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

  1. Katrina @ WVS says:

    Fully loaded cookies fill my heart with joy. Love this recipe!

  2. Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina says:

    I love me a good oatmeal cookie from time to time, and chilling the dough for a half hour is a great tip 🙂

  3. Oatmeal chocolate chip would have to be my favourite type of cookie. Definitely in withdrawals since I was diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity. I’ll have to try and find some gluten free oats because these cookies look too tempting to ignore! Thanks for sweetening up my Wednesday morning with beautiful photos of cookies 🙂

  4. Beth @ bethcakes says:

    While oatmeal cookies aren’t usually my favorite, yours look amazing with all those M&Ms, butterscotch morsels, and addins! I think maybe I’ve just never had an amazing oatmeal cookie before, so I should probably give them a second chance. Also, I really enjoy all the scientific baking talk. 🙂

    1. Thanks Beth – you should give these a go!

  5. Loaded oatmeal cookies is just how I like mine. And always with old-fashion oats – just love the texture! Pinning these beauties, Sally!

  6. Emily @ Life on Food says:

    Your cookie posts always end with me going to the kitchen to make cookies. I kind of love it. These cookies look fantastic. Whenever I have oatmeal cookies I consider them healthy with the oatmeal. yum, yum!!

    1. I like your way of thinking with the whole “healthy” thing 😉

  7. I love oatmeal cookies…probably because I love oatmeal! Seriously, you could put plates of pancakes, French toast, crepes, eggs…anything (except maybe waffles…I do love waffles!) in front of me, and I would choose a bowl of oatmeal, hands down. 🙂 Your combination for these cookies sounds delicious, but I also love the white-chocolate chip and craisin suggestion! Or maybe dried strawberries (SO good) or cherries…or pineapple!

    1. Caley, I think we were best friends or sisters in another life. We have so much in common, it’s scary. I love me some oatmeal (and waffles!) too. 🙂 Pineapple oatmeal cookies. You are onto something!

  8. Mimi @ Culinary Couture says:

    I love reading about cookie science! This is what separates your blog from all the others, you don’t just give us recipes, you explain how and why they work. It’s awesome 🙂

  9. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen says:

    The science talk is great, baking nerds unite! I have actually been day dreaming about oatmeal butterscotch cookies lately, yet to bake any tho! I adore the peanut m&ms and butterscotch and chocolate chunks what a great flavor combo- these cookies hot of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream kinda sound like heaven to me!!

  10. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    I love good oatmeal cookies Sally but with all your trials and everything you said, you know that good oatmeal cookies aren’t always so easy to come by! The flour/oats ratio, eggs, sugar(s) and which to use of which, etc. So much can go haywire and they don’t have that same magical quality. And I love adding 1-2 tbsp molasses to cookies. You’re so right about it adding just that extra something! pinned

  11. Hey Sally, I’m back with another comment. So I couldn’t help myself and I made these babies tonight. My Oh My! The flavor of these cookies are out of this world! I’m curious of you’ve ever used toffee bits in your cookies? I used those, chocolate chips and pecans and I noticed despite rolling them nice and round they spread a tiny bit and became irregular shapes. I’m wondering if it may have anything to do with the toffee melting so the cookies lost some of their structure?! I’m not hip on all this baking science but you just might be turning me into a baking nerd 😉

    One other thing, I did 1.5 Tbsp scoops but ended up with way more cookies that the 16 as stated. I used my OXO scoop and I swear it was a medium size. Just wanted to confirm the yield should only be 16. I may need to use a larger scoop!

    1. Hey Sarah! The toffee melting would definitely change the shape of your cookies! No worries, I’m sure they are still so so good! And the recipe yield is actually 18. Apparently I think my “8” scribble looks like a “6” – sometimes I get 20 from this batch, sometimes 16. Depends how much cookie dough I taste test!

  12. Food science–the only science I can handle! I have totally been geeking out on chewy cookies lately in my quest to develop that thick, huge grocery store bakery-style cookie I love and miss, and browsing through some of your cookie science explanations has definitely helped inspire my latest CCC post. Thanks for walking through that with us, whew–now my brain is craving some oatmeal cookies!

    1. No you gotta try a huge bakery-style oatmeal cookie recipe Ala!

  13. OMG Sally, these look amazing. I must tell you, your cookie recipes are the best. I haven’t tried a bad recipe yet! I just made your Homemade Oatmeal Creme Pies the other day, and my family and friends went CRAZY. They loved, loved, loved them. I did too! 🙂

    1. That’s great Jessica – those oatmeal creme pies are always a hit! My friends love them.

  14. Hey there Sally, could I use steel cut oats for this recipe?:) I only have those 🙁

    1. I’m sure you could!

      1. just made these cookies, they’re perfect! and my kitchen smells heavenly.
        Thanks again sally 😀

  15. Laura Dembowski says:

    There is nothing better than a good oatmeal cookie! These are so thick and chewy looking! I never wait for cookies to cool – they taste so good hot out of the oven 🙂

  16. In my opinion, the only way to eat an oatmeal cookie is loaded with MnMs! (and a healthy dollop of peanut butter, too 😉 These look amazing! And I love your nerdy cookie discussions 🙂 I learn so much from them!

