Oatmeal and Spiced Rum Raisin Cookies with Whole Wheat Flour

Baker Bettie Cookies, Sweets 57 Comments

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Oatmeal and Spiced Rum Raisin Cookies with Whole Wheat Flour

First of all I need to take a moment to show my appreciation for being Freshly Pressed yesterday.  I am completely honored, humbled, and overwhelmed by this.

If you are a new follower to my site, I want to say “Welcome!”  I also want to take the time to visit each and every one of your blogs.  Just bare with me.  It will just take me some time to get to everyone.

With that being said, here we go with installment #2 of my “Cookies Are The New Cupcake” Series.

Oatmeal and Spiced Rum Raisin Cookies with Whole Wheat Flour

My sous chef, Wyatt

One of the things I promised when I started this series was to be informative about the science of baking.  So I wanted to focus on different kinds of flours in this post.  In my last recipe “Soft and Fluffy Blueberry and Lemon Cookies” I used cake flour.

This brought up a lot of questions about different kinds of flours and how they can be substituted for each other.

Oatmeal and Spiced Rum Raisin Cookies with Whole Wheat Flour

The whole reason I used cake flour in my last recipe was to create the kind of texture I was looking for: which was light, fluffy, airy, and soft.  That being said, other flours can be used in substitution, however, the texture will be somewhat different.

All-Purpose Flour is obviously the most well known and used flour.  There is no leavening agent added (unlike self-rising flour) and it has a moderate protein content.

The reason protein content is important when determining what kind of flour to use in relation to texture is because the protein creates gluten when mixed or kneaded in the dough.  The higher the gluten content the more chew there will be to the baked good.

Bread Flour has the highest protein content of any of the flour we will talk about here.  In a recent post I developed a recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Bread flour was used here to create more chew due to more gluten.  You can substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour cup for cup.  Just remember the texture will be more chewy than with all-purpose flour.

Cake Flour has the lowest protein content which is why it is most commonly used in cakes.  Cake flour produces the tender crumb we desire in cakes.  Because of the low protein content, cake flour also weighs less than all-purpose flour.  When substituting cake flour for all-purpose flour add 2 tbsp per cup.

Self Rising Flour is nothing more than all-purpose flour with baking powder and salt already mixed in.  I once used self rising flour in my cookies because I purchased it by accident and could not figure out why my cookies tasted so salty.

After researching I learned that the salt was already in the flour and I had added salt as I normally would to the batter.  I really never use self-rising flour in any recipe because I like to control the amounts of leavening and salt in my recipes.

But for your information 1 cup of self rising flour has about 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt already mixed in.  With this knowledge you can make adjustments as needed.  You can also use this knowledge to make your own self-rising flour if a recipe calls for it and you only have all-purpose.

Whole Wheat Flour is flour that still has the bran and germ in it, as opposed the white flour that has been refined and the bran and germ removed.  These parts of the flour have more nutrients which is why a lot of people prefer to use them over white flour.

In baking, if you want to substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose subtract 2 tbsp per cup.  You should also know that whole wheat flour has a more rough texture than that of soft white flour due the bran.  This is why a lot of people do not prefer it.

I often use half white flour and half whole wheat if I am wanting to up the nutritious factor instead of all whole wheat because of the texture.  Though I don’t know the science behind this, I also notice that cookies with at least some whole wheat flour in them do not get as flat as those with only white flour.  This is also a reason I often use half whole wheat, to get a taller cookie.

Oatmeal and Spiced Rum Raisin Cookies with Whole Wheat Flour

Gluten Free Substitutions are a hot topic right now due to the increasing number of people who are discovering they are gluten intolerant or allergic.  I have to admit that I do not have extensive knowledge at this time about gluten free baking, though I have done some of it.

I want to do more research and educate myself before I tackle this topic.  I think it is a big enough topic to have its own post.  So those of you are are gluten free, hang in there with me! You won’t be ignored!

How to Substitute Different Flours in Baking

Flour Substitution Chart 

  • 1 cup all purpose flour = 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour = 1 cup plus 2 tbsp cake flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour + 1 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp salt = 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour = 1 cup minus 2 tbsp whole wheat flour

It seemed as though whole wheat flour was an interest for quite a few people from my last post so I decided to share my base recipe for whole wheat cookies today.

