Copycat “Salty Oats” Cookies

154 cal, 20C/7F/3P/8S.

Let me introduce you to the best oatmeal cookies I ever had. AKA the heartiest, chewiest oatmeal raisin cookies ever known to man.

I can’t remember when I had my first bite into one of Cape Cod’s Kayak Cookiessalty oats cookies but it was love at first bite. These come in large packs of 3 massive scone-sized cookies. Like hockey pucks, the thickness on them is incredible. I do remember reading the description on the package and being instantly intrigued: “Subtly sweet, curiously salty” … That’s 4 words I would use to describe my ideal food. Seriously.

What they hadn’t mentioned was the buttery hearty crumb structure. Crunchy on the outside, extremely chewy on the inside, to the point of gluing your mouth shut. Oh yes. I never said I wasn’t weird.

I’ve googled many a copy-cat recipe and tried at least three. Nope, it wasn’t the same. Good cookies, but not exactly the same cookies. One was too buttery, another too sweet… Disappointed, I finally had to take the matters into my own hands.

Little known fact about me: I have a PhD in computer science from Harvard University, and I have been a Google engineer for 5+ years.

It was time to put on my scientist/engineer hat. Guys, I reverse-engineered this ish.

The information that I had was the list of ingredients and the nutritional info on the label.

The ingredients were the usual suspects: Flour, oats, eggs, butter, sugar, etc. But how much of each? Well the ingredients are always listed in decreasing order. If most of the cookie (I’m guessing by weight) is flour then flour is the first ingredient. So that gave me some information.

Then I had the nutritional info: Calories, carbs, fat, protein, fiber and sugar per 3 oz of cookie. Here’s what I did, I entered a ballpark recipe into MyFitnessPal: It went something like 1 egg, 2 sticks of butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 2 cups rolled oats, 1/2 cup raisins. Then I started tweaking the amounts of these while making sure to maintain the decreasing weight order from the list of ingredients until I hit basically the exact same calories, macros, sugar and fiber. Basically constrained optimization by hand! (guess I could have written some code to do it as well…)

And voila! I had a recipe, in THEORY.

And I followed it. I watched these babies bake with anticipation. The moment they came out of the oven all thick and golden and smelling like sweet buttery heaven, I knew it. I had cracked the code on the salty oats cookie.

One bite confirmed my first impression. There it was, the exact same cookie. SCIENCE, it works.

The only difference is my recipe uses whole grain flour so the cookies will have a bit more color to them. And they’re single-serving sized rather than 2-servings-in-one size. But size is more up to you, feel free to bake up 12 breakfast scone sized ones. Something I have done and enjoyed immensely.

Without further ado, here’s my hardest-earned recipe ever.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 stick butter softened (192 g)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar (72 g)
  • 1 cup raisins, golden, dark or mixed (160 g)
  • 3 cups rolled oats (240 g)
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat or all purpose flour (180 g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

Makes 24 cookies. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat in egg until incorporated. Add dry ingredients to bowl and beat until just combined. Stir in oats and raisins. I skip chilling but you can chill for an hour. Preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Scoop balls onto the sheet, flatten and sprinkle with additional coarse sea salt. Bake cookies until golden at the edges, about 12 minutes.

Hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do, and if you give them a try remember to tag @200isPlentySweet on instagram!

Author: Elif

Hi I'm Elif! I'm a mama, computer science PhD and Google engineer by day, food blogger by night. I love beautiful desserts that not only taste amazing, but also leave you feeling amazing. I use my math skills and interest in nutrition to carefully optimize my recipes to use simple, good-for-you ingredients and minimal amount of added sugar. I believe that healthy desserts can be simple. Recipes should not send you searching for rare ingredients, untested sweeteners or measuring ridiculous 1/2 tsp of butter. Here we use few ingredients, basic measuring cups, spoons, and simple fruit, veg, little sugar and syrup as sweeteners. Most recipes here use so little added sugar that they're good enough for toddlers. I also believe that you should be able to fit healthy sweets into your daily routine. No matter how much almond flour and coconut oil is in a healthy dessert recipe, there's no way I'm going to ingest a meal's worth of energy and a day's worth of total sugar from dessert alone. And that is the reason all my desserts have less than 200 cal per serving and are low-sugar. So now will you join us?

