Oatmeal Brown Sugar Cookies with Raisins & Pecans

5 stars based on 13 votes

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I love to bake and especially love to find end all, be all recipes for classic all-American desserts. This variation on oatmeal raisin cookies is one of them (see also Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies and Supernatural Brownies). You bakers out there know that it can take many attempts to get it just right, but once you find that perfect recipe, it’s your go-to forever. As soon as I tasted these cookies out of the oven, I said, “That’s it! I’m done.”

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Now, these are not your ordinary oatmeal cookies. The recipe calls for way less oats than most, which, strangely, makes for much better oatmeal cookies. The other big difference is that they are sweetened entirely with brown sugar, which gives them fabulous flavor and makes them slightly crispy on the outside and deliciously chewy on the inside. For additional flavor, I toast the pecans before mixing them into the batter.

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My friend Sandy jokes that I sound like her mother when I write things like, do not burn or do not overcook. “Obviously,” she says, “I’m not going to burn something on purpose!” I know this but hopefully you can benefit from all my trials and errors. Be careful not to overcook these. Oatmeal cookies get very crispy if baked too long and you’ll enjoy them so much more if they are slightly chewy.

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So here you go, the ultimate oatmeal raisin cookie according to me.

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Note: The recipe can easily be doubled, but keep in mind that oatmeal cookies are best enjoyed fresh on the day they are baked.

Oatmeal Brown Sugar Cookies with Raisins & Pecans

Servings: Makes about 20 large cookies
Total Time: 45 Minutes


  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use quick cooking or instant oats)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raisins or currants


  1. Set the racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the chopped pecans on one of the prepared baking sheets and toast in oven for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and crisp. Set aside to cool. (You will re-use the same parchment paper when you’re ready to bake the cookies.)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the egg and vanilla and beat again until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the flour and oatmeal mixture and mix on low speed until just combined; add the pecans and raisins and mix again until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  6. Drop the dough into 2-tablespoon mounds (about the size of a golf ball) about 3 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets (you should have ten on each sheet). Bake until the edges are slightly golden but the centers are still pale, 15-18 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then either slide the papers off the pans onto cooling racks or transfer the cookies with a spatula. Once cool, store the cookies in an air-tight container.

Nutrition Information

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  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 186
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Sodium: 83mg
  • Cholesterol: 22mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    These are awesome!!! I had no eggs and had to substitute egg whites from a carton and they were still excellent!

    - Linda on May 8, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made these today, and we decided they are the perfect oatmeal cookie. Other recipes I’ve tried in the past are either too crisp, too soft, too many oats, too whatever!, but these are spot on. The ratio of flour to oatmeal is perfect, and the crispness of the edges versus the soft, chewy center is perfect too. The addition of the toasted pecans is heavenly. I did two small things differently than the original recipe. I added a smidge of freshly grated nutmeg simply because that is our personal preference, but it certainly wasn’t necessary to the success of the cookie. I also plumped the raisins by pouring boiling water over them and letting them soak for 10 minutes before draining and patting them dry. Again, not necessary, but personal preference in our household for any cookies containing raisins. I’m so glad to have finally found THE oatmeal cookie recipe!

    - BjustB on February 18, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    DELICIOUS! I made these today, for a Superbowl party tonight. They are soooo good. I added of course raisins…but also, pecans, chocolate chips and sunflower seeds….I had a recipe that I lost that contained only brown sugar…so the search began, and this recipe saved the day. Quick, easy and delicious. Thanks ?

    - Jacqueline on February 7, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Another wonderful recipe from onceuponachef! Who would think something so simple as toasting the nuts first would make such a huge difference. These cookies are our new faves.

    - Judy on February 2, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have tried several different oatmeal cookie receipes and NOTHING compares to this one! I didnt have pecans on hand so I didnt use them. Other than that I got creative and used 1/3 cup raisins, 1/3 cup dried unsweetened cherries amd 1/3 cup dried juice sweetened cranberries. I also only used 1/2 cup of the dark sugar. Everything else stayed the same. Delicious! This is the way to make oatmeal cookies. Moist, soft and buttery! Perfect!

