Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
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Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies are a homespun favorite, with a chewy, crunchy texture. Made with wholesome ingredients and topped with sweet icing, these easy cookies are too good to resist!

Several plates of cookies on a table, with a glass of milk, paper straws, cinnamon sticks, and cloth napkins.

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Classic Iced Oatmeal Cookies

These are the ultimate lazy baker’s cookies! Based on a handwritten recipe from my Granny’s cookbooks, these are no-fuss, classic oatmeal cookies made with pantry basics. Even the simple icing has only two ingredients! 

That being said, this easy oatmeal cookie recipe doesn’t skimp on texture or flavor. These old fashioned oatmeal cookies are all about texture; not too soft, not too crunchy, with just the right amount of irresistible chew. 

I love to make a batch of these during the week to enjoy as a quick and easy sweet dessert or snack. They’re just right with a cup of coffee, a glass of ice-cold milk, or some sweet apple cider. Yum.

From top: Oats, powdered sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, sugar, flour, melted butter, brown sugar, milk.

What You’ll Need

Here’s the list of ingredients you’ll need to achieve the perfect oatmeal cookie:

For the Cookies

  • Old Fashioned Oats: Old fashioned or rolled oats are the best oats for oatmeal cookies. They bake into the best hearty texture!
  • Butter: Unsalted is best. It should be melted. I do this in the microwave, melting it in short bursts of about 10 seconds and stirring after each burst. You could also melt it over low heat on the stovetop.
  • Sugar: I use both light brown sugar and granulated sugar; the combination makes for an exceptionally perfect, slightly chewy cookie!
  • Spices: Freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg for just the right hint of warm spice.
  • Eggs: I’ve found 2 whole large eggs result in the best-textured cookies. 
  • Flour: Plain all-purpose flour works perfectly in this recipe.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Using both together gives the cookies a lift, so they aren’t hard or heavy.
  • Salt: To bring out the flavor in the oats and spices.

For the Icing

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Milk

Can I Use Quick Oats Instead?

Technically, quick oats will work for this recipe in a pinch. However, since quick oats cook faster than rolled oats, the size and texture of the cookies will be less consistent. For this reason, and for the sake of a perfectly chewy cookie, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Close-up shot of iced oatmeal cookies arranged in an overlapping circle on a plate.

How to Make Iced Oatmeal Cookies

Making these cookies is practically a cakewalk! Or a cookie walk? Either way, it’s extremely easy, which is great for a busy cook. Here’s the process, step by step.

Mix the Dry Ingredients: To begin, coarsely grind the oats using a food processor. Combine the oatmeal with the rest of the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set this mixture aside for now.

Combine the Wet Ingredients: Cream together the melted butter and both sugars, and then beat in your eggs one at a time. 

Prepare the Dough: Stir the wet and dry mixtures together, until everything is well-combined. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto buttered cookie sheets, leaving a little space between each spoonful of dough.  

Bake: Bake the old fashioned oatmeal cookies until they’re golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Let them rest on the baking sheets for a few minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool (a metal spatula is helpful for this).

Ice the Cookies: To make the icing, just whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Generously top each cookie, and allow the frosting to set completely.

Enjoy! Serve immediately, or store for another time.

Close-up shot of old fashioned oatmeal cookies, iced and lined up on a wire rack.

Tips and Tricks

Even a quick and easy recipe like this has its quirks, so be sure to check out these helpful tips for making the perfect oatmeal cookies. Here we go:

  • Butter the Baking Sheet: To encourage the cookies to spread as they bake, don’t forget to butter your cookie sheet! 
  • Measure the Flour Correctly: Too much flour is one reason you’ll end up with overly cakey cookies. To avoid this, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and then level it off using a knife.
  • Go for Thick Icing: The simple icing in this recipe should be somewhat thick, so that it will set up firm. If it’s too runny, it won’t set very well. So you can definitely add a bit more powdered sugar if it looks watered down!
A basket of old fashioned oatmeal cookies, next to a bundle of cinnamon sticks and a striped cloth napkin.

Tasty Variations

Such a perfect, simple oatmeal cookie is the best base for add-ins and imagination. Kick the fall flavors up a notch with a sweet Maple Icing. You can also mix things up by adding some sweet mix-ins to your dough:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Dried cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Toffee bits
  • Crushed nuts (macadamias, pecans, peanuts, almonds)
Six oatmeal cookies stacked on top of each other. A seventh cookie has been broken in half to show texture, with the halves balanced on top of the stack.

How to Store Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal cookies that are stored properly will keep for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. Once the frosting on the cookies has hardened, store the cookies in an airtight container or resealable ziplock bag, away from sunlight.

Can I Freeze These?

