These soft and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are perfect for any occasion. We always love baking these amazing cookies at home. So delicious and easy to make!
They are loaded with hearty oats and lots of raisins. So delicious and such a classic, cozy treat. Plus, they are make-ahead and freezer friendly.
Even if you’re not the biggest raisin fan, I promise you’ll LOVE these thick, soft, and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies!
Growing up, oatmeal raisin cookies were always our favorite at home! As time went by though, the recipe kind of got lost, so I decided to try to recreate it and I’m so excited to share it with you today!
These oatmeal raisin cookies are seriously THE best! Perfectly soft and chewy with slightly crisp edges. They are packed with tasty raisins and cozy cinnamon flavors.
Why we LOVE making oatmeal raisin cookies at home:
- So delicious! Tasty raisins paired with hearty oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Your house will smell so cozy!
- You only need 30 minutes to refrigerate: A lot of cookies require hours of refrigeration, but not this one! 30 minutes is all you need.
- Perfect texture: As mentioned above, these cookies are amazingly hearty, thick, soft, and chewy.
- Make-ahead and freezer-friendly
These cookies are a classic! If you’re a classic treats baker, you’ll also love these Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gingersnap Cookies, Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies, Gingerbread Cake, and…of course, Brownies!
Also, check out these amazing Pistachio Shortbread Cookies I just posted!
What Type of Oats to Use
Use old-fashioned rolled oats. They are hearty and are larger than other types of oats, which makes them great for absorbing more moisture and flavor. This is what makes oatmeal raisin cookies thick, soft, and chewy. My favorite brand is Quaker.
I’ve also tried using quick oats, but the texture isn’t quite the same. They will turn out fine, but not have the ideal texture.
Do NOT use instant oats, as they will make the cookies taste mushy and plain. Also do NOT use steel-cut oats either, they are too hard for baking.
Below are a few helpful ingredient notes from recipe testing. As always, the ingredient quantities can be found in the recipe card down below.
- Flour: I use all-purpose flour here. Be sure to measure it correctly by spooning it into a measuring cup and leveling.
- Ground cinnamon and nutmeg: We use mostly ground cinnamon and just a pinch of nutmeg. Cinnamon adds lots of cozy flavors that you just can’t miss!
- Baking soda: It will give the cookies structure and improve texture.
- Salt: Always brings out all the flavors in baked goods.
- Unsalted butter: Softened at room temperature.
- Brown sugar and granulated sugar: Brown sugar adds to that moist, soft, and chewy texture. Granulated sugar adds extra sweetness and helps with structure.
- Eggs: For structure and to help bind everything together.
- Vanilla extract: We use a whole tablespoon of vanilla extract here. Yes, tablespoon!
- Old-fashioned rolled oats: We use a generous amount, 3 cups. Do not use instant or steel-cut oats.
- Raisins: Use dark raisins rather than golden raisins for that iconic look. There is no need to pre-soak them.
These oatmeal raisin cookies are seriously the best and very easy to make. It all comes together pretty quickly and the dough only needs to refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Step 1 | Whisk dry ingredients
In a bowl, whisk flour, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Step 2 | Cream butter and sugar
In a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) or with a handheld electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and both sugars for about 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Step 3 | Beat in eggs and vanilla
Lower speed to medium. Beat in the eggs, mixing one by one to incorporate. Add the vanilla extract and mix until evenly combined.
Step 4 | Add oats and raisins, refrigerate
Mix in the oats and raisins on low speed or using a rubber spatula to fold in until evenly combined. The dough will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure it’s directly touching the dough, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 5 | Bake
Using a 1.5 tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, scoop the dough into balls. Bake at 350 degrees F for 11 to 13 minutes until the oatmeal raisin cookies are golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely.
Tips for Making Perfectly Round Cookies
Oatmeal raisin cookies tend to spread more quickly around the edges first as they bake, which means that they don’t always turn out evenly round. But worry not, here’s a quick trick to fix that:
Immediately after the cookies come out of the oven, run a round cookie cutter around each cookie in a swirling motion to reshape the edges until they are round. Use a cookie cutter that’s slightly bigger than the cookie.
Make Ahead Instructions
Baked cookies stay fresh for 3 to 5 days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
The dough can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days ahead. When ready to bake, remove from the fridge and let it sit for 30 minutes on the counter. Lightly press down each cookie ball to flatten before baking. This will help the cookies spread better (when refrigerated for hours, the oats tend to absorb extra moisture from the dough, making the cookies harder to spread properly).
