Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are certain recipes that, over time, become your go-to recipes.  Whenever I need a little sweetness or am terrified that the experimental dessert in the oven is going to fail, this is the recipe I whip out.  This is my ultimate go-to cookie recipe.  It is infinitely adaptable and impressively forgiving.  I can’t even being to count how many times I’ve made these or how many variations I’ve created.  Recently, I’ve taken to using 100% whole wheat flour in an effort to maintain my commitment to all things whole grain.  I think it gives them a nice nuttiness that perfectly compliments the oats.  But if whole wheat isn’t your thing, feel free to stick with the all-purpose flour.

oatmeal cookie dough

Over the years I’ve taken to adding a bit of cinnamon and, when I’m feeling spicy, a little nutmeg to the dry ingredients.  I love the spicy flavors mixed with the chocolate chips and the oatmeal.  The beautiful thing about this recipe is that virtually every ingredient can be swapped out for something else.  Try it with raisins instead of chocolate chips (if you are one of those strange creatures that doesn’t care for chocolate).  Use all-purpose flour and coconut.  Sunflower seeds or salted peanuts instead of the walnuts.  White chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.  You get the idea.

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

I like my cookies a bit chewier, closer to their original dough consistency, so I bake them only as long as absolutely necessary … usually right around 13 minutes.  If you like your cookies crispier (I know that there are folks out there who only consider something a cookie if it meets the requisite crunch level), let them hang out in the oven a bit longer.  Like I said, this recipe is ultimately adaptable.

oatmeal cookie resting on milk

Personally, I think they are best devoured .. ah hem, eaten right out of the oven when the chocolate is still in various stages of melted-ness and the inside is warm and slightly gooey, but they do keep nicely in an airtight container for a few days (if they last that long!).

oatmeal cookies and milk


Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12-15 minutes


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
a dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 cup uncooked quick rolled oats
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts


- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the sugars in an electric mixer.
- Cream the sugars with the softened butter.
- Add in the egg, vanilla, and milk. Cream until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg (if using). Add slowly to the wet mixture until incorporated.
- Once smooth, stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and walnuts.
- Using a teaspoon or a small ice cream/cookie scoop, drop rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.

Adapted from an ancient copy of The Joy of Cooking

  Pin It

51 Responses to “Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. 1
    Misty — February 11, 2009 11:34 am

    Yummy! Not only sounds great but looks great too. The recipe is easy to follow!

  2. 2
    Jennifer — February 11, 2009 6:18 pm

    Yum!!! These look so wonderful!!

  3. 3
    finsmom — February 11, 2009 9:33 pm

    I want to sink my teeth into these!

  4. 4
    Franny — February 12, 2009 7:33 pm

    these look delicious!! and the picture w/ the cookie on the glass looks so cute! not only do you have great recipes but excellent photography skills as well! i am enjoying your blog ever so much!!

  5. 5
    lizzy — February 13, 2009 4:53 pm

    I followed this recipe exactly…these cookies are so amazingly delicious.

  6. 6
    Bini — February 22, 2009 12:14 pm

    I made these cookies with whole wheat flour and it came out great . My kids loved it .
    Thanks for the recipe.

  7. 7
    Giddy — April 16, 2009 12:44 pm

    YUM! I googled Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies and found this wonderful recipe. I’m going to use the basic recipe and make it with hazelnuts, choc chips, Ghiradelli Cocoa and Frangelico.

    • kate replied: — April 16th, 2009 3:37 pm

      Giddy – That sounds fantastic! Let me know how it comes out.

  8. 8
    mama bean — April 24, 2009 5:06 pm

    these are about to go in the oven. OH EXCITEMENT. thanks!

  9. 9
    shelby — June 9, 2009 7:54 pm

    when you have a batch of cooled cookies and you want that straight-out-of-the-oven effect, stick them in the microwave for approx. 8 seconds, then consume immediately. the inside of the cookie will be soft and steamy, and the chocolate will be gooey and perfect. then, you don’t have to try and eat them all at once..unless that’s what you prefer :]

  10. 10
    Sy — July 21, 2009 1:10 am

    I made these cookies (with all purpose flour) and they turned out great!! everybody loved them and best of all, they didn’t become hard after one day unlike other oatmeal cookies i’ve made. i wish they were just a bit fatter though and not as spread out. I LOVE fat chewy cookies. any tips?

