Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

These old fashioned oatmeal raisin cookies are hearty and so easy. They taste just like they came from Grandma’s kitchen!

Old cookbooks are the best. They have such charm, and the recipes are hearty and great for families. This old fashioned oatmeal raisin cookies recipe is from a Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book that belonged to my grandmother. (Yes…I know how to spell cookie, but this cookbook title reads cooky.) The original title for this recipe is oatmeal drop cookies, and it was crowned the “best cooky” for the decade from 1900 to 1910. I’m not sure who bestowed this honor, but I totally agree! These cookies are delicious and very moist.

oatmeal raisin cookies ingredients

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ingredients

Like most old fashioned recipes, this one is very straight-forward. Basic pantry ingredients are used, and the only items you might not have are the oatmeal and raisins.

  • Shortening: brand name Crisco. Shortening provides these cookies with a hearty texture, and produces a cookie that’s not flat.
  • Eggs: binds the dough together.
  • White sugar and brown sugar: this recipe calls for substantially more white sugar than brown sugar. It’s perfectly fine to use equal amounts of both sugars.
  • Vanilla: I love to use vanilla bean paste, but regular pure vanilla extract works as well.
  • Flour: stabilizes and thickens the dough.
  • Salt + cinnamon: adds taste.
  • Baking soda: the leavening that makes the cookies rise.
  • Oats: what would oatmeal cookies be without oats? They provide all the texture and make the cookies chewy.
  • Raisins: adds just a bit of sweetness.
oatmeal raisin cookies recipe dough in bowl

Tips for Yummy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • The batter for these oatmeal raisin cookies is stiff and dense. It works best to drop the dough onto the cookie sheet using a large scoop. Level each scoop by dragging it up the side of the mixing bowl. This provides a flat bottom to the scoop, and produces a perfectly round cookie.
  • Feel free to leave out the raisins if your family doesn’t like them. A delicious substitute is chocolate chips. Chopped nuts can also be added.
  • The original recipe in the Cooky Book called for 1/3 cup of molasses. That’s something I don’t keep on hand, so I substituted an equal amount of brown sugar. If you love molasses, definitely give it a try!
  • All ovens are different, so watch the cookies at the end of the bake time. They are done when they are lightly browned around the edges, but they should still be soft in the middle.
  • I’ve been making these cookies for years…and honestly, they turn out a little different every time. They are always super delicious, but the batches vary in how puffy the cookies get, and how crunchy they are. So no worries if your cookies don’t look exactly like the ones in the images. That’s normal!
oatmeal raisin cookies scoops on cookie sheet (1)

Instant or Old Fashioned Oats?

Old fashioned oats, sometimes referred to as rolled oats, are the thing to use in this oatmeal raisin cookies recipe. That’s not to say that instant oats can’t be used. They can…but the cookies will have a different texture, and will be softer. Instant oats cook faster, so the bake time for the cookies may need to be reduced. Substituting instant oats involves a lot of guesswork, so eliminate all of that by using old fashioned oats.

pile of oatmeal raisin cookies

Can Butter be Substituted for the Crisco Shortening?

Yes! Feel free to use butter when making these cookies. Using butter will change the texture and the taste, but the cookies will still be delicious. Cookies made with butter come out a bit flatter than cookies made with shortening.

oatmeal raisin cookies on parchment paper

How to Plump Raisins

Plumping raisins involves extra time, and an extra step, but it’s worth it! There are a few different methods that work well, but this is my favorite. Place the raisins in a bowl, and add enough very hot water so the raisins are covered. Let this mixture sit for 15 minutes. Drain the raisins well before adding to the recipe.

oatmeal raisin cookies on blue plate

How to Store + Freeze Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough

These oatmeal raisin cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. If you wish to make them ahead and freeze, don’t bake the cookies. Freeze the dough by putting scoops onto a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for several hours. When the scoops are frozen, place them in an airtight container or resealable bag, and freeze for up to three months. There is no need to thaw the scoops before baking, but the bake time should be increased by a few minutes. This is a super easy way to have fresh-from-the-oven cookies in no time!

stack of cookies with glass of milk

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What Readers Say:

“I made these cookies yesterday and are they ever good! I’ll be using this recipe again. I also added some nuts. Thanks for the recipe!”


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pile of oatmeal raisin cookies

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

These old fashioned oatmeal raisin cookies are hearty and so easy. They taste just like they came from Grandma's kitchen!
5 from 5 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: oatmeal raisin cookies
Servings: 18 cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups Sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cups raisins


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • With a stand or hand mixer, beat shortening, eggs, both sugars, and vanilla until well mixed.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and oats.
  • Add flour mixture to sugar mixture in three additions, scraping the bowl between additions.
  • Fold in raisins.
  • Drop by level 2 in. scoops onto cookie sheet.
  • Bake 10 min.


Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
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oatmeal raisin cookies with glass of milk