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Basic No More: 5 Ways to Upgrade Oatmeal Cookies

Three stacks of tweaked oatmeal cookies
Two Peas and Their Pod/Baker by Nature

Who doesn’t love the classic oatmeal cookie? This simple, delicious treat is a staple for bakers everywhere. But if you’re ready to take yours from classic to fabulous, you’ve definitely come to the right place!

Thanks to their mild flavor and sturdy, but soft, texture, oatmeal cookies make the perfect base for experimenting with different ingredients. For example, after you mix up your standard recipe, try adding baking chips or dried fruit. Next time you’re craving oatmeal cookies, try one of these tasty variations.

Basic Oatmeal Cookies

A hand holding a half-eaten oatmeal cookie on a white plate
Quaker Oats

A basic, straightforward oatmeal cookie recipe is a must-have for any baker, and it doesn’t get any easier this one from Quaker Oats. It makes soft, chewy cookie that aren’t too sweet, nor too bland. They’re just the right texture with a mild, slightly nutty taste.

You can make them plain or add your favorite extras, like chocolate chips, raisins, or other dried fruit to customize them.

Of course, for great oatmeal cookies, you need reliable oats. Once again, you can’t go wrong with Quaker Oats. These healthy whole grains will also let you enjoy those soft, delicious cookies guilt-free.

Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats

Classic oats are the simple base behind every chewy, sweet oatmeal cookie.

Chewy Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

Close-ups of oatmeal cookies with butterscotch chips
Baker by Nature

The buttery sweetness of butterscotch is the perfect match for the mild nuttiness of oatmeal. That’s why these Chewy Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies are a fabulous way to upgrade your basic recipe.

As you probably guessed, the key ingredient here is butterscotch chips, but there’s also a hint of orange zest and molasses to elevate these cookies from basic to beautiful. For a slightly sweeter, chewier oatmeal cookie, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

A stack of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies; the same cookies spread out and pulled apart on a counter
Handle the Heat

Every ingredient in these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies pairs perfectly with all of the others. Peanut butter and oatmeal? Yep! Oatmeal and chocolate? Of course! Peanut butter and chocolate? Iconic!

Combine all three, and you’ve got a deluxe oatmeal cookie everyone will love. The result is a perfectly chewy, gooey cookie with a fantastic texture, and just the right combination of peanut butter, oats, and melty chocolate chips. It’s comfort food at its finest.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

A chocolate chip oatmeal cookie broken in half; a stack of the cookies next to bananas and a cup of chocolate chips
Two Peas and Their Pod

Looking for a vegetarian, healthier twist on the oatmeal cookie? That’s what you’ll get when you make this Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip version. The ripe, mashed bananas in the batter provide both sweetness and moisture, so you can cut down on the butter and sugar.

Add some nutty, crumbly oats and your favorite chocolate chips, and you’ve got a cookie that’s packed with healthy ingredients, but still tastes like a decadent indulgence.

Chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

A plate of cranberry white chocolate oatmeal cookies; a closeup of a cookie with a bite out of it
Baker by Nature

Want your basic oatmeal cookies to be a bit fancier? Try this Chewy White Chocolate Cranberry version. Instead of the classic oatmeal raisin combination, these cookies call for “craisins” (dried cranberries) to add some extra texture and a wonderful burst of tangy goodness.

Because white chocolate is particularly sweet, you might prefer to use unsweetened or reduced-sugar dried cranberries. Something like Ocean Spray’s Craisins with Reduced Sugar will work perfectly. They have half the added sugar of regular dried cranberries for a sharper flavor that contrasts nicely with sweet white chocolate.

Ocean Spray Craisins, Reduced Sugar

Less sugar means more cranberry flavor.

Biscoff Oatmeal Cookies

A stack of oatmeal cookies with a jar of Biscoff in the background; a plate of cookies with a spoon on top
Two Peas and Their Pod

The sweet, nutty, spiciness of Biscoff, plus the mild flavor and texture of oatmeal? Why haven’t we been doing this all along? These Biscoff Oatmeal Cookies upgrade the classic recipe with the addition of Biscoff cookie butter. The Biscoff lends a slightly spicy, caramel-y flavor to basic oatmeal cookies for a richer taste without being overwhelming.

Biscoff cookie butter has a consistency similar to peanut butter, which gives you a soft, moist cookie.

Biscoff Cookie Butter

Perfect for baking or eating with a spoon.


If you’re looking to add a spin to your basic oatmeal cookies, any of these delicious variations are sure to please everyone’s taste buds. But don’t stop there—you can do the same with sugar cookies.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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