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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.

breakfast cookies

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 almond butter cookies and good morning sunshine 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!!!
healthy breakfast cookies

How to Make Breakfast Cookies

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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! 🙂

breakfast cookies ingredients
breakfast oatmeal cookies cookie dough
breakfast cookies before baking

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.

Substitution Ideas

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 loving 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.
healthy breakfast cookies

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!

breakfast oatmeal cookies
Print
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breakfast cookies

Breakfast Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups (160g) quick oats or old-fashioned whole 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 large banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. Bake for 16–18 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Cover leftover cookies and store at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Double Batch: The recipe can easily be doubled to make a bigger batch.
  5. Substitutions: Need more substitution ideas? See the blog post above.
  6. Gluten Free: Use certified GF oats for gluten free cookies.

Keywords: breakfast cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Is there a way to make these crunchier? They were wonderful but way too sticky.

    1. Hi Terri, these aren’t a crunchy cookie. Adding nuts or seeds does add some great texture!

    2. These are terrific to eat right from the freezer if you’re looking for a less sticky version.

      I started making these cookies as lactation support when I had my baby a year ago, and since then I’ve had one every day. My favourite!!

  2. What is the nutritional content of the breakfast cookie just as you have it in the recipe with no changes?

    1. Hi Betty, 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

      1. Without the nutritional information, I don’t know how many carbs each one would have and being diabetic, that’s really important. Sorry, but I won’t be making these.

      2. Hi sally, I’m going to make this recipe today but I was wondering which grade of maple syrup you prefer to use in your baking

      3. @Patricia Alexander
        I entered these in as is (almond butter, rolled oats, no flax), here is the info per serving:
        153 calories, 4.4g fat(0.7g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 101 mg sodium, 26.2g carbohydrates, 2.6g fiber, 12.1g sugar, and 3.8g protein. Hope this helps!

  3. I really enjoyed this recipe! Flexible ingredients and great taste good portion size as well.

    1. Love this recipe sooooo much i made it exactly what it was and my husband and my sis. In-law the whole family love it . Thsnk you so much for sharing your ideas and talent. I do keep repeating twice a month depends my availability. Great job!

  4. We have five little girls and finding a healthy recipe EVERYONE likes is a miracle. Have you ever tried flash freezing these and then putting in freezer container to pull out to cook as needed? I am going to try that today.

    1. We haven’t tested that but the baked cookies freeze beautifully- see recipe notes for details!

  5. Looking fwd to trying! I have all ing except for apple butter. What can I sub?

    1. Hi Izzy, you can try subbing applesauce for the apple butter. And if you read through the comments, a lot of readers have reported back on other things they’ve substituted for the apple butter–some are quite creative!

  6. My neighbor shared some she baked – very tasty. Do you have a nutritional breakdown anywhere: Calories, grams of nutrients, etc.

    1. Hi Lucy! 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

  7. Great recipe! Making a 2nd time very soon. I sub’d chopped apricots for deliciousness! I also froze mine and pop 2 in the toaster for a toasty, crunchier hit little breakfast.

  8. I didn’t have apple butter so I used a fig spread – came out very tasty. I used chopped dried apricots and cherries as my fruit mix in and doubled the flax to use up a container. Can’t wait to bring them to my last Yoga Teacher Training class tomorrow- I think they will get gobbled up. Husband and I have both already had 2.

  9. I made these breakfast cookies this evening. Super easy and quick. They are, hands down, better than any breakfast cookie I have ever purchased. I plan to double the batch when I make them again, which will most likely be tomorrow. This is another “keeper” recipe from Sally!

  10. Making these for the second time today and knew I had better make a double batch! I made these for an easy road trip breakfast option and everyone in the car wanted more than one. I love how easy it is to sub the fruit, nuts, and nut butters for what you have on hand. Best “healthy” cookie recipe I’ve tried.

  11. Hi there.
    Can you make this as bars in a cake pan? If so, what size pan and how long should they cook?
    Thank you!

  12. I substituted applesauce for apple butter, added ginger powder, walnuts, pecans, and dark chocolate chips. Deleted raisins. Oh my goodness! I have them with my chai after my morning walk/run. So good.

