These white chocolate chip cherry oatmeal cookies are extra chewy and soft, using my favorite oatmeal cookie base recipe. Made with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried cherries, and white chocolate, they’re just as irresistible as they are flavorful.
Welcome to week 2 and day 6 in Sally’s Cookie Palooza!
Oatmeal cookies will always be my favorite. I’m not biased either—I love oatmeal creme pies, peanut butter oatmeal cookies, oatmeal scotchies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, iced oatmeal cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies all the same. Between my family’s recipes, my cookbooks, and my website, I have about 30 oatmeal cookie recipes under my belt.
Today we’re using my favorite oatmeal cookie base recipe. We’re swapping raisins for dried cherries and adding plenty of sweet white chocolate. Let me list why you’ll love these.
These White Chocolate Chip Cherry Oatmeal Cookies Are:
- Soft & buttery in the centers
- Slightly crisp on the edges
- Sweetened with brown sugar
- Loaded with oats
- Studded with sweet/tart cherries
- Cinnamon and nutmeg spiced (holiday perfect!)
- Pretty quick—only 30 minute chill time (just like white chocolate macadamia oatmeal cookies)
My cookie loving friends, it doesn’t get much better than this!!
Ingredients You Need
- Butter: Make sure the butter is appropriately softened to room temperature, which is cooler than most think and the first mistake people make!
- 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. This promises a softer oatmeal cookie.
- Eggs: 2 eggs help bind everything together.
- Pure Vanilla Extract + Salt: Both provide flavor.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg: Can you even have oatmeal cookies without cinnamon? And yes, it pairs beautifully with tart dried cherries and white chocolate! For even more flavor, I add a little nutmeg too.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda helps the cookies rise.
- Molasses: Molasses is my secret ingredient in oatmeal cookies. 1 scant Tablespoon enhances all the wonderful flavors—just like how Grandma used to make them.
- Flour: Flour is the structure of the cookies.
- Oats: Oats provide a fabulously chewy texture and we’re using 3 whopping cups here. Use thick old-fashioned whole rolled oats, not quick oats. Quick oats are thinner and more powdery, so you’ll miss out on a lot of texture.
- Dried Cherries & White Chocolate Chips: These are the stars of today’s cookies and a winning flavor combination, especially when paired with brown sugar, molasses, oats, vanilla, and cinnamon. Tastes like the holidays! Not a fan of dried cherries? Use dried cranberries instead like we do in these white chocolate chip cranberry cookies.
How to Make White Chocolate Chip Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
- Cream butter + sugars: Use a hand or stand mixer to beat the softened room temperature butter with brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy.
- Add eggs, vanilla, + molasses: Add eggs, then mix on high for about 1 minute until incorporated. Add vanilla and molasses, then mix until combined.
- Dry ingredients: Mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a separate bowl. Beat into the wet ingredients.
- Add the extras: Beat in the oats, cherries, and white chocolate chips on low speed.
- Chill: The cookie dough is pretty sticky, so chilling it is imperative. Without at least 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator, your cookies will spread into flat puddles. Chilling cookie dough is my top tip for how to prevent cookies from spreading.
- Roll: Shape the cookie dough into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. I always recommend a medium cookie scoop when making my oatmeal cookies because the dough is textured and sticky.
- Bake: Bake the cookies at 350°F (177°C) until lightly browned around the edges. The cookies might look under-baked, but they will continue to set as they cool.
Do you like chunky cookies? Because these are PACKED!
Optional White Chocolate Drizzle
Because it’s fun to be extra, especially around the holidays, drizzle the baked cookies with melted white chocolate. This is completely optional, but it adds that extra something special. You need one 4-ounce white chocolate baking bar, such as Bakers or Ghirardelli brand, found in the baking aisle. Chop it up, then use the microwave or a double boiler to melt it down. I always use a squeeze bottle for drizzling, but a spoon works too.
