Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Inspired by the classic breakfast of maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal.

A blue ceramic plate holding many maple brown sugar oatmeal cookies.

Serious Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Why It Works

  • A combination of maple syrup and brown sugar compliments the nuttiness of the oats.
  • A darker grade of maple syrup imparts a strong, robust flavor.
  • Resting the dough for several hours allows the oats to fully hydrate, resulting in a tender and moist cookie.

Whoever designed the snack selection for my high school cafeteria had an interesting vision. "You know what we need to fuel the future minds of America?" they must have said to themselves. "Sealed crustless Smuckers PB&J sandwiches, Saltine crackers, cantaloupe-sized heat-and-serve cinnamon rolls, and those individual plastic cups of Quaker oatmeal."

I'm puzzled, but not complaining. Saltine and honey stacks fueled my studying, and I liked to buy one of those humongous cinnamon rolls, peel off the crusty exterior, and just eat the (normal-sized roll) center that was extra gooey and delicious. Oh, and those oatmeal cups? I loved them. Yes, for a cafeteria that was well-stocked with paper bowls and plastic spoons, having those individual serving bowls was a shameful waste. But to this day I really love Quaker Maple Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal. Why? I have an incurable sweet tooth and that stuff is sweet.

So while I've since replaced prepackaged flavored oatmeal with homemade blends of oats and toppings, I still like to recreate the flavors of my high school at home. In fact, I love maple-y oatmeal so much that I wanted to translate it to cookies.

Oatmeal cookies generally fall into three categories: chewy, crispy, and soft. These are in the latter category. Though they're packed with oats, they're domed and have a soft, pudgy middle; not flat, bendy, or crispy edges. I typically like raisins or chocolate chips in my oatmeal cookies, but these are pleasantly uniform in flavor and texture. Maple and brown sugar seem to deepen the flavor of each other, creating a warm, honeyed sweetness that compliments the nutty flavor of the oats. I'm sure even my Little Debbie-eating adolescent self would be pleased.

May 2012

Recipe Facts



Active: 20 mins
Total: 3 hrs 40 mins
Serves: 24 servings

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  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon grade B maple syrup

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats (preferably thick cut)


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda; set aside.

    Flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda whisked together in a medium glass bowl. The whisk is still inside of the bowl.

    Serious Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Let butter cool for 1 minute, then whisk in egg. Add dry ingredients to bowl and stir until combined. Stir in oats. Press plastic wrap over dough in bowl and let chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight (see notes).

    A four-image collage. The top left image shows melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla whisked together in a large bowl. The top right image shows an egg added to the mixture inside of the bowl. The bottom left image shows the dry ingredients now added on top of the fully mixed wet ingredients. The bottom right image shows the dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and oatmeal fully mixed.

    Serious Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Place oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 16 minutes. Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Cookies can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a week.

    The baked maple brown sugar oatmeal cookies cooling on a wire rack.

    Serious Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Special Equipment

Rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper


Plan ahead when making these cookies. Chilling the dough for at least three hours is essential so that the oats absorb the liquid.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
107 Calories
4g Fat
15g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 107
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 63mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 47mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)