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Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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These old fashioned oatmeal raisin cookies take two days to make, but their soft chewy texture makes it worth the wait. This old fashioned recipe is straight from my great-grandma’s recipe box and the tender cookies are still a favorite.

Hand holding soft oatmeal raisin cookie with sugar coating on outside.

These oatmeal cookies have a softer texture than most and are oh so tasty. My family calls them step on cookies, because you flatten them with a glass before you bake them.

But overnight oatmeal cookies better describes the process as you make the dough and roll it into balls one day and bake it off the next. This recipe and the two day process makes for the most tender oatmeal cookies you’ve ever had.

Pile of step on oatmeal raisin cookies, ready to eat.

As written, this recipe has a nice mild oatmeal and sweet raisin flavor. If you like a spicier oatmeal cookie, feel free to add cinnamon and nutmeg to mimic your favorite recipe.

I thought for Mother’s Day it would be fun to post one of my Great-Grandma’s recipes.  Several of her vintage recipes have become a hit here on the site, especially her frozen fruit salad. 

She is no longer with us, but her recipes still live on.  This is one that I have heard of her making frequently.

Rolling balls of oatmeal raisin cookie dough in granulated sugar and placing them in a container to go in the fridge overnight.

The recipe said it yields 9 dozen cookies and by George if I didn’t get exactly 9 dozen.  To be fair, I had to work pretty hard scraping the bowl to get the last one… but I wasn’t going to come up one short!

I thought it was really interesting that this cookie has a two day prep. But that is what makes them so special!       

Day 1: make dough, roll into balls, roll balls into sugar and put in the fridge. 

Day 2 : flatten balls, bake and enjoy

Flattening refrigerated balls of oatmeal raisin cookie dough with the bottom of a glass.

The results are totally worth the wait. It is always fun to bake up vintage treats that I know my great-grandmother and grandma have made before me.

There is something so special about these generational recipes. Even if I don’t have the memories of my great-grandma making them herself, it still has a bit of nostalgia baked right in.

Great grandma's handwritten recipe card for step on cookies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this recipe called overnight oatmeal cookies?

Because the balls of dough chill in the refrigerator overnight and are baked the next day. This gives them their wonderful texture. My family also calls them step on cookies because you flatten them with the bottom of a glass before you bake them.

What is the best way to store oatmeal raisin cookies?

Once the cookies are cooled, move them to an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, freeze for up to 3 months.

Can I freeze some of the dough?

Yes. Follow the recipe up to the point where you flatten the cookie dough balls with the glass. Arrange the flattened cookie dough disks on a cookie sheet and freeze for an hour or two. Transfer the frozen cookie dough to a freeze bag and return to the freezer for up to three months. You can bake them from frozen, just add a minute or two to the bake time.

More Great Cookie Recipes

If you like these cookies, great-grandma also had a wonderful recipe for classic peanut butter cookies. You will have to make a batch of those as well.

Frostbite cookies are another great treat that turn what you thought you knew about oatmeal cookies on its head. They have lots of great texture and just the tiniest hint of peppermint.

Ranger cookies are a nice buttery cookie with some oatmeal, coconut and more mixed in. They are mild and oh so tasty.

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Hand holding soft oatmeal raisin cookie with sugar coating on outside.

Oatmeal Raisin Step On Cookies

Servings: 9 Dozen Cookies
Author: Carlee
These cookies take a little time to make, but it is mostly hands off. The results are a smooth cookie with a nice chew unlike any other oatmeal raisin cookie you’ve had!
4.94 from 16 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 12 minutes
Additional Time 7 hours
Total Time 8 hours 27 minutes


  • cups unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • optional: 1 cup chopped nuts


  • Cream together butter and sugar.
    1½ cups unsalted butter, 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Mix in eggs until incorporated.
    3 large eggs
  • Add dry ingredients and mix until uniform.
    2 cups old fashioned oats, 1 cup raisins, 3¾ cups all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt, optional: 1 cup chopped nuts
  • Roll into small balls, about an inch in diameter, then roll balls in a little bit of granulated sugar.
  • Place in airtight container and chill overnight.
  • Flatten out with a glass bottom the next day and bake at 375°F for about 8 minutes.  She says “keep them light”
  • Cool on pan for 5 minutes then move to wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.


I like using a small cookie scoop to portion out the dough.
You can refrigerate the balls of dough for up to 3 days before baking them.
You can also freeze the smashed balls of dough to bake later. Just add a minute or two to the bake time.
Store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or freeze them for up to 3 months.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 65kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 51mgSugar: 5g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.94 from 16 votes (15 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Monday 29th of April 2024

These cookies are great!


Sunday 15th of November 2015

Yum, these look great! I love pretty much any kind of oatmeal cookie that I can get. Plus it has raisins so I'm sold! Thank you for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday!!


Monday 16th of November 2015

These are fun because they have a completely different texture than most oatmeal cookies. Some people didn't even recognize them as oatmeal cookies until I told them what they are. That great-grandma of mine was on to something!


Monday 18th of May 2015

They are a long time family favorite and worth making!


Saturday 16th of May 2015

I love oatmeal cookies, these sound wonderful! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend?!


Saturday 16th of May 2015

These have a different texture than any other oatmeal cookie I have ever tried. It was fun to bake from one of my great-grandma's favorite recipes.

Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

Wednesday 13th of May 2015

This is one I'm going to try.