Best Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

The best oatmeal cookies recipe lets you choose which ingredients to include, just like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. And we’re talking way beyond raisins, chocolate chips, and peanut butter.

Best Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

This oatmeal cookies recipe is quite possibly the world’s best oatmeal cookie recipe, for the simple reason that it puts you in charge. This requires some big decisions, so we hope you’re not the indecisive sort. And we don’t mean simply choosing between raisins or chocolate chips. The recipe is actually a brilliant blueprint that entrusts you with some serious choices in terms of what type of fat, flour, flavoring, sugar, spice, and, yes, stir-ins you like. It’s sorta like those Choose Your Own Adventure books we had ages ago as kids. (Remember those?!) Let the oatmeal cookie hijinks begin. This recipe has been updated. Originally published March 21, 2014.Renee Schettler Rossi

Special Equipment: Decision-making prowess

Best Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H
  • Servings vary


  • Fat (see below)
  • Sugar (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Spice (see below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Flavoring (see below)
  • Flour (see below)
  • 3 cups regular or quick rolled oats
  • 1 cup Stir-Ins (see below; optional)


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grab a couple baking sheets.
  • 2. In a large bowl, beat the Fat with a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the Sugar, baking soda, Spice, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl every once in a while. Beat in the eggs and Flavoring. Beat in as much of the Flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining Flour and the oats. Stir in your Stir-Ins, if desired.
  • 3. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons, tablespoons, or 1/4-cup measures on baking sheets, spacing them 2 to 3 inches apart.
  • 4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes for rounded teaspoons or tablespoons or 12 to 14 minutes for 1/4-cup or cookie-scoop portions, or until the cookies are lightly browned and the centers appear set. Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.


  • Fat Choices (Choose Just One)
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature (Note: Cookies made with all butter tend to be thin and crisp.)
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, and 1/2 cup shortening
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, and 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Sugar Choices (Choose Just One)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
    1 cup packed light brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup molasses (add 1/4 cup additional all-purpose flour)
    1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup honey
  • Spice Choices (Choose Just One)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1 teaspoon apple pie spice
    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Flavoring Choices (Choose Just One)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
    1/2 teaspoon maple extract
  • Flour Choices (Choose Just One)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
    1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup oat bran
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
  • Stir-In Choices (Choose 1/2 to 1 cup any of the following)
  • Raisins or snipped dried apricots or dried red cherries or other mixed dried fruit
    Semisweet or milk chocolate, chips or chopped
    White chocolate, chips or chopped
    Butterscotch chips
    Peanut butter-flavor baking pieces
    Flaked coconut
    Chopped toasted pecans, walnuts, or other nuts
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