Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Soft-baked, ultra chewy, and simple oatmeal cookie recipe. Only 30 minutes to chill, you’ll have oatmeal cookies in no time. Load them with your favorites! 

stack of loaded oatmeal cookies on a white plate

A lot of readers ask me… what’s your favorite basic cookie recipe? Well, I have a few.

For super soft & thick, try my chocolate chip cookies and add in whatever you like! For extra chewy, try my chewy chocolate chunk cookies. For sugar cookies – bake these, for chocolate cookies – I suggest these, for peanut butter cookies – use this recipe, and for snickerdoodles – bake these in only 20 minutes.

But for oatmeal cookies? You’re looking at them.

loaded oatmeal cookies on a white plate

My favorite oatmeal cookie couldn’t be any more straightforward and simple. They’re soft, they’re chewy, kissed with molasses flavor, and ready for any add-ins your tastebuds desire. I typically make them with raisins and/or M&Ms – published here.

Those photos were updated recently – that’s how often I make these oatmeal cookies!

☆ Cookie science talk ahead. ☆ Aka nerd alert.

My oatmeal cookie dough starts with creamed butter, brown sugar, and granulated (white) sugar. It’s important to know that sugar is used to not only sweeten the cookies, but to give them structure, texture, tenderness, and volume. In most of my cookie recipes, I prefer to use more brown sugar than white sugar. This is because brown sugar holds more moisture than white sugar and thus will produce a softer, moister final baked good. I like to use dark brown sugar since it has a slightly higher amount of molasses. However, if you’re in a pinch and only have light brown sugar – that’s ok!

I recently began adding a Tablespoon of dark molasses into my oatmeal cookie dough. It’s a little something I picked up from one of my cookbook cookie recipes (recipe on page 109!). 1 Tablespoon doesn’t sound like much. And you’re right! It’s not that much. But it’s just enough to give a subtle amount of extra molasses flavor. However, don’t go buy a bottle just for this recipe. They’re fine without it.

I played around with the oats to flour ratio a lot when I first published this oatmeal cookie recipe. I’ve found that more oats to flour is what I like best. I want my oatmeal cookies to taste, for lack of better words, oat-y! Oats provide a fabulously chewy texture and soak up moisture from the cookie dough and hold onto it while the cookies bake in the oven. Similar to how oats soak up all the moisture when you are making oatmeal for breakfast. This is a good thing!

There is always the question of which type of oats to use in recipes. For these? I use old-fashioned whole oats in this recipe, as opposed to quick oats. Quick oats, which are more powdery than whole oats, may dry out your cookies. You could certainly try using them, but I prefer whole oats. They give more texture: hearty, chewy, thick.

loaded oatmeal cookies

I’ve learned over the past year how important it is to use room temperature eggs when using room temperature or melted butter in cookie recipes. Room temperature eggs incorporate evenly into your cookie dough – guaranteeing a uniform structure among every cookie in your batch. That’s why you use eggs in cookies – for structure.

Tip: When I need room temperature butter for creaming, I set out the egg(s) with the butter about 1 hour before beginning. If you forget to set out your egg, no worries. Place it into a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes, then use.

stack of loaded oatmeal cookies

This thick cookie dough can hold a lot of add-ins. I chose peanut butter M&Ms, butterscotch morsels, and chocolate chunks. I couldn’t think of a better combination! If you have it in your pantry, throw it in. I was going to add a few pecans, but I know many people aren’t as “nuts” about nuts in their cookies as I am. Whatever goodies you choose, try to stick to about 1 and 1/2 cups total add-ins.

The cookie dough is only slightly sticky. And you know what I always do with sticky cookie dough right? I chill it. Sticky cookie dough = spreading. You’ll want these cookies to spread, but not overspread into flat discs on your baking sheet. So, chill the dough for about 30 minutes. Just enough time for you to clean up and pre-heat the oven.

I like to use a cookie scoop for oatmeal cookies. It grabs onto the textured cookie dough better than my hands can. Here is the cookie scoop I use (I own it in sizes medium and large – I used size medium for these cookies).

Scoop/roll 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie. Press a few extra add-ins directly into the tops of the cookie dough balls. Why do I suggest that? It guarantees you’ll have a few pretty chunks on top of your baked cookies. Here a few cookie dough balls… you can see I pressed some broken peanut butter M&Ms into the tops.

loaded oatmeal cookie dough balls on a silpat baking mat

Bake the cookies until they are lightly browned on the edges. This could be 10 minutes in your oven or 12 minutes in your oven. It’s about 11 minutes in my oven. The centers are slightly underbaked, but will set up as you let the cookie cool.

If your self control allows that… 😉

Dunk them in milk, crumble them on ice cream, bring them to friends, bake them for the kids, whatever you do with them – I know they’ll soon be a cookie jar favorite. Who doesn’t love an old-fashioned, super soft and chewy oatmeal cookie?

loaded oatmeal cookies with a bite taken from one

I hope you love my favorite loaded oatmeal cookies! And that you learned a few things along the way today. Let me know what goodies you throw into them!

