Chewy Sourdough Discard Oatmeal Cookies

I always have TONS of discard because I absolutely refuse to keep my starter in the fridge. Whenever my discard jar gets dangerously full, I always make this recipe for sourdough discard oatmeal cookie because I know they’ll get eaten up and finished within 1 or 2 days.

These cookies are so chewy and gooey, with a great nutty flavor from browned butter. Another great thing about this recipe is that it comes together really easily and can be mixed by hand (that’s right no creaming butter so you don’t have to break out your mixer!).

A few weeks ago, my friends at Jovial Foods sent me a sample package of some of their products, including their Einkorn all-purpose flour, and grains. I was under no obligation to leave them a review or post about their products. Having been a Jovial customer already, I was well aware of the quality of their all organic products. Because I’d used their all-purpose Einkorn flour before, I knew it would give these cookies an extra boost of softness. Feel free to use regular all-purpose flour if you don’t have Einkorn in your pantry, although I do recommend trying it out if you haven’t already.

I love my cookies packed with all sorts of mix-ins, my favorite combination is chocolate chips, walnuts and Craisins. If you’re allergic to nuts or prefer your oatmeal cookies plain, feel free to leave the mix-ins out completely.

Recipe makes roughly 20 cookies.

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113 gramsEinkorn flour (or regular all-purpose)
7 gramsSalt
4 gramsBaking soda
56 grams (½ stick)Butter
86 gramsOil (I like a mixture of olive and grape seed oil)
4 gramsCinnamon
176 grams Brown sugar
107 gramsGranulated sugar
70 gramsSourdough discard (can be used straight from the fridge)
1 Whole egg
1 Egg yolk
4 gramsVanilla extract
283 gramsOatmeal (Quick Oats)


Quantity Ingredient
57 gramsDried Cranberries, preferably Craisins
100 gramsWalnuts
100 gramsChocolate chips



Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.


Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Melt butter in a small pot or skillet over medium-high heat, swirl pan occasionally, until foaming subsides. Stir and scrape bottom of pan with heat-resistant spatula, until milk solids are dark golden brown and butter has nutty aroma, around 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl and stir in cinnamon.

Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and oil to browned butter and whisk until combined.

Add discard, egg and yolk and vanilla and whisk until mixture is smooth.

Using wooden spoon or spatula, stir in flour mixture until fully combined, about 1 minute.

Add oats, and mix-ins (if using) and stir until evenly distributed (your mixture will be thick and stiff)

Shape and Bake

Use a ¼ cup to measure out dough balls.

Arrange cookie dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared sheets, 10 dough balls per sheet. Use your fingers to flatten each one slightly before baking.

Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until cookie edges are slightly browned and crisp with centers soft but not wet, 8 to 10 minutes (I find that 9 ½ minutes is perfect in my oven),

Let cookies cool on sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool.

Et Voila!

If you love cookies like we do in my household, you will absolutely love these! The extra step of browning the butter gives these cookies such a nutty toffee-like flavor, and the addition of oil gives them a perfectly chewy texture with perfectly crisp edges.

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Follow me on Instagram @MakeItDough or like Make It Dough on Facebook for more sourdough and baking ideas. Remember to post a photo and tag me or use #makeitdough when you make this delicious recipe, so I can check out your bake!

53 Comments Add yours

  1. Carol says:

    How much discard do you use for these oatmeal cookies?

    1. 70 Grams 😁

      1. Carol says:


  2. cdngrrl says:


    I don’t see how much discard to use in this recipe only in the instructions.

    Sent from Kelly’s iPhone

    1. Hi Kelly,

      It says 70 grams in the table with the ingredients. Do let me know if you still can’t see it. It’s a little worrisome that 2 people have mentioned this.


  3. Jennifer says:

    You mention oil when you added the sugars but I don’t see oil in the list of ingredients

    1. Thank you for catching that! I added the oil amount in the ingredient list, it’s 86 grams.

  4. Chloe Dillon says:

    Love your website, Hannah! I see a lot of sourdough discard recipes that use another type of leavening like baking soda. Do you think you could increase the amount of starter and lessen or eliminate the baking soda? I’m new to this and that is something that has struck me about discard recipes. It seems like the discard is more a substitute for flour and liquid than leavening, but it is a kind of leavening.

    1. Thanks Chloe! I totally understand what you’re saying, but yeast and baking soda/powder are two totally different leaveners that react completely differently with flour and have opposite effects on gluten. Baking soda increases the pH of dough it is added to, this creates thickness, while weakening the gluten, which creates tender baked goods, while the biological processes involved in leavening through yeast helps strengthen the gluten and elasticity of the dough. This gluten development is the enemy of soft cookies and cakes so that’s why most of these types of discard recipes use baking soda/powder instead.

      1. Chloe Dillon says:

        So smart and helpful. Thanks!

      2. Chloe Dillon says:

        Just wanted to confirm that you meant 10 grams of chocolate chips?

        Also, I wanted to let you know that I tried it with coconut oil, not knowing that coconut oil is known to react differently in the oven, and I did not get the texture that you did at all. Still tasty.

  5. Rex Aronhime says:

    looks really interesting!!
    Do you think it is possible to reduce the amount of oil/fat? substitute with something else?

    1. I’ve never tried substituting the fat in this recipe for any other ingredients. Fat is very important for tenderizing the gluten in baked goods, so I wouldn’t skip it.

  6. Sheri says:

    I made a double batch of these today for the first time and believe me it won’t be the last!! They are so yummy! I added a little flaked sea salt to the top of each cookie before baking and I really liked what it added! Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Yay so glad you liked these!

