Oatmeal Lace Cookies Recipe

Oatmeal Lace Cookies have always been one of my husband’s favorite cookies. I’ve known that but quickly forget from time to time as they aren’t a cookie I have regularly made. So, the other night I asked him, “what’s a favorite Christmas cookie that you’d like for me to make for you?”

His immediate reply, “Lace cookies.”
Oatmeal Lace Cookies | ©addapinch.com

His Mama has always made them, especially at Christmas. And they are amazing.

Which isn’t hard to believe, because let me just tell you, I have never, ever, ever tasted one thing that my mother-in-law cooked that was not absolutely out of this world scrumptious.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies | ©addapinch.com

You know, I have truly been blessed to be surrounded by phenomenal cooks in my life with my Grandmothers, Mama, and aunts. I count myself even more blessed to be able to learn even a little bit about recipes, cooking, entertaining large crowds, and life in general from my mother-in-law. She is truly the best!

Oatmeal Lace Cookies | ©addapinch.com

So, back to her oatmeal lace cookies. Lace cookies get their name because as they bake, they spread and bubble and bubble and bubble which then forms little holes in the cookies.

There are so many recipes for lace cookies, but my mother-in-law’s recipe actually originated from a local restaurant where special parties and luncheons were often held. They’ve since closed, but thankfully had given my mother-in-law the recipe before they did so.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies | ©addapinch.com

This oatmeal lace cookie recipe makes a whole lot of cookies. I mean a whole lot of cookies, close to six dozen. That’s what makes this lace cookie recipe so perfect for Christmas cookies. There are plenty to share and still have a few to enjoy!

Oatmeal Lace Cookies | ©addapinch.com

Come to think of it, maybe that’s why my mother-in-law makes them each year for her huge family.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies | ©addapinch.com

Here’s the Oatmeal Lace Cookie recipe my family loves. One warning though, they are buttery and oh so addictive.

4.8 from 58 reviews
Oatmeal Lace Cookies Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Oatmeal Lace Cookies are thin, crisp, delicate and buttery cookies. This lace cookies recipe is a family favorite.
Serves: 60
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2¼ cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2¼ cups rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375º F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats. Set aside.
  2. Heat butter and brown sugar in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden or silicon spoon, until butter has melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in oats, flour, salt, egg, and vanilla.
  3. Drop cookie batter by the teaspoon onto prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie to allow them to spread.
  4. Bake for 5 -7 minutes, watching closely to prevent them from over-baking. The lace cookies should be golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 30 seconds and remove onto racks to cool completely.
  6. Store in an airtight container.
Make sure to use real butter and not margarine as it will impact the results of the cookies.

Make Ahead Tips
You can prepare the dough and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. When you are ready to bake, drop the dough by teaspoons onto parchment lined baking sheets 2 inches apart and follow the recipe baking instructions.

Freezing Oatmeal Lace Cookie dough: Drop dough by teaspoons onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Cover and place in the freezer for 1 hour or until the dough is frozen. Remove from the freezer and place the cookie mounds into airtight containers or freezer bags. Label the bag with the date and name of the cookies.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, remove the container from the freezer. Remove the number of cookies from the container that you wish to bake and place them at least 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. You will not need to thaw the dough before baking. Bake as directed in your recipe but you will probably need to add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.

Storing baked cookies: Cool the baked cookies thoroughly. Layer cookies between pieces of parchment of waxed paper and place into an airtight container. These cookies should keep up to 1 week.

Robyn xo

215 comments on “Oatmeal Lace Cookies Recipe”

  1. These are amazing! Easy to make gluten free as well, just use certified GF oats and flour. I drizzled with chocolate. They freeze well.

  2. I was sold on these cookies when I saw the ingredients…lots of butter and brown sugar! What’s not to like, right? When I read the comment that said they freeze well, I made them. Gorgeous and scrumptious! I mail big boxes of Christmas cookies to my children and being able to freeze them helps me out so much. This cookie definitely will not be limited to Christmas! Many thanks.

    • I hope that you and your children love them, Lisa! They are definitely one of my family’s favorite Christmas (and year-round!) treats! xo

  3. This exact recipe has been passed down through my family for years! Many of the recipes I see online are very different than this one; so I was surprised when I came across it! I learned how to make them from my great aunt who always made BATCHES of these for the whole family around Christmas. A few years ago, I took over the tradition. She is no longer able to make them due to her age. Not only do I continue making these for my family , but I make them for my co-workers around Christmas. They start asking me around Halloween, “When are you making cookies?!?” I’m actually making two batches now! I love this recipe and everyone I know that has tried them do too!

