Quaker Oatmeal Cookies

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3.50 from 2 votes
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Looking for the original Quaker oatmeal cookie recipe from the 1950s? Although Quaker has changed their recipe several times over the years, I believe that sometimes nothing is as good as the original. The classic cookie recipe calls for old-fashioned rolled oats, shortening, and brown sugar resulting in crispy edges, chewy centers, and loads of tender oats in every bite. 

Crispy, golden brown oatmeal cookies made with the original quaker oatmeal cookie recipe for the 1950s.

There are plenty of classic cookie recipes every home baker needs, like old-fashioned peanut butter cookies and chocolate chip cookies, but there’s none more classic than these Quaker oatmeal cookies. Also known as “Famous Oatmeal Cookies,” the warm oatmeal cookies are the kind of cookie you’d find in grandma’s cookie jar growing up that get passed on through the generations.

​Plus, they are super simple to make. There is no rolling, chilling, or shaping the cookie dough. You just scoop, drop, and bake. Enjoy them as a breakfast treat with a cup of tea or coffee or an afternoon snack with a cold glass of milk!

Crispy Oatmeal cookies without rasins.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Made with simple pantry staples.
  • 48 cookies in 15 minutes!
  • Warm, chewy cookies straight out of the oven are simply the best.
  • Crispy edges, soft chewy centers.
  • Freezer friendly. Hello cookies on demand!

Ingredients

This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for quaker oatmeal cookies in bowls on countertop.
  • Brown sugar – Pack it down into the measuring cup for accurate measurement. The brown sugar adds a delicious caramelized flavor and helps with added moisture. You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, the original Quaker recipe didn’t specify.
  • Vegetable shortening – I use Crisco vegetable shortening but you can use your favorite brand. I do not recommend subbing with butter- the original Quaker cookie recipe called for shortening.
  • Sugar – These cookies have a nice balance from using both white and brown sugar.
  • Water – Adding water to cookie dough is a trick to maintaining the dough’s moisture.
  • Egg – You’ll need 1 large egg.
  • Vanilla extract – A flavor enhancer that makes everything better.
  • All-purpose flour – Measure the flour accurately to avoid dry, dense cookies. Use a kitchen scale or the spoon and level method.
  • Salt – Brings out the flavors of the other ingredients. The salt can be halved if you are watching your salt intake.
  • Baking soda – A leavening agent that gives the cookies a nice rise and helps to keep them nice and soft. Make sure it’s still fresh.
  • Old fashioned oats – The star of the show, these add amazing texture. Quick-cook oats work too but change the texture. Do not use instant oatmeal as it doesn’t work for this recipe.

How to Make Classic Quaker Famous Oatmeal Cookies

This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below. 

Step 1Mix wet ingredients.  In a large bowl, beat the sugars, shortening, water, egg, and vanilla until creamy.

Egg, shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, water, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl.

Step 2: Mix dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Step 3: Combine to make the dough. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just blended. Then, fold in the oats.

Oatmeal cookie dough in mixing bowl with rubber spatula.

Step 4: Scoop and drop. Use a small cookie scoop and drop dough onto 2 prepared baking sheets with 2-inches between each. 

Oatmeal cookie dough scooped onto lined baking sheet with 2 inches between cookies.

Step 5: Bake, cool, and eat. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center is set. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Golden quaker famous oatmeal cookies on parchment lined baking sheet.

Pro Tip:

If you’re not quite ready to bake them yet, flash-freeze the dough balls and put them in a freezer bag to keep frozen for up to 3 months. When you want freshly baked cookies, take some out and bake them straight from frozen.

Storage

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Make sure to keep the lid on or the cookies will lose moisture and dry out. 

Keep them frozen for up to 3 months.

Recipe Tips

  • Stick to old-fashioned rolled oats. Do not use instant oatmeal. Instant oats can be used in a pinch, but they will lead to a completely different texture. Quick oats absorb water quickly so the cookies will be drier and not as oaty. However, it is up to you!
  • Line the cookie sheets. Use a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. This helps to avoid too much spreading as the oatmeal cookies bake. 
  • Don’t make substitutions. If you want authentic Quaker Famous Oatmeal Cookies like they were made 50+ years ago, follow the recipe as directed and do not make substitutions.
  • Keep cookies moist. If your cookies are losing moisture as the days go on, place a piece of bread in the container until the cookies are soft again. 
Oatmeal cookies stacked on top of one another.

Optional Mix-ins and Variations

  • 1/2 cup of your favorite chopped nuts; walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, or white chocolate chips
  • A teaspoon ground cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg give the cookies a wonderful, warm flavor.
  • Shredded coconut would also be great!

More Easy Cookie Recipes

Recipe
Crispy, golden brown oatmeal cookies made with the original quaker oatmeal cookie recipe for the 1950s.
Recipe
3.50 from 2 votes

Original Quaker Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
The original Quaker "Famous Oatmeal Cookies" recipe from the back of Old-Fashioned Quaker Oats containers in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Crispy and delicious oatmeal cookies just like grandma used to make!

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats or quick oats

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the brown sugar, shortening, white sugar, water, egg, and vanilla until creamy. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until blended. Fold in the oats.
  • Using a small cookie scoop or rounded teaspoon, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes*, or until the edges are golden brown and the center is set.

Notes

  • The original recipe calls for baking the cookies for 12-15 minutes. If you prefer a less crispy and crunchy cookie I would suggest baking for only about 10 minutes. 
  • You can use light or dark brown sugar. The original recipe didn’t specify so use whatever you prefer.
  • You can use old-fashioned oats or quick oats but do not use instant oats.
  • Optional mix-ins: raisins, chopped nuts, semisweet chocolate chips, shredded coconut.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Freeze for longer storage.

Nutrition

Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Crispy, golden brown oatmeal cookies made with the original quaker oatmeal cookie recipe for the 1950s.

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3.50 from 2 votes

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe , tastes amazing! I just would like to point out that the number of servings are wrong , I did this recipe x1 and got around 24 cookies not 48 maybe my portions are bigger idk . Either way delicious cookies ! To make them healthier I only added 1/2 cup of brown sugar .

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