    - Christina on January 24, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    We have a nut allergy in our family. Can I just omit the pecans, or should I add more oats or more raisins instead? I’m looking forward to making these!
    Thanks, Amy

    - Amy Bacon on November 15, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Amy, I would just omit the pecans…unless you like lots of raisins, then that will work too :)

      - Jenn on November 17, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Delicious oatmeal cookies, nice crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, I loved that they were not too sweet. My favourite oatmeal cookie recipe! love the toasted pecans in there.

    - Lian on August 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn Made these today and they were delicious. The only problem I had was they didn’t flatten out like your pictures showed. I used a 1 ounce scoop and the batter make 20 cookies, they just were thicker than shown. Where did I go wrong?

    - Sharon Nasci on July 27, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Sharon, Did you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour?

      - Jenn on July 29, 2015 Reply
      • Yes, I used that method, thought maybe there was too much batter in each cookie?

        - Sharon on August 1, 2015 Reply
        • Hmmm, possibly. Or did you by chance chill the dough before baking the cookies?

          - Jenn on August 2, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Ohhhhhh baby. These are good… I’m not a big oatmeal raisin fan, nor do I generally enjoy cookies with nuts (I wanted dessert, not granola!) But my husband loves both, so I thought he’d get a kick out of these. I planned to follow the recipe, but couldn’t shake the urge to add some maple extract- wow! I used 1/2 t vanilla and 1/2 t maple extract. It’s just ridiculous. I can’t wait till my guy gets home and tries these!

    - Kristen B on April 20, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    how many calories per cookie?

    - clint Bishop on March 23, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Clint, There are 186 calories per cookie. I’ve added all the nutritional data beneath the recipe.

      - Jenn on March 29, 2015 Reply
  • I almost didn’t toast the pecans but I’m sooo glad I did. They make the cookies. I also added cinnamon (1/2 tsp) and nutmeg (1/8 tsp) and used white whole wheat flour. But seriously, the toasted pecans – yum!

    - Alexia on January 28, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Omg!,. I just made these tonight for my family and I must they are DELICIOUS!,. I love your recipes.

    - Ireisha Kavanaugh on January 17, 2015 Reply
    • Thank you, Ireisha. Glad your family liked them!

      - Jenn on January 18, 2015 Reply
      • 5 stars

        You’re welcome.

        - Ireisha K on January 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn,
    Why aren’tmy cookies flat like the ones you show on the photo? The taste is good but they are not shaped like cookies. They are a bid mound and didn’t flatten out. Please tell me why.

    - Lucy on October 14, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Lucy, Hmmm, not sure. Did you measure the flour using the spoon and level method? Did you by chance refrigerate the dough before baking the cookies?

      - Jenn on October 15, 2014 Reply
      • No, I did not do refrigerate the dough before baking but I did measure the flour correctly. Was I supposed to refrigerate the dough? I didn’t use room temperature butter though. It was still cold from the fridge. Is that the reason?

        - Lucy on October 15, 2014 Reply
        • Hi Lucy, No you are not supposed to refrigerate the dough. The cold butter might be the problem, as cold dough makes much “puffier” cookies.

          - Jenn on October 16, 2014 Reply
  • Me and my husband made these and we both devoured them. They were sooo delicious and chewy!

    - Kimberly on March 13, 2014 Reply
  • I don’t have parchment paper what should I do?

    - Nuray on February 3, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Nuray, You can grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

      - Jenn on February 3, 2014 Reply
  • One of my favorites, added it to my bookmarks years ago and keep referring back when I feel like baking cookies at home. It’s easy to swap out ingredients – I’ve used dried cherries or blueberries and almonds, pecans or walnuts, depending upon what I have on hand. The standard recipe with raisins and pecans is the best so far.