    • I love that these are a tradition in your family as well, Amanda! They are such a delicious cookie and everyone loves them!
      How sweet of you to make them every year for others!
      Thanks for sharing this with me! Have a very Merry Christmas! xo

  4. Does it require salted or unsalted butter? Just curious, thank you!

  5. Bravo! I am having so much fun with your recipes! And, these do spread out…so ladies and gentlemen…pay close attention and remember less is more with this one!

  6. How long will these last in an airtight container? And can I use quick oats or should they be old fashioned?

    • Hi Annie,
      You’ll want to use old fashioned (or rolled) oats for these cookies to get the proper consistency and end result in the cookie.

  7. can i use quick oats in this recipe

  8. Hi I’m just about to make these and I only have old fashioned Quaker Oats…. are they ok to use??

  9. Most of mine were still quite gooey. Should I cook them longer on the stove? Or longer in the oven?

  10. Thank you for sharing this! We love it especially my two teenage boys. I also added cranberry and pistachio. They are so good.

  11. Robyn,

    These are awesome. Very easy. Great right out of the oven.

    When I served them the following week I put them on a cookie sheet and parchment paper at 350 to crisp them up. Awesome!

    With one batch I didn’t here the timer go off. When I looked at the cookies they were almost as dark as chocolate. I still pampered them to see if I could save them. Surprisingly they were really good. Some people wouldn’t like them. But they had a completely different, but good, flavor characteristic.

    Thank you.

  12. Made these!!!!!!! Love them!! But they ended up more gooey than I expected. I thought they would be hard and crunchy.

    • I love these and wanted them more gooey and chewy. Mine came out crispy and break really easy. Dont know how to get them like yours.

  13. Oh my word!! These are awesome!! I just sampled one fresh out of the oven…it’s very reminiscent of toffee. Mine have a nice combination of chewy and crisp. What an excellent way to use up my leftover oatmeal! Great recipe, very easy and all made in one pot, so no sink full of dishes to clean! BONUS!! I will definitely make again! Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Hey Robin –

    Have you ever tried rolling them and stuffing them with anything?


    • Hi Robyn,
      I’ve not rolled or stuffed these cookies. They are a favorite cookie of my husband’s, so I’ve always just baked them like the recipe. Hope you enjoy them! Thanks! xo

    • This recipe was handed down to me from my grandmother. I took over the task of making them when she no longer could. My daughter has rolled the cookies when they are just out of the oven & filled them with canolli cream after they cooled. Amazing! **do not try making these in warmer weather, they do not crisp up, even in an air conditioned home!

  15. I want you to know these are amazing, the only thing I did different was add sliced almonds to the oats and added them in, I know without a doubt they would be amazing without but I love nuts in my cookies for added crunch. thank you for this great cookie 🙂

    • Hi Amy,
      These are such favorites of my husband…so I’m thrilled to hear that you liked them as well! I love almonds so I bet they were delicious in this cookie! Thanks so much! xo

      • OK my son ate them all and now Im having to make more! he said they are the best ever! thanks again and I can see why they are your husbands fav!

  16. Do you think this recipe would work with gluten free flour? We love lace cookies but my hubby and daughter were recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Thanks

    • Hi Marita,
      I’ve not made these with gluten free flour, but I’d love to hear how they turn out if you give it a try. I hope you and your family enjoy them! Thanks! xo

    • I made them using a all purpose gluten free flour. If. Substituted tablespoon for tablespoon. They turned out good, but I had to increase the bakery by time (could have been due to the humidity of the day). They turned out crisp and wonderful!!!

      • Hi Becky,
        I’m so glad you liked these! They are a special cookie to my family.
        Humidity can make a difference sometimes! Thanks so much for sharing how much you enjoyed them! xo

  17. Hi, can I refrigerate the dough so that j don’t have to bake all 6 dozens at the same time. I would half the recipe if there wasn’t just the one egg in it.

  18. These are amazing! I made them for my family and my cousin ate 20. Do you think I could make these with mashed banana instead of egg? A friend is allergic.

  19. How long can I freeze these for and still be good to eat?

  20. My mom has been making these for years. Only we call them Danish Christmas Cookies. Our recipe is different. It is equal parts Oatmeal, Sugar and Butter. They are so delicious and the scraps make a great topping for ice cream. I look forward to Christmas Eve and the cookies to come out.

  21. Salted or unsalted butter?????

  22. Did you use salted or unsalted butter for the recipe?

  23. When you say cook until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth, do you mean just until the butter melts and there is no dry brown sugar left or are you actually supposed to cook the mixture until the brown sugar is dissolved and there is no grainyness (I think I made that word up) left in the mixture?

    • I have the same question. I just made a batch of these and they are good but the response to them when my spouse taste-tested was “Oh these taste sort of like peanut brittle but with oats”. I think I may have cooked the butter and sugar too long. I left it on the burner well beyond the butter melting. I read the smooth to mean until the sugar was completely dissolved. Also, I only had one stick of real butter and one of margarine. I think the margarine made the batter a little thinner. Hopefully we will hear back from Robyn. This batch is going to the office – I plan to make another batch to take home for Christmas.

