If you love your oatmeal cookies soft and chewy, this is THE Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe for you! Nicely crispy around the edges, studded with plump and juicy raisins, and buttery in taste with the faintest wisp of cinnamon, these cookies smell heavenly when they’re in the oven and also keep really well!
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Being more of a savoury than sweet-toothed gal, I’m rarely a victim of the urge to buy cookies or sweet tarts lined up in temptation on the counters of coffee shops. Unless, that is, they have big and fat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
Here’s the thing: I’m all about fruit and spice oatmeal cookies, and they rate higher than chocolate chip cookies in my world. For me that magical mix of warm cinnamon and fruit studding a caramelly, chewy cookie just tastes like pure comfort and, well, home. Keep your Insta-friendly hipster cookies and call me a granny, I don’t care – just leave me all the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!!
Ingredients for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
This is a recipe adapted fairly closely from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. I read that it took them 6 months to come up with the perfect soft and chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. I applaud them for their persistence, not least so we may feast on the sweet fruits of their labour!
Here’s what you need:
Butter (at room temperature) – When recipes call for butter at room temperature or softened butter, the butter needs to be firmer than you probably think. Ideally it is 18°C / 64°F. This is soft enough to whip until creamy, but still cool enough such that when you touch it, you don’t end up with a slick of grease on your finger.
Butter that is too soft can lead to cookies that split or spread too much in the oven. In fact, this is one of the most common problems people have when making cookies!
A quick way to bring butter to room temperature: Cut fridge-cold butter into 1.5cm cubes (1/2″ thick slices if you have a US stick of butter). Scatter on plate. Microwave 2 cups of cold tap water for 4 minutes on high. Remove jug, quickly put plate in, close door. DO NOT turn microwave back on. The residual heat will soften the butter in 5 minutes.
Baking powder – Most recipes call for baking soda / bicarb, or a combination of baking soda and baking powder. This recipe specifically calls for only baking powder which Cook’s Illustrated found makes the cookie chewier. So, just baking powder it is!;
Flour – Just plain / all-purpose flour. For this recipe, self-raising flour cannot be used in place of the flour and baking powder, because self-raising flour has too much baking powder in it;
Brown sugar AND white sugar – Brown sugar makes the cookie chewier and adds a pleasing caramelly note, while the white sugar gives the cookie crispy edges. The contrast some crispiness around the edges brings to the soft cookie centre is part of the magic of these cookies!;
Raisins – I like my raisins tender and plump, so I soak them briefly in hot water. This is not a step in the Cook’s Illustrated recipe, it’s just something I like to do – a personal preference!
Eggs at room temperature – The eggs need to be at room temperature and not fridge-cold, to ensure it incorporates properly into the cookie dough easily. A quick way to warm up fridge-cold eggs: Place eggs in a large bowl, cover with warm tap water (just warm, not hot) and leave for 5 min. Wipe dry, then use per recipe.
Egg size (“large eggs”): 50 – 55g / 2 oz per egg is the industry standard of sizes sold as “large eggs” in Australia and the US. If your eggs are significantly larger or smaller in size, just weigh different eggs and use 100-110g / 4 oz in total (including shell) or 90 – 100g / 3.6 oz in total excluding shell (useful if you need to use a partial egg to make up the total required weight. Crack eggs, beat whites and yolks together, THEN pour into a bowl to measure out what you need);
Cinnamon – The king of cookie spices! Just a hint in the mix so you know it’s there, but it doesn’t overwhelm. This is another deviation from the Cook’s Illustrated recipe. They omit it so you can taste the oats more. I cannot process that idea! I need the cinnamon!
Salt – Just a touch to bring out the flavour in sweet baked goods.
How to make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Part 1: Cookie dough
Soak the raisins to plump them (this is optional);
Drain the raisins then leave to dry, or pat dry to speed things up;
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl;
Beat butter, sugar and egg: In a separate bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Then add both brown and white sugars and beat until fluffy – around 2 minutes on high using a handheld beater.
