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Oatmeal Date Cookies

stack of Oatmeal Date Cookies

Fun fact: I do not like raisins. Not even a little bit. I do, however, very much like oatmeal cookies. They’re chewy and cinnamon-y and just plain yummy. Of course, oats and raisins have long been joined together in cookiedom, so finding oatmeal cookies without raisins is usually a challenge. So, I usually make my own oatmeal cookies, substituting something like dates or currants for the raisins to make them more me-friendly.

Oatmeal Date Cookies on a square white plate

I made these cookies just after Halloween and sent them to work with Quinn. The consensus was that they were a nice break from the sweet overload of the previous days. I have to agree. They are just sweet enough. Plus, they have that hint of cinnamon working for them. I also added almonds to these, and I really like the extra flavor and the little bit of crunch they added.

Oatmeal Date Cookies served on a white plate

I don’t think I’m alone in my anti-raisin stance. I once went to a cooking demonstration given by Alton Brown. He said that to make the best raisin-containing cookies, measure out the raisins, throw them out, and substitute an equal amount of chocolate. I’m sure these cookies could be made with raisins instead of dates, but I’ll have to depend on some of you to determine that for sure.

Oatmeal Date Cookies

Yield about 5 dozen cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes

These Oatmeal Date Cookies are chewy, nutty treats with just the right amount of sweetness.

stack of Oatmeal Date Cookies


  • 1 & 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 & 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried dates, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped, toasted almonds or pecans (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add brown sugar and granulated sugar, beating until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing just until incorporated. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, dates, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add flour mixture gradually to butter mixture, mixing just until combined. Stir in nuts.
  4. Drop dough by tablespoonful onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.


Cook time is per baking sheet.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

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Oatmeal Date Cookies

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    32 Comments on “Oatmeal Date Cookies”

  1. I like raisins but am especially fond of dates this time of year. Plan to cut the recipe in half & add some toasted pecans…sounds perfect for me!

  2. I dislike raisins with all my heart, and get so upset when my favorite cookies or muffins include them;( and I LOVE DATES. I was just reading my mum today it’s health benefits. They are delicious….. I will try baking cookies with dates this weekend. Thanks for the idea;)))

  3. What I wouldn’t give for one of these oatmeal cookies RIGHT NOW!!! I never liked them as a kid, but LOVE them as an adult! BIG TIME!!!

  4. Now, I know it’s just me, but I would add chocolate chips to the cookies. But then again, I’ll add chocolate chips to just about anything.

  5. These cookies look fantastic! I dislike raisins, too, and have a newfound love for dates! I am definitely going to have to try this recipe! Is it just raisins you don’t like, or all dried fruit? I sometimes replace raisins with dried cherries, cranberries or blueberries (or a mix of dried fruits) and I really like the results I get with it!

  6. I can go either way…dates or raisins work for me.

  7. This is so timely as I have a big bag of dates to use up. Can’t wait to try it – what a good lunchbox addition for the kids too. (Oh and I dont like raisins either!!)

  8. I have always wanted to make something with dates….this is perfect!

  9. Anything with oats and cinnamon is a win in my book. 🙂

  10. I love it! There is nothing in the world I hate more than raisins. Well, except maybe canned asparagus. So funny! Thank you for sharing, I thought I was the only one who loathed those nasty things:) I wish I could try this recipe, but we are no nut, nuts at my house. It looks super yummy!!

  11. Mmm these look yummy! I also hate raisins but I haven’t tried dates. I’ll have to try these cookies and see if they’re a good substitute.

  12. This sounds so delicious. Oatmeal and Dates are a nice healthy combination as well as being tastey. Thanks for putting this up.

  13. I don’t mind raisins but I would rather have chocolate chips or dates! 🙂 This looks like a cookie I need to try.

  14. Saba, the link to the recipe is above the top photo.

  15. I didn’t have enough butter so I used 1c butter, 1 avocado and almost a cup of applesauce. They are soft, chewy and very delicious with a lot “better” fat than butter fat.

  16. I made these cookies yesterday. My husband goes to a VFW meeting every month and I try to make a different cookie for each meeting. I had some dates in the pantry so I thought I would give these a try. All I can say is the container was almost empty when he brought it home. They loved them more than many of the others I have made! I loved them too. They aren’t too sweet which is fine by me. I used almonds and next time I will try pecans. Thanks. I see they are adapted from Martha S. I must admit I have very good luck with any of her recipes or adaptations. She’s got a great talent and so do you.

  17. I’m diabetic but these sound wonderful. Do you think I could make them with Splenda? I often add a little molasses to Splenda for brown sugar substitute. I’d use the white whole wheat flour. I know it’s different but a bit healthier. And applesauce instead of some of the butter? I know they won’t turn out the same but my diet is very important to my health.

    • Hi, Colleen. Substitutions pretty much always have some effect on the recipe. I haven’t tried the substitutions you mentioned, so I can’t give you any specific advice. I’d follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for substituting. Most applesauce manufacturers offer some recommendations for substitution, as well. 

  18.  Wonderful recipe I do like your oat to flour ratio a lot the only things I changed was I used one cup of softened butter unsalted as opposed to 1 1/4 cups also I used 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and I used fresh dates from the produce department at my market. I used a bit more than the one cup I also use chopped roasted unsalted almonds and also a bit more than one cup so with all of those little changes it came out just wonderful oh and I also put one and a half teaspoons vanilla but I do still give you credit for a wonderful recipe even tho I changed the hell out of it sorry Ha ha 

  19. My friend is in a resthome and requested Oatmeal Cookies with Dates. Since I’ve always used raisins I looked online and found this recipe instead of adjusting my recipe. I used fresh dates and pecans and I am serious, they are scrumptious, I’m sure my friend will love them, I’m going to take her the cookies with a hot cup of tea so she can indulge.

  20. This recipe is tremendous! Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve also found that raisins are a great way to ruin a cookie so the use of dates is perfect and super tasty. My first batch didn’t last long in the house so I will be making these again soon.

  21. As a kid my mom always used dates when ever she could. They were so good but I’d forgotten about them. I always loved her oatmeal cookies. I’ll be making oatmeal date cookies tomorrow, yummy..

  22. Can you leave out the nuts in this recipe and can you use gluten free flour? I have certain family members 1 who is diabetic ,one has a nut allergy and one has celiac disease ? This seems to be a flexible recipe.

    • Hi, Evelyn! With very few exceptions, nuts are always optional in cookies like these. I don’t bake with gluten-free flour, so I can’t say with certainty how it will work in this recipe. There are different options for gluten-free flour, and they don’t all behave the same. If you’ve had success with a substitution in other standard cookie recipes, then I’d expect the same here.

  23. A good friend of ours gave us this BIG bag of pitted dates..”WOW!! says I to meself!” Now what?
    I hadn’t made dates squares since dinosaurs walked the earth!! LOL!!! Love to cook & bake,,but date squares are not high on me list!!
    Looked at me husband (the date square eating king..from back in the day..) & said, “Guess I’m goin’ be making a ‘few’ cookie sheets of date squares for awhile now, eh?!”
    He looked at me & said. .”How’s about some date oatmeal cookies instead?!”
    After I picked meself up off the floor..I checked our some recipes & guess what??
    I found yours!!! Made some..but used margarine instead..OMG!!! What a beauteous recipe, Jennifer!! Husband LOVED them..
    Thank You for this recipe & keep ’em comin’..!!

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