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Bourbon Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

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These Bourbon Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies is a classic oatmeal cookies loaded with chocolate chips and infused with bourbon whiskey and swirls of sweet, buttery caramel. They’re soft, chewy, and hearty with perfectly crisped edges.

Easy Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon

I always have a hard time resisting any oatmeal cookies, but when I have a batch of these Bourbon Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies sitting around, I have pretty much no self-control.

This recipe is my very first version of my salted caramel oatmeal cookies. Since developing this recipe, I’ve used the same dough to create this butterscotch version (a house favorite) and I am also partial to this cashew cookie as well.

While I love any variation of this recipe, the original version always has my heart. These cookies are deliciously soft and chewy thanks to the oats. There’s no shortage of bourbon flavor here, they’re buttery, sweet, and salty. I couldn’t think of a better combination.

Plan ahead for this recipe, because the dough does need some time to chill in the refrigerator.

side view of six salted caramel oatmeal cookies stacked

Ingredients Needed

  • Caramel Squares, Salt, and Milk – melted together to form our salted caramel for the cookies.
  • Unsalted Butter – be sure to soften the butter
  • Light Brown Sugar and Granulated Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Bourbon Whiskey – just use your favorite kind!
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Rolled Oats – old-fashioned rolled oats are the way to go.
  • Baking Soda
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Flakey Sea Salt – for garnish!
What Kind of Oats Are Best to Use for Oatmeal Cookies?

Definitely use old-fashioned rolled oats for this oatmeal cookie recipe. Quick oats or steel-cut oats have different textures, so they will not yield the same results.

How to Make Bourbon Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

  • Make the caramel: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine caramels, milk, and sea salt. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring each time, until melted and smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt and cool completely.
  • Combine the wet ingredients: Cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, then add in the eggs, vanilla, and bourbon.
  • Add the dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, little bits at a time, until a dough forms. Add in the chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.
  • Mix in the caramel: Once the caramel is cooled, swirl it into the cookie dough. Beat until just combined.
a bowl full of oatmeal cookie dough drizzled with caramel
a spatula full of oatmeal cookie dough over a bowl of dough
  • Portion and chill the dough: Use a large cookie scoop to portion the dough out onto a sheet pan, sprinkle with some finishing salt and then place the cookie sheet into the fridge. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour or for up to 24 hours.
overhead of oatmeal cookie dough balls on a baking sheet
  • Bake: Transfer the chilled dough balls onto a lined baking sheet, then bake in an oven preheated to 350ºF for 11-14 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

My Best Tips for Oatmeal Cookies

  • Use old-fashioned oats.-fashioned rolled oats are what gives the cookies their thick, chewy, hearty texture.
  • Don’t over-measure the flour. I recommend spooning the flour into a measuring cup and leveling it off. Alternatively, you can weigh it for an even more accurate measurement.
  • Chill the dough. The cooler dough results in thicker, fluffier cookies and prevents them from spreading too much as they bake. Chill it for at least 1 hour or for at least 24 hours before baking.
  • Line the baking sheet. I recommend lining the baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. This makes it easier to remove the cookies from the pan and prevents the caramel from burning.
  • Do not use warm cookie sheets: Prepare enough cookie sheets so that you are not putting the cold cookie dough on a warm cookie sheet.

Why Your Cookies Might Spread

Even if your cookies spread a little bit, I guarantee they still taste amazing. You can try and fix this right when you get them out of the oven, use a round cookie cutter or two spoons and press the edges of the dough back towards the center. This has to be done right when you take them out of the oven before the edges are too brown or set.

Lack of chocolate chips: The chocolate chips help the cookies maintain structure. As you get to the bottom of the bowl, you are left with dough that isn’t packed full of chocolate chips and this tends to spread more.

The butter was too soft: It only needs about 30 minutes tops on the counter before it’s ready to go. Don’t let the butter get too soft or it can affect the consistency of the cookies.

Incorrectly measured ingredients: Measuring the dry ingredients matters. If possible, use a kitchen scale to measure the flour and sugar.

The caramel was too hot: If you add hot caramel to the cookie dough, it does melt or break down the dough a little bit and can lead to spreading.

overhead of an oatmeal cookie leaning on a tray of more cookies

Freezing Cookie Dough

To prep these cookies ahead of time, you can assemble the dough as directed, then store it in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To freeze the cookie dough, portion it out onto a baking sheet and flash freeze it for 1 hour. Once it’s hardened, transfer the dough balls to a ziplock bag or airtight container and store in the freezer. Thaw these overnight in the refrigerator and bake as instructed.

How to Store Baked Cookies

Baked oatmeal cookies will last in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To enjoy again, thaw on the counter or warm in the microwave until heated through. I have been known to eat these straight from the freezer.

Can I Make These Without Bourbon?

You sure can, here’s the alcohol-free version of the salted caramel oatmeal cookies.

six halves of salted caramel oatmeal cookies stacked

More Oatmeal Cookie Recipes You’ll Love

closeup of one oatmeal cookie piled on top of other oatmeal cookies

Bourbon Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 90 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
  • Yield: 26 cookies


These Bourbon Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies are a made up of classic oatmeal cookies that are loaded with chocolate chips and infused with with bourbon whiskey and swirls of sweet, buttery caramel. They’re soft, chewy, and hearty with perfectly crisped edges.