      • I’ve been making this recipe for years. You cook the butter and sugar just until the butter melts. It should be like a paste. If you cook it any longer, then it turns into a candy like consistency.

      • Thanks so much for the tip, Suzzane! They are delicious, aren’t they? Thanks! xo

  24. I’ve been searching for this recipe for years! I had a friend who’s grandma made them, and I’ve tried different versions over the years, trying to get it right. I’ve been making the Mrs Field’s version for the past couple of years, as I didn’t have this one.. They’re good, but they don’t do that see-through, melt in your mouth thing that I love.. They just don’t get thin enough.. Can’t wait to scrap that recipe and start making these again!

  25. Robyn,
    I saw an comment/question from Jason a few days ago and wanted to restate to get your clarification. When you say the butter and sugar should be cooked until butter is melted and mixture is smooth – do you mean until the sugar is fully dissolved or just until the butter is fully melted? I just made a batch and want to be sure I have this down correctly because I love these cookies!

    My first batch turned out good but the oats didn’t spread out to the edges. I also used one stick of butter and one stick of margarine because that is what I had on hand. I don’t usually use margarine but had it for other holiday baking needs. I believe that may be why they spread a little more than I expected. Margarine is a bit softer and my next batch will definitely use the real thing!

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

    • Hi Clint,
      You are right that you’ll want to make sure that you are using butter and not margarine in this recipe. You’ll want to cook until the butter is fully melted and the mixture resembles a paste. The mixture will be thin, but will thicken as you stir in the oats, flour, and other ingredients. I hope that helps! xo

  26. Do they freeze well?

  27. I’ve been baking fir a long time and know not to shortcut or substitute. I chose this recipe for Christmas baking because it looked so quick and easy- just melt the butter and sugar, add the oats and the rest and go! Boy, was I wrong! And what a disaster! I used parchment paper and put about one teaspoon of dough for each cookie, spacing about two inches apart. I followed the recipe that suggested waiting 30 seconds after removing from the oven before putting on a cooling rack. When I removed the first batch from the oven, it was one solid mass instead of individual cookies. I waited one minute, then tried separating the mass into individual cookies. No luck. They were gooey, messy balls. So for the second batch, I used a much smaller portion for each cookie-probably about 1/4 teaspoon. . They still spread put a lot but not as much as the first batch. I tried removing them from the paper after two minutes-too soft and gooey. So I ended up letting them completely cool-6-7 minutes on the paper before removing them. Even then, it was labor intensive- sliding a knife under each one to separate it and try not to destroy the shape. After four batches, I still had over half the dough left. At this rate, it was going to take me 4-5 hours to bake it all. So I gave up and threw the rest of the dough away. It definitely wasn’t a time saver and, although the cookies taste great, they’re so thin and delicate that they’re not ideal for putting in Christnas goody bags. They either fall apart or stick to the other cookies. Definiteky would not make these again.

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry they didn’t work for you, Donna. These are very thin and delicate cookies and I wouldn’t recommend adding them to goody bags. They are gorgeous is gift boxes, however, since they are so delicate.

      Here are a couple of thoughts that might be helpful. Make sure that you are using butter and not margarine, I’m sure that you are, but just in case. Also, for butter, I like to use Land o Lakes as I’ve found that many store brands of butters have a higher water content that can cause issues in baking.

      • Yes- I absolutely NEVER substitute margarine for butter in any recipe, especially baked goods, and also only use unsalted Land O Lakes. Thanks for the reply.

  28. I’ve never made a cookie like this before… but always have wanted to… Is 3TBSP of Flour correct?? Thanks!!

  29. Could I add raisins? If yes, how much?

  30. I love these cookies. If you make them small, you can sandwich two together with some melted chocolate in between. Sooo delicious and makes them a little hardier for packing as gifts!

  31.  Just saw this recipe. Reminds me of when I was around 10 years old and wanted to make cookies. My sisters and I mixed up a batch  with just whatever we had. When they were  done they were just as you described  and looked very much like your picture.  They were delicious. We knew we had left something  out of our recipe because of how they spread out so much. We probably didn’t have enough flour.  I’m 70 years old now and look forward to trying your recipe soon.

    • I bet they were delightful, Carolyn! This recipe was shared with me from my mother-in-law and it was given to her. It is definitely one of our favorites.

  32. Yay, I finally found the recipe that my mother used. She made there for me when I was small( I am 66 yrs old now) My mom did not save this recipe as she always knew the ingredients by heart and I have tried other versions but… Eureka! I believe these are identical to hers! She was Dutch and a wonderful cook. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Oh, she also used ground almonds at times and drizzled chocolate over them to change the recipe up but these plain one have always been my favorite.

    Rating: 5

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