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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. Hello Sally-
    To sum it up–Half of them went to work with my husband to share and the other half went with my 16 year-old son to share with his friends at school. Another great recipe!!

    I have to add that I really missed fully participating in your palooza last year. Since it was just us at home, and because we didn’t have anybody to share them with (people were weird about getting anything homemade), I only made one day of your cookies. Therefore, I might go back to last year’s cookies and bake some up!

    1. We’re so glad you gave these a try, Kristy! We’d love to know which other cookies you decide to bake 🙂 Happy baking!

  2. Hi, I would like to try these delicious looking cookies! But in Germany we have a hard time finding molasses! I found several suggestions for substitutes …honey, brown sugar, maple syrup and so on. Which would you choose for your recipe?
    Greetings from Germany,
    Andrea

    1. Hi Andrea, I haven’t tested these options but some readers have used pure maple syrup as a replacement in similar cookie recipes. I would try that option.

      1. Check if your grocer has a product labelled melasses, or melassesirup, or zuckerrohr melasse. These various terms for molasses used in various parts of Germany

      2. Thank you Sally and David! I will see if I get a light molasses syrup and if not will take half of maple syrup and half brown sugar!
        Have a wonderful Christmas season,
        Andrea

  3. Oh man! My new favorite cookie of all time! I added maybe half a cup of finely diced candied ginger and a big ol’ tablespoon or more of fresh grated ginger, plus a couple teaspoons of aniseeds. What a perfect cookie! Thank you again, Sally!

  4. Absolutely delicious! I didn’t have molasses so used a mix of honey and maple syrup. The cookies spread a bit more than I expected but still had a lovely chewy center. Good both with or without icing, will make again for sure!

  5. They are the best , I’d like to make a double batch can you freeze them?

    1. You bet! See Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions in the recipe notes.

  6. DeeeICIOUS! Warm, gingery, spicy, just the best Christmas cookie recipe. It’s my family’s new fave, instantly! Thanks Sally!

  7. DeeeLICIOUS! Warm, gingery, spicy, just the best Christmas cookie recipe. It’s my family’s new fave, instantly! Thanks Sally!

  8. I’m in love ! These cookies are perfectly delicious. I can’t believe Oatmeal gingerbread isn’t a big thing (really want an oatmeal gingerbread muffin after tasting this – hint hint ). I made this tonight but made them gluten free subbing with Better Batter flour. They are a bit flatter than the pictures so next time I might try bobs red mill or add about 1/4 cup + of oat flour. But they were still chewy in the center and had amazing flavor without the icing! Thank you for a yummy addition to my holiday cookies. !

  9. Absolutely delicious cookies!!! I think these are my favourite oatmeal cookies of all time!!
    I am enjoying trying some new recipes this year and am so happy I found this one. It is definitely going into my Christmas recipe folder.

  10. These were delicious! Love the flavors and warmth of spices. My dough may have been a tad drier than it was intended to turn out though because when I weighed the oats, 160g appeared to be more like 1 2/3 or 1 3/4 cup instead of 2 cups and I chose to follow the 2 cups instead of the grams. Maybe my scale is off but for future reference, if weight and cup measurements don’t appear equal, do you recommend following the grams or cups? Thank you!

  11. Absolutely delicious! Thank you Sally for another amazing recipe! Just made these tonite and a huge hit. The icing was a perfect finishing touch.

  12. Just made them and they’re SO good. Double it for sure! I personally hate clove, so I left that out and added fresh orange zest to the icing. Next time I’ll cut out half the white sugar because these are SUPER sweet. Saved this recipe in my recipe box for cookie day

  13. I love gingerbread and I love oatmeal cookies…this is my new favorite cookie. Thank you so much! I prefer without the icing…the cookies are perfect on their own 🙂

  14. Sally! These are absolutely freaking amazing! The spices work so nicely with the sweet glaze and the addition of the oats is a serious game changer. Chewy deliciousness all around. Thank you so very much for this recipe and your whole site – you’ve made quite a baker out of this gal!

  15. Absolutely a comfort cookie! Can’t wait to double recipe for gifts! Thank You Sally for sharing I’ve enjoyed your recipes over the years. ❤️

  16. These were a big hit. I tested them for my Christmas cookie boxes by baking them and sending them to school with my daughter to share. I got an email back from a teacher asking for the recipe that same day!

    Question: I thought they were a little sweet. It may be because I recently cut back on my sugar. If I wanted to reduce the sugar, would you recommend cutting the white sugar entirely or just cutting back on the brown and keeping the white. Does the mix of two sugars serve a particular purpose?

    Thanks!

    1. I’m so glad you tried and enjoyed these! Both sugars serve purposes. The white sugar helps the cookies spread and the brown sugar adds flavor, chew, and moisture. You can slightly reduce both.

  17. Hi Sally! My spice cabinet is a little thinned-out from Thanksgiving baking but I’d love to make these. Would it work to use pumpkin pie spice (of which I still have a ton)? The blend I have contains cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. I’d miss the cloves (I love them, too!), but would that give more or less the same flavor profile? Thanks so much – your recipes are my go-to every time!

    1. Absolutely! The cookies will have a slightly different spice flavor but still be wonderful, I’m sure. You can’t go wrong with pumpkin pie spice and oatmeal cookies 😉

  18. Just made these cookies last night, and my husband has already eaten 7 of them! He says they are his new favorite cookie and “taste like they came from a fancy bakery.” They taste like how I always want my iced oatmeal cookies to taste. Who knew I just had to combine an oatmeal cookie with a gingerbread cookie! Thank you for a new family staple. ❤️

    1. Hi Amanda, We are so glad that you and your husband are enjoying these!

  19. My husband saw your Instagram post of these and asked me to make them. So I did…and WOW these are good!! The icing really makes them perfect!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  20. Friends who ate these were immediately transported to their childhoods, but in a fresh and sophisticated way! I thought I blitzed the oatmeal too long in the blender but they were still chewy and textural. Mixed up spices that I happened to have on hand and they were fragrant and definitely gingerbread tasting.

  21. OMGosh one of the BEST “Comfort Cookies”! Sooooo good!! Thank You, Sally. Plan on sharing the love of these Christmas week for some special people. YUM!!

  22. Absolutely love these cookies! Everyone I shared them with has asked for the recipe. I have made several recipes from this website and they have all been excellent. I have since purchased her cookie recipe book as it is nice to have a hard copy. Highly recommended

  23. I would give these 10 stars if I could! Hands down, my new favorite “fall/winter” cookie recipe. I’ve made 5 batches already. The first was to try them. Then two batches for college finals care packages, and then I scooped and froze the last 2 batches to have on hand when needed. 🙂 I only use half the icing recipe and it is enough. (My husband originally asked me to save some not iced, and after trying them, he agreed they were better with the icing!)

  24. These are so delicious! Lovely gingerbread without the bother of cookie cutters! Can confirm maple syrup works well in place of molasses.

  25. Could these be made with King Arthur white wheat flour? Any mods to other ingredients necessary?

    1. Hi Susan! Any whole wheat flour will change the texture of these cookies. You could try replacing half of the all purpose flour to see how that goes. Let us know if you gibe it a try!

  26. Flavor was good, albeit a bit on the sweet side as mentioned by others, especially when you add in the icing. Also, even chilled for 5 hours and barely handled, these spread way too much. Not very visually appealing or thick like the pictures. I typically love your recipes but this one didn’t quite do it for me.

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