  17. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    These look like my dream cookies, love how loaded they are!

  18. Brittany from CountingMyCupcakes says:

    Oatmeal cookies are my absolute favorite. I can’t resist. In the past, I have made the mistake of going with chocolate chip, or sugar or something else at a bakery. Sure, those are good too, but oatmeal never ever fails me. I like all of your mix-in suggestions, and also like adding cinnamon and/or cinnamon chips into my dough! Pecans and walnuts are good too.

    1. Yes! no oatmeal cookies are complete without cinnamon. And I have to get my hands on some cinnamon chips!

  19. The bright peanut butter M&Ms look so cheerful! And somehow I missed the memo that those existed… I only knew about peanut, almond, pretzel, and crispy. Other than the regular. (Although I did cave and buy a package of the gingerbread ones during Christmastime… Not quite good enough for me to bake with!)

    And I’m SO excited for your cookbook to finally arrive on my doorstep!! It’s practically torture, hearing you mention little hints before I can actually see them myself. 😉 But knowing you and your amazing baking talent, it’ll definitely be worth the wait!

    1. I’m so happy you’re excited for my book Amy! Only 2 more weeks. 🙂 And you MUST buy a bag of those pb M&Ms! You’re missing out. Buy a bag and let me know when you taste them!

      1. Well… If you say so! 😉 And at least I’d know they wouldn’t “sneak” off on me, seeing as my guy hates PB!

  20. 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!!

    1. These cookies are amazing with chopped Reeses. 🙂 Happy you love them Erin!

  21. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says:

    Your tips are awesome! I’m totally on an oatmeal cookie kick lately. Now I’m in the mood for more!

  22. I was so excited about the add-ins that I forgot to put in oats! LOL! I was mixing it thinking my dough sure didn’t SEEM very thick…then I realized DOH, I’m making OATMEAL cookies!

    Anyways, getting ready to bake them now…the dough is amazing. That bit of molasses adds so much to the batter. My add ins are M & M’s, butterscotch chips and peanut butter chips. I really SHOULDN’T eat one baked since I sampled a bit more dough than intended….maybe I’ll make myself a teeny one to try….

    1. Glad you’re making them Christine! And yes, that little touch of molasses really makes a difference! Enjoy. 🙂

      1. I must have done something wrong because these just wouldn’t bake up properly for me. The bottoms cooked really fast and the tops were just strange. I re-read the directions and am pretty sure I added all of the ingredients but given I initially forgot oats, who knows! I will try them again at a later date. It wasn’t a complete loss…I thoroughly enjoyed eating the dough! 🙂

  23. My family is munching on these right now! What a great recipe Sally, and very easy to put together. The taste profile is perfect! Yum! I used a medley of chip flavors in mine: peanut butter, white chocolate, milk chocolate. They turned out great!

  24. Sally,
    Wow! You’ve really hit one out of the park with these cookies!!!!
    They are definitely my favorite recipe of yours to date (& we’ve tried a lot!)
    I finally made them today with all butterscotch chips. Soooo good, my favorite oatmeal scotchies ever!!!
    Thank you & God bless you Sally!

    1. Yeah! Love them with just butterscotch chips!

  25. You’re very welcome! I weigh my own ingredients, and I know it’s also helpful for readers overseas.

  26. I am at work, just dying to get home and make some cookies. Yummmm. So my question is, what do you think about baking in a toaster oven? It’s hit or miss for me.. too gooey or too burned. Any tips would be so appreciated!

    1. Katelyn, I’ve never baked these particular cookies in a toaster oven before. But this is a solid cookie recipe and I have no doubt they wouldn’t be just fine in the toaster oven. To avoid them from drying out, underbake for about a minute. Enjoy!

  27. 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

  28. Hello , I’m currently on a no white carbs diet and was wondering if I could somehow replace the flour with either coconut cornstarch and wholewheat bread flour somehow and if so then how could Ido that ? It would be very helpful and also would they still taste similarly ,? I really want to make these tomorrow so hopefully I’ll get an answer 🙂

    1. Hi Marcela – I’m not sure. I do not recommend altering this recipe at all. Perhaps take a peek at my healthier options for a recipe without white flour. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/category/healthy-recipes/

  29. 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!

    1. Yes! These are so, so good with ice cream. And I can only imagine how amazing the combo of raisins and mini M&Ms is. Love oatmeal raisin cookies!

  30. 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!

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