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Chewy, Easy Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies

This is the last oatmeal cookie recipe you will ever need. These sourdough oatmeal cookies are the perfect balance of crisp, soft, and chewy. The browned butter sends these cookies over the top with its nutty and caramelized flavor, and the subtle, warm notes of cinnamon are the ultimate in cookie comfort.

stack of sourdough oatmeal cookies on a cutting board

Recently, I’ve been on an America’s Test Kitchen binge and when I watched their take on the classic oatmeal cookie, I had to give it a try and add a sourdough spin. There were a few key takeaways from the episode. With them, you can transform an okay oatmeal cookie recipe into the best oatmeal cookie recipe, full of sweet, oatey perfection.

One of the most important tips for achieving that perfect texture of chewy cookies is to use part butter and part unsaturated oil. There is some sneaky food science involved here, but using an unsaturated oil such as avocado oil or vegetable oil, which stays solid at room temperature, is what helps these cookies crisp nicely on the edges, while still maintaining their chewy and soft center.

Sourdough oatmeal cookie ingredients

This recipe uses common pantry ingredients that you likely have on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour and old-fashioned rolled oats. These make up the base of the cookie dough. Whole rolled oats are the best for that chewy texture and oat flavor. You won’t want to substitute quick oats here.
  • Baking soda. The levener.
  • Salt. To enhance all the sweet flavors.
  • Brown sugar and white sugar. A combination of brown and white sugars yields the best flavor.
  • Cinnamon and vanilla extract. These delightfully warm and spicy flavors make these cookies pop.
  • Brown butter and avocado oil. Browning the butter is a crucial step for the ultimate oatmeal cookie flavor. The ratio of saturated fat in the butter to unsaturated fat in the avocado oil gives these cookies the absolute best texture.
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk. An extra egg yoke adds richness and moisture.
  • Sourdough starter. This is one of those great sourdough discard recipes to add to your arsenal, but you can also use an active sourdough starter if you have it handy.
  • Raisins. This is a highly controversial ingredient, so it is optional. I like to leave them out, but my husband requests sourdough oatmeal raisin cookies.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below and check out my sourdough oatmeal cookie video tutorial of this recipe.

How to make sourdough oatmeal cookies

process shots of how to make sourdough oatmeal cookies

This is a super simple and easy-to-throw-together 2-bowl recipe. You don’t even need a stand mixer!

First, brown the butter and get the oven preheating. This is actually very easy to do, it just requires an attentive eye because butter can turn from brown to burned very fast. If you use a pan with a light-colored bottom it is easier to see when the butter changes color. If you do not have one, you’ll still be able to tell because the smell changes dramatically. Browned butter elevates the flavor of almost any baked good. Add the butter to the pan and heat over medium heat until the butter turns brown and fragrant. Pour the butter into a large bowl.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Next, mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl mix the all-purpose flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. 

The next step is to finish mixing the wet ingredients. To the browned butter add the oil and sourdough starter, and whisk. Sourdough starter tends to stick to a whisk but I find that a whisk is the best way to fully incorporate the mixture. I like to use my fingers to pinch off any starter that clings to the whisk. Add in the eggs, brown and white sugars, and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Finally, pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until combined. Fold in the rolled oats and raisins, if using. This makes a sticky batter so you’ll need to wet your fingers for the next step.

Use a cookie scoop to portion out the cookie dough balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you do not have a cookie scoop aim for about 3 tablespoons of batter per cookie. Then, using wet fingers press each dough ball into a 2 to 3-inch diameter flattened round shape. Bake in a 375-degree F oven until they just barely start to brown and set around the edges, about 10 minutes.

Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Enjoy!

sourdough oatmeal cookies on a wire cooling rack

Sourdough oatmeal cookie recipe tips

The classic oatmeal cookie recipe you find on the back of the Quaker oat canister uses way too much butter. By reducing the butter and adding in an unsaturated fat like avocado oil these cookies hold their shape better, and develop crisp edges without falling flat and spreading out too thin.

Many cookie recipes call for butter, but the best cookie recipes incorporate browned butter for maximum flavor. This step makes a big difference in the final taste of these golden brown oatmeal cookies.

This recipe creates a very sticky and thick dough. When you portion out the cookie dough balls you are going to press the balls into flat round cookies with your fingers. The easiest way to do this is to wet your fingers before pressing on the dough. Re-wet them as needed until you’ve finished shaping all the cookies. Flattening out the cookies results in a more evenly baked cookie that is nice and crisp on the edges and soft in the middle. If you don’t press the dough down flat you’ll end up with a cookie that sinks in the middle and is too doughy in the center.

​This is the perfect cookie recipe for using up your sourdough discard, though an active starter can also be used if that’s what you’ve got on hand.

​Add-in variations

For a fun spin on the traditional sourdough oatmeal cookie try adding in some of these fun mix-ins:

sourdough oatmeal cookie on a cutting board

How to store oatmeal cookies

These sourdough cookies store best covered in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. They are also some of my favorite cookies to keep stashed in the freezer and will keep for up to 3 months.

Make-ahead cookies.

If you like to mix up your cookie dough ahead of time, you can do this and then store the cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to a week. Pull the dough out and shape the cookies whenever you are ready to bake.

You can also flash-freeze the cookies after shaping them into flat rounds and then place them in a zip-lock freezer bag for up to 3 months. When baking from frozen add a few more minutes to the cooking time.

stack of sourdough oatmeal cookies on a cutting board

More favorite recipes from Rooted Deep Home:

Chewy, Soft Sourdough Gingerbread Cookies

Best Moist Sourdough Chocolate Cupcakes

Chewy, Homemade Sourdough Granola Bars

Yield: 24 Cookies

Chewy, Easy Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies

stack of sourdough oatmeal cookies on a cutting board

Packed with an irresistible buttery oat flavor, these sourdough oatmeal cookies do old Mr. Quaker proud. Perfectly crisp on the edges, chewy and soft in the center. Throw in some raisins or chocolate chips for a delightful oatmeal cookie variation.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and browned
  • 1/2 avocado or vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup sourdough starter, discard or active
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 yoke
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a pan with a light-colored bottom, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the butter stirring and swishing the pan in a circular motion for about 5-10 minutes until the butter begins to turn brown and the smell becomes nutty. Keep a close eye on the butter as it can burn quickly.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Pour the browned butter into a large bowl. Add in the oil and sourdough starter and whisk to combine. Whisk in the brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir in the oats and raisins, if using, folding into a sticky batter.
  6. Use a cookie scoop to form cookie dough balls. Each cookie should be about 3 tablespoons of batter. Wet your fingers as you work each cookie into a flattened round about 3 inches in diameter. Keep wetting your fingers as you press each dough ball into a flat circle.
  7. Bake until the edges are just barely showing color, about 10 minutes. These cookies don't get much color so pull them out when they are just barely golden around the edges. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Add in some raisins or chocolate chips for a delightful oatmeal cookie variation.

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