Breakfast Cookies

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 my daughter, 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. I gift them to all my friends who are nursing.


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!

Print
breakfast cookies

Breakfast Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cookies
  • 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

  • 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 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. 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

These Healthy Breakfast Cookies are ready in under 30 minutes and you won't even miss the added fat or sugar!

304 Comments

  1. 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! 

  2. Do these cookies have any lingering taste of bananas? Or is there any substitute for the bananas? I’d love to make them for my daughter but she hates bananas. Thanks!

      1. Applesauce worked fine -came out a bit more moist and crumbly than I’d expected. Maybe because the apple butter I bought looked kinda watery. But overall a success, my daughter loved them, thanks!

  3. 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! 

  4. 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! 

  5. Sally I absolutely love your recipes. However I hate bananas so is there something I can use instead of the banana for these breakfast cookies? Thanks 🙂

  6. I made the breakfast cookies today and shared them with friends as we hiked Bushkill Falls PA. Everyone loved them. Wondering if you ever did a nutritional study on them. Calories etc?  Some of the girls do weight watchers and were wondering about points??.  I made them exactly as your recipe suggests ….no flax seed!  My add ins were cranberries, golden raisins and pumpkin seeds. Thanks!

    1. Hi Carol, I’m sorry I don’t know the nutrition information of most of my recipes. But I leave the option open to readers if you want to calculate yourself using an online calculator like this one.

  7. 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!!

  8. Hi Sally,
    I’m soooo happy to have found your site.
    I am chef/baker by profession but retired.  Found and made your Breakfast Cookie recipe. Its so good. I doubled the recipe ( 2nd time) when I made it cause I have more people wanting to taste your cookies. I’m on weight Watchers and looking for a recipe that had none of the oils, eggs, sugar(by the tons) and flour. I made 18 cookies 2 1/2″ wide  out of 1 recipe. For each recipe I, added 1/8c honey and 1/8 c sugar free maple flavored syrup (it’s the only change I made).  I gave away 1 dozen and baked 6 for me. The rest are in the freezer.
    I made this cookie recipe the way it was written the first time I made it as a courtesy to the author. 
    I have shared this recipe with my new friend at our meeting at Weight Watchers a week ago.
    I will explore your site more cause I see other recipes that are good.
    Thank you

  9. Sally , 
    I also made my own apple butter (w/ 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 4 lbs of different apples.
    Your almond butter and chopped dried apricots ( my mom used all the raisins) and dried cranberries.
    Will be making another of your cookie recipe. Just deciding right now.
    Thank you again
    Monina

      1. Hi Sally,
        The first cookie (breakfast cookies) are simply great.
        I gave them away and my friends and family want more.
        So I stirred them to your site and gave each one recipes of 4 different cookies.
        1. Breakfast Cookie
        2. Healthy Oatmeal Raisinets Cookies
        3. Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip
        4. Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter.
        As my practice, I follow the recipe as originally written.
        Then I share. I ask for feedback. Since I’m on Weight Watchers,
        I try to minimize the amount of sugar, oil etc…
        I also reduced the portions. Original portion 16 cookies divided by 2. 
        I’m making the Skinny Chocolate Peanut butter next.
        I love freezing my cookies and it’s handy when I want a treat.
        2nd batch changes are:
        1. Using PB2 powdered peanut butter 85% fat free will reconstitute using water to make the required amount for the recipe
        2. For chocolate chips, I will use dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate chunks. 
        I’ll post result
        Thank you again,
        Monina

  10. 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!!  

  11. This the second time I make this recipe and I really like it. Very tasty and filling. I have it crumbled over Greek yogurt for breakfast or as is for a snack in the afternoon.
    The first time I made it I found it way too sweet for my taste. I used regular pb and I think it was sweet enough with the apple butter and didn’t need the extra honey. This time I made it with half natural almond butter and half regular peanut butter (because I didn’t have enough to use only one of the other), I was out of apple butter so I used unsweetened apple sauce and a little under 1/4 cup of honey. It is a lot of swapping but I liked it a lot! It’s a very easy and forgiving recipe. Both times I use a mixed of roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberrieso and apricots.
    It is now in my regular baked goods breakfast rotation!

  12. 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!)

  13. 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 🙂 

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. Hi, I am looking for a healthy breakfast cookie/ muffin for my nieces family. These look soooo good and perfect for her, except her kids cant do even oatmeal. Is there any possible substitute??? Thanks!

  17. 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!

  18. I make your breakfast cookies all the time and love them. I was wondering if these could maybe be baked in a sheet pan, more like cookie bars, instead of individual cookies. They would be more like granola bars.

  19. These are the ABSOLUTE BEST cookies I’ve ever had. I had to make a couple minor substitutions, but they are amazing.

  20. Approximately how many calories are in these? Ik it may vary based on ingredients but I like when some info is listed…I made mine with flax, almonds, sunflower seeds(nuts toasted), raisins, cranberries, semi sweet choc chips, sesame seeds,ground flax!!

    1. 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

  21. 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/)!

  22. Made these today exactly as the recipe is written and they are perfect! Co-workers are going to be very happy tomorrow morning.

    1. Hi Lisa, I don’t usually include the nutritional information for recipes like this as people make many ingredient substitutions, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  23. 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!

  24. 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–
    loves them.

  25. 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!!!

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