This recipe gives a tangy twist to classic oatmeal raisin cookies. Sourdough oatmeal cookies are perfectly chewy and sweet, with a dash of spice that is perfect for colder months. Made with sourdough discard, these cookies have a slight tang and the benefits of long fermented grains.
These sourdough oatmeal cookies have the perfect texture—thick, chewy, and studded with sweet sun-dried raisins. They are my husband’s favorite cookie. Though my aim is to bake things the whole family can enjoy, sometimes it’s nice to make something special just for him. My kids are pretty adventurous with food, but oddly enough, raisins aren’t something they will eat. If you have anti-raisin people in your house too, the raisins in this recipe can easily be swapped for chocolate chips! What I love most about this recipe, besides it being a treat we don’t have to share with the kids, is how simple it is to make. There is no need to cream the sugar and butter, no need for any chilling, and it’s a one-bowl recipe. It’s so simple that you can have freshly baked raisin- or chocolate chip-studded sourdough oatmeal cookies in as little as 30 minutes.
This sourdough oatmeal cookie recipe is perfect for the holidays. Pair them with other sourdough discard treats like sourdough chocolate chip cookies, sourdough cut-out sugar cookies, and soft sourdough snickerdoodles to make the perfect holiday cookie lineup.
Making sourdough oatmeal cookies is incredibly simple, and requires only a few simple ingredients. In fact, you may have everything you need on hand!
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar makes your cookies sweet, but also plays a crucial role in achieving their texture. The presence of brown sugar contributes to the chewiness of the cookies and helps promote the spreading action as they bake.
- Butter – You have the flexibility to use either salted or unsalted butter for this recipe. Whichever option you prefer, it’s important to ensure that your butter is at room temperature.
- Sea Salt – Salt helps to enhance the flavors in the cookies. If you’re using salted butter, you can skip adding additional salt.
- Vanilla Extract – Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the cookies. Choose real vanilla over imitation to ensure the best flavor and cleanest ingredients.
- Egg – Egg act as a binding agent, helping to hold the ingredients together and providing structure to the cookie dough.
- Sourdough Discard – Sourdough discard is added to this recipe to add a distinct and tangy sourdough taste. This recipe calls for 100% hydration sourdough discard, but will also work with active sourdough starter.
- Baking Soda – Baking soda in this oatmeal cookie recipe helps to make the cookies thick, chewy, and tender.
- All-Purpose Flour – I highly recommend using unbleached all-purpose flour for this recipe. Unbleached flour is a great choice as it retains more natural nutrients and has a slightly higher protein content compared to bleached flour. This can result in better texture and structure for your cookies.
- Rolled Oats – You can’t have oatmeal cookies without the oats! Make sure to use either old fashioned rolled oats or quick oats in these cookies, steel cut oats won’t work.
- Raisins – Raisins are a classic add in to oatmeal cookies, but if you are not a fan try replacing them with chocolate chip or omitting them all together.
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg – Cinnamon and nutmeg add a bit of spice to these cookies that pairs perfectly with the sweet raisins.
Tips for These Cookies
- Use Room Temperature Butter – Using cold butter will yield dense cookies that don’t spread properly, while melted butter will cause your cookies to spread too much, resulting in thin cookies. So, achieving the perfect texture and thickness relies on having your butter at the right temperature. To test if the butter is ready, simply press your finger into it. If it easily goes through without resistance, it’s good to go.
- Measure the Flour – To avoid hard crumbly cookies, make sure your flour is measured out correctly. To do this, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off, ensuring it doesn’t become packed, or weigh the flour for exact measurements.
- Use the Right Oats – Choose either old-fashioned oats for a slightly chewier texture or quick oats for a softer texture, depending on your preference. Avoid using steel-cut oats in this recipe.
- Don’t Over Mix – Over-mixing cookie dough can lead to excessive gluten development, resulting in dry cakey cookies. It’s important after the sourdough discard and flour have been added to mix the dough until the ingredients are just combined to avoid overworking the gluten.
- Don’t Over Cook – When you take the cookies out of the oven, they may appear slightly undercooked. Don’t panic! It’s important to resist the temptation to cook them longer. The cookies will continue to cook for a few minutes after being removed from the oven. Allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes, before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. They will fully set up and achieve their desired texture during this time.
Making sourdough oatmeal cookies is simple. This is a single bowl recipe that doesn’t require any specialized equipment, and the dough can be prepared in under 30 minutes. To find a full list of ingredients and their measurements, take a look at the recipe card below:
Make the Cookie Dough
Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (180°C).
Using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer, blend the softened butter and brown sugar until they’re thoroughly mixed.
Add the egg and vanilla extract to the bowl, then beat the mixture until it becomes creamy and well combined, which should take about a minute.
Gradually incorporate the sourdough starter into the mixture, gently stirring until it’s fully blended.
Sift the all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the wet mixture. Stir until the ingredients come together to form a tacky dough.
Finally, fold in the oats and raisins until they’re evenly distributed throughout the batter.
(optional) Allow the oatmeal cookie dough to rest for 15-30 minutes after mixing. This allows the oats to absorb moisture and will enhance the texture of the cookies.
Bake the Cookies
Use a 2-inch cookie scoop to portion the cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Ensure you leave about 2 inches of space between each cookie to allow room for spreading.
Bake the cookies in batches on the center rack of your oven for 10-12 minutes. It’s worth noting that the cookies might seem slightly underdone when you take them out of the oven. Resist the urge to bake them longer.
After removing the cookies from the oven, allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool complete. Allowing them to cool completely will help them set and achieve that perfect soft and chewy texture.
Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies FAQ
Feel free to substitute active sourdough starter for sourdough discard in this recipe. Active starter has more aeration so it will measure differently. Weigh your active starter for best results.
You can use either old-fashioned or quick oats, depending on your preference. Old-fashioned oats will provide a slightly chewier texture, while quick oats will make the cookies a bit softer.
You can absolutely substitute raisins with other ingredients like chocolate chips, nuts, or other dried fruits based on your preference.
Resting is an optional step. Allowing the dough to rest for 15-30 minutes after mixing allows the oats to absorb moisture and can enhance the cookie’s texture.
To achieve soft and chewy cookies, avoid overbaking. Remove them from the oven when they appear slightly underdone, as they will continue to set while cooling. Also, don’t overmix the dough; gently combine the ingredients for the best texture.
The cookie dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days, and baked directly from being chilled. To freeze, wrap the cookie dough tightly and store it in the freezer for up to three months. Then when you’re ready to bake, transfer the wrapped dough to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, transfer them to an airtight container. Store the cookies at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.