Yes, you can freeze the dough! After refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes per the recipe’s instructions, scoop into balls onto a sheet pan and freeze for 1 to 2 hours so they firm up. Then, transfer the cookie dough balls into freezer-friendly bags and freeze for up to 2 months. Bake from frozen, adding an extra 1-2 minutes.
You can also freeze baked cookies for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
No. Instant oats will turn your cookies too mushy. And steel oats are too hard. I’d recommend using old-fashioned rolled oats for best results. Quick oats are okay to use, but the cookies may not turn out as soft and chewy.
The dough needs to refrigerate for about 30 minutes. If they continue to spread, it may need more time in the fridge.
Yes, that’s fine, although you may need to make a few adjustments: let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 or 40 minutes and lightly press down the cookie dough balls to flatten a bit to help it spread better. Bake as directed.
No. The raisins will absorb some moisture from the dough while it’s resting. However, if you want extra plump raisins, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes and dry them very thoroughly before using so the cookies don’t turn out wet.
This recipe was published in 2019 and updated in December 2022 to include new photos and information.
Tips for Success
- Use old-fashioned rolled oats for best results. I like the Quaker brand. Do not use instant or steel-cut oats.
- Don’t overbeat the butter and sugar. This can incorporate too much air into the dough, and so when the cookies bake they may deflate. About 2 to 3 minutes should be enough.
- Chill dough for 30 minutes: During this time, the oats absorb moisture (and flavor!) from the dough, yielding thick, soft, and chewy cookies. If refrigerated for too long, the cookies may have some trouble spreading.
- The dough will be sticky. I’d recommend using a 1.5 tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, which will make about 3-inch round cookies. If they are too big, they may spread too much around the edges but not enough in the center.
Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Handheld electric mixer if not using stand mixer
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg - optional
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature - equiv to 2 standard sticks
- 1 ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract - yes, tablespoon!
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats - do NOT use instant or steel-cut oats
- 1 ½ cups raisins
- Mix the dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients: Using a mixer (with the paddle attachment) or an electric handheld mixer on medium-high speed, cream the softened butter with brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Then, reduce to medium speed and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Next, mix in the vanilla extract.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients: Gradually mix in the dry ingredients mixture into the wet ingredients mixture, until combined and no pockets of flour remain. Do not overmix.
- Then, mix in the oats and raisins on low speed (or using a rubber spatula) until evenly incorporated. The dough should be very sticky.
- Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is touching the dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Note: If refrigerating for several hours, let it sit on the counter for 30-40 minutes before using.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.
- After the dough has refrigerated for about 30 minutes, use a medium cookie scoop (1.5 tablespoon capacity) to scoop out the dough onto the prepared sheet pans, about 2 to 3 inches apart. Note: If you refrigerated the dough for several hours, lightly press down the cookie dough balls to flatten a little bit. This will help them spread better.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until they are slightly golden brown around the edges. Bake in multiple batches. Let cool for a few minutes on the sheet pan and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy! Tip to make perfectly round cookies: While they are hot, run a round cookie cutter around each cookie in a swirling motion to reshape the edges. I use a round cookie cutter that’s slightly bigger than the cookie.
- What type of oats to use: Old-fashioned rolled oats are the best choice for texture and flavor. Quick oats are fine too, but may lack that chewy texture. Do not use instant or steel-cut oats.
- Softened butter: When you press it with a finger, it should give easily but still hold its shape very well. It should not be too hard or runny. If you forgot to soften it, put it in the microwave for 5 seconds at a time, until just softened. It should NOT be melted at all.
- If the cookies are not spreading, then the dough may be too cold. Let it sit at room temperature a little longer. Also, try pressing down the cookie dough balls to flatten them a bit.
- Store your baked cookies in a sealed container at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. Baked cookies can also be frozen for up to 1 month and thawed in the fridge.
- Make ahead: Up to 2 days ahead, refrigerated. Let dough sit at room temp for 30 to 40 minutes before baking and lightly press down each cookie ball to flatten so they spread properly, as noted above.
- Freezing: Form cookie dough balls onto a sheet pan and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Then once they are hardened, transfer to a freezer-friendly bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Bake from frozen, adding an extra 1-2 minutes.
- Freezing baked cookies: Freeze for up to 2 months and thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Add-ins: Chopped walnuts or walnuts. Decrease the amount of raisins accordingly so the dough isn’t too heavy.