Now beat the eggs in one at a time until incorporated;
Add dry ingredients: Next, switch to a wooden spoon and mix the sifted dry ingredients in. I prefer doing this step by hand rather than the electric beater to ensure I don’t accidentally overwork the cookie dough, which would result in a tough cookie; and
Oats and raisins: Lastly, stir in the oats and raisins. At this point the cookie dough will become quite thick and hard to stir. Dig deep to find the strength – it’s worth it!! 😂 (Just kidding, it’s not that hard! 😇)
Part 2: Rolling and baking
Cookie dough made, now it’s time to bake!
Portion out cookies on to tray: Scoop 2 tablespoons-worth of cookie dough and place in a mound on a tray, for one cookie. An ice cream scoop with a lever or a cookie scoop will make this step speedy!
Repeat: Repeat with the remainder of the dough. I like to portion all the dough out first on to trays before I start rolling because I just find it faster;
Roll into balls: Wet your hands if needed to stop the dough from sticking. Lightly roll each dough portion into a ball. They should be around 5cm / 2″ wide;
Squash dough balls: Distribute the balls across two trays lined with baking / parchment paper, ensuring you leave plenty of space between them (see photo #5). Lightly press each down to flatten. This is just to help ensure the cookies spread evenly, rather than leaving a mound in the middle;
Bake: Place both trays in the oven with one tray on the middle shelf and the other on a shelf below, ensuring you leave 10cm / 4″ of space between each rack. Bake at 180°C / 350°F (160°C fan) for 11 minutes. Switch the position of the trays and bake for a further 11 to 14 minutes until cookies are golden on the edges and LIGHT golden in the middle. If you cook too long, the cookies will be crispier;
Cool: Cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.
This recipe has been the only Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe I have ever used since I found it. It is absolutely perfect, in my humble opinion.
Having said that, I also came across this recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies on a fabulous baking blog called Brown Eyed Baker, run by a talented lady named Michelle. That recipe is by a famous bakery in New York called Sadelle’s. Michelle thinks it is even better than this Cook’s Illustrated one (which I noticed she also has on her blog!) I, for one, trust her judgement on that call.
But there’s one big catch. The Sadelle’s recipe requires the cookies to be flattened onto the cookie sheet, then refrigerated for four days supposedly to enhance the depth of flavour. Yes, FOUR WHOLE DAYS!!!
So if that makes my preferred recipe the world’s second best Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, I’m totally ok with that because at least you can make these RIGHT NOW!!! 😉 – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie (Soft & Chewy)
- 1 1/2 cups raisins (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 cups flour (all purpose / plain)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 250g / 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter , at room temperature (Note 2)
- 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1 cup white sugar (granulated. Superfine/caster also ok)
- 2 large eggs , at room temperature (Note 3)
- 3 cups rolled oats (Note 4)
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan). Adjust oven racks to middle and low position, ensuring you have 4"/10cm between each rack. Line 2 trays with parchment/baking paper.
- Optional: Soak raisins in boiled water for 10 minutes. Drain then pat dry. (This makes them plumper).
- Sift dry ingredients: Sift flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl.
- Cream butter and sugar: Using a stand mixer or electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Then beat in sugar until fluffy – about 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add eggs: Beat in eggs one at a time until incorporated.
- Mix in flour: Use a wooden spoon to stir the flour mixture in.
- Stir in oats and raisins: Stir in oats and raisins – this requires a bit of effort as the dough gets firm!
- Roll and flatten balls: Form 4cm / 1.6" balls (~18) and place onto baking trays 4"/10cm apart. I use an ice cream scoop. Then press down to slighty flatten into a thick disc shape.
- Bake for 11 minutes. Then swap the trays between the shelves AND turn the trays around. Bake for a further 11 – 14 minutes, or until cookies are golden on the edges and LIGHT golden on the surface.
- Cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Originally published July 2016. Updated June 2021 with new photos, video and a streamlined recipe subsequent to further testing to improve the recipe!
For Cookie Monsters 🙋🏻♀️
Life of Dozer
Dozer with his friends post Winter-evening-beach session. It’s a photo from the Golden Retriever boarder where Dozer is boarding while I’m away in Tasmania! I think that’s him in the middle in a red robe…. not 100% sure! 😂
And from the original publication date:
No cookie dough for Dozer!!