Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies

by Dorothy Reinhold on November 10, 2022

Print This Post Print This Post Single cookie with colorful sprinkles on top on a white marble counterop

Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies are irresistibly tender, slightly chewy, vanilla-scented treats dressed up with sprinkles. Everyone loves them!

When both my daughter and son moved out to go to college and training programs, I wanted to keep them connected to home and my kitchen by sending baked goods. But somehow, that was easier said than done, and I found it difficult to get cookies in the mail to them.Sharon Graves So I turned to one of the best Los Angeles bakers I know, Sharon Graves, who has a mail-order company called “Mom in the Mail.” Her website says, “She’s never met a stick of butter she didn’t like.” Amen. She sends a box of cookies to your college student or gift recipient (client, sibling, neighbor, relative!) that will make them never want to buy an Oreo or Chips Ahoy ever again. Her cookies, my children have told me, are some of the best they’ve ever eaten!

Rather than get my nose out of joint, I said YES! and signed up for another year’s subscription for them. I leaned into success.

Closeup of a cookie with colored sprinkles on top resting on a cooling rackThis recipe for Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies is a slight adaptation of one of her recipes. I made it into a small-batch version so I didn’t have to stare at (and eat!) dozens of cookies. It makes just enough for the 2 of us. But you can easily double it if you want more or are baking for the holidays.

How to make Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies

A variety of ingredients for Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies laid out on a white marble countertopFirst, as always, gather your ingredients. For this cookie, you will need:

  • Butter (I use unsalted, but you can use salted)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Instant oats (these are also sometimes called quick-cooking oats or short-cooking oats)
  • Vanilla extract (My favorite is Heilala vanilla extract, from New Zealand. Use what you have on hand!)
  • All purpose flour (My go-to flour is unbleached King Arthur all purpose. Use what you like.)
  • Baking soda
  • Salt (I use extra fine sea salt from New Zealand by PRI. Use what you have on hand.)
  • Sprinkles! Make sure you are using sprinkles that can be baked in the oven, such as nonpareils, or other sprinkles that won’t melt. 

Mix the dough, use your hands to roll it into balls, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Cookies on parchment paper with a handle adding sprinkles and a container of sprinkles in the backgroundrs to flatten cookies and add sprinkles on topUse two or three fingers (like in a girl scout salute) to press the cookies down slightly (you can see the finger indentations on the cookies on the tray.)

A hand adds sprinkles to the top of a cookie with a clear plastic container of sprinkles in the background of the cookiesSprinkle liberally with sprinkles! Nobody wants a sparse sprinkle cookie. 

16 Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies with colorful sprinkles on top cooling on a cooling rack on a white marble countertopAfter baking, cool the cookies on a cooling rack. Then store them in an airtight container at room temperature, or freeze for longer storage.

Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 16 cookies

Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies

Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies are irresistibly tender, slightly chewy, vanilla-scented treats dressed up with sprinkles. Everyone loves them!


  • 1/2 cup (= 1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup instant oats
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Sprinkles for the top


  1. Heat oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add butter, sugar, vanilla and salt and mix well until completely combined. I used a stand mixer to do this, but you can do it with a wooden spoon if you like.
  3. In another bowl, stir together oats, flour and baking soda until combined. Add dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and mix well.
  4. Using your hands, form the dough into 16 1-inch balls, and place onto prepared baking sheet. Using two or three fingers like a girl scout salute, flatten them to about 1/3 of an inch tall. Dip your fingers into cold water if the cookies are too sticky. Add sprinkles to the top of each cookie.
  5. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.
  6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or freeze them for longer storage.
  7. Makes 16 cookies.
  8. These adapt well for special diets. For example, swap in gluten-free flour for the all purpose flour, or use coconut oil or vegan butter for the dairy butter.


Recipe source: Slightly adapted from a recipe by Sharon Graves, who has a mail-order company called "Mom in the Mail."


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6 colorful Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies on a cooling rack with words superimposed on top

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Radha November 25, 2022 at 7:13 am

I love everything about these cookies! These llok amazing and love the sprinkles on top.


Terri November 23, 2022 at 5:46 pm

Thank you so very much for all the wonderful good recipes you share here!
And I especially thank you for this one! My 6 year old grandgirl and I made these yesterday and they were so delicious I had to make more today so I could share them at Thanksgiving.
You are a blessing!


Dorothy Reinhold November 23, 2022 at 10:33 pm

Oh my gosh, that’s wonderful to hear! I understand completely…I did the same. I baked a batch, it got eaten all up, and the next day I baked another batch. That’s the way it goes with good cookies, eh?


Rebecca November 22, 2022 at 4:58 am

So fun! Never had an Oatmeal Shortbread cookie.


Inger November 14, 2022 at 10:27 am

Sprinkles always make me smile (you’d think I was 6 🙂 )


Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert November 14, 2022 at 3:29 am

Looks amazingly delicious! Can’t wait to make a basket of this!


Kathryn November 13, 2022 at 7:38 pm

These are my two favorite cookies in one! Love this idea for Christmas with holiday sprinkles!


Lisa November 12, 2022 at 10:54 am

What a fun and delicious cookie.


Julie November 12, 2022 at 7:20 am

These are a fantastic Holiday cookie. They are perfect for a cookie exchange or gift giving.


Dorothy Reinhold November 13, 2022 at 3:21 pm

They will be awesome for a cookie exchange!


Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck November 12, 2022 at 6:46 am

“She’s never met a stick of butter she didn’t like!” Yup, that’s me! And I’d totally use that butter for these cookies!!!


Catalina November 12, 2022 at 5:56 am

These cookies are so easy to make and they are so inviting!


Jolene November 12, 2022 at 5:44 am

Oooh, finally an excuse to justify my extensive sprinkle collection!


Dorothy Reinhold November 13, 2022 at 3:23 pm

EXACTLY! These cookies are a good use for that collection.


Hezzi-D November 12, 2022 at 4:04 am

This is such a fun cookie and I love the colored sprinkles.


Hezzi-D November 12, 2022 at 3:59 am

These are such a bright and fun cookie!


Sandra November 11, 2022 at 6:36 pm

These cookies are perfect for the Holidays! So excited to make them!


Wendy Klik November 11, 2022 at 3:59 pm

Shortbread is my favorite. I have never tried using oatmeal with them but I can’t wait to see how they turn out. Yours look amazing.


Beth November 11, 2022 at 2:46 pm

I can’t wait to make these. I’ve seen a lot of oatmeal cookie variations, but this is a first for me.


Dorothy Reinhold November 11, 2022 at 3:07 pm

So simple, so good!


Karen's Kitchen Stories November 11, 2022 at 11:30 am

Did you really say “leaned in?” Lol. These cookies sound wonderful. How wonderful to have a fairy godmother.


Dorothy Reinhold November 11, 2022 at 3:07 pm

I did say that and I stand by it!


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