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The Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe Without Brown Sugar

Oatmeal cookies are best right out of the oven.  This oatmeal cookie recipe without brown sugar makes a soft chewy cookie packed with sweet raisins just like Grandma used to make!

Making a big batch of cookies, you can keep them stored in an airtight container, so that they’re handy for snacks and sharing.  

The recipe includes old fashioned oats, and that adds to the wholesome goodness of these oatmeal raisin cookies. Instant oats or quick oats will result in a sticky, glue-like dough. Trust me, it just isn’t good.

The best part is if you don’t have brown sugar in your pantry, no problem! We show you how to substitute white sugar that actually makes the cookie light and puffy.  

freshly baked oatmeal cookies piled on parchment paper

Why do we use white sugar instead of dark brown sugar?

Cookie recipes without brown sugar are very popular. Our peanut butter cookie recipe doesn’t use brown sugar and it’s our top recipe! 

Brown sugar has molasses in it and is popular in chocolate recipes including my chocolate chip cookie recipe and amazing chocolate cakes.

In cookies, using white sugar results in a puffy soft cookie that doesn’t flatten out when baking. And when you use white sugar, it’s easier to adjust the amount according to your preferred sweetness. 

So let’s get started!

Ingredients

Before starting, head to the grocery store and get all the ingredients you need. For equipment, be sure to have a large bowl. You can use either a stand mixer or a hand held electric mixer. A cookie scoop makes forming the dough balls so much easier!

ingredients for oatmeal cookies

Get your cookie sheets ready and line them with parchment paper. It makes cleanup so easy! A wire rack for cooling is nice to have. 

  • all-purpose flour
  • old-fashioned oats
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • white sugar
  • unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • shortening, at room temperature
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • raisins

How to make the best oatmeal raisin cookies – follow our steps below:

Get your ingredients together.

In a large bowl, cream the white sugar, unsalted butter and shortening using either an electric mixer or a stand mixer.

cream sugar and butter

Add in the eggs, and vanilla. These are your wet ingredients

add eggs and vanilla

In a medium bowl, blend the flour, baking soda and salt together

Stir in the oats.  These are the dry ingredients.

mix dry ingredients

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. 

The last step is to mix in the raisins.  I usually stir them in with a wooden spoon. (See the tips below for different mix-ins!)

add raisins to oatmeal cookie batter

Using a cookie scoop, place the oatmeal cookie dough balls evenly spaced on the cookie sheets

oatmeal cookie balls on parchment paper

Bake at 350F for about 10 – 15 minutes (check your oven!) 

bake cookies until golden

This is an old fashioned recipe and a classic, passed down from my Grandma to me, and now from me to you! I’m so happy that you’re here, and you’re thinking of making these awesome cookies for your family and friends.

Homemade oatmeal cookies without brown sugar are right up there with chocolate chip cookies am I right? 

My advice though? Double the batch, and store in an airtight container, like a zip-top freezer bag, and pop them in the freezer until the next time those cookie cravings hit.

Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and place them in a single layer on a cooling rack. (preferably a wire rack)

Once cool, store in an airtight container, or use your favorite cookie jar! Be sure to keep the oatmeal cookies in a cool place. 

TIPS

Get all your ingredients and equipment out before you start baking. It’s just so much easier.

Mix the ingredients well – making sure the raisings (or other mixins!) are distributed evenly.

Use a cookie scoop (see below for a recommendation!)

Push the cookie batter down slightly with the back of a teaspoon. It helps the cookie flatten out while baking. This is totally optional of course.

FAQS

What is a substitute for brown sugar in oatmeal cookies?

White sugar! We often don’t have brown sugar on hand, or if we do, it’s dried out from the last time you used it.

What happens if you don’t add brown sugar to cookies?

Cookies without brown sugar are often crispier and less dense.

Why do cookies need brown sugar?

Cookies don’t always need brown sugar. The brown sugar makes the cookies chewy, like a good chocolate chip cookie. A crispy, melt in your mouth cookie that doesn’t use brown sugar are my #1 peanut butter cookies!

How to store oatmeal cookies

The best way to store oatmeal cookies is in an airtight container. This will make sure they stay crunchy! You can use your fave cookie jar too, even zippered freezer bags. You don’t need to put them in the refrigerator unless it’s very warm and you won’t be eating them for a few days.

Recipe variations

We’ve mentioned earlier the importance of using old fashioned oats. I use large flake oats for my soft oatmeal cookies! Some ideas for different mix-ins include: chocolate chips or chunks, walnuts, pecans, coconut, dried currants.

You could substitute stevia/erythritol or maple syrup for white sugar. 

For stevia/erythritol, be sure to follow the measuring advice on the package. Each manufacturer is different.

Maple syrup can be substituted using a ¾ cup of maple syrup to one cup of sugar. 

stack of oatmeal cookies on white plate

Where did I get my inspiration for this recipe?

Baking using simple ingredients is just so satisfying.  This classic oatmeal cookie recipe produces an almost healthy cookie!

If you close your eyes when you bite into it, all that goodness just melts in your mouth!

You could spread some natural peanut butter on your cookie too. Just to mix things up. 

Enjoy!

THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the Pie Lady Bakes community where you will find vintage recipes like Mom and Grandma used to make, but that are so easy!

If you haven’t already joined, here is the link where you can sign up for my weekly e-mail newsletter. This way, you won’t miss any of my new recipes and it’s absolutely free! 

See you soon!

Judy

★★★★★ 

If you have made this delicious recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to give it a 5 star rating! 

★★★★★ 

oatmeal cookies in white baking dish
Yield: 24-30

Oatmeal Cookie Recipe Without Brown Sugar

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A chewy oatmeal cookie with a slight crunch is packed with sweetness. Mixins include raisins or you can choose chocolate chips or chunks!

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup shortening, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the white sugar, unsalted butter and shortening using either an electric mixer or a stand mixer.
  3. Add in the eggs, and vanilla. These are your wet ingredients
  4. In a medium bowl, blend the flour, baking soda and salt together
  5. Stir in the oats.  These are the dry ingredients.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. 
  7. The last step is to mix in the raisins.  I usually stir them in with a wooden spoon. (See the tips below for different mix-ins!)
  8. Using a cookie scoop, place the oatmeal cookie dough balls evenly spaced on the cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper
  9. Bake at 350F for about 10 - 15 minutes (check your oven for accurate baking times!) 
  10. Once the cookies have cooled on a wire rack, store them in an airtight container, your cookie jar, and freeze some for later. 

Notes

Store your freshly baked Oatmeal Cookies in an airtight container or freeze in a zipper freezer bag. If they last that long!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

30

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 84mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g

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oatmeal cookies with text overlay in white dish

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Judy Kahansky is an experienced writer and baker, creating delicious desserts (including pie!) for over 40 years. She loves to take classic and vintage recipes and update them to fit the busy lives of her readers. When not baking, Judy and her husband Mark are passionate golfers, travelers and dog lovers, spending as much time as they can with their sweet pup Millie.

Share with friends!

Marjorie Mejia

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

Just made the recipe and they turned out amazing! Thank you for sharing

Judy Kahansky

Monday 5th of February 2024

You are so welcome! We love them too. ❤️

Renee

Thursday 14th of September 2023

Awesome recipe! Worked well and tastes good. I did use Bob’s Red Mill quick oats instead of old-fashioned ones- still turned out thick and chewy! Thanks!

Judy Kahansky

Monday 18th of September 2023

Hi Renee, oh that's a great idea! So glad you love them, a real favorite in our home too.

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