    • kate replied: — July 21st, 2009 8:27 am

      Sy — A good tip for keeping the cookies fat and chewy is to make sure the dough is chilled before putting it in the oven. Try refrigerating the dough for about 30 minutes before baking. Use rounded balls of dough and don’t press them down more than necessary. Also, it helps to have a room temperature (or even chilled) cookie sheet. I’ve used the air insulated cookie sheets and the cookies always spread more than normal, so stay away from those. Hope that helps!! (I too am a huge fan of big chewy cookies so I totally understand.)

  11. 11
    KIMMIEnFL — July 23, 2009 10:38 pm

    I’ve made these twice and both times turned out beautifully.

    The 1st batch I used 1/2 soy flour & 1/2 all purpose flour. I left out chips but added walnuts.

    The 2nd batch I used 1/2 soy flour & 1/2 whole wheat flour. Again left out the chips but added walnuts.

    I used a #60 scooper (2tsp)and baked on parchment paper.

    My next attempt I’d like to use bananas. 1/2 mashed & 1/2 chopped and of course with walnuts minus the chips.

    I’ve actually lost weight eating these!

    Thanks for a great recipe!

  12. 12
    Shelley — August 15, 2009 4:54 pm

    These were soooo good and helped us enjoy life while trying to eat in a more healthy manner

  13. 13
    Allison — August 27, 2009 11:47 pm

    I just made these – they’re awesome!

  14. 14
    Lisa — September 22, 2009 2:56 pm

    Made a double batch this weekend with my 3yo. Used whole wheat flour, and dark choc chips. Yummy! Thought we’d have enough for the whole week but they are going fast!

  15. 15
    Courtney — October 27, 2009 1:18 pm

    This recipe is now a favorite in our house! My girlfriend asks for them everytime she’s sick or had a rough week at work.

    Today trying cranberries, almonds and dark chocolate, subbing the egg for mashed banana and using non-dairy margarine so they’ll be vegan for a friend of ours. I’m sure this base will stand up to the challenge.

    Thanks so much!

  16. 16
    Holly — December 16, 2009 10:38 pm

    my husband makes these, whole weat style, and they are amazing! we sub half of the sugar for splenda for a very tasty low sugar treat, we then decided to just go for it and add peanut butter and almonds, they are great for a on the go breakfast with the whole weat and the protein from the peanut butter!

  17. 17
    Tyler Brockington — December 30, 2009 3:29 pm

    A great idea for future recipes this. Thank you for sharing it. Have you noticed how so many people appear to be cooking again? I wonder if the lack of funds due to the current climate has something to do with it and we all appear to be cooking again! its great!

  18. 18
    Joanne — January 2, 2010 6:11 pm

    Wow, thanks! These were delicious. I varied by using the 100% whole wheat flour, bittersweet chocolate and omitted the walnuts. Outstanding!

  19. 19
    Sara — January 12, 2010 10:20 pm

    I used honey instead of the granulated sugar, currents instead of nuts and I also used whole wheat flour. They tasted amazing. They cooked pretty flat so next time I will increase my flour and chill the dough. Great recipe!

  20. 20
    Phyllis — March 10, 2010 11:46 pm

    Oh my word! I made these with whole wheat flour and substituted pecans for walnuts. They came out thick, chewy, and absolutely delicious. My husband loved them and so did our toddler. BIG thumbs up on this recipe!

  21. 21
    Annmarie — March 24, 2010 1:52 pm

    My husband came home with a big bag of chocolate chips and has requested that we make Grandma’s oatmeal choco-chip cookies. We love Grandma’s cookies and that’s just the reason I’m hesitant to have them around :) Anyway, I have whole wheat flour that I’ve been wanting to bake with, so I looked to see if we could bake Grandma’s cookies with whole wheat flour, along with the oatmeal, and found your recipe. We are excited to try them this afternoon and will post some comments after. Thanks!

