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Raisin Oatmeal Cookies



I've always thought that until kids are 4 or so, birthday parties are more for the parents than the actual celebrant. I mean, do you know any kid who remembers any of their birthdays before that age? I personally don't, but that's never stopped me from having parties for my kids every year. When Kenya turned 3 we threw a big one for him. Since we knew he'd have little to no memory of it, we tried to think of a way to give the celebration more purpose. Instead of asking the invitees for gifts, we suggested people bring a new book to donate to our local children's hospital. The hospital staff was so grateful, we continued doing it yearly in honor of both our kids birthdays. When Kenya turned 4, he got to deliver his birthday books to the hospital himself and really understood how fun and fulfilling it is to give books to those who might not have access to them.

Last year I learned about an incredible non-profit organization called Milk & Bookies that teaches young children how great it feels to give back while celebrating the love of a good book. It promotes both literacy and service learning by providing kids the opportunity to select, purchase and inscribe books that are then donated to their less fortunate peers. Milk & Bookies even helps you make the process easy by sending you a big box full of materials for your party so all your little guests can inscribe their books and get all kinds of great things in return, like great "I Donated" stickers to wear, bookmarks and more. I think it's just about the coolest organization ever!

When we received our Milk & Bookies box, we also decided to make cookies to commemorate one of Kenya and Chloe's favorite books, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie". This is my variation on the traditional oatmeal raisin cookie which uses naturally sweet honey instead of sugar and is packed with so many tender sweet raisins I give them top billing and call it a Raisin Oatmeal Cookie.

The next time you're throwing a birthday for your little one and don't feel like having your house filled with more plastic toys that will just get played with once or twice and forgotten, empower your child and do this for their birthday -- and of course make a batch of these unbelievably delicious cookies!

Raisin Oatmeal Cookies  (makes 3 dozen)

  • Prep Time: 5 mins,
  • Cook Time: 14 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
I've always thought that until kids are 4 or so, birthday parties are more for the parents than the actual celebrant. I mean, do you know any kid who remembers any of their birthdays before that age? I personally don't, but that's never stopped me from...


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried raisins


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. 2. Place the butter and honey in a bowl or standing mixer and beat for 1 minute.
  3. 3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat for another minute on medium speed or until smooth.
  4. 4. In a separate bowl, mix to combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  5. 5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix to incorporate.
  6. 6. Stir in the raisins then drop 1 tbsp of dough for each cookie onto a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. 7. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  8. 8. Cool and serve.
Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Nutrition Information

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  1. Nada Atallah

    September 10, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Thank you for this great recipe, delicious!!

  2. aswebs

    July 17, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Made a few substitutions, staying with the same amounts, and they were still delicious! Coconut oil instead of butter, maple syrup instead of honey, amaranth flour instead of all purpose, and craisins instead of raisins. Make sure you keep the lid off of them for long enough so they’ll dry out a little before you close them into a container. Ours got a little soft, even after being out for about an hour. They’ll be perfect after a few minutes in the toaster oven to crisp them up :)

  3. mommy_nikki

    March 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    this is a fantastic idea!

  4. Ramida

    February 6, 2014 at 10:14 am

    What kind of honey u use? Can I use raw honey?

  5. Sonya

    December 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    I just made these! I went a step further to make them even healthier..I used coconut oil instead of butter and I used half quinoa flour and half whole wheat pastry flour! Turned out perfect and moist!! Definitely make these again :)

  6. Megan

    November 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    small typo–you say one egg but then say “eggs” in the directions. I made these with sugar instead of honey since local honey is super expensive and I thought it might be hard to mix by hand (didn’t want to use anything with electricity that’d make a loud noise that could wake up my napping toddler).

  7. Liliana

    October 8, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Just made this recipe, very happy with the results, they are delicious and my 3 year old is asking for more.
    Also i just bought your book “Lunches” I feel inspire. Can’t wait to try the recipes. I am so ready for preschool snack day! ~ Thank you!

  8. vanessa

    September 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Could you make this with whole wheat flour?

    • catherine

      September 16, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      Yes, but the cookies will come out more dense and chewy!

  9. Sharon

    September 5, 2013 at 2:38 am

    I think you should call them siege cookies – been defending them from the kids as soon as they got out of the oven. :)

  10. Diedre

    July 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Another great recipe. Thank you. I made a few alterations. I added 1/2 cup wheat germ in place of 1/2 cup of flour. Added some shredded carrots and a table spoon of molasses. I have a 3 1/2 yr old who will not eat one single vegetable no matter how I present it. I have made so many of your recipes only to be disappointed that my 2 little boys will not eat it. I am trying to make sure they get enough Iron (they eat no meat at all no matter what shape, consistency, or if it is covered in ketchup. Anyway. The cookies came out chewy and soft. They ate a few and I will freeze the rest

  11. Paris

    May 20, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Instead of using raisins i used crasins. They make the cookies fun and tart. I also added 1/4 cup pecans. They smell delicious. Have a batch in the oven now! Thanks!!

  12. Kaly

    December 10, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Do these freeze and thaw well? I want to give as gifts, but want to make ahead of time. Mine would be gluten free though (white rice sweet flour mix), as we are a gluten free household. Thanks!

    • catherine

      December 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      They freeze beautifully! You can freeze before or after baking. If you freeze them after baking then just let them thaw at room temperature. You could also put them back in the oven for a few minutes to get them warm and soft!

