My Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Life

These aren’t your typical oatmeal cookies. To start, there are no raisins. Hallelujah! Even better, these oatmeal cookies are delicious-forward rather than oat-forward, if you catch my drift. Just the right level of sweetness, crackly on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, there will be not a single leftover (except for your full bag of raisins) after baking up a batch. PS This recipe comes from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Life cookbook of amazingness. She’s a rockstar and these cookies prove that, hands-down. Bake up a batch and you’ll show the world that you’re an oatmeal cookie rockstar, too.

The other important fact about these oatmeal cookies is that there’s a secret ingredient. And, you don’t even taste the secret ingredient, but it gives this oatmeal cookie the perfect consistency, height, and chew. The secret ingredient is sweetened shredded coconut! Now, believe you me, no one will even know, especially if you have coconut haters in your circle of family and friends, like I do.

Oatmeal Cookies from Milk Bar Life cookbook | #milkbar #milkbarlife #oatmealcookies #grandmasoatmealcookies #withcoconut #cookies #kickassbaker

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If you don’t yet know about Christina Tosi and Milk Bar, stop what you’re doing right now and go watch the Netflix Chef’s Table episode featuring Christina. She is my new wannabe best friend. She’s young and easygoing and humble and, did I mention, super creative with her baking and use of ingredients?! Nothing crazy or fancy, just regular old ingredients used in innovative ways to breathe new life into standards such as cookies and birthday cakes. For instance, she uses the cereal milk (aka, the flavorful milk the results from soaking your breakfast cereal in it) as an ingredient in many of her cookies and cakes and truffles. Genius!

I was fortunate enough to attend a class at Milk Bar in Brooklyn recently (yay again to my husband for getting this as a gift for me for Mother’s Day!). We didn’t actually bake anything, but we did assemble and learn some of Christina’s secrets for making cakes and truffles delicious and fun in new and interesting ways. For example, we assembled one of her Malted Chocolate cakes and with the leftover cake crumbs, we made white chocolate dipped chocolate malt truffles using Ovaltine milk to bind the cake crumbs together. Brilliant and super yummy!

After leaving her class, of course I was totally inspired to make other recipes of hers. Hence, this oatmeal cookie recipe. What makes this recipe so good:

  • Did I mention no raisins?!
  • It comes together quickly, nothing fancy
  • The cookies bake up thick and chewy
  • There’s a secret ingredient that makes these cookies the perfect texture and you most likely already have it in your pantry (if not, it’s very easy to find!)

Oatmeal Cookies from Milk Bar Life cookbook | #milkbar #milkbarlife #oatmealcookies #grandmasoatmealcookies #withcoconut #cookies #kickassbaker

In Christina’s recipe, she mentions that the secret ingredient (aka, sweetened shredded coconut) is optional. So, I tried her recipe both ways – with coconut and without. The results were very different and I must say, the coconut should not be optional. This is totally my opinion, but the texture changes dramatically without the coconut – the cookie bakes up much flatter and crispier. If you like your cookies that way, by all means, bake away! If you prefer a thicker and chewier cookie, definitely include the coconut. Here is a picture of the two batches – the one on the left includes the coconut and the one on the right does not. See what I mean?Oatmeal Cookies from Milk Bar Life cookbook | #milkbar #milkbarlife #oatmealcookies #grandmasoatmealcookies #withcoconut #cookies #kickassbaker

Now go forth and bake! With or without coconut (but definitely consider with!). Then park yourself in front of Netflix’s Chef’s Table episode with Christina Tosi while indulging in a stack of these delicious oatmeal cookies – you won’t be sorry!

If you’re looking for more awesome, easy cookie recipes, try my take-you-straight-back-to-your-childhood-days Fruity Pebble Cookies with White Chocolate ChipsΒ or my White Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies that will immediately satisfy your chocolate craving or my Fluffy Sprinkle cookies that are vanilla-y and pillowy and every kid’s favorite!


My Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Life cookbook

Oatmeal Cookies from Milk Bar Life cookbook | #milkbar #milkbarlife #oatmealcookies #grandmasoatmealcookies #withcoconut #cookies #kickassbaker

These aren’t your typical oatmeal cookies. No raisins (woo hoo!), just the right level of sweetness, and crackly on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. There will be not a single leftover (except for your full bag of raisins) after baking up a batch. PS This recipe comes from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Life cookbook of amazingness.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes + cooling time
  • Yield: 18 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats
  2. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and coconut, if using, and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds
  3. Put the confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl. Scoop and roll the dough between your palms into golf-ball-sized balls. Toss in the bowl of confectioner’s sugar until completely covered and arrange the cookies 2 to 3 inches apart on the lined baking sheets
  4. Bake the cookies for 9 to 10 minutes until golden brown and crackled. Let cool completely on pans


Recipe from Milk Bar Life by Christina Tosi.

Keywords: oatmeal cookies, Christina Tosi, Milk Bar Life recipe, My Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies, coconut oatmeal cookies, Momofoku

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10 Replies to “My Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Life”

  1. These look awesome – I am not a fan of coconut but willing to try because of the difference in the look of the cookies in your pic!

    1. Hi Sheri! A gluten-free version of these is a great idea. You can easily substitute gluten-free oats for the old fashioned oats. As far as low carb, that might be a bit trickier for this recipe but still doable. Maybe substitute the sugars for lower carb versions and use unsweetened coconut instead of sweetened. Give it a shot and let us know how they come out!

    1. Thanks, Christy! They are πŸ™‚ I actually do like raisins and I like oatmeal raisin cookies, too, but they’re not my favorite… And I know a lot of others who also do not like raisins, particularly kids! So I wanted to share an oatmeal cookie recipe that does not have raisins since you typically see oatmeal raisin a lot. Thx for asking!

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