Wonderfully textured and chewy, Irish Oatmeal Cookies are made with some of Ireland's tastiest ingredients! Irish steel cut oatmeal keeps its chewiness while baking adding a nutty flavor and nubby texture. Irish butter provides rich, creamy taste and golden syrup adds the warmth of toffee.
Why you'll love this recipe
This year I am celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Irish Steel Cut Oats Cookies. They aren’t flashy, but they are so delicious, that I am tempted to say they are my favorite cookies yet.
The Irish oats are chewy and nutty, the Irish butter is creamy and rich, and the Lyle’s Golden Syrup imparts a toffee warmth.
Whenever I bake a cookie in which the flavor of butter is the star, I always use Kerrygold Irish butter. (This is NOT a sponsored post.) Irish butter has a higher fat content than American butter. You can taste the difference in cookies like shortbread and these Irish Oatmeal Cookies.
If you aren’t familiar with Lyle’s Golden Syrup, I urge you to find it and try it. I buy mine at World Market or in the pancake syrup aisle at the supermarket.
Golden syrup is a sugar syrup made from sugar cane or sugar beet and is popular in the UK. It has the consistency of corn syrup or honey (both of which can be used as substitutes) but has a toffee flavor all its own.
Irish Oatmeal Cookies with a cup of tea make every day a bit of a celebration! This taste of Ireland is a delicious care package or cookie jar treat!
This is an overview of the instructions. The full instructions are in the recipe card below.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, then beat in the egg and golden syrup. Gradually mix in the flour mixture. Stir in oatmeal and toffee bits.
- Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes so that the oats will absorb some moisture.
- Use a cookie scoop to place dough balls at least 2” apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, at 350° F, until golden brown all over.
Store steel cut oat cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
More oatmeal cookie recipes
If you want a cookie that can give you some nutrients for energy, try Marathon Cookies. Made with oats, peanut butter, and dried fruit to add power to your day!
Soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are the perfect lunch box treat. Bits of dried apple keep these treats chewy. The smaller pieces of quick cooking oats give these cookies a soft texture.
Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies will melt in your mouth. These crunchy cookies are just what you need with a cup of tea.
This Oatmeal Bars Recipe is made with regular rolled oats and has all the deliciousness of a chewy, fruity cookie in easy bar form. Bursting with dried fruit, these are great oatmeal breakfast bars!
Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies have a chewy texture and added warm flavor from butterscotch chips.
My experience with this recipe
With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, visions of all things Irish (or an American interpretation of all things Irish) dance through our heads. It turns out that most of the green sprinkled goodies (and most definitely the green tinted beer) are more a result of America’s tendency to create drinking celebrations, than Irish tradition.
Numerous years ago, my daughter and I went on a trip to London that coincidently started on St. Patrick’s Day. We were excited to spend the holiday in the UK. We imagined some kind of “traditional” celebration.
Information on the internet seemed to indicate that a parade and a variety of Irish cultural events were scheduled. Something was apparently lost in the translation between expectation and reality.
We couldn't locate the cultural events and the very short “parade” was mostly a line of buses and flat-bed trucks sponsored by trade unions and filled with members of those unions getting a head start on their afternoon pint or two or three of beer/stout.
American’s aren’t the only ones who like a drinking celebration.
I prefer Irish Oatmeal Cookies.
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Irish Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter I use Kerrygold Irish butter, softened at room temperature for 10 minutes
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup dark or light brown sugar packed
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons Lyle’s golden syrup corn syrup or honey can be substituted but the flavor will be different
- 1 ¾ cups Irish steel-cut oats
- ½ cup toffee bits
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Beat in egg and golden syrup.
- Gradually add flour mixture until incorporated.
- Stir in oats and toffee bits.
- Allow the cookie dough to rest for 10 minutes so that the oats will absorb some moisture.
- Use a cookie scoop to place dough balls at least 2” apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown all over.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
- The type of oat used is important. This recipe calls for steel cut oats for a very chewy, nut-like texture.
- Substituting old-fashioned oats (rolled oats) will create a less nutty texture and less chew.
- Quick oats or instant oats are not recommended as they will dissolve more during baking and create a soft, cake-like cookie.
- For variety, substitute the toffee bits with dark chocolate chips or golden raisins.
- Double wrap pairs of cookies (bottoms together) in plastic wrap.
- Fit snuggly into freezer weight zip lock bags or plastic storage containers.
First Published: February 21, 2016. Last Updated: July 26, 2021. Updated for additional information and better reader experience.
These were great. I cooked the oats in 3/4 c of plant based milk, covered for approximately 5 minutes and then let them sit covered for 10 more minutes. Then followed recipe but used half butter and half coconut oil. DELICOUS
Given the the recipe calls for using unsalted butter, I'm surprised there isn't a small quantity of salt listed in the ingredients. I've looked at a lot of oatmeal cookie recipes that did call for salt. None of the comments here mention missing it, so I'm a bit torn on what to do.
Hi, Jennifer. If you want to add 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon of salt you can. The recipe doesn't need the salt to work chemically or for flavor. Some people enjoy a bit of saltiness along with sweetness and if that is the case, feel free to add salt.
Loved these! I'm a big fan of steel cut oats so I knew the texture would be dense and chewy. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Jennifer. I'm a fan of steel cut oat too. I'm glad you enjoyed these chewy cookies!
