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Loaded with plump, juicy raisins and warm spice, these Copycat Levain Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are oversized and perfect for sharing. They're a taste of New York without having to go into the city to visit Levain Bakery for the original version and are soft and chewy - just right with a glass of ice-cold milk!
Is there any better treat than a giant cookie?! Perfect for birthdays or Valentine's Day, our Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe will feed a small crowd, and if you want to stick with these incredible Levain-style cookies, our Copycat Levain Chocolate Chip Cookies are so easy to make, and perfect with a glass of cold milk!
Levain Bakery Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe
During the whole lockdown when travel was out of the question, I found myself craving the feeling of exploring as much as I found it comforting to bake familiar favorites. One of the best parts about travel is checking out the local food scene! So I decided to recreate some of the hugely popular cookies from New York's Levain Bakery as a means of escape and it's easy to see why this style of cookie has so many devoted fans!
My first attempt were the Copycat Levain Chocolate Chip Cookies and they were such a hit in our house and with readers that I almost immediately had requests for a version of Levain's oatmeal raisin cookies from those who are in the know and have been to the original location. I also ended up making their Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies as well, which are now one of Paul's favorite cookies of all time.
The secret behind these cookies is as much in the technique of mixing ingredients as it is in the ingredients themselves. But it's not hard to make them at home at all! It's things like using cold butter (instead of room temperature butter) that makes a big difference in how these turn out.
My version of their Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are warm, spicy, soft, and perfectly gooey in the center. Just the way you would want them to be! I shared some with my husband's cousin who texted me a couple days later to say she was still thinking about them!
I made a couple of tweaks to the original version rather than attempt an identical replica, and really, I can't imagine the cookies without these two ingredients. Firstly: vanilla. Specifically, my Homemade Vanilla Extract (it's so good!). Levain Bakery has stated that they don't use vanilla at all in their cookies...and I think they missed a trick there! Cookies without vanilla, to me, just don't taste right. They're definitely missing something, so I always add vanilla in when I'm baking cookies. Secondly: walnuts. Oatmeal and raisin are just supposed to be with walnuts, and that extra element of crunchy texture is so addictive!
A point to note, in true Levain Bakery style, these cookies are GIANT. Not just in circumference, they are extremely thick as well! You can make them smaller, and end up with 12 cookies instead of 9. In fact on their website, Levain Bakery mentions that they ship frozen cookies in 2oz portions instead of 6oz still using the original recipe, so it is definitely possible to make these oatmeal raisin cookies smaller without compromising on taste!
What are Levain Oatmeal Raisin Cookies made of?
- Butter: What good classic oatmeal cookie doesn’t have butter in it? This ingredient is necessary for the best flavor! And unlike most baking recipes where you soften the butter first, here you want to use cold-from-the-fridge cubed butter with a longer creaming time to achieve the desired texture.
- Sugar: Both brown and white sugars are used to add sweetness and flavor, as well as making sure the copycat Levain cookies are soft, crispy, and thick.
- Eggs and baking soda: These are our leavening and binding ingredients. Levain cookies are known for being big thick cookies!
- Cornstarch: Adding cornstarch to cookies is not an unfamiliar technique for most bakers. This ingredient helps keep cookies extra soft after being baked.
- Vanilla extract: Levain has specifically said they don’t use it, and many of the most popular copycat versions follow suit. But I ALWAYS add some to my cookies and definitely disagree with Levain that it doesn’t make a difference. Cookies made with vanilla have a distinctly more balanced, well-rounded flavor overall, even if the vanilla flavor itself is not predominant. I feel like the cookies taste slightly flat or one-note without it.
- Flour: Just all-purpose flour instead of cake flour and all-purpose flour like the Levain Chocolate Chip Cookies, as we'll also be adding in oats.
- Oatmeal: Old fashioned or rolled oats are the types of oats that work best in this Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe, instead of instant or quick oats. We want the oats to keep their shape, and the quicker cooking oats tend to turn a little mushy.
- Salt: Salt brings out all of the delicious cookie flavors!
- Cinnamon: Oatmeal, cinnamon, and raisin - it's a winning flavor combo! The cinnamon adds warmth and spice to the cookies, bringing out their delicious sweetness.
- Raisins: Plump, juicy raisins burst with flavor in every bite of this oatmeal cookie recipe!
- Walnuts: Walnuts complete the flavor of these amazing cookies but aren't in the original recipe. I’m a huge walnut fan and I must admit walnuts take the flavor of these cookies to the next level! But you can obviously leave them out if you want.
How to Make Copycat Leavain Oatmeal Cookies
- Prep the oven and baking sheet. Firstly, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and then line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Even though this recipe only yields 9 cookies, these cookies are giant so you will need two baking trays.
- Cream butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Secondly, cut the cold butter into cubes, then add to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add both sugars and beat well for 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla, then beat again, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add dry ingredients. Next, add flour, cornstarch, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined then stir in raisins and walnuts.
4. Shape the cookies. Divide the dough into 6-ounce mounds (about 9 nine cookies) and space them apart on the baking sheet so they have room to spread when baked.
5. Bake and cool. Finally, bake the oatmeal raisin cookies for 9-11 minutes until the cookie is barely set and slightly browned on top. Cool for at least 15 minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
How do I store these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies?
These copycat Levain Oatmeal Raisin Cookies keep well in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days. They won’t last that long though!
You can even freeze them, before or after baking. For the baked cookies, freeze them in an airtight container (like a ziplock) in the freezer and let them thaw on the counter at room temperature when you want to eat one. I like to reheat them in the microwave for 15 seconds so they are warm, soft, and gooey in the middle.
For the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed the next day.
Are Levain Cookies undercooked?
A little, yes! This is what gives Levain Cookies their much loved gooey, doughy texture while cooking to golden perfection on the outside. Not a fan of undercooking cookies? Try making them a little smaller and baking them longer!
What kind of oats are best for cookies?
When baking oatmeal cookies, it's best to use hearty old-fashioned or rolled oats. Instant oats or quick oats cook too quickly, absorb liquids differently, and lose the chewy texture that a classic oatmeal cookie is known for. Luckily, rolled oats are easy to find at the grocery store in the cereal aisle and are great to have on hand for baking desserts like cookies, crumbles, and crisps!
More Cookie Recipes Like This
- Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Double Lemon Glazed Cookies
- Oatmeal Rolled Sugar Cookies
- Carmelitas (Oatmeal, Chocolate, Caramel Bars)
- Monster Cookies
- Oatmeal Fudge Bars
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Levain Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- 1 cup salted butter cold
- 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract optional
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 ½ cup old-fashioned or rolled oats not instant or quick oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ¾ cup raisins
- 1 cup walnuts roughly chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut the cold butter into cubes, then add to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add both sugars and beat well for 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla, then beat again, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Add flour, cornstarch, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined then stir in raisins and walnuts.
- Divide the dough into 6-ounce mounds (about 9 nine cookies) and space them apart on the baking sheet so they have room to spread when baked.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookie is barely set and slightly browned on top. Cool for at least 15 minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
- These cookies are massive. You could easily make 12 more moderately (but still large) sized cookies. But the Levain Bakery makes their cookies on the huge side, so that's what I was going for.
- Levain doesn't include vanilla or walnuts in their oatmeal raisin cookies, but I love both. You can leave them out if you prefer.
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