Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Soft and chewy with that trademark homemade flavor, these are the best soft and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. Made with brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, chewy oats, sweet raisins, and a secret ingredient, this recipe wins for flavor and texture. Your family will love these easy oatmeal raisin cookies!

Oatmeal raisin cookies

There are two types of people in this world. Raisin haters and raisin lovers. I fall into the latter category. Besides homemade apple pie, oatmeal raisin cookies are my favorite dessert. There’s something incredibly magical about their chewy texture, soft centers, plump raisins, and cinnamon flavor. Please tell me I’m not the only raisin lover!!

Oatmeal raisin cookies

What Makes These Oatmeal Raisin Cookies The Best

The competition is strong, but here’s why you’ll fall in love with these cookies.

  • Moist and tender centers
  • Slight crisp on the edges
  • Sweetened with brown sugar
  • Loaded with oats
  • Studded with raisins
  • Cinnamon spiced
  • Buttery flavor
  • 30 minute chill time

It doesn’t get much better than this!

Oatmeal raisin cookie dough balls on baking sheet

Ingredients in Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies are made with very basic ingredients.

  1. Butter: Butter is the base of any delicious cookie recipe. Make sure it’s appropriately softened to room temperature.
  2. Brown Sugar + Granulated Sugar: Sugar is not only used for sweetness, but also for providing structure and tenderness. I like to use more brown sugar than white sugar because (1) brown sugar has incredible flavor and (2) brown sugar contains more moisture than white, which produces a softer cookie.
  3. Eggs: Eggs help bind everything together. You need 2 eggs in this recipe.
  4. Pure Vanilla Extract + Salt: Both provide flavor.
  5. Cinnamon: Raisins, oats, and cinnamon are winning flavor combination.
  6. Baking Soda: Baking soda helps the cookies rise.
  7. Molasses: Molasses is my secret ingredient! 1 scant Tablespoon enhances all the wonderful flavors of these buttery, cinnamon-sweet oatmeal raisin cookies.
  8. Flour: Flour is the structure of the cookies.
  9. Oats: There are a ton of oats in this recipe! Oats provide a fabulously chewy texture.
  10. Raisins: I love to soak the raisins in warm water before using. This step is optional, but it guarantees they are plump and soft. Blot dry before adding to cookie dough. (You can also use this cookie dough to make my white chocolate chip cherry oatmeal cookies.)

I like to add chopped walnuts. Nuts are totally optional but highly recommended. These simple ingredients combine to make the best oatmeal raisin cookies!

Oatmeal raisin cookies


How to Make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

There’s only a few steps between now and a batch of warm oatmeal cookies. 🙂

  1. Cream butter + sugars: Use a hand or stand mixer to cream the softened butter with both sugars until smooth, about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla, + molasses: Add eggs, then mix on high for about 1 minute until incorporated. Add vanilla and molasses, mix until combined.
  3. Dry ingredients: Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a separate bowl. Pour this into the wet ingredients. Combine together on low.
  4. Add the extras: Beat in the oats and raisins on low speed. Dough will be thick and sticky.
  5. Chill: Refrigerate the cookie dough for 30-60 minutes.
  6. Roll: Roll cookie dough into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. I love using these baking mats.
  7. Bake: Bake the cookies at 350°F (177°C) for 12-13 minutes until lightly browned. The cookies might look under-baked, but they will continue to set as they cool. This is the secret to a soft and chewy oatmeal raisin cookie!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough is Sticky

This oatmeal raisin cookie dough is sticky, so don’t be alarmed. The cookie dough needs to chill for about 30 minutes before baking. I don’t recommend keeping this cookie dough in the refrigerator for much longer because your cookies won’t spread. The oats will begin to absorb all of the wonderful moisture from the eggs, butter, and sugar and won’t expand as they bake. Sticky dough is good dough!

Oatmeal raisin cookies

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

If you love these oatmeal raisin cookies, try any of these SOFT cookie recipes. You’ll wonder why you haven’t baked them sooner!