      1. Sheri Nix says:

        I’m making them for the 5th time right now! This time, along with the chocolate chips, I added chopped roasted almonds!

      2. That sounds amazing!!

  7. I made this with toasted rolled oats, not instant, and they totally melted in the oven! They spread really far out. Next time I’ll try with the instant oats like what’s in the recipe. Maybe my cookie dough was too warm to begin with?

  8. That could be it! Try chilling the cookie dough before baking next time!

  9. Maria says:

    Cookies went flat my cookies went flat, I used vegetable oil, they taste really good but would like to know if I should increase the flour to make them firmer and stay together.

    1. Try chilling the dough before baking!

  10. Mom, JD says:

    These are fabulous! I’ve been instructed by my family to never lose this recipe! ☺️ Thank you so much! And thanks for the clear instructions on browning the butter—that’s not a technique I’ve tried before but your instructions were so clear & precise it went swimmingly!

    1. I’m so glad your family loved this recipe!!! ❤️

  11. Yuri says:

    These taste good, and you might even think they were healthy if you didn’t know the amount of fat and sugar that goes into them 😄. I do think the recipe should say to chill the dough because mine also spread out A LOT. I’m guessing it is because the browned butter is liquid and warm.

    1. That would definitely be a good addition to the recipe! Chilling for even 30 minutes would make a huge difference 😁

  12. Julie says:

    I have made this recipe 3 times now and it is perfect every time! I especially appreciate that amounts are given in weight. It makes the recipe quicker and simpler to prepare. Thus will be my go-to cookie from now on, and it’s a bonus that it uses up discard. I do need to bake a little longer in my oven.

    1. Thank you for the wonderfully kind words. I’m so glad you love these cookies as much as I do!

  13. Barb says:

    Can I use Einkorn sourdough discard?

    1. I think einkorn discard and flour would work beautifully here but I haven’t used it myself so I can’t confirm. Please do let me know if it works!

  14. barbara culbert says:

    Can I use a substitute for the sugar like palm sugar, honey and/or maple syrup?

    1. The type of sugar used here is essential to the texture. You can certainly try, but as I’ve never done this before, I can’t confirm the results!

  15. Sarah says:

    So delicious! It’s my new favourite discard recipe! I found the 1/4 cup dough balls a little too big… So I cut that in half (woohoo more cookies!)… I also noticed that when you put the mix-ins in, the cookies take a minute or two longer to cook than when there’s no mix-ins (our favourite mix-ins are walnut pieces and chocolate chips!)! Delicious cookies with or without mix-ins! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. So happy to hear that you enjoyed them! I’ve never tried these without mix-ins. I’ll have to make these again to try your alterations

  16. Nancy says:

    Could you please convert the measurements to US units? Thank you! I really want to try the recipe!

    1. I think King Arthur flour has a great ingredient conversion table you could try and it’s pretty easy to find on their site 😊

  17. barbara says:

    These cookies are so delicious and easy to make, but I wanted to cut down on the granulated sugar, so I used 176g of coconut palm sugar; 57g of brown sugar; 50g granulated sugar, and they are just as good as the originals.

    I then tried this recipe with white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. Because the chips are very sweet, I cut down the sugar to 130g palm, 50g brown and 40g granulated. They were delicious too! They’re a little crunchier than the originals, but that may be because of the nuts? I think next time I will use even less sugar as they are really sweet.

    Thanks so much for this great recipe!

    1. So glad this works with less sugar. Your additions sound amazing, I’ll have to try this recipe with these alterations as well.

  18. Vasco santos says:

    Great Recipe…. I’ve done it with white chocolate instead of dark and came out great! Thanks a lot

    1. That sounds like an excellent substitution!

  19. Kyla says:

    Just made these and they are delicious! I added the chocolate chips and a small amount of pureed avocado, as I only had one egg, and not the extra yoke and I saw that that might work as a substitute – either way, I’ll be doing this again, thanks for sharing!

    1. So happy you liked them!

  20. suzanneholt says:

    This looks so good! I didn’t know you could make cookies with sourdough starter!

  21. Vanessa says:

    Thanks for sharing! Do they keep long?

    1. They should keep for at least a week! You can always apportion the dough into individual cookies and freeze the dough balls.

  22. Gael says:

    Absolutely delicious! I think the brown butter is the secret. I added walnuts and craisins. I couldn’t taste the sourdough at all. My new favorite cookie.

    1. So happy you loved it!

  23. Christina says:

    I’m new to sourdough…do I use the recently fed discard or use the discard before feeding it?

    1. You can use your discard at any point for these. It doesn’t need to be active for this bake to work.

  24. Elizabeth F says:

    I’ve made this recipe numerous times, everyone loves it! Thanks for the great recipe!

  25. Nicole says:

    The taste of these was excellent (the browned butter is amazing), but I also had the spreading problem. I followed the recipe to a T, using weighted measurements, quick oats, and even chilled the dough… but the cookies still spread out on my cookie sheet to make a giant uni-cookie! I even tried using a different baking sheet with a silicone mat instead of parchment paper. Not sure what happened… but regardless, I’m still enjoying eating them!

    1. Glad you still loved the cookies, but that’s such a bummer about the spreading. Try letting the browned butter cool down a little bit before adding the sugars or allow the butter/sugar mixture to cool for 5 minutes and then stir again for 2 times before continuing the next steps. Hope you try this one again!

  26. Taryn says:

    Just made these cookies without the dried cranberries (I’m the only one in my family who would like that) and my husband and I agree they are delicious!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you loved these!

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