  22. 22
    Chelsea — March 26, 2010 7:32 pm

    Loved it! I reduced the butter and added applesauce, and used splenda instead of white sugar. QAnd all ww flour, of course. Added macadamias and white choc chips. Not as pretty as the photos, but sooooooo yummy!

  23. Pingback: Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  24. 23
    Nechama — July 17, 2010 3:34 pm

    Amazing! I used whole spelt flour, and they came out really good! My best oatmeal cookie yet:)

  25. 24
    Jessica Phan — October 21, 2010 9:17 pm

    For some reason, my cookies did not end up like yours. I even chilled my pans and chilled the dough. The ended up melting all over the cookie sheet. I used all whole wheat flour, walnuts, 1/2 craisins & 1/2 chocolate chips. They ended up in my trash can.

    Will try again and perhaps add an extra 1/2 c of flour or oats…

  26. 25
    Whitney — November 5, 2010 6:26 pm

    These were such a hit at my house!! I used whole wheat pastry flour and splenda instead of white granulated sugar! Who knew a semi healthy cookie could be soooo amazing!!! Thanks!!

  27. 26
    Jennifer — December 14, 2010 9:33 pm

    Like Jessica, mine also melted all over the place. I also chilled my pans and dough with the 2nd batch. The only thing I didn’t add were the walnuts. Any idea what happened? I’m so sad, because I used two amazing broken up chocolate bars and the best organic and or wholesome ingredients. These were to be my offerings to our holiday party.

  28. 27
    Taran — December 20, 2010 3:54 pm

    This recipe was super easy to follow and the cookies came out great! I used whole wheat flour, brown sugar instead of white and plain soymilk.

  29. 28
    claire — February 16, 2011 6:30 pm

    these cookies are fantastic!! i followed the recipe exactly (i used whole wheat flour) and two thumbs up. all my friends love them!

  30. 29
    Meg — March 20, 2011 3:20 pm

    Made these yesterday after searching for an oatmeal raisin cookie that used whole wheat flour. I was low on butter (?!) so I substituted spectrum organic shortening. I think I am going to make all my cookies with ww flour now! I loved the taste, although next time I’m cooking longer in hopes if a more crispy cookie. Thanks!!

  31. 30
    Sherice — May 3, 2011 3:51 pm

    I absolutely love this recipe!!!!! I’ve made it several times and they are so delicious!!!!! Thanks!

  32. 31
    Polar96 — May 10, 2011 4:36 pm

    Great recipe! I used 100% whole wheat flour and they were delicious! I double the recipe (I’ve made them twice in the last 4 months) and freeze half of it. It’s a great dessert for my daughter – I just get out the frozen cookie dough and make her a cookie in the toaster oven – works perfectly! And these are so much healthier than most other dessert options. LOVE them!

  33. Pingback: A “Happy-Medium” Cookie | Joie de Meg

  34. 32
    Tracy — May 14, 2011 1:44 pm

    Kate, these were fantastic!! I used the old-fashioned rolled oats and they turned out wonderfully!! I have never had whole wheat cookies turn out tasty, but these sure are, will make again.

  35. 33
    Christina — May 23, 2011 2:30 pm

    Just made these cookies….delicious!!! Everyone in the family loved them. I didn’t have any vanilla so I added some maple syrop instead….a little too sweet so I’ll try cutting back on some of the white sugar next time.

  36. 34
    Sara — June 28, 2011 12:18 pm

    Should the same amount of whole wheat flour be used? I have read that you normally need to use less whole wheat flour when it substitutes all purpose?

    • kate replied: — June 30th, 2011 7:50 pm

      Sara — I always use the same amount of whole wheat flour and they come out perfectly.

  37. 35
    elena — July 8, 2011 5:03 pm

    wow! I used this recipe as a base, so I changed a few things and they were so freakin delicious. I made just over 20 of them and didn’t even last a whole day at my moms place. Im trying to cut back on meat so I’m stoked to have stumbled on to your blog.