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  14. Sarah

    February 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Is it ok to use quick cooking oats?

    • catherine

      February 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      You can use quick oats, but they changed the texture of the cookie to something that I don’t find pleasant. They become more mushy than old fashioned oats, but the flavor will be the same.

  15. Jean

    January 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Has anyone tried substituting the honey with agave nectar? I’ve read that you can make a one for one substitution but just wondering what the results were and if you made any other alterations to the recipe. Thanks!

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  17. Lisa

    October 17, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I’m looking for a really high fiber cookie for my daughter. Could I add in unprocessed bran or something along those lines. She won’t eat raisins as she is only 2.


  18. Kitty

    September 12, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Delicious! I love the taste of the honey instead of sugar.
    I’ve just made these with my children so my eldest can take one in her lunch tomorrow for her first day at school.

  19. yeni

    September 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I just made these today to surprise my boy after school. They are just perfect! They’re chewing and not overly sweet. The honey really complements the flavor of the oats and raisins. Thanks Catherine!

  20. Catherine

    August 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    This recipe calls for 1 egg correct?

  21. Catherine

    August 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Just curious… aren’t all raisins “Dried”?

    • deeredwine

      June 16, 2014 at 10:46 am

      I used 1 egg.

    • Melissa

      February 5, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Thank you so much for this arlecti, it saved me time!

  22. Joann@womaninreallife

    August 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    This idea is so lovely. Books meant so much to me as a child. Hard to believe people grow up without them.

  23. Jaime

    August 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    made these today. they are delicious.

    we used whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of craisins & 1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate chips. any ideas on how to make with a healthier fat?

  24. Lisa

    August 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    These look perfect for back-to-school lunches that need to be packed this week. I have all the ingredients and will be making these tonight for my kid’s lunches tomorrow. Can’t believe it’s back to school already, but, it is.

  25. Kirstin

    August 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing the Milk and Bookies site with us! I am definitely getting a “box” of supplies and including this activity as part of a neighborhood back-to-school ice cream social we’re hosting at the end of the month.

  26. Michelle

    August 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Any experience making these with an egg substitute such as applesauce?

  27. Mila

    August 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Oh, I have all the ingredients to make these, EXCEPT I only have about a cup of oats. Is there anything I can do, like add more flour? Don’t want to mess it up.

  28. Kelly

    August 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Shoot I want to make these when my girls wake, but I only have salted butter on hand from our local farm…will that be ok???

    • Kelly

      August 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      I’ll just cut back on adding extra salt :)

  29. Lori S.

    August 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I LOVE this idea for a birthday party! Sounds like a great way for the kids to have fun, feel important, and celebrate while donating to a good cause.

  30. Kimberly Olson

    August 8, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Thanks so much for this wonderful idea. My son will be turning 3 in December and I definitely will be doing this for his birthday!

  31. Diana

    August 8, 2011 at 10:40 am

    What a great idea to donate birthday gifts! I love it! My toddler will be turning 3 next yr and i am totally going to do it! Thank you for sharing!

  32. Christina

    August 8, 2011 at 9:23 am

    We LOVE oatmeal raisin cookies – as long as they are chewy, not crunchy. Are these crunchy or chewy?

  33. Jennifer

    August 8, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I always toast the oatmeal prior to adding to recipe. Learned this trick from a caterer I know. Bake the oatmeal on cookie sheet at 300 for 10 min, let cool. Remember to only use Old Fashion oats, not instant or quick cooking.

    • Krissy

      August 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Jodie, toasting the oats is supposed to leave a more buttery and rich flavor to the oats. I’ve heard of toasting oats before for cookies, but most of the time I hear half the oats toasted and lightly ground to the consistencey of wheat flour first. Perhaps try toasting half the oats first time and see if your family likes it.

      • Jodie

        August 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm

        Interesting, I will try that! Thanks!

    • Jodie

      August 8, 2011 at 11:54 am

      What does that do, just make the oatmeal crunchy?

  34. AmandaPN

    August 8, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Could we see a recipe for yummy oatmeal cookies WITHOUT raisins? I cannot stand raisins, yet everywhere you look, oatmeal is paired up with them. My family has a yummy oatmeal-only cookie recipe, but I’m sure it isn’t very healthy! :)

    • emily

      August 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm

      I made these tonight and sub’ed semisweet choc chips for the raisins. Came out great. :)

    • Joann@womaninreallife

      August 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      What about sunflower seeds or nuts, combined with the craisins. Or, not so healthy, but you could add smarties.

    • Krissy

      August 8, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      My daughter is the same, she hates raisins. Usually we just omit the raisins and the cookies turn out just fine.

    • Jodie

      August 8, 2011 at 11:54 am

      I was thinking of trying these with Craisins, yum

    • Tiffany Murphy

      August 8, 2011 at 11:34 am

      Have you tried dried cranberries?

    • Mya Burgoon

      August 8, 2011 at 8:58 am

      pretty sure you can just leave the raisins out or substitute something else for them! Chocolate chips?

  35. Heather

    August 8, 2011 at 8:23 am

    You answered my thoughts! I was just thinking that I needed to make oatmeal raisin cookies with my girls and that I should check this site to see if you had a recipe! Then I open my email, and there it is! :)

  36. Wendy D

    August 8, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Love both the idea of the cookies and book donation. I’m all about giving back. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful organization.

  37. CCMom

    August 8, 2011 at 5:54 am

    I love oatmeal raisin cookies, can’t wait to try these!