Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies

These Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with a great nutty flavor thanks to the addition of browned butter. Sourdough discard adds a delicious tang to these oatmeal cookies.

Sponsored by Imperial Sugar

stack of baked sourdough oatmeal cookies

These Sourdough Discard Oatmeal Cookies are so close to my heart because the very first thing that I ever baked in my life were chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I don’t think I’d ever eaten anything made in my home oven before it was such a revelation to me that I could create something so delicious from scratch. I’ve been in love with baking ever since. 

Recipe Box Series

This Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies recipe is the fifth in my Recipe Box Series with Imperial Sugar. Each month, I’ll be releasing recipes for classic bakes made with a sourdough twist! You can look forward to comforting classics like Sourdough Fudge BrowniesApple Pie with Sourdough Crust, Sourdough Pumpkin Bundt Cake and Sourdough Monkey Bread

unbaked cookie dough portions

Sugar is such a vital part of every dessert, it imparts flavor, texture, moisture, and without it, it would be impossible to make our favorite bakes. I’m so grateful to Imperial Sugar for making the Recipe Box Series possible and so proud to be partnering with a company with such a long tradition of producing such high-quality products. Imperial Sugar products are 100% pure cane sugar, non-GMO and provide consistently delicious results.

Baking with Sourdough Discard

Sourdough discard adds a great tangy flavor to these cookies. That little bit of acidity cuts through the sugary sweetness of these oatmeal cookies. You can bake these Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies with discard directly from the fridge. Since you are not using it to make bread, your sourdough starter does not need to be activated or fed for it to work in this cookie recipe. 


Cranberries, walnuts and chocolate chips are my favorite additions to oatmeal cookies, but these cookies are completely customizable. You can add any combination of mix-ins but I would not recommend skipping them or it may affect the structure of these cookies. If you’re allergic to nuts, you can simply add more dried fruit or chocolate chips in the same proportions. Try these other combinations:

  • coconut flakes, macadamia nuts and white chocolate
  • raisins and chocolate chips
  • dried cherries, pecans and dark chocolate

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. This in no way impacts my recommendations.

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Sourdough oatmeal cookies broken in half

Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Make It Dough
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cookies 1x
  • Category: dessert


These Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with a great nutty flavor thanks to the addition of browned butter. Incorporating a little bit of sourdough discard to these oatmeal cookies adds a delicious tang. 



Cookie Dough

56 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter

4 g (½ tbsp) ground cinnamon

120 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour

4 g (1/2 tsp) baking soda

7 g (1 tsp) salt

85 g (⅓ cup) oil

107 g (1 cup) Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar

176 g (¾ cup) Imperial Sugar Dark Brown Sugar

70 g (⅓ cup) sourdough discard

1 large egg

1 egg yolk

4 g (1 tsp) vanilla extract

283 g (3 1/2 cups) old-fashioned rolled oats


57 g (1/2 cup) dried cranberries 

100 g (1 cup) walnuts

100 g (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips


Prep: Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Brown butter: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, swirl pan occasionally to loosen the milk solids from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat when the milk solids are golden brown and the butter has a nutty aroma, about 1 to 3 minutes. Bloom ground cinnamon in warm butter. 

Make the cookie dough: Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together in a mixing bowl until no lumps remain. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and oil to browned butter and whisk until combined. Stir in sourdough discard, egg, egg yolk, vanilla until the mixture is smooth. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in flour mixture until fully combined, about 1 minute.

Add mix-ins: Stir in oats, and mix-ins and stir until evenly distributed (your mixture will be thick and stiff).

Shape: Use a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to portion out your cookie dough. 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, and refrigerate the other cookie sheet as the cookies bake. 

Bake: Bake until cookie edges are slightly browned and crisp with centers soft but not wet, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. 

Enjoy and store: These cookies are better after they have cooled slightly and the interior has set. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 



  • To prevent your cookies from spreading, let melted butter cool to room temperature before folding in the sugars and chill cookie dough for at least 30 minutes before baking
  • It’s best to err on the side of under-baking these cookies or they will turn out hard and crispy instead of soft and chewy
  • To make the cookie dough in advance, portion out the cookie dough and freeze in a single layer. Once completely frozen, store the cookie dough portions in a ziplock bag. 

Keywords: cookies, sourdough cookies, sourdough discard

62 Comments Add yours

  1. Carol says:

    How much discard do you use for these oatmeal cookies?

    1. 70 Grams 😁

      1. Carol says:


    2. Ana says:

      This recipe looks great! Do you think I could use all browned butter instead of half butter and half oil?

      1. Yes! Although it may affect the texture of the cookies since oil helps keep these cookies chewy. You can always try is and report back!

  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!

  27. Joy says:

    Hello! Can I use regular oats instead of instant? Joy

    1. Yes! Regular oats would work great!

  28. Bruce says:

    Just tried them for the first time, using half einkorn and half AP white flour. In my oven it took about 14 minutes to done. Raisins and toasted almonds (that’s what was in the house.) They’re fantastic! Thanks for this.

    1. Thank you for trying them!

  29. Leonie Chung says:

    These oatmeal cookies are so good my boy ate 4 after he came home from school. The sourdough makes all the difference!! Thanks Hannah for this great recipe!!

  30. Priscilla Grochowski says:

    Both my husband and I love these cookies! I, of course, added chocolate chips to them. I am wondering why you use only the yoke with the second egg? When we ran out of these cookies my husband requested I make them again. Having so much fun with my sourdough, named Poppy!💜

    1. So glad you liked the cookies! Egg whites are mostly water, so they add a lot of hydration to baked goods. Water from the starter and the egg whites would add too much moisture to the cookie dough which could make these cookies spread too much when baked.

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