The classic Quaker oatmeal cookies recipe from the old-fashioned oats box or canister, plus tips for making these cookies come out perfectly! These are also known as Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
Quaker Oatmeal Cookies
Is there anything better than the classic Quaker Oats oatmeal cookies? Probably not, at least in the oatmeal cookie category.
My mom made a variation of these when I was a kid. She loaded them up with lots of extra goodies like coconut, pecans, and chocolate, calling them “cowboy cookies.” Many’s the time I popped open the storage container to grab a handful of those cookies!
When I reached for the my canister of old-fashioned oats to take a closer look at the recipe, I wondered where the original recipe for Quaker oatmeal cookies came from. When was it invented? When did it start appearing on the box or canister?
One article claimed that “by early 1900s a recipe for the delicious treats appeared on every container of Quaker Oats.” This anecdote is repeated, often word-for-word, on other websites.
The official Quaker Oats history says only that an oat cake recipe began appearing on the box in 1908. Oat cakes are not the same as the later Quaker oatmeal cookies. Here’s a recipe from the BBC if you’d like to see how oat cakes are made.
So, there certainly were oat cake recipes printed on the box back in the early 1900s, but I haven’t found a source yet that reveals when exactly the famous Quaker Oats oatmeal cookie recipe, also known as “Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies,” first appeared. If you have information on this, please leave a comment below.
You can watch the official video to see exactly how to make this recipe right here.
Surprising Things You May Not Know About Quaker Oatmeal Cookies
- The recipe does not specify salted or unsalted butter. This explains why salt is optional. I use unsalted butter and I don’t add salt, but this is a personal choice.
- You can use Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats or Quick Oats.
- You can make an adjustment to the flour to make these cookies at high altitude. Use 1 3/4 cups of flour rather than 1 1/2.
- You can swap in whole wheat or white whole wheat flour for any or all of the all-purpose flour. I’ve been doing this for years and it works like a charm.
- You can add more mix-ins, such as chocolate chips, shredded coconut, pecans, walnuts, cranberries, etc.
- You can make this recipe as bar cookies in a 13 by 9 pan.
Other Ways to Use Quaker Oats
- Homemade Granola
- Blackberry Crumble
- Blueberry Crumble
- Apple Crumble
- Cannoli Overnight Oats
- Triple Layer Oatmeal Brownies
Bookmark this recipe so you can have it without having to dig up an actual Quaker Oats canister.
Quaker Oatmeal Cookies • Straight from the Quaker Oats Box!
The classic Quaker oatmeal cookies recipe from the old-fashioned oats box or canister, plus tips for making these cookies come out perfectly!
- 14 tablespoons butter softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoons salt optional
- 3 cups Quaker Oats quick or old-fashioned, uncooked
- 1 cup raisins
Heat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well.
Add oats and raisins; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
For high altitude, increase flour to 1 3/4 cups.
Nice to have this handy without having to find a box! I love the Quaker vanishing oatmeal cookies recipe.
Annette it says mix butter with sugar(s)
oatmeal cookie recipe calls for brown sugar but nowhere in the directions does it say when to add the brown sugar just the white sugar you mix it with the butter.
Hi Adela! The recipe says to beat the “sugars” (plural) with the butter. That means the white sugar and the brown sugar together at the same time.
It does say beat butter and sugars, Plural
It says sugars.
How do I make just regular oatmeal cookies without raisins do you hv an actual recipe
You can just leave out the raisins. It will still work the same.
How many cups is 18 tablespoons?
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
Just your oatmeal cookie recipes oo back of box “”old fashion oatmeal cookies” possible late,late 1950’s or early 1960’s it was you best cookies were hollow (air pockets) they were yummy would you be able to send me that one I have moved and can not find. Thank you so much
Candy, I would love to have that older Quaker oatmeal cookie recipe as well! Please let me know if you ever find ut. Thanks!
I’m looking for the older version too. Maybe this is the one ??
This looks like the one from a 1987 canister to me, based on ebay listings.
You can sometimes find old oatmeal canisters on ebay. This one is from 1950-51 and you might even be able to read the recipe if you zoom in.
The butter , your pictured lid reads 1/2 C (1 stick) plus 6 Tbls, isn’t that 14 Tbls total not 18? Why they aren’t writing it simply as 1 3/4 stick butter I can’t understand. Anyways my older lid from the 70’s lists butter as “1/2 pound (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened” which equates to 16 Tbls. The other ingredients are identical.
You are quite right! It’s a typo that I’ve fixed just now. Thanks! I think the recipe has changed over the years as well.
I remember a recipe from the 1960s or 1970s that called for 3 cups oatmeal, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. I can’t remember the other ingredients. I always altered the recipe to eliminate the white sugar and half the salt. Now I want to make them again but no version has those ratios. Have you ever seen this one?
I’ve never seen the old version. I bet it’s in the company archives somewhere, but the trick would be getting someone to find it.
Donna, Maybe this is the one you are looking for??
You can sometimes find old oatmeal canisters on ebay. You may even be able to see the recipe if you zoom in.
How long do you bake the bars. Thanks for your help.
