These soft-baked, cinnamon-hinted loaded oatmeal cookies are positively packed with add-ins like butterscotch morsels, M&Ms, and chocolate chips. You can swap in your favorites, too, like dried cranberries and chopped nuts. This is a wonderful base recipe!
With hundreds of cookie recipes on my site (and even more in Sally’s Cookie Addiction), you’d think it would be hard for me to choose a favorite. I adore all the classics like chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, and sugar cookies, but nothing is quite as satisfying as a batch of loaded oatmeal cookies. So chewy! So much texture! Virtually endless options for add-ins! I could go on and on…
Why You Should Try Loaded Oatmeal Cookies
- Highly adaptable to use your favorite add-ins
- Incredible flavor from dark brown sugar, plus a touch of cinnamon and molasses (what I use in oatmeal raisin cookies, too!)
- Crisp edges with soft and chewy centers
- Added texture from whole oats and crunchy/chewy/crispy add-ins
- Only 30 minutes of cookie dough chilling before baking
- Perfect for parties, an after-school snack, quick dessert, bake sales, or any time that calls for cookies!
So Many Oatmeal Cookies!
I have recipes for classic oatmeal raisin cookies and nostalgic iced oatmeal cookies. Then come my special seasonal variations… zucchini oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the summer, brown butter pumpkin oatmeal cookies in the fall (readers go CRAZY for these!), and at Christmas, I always serve these iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies. And just when you think oatmeal cookies couldn’t get any better, I take two and sandwich them together with sweet frosting for homemade oatmeal creme pies.
So many versions!
But if you can’t find a variation from my 20+ oatmeal cookie recipes, look no further. Today’s recipe is just as soft and chewy as them all, but is written with your unique tastebuds in mind! With its mega-thick dough, these cookies hold a whopping 1.5 cups of your favorite add-ins—baking chips, candies, nuts, dried fruits, you name it. Use one or use many… you can truly make these cookies your own.
Need a gluten-free option? Use certified gluten-free oats in these flourless peanut butter oatmeal cookies.
3 Key Ingredients for the Best Batch of Loaded Oatmeal Cookies
If you’ve made any of my oatmeal cookies before, the ingredients in this version will look familiar to you. My recipe for oatmeal scotchies goes into detail about the role each ingredient plays, so feel free to hop over there if you’re interested. But here’s a quick rundown of the 3 key ingredients that set my oatmeal cookie recipes apart from the rest:
- Brown Sugar: Use both white sugar and brown sugar in this recipe. By using more brown sugar, though, you’re guaranteed an even chewier cookie. I love using dark brown sugar because it has a slightly richer flavor, but light brown sugar works just fine.
- Molasses: While optional, a kiss of molasses really makes these oatmeal cookies taste like grandma’s classic oatmeal cookies. You only need 1 Tablespoon, but it goes a long way. While you can simply omit it if you don’t have molasses on hand, I encourage you to grab a jar. If you’re planning ahead for Christmas cookies, you’ll need some for gingerbread cookies, too!
- Whole Oats: Like I recommend for my chewy oatmeal M&M cookies (and nearly all my oatmeal cookie recipes), use whole oats for best results. While you could use quick oats in a pinch, the cookies will be drier and you’ll miss out on a lot of texture. I also prefer to use a higher ratio of oats to flour so that the cookies taste more… oat-y (technical term here). I want the oats to be the main attraction, not just another ingredient in the background.
Use Your Favorite Add-ins
These loaded oatmeal cookies remind me a lot of my magic 5 cookies or my holiday magic 5 cookies. In each of these recipes, the big variety of add-ins makes the cookies a true texture-lover’s dream. I have a few suggestions below, but feel free to enlist your tastebuds and come up with your own combinations. Plenty of room to play!
- Peanut butter M&Ms, butterscotch chips, and chocolate chips/chunks (what you see in these photos)
- Raisins, chopped pecans/walnuts, and dark chocolate chunks
- Pretzel pieces and chopped peanut butter cups (or use chocolate-covered pretzels like these chocolate-covered pretzel cookies)
- Peanut butter chips and chocolate chips
- Dried cranberries and white chocolate morsels
- Peanuts and chopped Snickers bars
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and Sno-Caps (just like triple chocolate chip cookies!)
Final Success Tip: Chill Your Cookie Dough
Because this cookie dough can be a little sticky, chill the cookie dough for about 30 minutes before baking it. This is my #1 tip for how to prevent cookies from spreading. This is a relatively short chill time compared to, say, double chocolate chip cookies, but still important nonetheless. Just enough time for you to clean up, pre-heat your oven, and get your cookie scoop ready. (I use the medium-sized scoop for these cookies.)
No time to chill? Try my 1 giant monster cookie instead. Lots of great texture and room for add-in customization there, too.Print
These soft-baked loaded oatmeal cookies are positively packed with add-ins like butterscotch morsels, M&Ms, and chocolate chips. You can swap in your favorites, too, like dried cranberries and chopped nuts. This is a wonderful base recipe! Don’t forget to refrigerate the cookie dough for 30 minutes before shaping and baking.
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I use dark)
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) unsulphured or dark molasses (do not use blackstrap; I prefer Grandma’s brand)
- 1 and 2/3 cups (142g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups add-ins (I used butterscotch morsels, chopped peanut butter M&Ms, and chocolate chunks)
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and molasses and beat on high until combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together. Pour into the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until combined, then beat in the add-ins. Dough will be thick.
- Cover the cookie dough tightly and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- 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. I like to press a few extra chopped M&Ms into the tops of the cookies; this is optional, and only for looks.
- Bake for 10–11 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look soft and under-baked. Remove from the oven and let cookies cool on the 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.
- Cover and store leftover cookies at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature and continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls also freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand Mixer) | Baking Sheet | Silicone Baking Mat or Parchment Paper | Medium Cookie Scoop | Cooling Rack
- Molasses: Be sure to use unsulphured or dark molasses (do not use blackstrap; I prefer Grandma’s brand). If you don’t have molasses, you can leave it out. It’s used to add a little extra flavor, and won’t affect the texture if you skip it. You could also replace it with pure maple syrup.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking success tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
Keywords: loaded oatmeal cookies