American Oatmeal Cookies

This is a GF version of an American classic – and British tasters have always been impressed. The best oats to use are the larger ones, not the economical dusty bits; splash out for the big, fat, rolled oats.

I bake regularly for a large audience, so please do reduce the ingredients to make fewer cookies as you require.

Makes: 4 dozen cookies


  • 230g gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (if you have fresh nutmeg, grate vigourously for 5 seconds)
  • 190g butter, cubed and softened *
  • 100g lard, cubed and softened
    (* you can use all butter if you prefer, i.e., 290g)
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar (dark muscavado or molasses sugar are fine)
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg (65-70g when weighed in its shell)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 270g uncooked rolled oats
  • 100g raisins (optional)


  • Two baking trays
  • Baking/parchment paper to line both trays
  • 1 large and 1 medium mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer (hand-held or stand), if you don’t want to cream the fat/sugars by hand
  • Sieve
  • Cooling rack


  1. Preheat your oven to 190 C (170 C fan-assisted). Line both baking trays with paper.
  2. Put the flour, soda, and spices into a medium bowl, and mix with a fork. Get a sieve to hand.
  3. Whisk the butter, lard, and sugars in a large bowl until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla, and continue beating until it’s well combined and verging on fluffy. (If doing the creaming manually, it helps to pre-beat the egg before adding.)
  4. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir manually. Add the oats (and raisins, if using), and continue stirring until fully combined.
  5. Roll the dough between your palms into small balls, about golf-ball sized (25g), and place on the lined baking trays 3x4 with plenty of room to spread.
  6. Bake for around 10 minutes (turn trays halfway through), until fully spread out and golden brown. Remove the trays from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes so the cookies firm up, before removing them to a cooling rack. For larger amounts, leave the trays to cool at least 5 more minutes before loading up again with more dough balls, and baking.

Flavour Options
I usually have loads of recommendations for your own creativity. However, this is one of those classics that shouldn’t be messed with too much. Raisins or not, all-butter or not, is about as far as I would go.

But – if you feel like going off-piste, some grated orange zest works, and/or some ground ginger if that takes your fancy. I even once made this with chopped, semi-soft dried apricots instead of raisins, and it was pretty good. Learn from my mistakes, though, and don’t use dates – waaay too sweet, and they’ve a tendency to burn.

My 1980s vintage Good Housekeeping Cookbook is, as ever, a reliable source for American classics. I’ve altered the recipe to be gluten-free and for British measurements, and used darker sugars for more depth of flavour.


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