For cookies, it’s 8 to 10 minutes. Not sure about bars, though.
i have made theseong as bars many times. i bake these in an oblong pyrex @ 350
for about 25min.until the top is turning brown. they are wonderful!
i am making an oatmeal cookie bar right now. i have baked them before in an oblong
pyrex dish at 350 for about 25 minutes. i take it out when the top sides are getting
brown. the center kind of sinks in a bit but that’s okay! i put in some coconut & mini
chocolate chips. i also soak the raisins in warm oj before adding them. they plump up
& taste better…to me!
Can the Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie dough be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until needed?
Yes, definitely. I have made the cookie dough ahead of time several times. I usually go ahead and form the cookies before I refrigerate, because it can be trickier to scoop up once it’s gotten firm.
I have an old quake oats container that has the recipe printed on the back side but it doesn’t call for cinnamon and it has shortening and water in the recipe, tried the newest one that I used to see on the containers that used butter instead of shortening and no water and didn’t like it, I use the one with the shortening and water every year. I make some with chocolate chips and raisins.
Would you send me a picture of the recipe? I’d love to add that version to this post in case people are looking for it.
Would you mind posting the recipe? I have been looking for the recipe my mom used to make in the late 1970s. Maybe she subbed vegetable oil for the shortening? the cookies definitely had no cinnamon and baked up somewhat flat with crispy edges, Smelled amazing baking…
Famous Oatmeal Cookies (Quaker
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar ; firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups uncooked oatmeal
Beat together shortening, sugars, egg, water and vanilla until creamy. Stir together flour, salt, and soda; add to creamed mixture; blend. Stir in oats. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated 350-degree F oven for 12-15 minutes. 60 Servings
You can add raisins and cinnamon if you MUST (but I think they’re SO much better without).
Found on Big Oven,:cammie1stephens by cammie1stephens
Quaker Oats first printed this cookie recipe on their oats package in the mid-1950s. You can add a teaspoon of cinnamon and a cup of raisins if you want, but my family prefers them without.
The original recipe is:
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups oleo
2 cups sugar ( one brown, one white)
2 cups flour
2 cups pecan pieces
1 tspn baking soda
I make a batch of these every 2 weeks for a senior citizens prayer group.
I forgot to add 2 cups of oatmeal
I fixed it! 🙂
Thank you so much for this site. I lost my old handwritten cookbook with all of my recipes when I divorced and left it for my daughter to use. It was then lost by my ex during a move. So, I needed the oatmeal cookie recipe tonight for work I thought the one on the Quaker lid was the same as the one I had used years ago. I made a batch and they were horrible!!! I searched and finally found someone that agreed with my deduction that there wasn’t enough fat in the recipe. The new batch is on the way and look the way a cookie should. Thank goodness!
Hooray! I’m so glad you found it here. I absolutely adore this recipe. It’s tried and true.
Original Quaker recipe appeared in June of 1958
Can you use apple oatmeal ?
Apple oatmeal? Like the kind that already has flavoring and sugar mixed in? I’d stick with plain rolled oats for the best result. Flavorings and extra sugar might make the recipe not work right.
I have coconut sugar. Can I use it in place of both sugars? It’s 1/2 white sugar and 3/4 cup brown. It’s a 1:1 ratio on the coconut sugar.
Yes, you can. The cookies may be softer (that’s a property of brown sugar in general, and coconut sugar, which behaves like a brown sugar).
I use 1 crisco flavored butter stick instead of the butter. I also only use 1/2 cup of both regular and brown sugar and blend it together with the crisco. I soak the raisins first in water (just enough to cover them and drain them right before I add them to the recipe) with 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract (please use the real stuff, it’s so worth it!). I also use Saigon cinnamon (it’s a little stronger) but you can use regular cinnamon. Other than that I follow the recipe
Oooh I love fancy cinnamons. My favorite is Ceylon cinnamon!
Can these cookies be frozen and then thawed and baked?
They can definitely be refrigerated and then baked later, but I have never tried freezing the dough.
I love the Vanishing Cookie recipe! I used the shortening one in the 70’s, then changed to the butter one when it came out on the lid when shortening was getting a bad rap. 🙂 I was looking if someone could tell me if there is a way to keep them from spreading so much-I understand the nature of butter.. but seemed to read somewhere that maybe putting it in the fridge for awhile or something could keep it from spreading quite as much? Or would shortening be any better? I make Teddy Bear Cookies with the Quaker Oatmeal Vanishing recipe, but they spread way too much, even tho I love the taste. Your roll a bigger ball, flatten, then smaller balls for snout and ears with mini chocolate chips for eyes, big chocolate chip for nose.. Want the taste, not the spreading of the cookie. 🙂
It’s unusual that they spread so much. I usually stick with Land O’ Lakes butter, as it’s always been reliable for me, but sometimes too much sugar can be the reason for spreading. Maybe dial back the sugar just a touch?
Does anyone know how many cookies are a serving size?
The nutrition calculation is my own, based on the whole recipe’s ingredients divided by 48 cookies, which means 1 cookie per serving as listed on my nutrition info box below the recipe box. It’s not official, though.
Thank you so much. This has been my favorite cookie recipe for years, though I do reduce the sugar.
best oatmeal cookie recipe. Very easy to follow