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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! No, you aren’t dreaming and yes, 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 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

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.
  • 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

More Healthier Breakfast Recipes

So many options!

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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


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 (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


  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 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.


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

Keywords: breakfast cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I made these cookies last night they are delicious I will definitely make them again, I just need to calculate the calories of these cookie.

    1. So happy you enjoyed them, Esther! I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one:

    2. I calculated the calories (no flax) and it can to 250 calories each. These are great for taking on a hike.

    1. Hi Shelly, For best results I recommend freezing these after they are baked. See recipe notes for details.

    1. Hi Kristin, you can definitely use natural peanut butter. No other changes necessary!

  2. Do you think pumpkin purée (not pumpkin butter) would work? I have all the ingredients on hand if you think it will

    1. Hi Bryn, definitely. They may not be as sweet, but still delicious!

      1. Thank you so very much. I’ve made so many loaves of her zucchini bread this summer I’m ready to move to another recipe

      2. You are so welcome! Hope you love them 🙂

  3. Hey Sally!
    I made these today and they were delish! I did 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and a 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts! They tasted so good! It’s nice that they are healthy but they are still yummy! That’s a hard combo to find! Thanks!

  4. Hi Sally! I just made these — they are wonderful! I usually make your Oatmeal cookie Trail mix bars about every 2 weeks to have for breakfast, but I was wanting to change it up a bit. These are very similar, but a bit different in texture than the bars. I used peanut butter, 3/4 c. applesauce in place of the banana and apple butter, and added walnuts and cranberries. Also added flax seed and hemp seed mix as well. They are moist, not too sweet (so you don’t feel too guilty eating cookies for breakfast!) and delicious. Thanks for a great recipe!

  5. Sally you are a queen! I’m munching on one of these cookies as I type! They are heavenly!! I love that your healthier recipes still taste incredible! That is a hard feat to accomplish! I added mini chocolate chips, flaked almonds, and some craisins, and oh my days, they are delish! Thank you for all of your recipes! And congratulations on Elise Natalie! She is absolutely adorable! Such a gorgeous name as well! Thank you!
    Happy Baking!!!! 🙂

  6. These are SO delicious, and so easy to make! I make a batch once a week for my family, and it’s like adding a bakery treat next to your eggs and bacon. My two year old loves them. I like to add 1/3 cup of coconut flakes and 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.

  7. Hello,
    Can frozen banana be used?
    We find American cookies to be too sweet for us (vs UK biscuits.) Thank you for a less sweet cookie option.

    1. Hi Jemma, you can use frozen bananas if needed. Let them thaw, mash them, then blot away some moisture if they seem overly wet.

  8. My cookies were not as pretty as Sally’s but my high school son loved them. I thought he might find them “too healthy”; and they are healthy which made me feel good about them. I used apple butter and honey, dried cranberries and walnuts. They were easy to make.
    Followed the recipe and they turned out fantastic. Thanks for another great recipe, Sally + team!

  9. Hey Sally! Love all your thoughtful recipes and notes. I’m trying to develop a lactation cookie with ingredients that I keep stocked in the pantry. I used this recipe as a base but don’t usually have apple sauce or butter and would rather not use banana. I tried replacing these with coconut oil (3/4) and used natural PB (Kirkland brand). I also used mini chocolate chips as the add ins and added 1/4 cup flax as recommended. The tasted was exactly what I’m going for! But the texture was quite crumbly, falling apart and making a mess as we all ate them. Is there a way to fix that? Like I said, I’d like to use ingredients I normally have on hand (like coconut oil instead of apple or banana product) and natural PB instead of Jiff. Would love to hear your thoughts!

    1. Hi Mary-Michael, So glad you’ve had fun experimenting with these cookies. It’s likely the natural peanut butter and coconut oil that are contributing to the dryness, but what might help is adding an egg to the mix next time. That should help back in some moisture. Let us know if you give it a try!

  10. Made these this morning with my 4 year old. They were really good. We added dried cranberries, chocolate chips, and sprinkles – his addition of choice! He and I both enjoyed them!

  11. Just made these this morning. Great recipe, came together quickly and easily.

    If I make them again, I’ll use a smaller scoop size. One quarter cup per cookie was huge! They were perfectly cooked on the bottom, but still raw and doughy in the middle. My kids gobbled them up anyway… probably helped that I put in chocolate chips!

    Thanks for a great healthy cookie recipe. Will definitely make again!

  12. These are so good! Really filling, a bit sweet and healthy to boot. I’ve been using sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin seeds and brown sugar instead of honey (cheaper) and apple sauce in place of the apple butter. They’ve become a staple! Thank you

  13. Fantastic cookies! Made these last night. I used natural peanut butter, omitted the raisins and added 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips. Will definitely make these on the regular and will experiment with different substitutions! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  14. Can these be made with fresh blueberries or would that add too much moisture?? Thank you! I want to make them today!

