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! 

Soft & chewy Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. Sweetened with brown sugar and loaded with butterscotch, M&Ms, and chocolate chunks!

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.

Soft & chewy Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. Sweetened with brown sugar and loaded with butterscotch, M&Ms, and chocolate chunks!

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.

Soft & chewy Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. Sweetened with brown sugar and loaded with butterscotch, M&Ms, and chocolate chunks!

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.

Soft & chewy Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. Sweetened with brown sugar and loaded with butterscotch, M&Ms, and chocolate chunks!

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.

Soft & chewy Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. Sweetened with brown sugar and loaded with butterscotch, M&Ms, and chocolate chunks!

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?

Soft & chewy Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. Sweetened with brown sugar and loaded with butterscotch, M&Ms, and chocolate chunks!

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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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

Soft, chewy, simple oatmeal cookies that are perfect for your favorite add-ins like butterscotch, candies, nuts, and more!
Soft and chewy Loaded Oatmeal Cookies-- fill with your favorite chips, chunks, and candies!

152 Comments

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  1. Oh man, these look SO up my alley! And I LOVE all of your scientific baking talk, I always learn so much!!! 🙂

  2. Yes-yes and more YES! I cannot wait to try your Molasses trick. I just have some laying around from another recipe and would love to use it. 🙂

  3. Layla @ Brunch Time Baker says:

    Oh you definitely can’t go wrong with these cookie! I sure would love a dozen of these!

  4. Taylee @ twist me fit says:

    YUM. these can’t be too bad for you, right? 🙂

  5. Ohhhh…these are beautiful! I love this post because it is really helpful to have you outline each “base” cookie for each taste. You know I love your Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies and play with the mix in’s a lot!

    These are right on time – a coworker gave me about 10 little bags of M&M’s…perhaps a subtle hint since I brought no cookies in this week! lol!

    I did make your 3 Ingredient Chocolate for myself – oh my gosh that is genius and delicious!

    1. Let me know when you give these a try, Christine! Love those 3 ingredient chocolate bars too.

  6. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    These sound (and look) amazing! Wish I had a few to munch on this morning 🙂

  7. Tieghan Gerard says:

    I love a good oatmeal cookie and really have never tried one other than my moms, so I cannot wait to try these!

  8. Sally, it’s scary sometimes how much you and I are on the same page. The whole weekend I was craving exactly a chewy loaded oatmeal cookie and scoured your whole blog trying to decide which one to make. I settled on the pb oatmeal cookie and used “steel cut” quick oats. Big mistake. Never again. But I’ll be baking these puppies today. 🙂 You make my day!

    1. Let me know when you try these, Hayley!

  9. These are perfect! Love your choice of mix-ins. Oatmeal cookies with chocolate-esque additions are some of my favorite cookies! Definitely pinning this one. And thanks for the science!! 🙂

  10. Erin | The Law Student's Wife says:

    High five for nerdy cookie science! I always love when you include that info in your posts 🙂

  11. Chelsea @ Gal on a Mission says:

    Sally – These are definitely loaded, my favorite!

    Looking at the colors in the cookies reminds me that Spring is almost here. Well after our 8-12 or more inches of snow. Ugh.

    Lovin’ these! 🙂

    1. We’re getting another snowfall tomorrow night. And then again this weekend. I’m craving April like nobody’s business!

  12. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness says:

    I love these cookies! Oatmeal cookies are such a classic and all those add ins just send them into cookie heaven! Thanks for sharing all these cookie tips! Baking is such a science and it intimidates me, so those rock!

  13. I love the science talk! I’m always trying to use more brown sugar than white sugar and this recipe is perfect! Can’t wait to overload these babies with toffee pieces and peanuts YUM!

    1. LOVE the idea of toffee and peanuts. I have to try that, Sharon.

  14. These cookies look so pretty, great pictures!! I love a good oatmeal cookie and cannot wait to try these. That’s for getting a little ‘geeky’ with the science of baking. As ann avid baker I love learning more about the interactions of ingredients. Good luck with your cookbook! I preordered mine.

