Oatmeal raisin cookies have so much goodness in every bite with healthy oats, whole wheat flour, and lots of raisins! Perfect for lunchboxes, snacks, or with coffee or tea.
Why you’ll love it: These cookies are easy and delicious. They freeze well, both baked or unbaked.
How long it takes: 15 minutes to make the dough, 12 minutes to bake each batch
Equipment you’ll need: large mixing bowl, baking sheet, wire rack for cooling
Servings: makes 42 cookies
I love babies, and I love bringing a meal to new moms and dads. Along with that meal, I always bring cookies, but I do it with a twist. I bring some cookies that are baked and ready to eat, and I also bring frozen cookie dough balls (with baking instructions).
You might think, “Wow, why are you making them do the work?” Well, when you have a baby, you get a lot of visitors, and when you have a lot of visitors, you may feel compelled to offer them refreshments.
The fantastic thing about frozen cookie dough balls is that new moms can pop them in the oven when they get unexpected visitors. The visitors arrive, a half dozen cookie dough balls are popped into the oven (or toaster oven!), the house smells like freshly baked cookies, and everyone can enjoy a warm cookie fresh out of the oven.
THE NEW MOM WINS. She’s amazing! She’s the envy of the town! How does she do it? Everyone is so impressed. She has it all together!
Do you like to spread love through special care packages like homemade oatmeal raisin cookies? Psychologists have found that baking for others makes the baker feel as good, if not better, than the recipient. Sounds like a win-win to me!
About This Recipe
These oatmeal raisin cookies are quite hearty. They have lots of good-for-you rolled oats (3 cups!) and are made with whole wheat flour. Chewy raisins add sweetness and flavor, along with fiber, iron, and antioxidants.
To make these cookies stand out a bit, I add a few extra spices. You’ll enjoy plenty of cinnamon in these cookies; nutmeg, ginger, and cloves enhance the flavor even more. The cookies smell just incredible when they are baking.
It’s your choice whether to chill the dough before baking the cookies. Some bakers insist that chilling the dough improves the cookies. I’ve tried this recipe both ways and I’d say that there’s no discernible difference. If it’s more convenient for you to chill the dough, go for it.
I’ll get you started on making the cookies and give you lots of helpful tips. You’ll find the recipe card near the end of the post with complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
The list of ingredients may look a little long but most of them are pantry items that are easy to measure and add.
- Rolled Oats: The star of these oatmeal cookies: rolled oats! You’ll need three cups of oats, either old-fashioned rolled oats or thick-cut rolled oats. Either type will work but don’t go near steel cut or instant oats for this recipe, okay?
- Whole Wheat Flour: Made from the whole grain, whole wheat flour has more flavor and texture than white flour. It also has more fiber and nutrition. I almost always use at least half whole wheat flour in my cookies. My family is used to it and they don’t notice the difference. All-purpose flour can certainly be substituted if you prefer.
- Raisins: Although raisins are high in sugar, they have lots of nutrition, too. These cookies just wouldn’t be the same without them. Use regular or golden raisins.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter for baking and make sure it’s at room temperature (softened) before making your cookie dough.
- Brown Sugar/White Sugar: Use a combination of these two sugars for the best tasting cookies. Brown sugar adds a caramel-like flavor.
- Eggs: Eggs are a pretty common ingredient in cookies, except for shortbread cookies.
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger: You’ll love the flavor these warm spices bestow to the cookies. Use freshly grated nutmeg for the best flavor.
- Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt: These common cookie ingredients provide leavening and seasoning.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: Again, an ingredient often found in cookies, pure vanilla extract gives the cookies another layer of deliciousness.
How To Make This Recipe
You’ll need a large mixing bowl to make these cookies. This is a one bowl recipe so cleanup is minimal.
Start by creaming the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together.
Use a stand mixer, hand mixer, or do it by hand. The mixture should be smooth and creamy, totally blended together. It’s important to soften your butter first; chilled butter is nearly impossible to work with.
Blend in the eggs and vanilla extract.
Next, measure out the flour. Spoon it lightly into the measuring cup. If you scoop the flour with the measuring cup, the flour will be too compacted and you’ll end up with hard cookies. Don’t shake the flour down to level it either; it’s best to level it with a straight edge such as a table knife.
Add the flour on top of the butter mixture; don’t mix it in yet. Measure out the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the ground spices, putting them on top of the flour. Once all the dry ingredients are in the bowl, lightly blend them together using your fingertips or a spoon.
Now, stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture just until they are blended together. Overmixing the dough may cause the cookies to become tough.
Add the oats and raisins to the dough and fold them in until they are distributed evenly throughout the dough.
Use a cookie scoop (size 40) to make uniformly sized balls, about one and a half tablespoons. A spoon is fine, too, but you may have to shape the cookies a bit.
Arrange the dough balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake the cookies until they are just golden brown around the edges. The longer you bake them, the crisper they will be.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet a couple of minutes; then use a large spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
You’ll probably want to try a warm cookie! They are hard to resist. Pour a glass of cold milk or make a cup of coffee or tea to go along with your warm oatmeal raisin cookie. Enjoy!
P.S. Each (generously sized) cookie is only 115 calories!
Soaking raisins before adding them to cookies is the baker’s choice. Soaking the raisins in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes will make them softer. Drain them well before adding them to the dough. If your raisins are a little old or extra dry, it’s a good idea to soak them. If your raisins are soft and fresh, it’s really not necessary.
Old fashioned rolled oats make the chewiest cookies. However, if you only have quick oats, they will work fine in this recipe. The cookies will be just a bit less chewy.
What are quick oats? Simply put, quick oats are rolled oats that have been chopped into smaller pieces so they cook more quickly when you are making oatmeal.
Make It Your Own
- Want these cookies to stand out a little more? Try using jumbo raisins, dried cherries, or dried cranberries.
- Change the flavor of the cookies by substituting 1 tablespoon of finely grated orange peel for the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
- If you’re a nut-lover, add 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts to the dough.
- Substitute all-purpose flour for the whole wheat flour, if you prefer.
- Not a fan of raisins? Try coconut oatmeal cookies or old fashioned iced oatmeal cookies.
If you don’t have time to bake the cookies right away, the dough can be covered tightly and refrigerated up to a day ahead or frozen up for up to three months.
To freeze cookie dough, scoop it out onto a tray (find one that fits in your freezer) lined with parchment paper, wax paper, foil, or plastic wrap. Freezing the dough on a tray first prevents the dough balls from squishing or sticking together.
Place the tray in the freezer, uncovered, until the dough hardens, about an hour. Transfer the dough balls into a zip-top bag or other freezer safe container. Label it with the name of the recipe and baking directions, if it’s a gift.
Cool the baked cookies completely before storing in an airtight container. Cookies will keep on the counter for up to a week, in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, or in the freezer for at least a month.
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour (all purpose flour can be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not steel cut or instant oats)
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined.
- Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger to bowl. Mix lightly to combine dry ingredients, then blend into wet ingredients. Do not overmix. Fold in oats and raisins.
- Scoop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls (size 40 scoop) and place 3 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 2 to 3 minutes before removing from cookie sheets and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
- If desired, cover and chill dough for 1 hour, or overnight. Add 1-2 minutes to baking time.
- Freezer Directions: Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a tray lined with parchment paper (make sure the tray fits in your freezer!). Freeze one hour or until hardened and then transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to three months. Bake as directed in the recipe, adding 2-3 minutes to the baking time as needed.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.