A few suggestions:

  • Peanut butter M&Ms + butterscotch + chocolate chips/chunks (pictured today)
  • Raisins + chopped pecans/walnuts + dark chocolate chunks
  • Peanut butter chips + chocolate chips
  • Chopped Snickers + peanuts
  • Pretzel pieces + chopped peanut butter cups
  • Dried cranberries + white chocolate

Go ahead, let your creativity run wild!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make! 

Here are more delicious oatmeal-filled cookies!

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3 images of loaded oatmeal cookies

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 18 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Soft-baked, ultra chewy, and simple oatmeal cookie recipe. Load them with your favorites!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup  (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon (20g) dark molasses
  • 1 and 2/3 cups (140g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & 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)

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. Add the egg 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 oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Fold in the add-ins. Dough will be thick. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  4. Roll balls of dough (about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. I pressed a few extra M&Ms into the tops of the cookies for looks. Bake for 10-11 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  1. 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 3. 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.
  2. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: loaded oatmeal cookies, oatmeal cookies

31 Comments

  1. I really shouldn’t admit this, but I have to. I’ve made double batches of these cookies TWICE this week!! (No, not all for me!). But they are THAT good. Thank you, thank you Sally!! I caught myself wishing I had chopped Reese’s for this last batch…guess I’ll have to make them again!!

  2. Trixie in CT says:

    Hey Sally!

    I just made a batch of these cookies and you have knocked another one out of the park!

    The molasses wasn’t overwhelming – it added a depth of flavor that made these cookies especially delicious. This will be my go-to recipe for oatmeal cookies, and I’ll probably add some raisins next time (this time all I had was chocolate chips)…. also, I’ll double the recipe because at the rate I’m eating these, there won’t be any left for Part 2 of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion tonight!

    Your fan in CT…. Trixie

  3. I don’t even like oatmeal cookies but I LOVED these! I put raisins and mini M&Ms in mine. The best was right out of the oven and into a bowl of blue bell homemade vanilla ice cream! Huge hit with the entire family too!

  4. I just had to leave a comment after baking these cookies! I’m from the UK, and I often find that baking cookies with US recipes leaves me with a cookie sheet that’s cooked into one cookie lump! Not so these! (I suspect your measurements helped!) I even substituted the all-purpose flour for the gluten free version, and it’s worked just fine, so your recipe gets the thumbs up from me! (I’m not GF, but one of my best friends is coeliac – she does eat oats, I checked) I used crunchy M&Ms, milk chocolate chips and a few sultanas in mine. I can’t wait to see how they taste! (They are cooling downstairs as I type.) Thank you for a wonderfully easy recipe!

  5. Carrie Kayaani says:

    Sally, you make the most delicious and best cookies out there! I add cranberries and walnuts into the oatmeal dough and they have become a favorite in my house. These are my dad’s favorite cookies. 🙂

  6. I made these today with raisins, walnuts, butterscotch and white choc chips. Delicious! Love theadded molasses. It gives the cookie sometin sometin! Thanks!

  7. So yummy!! I am obsessed with your cookie recipes because they’re always prefectly chewy. You definitely take the time to perfect each recipe and I greatly appreciate it because I know nothing about cooking!!! Also, I added butterscotch and coconut. Coconut makes it extra chewy mmm!

  8. Heather Steele says:

    Good Gracious, these are AMAZING! I know you disrecommended any alterations but I’m vegan. . . so. . . I went all Post Punk Kitchen on this recipe and substituted ground flax seed for the eggs (which, btw, lent an absolutely extraordinary slightly nutty flavor), and Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Baking Sticks for the butter. Man oh man did they ever knock our socks off! Just the chewy deliciousness I was hoping for. Thank you!

    1. Heather – How much flax seed do you use to replace the eggs and do you add anything else also? I would love to make these for an egg-intolerant friend. Thanks. And thanks to you Sally for ALL YOU DO! Love your recipes!

      1. Heather Steele says:

        I ground 1 tablespoon flax seed in a spice grinder (buy the whole flax seeds; the pre-ground flax meal doesn’t work) and let it soak in three tablespoons warm water for about five minutes. This will substitute one egg.

  9. These were exactly what I was looking for, I used butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut. I’m making my second batch this afternoon a little less sweet with raisins, coconut and pecans! I like a little crunch with my chew 🙂

    Thanks!!!

  10. Thanks for another awesome recipe! I originally started with a batch of chocolate chips and walnuts and they were delicious. Then with the next baking sheet I decided to experiment a bit by stuffing the choco chip/walnut cookies with half a Kraft caramel, and topping with a few cut up caramel pieces and sea salt. These were even better than the first sheet! 
    Soooo good. I will definitely make these again. I think next time I’ll try a combo of Snickers and pretzels

  11. Hands down the best oatmeal cookies I have ever made.  My add ins were mini M&Ms and peanut butter chips.  I delivered half the batch to a friend recovering from the flu along with some of your yogurt and blueberry swirl popsicles.