    1. Thanks Niki! You’ll have to let me know which cookbook recipe you try first!

  15. Jennie @themessybakerblog says:

    Big, fat cookies are a must. The more add-ins, the better. Love these!

  16. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    ohhhh my gawwwwsh, this is like the best oatmeal cookie ever!!! Love how big they are!

  17. this is my second question in 2 days!
    these look really awesome and i’d love to take them into my kids’ school
    for the teachers this week for Valentine’s Day. can i refrigerate the dough overnight and bake them in the morning, or do you think that’s too much?

    thanks again!

    1. Yep, you can chill overnight. Let the dough sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before rolling/scooping because it will be quite solid.

  18. Oh my gosh those look so delicious! I will have to make my own version using gluten-free ingredients, but this is an awesome starting point. Your recipes are so good. I can’t tell you how many of them I have made already.

    1. Thanks Shailynn! Which recipes are your favorites? Hope you give these a try.

      1. My favorite are:
        https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/05/29/fudge-brownie-cupcakes-with-cookie-dough-frosting/ – that frosting was amazing. I used it again on some chocolate cake and my son requested it in his birthday cake.

        https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/01/02/whole-wheat-banana-pancakes/ – I didn’t have greek yogurt that day so I used a regular raspberry yogurt and they were delicious.

        https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/11/16/favorite-pumpkin-cupcakes/ – made these four times this fall 🙂

  19. I was just thinking about oatmeal cookies – you have ESP girl!

  20. Kim Byers @ The Celebration Shoppe says:

    These look sinful – the oatmeal cancels the candy calories, right?!

    1. Ha! Totally.

  21. Holy cow, these look amazing! I may have to go get some add-ins before the snow comes tomorrow. On second thought, being stuck in my house with a batch of these might not be such a good idea.

  22. Zainab @ Blahnik Baker says:

    Hmmmmm, I wish I had a few to munch on right now. These look so great Sally. I love the nerd break down too 🙂 Always my favorite part of your posts!

  23. These honestly made my day. Nothing is better than an oatmeal cookie. Seriously. Thank you so much for posting this for more reasons than one! It was very helpful. Especially with the oats. It just seems so difficult when to discern when to use quick and not to.

    This post helped a bit with that. It seems that you should use quick oats if you don’t want them to be as thick maybe? I understand that the quick oats are flour-ier and dry out cookies, but I am not fully sure why. Regular rolled oats seem to add more texture, so if you want a thicker more “chunky cookie” go with rolled oats and if you want a thinner softer less oat-y cookie go with quick? Because I know it is critical to use quick oats in no bakes and your oatmeal creme pies…sand those you want soft so is that a good rule of thumb to follow? Thanks!!

    1. Yep, that’s a good rule of thumb to follow!

  24. Helen @ Scrummy Lane says:

    What a cookie expert you are, Sally! I’m rather ashamed to admit that I’ve never made a proper American cookie (only UK-style biscuits when I was a child). I think I have to rectify this soon if I want any respect as a food blogger, and when I do I’ll definitely be popping over here again for some tips!!

  25. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate says:

    You are making me hungry! I might have to have cookies for lunch today 🙂

  26. Hi there,
    I wish I could have one of those cookie with my Latte right now!
    Sally, I wanted to leave you a little note because I mentioned you today in my as an inspiring person! Your hard work shows and it gives my wings to see what one can achieve! Congrats on your success!
    Melanie

    1. Thank you very much! I’m so flattered. Best of luck Melanie!

  27. It’s a really nasty, cold, rainy day here in NOLA right now. This post brightened my day. 🙂
    Everyone knows your cookies are the BEST!

    1. Thanks Audrey! You will love these – let me know if/when you make them! Stay warm. It’s chilly here too!

  28. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough says:

    Love the cookie tips almost as much as I love these cookies! I’m going to keep them in the mind the next time I make cookies… which will probably be tomorrow. With this recipe. 🙂

  29. Yum these look delish! Thanks for the baking tips too! Very helpful 🙂

  30. Amazing! i am a sucker for cookies, and these look divine!

    Jenna |

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