You could do the same drizzle on these white chocolate Biscoff oatmeal cookies, too. YUM!
The Return of the Slow Bend Cookie
Before I leave you with the recipe!
I’ve used the term “Slow Bend Cookie” before. Like my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal M&M cookies, oatmeal scotchies, and oatmeal raisin cookies, these white chocolate chip cherry oatmeal cookies are soft in the centers with buttery crisp edges. They’re so chewy that the cookies won’t immediately break when you bend them. (Assuming you don’t over-bake the batch!) This is what I call a slow bend oatmeal cookie.
There’s enough chew to make a salt water taffy jealous. 🙂
What is Sally’s Cookie Palooza?
Sally’s Cookie Palooza is my annual Christmas cookie countdown tradition. First starting in 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row. Over the next two weeks, I’m publishing 10 new cookie recipes. This is the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Sign up for instant updates and you’ll receive a free email alert whenever I publish a new recipe. 🙂
Click to see Sally’s Cookie Palooza over the years!Print
White Chocolate Chip Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 13 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 26-30 cookies
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
This is my favorite oatmeal cookie dough with big chewy oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried cherries, and white chocolate. Chilling the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes is imperative.
- 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 (188g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 cups (255g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats*
- 1 cup (140g) dried cherries
- 1 cup (180g) white chocolate chips
- optional for drizzle: one 4-ounce quality white chocolate bar (113g), finely chopped*
- 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.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Beat in the oats, dried cherries, and white chocolate chips on low speed. Dough will be thick, yet very sticky. Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator. If chilling for longer (up to 2 days), allow dough to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before scooping and baking.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- 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.
- Optional White Chocolate Drizzle: You can melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave: place the chopped white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Drizzle lightly over cookies. Allow the white chocolate to set completely at room temperature for about 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Cover and store leftover cookies (with white chocolate drizzle or without) at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
- Oats: Use old-fashioned whole oats, not quick or instant oats. Whole oats provide the ultimate hearty, chewy, thick texture we love. Quick or instant oats are too fine and powdery.
- Eggs: Room temperature eggs preferred. Good rule of thumb: always use room temperature eggs when using room temperature butter.
- Optional Chocolate Drizzle: For the best results, use a 4 ounce “baking chocolate” bar found in the baking aisle. I prefer Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. Do not use white chocolate chips for the drizzle, as they contain stabilizers preventing them from melting into the proper consistency.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
Keywords: cherries, white chocolate, oatmeal cookies
Reader Comments & Reviews
1st time baking these, everyone really enjoyed them, didn’t have enough cherries so added some cranberries also nice combo if you like them. Loads of delicious cookies enough for everyone
These are fabulous, but I definitely think they need more cherries. I upped it to over a cup and a half because one cup is simply not enough. Also, I use regular Toll House white chocolate baking chips for the drizzle with fabulous results.
I moved last summer, and I haven’t made a decent batch of cookies since. Do you think my oven might be too hot? These cookies turned out very dark and flat when cooked at the minimum time. I’ll try again at 325 degrees and see if that helps. I love your recipes, and I love making cookies, so I have to get this figured out. 🙂
Hi Mary! Yes, absolutely. Most ovens run too hot or too cold, we always recommend using an in-oven thermometer to ensure you’re baking at the correct temperature. See number 1 in our recommended baking tools post!
I made these and they were beautifully soft, nicely spiced, and overall super super good! I didn’t have dried cherries but normally I’d sub for dried cranberries anyway but I didn’t have those either so I tried dried blueberries and wow, stellar!!
Sally, I believe you may have a misprint on the number of grams of flour. I use ounces to weigh my flour so it should be 10.02 oz for 1 1/2 cups of flour. The conversion should be 288 gms and you have 188 gms. I wouldn’t say anything except that in the reviews a few people said their finished cookies were like liquid and one said it fell apart. The problem may be not enough flour for the people who used the gram measurement.
