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
Can you add an egg as a binder?
Hi Geri! You certainly can, but these cookies hold their shape nicely without it.
I was looking forward to making something a bit healthier because I’ve been having too much dessert lately, but I always like a little something for my sweet tooth fix, but I was not expecting this. Uhm, hello deliciousness! These are way too good to be considered healthy – they’re the softest, chewiest, oatmeal and fruit cookies I’ve ever had! I didn’t even compare them to a traditional cookie because I was blown away by the flavor and texture of these. Absolutely love this and you’ve outdone yourself with this recipe, Sally!!
Any idea of calorie count, I couldn’t find it?
Hi Sherry, I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp
These are amazing. Quick, easy and delicous! What can be better than having a healthy COOKIE for breakfast? Run to the kitchen right now and make these for your family or just yourself.
I made these cookies this morning, first thing after waking up. I’m gonna keep the recipe in my bookmarks, it’s so easy to do! I did 2 bananas and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, and it was really good. Thank you!
These are amazing!!! I used blueberries, mini chocolate chips and pecans..seems like an odd combo of add ins, but it was delicious! I also added the brewers yeast and coconut milk. Thanks for the great recipe!
I have made these several times for my co workers and have received rave reviews
I’m wondering what could be used in place of the nut butter. Would coconut oil work?
No, I do not recommend that much coconut oil. If you’re looking for a nut-free cookie, you can replace with sunflower seed butter or even cookie butter (aka Biscoff spread).
I have some in the oven right now! I didn’t have apple butter so I mixed chia seeds with applesauce. I also substituted all spice for the cinnamon and omitted the raisins. Making a double batch today. The singlenbatch I made last week quickly disappeared!!
Delicious way to have breakfast. Can you list the calories, carbs, fibre etc. please
Hi Lyla, There are so many ways to substitute ingredients here that I haven’t posted nutritional info. But there are many great online calculators where you can type in exactly what you used like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp
Thank you Sally. These cookies are wonderful. Losing weight by eating them. I add some protein powder to them. So filling. I would recommend these to anyone for breakfast. I have some in the oven right now but I am trying to make them into bars instead of cookies. Will let you know how they turned out.
These look delicious. However, I have an intolerance to oats. Would I be able to substitute them?
Hi MJ, Unfortunately all of my breakfast cookies are made with oats or gluten free oats. I haven’t tested them any other way but if you search for grain-free or paleo breakfast cookies you should be able to find many options.
Oh boy!!! These are fantastic cookies … my husband, who hates granola-type recipes, is addicted to them as well! The recipe is really flexible and they are remarkably filling … thank you for yet another winner!!!
These are excellent! I never expected a breakfast cookie to be quite so delicious. They came out moist and chewy. My 6 year old–notoriously hard to feed at breakfast–
These are fantastic! So tasty and very filling. I didn’t have raisins on hand, but instead added in some chopped dried apricots, unsweetened shredded coconut, a few sunflower seeds, and some slivered almonds – basically, whatever was in my pantry that I wanted to use up. I’ll definitely make these again!
I’m also looking for the nutritional information for these cookies?
I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp
Made these today exactly as the recipe is written and they are perfect! Co-workers are going to be very happy tomorrow morning.
I love being able to eat cookies in the morning and call it breakfast! But seriously, I love the kind of recipes where you just unload all of the random mix ins from your pantry. This breakfast cookie looks so amazing. Thanks for letting me include it in my breakfast recipe roundup (https://www.bakesandblunders.com/breakfast-roundup-8-exciting-recipes/)!
These are the ABSOLUTE BEST cookies I’ve ever had. I had to make a couple minor substitutions, but they are amazing.
We love these! I had been buying processed gluten free bars for my husband. I love the fact that there are no preservatives in these. It is so easy to make substitutions. I used organic agave in place of the honey once. It was a little stickier to work with, but cooked up well. I really enjoy the pumpkin seeds in them. Also love the fact that it is s000 easy and quick! Thanks, Sally!