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Oatmeal raisin cookies

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 26-30 cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Soft and chewy with that trademark homemade flavor, these are the best soft and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. Your family will love these easy oatmeal raisin cookies!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs*
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract (yes, Tablespoon!)
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (240g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats*
  • 1 cup (140g) raisins*
  • optional: 1/2 cup (64g) chopped toasted walnuts

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, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs 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, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Beat in the oats, raisins, and walnuts (if using) on low speed. Dough will be thick, yet very sticky. Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator (do the full hour if you’re afraid of the cookies spreading too much). If chilling for longer (up to 2 days), allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  4. Roll balls of dough (about 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. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft and under-baked. Remove from the oven and let cool on 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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. 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. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Oats: For these oatmeal raisin cookies, I use old-fashioned whole oats. They provide the ultimate hearty, chewy, thick texture we love!
  3. Eggs: Room temperature eggs preferred. Good rule of thumb: always use room temperature eggs when using room temperature butter.
  4. Raisins: Soak your raisins in warm water for 10 minutes before using (blot very well to dry them) – this makes them nice and plump for your cookies.
  5. Adapted from Loaded Oatmeal Cookies & Oatmeal Creme Pies. Recipe originally published on Sally’s Baking Addiction in 2014.

Keywords: cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies

Soft-Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Nothing fancy or complicated, just pure homemade goodness!

818 Comments

  1. These are so good. Being in the Deep South I used pecans instead of walnuts but otherwise did it just as written. They are simply perfect. I would urge others like me without a fancy stand mixer to disregard the “mixing speed” instructions, though – our little hand mixers are different and their motors are weak. Just mix the stuff up, it will be fine. Thank you!

    1. These were delicious! I soaked the raisins with a little bit of dry sherry. Next time, I may try ginger liqueur. Thanks for your fabulous recipes!

  2. I made these tonight. I love the addition of molasses. Thank you. I have made several of your recipes. They have all been great. Again, Thank you and Merry Christmas

    1. You can, but the cookies won’t spread as much since quick oats are cut finer and more powdery. For best taste and texture, I recommend whole oats.

  3. I went to a cookie swap and everyone loved the cookies!!! My son tasted all and thought mine were the best. I also was told by multiples they liked mine the best of all other 18 varieties! Thank you again! I referred your recipe!

    1. You can, yes. For best results, I recommend dried cranberries. If using fresh cranberries, chop them up and blot them with a paper towel before adding to the cookie dough.

  4. My sister used to make her cookies with white sugar and molasses. No brown sugar. They were yummy and had craters on the underside. Hers looked flatter than yours. What can I do to have them be a flatter cookie?

  5. Truly delicious and they came out like I expected. I substituted agave nectar for the molasses, though I read afterward that Sally says the molasses can be left out if you don’t have it. I also used white whole wheat flour. Following a recommendation King Arthur Flour, I added 2 tsp liquid per 1 cup of flour when making the swap. I just used almond milk for my liquid. My cookies came out chewy, moist and flavorful. Happy I found this one.

  6. These taste delicious!!! However, my went flat and didn’t set up well. I did refrigerate overnight, maybe that did it? Maybe more flour?

  7. These look delicious! I’m going to make these but wondering if I can use Quaker 100% whole grain oats, old fashioned?

  8. I have make these twice now. Once for my church Christmas party and once for my office Christmas party. They were a big hit with both groups. I did change the recipe a little. I used 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of shortening instead of the 1 cup of butter. The other thing I got compliments on was I use Cranberry raisins instead of raisin. It gave the cookie a little tarter taste that everyone seemed to like.

  9. Made these last weekend as an addition to my cookie trays for work and they were a fan favorite. Making again this morning for my father in-law who loves oatmeal raisin. Best oatmeal recipe I’ve come across!!

  10. These cookies are amazing! I made them as a Christmas gift for a friend who loves oatmeal raisin. I’ve never been a fan of raisins, but I tried one of these cookies to make sure they came out alright – and then I ate four more. They’re so good! I’m glad I bought extra oats and raisins because I will definitely be making these again.