Hi Mardi, thanks for your thoughtful comment. 1 cup spoon & leveled all-purpose flour weights 125 grams (4 1/2 ounces), so these measurements are correct. You can read more about properly measuring baking ingredients in this post. Usually when cookies spread too much, it’s an issue of butter temperautre (room temperature is cooler than you think!) or other common cookie baking mistakes. Here’s our post on preventing cookies from spreading!
I wanted to make some of your lemon cookies. I am in search of lemon oil. I am unable to find it… Do you have any suggestions on where to find lemon oil for baking?
Hi Angie, Which lemon cookies are you hoping to make? Most of our lemon flavored recipes use fresh lemon juice or lemon extract. We don’t usually bake with flavored oils.
I left it out ifor several hours , it was firm ..
I dont know what happened. The flavor was good, though greasy ..but the cookies fall apart . maybe not enough flour?
Hi Cheryl! Usually when cookies are too soft/greasy, butter is the culprit. How long did you let it sit out to come to room temperature? Room temperature butter is cooler than most people think – you can read more about proper room temperature butter in this post!
What could I substitute for the eggs?
Thank you so much for getting back with me. I will try them like they are and see how it goes. Just love all your recipes and content.
Have a question. On your Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies you put the raisins in water to plump. Do you do the same for the cherries in this recipe or use them as is?
Hi Wendy, We don’t find it necessary here, but you certainly can if yours feel extra dry.
This is an exceptional oatmeal cookie base! I used your recipe as a starting point, but subbed dried cranberries for cherries and added about 1 to 1.5 tsp of orange oil to each batch for Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.
Scooped the dough before chilling (used a #40 for small cookies; #40 for bakery style), which is easier on my hands. A few batches chilled for 24 hours and they came out darker and didn’t spread as much, which I preferred.
The baked cookies (without drizzle) froze and thawed perfectly. The scooped cookie dough balls also froze and baked from frozen with no problems. I purchased your cookie book to help support your fantastic work- thank you for the great recipe!
What brand of white chocolate chips do you use? I cannot find the real white chocolate chips near me. (I don’t want to use the ones made with hydrogenated oil)
Hi Shelly, We love Ghirardelli brand chips but you can use whatever brand you prefer. You could also chop up a white chocolate baking bar and use that in place of the chips if you prefer those ingredients. Hope you enjoy these cookies!
I have dried strawberries, could I use them instead of the cherries?
Why aren’t my cookies spreading?
Hi Raquel! When cookies aren’t spreading, it usually means that there’s too much dry ingredient (flour) soaking up all the liquid. When measuring flour, use the spoon & level method. Do not scoop the flour out of the container/bag. Doing so leaves you with excess flour in the cookie dough.
If you are ever in the middle of baking a batch and the cookies still aren’t spreading, remove them from the oven, and use a spoon to slightly flatten them out before returning them to the oven.
the cookies were a liquid after I baked them, but other than that they were good! my dogs and cats loved them! crowd pleaser for sure!
Family, friends and neighbors love this recipe. I’m wondering if the recipe lends itself to a xxl jumbo version? If so, any tips and/or warnings would be welcome. I’m sending them as holiday treats to a couple of friends who are jumbo cookie fanatics.
I made these today, and though I forgot to chill the dough, they turned out beautifully and are so delicious. I will definitely be making these again. Thank you for your great recipes.
I just made these using GF flour (King Arthur’s Measure for Measure) and adding pistachios. I used to make cookies like these back in my gluten days with macadamia nuts but they are very expensive now, so I substituted pistachios. They turned out great!
Yummy! Added 1-cup roasted pecans, too. These cookies are absolutely a crowd pleaser.
Do you think I could use fresh cherries?
Hi Tricia! We fear fresh cherries might add too much moisture to the cookies, but you can try chopping them up before adding. Let us know if you give it a try!
2nd time making tonight! In love with these. Reminds me of something I can’t name. One recipe on here leads me to another. Thank you