24 thoughts

  1. You have no idea how happy i am to have stumbled upon your recipe. I am obsessed with salty oats and haven’t come close to recreating them. I’m going to try them today and I’ll let you know!!

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      1. Everyone loved these…..except me because I wanted salty oat kayak cookies. I applaud your effort but I will continue to look and experiment. Maybe more butter and one egg? These were a little too cake like, not buttery enough and definitely not sweet enough.

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      2. I’m sorry, that’s really strange! My cookies come out indistinguishable from Kayak cookies, maybe a bit more buttery in fact! Probably less sweet but I prefer that. Thank you for giving these a try as a fellow Kayak cookie fan, I’ve had other people make and enjoy them but not another Kayak fan so far 😊

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  2. I had a craving for the real deal so bought myself a pkg. Well, turns out your’s are not far off, maybe a tad less sweet. I’m going to try again. Thanks again for the recipe!

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    1. Hi Al, I’m so glad you’re willing to give the recipe another try! I’ve been wanting to bake a version that they don’t carry, like cranberry orange maybe! ❤

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  3. Have you ever tried their chocolate chip pecan version? Amazing. I’m wondering how the addition of chocolate and pecans would change the fat requirement of butter in order to copy the recipe. Obviously the fat ratio would increase–which might be why you wouldn’t bother to re-engineer it–ha!

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  4. Thank you for your work on this. I used your recipe today. This goes in my keeper file. I love oatmeal cookies in general and Kayak’s in particular. I substituted a 1/2 cup of canola oil for the butter. It worked just fine and makes the recipe a touch more healthy. My only issue (and it was my fault) is that I formed some of the cookies too big. They were still good but too moist. The smaller ones were perfect. The Kayak cookies are almost like a scone.

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    1. omg this makes me so happy! thank you for trying! i’ve been wanting to use coconut oil for this, good to know! i knowww they are gigantic. i’ve made the butter version scone sized before, came out just the same! love kayak, hope they’re doing well in this pandemic. ps, my blog had moved to plentysweet.net 😊❤️

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  5. I am SO HAPPY. The Salty Oats cookies are my guilty pleasure and with shopping less due to the pandemic, I have been craving them. Finding this, and your analytic approach to the process of figuring it out, filled me with joy.

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    1. Omg that made me so happy 🤗❤️ the cookies are so good, did you see that they stopped production? 😭 but at least we can make them at home! let me know if you make these!!! i really should too HUGS ❤️

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  6. I made them this morning. Very good. I too am a Kayak cookie closet addict. The chocolate mint winter/Christmas version is my absolute favorite. Second version is the fall cranberry orange. I stuck to the cup measurements as they weighed out differently to the gm recipe amounts. ( I am beginning to be converted to recipes being in grams vs cup measurements. Then the recipe comes out the same more often. Maybe also because I am a nurse). I found I needed to form the cookies before cooking so they stuck to better after being cooked. I have to agree with a few of the other people who commented I personally prefer them to be a bit sweeter and a-tad saltier. So on the next round I will add more sugar and more salt and see how that comes out. Thank you SO, SO much for this base recipe. I love your process coming up with the recipe. All the best, happy cooking, Kristin

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    1. thanks so much Kristin for this in depth review! ❤️ i did get a chance to try the chocolate mint and been wanting to give them a try! 🤗❤️

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    2. hey Kristin, i made a new batch. +1/4 cup sugar and doubled the salt. way better! i made them cran orange too! will post on instagram this week (not sure if u follow me there) but thank u for ur kind suggestion and improvement!!! ❤️

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  7. Bravo Elif. Excellent copycatting. Won’t really be able to judge for sure until we can safely return to Boston for some authentic Kayaks to compare. Regardless, well done — these are winners! Made with fresh milled hard white wheat, with 40 gr of it substituted with 40 gr ground almonds and zest of 1 lemon — we have bushels of lemons off our trees to use up and where there’s lemon in our baked goods, there’s usually almonds. Lemon was strong at first but faded after a day or two. Thanks!

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    1. yum!!! thank u so much for letting me know 🤗❤️ i made a cranberry orange version! but increased sugar to 1/2 cup since a couple people said they weren’t sweet enough. they were so good! definitely recommend! stay safe with cookies! 🤗❤️

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