Hearty and healthy breakfast cookies are naturally gluten free, vegan, low in sugar, and not only taste good—they taste incredible. Made in 1 bowl and ready in 30 minutes, these easy oatmeal cookies will become your new favorite healthy breakfast. I share plenty of substitution ideas below, too.
We’re having cookies for breakfast! Not chocolate chip cookies, but we’re making wholesome breakfast cookies that are made with good-for-you ingredients, taste great, and are super simple to make. Knowing I’m having cookies for breakfast certainly gets me out of bed in the morning and I have a feeling you’ll be the same.
I keep a batch of these in the freezer at all times. We all love them, my toddler included! And I certainly appreciate that they’re healthful. For delicious variations, try banana chocolate chip breakfast cookies and blueberry banana breakfast cookies.
What You’ll Love About These Breakfast Cookies
- Easy 1 bowl recipe
- Naturally vegan and gluten free (if using certified GF oats)
- No refined sugar, oil, or butter
- Hearty, wholesome, & satisfying
- Plenty of room for ingredient customization
- They actually taste good
- Lots of texture in each bite
- …cookies for breakfast!!!
How to Make Breakfast Cookies
- Combine all of the ingredients together in 1 bowl. Add them all to a bowl and mix them up. It’s that easy. I like to use a mixer for ease.
- Use 1/4 cup of dough per cookie. Arrange on 2 lined baking sheets. This recipe yields 12 large cookies, so place 6 on each.
- Slightly flatten the tops of each cookie. Using the back of a spoon, slightly flatten the tops to make large discs instead of tall mounds. The cookies won’t spread, so this helps give them some shape.
- Bake. These cookies take about 15-18 minutes. But don’t use a timer, use your eyes. When the edges are lightly browned, they’re done.
*I increased the amount of apple butter/applesauce in this recipe to 1/3 cup. Ignore the 1/4 cup in the photo below! 🙂
Can I Use Frozen Bananas?
Yes, frozen and thawed bananas work in this recipe and you can read more about How to Freeze & Thaw Bananas for Baking if you’d like. Two important things to remember:
- The riper the banana, the better. When you bake with bananas, you want to use brown, spotty super-ripe ones.
- Strain off excess liquid. As bananas thaw, they let out a lot of liquid, which can throw off the wet ingredients in any baking recipe. I always recommend draining off most or all of that excess liquid before mashing and measuring them for your recipe.
You’ll appreciate how forgiving this recipe is. Use your favorite ingredients and customize these breakfast cookies based on what you have and/or what you love. You can make A LOT of ingredient substitutions—here are a few I’ve tested with success:
- Oats: Use either type of oats—quick or whole. Over the years I’ve found that there’s no difference in the outcome. If you are gluten intolerant, make sure you are using certified gluten free oats.
- Nut Butter: Instead of almond butter, try peanut butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter for a naturally nut-free option. I love using this homemade almond butter!
- Apple Butter: While apple butter adds unbeatable flavor, you could also use the same amount of unsweetened applesauce. You can find apple butter in the peanut butter or applesauce aisle of practically all grocery stores. Other options include mashed banana (there’s already banana in the recipe, too!), mango butter, or pumpkin butter.
- Banana: Instead of mashed banana, you can use 1/2 cup of apple butter or applesauce (or any other fruit butter).
- Sweetener: In addition to apple butter and banana, we use 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup to sweeten the cookies. You can use honey instead of maple syrup, keeping in mind these cookies would no longer be vegan. You use maple syrup to sweeten these healthy apple muffins, too.
- Add-Ins: Up to you! Use about 1 and 1/2 cups total of your favorite “extras.” Some of my go to add-ins are dried cranberries, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, honey-roasted peanuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, dried apples, or chocolate chips. In today’s recipe, I used dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and regular raisins.
Turn Them Into Lactation Cookies
When I was nursing both of my daughters, I turned these healthy cookies into lactation cookies. I added 3 Tablespoons of this (affiliate link) Brewers Yeast, kept the flax in the recipe (it’s optional, but flax is excellent for lactation), and 2 Tablespoons of milk to help soak up that brewer’s yeast. Same bake time. They’re awesome and they WORK.
Easy to Freeze and Make Ahead
While called breakfast cookies, they’re great all day, every day! I love them as an afternoon snack, for breakfast on the go, or even dessert. Each batch yields 12 cookies depending how large you make them; sometimes I make a double batch in advance and keep them in the freezer for readily accessible healthier options.
To freeze these cookies, let the baked cookies cool completely. Place them in an airtight container or zipped-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw before serving, or microwave for a few seconds. I absolutely love them cold!
