Start to Finish: 1 1/2 hours
Servings: 3 dozen cookies
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Oatmeal cookies benefit from the tenderizing and moisturizing effects of rolled oats, which help create a chewy texture. Use old-fashioned rolled oats instead of quick-cooking oats, which are smaller and finer, to achieve the classic rustic look from the whole oats being visible in the final product. Vary the basic recipe by mixing in a variety of chips, nuts or dried fruit.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats


Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves in a large bowl. Set aside.

Cream the butter, brown sugar and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, or by hand, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla.

Beat in the flour mixture on medium-low speed until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Stir in the oats.

Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 325 F for dark or coated pans. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Alternatively, use a baking stone.

Drop the cookie dough, heaping tablespoon at a time, onto the prepared pan, leaving 1/2 inch between each cookie. Bake for 13 to 16 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly undercooked, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

Rest the cookies on the baking sheet for 3 minutes to finish cooking. Remove cookies to a cooling rack.


  • Overmixing the dough after adding the flour will develop too much gluten, making the cookies tough. Mix just enough to incorporate the flour and oats.
  • For crispier edges and bottoms, skip the parchment paper and grease your baking sheet lightly with butter.
  • For softer cookies, reduce the oven temperature by 25 F.
  • Baked oatmeal cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 7 days, or in a zippered freezer bag in the freezer for up to 1 month. Simply bring the cookies to room temperature before serving.
  • To keep uncooked dough for up to 1 month in the freezer, portion out the cookies onto a parchment-lined tray. Freeze for 30 minutes, then bag the portions in a zippered freezer bag and return to the freezer.


  • Add 1 1/4 cups raisins or golden raisins to the dough with the oats for easy oatmeal raisin cookies.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks to the dough with the oats for a chocolate kick.
  • Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots, 1/2 cup chopped almonds or pecans and 1/4 cup shredded coconut to the dough with the oats for a trail-mix-inspired oatmeal cookie.