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
Just made these with my 3 year old and they are delicious! I will leave out the maple syrup next time as I found them a tad too sweet but we will definitely be making these again in the near future. Thanks!
These look great. I have a banana allergy, do you think I could swap the banana for some pumpkin purée?
1/2 cup pumpkin puree works!
These cookies are truly delicious. My son is ridiculously picky but I know he will love these. For those of you who think healthy doesn’t taste good- I’m with you, but these cookies rock!
These are the best cookies. I substituted canned pumpkin for the banana and they turned out great.
I also used sunflowers seeds and raisins along with a little coconut and a few walnuts.
Everyone loved them.
I just made these today, nearly exactly as written. Little heavy on the peanutbutter taste, it overwhelms everything else, but truly delicious. I’ll be using this as the base for a healthy breakfast and snack for all of us and the kids. Gonna try adding more orange zest to compliment the dried cranberries I added. Also going to experiment w/ adding cocoa powder, but not sure if that’s going to work w/out making them too bitter. Great job, thanks for sharing this with us.
A quick note. I’ve made this many times, they go over well with the entire family. This last time was the easiest and most uniform. I whizzed the banana, maple syrup, pumpkin butter and peanut butter together thoroughly in the stand mixer, added the quick oats until combined and finally added my mix ins (dried, unsweetened coconut flakes, golden raisins and chopped pecans) with a quick stir. Made for much more consistent cookies than dumping everything in the stand mixer at once. Thought it might be worth mentioning to others who really enjoy this recipe!
Great recipe! They were a big hit with everyone and I will definitely make them again.
My little one is allergic to banana. What do you think would be an acceptable replacement? Thanks!
How about applesauce instead?
I substituted walnuts for the pumpkin seeds and made 12 cookies instead of 9, it came to 304 calories each 🙂
Sally, Thank you so much for this recipe! My husband says you areincredible to come up with something so tasty yet vegan and healthy! He is vegan, and now I bake the bars (I just turned cookies into bars) for him on a regular basis. I tried apricots instead of raisins for a variety, and it tastes preety good as well. Thanks so much for developing the recipe.
These breakfast cookies are A-MA-ZING!!! Just had one for dessert & can’t wait to have another in the morning. 🙂
So these just came out of the oven…WOW! I used a cookie scoop so I ended up with about 24 small cookies. If they even make it to breakfast, I’ll be surprised. I did follow the recipe, but swapped some of the add-ins: I used mini chocolate chips, chopped pecans, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, and whole flaxseeds. I underbaked them just a tad so they are actually still pretty squishy in the middle but solid on the edges. It’s almost like a portable bowl of oatmeal. I also used half almond butter half peanut butter. Seriously folks, make these. You will not be disappointed.
I made these this evening and they just came out of the oven–they’re very quick to make and delicious! They’re not as sweet as normal cookies, which is fine since I plan to eat them for breakfast. And my husband loves them!
I did a few substitutions, mostly for lack of ingredients: applesauce instead of apple butter, one egg instead of banana, and the “mix-ins” I added were sunflower seeds and raisins (no pumpkin seeds or craisins). Thanks for the recipe!
Made these with my 2 & 4 year old today!! So good!!!!
Sally, I just made your Breakfast Cookies for the first time and they are AMAZING! Great texture and bursting with flavor! I followed your recipe with all ingredients listed using the almond butter, pure maple syrup, flax seed and added 1/2 C chocolate chips. Of course we couldn’t wait till breakfast to try them 🙂 After my husband took one bite he said, “These would be great to take when I go fishing!” I also love that they truly bake just as they are placed on the cookie sheet and do not spread. Right now my daughter and I have your Peanut Butter Cup Blossoms dough chilling in the fridge for our next baking round. I love your website and I’m excited to try even more of your recipes. Thank you so much for your informative step by step instructions and including pictures.
I just made these cookies and they’re in the oven! I tweaked the recipe a bit, left out the cinnamon, banana, and apple butter. Instead I used 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce, 1 T coconut oil, and 1 tsp vanilla. I subbed the maple syrup for the honey and used homemade almond butter! And then i added dried cranberries and walnuts. 🙂 Can’t wait for them to come out of the oven! I work at 5:30 in the morning so I never have time for breakfast. I’m looking forward to have something quick and tasty everyday this week. Thanks for the recipe!
I froze a few of these and just took out a few for breakfast this morning, they froze beautifully.
Yum!! My three-year-old and I made a batch of these this afternoon and they were delicious! I was really nervous that they would taste banana-y (even though you said they wouldn’t in the comments :o) ) since we tasted the dough and you could taste it there, but the finished cookies just taste like cookies! So good. I’ve been trying to perfect homemade granola bars for months and while they’re always edible, they’re never quite what I’m looking for. I think breakfast cookies is the answer! Thanks!!
I made these last night and we had one each for dessert… Then my 3 year old had 2 for breakfast today. He was so happy to have “cookies” for breakfast and I was so happy to give him healthy ones! Thanks for the recipe 🙂 P.S. I subbed sunflower seeds for pumpkin seeds (we are carving pumpkins and toasting pumpkin seeds tomorrow night!), and added the mini chocolate chips. I also didn’t have apple butter so I used unsweetened applesauce and increased it to 1/3 c and they are delicious! Don’t seem dry at all 🙂
I made these cookies tonight for the first time, and I LOVE them! I only had about 3/4 cups of my organic peanut butter left so I just added about 1/4 cup more apple butter….they still turned out great! I also used honey instead of maple syrup.
I added pecans, coconut, flax seeds, and a mixture of dried cranberries, plums, and cherries. These will definitely be baked regularly in my home.
Hi Sally, I’m making these this weekend and I can’t wait! I recently discovered pb2 which is ground up peanuts that you add water to and make your own peanut butter. It has 45 calories in 2 tablespoons as opposed to 190. Do you think if I used the pb2 it would mess up the cookies because the oil from the peanut butter would be missing? Thank you, love love love your website!
Hi Bethany, no I do not suggest powder peanut butter. You need the oil in the peanut butter.
I made these for breakfast the other morning after finally going to the store to get all of the ingredients. Even though I forgot the banana my family and I loved them! Needless to say I will be making these again very soon.
I love these sooooo much! I always keep a batch in the freezer and eat them warmed up for breakfast every morning – YUM
This is one of my family’s favourite recipes – my 2-year-old daughter LOVES having cookies for breakfast! I’ve passed this recipe on to at least 3 toddler moms that I know.
My big change is to substitute 1 cup of ground almonds for 1 cup of oatmeal; I like the texture better that way. (I also use sunbutter for peanut butter, as we have peanut allergies in the house.) It’s amazing when we can get real apple butter from the farmer’s market; Musselman’s is full of HFCS, and the taste just isn’t the same.
I seriously eat one of these cookies after almost every run. I make sure to keep a stash in the freezer so they’re always available. Just thinking about them can totally get me through the last 5 minutes of my workout too 🙂
Was going to try agave instead of syrup …would that work?
That would be fine.
These were a huge hit! Delicious and very satisfying! I used dried blueberries and currants for the fruit. I also doubled the recipe and was glad I did! Was great to throw some in the freezer for later on….a quick and easy, satisfying snack for us to grab on those busy days! This recipe is definitely going to be in regular use. Thanks!
What adjustments would you recommend if I omitted the bananas? More apple butter? Thanks!
I would add 1/2 cup applesauce instead. Another 1/2 cup of apple butter, depending on your apple butter’s level of spice, may alter the taste of the cookies.
Just made these with dried cherries and chocolate chips- yum!
Made a double batch of these tonight…. delicious!! Thanks for sharing 🙂