More Healthier Breakfast Recipes
So many options!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 16 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 12 cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
These healthy morning cookies are so simple to throw together and taste amazing, too! They’re whole grain, all-natural, gluten-free, and vegan. Made without refined sugar, oil, or butter.
- 2 cups (170g) quick oats or old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (250g) almond butter, peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter
- 1/4 cup (60ml) pure maple syrup (or honey)
- 1/3 cup (60g) apple butter*
- 1/2 cup (115g) mashed banana (about 1 large banana)
- 1/2 cup (75g) dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup (70g) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2 cup (75g) raisins
- optional: 1/4 cup (28g) ground flax
- Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer). Mix until all of the ingredients are combined. The dough is thick and heavy.
- Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, portion 1/4 cup mounds of cookie dough (about 70g each) onto prepared cookie sheet. Use the back of a spoon to slightly flatten out into a cookie shape. (The cookies will not spread in the oven.)
- Bake for 16–19 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cover leftover cookies and store at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
- Freezing Instructions: Cooled cookies can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter or in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature or warm in the microwave for a few seconds before serving.
- Frozen Bananas: You can use thawed frozen bananas in this recipe. Thawed bananas are extra wet, so drain off as much of the excess liquid as you can before mashing. See How to Freeze & Thaw Bananas for Baking.
- Apple Butter: I love using apple butter in these breakfast cookies, but 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce works in its place. No other changes needed to the recipe.
- Double Batch: The recipe can easily be doubled to make a bigger batch.
- Substitutions: Need more substitution ideas? See the blog post above.
- Gluten Free: Use certified GF oats for gluten free cookies.
Keywords: breakfast cookies
Reader Comments & Reviews
These are great for breakfast, desert or a healthy snack! I add chopped pecans
A friend shared this recipe for the Breakfast Cookies with me – we both have diabetes and they’re a great cookie with my morning coffee!
I’ve made them a few times, but have difficulty with the baking times. I’ve had them come out too soft, or too crispy. I cannot gauge when the tips get a little golden as you suggest in the recipe because they’re dark when I check them in the oven..
Can they be too doughy? Looking for any suggestions please.
Hi Anna, we’re so glad you and your friend have been enjoying these cookies! They’re done when they look “set” and will be slightly browned on the top. Feel free to pull out the baking sheet to give them a quick look. You can also play around with the size of the cookies a bit, i.e. if they’re coming out too crispy, you don’t have to flatten them as much before baking. Or if they’re too soft, try a bit less dough per cookie and flatten them out a bit more, since they won’t really spread while baking. Hope this helps for next time!
I have given these out as gfits. I tell people freeze them and take one out in the morning , by the time they get to work they are ready to eat. Have a cookie with a cup of coffee/tea and you have had breakfast. They love them. I use cookie butter( not peanut or almond) and subsitute applesauce for apple butter. I was starting a road trip and made a batch to take with me. Sometimes breakfast, sometimes lunch. Love the cruuch that pepitas give them.
These look so good! Wondering if you could substitute steel cut oats instead of rolled oatmeal? TIA
Hi Chelsea! Steel cut oats are a little too hard for these cookies. Rolled oats work best!
These tasted great! I basically never bake, but this was so easy and took very little time. We’re trying to stray away from store bought cookies/junk stuff, so this recipe was right up our alley. I used pumpkin instead of apple butter and it was a perfect substitute. My wife says it made them taste like autumn. Thanks for sharing!
Can you substitute chia seeds for flax? I have a giant Costco sized bag that I’m trying to find a use for
Hi Tara, you can use chia seeds instead of the flax, but you won’t need quite as much. We’d add about a tablespoon or two. We also use chia seeds in this recipe for quinoa crunch snack bars, if you’re interested!
Just not for me. Didn’t like the texture nor taste.
These are great – make ‘em all the time and add whatever I have on hand. I haven’t had a bad batch yet. I’ve used different nut butters/fruits/chocolate/nuts. These are hard to ruin.
Really liked this recipe. I’ve made it a couple of times and it is best when using almond butter (rather than peanut butter) and apple butter (rather than apple sauce). Also, I do NOT recommend using HEB brand of almond butter because the tasting consistency is dry and stick to the top of your mouth like peanut butter.
How many calories are each cookie?
Hi Jean, We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076
I made these into lactation cookies for a colleague – and she raved about them! She believes they are helping with her milk production and are delicious. Making another batch for her tonight, along with the newer banana chocolate chip breakfast cookies.