These easy Oatmeal Raisin Bars are thick and chewy with the perfect balance of crisp exterior and buttery soft center.
Cookie bars are quintessential in the kitchens of home bakers and these chewy Oatmeal Raisin Bars are an all time classic.
Why This Recipe Works
- The moisture in the dark and light brown sugar helps create a chewy, soft center.
- The salted butter levels out the sweetness and adds a rich buttery flavor.
- The sweetness of the raisins is perfectly balanced by the warm spiced flavors of the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Using vanilla adds an extra depth of flavor.
How could anyone resist a freshly baked cookie bar, especially with a glass of ice cold milk? These oatmeal raisin bars are buttery, soft baked oat bars that are bursting with plump, juicy raisins!
How To Make Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars
- Sift the dry ingredients.
- Beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time.
- Add the vanilla and spices.
- Combine the ingredients to make a cookie dough.
- Spread into a pan and bake for around 30 minutes.
- Cut into squares once cooled.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Flour: I use all purpose flour for these cookie bars along with baking soda and baking powder (always check your raising agents are fresh, this has a huge effect of the end product). If you have self rising (self raising in the UK) this works fine, just omit the raising agents.
- Butter: I always use salted butter in my baking, I love how it seasons and helps balance the sweetness. If you don’t have salted or it’s not your preference, unsalted butter works well too.
- Sugar: I use a combination of packed light brown sugar, dark brown sugar and a small amount of granulated sugar. This adds a delicious caramel element to the cookie bars without too much sweetness. If you don’t have one of the brown sugars, they can be swapped with the other like for like.
- Oats: For this recipe, I used American quick cook oats (not to be confused with instant oats, in other countries both jumbo porridge oats and rolled oats work well.
Step By Step Instructions
Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together.
In a large mixing bowl. Beat the butter, brown sugar, dark brown sugar, and granulated sugar in until fluffy.
Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Add the flour mixture.
Mix until combined and then add the oats raisins.
Mix into the dough by hand until combined.
Spread the dough into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, give the pan a little shake. If it jiggles in the middle, put the pan back in and try again every 5 minutes until there is no longer any jiggle.
Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before cutting.
Cut into squares before serving.
Erren’s Top Tips
- Don’t skip the creaming of the butter and sugar. This process helps give structure to the cookie bars so they don’t crumble or fall apart.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, this takes about 3 minutes.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Ingredients that are at the same temperature blend together much easier.
A bake sale and pot luck star, bar cookies (or cookie bars) are made in a rectangular or square baking tin, once baked, cooled they are cut into bars, squares or diamonds.
To know your cookie bars are done give the pan a wiggle, if there is movement put them back in the oven and check at 5 minute intervals. You can also use a toothpick to poke the centre of the cookies to see if it comes out clean.
Storing and Freezing Instructions ❄
- At Room Temperature: These cookie bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- In The Fridge: Keep in the refridgerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
- In The Freezer: These cookie bars are perfect for freezing, wrap in plastic wrap and keep in a freezer safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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Let’s Make Oatmeal Raisin Bars
- 2½ cups of all-purpose/plain flour
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
- 1⅓ cups of butter softened
- 1 cup of packed light-brown sugar
- ½ cup of packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup of granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- 2 cups of rolled oats
- 1 cup of raisins
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190C.
- Grease and flour an 9×13 inch baking pan
- Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together into a large mixing bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl. Beat the butter, brown sugar, dark brown sugar, and granulated sugar in until fluffy.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Mix in the flour mixture and mix until combined.
- Stir in the oats by hand, followed by the raisins.
- Spread dough evenly into the pan.
- Spread the dough into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, give the pan a little shake. If it jiggles in the middle, put the pan back in and try again every 5 minutes until there is no longer any jiggle.
- Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before cutting.
- Best served warm, but great cooled as well.
Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2016, but was republished in 2021 with new photos, ingredient notes, and step by step instructions.