  12. Made these over the weekend and they are delicious!
    I added in macadamia nuts, bits of toffee, and white chocolate chips (all a 1/2 cup each)! 
    My husband cannot stop raving about them! 
    I did find when baking, the balls of dough were not spreading out into cookie shape, so I lightly pushed them down with the back of my spatula. The bake time had to be adjusted a few minutes longer because I had the door open a bit too long while I smashed, but I followed everything else to the T, and they came out wonderfully!
    Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  13. These are my favorite cookies out of all your recipes I have tried! I’ve tried the chewy chocolate chip cookies, THE chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisinett cookies, monster cookies, soft peanut butter M&M cookies, and more! But these take the cake. I used chopped bittersweet chocolate chunks with almonds (from a Trader Joe’s pound plus bar), milk chocolate chips and cinnamon chips! I refrigerated for over 3 hours prior to scooping. 
    Heaven!

  14. I baked these cookies last night and I love how most of your cookie recipes remain soft. I added the butterscotch and chocolate chips and omitted the molasses. The cookies have a  wonderful texture and were not too sweet. Its so hard not to eat ALL of these! 

  15. Hello, I am making oatmeal cookies with butterscotch chips. Should I use this ‘loaded oatmeal cookies’ recipe? Or the ‘soft and chewy oatmeal cookies’ recipe. I noticed the ingredients are different.

    1. Either works! The recipes are pretty similar yielding similar results in taste and texture.

  16. Quick question – I made these and they are FANTASTIC, however, I had problems chopping the peanut m&ms. Wondering how you did it – thinking next time I may throw them in a bag and crush with a rolling pin (or throw in the cuisinart? Thanks! 

    1. Peanut butter M&Ms (what I use) are easier to chop than peanut. But you can absolutely try placing in a bag and lightly crushing with a rolling pin. Enjoy!

  17. Hi Sally- I have a troubleshooting question. I love these cookies (have made them before!) and have loved everything I made from here! But the last two times I have made cookies (this recipe and another from your site) my cookies turn out really flat. They are tasty but more like crisps than cookies. I thought my baking soda was expired so I replaced that. I did use salted butter this time since I had accidentally run out of unsalted (I adjusted with no added salt). Would the butter make that happen maybe? I make cookies a lot and this doesn’t usually happen- I am lost on what I am doing wrong, Help please!

    Thanks!

    1. Butter too soft, perhaps? Make sure it’s room temperature, even slightly cool. They’re spreading because the fat is too warm. So that should help! Or you can chill the dough for longer. That helps too!

  18. First I want to say that I love your site and always come here to get the perfect treat to share with family and friends! Keep doing what you’re doing!

    I love this recipe- the flavors and the ingredients- Yum! But, no matter what I do- I get flat cookies. I follow the directions completely. I even chill the dough for 3 hours. I have a thermometer in my oven. I promise I’m not missing a step. Also, I can’t for the life of me figure how to get 18 cookies using only 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough. Can you help me fix my flat cookies?!

    1. Hi Bethany, I’m sorry these cookies are giving you trouble. I published this post a while back that will hopefully help you troubleshoot: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2016/07/06/5-tips-improve-next-batch-cookies/

  19. I use your recipes often and have never had a failure. Thanks so much for sharing them. I’m going to make the chewy oatmeal cookies with raisins, nuts and chocolate pieces tomorrow.

  20. Have you ever tried making an oatmeal cookie recipe with chocolate chips? I have always just substituted the chocolate chips instead of raisins. I am just looking for other recipes.

    1. Hi Jennifer! I recommend my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipe.

  21. These are incredible! My teenagers say they’re ‘the best’ oatmeal cookies they’ve ever had! Of course, the M & Ms, milk and dark chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, pecans and Heath bits add to the appeal I’m sure. In any case, they’re soft and just so delicious. Thank you!

  22. Wow! These cookies smell amazing while baking and taste even better! I used old fashioned oats, milk chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. I will be making these again!

  23. I read your recipes often but this is the first one I’ve had the chance to try. I added large semi sweet chocolate morsels, raisins and walnuts. They were truly the best oatmeal cookies I have ever had. We are cookie connoisseurs in our house and we prefer them right out of the oven. So I kept the dough in the fridge and made small batches in our countertop convection oven. There was enough left for two cookies which I took to a friend and her husband. Well, her husband only got a bite because my friend wouldn’t give up the second whole cookie to him! So good that husbands and wives are fighting over them. Well, not really but she also said they were the best oatmeal cookies. Thank you for the recipe.

  24. I was searching for a recipe that told me the amount of add-ins and now I found it! makes it so easy! I’m going to make nuts, raisens and some dark chocolate chips. I also have some chia seeds. I’m pretty new to those so maybe just a tablespoon for these.

    Thanks for your nerdy tips!

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