    I did have something weird happen on the second and third batches of cookies: a couple of the cookies melted just at the edges (the center of the cookie was fine, and the rest of the cookies in the batch were perfect). I read another comment where someone had this same problem, and you suggested maybe the oven has hot spots and to try rotating the pan, so I’m going to try this if it happens again next time.

  11. I was hoping these would be great but instead they were a hot mess.( and I did put it in the fridge for 45min.) This recipe has just too much butter. With the 2 eggs, plus the molasses without adding in more flour makes this cookie spread into a total mess. For certain it needs less butter and more flour for this cookie to not spread.
    I would use 1.5 sticks of butter and increase the flour by 1/4cup. I’m not a novice baker and I thought it was gonna be a mess but I always like to bake as the recipe states to check. However, that can be a costly experiment. They do taste good but they do not hold together at all. Good over cereal or ice cream.

    1. By far the best recipe ever ! Absolutely love these cookies. I made it exactly as the recipe said and they turned out perfect! Keep up the good work !

      1. Hey there Carol. I am not a baker by any means 🙂 but they work great for me. That being said, I made them just now with different oats than last time and it changed the texture. So maybe try some different oats ? Funny enough the No Frills brand is what worked best for me So far.

  12. I loved these so much! So quick and east to make, I was not even bothered by the 0:30 chilling time. They are so worth the wait. I subbed out the raisins for dried orange cranberries from trader joe’s and pumpkin pie spice is perfect for the season. I want to try white chocolate chips next time.

    1. Hi Sally! Outstanding recipe for the oatmeal raisin cookies! I used all the ingredients except the nuts, and these were gobbled up in a few minutes! Made them also for a cookie reception after a Christmas musical and our twins were in it, and they were gone in a flash! I even made a batch to ring in the new 2020 year! You’re recipes are truly the best!

  13. Should I use original molasses or robust molasses (grandmas of course!)

    Also thank you for all the effort you put into all these cookies they are all; and I mean all delicious. For your book for Christmas and I just can’t stop baking now haha

  14. I made a batch for Christmas and they where great so I made another batch with Cranberries…oh la la!!!!

  15. I made this recipe but substituted regular flour for a gluten free version which usually doesn’t make too much of a difference but for some reason this batch came out extremely dry! The flavor is great by the way so I know it’s user error. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Jen, Assuming you are using gluten free oats too? If so are they more like the whole rolled oats or like quick oats? I don’t recommend quick oats as they absorb more liquid and will dry the cookies out.

  16. I made these today and they are the most delicious and chewy oatmeal raisin walnut cookies I have ever had, and I have quite high standards. I made them exactly as directed, except I did not have regular molasses. I only had blackstrap. Since I used light brown sugar and not dark brown, I felt OK using the blackstrap, but used only half the amount of molasses called for. I can’t imagine that did anything but good. Honestly, I can’t imagine my cookies being more perfect!

    I made 27 cookies in total. Mine look bigger than those pictured on this page. I did refrigerate the batter for 40 minutes. Then put the balls on the lined cookie sheets and refrigerated again (on the cookie sheets) while the oven preheated. My raw dough looked less dry than the uncooked balls pictured here. I have no explanation for that.

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe! It is now my only oatmeal raisin walnut recipe! And yes, presoaked raisins and roasted walnuts make a difference!

  17. I made these with one stick of butter by accident (calls for two). The cookies were a just bit dry but there are none left. They were thick, flavorful and chewy and delicious, but I am going to try 1-1/2 sticks of butter next time. I think that will be enough for me. I am also going to try soaking the raisins in warm brandy or rum, which will add a bit of moistness. We[ll see if the flavor comes through. I am also tempted to cut the cinnamon a bit (1/4 tsp.) and substitute a bit of dry cloves for a flavor kick. These might be subtle refinements to a very good and delicious recipe. I’ll try to report back soon. Thank you, Mike

  18. Just baked these! First time making oatmeal raisin cookies and they are delicious and toddler approved!

  19. These cookies were crisp at the edges and beyond delicious, but spread too much for my liking, even after chilling per the recipe. Next time I will refrigerate the dough until I can roll it into balls then freeze the dough balls before baking. No other changes necessary!

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