Craving a little nostalgia? This Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookie Recipe will transport you straight back to childhood. Thanks to the classic combination of buttery soft cookie and vanilla glaze this authentic recipe will surpass store-bought. Every. Single. Time.
Does anyone else hear iced oatmeal cookies and immediately think of drizzly afternoons baking with grandma? With notes of vanilla and cinnamon complementing the comforting buttery oat base, these cookies feel like a hug in food form. Each nibble provides oodles of nostalgia whether it’s baking up a batch with grandma or sneaking an extra one when mom wasn’t looking.
We all have opinions on what makes the perfect cookie, whether it’s soft centers or crisp, chewy edges, or perfect texture. Thanks to the old fashioned rolled oats, brown sugar and cozy cinnamon flavor these iced oatmeal cookies tick all the boxes. This is one of those cookie recipes that you will want to have on hand.
The crackled icing is the finishing touch on the tops of the cookies that will turn even the fussiest of friends into cookie monsters. Best of all, I share the secret to achieving that signature glaze that we all recognize these classic iced oatmeal cookies for.
Not forgetting, you can also freeze this cookie dough for tasty oatmeal treats on demand, which you’ll later thank me for as once you try these oaty bites of beauty you’ll want to bake another batch ASAP.
WHY WE LOVE THIS OLD FASHIONED ICED OATMEAL COOKIES RECIPE
- Basic but brilliant – Who doesn’t love a fuss free recipe that the whole family will love? Chances are you already have these ingredients in your pantry and even those with minimal baking skill will find this recipe easy.
- Feeds a crowd – Baking for a crowd isn’t only tricky, but it can be expensive. These iced oatmeal cookies are ideal for baking on a budget with this recipe serving up a yield of 28 cookies using simple, affordable ingredients for a good homemade cookie.
- Freezer friendly – No cookie cravings should go ignored, store a batch of this oatmeal cookie dough in your freezer so you can bake them whenever you need.
- Better than store-bought – While these cookies can be compared to Mother’s Iced Oatmeal cookies, homemade cookies are a whole new level of love. You may even regret making these for your nearest and dearest as you’ll be asked to bake up a batch of this nostalgic cookie recipe again and again and again.
OLD FASHIONED OATMEAL COOKIES:
- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda
- Kosher Salt
- Unsalted Butter
- Light Brown Sugar
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Confectioners' Sugar - aka powdered sugar
- Vanilla Extract
HOMEMADE ICED OATMEAL COOKIES SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
- Choosing the Oats – As the star of the show, choosing the right oats can literally make or break your oatmeal cookies. I find old-fashioned oats (rolled oats) are best as they offer a chewy texture and are heartier than quick oats. If you substitute for quick oats your cookies may turn out dry and crumbly.
- To pulse or not to pulse? Some people prefer to pulse rolled oats using a food processor to create more compact cookies. I skip this additional step as I believe they are delicious as is and who needs more dishes!?
- Cosy flavor – I kept it simple with a little cinnamon and vanilla but for added fall flavor sprinkle in a little nutmeg. You can also add a spoonful of molasses or maple syrup for extra sweetness, or give my white chocolate and cranberry oatmeal cookies a try. For a sweet drink to serve alongside these delicious cookies, make a batch of this Homemade Butterbeer!
- Chocolate- add some mini chocolate chips to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!
- Icing – I use milk to create the icing for added flavor and thickness however feel free to use water if preferred. Note this will make the icing a little thinner and not as white but will still work if you’re in a pinch.
- Corn Syrup – to add a little shine to your icing, add a touch of light corn syrup. This will also help your icing firm up quicker but isn’t essential.
RECOMMENDED TOOLS TO MAKE THE BEST ICED OATMEAL COOKIES
- Large mixing bowl
- Electric mixer (also may be mixed by hand)
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Cookie scoop
- Cooling rack
HOW TO MAKE THIS OLD FASHIONED ICED OATMEAL COOKIES RECIPE
Baking up a batch of these oatmeal cookies could not be easier. Put simply, it’s a case of adding the wet ingredients to the dry to create a dough, leaving the dough to chill then scoop, bake and glaze. Voila!
1. Start with the dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined (about 1-2 minutes).
3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Then beat on high until combined, about another minute.
4. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until it forms a dough. Be careful not to overmix.
PRO TIP: The dough will be sticky, do not be tempted to add more dry ingredients – trust the process!
5. Cover and chill the dough for at least 45 minutes in the refrigerator. Do not skip this step as it avoids your cookies spreading.
6. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
7. Scoop about 1 ½ Tablespoons of dough for each cookie, roll dough and place about 2-3 inches apart on the lined large cookie sheet.
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned on the edges.
PRO TIP: Don’t panic if they look very soft in the center, they will harden up as they cool.
9. Remove from the oven and let sit on a baking sheet for at least 8-10 minutes to cool. Add to a wire rack to ensure they have cooled fully.
10. While they cool, make the icing. Add the sifted confectioner’s sugar to a shallow small bowl, followed by the vanilla extract. Add 1 Tablespoon of milk at a time, whisking with a fork in between until the desired consistency is reached.
PRO TIP: The icing measurements are a guide, you may need to adjust the milk and sugar accordingly. It’s important you don’t overdo the milk as the icing needs to be thick and not runny.
11. Once completely cooled, turn the cookies upside down and dip them into the icing. Quickly pull straight back up, allowing the excess icing to drip back into the bowl. Turn the cookie right-side-up and transfer it back to the cooling rack so the icing sets. Let icing set for 15-30 minutes.
