recommend 1 cup (140g) of raisins or the same amount of chopped pecans.

    1. Hi Kathy! How did you measure your flour and oats? Make sure to spoon and level to avoid packing in too much of the dry ingredients (which results in cookies that don’t spread). Thank you for giving these a try!

      1. Thank you. I bought molasses one time years ago and it was horrible! I love gingerbread and want to try these. Now I will be off on the right foot!

  5. Oh my goodness, these are delicious! I just ate the first one while still warm. Fantastic! Unusual with the oatmeal textures. I had all the ingredients on hand so made these tonight.
    I found your website about a year ago and it is now my go-to baking recipe website. Everything I have made has been fabulous. I have also learned so much about baking. I am a seasoned baker but….never used room temp butter or eggs and didn’t chill my dough.
    Thank you Sally and all your team. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

    1. Update: Last night I baked 4 cookies so I could taste them. Today, I baked the rest and iced them. They are even better iced!
      I took them to a church meeting tonight and everyone loved them. One person asked me twice if I made them… he keep saying ”these look like a professional baked them!” A huge compliment for me and I gave Sally all the credit for an amazing recipe and fantastic baking tips. I always read your notes and follow them! Thank you again!

  6. Oh my holy ginger! These cookies are DELICIOUS! Ginger is the star of these cookies, but not in an overpowering or obnoxious way. Every flavor blends perfectly and these really are one of your best cookies ever!

    1. Thanks Melissa! I’m so glad you and others have loved them so far. Absolutely in my top 3 favorite cookies. So tasty!!

  7. I LOVE these! I didn’t have enough oats but I had steel cut oats to finish off the two cups, so I think that made my cookies a little bit more dense but still delicious. I normally hate gingerbread flavour but these are amazing. The frosting really set them over the top.

  8. Mmm, these look delicious! Definitely want to give these a try. If I already have oat flour on hand (I periodically blitz a bunch of oats into oat flour so I don’t have to pull out the food processor whenever I need oat flour), could I just mix 80g oat flour with 80g rolled oats for this recipe?

    1. Hi Joanna! That could possibly work– but I haven’t tested it to be certain. Let me know how they turn out!

  9. I made these yesterday and they are delicious! Definitely spicy gingerbread flavour. I think I might go a tad less on the cloves next time. But still super good 🙂

  10. Just finished baking the Iced Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies and could not resist eating one warm from the oven. Soooo good! These cookies are easy to mix and bake. They smell heavenly while baking. Love the recipe and will be baking these again.

    1. We’re so glad you enjoyed these cookies, Linda! Thank you for giving them a try.

  11. I made this last night, and they are DELICIOUS. My son and husband couldn’t even wait for the icing because the smell was too enticing. I brought the rest of the batch into work today, and all of my coworkers say they are incredible. Thank you for this new recipe! This blog has taught me so much.

  12. I have 3 dozen ready to take to our local homeless shelter for women and children- so delicious, and a great texture-not overly “oatmealy.”

  13. These are soft and delicious. I love the combination of the molasses/brown sugar with the oats. My icing seemed too thick, although I weighed the powdered sugar and added the full amount of milk. I had some ginger liqueur nearby, so added a bit of that until the consistency was good. These are going into my regular cookie-baking rotation!!

  14. I haven’t made these yet but they look delicious. Is there any way to make them more crunchy instead of soft? My husband loves crunch oatmeal and spice cookies. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Nancy, you could replace some of the brown sugar with more granulated sugar. The cookies will spread more, but they may develop a little crunch. You can also extend the bake time. For much crunchier cookies, I recommend the crisp molasses cookies recipe.

  15. I made these last night, they’re so good! I love how chewy they are, the texture is fantastic. The icing is perfect for them as well, although they’re good plain too. I used a blender to grind the oats a bit. I don’t have a cookie scoop so I used a regular ice cream scoop: my cookies were uniform and circular, although I got 24 with this method so they were thicker than they should have been and took 13 minutes to bake with super soft centers.

  16. I am so enjoying your blog. Had to try these as I love molasses. They are delicious. My
    husband is loving them, too. I cannot find unsulfured molasses here in Georgia, so used
    part light and part blackstrap. They are just a little darker but taste perfect, and the oatmeal texture is such a great addition. Thank you for all you do for our baking.

  17. As is to be expected of Sally’s recipes, this one is a winner. These cookies have a wonderful combination of flavors that everyone in our household and our neighbor’s household loved. My one issue was I made the icing very, very thick and struggled to get it on the cookies — first tried to dip and no go then spread with a spoon which worked better — ended up with a couple of unglazed cookies. Of course, they were delicious as is.

  18. These are phenomenal! My whole family is requesting I make them again.

  19. this was a really great recipe – the flavors were great. Mine didn’t spread as much as expected, but that’s probably my fault for measuring something wrong. they taste awesome though!

  20. wow pictures. Lovely explanation on iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies. Will try this on my little ones birthday with the best online cake and iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies. It will be the best treat.

    Thanks for sharing.

  21. Made these yesterday and I’m pretty sure they will be gone in less than 24 hrs. Super easy and delicious! I did end up doing a thinner icing, turned it into more of a glaze but it was still great!

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