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Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies

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Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies are an easy discard recipe you will want to make again and again! Soft and cakey oatmeal cookies iced with a thick icing.

sourdough oatmeal cookies on cooking rack

I love my sourdough starter. There is nothing better than fresh homemade bread, especially one you have made yourself. But as a busy mom, I don’t always have time to make bread. But that doesn’t mean my starter languishes in the fridge unused. 

I love finding great easy and delicious recipes to use my sourdough discard with, and these oatmeal cookies are a perfect use!

hand holding iced oatmeal cookie with sourdough discard

Other cookie recipes using sourdough discard:

Yes, you need all the cookie recipes that use sourdough starter in them! Try these recipes:

stack of five oatmeal cookies with icing

How to make oatmeal cookies with sourdough discard

These discard cookies are an easy recipe to make!  For the full set of directions, make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below. Here is a brief overview:

Prepare the cookie dough

  1. Pulse the oats in a food processor until you have the oats in a variety of textures – some fine and some coarse.
  2. In a large bowl cream together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then add in the starter and vanilla.
  4. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground oats, baking soda, salt and spices.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. The dough should be soft and sticky. 
  6. Chill the cookie dough for 45 minutes in the fridge before baking.

*Recipe Note: For variations, add chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped nuts.

collage showing images of how to mix cookie dough

Baking the cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Using a cookie scoop, drop the dough 3” apart onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. You might only get 8-9 cookies per sheet, and that’s perfect! 
  3. Press each cookie slightly to flatten.
  4. Bake until soft but set, 11-12 minutes. The edges should be light browned and the centers look very soft.
  5. Cool on the pans for 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
collage showing images of scooping and flattening cookie dough

Ice the cookies

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add the confectioners sugar, vanilla and 1 Tablespoon of milk. 
  2. Use a fork to stir the ingredients together as much as you can (it won’t come together fully because there isn’t enough liquid).
  3. Slowly, add just enough extra milk to make a very thick icing. It should not be a frosting, it should be just thin enough that it drizzles off the cookie. 
  4. Dip the tops of the cookies lightly into the icing. 
  5. Allow to set on a wire rack. 
collage showing how to mix icing and ice the cookies

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of sourdough starter do I need for this recipe? This recipe uses 100% hydration starter. You can use either fed and active starter, or inactive discard. It does not matter what kind of flour your starter is fed with, either. 

Read “Feeding your sourdough starter” to get information on hydration rates and how to properly feed and maintain your sourdough starter. 

For this recipe, your starter discard does not need to be fed and active, but the more active it is, it will change the texture of your cookies

  • If your starter has been sitting in the fridge for a week and has a lot of hooch (the liquid that the sourdough yeast produces as it consumes) on top, the cookies will be slightly flatter and crisper. 
  • If your starter has been sitting on the counter and was fed yesterday, your cookies will be softer, more cake-like and rise more.

What do these cookies taste like? How these cookies taste depends largely on your starter! If your starter is newer (younger), or has recently been fed, there won’t be a lot of sourdough “tang” to the cookies. They will taste pretty much like your normal oatmeal, but will have a slightly deeper/more rich flavor to them.

If your starter is really sour or hasn’t been fed for a while, the cookies will have a stronger sourdough flavor to them.

New to sourdough? Read my Ultimate Guide to Sourdough for Beginners to answer all the questions you have!

oatmeal cookie with bite taken out

Other oat recipes:

black plate with sourdough oatmeal cookies and a glass of milk

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Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

stack of five oatmeal cookies with icing

Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies are an easy discard recipe you will want to make again and again! Soft and cakey oatmeal cookies iced with a thick icing.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 100% hydration sourdough starter, discard
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Icing

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tablespoons milk

Instructions

Mix the dough

  1. Pulse the oats in a food processor about 10-12 times, until you have throats in a variety of texture - some find and some coarse.
  1. In a large bowl cream together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Mix in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Add in the starter and vanilla and mix well.
  4. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. The dough should be soft and sticky.
  6. Chill the cookie dough for 45 minutes in the fridge before baking.

Bake the cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Using a cookie scoop, drop the dough 3” apart onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. You might only get 8-9 cookies per sheet, and that's perfect!
  3. Press each cookie slightly to flatten.
  4. Bake until soft but set, 11-12 minutes. The edges should be light browned and the centers look very soft.
  5. Cool on the pans for 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Mix the icing.

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add the confectioners sugar, vanilla and 1 Tablespoon of milk. Use a fork to stir the ingredients together as much as you can (it won’t come together fully because there isn’t enough liquid).
  2. Slowly, add just enough extra milk to make a very thick icing. It should not be a frosting, it should be just thin enough that it drizzles off the cookie.
  3. Dip the tops of the cookies lightly into the icing.
  4. Allow to set on a wire rack.

Notes

Store these cookies on the counter in a covered container for 3-4 days.

This recpe uses a 100% hydration sorudough starter. It can be active or discard, and you can feed it with any flour and still use it in this recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 212mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram, and don't forget to tag #gingeredwhisk.

Jeera Rice
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