  • 20 Kraft caramel squares or appx 1 cup caramel bits
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup (143g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons (7.5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) bourbon
  • 2 3/4 cups (330g) all-purpose Flour
  • 2 ½ cups (250g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking soda
  • 1 bag (11oz) chocolate chips
  • Flakey sea salt for garnish


  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine caramels and milk. Microwave in 20-second increments, stirring each time. Caramel will be very hot and can burn easily. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt. All the caramel to cool.
  2. Soften the butter in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Combine the softened butter with the brown and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until well combined, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Next add the eggs, vanilla extract and bourbon and continue beating until well incorporated.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients (as well as the other tsp salt), slowly add the dry ingredients into the dough, mixing at low speed until the dough starts to form. Before the dough thickens, add the chocolate chips. Beat a couple of times until they start to incorporate.
  5. Once the caramel is cooled, add to cookie dough. Beat just until combined.
  6. Pre-scoop the dough using a large cookie scoop and place it on a sheet pan. Sprinkle with flakey sea salt. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 24 hours in advance. Remove each batch 10-15 minutes before baking.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes. The center of the cookie should be slightly underbaked but not too gooey. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Nutrition Information:
1 Cookie
18.8 g
255.7 mg
8.3 g
35 g
1.3 g
3.4 g
33.6 mg
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Oatmeal Cookies, Cookie Recipe, salted caramel cookies

Leave a Comment

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54 Responses
  1. Jeanne

    Question on directions. For Carmel is says combine carmels, milk and seasalt in microwave bowl, heat and then add salt. Does that mean the two tsp of salt go into the carmel sauce and none in the dough? Or is it on tsp sea salt in the Carmel sauce and 1 tsp sea salt in the dough? There is no measurement for sea salt give just salt.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jeanne, thanks for the question. I’ve updated the recipe to clarify. One teaspoon is used with the caramel and one with the other dry ingredients.

  2. Kiki

    These came out flat. I made them twice on a Silpat both times. Added 2 more Tbsps of flour, another pinch of baking powder, and refrigerated them for two hours the second time and they were still flat. Into the trash.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      You mentioned baking powder. Did you use baking powder or baking soda? This recipe calls for baking soda. Were they flat flat like a pancake? Could be due to mismeasuring ingredients or butter that’s too soft.

  3. Cassie Winther

    I’ve made these twice before and they are a MASSIVE hit! Can I make the dough and refrigerate it overnight? Thanks!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Awesome! Thank you! You sure can, you just may need to let them sit for 15-20 minutes prior to baking.

  4. Melia

    I would love to make these but don’t have any bourbon or alcohol of any kind in the house. What could I use to replace it?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi John, it’s possible that either they weren’t refrigerated long enough or the ratios of the dry ingredients were off.

  5. Teresa B Engebretsen

    Mine taste really good but they look nothing like yours. I followed the directions to a tee, but the hot caramel melted most of the chocolate chips so they are chocolate more than anything. And they flattened more than I had hope. I did refrigerate the dough for 45 minutes. I will tweak it next time. I like the caramel-sea salt combo and want that flavor to really stand out.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Teresa, sounds like the caramel wasn’t cool enough, and since that happened, you probably would have needed more time in the refrigerator. I am glad they tasted good!

  6. Darla Johns

    Hi Jackie. I can’t find where to answer your reply so I’ll just send another comment. I did refrigerate the dough for the 30 minutes and kept the trays in the frig until I baked them. I also used parchment paper. I was thinking maybe adding some baking powder?

  7. Darla Johns

    I’m making these today. They are very tasty, however, they are coming out very flat. ☹️ Don’t know if I did something wrong but I’m not very happy with them.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Darla, are you baking them directly on a baking sheet or is in lined with something? How long did you refrigerate?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Linda, yes you can! However when you freeze them, I usually flash freeze them on a sheet pan before packaging. They must be in package in a single layer with a layer of parchment in between, otherwise the cookies will stick together due to the caramel.

  8. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel

    Be still my heart! These cookies are phenom, babe! I love adding bourbon to things to jazz it up a notch. And getting drunk off of cookies is also my favorite pasttime. 🙂

  9. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Whoa, everything that I love (salted caramel, bourbon and chocolate) in one delicious, chewy cookie?! These look amazing! Pinned.

  10. Julia

    These look amazing. My mouth is watering! I’d love it if you’d come link up at Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday!

    Julia @

  11. Coleen @ The Redhead Baker

    I’m pretty sure my dad would love these cookies, but if I made them, I’m not sure there would be any cookies left over to give to him!

  12. Lily

    How does the bourbon cook in these? Do you have to have it? I’m concerned about the effect it could have on pancreatitis, but it looks so good!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Lily, sorry I cannot advise you on how it will effect your pancreatitis. Please consult a doctor. If you remove the bourbon, you may want to add 2-3 tsp of pure vanilla extract and this cookie needs additional moisture.

  13. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    Wow, these look incredible. All you have to say bourbon salted caramel and I’m hooked. I’ll take that entire stack!

  14. adriana

    I loved your comment about the caramel hardening. It is really reassuring, Last week I made cookies with caramel and they hardened. I thought it was just me! 🙂 But these cookies look delicious!!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      This is the first time I have made a cookie where the caramel doesn’t get solid! I was so happy. I have also heard that you can try adding a couple teaspoons of milk to help keep it soft.

  15. Mir

    I love the bourbon! These look very tempting. I admire your restraint for shipping them off instead of eating them all!
    And good for you, having a lazy Saturday. They’re a necessity sometimes.

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