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 M&M cookie instead. Lots of great texture and room for add-in customization there, too.Print
Loaded Oatmeal Cookies
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 18 cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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 tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
Keywords: loaded oatmeal cookies
Reader Comments & Reviews
Hey Sally, I wanted a loaded oatmeal raisin cookie for a cookie bake off with my girlfriends.
I found your loaded oatmeal raisin cookie recipe and tweaked it by adding not only chocolate chips, but white chocolate chips, cranberries, pecans, and dates. I made two batches. Out of a total of six different cookies made that day, mine or I should say yours, was the hit!!! If you see this review, let me know if there’s anything else you can think of to add to the taste explosion. I have this recipe printed and ready to cook again soon. It was a 10 out of a 10!!
Thank you for the wonderful cookie recipe. I made these with butterscotch, m&m’s, and pecans. Terrific- my spouse eat four in 20 minutes.
Being an Australian, I have loved trying many of your recipes we have never heard of…..snickerdoodles . (Which were so yum ) With this recipe I used a muesli mix with different seeds, nuts and mixed dried fruit, throw in some cranberries and they were an instant hit. Thank you
Super cookie! Of course the taste is going to differ depending on what add-ins you choose. I used walnuts, cinnamon chips and white chips and the results were great.
Can you double this recipe and do it as a bar on a quarter baking sheet?
Absolutely, you can double this recipe and cook in a 9×13 baking pan for bars. We’re unsure of the exact bake time.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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?!
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/
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
Either works! The recipes are pretty similar yielding similar results in taste and texture.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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 🙂
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!
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!
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.
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!
I made these today with raisins, walnuts, butterscotch and white choc chips. Delicious! Love theadded molasses. It gives the cookie sometin sometin! Thanks!
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. 🙂
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!
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!
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
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!!