These breakfast cookies are delicious! My 5 year old loves them!
I would like to try different variations of ingredients in them. Would cacao nibs work instead of chocolate chips? I’ve never baked with nibs, I’ve only ever used them in smoothies, so I’m not sure how it would turn out.
These cookies are so good! I have made them several times and substituted ingredients when I didn’t have what it called for and they always turn out delicious! I have used pureed peaches or applesauce instead of banana, hemp hearts instead of pumpkin seeds and I have added chopped dates, chopped apricots, and even chocolate chips. Always delicious! And a great snack for a nursing mamma. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!
I used apple sauce instead of apple butter (difficult to get hold of in the UK), and replaced half the peanut butter with an egg, and they were delicious! Definitely didn’t need extra salt added alongside the peanut butter. Will become a breakfast staple, especially when I need to grab something on the way to work 🙂
An old recipe, but I just had to comment. I just made a batch of these last night and they turned out utterly fantastic. I needed something to have as a morning snack when I get hungry between breakfast and lunch so that I stop hitting up Starbucks all the time – and the first day’s test has returned with perfect scores across the board.
I did make one change to the recipe, which I thought I’d note in case anyone else has the same problem with me, in that I couldn’t get my hands on apple butter. Instead, I had a bunch of dates; I soaked them to make them soft, then blended them up into a smooth paste, and used that as a replacement. I also reduced the amount of honey to just two tablespoons (okay, two changes), and I found that to be the perfect sweetness level for me. The fillings you suggested sounded great to me, so I went with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds… and a very small amount of lonely raisins that were sitting forlornly in the cupboard and were feeling left out. Through sheer willpower, I resisted tossing in some dark chocolate, but I may not be so strong next time.
My mom loved these so much that she’s asked me to make her a double-batch of them as her birthday present for this weekend; I’ll be giving them to her along with your salted caramel apple pie recipe, which is another favourite! (Oh my gosh, this comment is a block paragraph, why is it not letting me put spaces between paragraphs?? I’m so sorry, this is a nightmare on the eyes!)
Something different perhaps – halved the recipe, didn’t have apple butter and I don’t eat bananas. Used one of those 3.5 oz squeeze pouches, this one Apple, Kale & Mango. Added chopped dates and needed 20 minutes to brown. Hope I will still have some cookies to eat tomorrow!!
Hi! Do you recommend toasted or raw pumpkin seeds? I’m going to try these this weekend!
You can use either! Whichever you prefer.
I just made this today to have this week on the way to work. It’s really good!! I made them with cranberrie, apricots and pumpkin seeds. I used peanut butter but I had about 3/4 cup only, I added more apple butter to compensate. I find them a tad too sweet for breakfast, it might be because of ther apple butter? Either way I will make them again for sure and maybe cut back a little bit on the maple syrup next time. It’s a great option when I get tired of eating muffins or granola. Thanks!!
Hi Sally! Could I use agave instead of maple syrup or honey? Thank you!
These are the most delicious cookies I have ever had! They beat all chocolate chip, snicker doodle and any lemon cookie I have ever had or made! I used dried blueberries, dried figs and dried mango as my fillers. The aroma of banana, peanut butter, cinnamon and fruit was incredible! I will be making this for years to come as well as sharing the recipe with everyone I know! Thank you so much! Just want to put it out there that mixing the dough with your hands is an excellent alternative to the hand mixer as it does not stick to the tool!
Hi Sally! I’m so happy I came across this recipe – I made them this afternoon and they are amazing! Using what I had on hand, I made mine with about 3/4 cup almond butter and 1/4 cup peanut butter, boiled cider in place of apple butter, and my mix-ins were raw pumpkin seeds, pecans, and dried cherries. They are so hearty and flavorful! I will be a very happy camper at breakfast time this week!
Your version sounds amazing, Allison! Enjoy.