You are welcome! enjoy!
These are interesting oatmeal cookies. They're very tasty, but definitely chewy from the type of oats used. Don’t expect the same consistency as you’d get from regular oats. I used 3T molasses for the syrup, plus 1T honey, added vanilla extract, and butterscotch chips for the toffee. Baked at 325
in my oven. I did like them.
Hi, Rebecca. Using steel cut oats will definitely produce a nubby cookie with real chew. That is the purpose of this recipe. If you want a softer cookie with less texture, you would need to use a more processed oat that will break down more during baking. Rolled oats would still give a bit of chew and quick oats would just be soft.
Can I pretty cook the oats a little?
Hi, Anita. I have never tried pre cooking the oats as they are meant to be added dry. You would have to adjust the liquids in the recipe and I have no idea what those adjustments would be. If you are looking for a less chewy oatmeal cookie, why not try using quick cook (1 minute or 3 minute) oats instead of the steel cut oats?
Nancy E Mitchko
I made these cookies and while the cookie flavor is a 10/10, the oats were on the harder side. Should they have been cooked first? I used steel cut oats and gave it 1 hour to absorb, but truthfully they were not wet to begin with. Is there an ingredient missing, like milk or water?
Hi, Nancy. Regular steel cut oats will retain a lot of firmness when baked in cookies. This recipe isn't missing any ingredients, but if you want a softer oat, that's easy to do. Just use a 3 minute or 1 minute quick oats instead of the steel cut oats. I hope this helps.
My wife and I are fans of steel cut oats for breakfast and also fans of oatmeal cookies using rolled oats, so I thought I'd try making this recipe, and I did - twice. Both times, though, the cookies turned out flat. I used standard steel cut oats, not Irish and not "instant." I also used regular unsalted butter, not Irish butter. First time around I used the batter ten minutes after mixing it (per recipe directions) and made 25 cookies. The second time, I chilled the dough for 45 minutes and made smaller cookies, one ounce each, so I ended up with 31 cookies. I weigh each cookie for consistency sake. The flavor is very good and the texture is chewy, perhaps too chewy for some people but my wife and I like it. Could the slightly higher fat content of Irish butter make a difference in the rise of the cookie? Should I be using quick-cooking steel cut oats? Help!
The Monday Box
Hi, Edwin. I hope I can help you trouble shoot the mystery of your flat cookies. You obviously put a lot of effort into making these! I have a few ideas and a link to a page on the Quaker Oats website that specifically addresses the problem of flat oatmeal cookies. The type of oats used in cookies make a big difference. The difference between the various types of oats is the amount they have been processed. The less processed the oats are the chewier the texture will be and the slower the oats will be to absorb moisture. Your flat cookies could be due to the regular steel cut oats. You could try adding 1-2 tablespoons of additional flour to help absorb the moisture and lessen the spreading or you could switch to a quicker cooking steel cut oats. I like the 3 minute oats rather than the 1 minute oats in order to retain some of the chewiness. I hope this helps! Take a look at this page from Quaker for more information: https://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipes/content/baking-101/cookies/common-cookie-issues/spread-in-oven.aspx
I'm thoroughly confused now after this comment and answer. Everything I have seen indicates that Irish oats are the same thing as steel cut oats (not the quick-cook kind). So I don't know what to think of "using standard steel cut oats instead of Irish Oats."
Also, I was wondering if any soaking or pre-cooking of the oats would be necessary or perhaps soften the cookies any. I'm a little scared that they may end up with too much crunchiness and I will have wasted good butter. LOL
Hi Anna. All the different names for oats can be confusing! The names just indicate where the oats are from and how they have been processed. Irish oats are just oats from Ireland. The Irish brand Flahavan, for example, makes Irish Rolled Oats (flaky and soft, allowing them to absorb more moisture) and Steel Cut Oats (the least processed) and a quick cook version of Steel Cut Oats. I made these cookies with regular steel cut oats. Steel cut makes a chewier cookie with slightly smaller bits of oats. Rolled oats (not quick cook) will also work (no adjustments required)but will have less of a nutty flavor and slightly less chew.
Helen at the Lazy Gastronome
Irish oats are so much better than the standard rolled! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party!
Oatmeal cookies may be simple, but they are so good! I think these Irish Oatmeal cookies would be a delicious addition to our St. Patrick's Day celebration. Thanks for linking up with us at the #HomeMattersParty this week.
Are there adjustments required to use steel cut oats as opposed to rolled oats?
The Monday Box
Hi, Douglas. Good question! I made my cookies with McCann's Steel Cut oats. I am not sure why I wrote Irish rolled oats in the recipe.(I'm going to correct that!) Steel cut makes a chewier cookie with slightly smaller bits of oats. Rolled oats (not quick cook) will also work (no adjustments required)but will have less of a nutty flavor and slightly less chew. Enjoy!
Yum, these look so good, Wendy! I am going to make a vegan version of those cookies as soon as possible! Thank you for linking up with Friday Favorites 🙂
I hope to see you again this week!
I really liked these! They are super chewy but that's what I like. I was concerned they would have a strange texture but they're delicious!
Hi, Christen. I'm so glad that you enjoyed these cookies. Irish oatmeal is less processed and so it retains a lot of chewiness in baking. As you discovered, the chewiness is delicious!