  38. 36
    rita — September 29, 2011 7:51 pm

    These are excellent!! I have made so many different recipes for whole wheat cookies and they never come out as yummy as these. I did make one minor alteration because I ran out of butter…I used about 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of greek yogurt. Either way excellent, excellent, excellent!!

  39. 37
    Amy — October 13, 2011 7:30 pm

    These are delicious! I’ve been trying to replicate the WW oatmeal chocolate chip cookie from Anthony’s in San Francisco and this is the closet recipe I’ve found. Thank you!

  40. 38
    Ryan — October 16, 2011 9:00 pm

    Tried substituting honey for white sugar and it was an epic fail! I will try Equal or Slenda next time.

    • kate replied: — October 16th, 2011 9:24 pm

      Ryan — As someone who has spent considerable time attempting to swap honey or agave nectar for white sugar in recipes, I can completely relate! Epic fail is right! I’ve done a ton of experimenting with honey in cookies and have come up with a couple good recipes. Honey-sweetened cookies will never give you that same crisp, crunchy edge you get from white sugar so you have to adjust your expectations. Take a look at the Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies or the Honey-Sweetened Peanut Butter Cookies for ideas!

  41. 39
    Hadley — November 23, 2011 12:38 am

    I saw that a few others had the same problem I did tonight: my cookies melted all over the place. I’m going to attempt to serve them to my kids tomorrow, but they might only be allowed to eat them outside because I think they are going to crumble terribly. I’m wondering if maybe I didn’t cream the butter / sugar mixture long enough with the eggs, vanilla and milk? The mixture after that step was a little lumpy still but it all smoothed out when I added the dry ingredients. Or maybe I should add more flour? The only modifications I made were to use almond milk and pecans instead of walnuts (I used w/w flour). Please let me know if there’s an answer to this because I LOVED the ease and simplicity of this recipe. Thanks!

    • kate replied: — November 27th, 2011 4:31 pm

      Hadley — Melting cookies are generally the result of butter that was too warm either before starting the batter or became too warm before cooking. Make sure the butter is cold when you start, that you give the butter and sugar sufficient time to get fluffy when you cream them together and that the baking sheet is cool for each batch of cookies. I’ve never cooked with almond milk so I don’t know if that would have any effect on the end result. Try using cold butter and see if that helps!

  42. 40
    Arden — December 11, 2011 5:32 pm

    I just finished making these for a party. I’ve always loved whole-wheat chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, but I’d left my usual recipe at my parents’ house. This one seemed very similar and so I thought I’d give it a try.

    I made a few adjustments: I added 1 tsp of orange extract in addition to the vanilla and I substituted cardamom for the cinnamon and nutmeg. I must say that I think they turned out great.

    My usual recipe had looser instructions (something like “mix all ingredients together, the order doesn’t matter”). So I didn’t follow these directions to the letter — in part because I don’t even own an electric mixer. I mixed the wet ingredients together with a wooden spoon and then just gradually added the dry ingredients rather than sifting them separately and then combining them slowly. They still turned out perfectly.

  43. 41
    Carla — February 13, 2012 2:15 pm

    Made these last night – veryy tasty! Cookies came out perfect level of chewy/crunchy, although mine were very thin and almost web-like in the way they were “constructed.” May have to do with the way I scooped, but overall great recipe!

  44. 42
    Janet — August 30, 2012 2:26 am

    Great! Tried them with all brown sugar (didn’t have any white in the house), full bag of Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips, walnuts, dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Delish! Yes – that nice full, “nutty” flavor :) A keeper.

  45. 43
    Ashlyn — October 18, 2012 6:43 pm

    These are AHHHHMAZING!!!! I just started baking with whole wheat flour and this is the first recipe I tried! I wanted something easy but delish at the same time! this was perfect!!! Thanks! :)

  46. 44
    CK — November 17, 2012 8:00 pm

    I made these last night and they are delicious!! I used dark chocolate chips, and pecans…mmm. I will definitely be using this recipe again and it’s very adaptable to changes so it’s a keeper. Thank you! :)

Leave a Comment