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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 are an easy discard recipe you will want to make again and again! Soft and cakey oatmeal cookies iced with a thick icing.
stack of five oatmeal cookies with 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 sourdough discard cookie recipes:

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

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below! Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share this post, please link to this post directly for the recipe, please do not copy and paste or screenshot. Thanks so much for supporting me! xoxo

Want to save this for later? PIN THIS TO YOUR SOURDOUGH BOARD on Pinterest!

stack of five oatmeal cookies with icing

Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

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.
4.53 from 67 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cookie Recipes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 12 minutes
Servings: 2 dozen cookies
Calories: 221kcal
Author: Jenni – The Gingered Whisk

Ingredients

Cookies

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

Icing

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

Instructions

  • Mix the dough
  • Pulse the oats in a food processor about 10-12 times, until you have the oats in a variety of texture – some fine and some coarse.
  • In a large bowl cream together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time.
  • Add in the starter and vanilla and mix well.
  • In a second medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. The dough should be soft and sticky.
  • Chill the cookie dough for 45 minutes in the fridge before baking.
  • Bake the cookies
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • 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!
  • Press each cookie slightly to flatten.
  • Bake until soft but set, 11-12 minutes. The edges should be light browned and the centers look very soft.
  • Cool on the pans for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Mix the icing.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Dip the tops of the cookies lightly into the icing.
  • 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

Serving: 1g | Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 212mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g

13 Comments

  1. These turned out amazing. Perfect way to use a lot of left over sourdough discard =)

  2. These sourdough oatmeal cookies were great! I added raisins to 1/2 the dough & both the plain & rain ones were amazing even without the frosting! Thank you for posting this recipe. I will check in again soon for other recipes.

  3. Wondering if I Can cold retard the dough overnight?

    1. Hi Jenn! You definitely can!

  4. Made these using 1c. flax meal and 1c. oats (too lazy to wash the food processor) and they turned out great! I also added dried cranberries and chopped roasted hazelnuts. I think the add-in opportunities for these cookies are endless and I’m excited to keep experimenting! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  5. How donyou think these would be good in the freezer

    1. Yes, you can freeze these, but don’t frost them before you put them in the freezer.

  6. Hi! Could I use quick cooking oats in place of old fashioned?

    1. You could use quick cooking oats if that is all you have, but the cookies will have a different texture as the quick cooking oats are meant to break down faster. The dough will also probably be more wet and gooey.

  7. Yummy! Thx for the recipe.
    I made half the portion, & added 1/2 cup sultana, and skipped the icing. I would cut back the sugar in the cookie if I was going to do the icing.
    And I think next time I would cut back on the flour and add more oats.

    Oh, also … I used vegan butter.

  8. My grandson and I made these without the icing. We divided the dough and put chocolate chips in one half and craisins in the other half. They were delicious!

  9. My inedible super sour discard turns out beautifully to the cookies that all family member wanna grab. added white choc, raisns, mashed banana, sliced almond,sunflower seeds, quinua, ground flax seeds. I’m so happy to find this recipe. APPRECIATED IT!

  10. These cookies are perfect. Follow the recipe exact and you can’t go wrong

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