OLD-FASHIONED ICED OATMEAL COOKIES TIPS
- Butter – If using salted butter, reduce kosher salt amount to ½ teaspoon. Also, keep your butter at room temperature as this makes it easier to blend.
- Time to chill – Patience is tough when it comes to cookies as we all want to devour them asap. However, chilling the dough not only helps the flavors combine and helps to avoid the cookies spreading but also allows the rolled oats to absorb moisture and soften.
- Scoop size OLD-FASHIONED ICED OATMEAL COOKIES TIPS – Iced oatmeal cookies are best on the small side. I recommend using a scoop that is 1 ½ Tablespoon or .75 ounces. These cookies were also tested using a 2 Tablespoon scoop and they were thinner than desired due to how much the cookie spread when baking. Oatmeal cookie dough is sticky and soft so a cookie scoop not only helps to avoid mess but keeps all cookies the same size and shape.
- Icing Advice – Make sure the cookies are fully cooled before adding the icing. This allows the cookie to time to harden, although they will still be deliciously soft. If the icing is added too quickly, it won’t stay on the cookie.
- The perfect dip - To ensure that signature, cracked icing the trick is to dip the cookie quickly. Don’t fully submerge it as this will add too much and ruin the crackled appearance. The cookie may also break with the weight of too much icing. The idea is to just get the icing on the very tops of all those bumps created by the oats. Using a shallow bowl also makes dipping the cookies easier.
- Baked cookies can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Although you can freeze the oatmeal cookies, for best results I’d recommend freezing the dough and then baking as and when the cookie cravings hit.
- For freezing unbaked cookie dough, it’s easiest to scoop into balls with a small cookie scoop, wrap well and place in ziploc freezer bags. It can then be frozen for up to 4 months. Pop them onto a baking sheet (no need to thaw) and add about 1-2 minutes to the baking time. Ice as per instructions.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Which oats are best for baking cookies?
For this recipe, Old fashioned oats (also known as rolled oats) are best. They are oats that have been cut and rolled into flakes. This means they provide a chewier, more moist texture and almost nutty flavor. Quick oats (instant oats) in comparison will make your cookies brittle and dry so for the real deal stick to old fashioned oats.
My oatmeal cookies turned out hard. What causes this?
If your oatmeal cookies turned out hard this is due to overmixing. When you overmix the dough this will overdevelop the gluten creating a tough cookie. When using an electric hand mixer, the dough should be mixed just until streaks of the dry ingredients can’t be seen. To be on the safe side, I’d even recommend just mixing the dry ingredients in by hand. This will ensure a chewy cookies with crisp edges.
Can I spoon the icing on the cookies instead of dipping?
I get it, dipping the cookies can be a little fiddly and messy on the fingertips so if you prefer to spoon on the icing – go for it! It won’t affect the taste, only the appearance as you’ll likely miss that craggy signature glaze which is best achieved by dipping. The icing recipe is enough to ice all the cookies this way. If you dip them, you may have some leftover icing.
Can I make this easy iced oatmeal cookies recipe ahead of time?
Yes! They will keep for up to one week in an airtight container. Or, you can either make the dough, then cover and chill for up to 4 days, or freeze (in balls) for up to 4 months. Once baked, ice as usual and enjoy!
This is the perfect iced oatmeal cookie recipe for any time of year and especially the holiday season! Just make sure to always have a batch of dough balls in your freezer!
OTHER FUN COOKIE RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY
- Snickers Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies
- Lemon Bar Cookies
- Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar sifted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-2 ½ Tablespoons milk
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar, on medium speed until thoroughly mixed (about 1-2 minutes).
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat on high until combined, about another minute.
Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined, being careful not to overmix.
Chill dough for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Scoop about 1 ½ Tablespoons of dough for each cookie, and place about 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned on the edges.
Remove from the oven and let sit on baking sheet for at least 8-10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
While the cookies are cooling, make the icing. Place the sifted confectioner’s sugar in a shallow bowl. Add vanilla and 1 Tablespoon of milk at a time, adding more until desired consistency is reached. The icing will be fairly thick.
When cookies are completely cooled, dip the tops of the cookies by turning them upside down and dip in the icing. Pull the cookie straight up, letting the excess icing drip back into the bowl. Turn the cookie right-side-up and transfer back to the cooling rack. Let icing set for 15-30 minutes.
Storage and Freezing:
Baked cookies can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container for up to a week.
Unbaked cookie dough made into balls, may be well wrapped and placed in ziploc freezer bags, and frozen for up to 4 months. Add about 1-2 minutes to the baking time. No need to thaw cookie dough.
Baked cookies (iced or plain) may be well wrapped or placed in ziploc freezer bags and frozen for 3-4 months.
If using salted butter, reduce kosher salt amount to ½ teaspoon.
Having room temperature ingredients makes it easier for everything to blend together.
Dough may be mixed by hand.
Chiling the dough not only lets the flavors combine, but also allows the rolled oats to absorb moisture and soften.
These cookies are better on the small side. We used a scoop that was 1 ½ Tablespoons or .75 ounces. These cookies were also tested using a 2 Tablespoon scoop and they were thinner than desired due to how much the cookie spread when baking.
Let the cookies completely cool before dipping them. This allows the cookie to harden, although they will still be very soft. If the icing is added too quickly, it won’t stay on top of the cookie.
The reason for adding the milk to the icing slowly is because if you add too much at once, it will create an icing that is too thin, and more powdered sugar will have to be added.
Using a shallow bowl for the icing will make dipping the tops of the cookies easier.
Don’t let the cookie sink too much into the icing. The cookie may break with the weight of all that icing. The idea is to just get the icing on the very tops of all those bumps created by the oats.