  13. Great healthy breakfast cookie. I used a really ripe banana (sweeter) so decreased maple syrup to 1 T, used chocolate chips instead of cranberries and mixed walnuts with pumpkin seeds. Baked smaller cookies (about 1 1/2 T) for 12 minutes. Cookies weren’t sticky and had great texture.

    1. Hi Linda, that would take some testing to get right since the consistencies are so different, but let us know what you try!

  14. I only made one substitution in this recipe and that was for the pepitas. Because of an allergy I used pecans and it turned out super. Everything in this recipe is good for my cholesterol, and they are a healthy way to have a bite of breakfast before I go on my bike ride! Signed me a fan for seven years and I don’t plan to stop reading your recipes. (Ever!)
    Love you!

  15. I made these cookies with the only substitutions being applesauce for apple butter and honey for syrup. They taste delicious however the cookies are not shiny like in the photos. After baking (18 minutes) they lost their shine and are dull. Any ideas what I may be doing wrong?

  16. Great recipe! Thank you. I added half a tsp of nutmeg and instead of pepitas and raisins, I added dried unsweetened cherries, a little dark chocolate, slivered almonds, sunflower and black sesame seeds. 🙂

  17. Just made these. I used vanilla almond butter, 2 tbls each honey and maple syrup,and applesauce. Added nuts and
    mixed dried fruits. They are good and filling. They are a bit sticky but they are not crumbly which is great. Will make them again. Thanks for the recipe

  18. I made these replacing the apple butter with an extra banana, I also added the brewer’s yeast to turn these into lactation cookies as I have a 6 week old baby. Eating one now in the middle of the night after nursing, really filling and not too sweet, just what I needed. Thanks Sally for a great recipe x

    1. Actually I’m back again with a question, curious what would happen if I added an egg to these cookies? Would that replace the banana or the apple butter? Would it make the cookie lighter in texture? Thanks in advance if you have tested it that way.

  19. I put them in muffin cups and added chia seeds and chocolate chips. Came out great! Crunchy granola on the outside, softer on inside.

  20. I make these cookies weekly, they are so delicious, filling and fantastic! thank you so much for the recipe. I do have one quick question, can i make the batter a day in advance and bake the following day? just wondering if you’ve tried that. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Karen, we fear the oats will soak up too much of the moisture overnight and lead to dry breakfast cookies. The baked cookies do stay wonderfully in the refrigerator or freezer, though!

    2. Just made these basically as written except subbed unsweetened apple sauce as I didn’t have apple butter. I also didn’t add the cinnamon due to allergy and added flaked coconut, hemp hearts and chia seeds as I didn’t have any raisins. Amazing that you can just sub in whatever you have on hand. Thanks for the great recipe!

  21. These cookies are delicious! I substituted sunflower seeds for the pumpkin seeds because I don’t like the texture of the pumpkin seeds and I added an extra banana.

  22. I didn’t love these, unlike all of the other recipes I have tried from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I liked how they weren’t very sweet at all, but they were pretty much oat clusters held together by peanut butter. I wonder if they would taste better using a different nut butter, because with peanut butter, they turned out super sticky and quite heavy and overpowering.

  23. This recipe was a surprise for me! It holds together well and baked perfectly! I am impressed! Thank you!

    1. You can add pumpkin puree in the place of the apple butter!

  24. I got Sally’s book – Cookie addiction. This recipe is on page 52. It never says to add the oats in the recipe. I luckily Caught it but thought you might want to edit the printed version in the book.

    Love the book and the recipes so far!

    1. Thanks Tina! Let my publisher and I look into this. It may have been already fixed in the next batch of prints. Appreciate you letting me know!

  25. Has anyone tried making these as bars instead of cookies? Curious on baking time and pan size?

  26. They fall apart after baking. Followed the recipe exactly. Any ideas as to what I’m doing wrong?

    1. Make sure to spoon and level your dry ingredients to avoid adding too much (which will dry out your cookies). Also make sure to let them cool completely!

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