  15. Is there a way to reduce the sweetness without jeopardizing the texture and structure of this cookie?

    1. You could replace the maple syrup/honey option with plain unsweetened yoghurt (Greek or natural/regular) or a chicken egg, flax egg, more applesauce, pumpkin purée or date paste. I don’t find these options as sweet but go with your preference :). Hope that helps!

  16. These are my favorite! I call them “whatever goes!” Cookies because I have tried so many variations and they all turn out great. My husband and I love them. Thank you for such a versatile recipe.

  17. These are amazing. Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe. I make them all the time now, and love the different variations!! These are perfect for work, grab as you go. Hubby and I love them

  18. These were fabulous and I liked that had more substance than others I’ve made. The sunflower seeds added a nice crunch. I’ll be making them again…tomorrow!

  19. A friend gave me a box of these cookies for a hostess gift.
    They are excellent. I really prefer to make recipes when I know the nutritional info. (calories at the very least). I noticed your reference to the Spark People site when another baker asked you about nutrition info. I went to their site and the recipe calculator is no longer available.
    “SparkPeople closed in August 2021 so you can no longer save or track recipes. You can still search and find our health recipes here.”

    Would love to try more of your recipes, please consider including nutritional info.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Suzanne! That website recently stopped working, but readers have found this one especially helpful:

    2. We used “myfitnesspal” to estimate the calories.
      Each cookie has approximately:
      Calories: 289/cookie
      Protein: 8.8 g
      Calcium 2.4%
      Iron: 9.8
      Potassium: 91.9 mg
      Vitamin A: 0.3%
      Vitamin C: 2.5%
      Total Fat: 14.8 g
      Cholesterol: 0mg
      Sodium: 214.8 mg
      Total Carbs: 34.2 g
      Dietary fiber: 3.7 g
      Sugar: 17.1 g

  20. Hi Sally, fellow Baltimorean here! Do you usually use sweetened nut butter, or sugar free?

    1. Hi Stephanie, either should work here — feel free to use your favorite!

  21. I can’t use honey and I thought I had maple syrup but it looks bad…how else to sweeten? If sugar, how much would I use, the same as maple syrup? Thank you!

    1. Hi Gail, You could use the same amount of brown sugar instead of the maple syrup or honey.

    1. Hi Jennifer, We’d love to help but we are not trained in baking with sugar substitutes. For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a recipe that is specifically formulated for sugar substitutes. Thank you!

  22. I absolutely Love these cookies. I have been making these for the past couple months when I came across the recipe. They are perfect for lunches and on-the-go! Thank You so much for the yummy recipe!!

  23. I love these cookies but the price of almond butter was putting me off and I don’t want to use peanut butter and then I learned how to make my own almond butter in the food processor which I am already using so now I toast a cup of almond for 10 minutes at 350f and add them to the food processor with a pinch of salt. It takes a while to get the right consistency and a drizzle of oil is needed mid processing. I also make my own apple butter. I reduce applesauce in the microwave and add the cinnamon or Chinese 5 spice seasoning after and I always freeze my ripe bananas. They also can be gently thawed in the microwave. The crew at our food pantry loves these cookies!

  24. I made these as directed for a healthy breastfeeding snack and found the batter absolutely delicious! After I baked them for only ten minutes, I found they got SUPER dry. Any recommendations for the next batch? More applesauce?

    1. Hi Christina! How did you measure the oats? Make sure to spoon and level (instead of scooping) to avoid packing in too many oats into your measuring cups. You can read more about properly measuring baking ingredients in this post. Thank you for giving these a try!

      1. I used the scale for all measurements 🙂 Maybe I’ll try starting with less.

  25. I made these last night and they are delicious! My husband and I had them for breakfast and both agreed I’ll be making these again! I used apple sauce since I didn’t have apple butter and threw in handfuls of raisins, craisins, pepitas, pecans, chocolate chips and a sprinkle of chia seeds. Loved these!!

  26. Just finished making and tasting these. I think they are very good as a literal breakfast grab and go or as something I will carry when hiking. I used crunchy peanut butter, diced apricots and pecans. As is the usual problem, the metric weight in grams is way off of what the US measurement is. 250 grams was almost 1.5 cups. I think best to pick whichever measurement you want to use but then stick with it throughout the recipe. I went ahead and used the US measurement. It made 12 cookies even using a minimum of 1/4 cup portions. I baked them for 25 minutes at the stated temperature. They are very dense in the middle and I really wasn’t sure if they were underdone or just dense. I like the taste, not so sweet. Overall a very good recipe.

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