You can freeze these oatmeal cookies for up to 3 months, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight freezer bag or container. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Several plates of cookies on a table, with a glass of milk, paper straws, cinnamon sticks, and cloth napkins.
5 from 4 votes
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Yield: 18 large cookies

Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies

Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies are equal parts crunchy and chewy. Topped with sweet icing, these easy oatmeal cookies are too good to resist!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time14 minutes
Additional Time5 minutes
Total Time34 minutes


For the Cookies:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs

For the Icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk

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  • Preheat oven to 350°F and butter two cookie sheets. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, pulse oats a few times until partly ground. You don’t want a fine powder, you want a coarse meal. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pulse 2 to 3 times just to combine and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in the dry oat mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined.
  • Drop dough by (heaping) rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating halfway through, until browned. Let cookies rest on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cookies are completely cooled, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Generously frost each cookie and allow the glaze to harden completely before storing. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.


Recipe Note: Butter your cookie sheet to encourage spreading.


Serving: 1 cookie, Calories: 309kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 49mg, Sodium: 275mg, Potassium: 75mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 30g, Vitamin A: 366IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 65mg, Iron: 1mg


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5 stars
Great rec., thx so much!!!

In you comments before the recipe was listed, you mentioned using a can of pumpkin puree. I did not see this listed as one of the ingredients in the actual recipe. Did I misunderstand for is there supposed to be pumpkin in these cookies. I plan to make them soon and want to make sure I have everything correct.

Hi. I just made these and I’m a bit confused about the dough. It came out soupy. I’m not entirely sure what happened. I added an extra cup of flour, and they are still soupy. Should I have put them in the fridge for a while before baking? Should I have used soft butter instead of melted?

Thank you for the reply Jessica.

I’ve gone over what I did. The recipe calls for melted butter, not softened butter. Should I have used softened butter and not melted (liquid consistency)? I thought using melted butter may have been the culprit, but reading so many successes with this recipe, it couldn’t possibly be the cause for soupy dough. I really want to try it again, but a little worried about getting the same results. The eggs were at room temp and I used two large. Maybe I over processed the oats? I didn’t grind them down to a powder- maybe a 1/4 size of their original size.
I measured out 2 cups of oats and then processed them. Should I have measured out 2 cups after processing them? Thanks for the help. You’re wonderful!

Hi Jessica, I wanted to print these out so I could make them tomorrow and its giving me an error404. Wanted you to know. PS I am a HUGE Britney Spears fan too. I love her and all her music. 🙂

These are nothing like Archway or Mother’s in taste, and not crisp despite following the recipe exactly and even baking the second batch a tad longer. Will be turning these into ice cream sandwiches ala It’s It.

I stumbled upon this recipe a couple of years ago…I honestly am asked for the recipe all the time! It is soooo good and loved by all!

Made these for a fund raiser. Sold out in less then 15 mins (had samples). I placed icing in a piping bag and zig zaged it over the tops. Yum, these are great.

These are the best oatmeal cookies i’ve ever had! Thank you so much!

I just finished icing the cookies! They are delicious! Thank you for an easy recipe.

Will they turn out just as good without cinnamon? I’m horribly allergic but love these cookies. 🙁

This is so awesome. Now I don’t have to buy those Archway cookies anymore.

Um…awesome!! Loved it, came out perfect! I used heavy cream for the frosting. It was almost too hard to stir, but 10 seconds in the micro a couple of times made it come out perfect! Hardened up beautifully! Thanks so much for the recipe! It’s so great!!!

I found the frosting to be runny and it didn’t harden up. I was bummed…plus there were little nuggets of powdered sugar throughout no matter how long I stirred. Any tips or substitutions? Thanks! The cookies were delicious otherwise!

3 batches in 3 weeks! OMG these are Amazing.

I’m so excited to make these tonight! I was wondering does it matter what type of milk (as in nonfat, 1%, or 2%)? Thanks! Awesome pictures!!

The icing on these is very runny. Also, I find if you grease the pan they get burnt on the bottom. Anyone else have the same problems?

Yum, just got mine glazed and they are delish! I didn’t read the instructions since I was watching Project Runway on another browser tab… oops! So I missed the ground oatmeal, but they taste great!

so glad you posted this recipe. It brought a smile to my face. These cookies bring up wonderful memories of my great grandmother. Even though she was an amazing baker, she always insisted on buying a bag of these treats for us because they knew we loved them! 🙂 I don’t remember the brand, but remember they were bite size cookies sold in a blue bag.

OMG, these are soooooo delicious!!! Had to freeze some so I couldn’t keep eating them. Husband loved them too!!!

My Great Gran always had these in her cookie jar. Never really cared for them as a child but now I miss them (and Gran)! Can’t wait to make these=)

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For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.