    - Adrian on November 14, 2013 Reply
  • I thought these were delicious. The only thing I did was leave out the raisins – personal preference. But I think I will put chocolate chips in with them next time. Great recipe.
    jjsell76 at yahoo dot ocm

    - Jeremy S on June 26, 2012 Reply
  • I would never try another recipe again!

    - meredith Lovelss on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • These are the best oatmeal cookies I have tried. Thanks.

    - Carolyn on May 11, 2012 Reply
  • Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it.

    - Laura on March 8, 2012 Reply
  • These look great! Do you think i could sub some ww flour for some or all of the white? Thanks!

    - laura on March 7, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Laura, I don’t see why not, although you might want to use a tad less as whole wheat flour tends to dry out baked goods.

      - Jenn on March 7, 2012 Reply
  • This is my new favorite oatmeal cookie. I made these for a potluck and ate almost half of them myself before I even got there! I ended up needing to make another batch in a big hurry. Fantastic with a glass of cold milk.

    - Adrian on March 4, 2012 Reply
  • I will not make another oatmeal cookie again! these are addicting. I used the next day cookies and put into homemade apple pie ice cream for the “crust”- so good!

    - meredith Lovelss on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I just made these and they turned out fabulous. I didn’t measure the flour by tablespoonfuls, I just stuck my cup right into the bin and scooped. I soaked the raisins in spiced rum and left off the vanilla. I added a small handful of wheat bran, a large pinch of cinn and nutmeg,a few goopy twirls of molasses and I didn’t beat the sugar, egg, butter, I just mixed it up with a spoon (no licking, that’s gross), then plopped it in with all the ingredients and baked the heck out them. Thanks for the recipe!

    - Jennifer on March 25, 2011 Reply
    • 5 stars

      We have been snowed in for a week and I was looking for a good oatmeal raisin cookie….as if we needed something else to eat!!! I always read the reviews and I must say the one above has made my day!! Funniest review EVER!! “I just made these…” NO you did not make these … you made an entirely different cookie. Thanks for the entertainment!!! Let’s bake!!! I cannot rate yet….but what the heck….

      - Mary Jo O'Bradovich on February 23, 2015 Reply
  • I just made these using dried cherries and toasted macadamia nuts. I followed the recipe and baking instructions to the letter, and this is the PERFECT oatmeal cookie recipe! My cookies have crispy edges and soft, chewy centers and golden brown bottoms… just the way I like my cookies! THANK YOU for sharing this recipe.

    - Cory on April 21, 2010 Reply
  • Great recipe!

    - Erica on March 18, 2010 Reply
  • I just did a post on oatmeal cookies the other day. I think I will add this, they look too good!

    - Valen on March 17, 2010 Reply
  • Another HUGELY successful recipe! You consistently give us the best recipes and every one of them is terrific! Thank you so much!

    - Linda Isaacs on March 17, 2010 Reply
  • Oh these look sooo good… my hubby would love them. I owe him some good cookies, lol. I know how hard it is to get readers~ doesn’t it make you crazy when some sites get 20+ comments?! I struggle to get 5, lol. I will forward your link on my FB page- and when I get around to making these cookies, I will give ya a shout out on my site! :)

    - the domestic mama on March 17, 2010 Reply
  • Love love oatmeal cookies these look so good I can not resist must make

    - Aysegul - nysdelight on March 15, 2010 Reply
  • Ok ok ok..I take your word for it..they do look perfect!

    - leslie on March 15, 2010 Reply
  • I love the addition of pecans here! So much more interesting than walnuts. And all brown sugar anything is all right by me. I am totally making these the next time I’m craving oatmeal cookies.

    - Shauna from Piece of Cake on March 15, 2010 Reply
  • I posted oatmeal cookies today too:) Will have to try adding in pecans next time!

    - Maria on March 15, 2010 Reply
  • I love oatmeal raisin cookies and I can’t wait to try this recipe. They look delicious.

    - nickki on March 14, 2010 Reply

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