Whole Wheat Flour Cookie Base Recipe
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2 cups whole wheat flour OR 1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour (this is how I do it.)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
mix-ins and flavorings of your choice


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and any other spices you add.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  4. With the mixer still on, add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla or other flavorings.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as needed.
  6. Fold in the mix-ins of your choosing.
  7. Use a large scoop and put rounded mounds of dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment or foil.
  8. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 11-14 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned. Slide the cookies off the cookie sheet as soon as they come out of the oven to cool.

How to Substitute Different Flours in Baking


How to Substitute Different Flours in Baking

Products I used for this recipe…

Disclaimer: Please note that the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links.

Oneida Ss Large Trigger Scoop (Kitchen)

List Price: $16.29 USD
New From: $10.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet (Kitchen)

List Price: $20.00 USD
New From: $8.98 USD In Stock
Used from: $2.00 USD In Stock

KitchenAid KP26M1XSL 6-Qt. Professional 600 Series – Silver (Kitchen)

List Price: Price Not Listed
New From: In Stock
Used from: $250.00 USD In Stock

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Comments 57

  1. ringfingertanline

    I am totally loving your scientific posts. Like I said… you’re my less annoying Alton Brown.

    Baking is the only thing that has ever made me mildly enjoy science. You’re making me want to create some cookie recipes to submit for you. Give me some time in between my dating crises to think up a really good flavor combo 🙂

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  2. jotsfromasmallapt

    BB…AMAZING I’m so excited…really!! The attempt to snow on and off in downtown Portland OR has given me the urge to try two of your recipes today: Cardamon Pecan Swirl Bread and Pumpkin & Cinnamon Chili. Perfect day for both!!!


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  3. sbrown365

    I love your blog! I am very glad I found you, via Freshly Pressed! I haven’t tried any of your recipes yet, but I plan to in the near future! They look amazing! I also love your photography! Food is not an easy subject to shoot, but you do a great job of making it look appealing!

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  4. Sarah

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! You definitely deserve the recognition.

    I really appreciate the info in this post about the flours. Thank you! The cookies look and sound heavenly….

  5. cathynd95

    Another great post. I have many different kinds of flour in my pantry because recipes have called for them…and now I have information so I can sub them out and use them before they get.bad, or bugs… Blueberry cookies r on my agenda for tomorrow!

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  6. Cara

    Girl, you have some seriously beautiful pictures! So entertaining and inviting. It bummed me to bypass all of that incredible info on the flours 🙁 <–made me sad. But I'm excited to see what your research comes up with in terms of gluten free flours!!! Yay. I always love learning more.

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      1. Cara

        Ohgoodness, now you have me sweating! I would love to but I feel so inept at times, you know? But hey, I’m still continuously learning and I think that is the mentality you have to have in order to approach this topic, right? Anything you want, you let me know! xo, Cara

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      Baker Bettie

      Don’t sweat! Take a deep breath!

      I do have some experience and a few recipes I have used in the past. It has just been a while and it is something that you obviously do more than me. Maybe I can just pick your brain, ask some questions. It is something that I would really like to be more informed about. I am going to be doing some experimenting this week.

  7. Anonymous

    thanks for all the interesting information on flour! so useful!

    i like the kicked up oatmeal raisin with the spiced rum, a more sophisticated take on my favorite!

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  8. aaronread

    Rum and raisins? Can’t wait to try! Thank goodness for freshly pressed!
    Also, I always get mad coffee cravings after looking at the pictures, how come when I make coffee it never looks like that…

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  9. IvyCupcake

    Oh my my, I think I have fallen head over heels for these cookies! I am a huge dessert rum fan: raisin rum ice cream, rum cakes, and now these little beauties! I am excited to try this recipe!

  10. StefanGourmet

    Great explanation on the different types of flour. I know this stuff in my own country, but since I have a lot of visitors from the US to my blog it is good to know the proper nomenclature in American English.

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  15. Cactus

    I love oatmeal cookies made with molasses. I like your recipe, but I’m not sure what I would have to modify if I substituted Molasses for brown sugar. Any suggestions?

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      Baker Bettie

      Brown sugar has molasses in it. That’s what makes it brown sugar! So I would suggest just using dark brown sugar because it has the most molasses in it. However, if you want to use molasses you can use granulated sugar and just add about 2 TBSP of molasses. No other changes need to be made.

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  17. Bharati

    While I was hunting for a brownie recipe I stumbled on your website. I am quite new to baking, and the few cakes I have made over the years, I have always used whole wheat flour, though without reducing the quantity, as you have advised to do. I point is, I didn’t know how to substitute! Thank you for sharing this information. And I am gonna try your oatmeal cookies soon!

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