Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe by PJ Hamel

These whole wheat oatmeal cookies are a great way to convince anyone, especially kids, that baking with whole grains can be a tasty experience. Wheat and oats combine to make cookies that are indistinguishable from those made with white flour, except in color. They're hearty enough to carry you through the day while still feeling like dessert, and ideal for packing into lunchboxes as a sweet surprise.

15 mins
13 to 16 mins
3 hrs 28 mins
about 5 dozen small (2 1/4") cookies, with 2 cups of add-ins
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies - select to zoom
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies - select to zoom
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies


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  1. Beat together the butter, sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla until well combined.

  2. Add the egg, beating until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and beat again until smooth.

  3. Add the flour and oats, beating to combine.

  4. If you're making whole wheat oatmeal cookies using chips, nuts, etc., beat in the orange juice, then the add-ins. If you're making plain cookies, without add-ins, omit the orange juice.

  5. Cover the cookie dough and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled; at least several hours, or overnight for best results. You can bake these cookies without refrigerating the dough, but they'll spread to be quite flat, especially if there aren't any add-ins. 

  6. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

  7. Scoop the dough by the traditional teaspoonful (about 2 measuring teaspoons, about a 1" ball) onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2" apart. A teaspoon cookie scoop works well here.

  8. If the cookie dough has been refrigerated, bake the cookies for 13 to 14 minutes, until they're a very light golden brown and a bit darker around the edges. For dough that hasn't been chilled, bake for about 11 minutes. For softer cookies, reduce the baking time by about 2 minutes.

  9. Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool right on the baking sheets.

  10. Store whole wheat oatmeal cookies, well wrapped, for 4 to 5 days at room temperature; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Use the optional orange juice if you're adding chips, nuts, fruit, etc. Don't add the orange juice if you're not using any add-ins.
  • Jammy Bits, sweet, soft little morsels of fruit purée, come in five delicious flavors: blueberry, raspberry, cherry, apple cinnamon, and orange.

  • Choose your favorite texture: To make cookies with a craggy, oatmeal cookie-like appearance, use quick oats. For a smoother, more chocolate chip cookie-like look, grind the oats in a food processor before using, or substitute oat flour.

  • What about using traditional (old-fashioned) rather than quick oats? Go for it; we haven't tried it, but assume the spread will be different. If all you have in the cupboard is old-fashioned rolled oats, give them a quick whirl in a food processor, so they're more like quick oats; or process until they're finely ground, for a smoother-looking cookie.