Before I had Sidney, I knew I wanted to breastfeed so I set out on a quest to make the best lactation cookie recipe so I could set aside a stash in the freezer. I heard tales of women having supply issues, so I thought, why not make a really freakin’ good, healthy cookie that helps with milk production!
It took me a couple tries, but now I can confidently say that these lactation cookies are the BEST! They taste like chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and are both vegan and gluten free so ALL mamas can have them. Bonus: I even include the option of making them thick or thin for a truly customizable cookie.
I made these cookies time and time again while breastfeeding Sidney, and have loved coming back to them while breastfeeding Viggo. Honestly, they’re an amazing treat whether your breastfeeding or not, so bake a batch or two and enjoy!
What are lactation cookies?
Some of you might be wondering what makes these cookies “lactation” cookies. It’s all about the milk-boosting ingredients which have been known to help increase breastmilk supply, including:
- Flaxseed meal: flaxseeds contain phytoestrogens that can help boost breast milk production.
- Whole oats: oats contain iron which is known to have a positive effect on breast milk supply. This lactation cookie recipe uses both rolled oats and oat flour for double the oat love.
- Brewer’s yeast: this nutritional supplement is high in complex b vitamins, protein and selenium, which are all nutrients new moms need. Please note that not all brewer’s yeast is gluten free, so if you are GF be sure to check the label. The one I have linked is gluten free!
Ingredients in these homemade lactation cookies
Along with the nutritious ingredients above that make these perfect for nursing mama’s, you’ll also need:
- Coconut sugar: we’re naturally sweetening these lactation cookies with coconut sugar — making them the perfect treat.
- Coconut oil: a little coconut oil gives the cookies the perfect amount of moisture.
- Flavor boosts: you’ll also be adding vanilla extract and cinnamon for a warm, cozy flavor.
- Dark chocolate chips: who doesn’t love a little chocolate in their cookies? Feel free to use dairy free chocolate chips if you need to.
- To top: I like to sprinkle a little fancy sea salt on top for that sweet & salty combo.
Customize them, mama
These vegan and gluten free lactation cookies are one of the best snacks to grab and nourish you, especially while glued to the couch breastfeeding (my current reality!). One of the best parts about these lactation cookies is that they are easily customizable. Here are some suggestions to make them your own:
- Make them with almond flour: I’ve successfully made these with almond flour instead of oat flour! Here’s how to do it: use 1 2/3 cup fine blanched almond flour (instead of oat flour) and 1 cup of oats (instead of 3/4 cup oats). You’ll need to bake these just a few minutes longer, and they’ll be softer, but they will be delicious!
- Add in additional healthy fats: feel free to add in ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Add in coconut: adding ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut is delicious and adds a unique texture. If you do, I suggest reducing the oat flour to 1 ½ cups total.
- Mix up the add-ins: feel free to use chocolate chunks instead of chips, or use any type of chocolate chip you’d like. You can also add in dried cherries, dried cranberries or dried blueberries!
Make your own oat flour for cookies
You can easily make your own gluten free oat flour by simply placing gluten free oats into a blender and blending/pulsing until they’re smooth and resemble a fine flour. This is probably the cheapest option. For this recipe, you’ll most likely need 1 2/3 cups of gluten free rolled oats to make the same amount of oat flour. Always measure the oat flour to ensure the proper amount called for in the recipe.
How to make lactation cookies without brewer’s yeast
I realize that not everyone is likely to have brewer’s yeast in their pantry, therefore I’m including a few options for making these cookies without brewer’s yeast. You only need to pick one of these options to replace the brewer’s yeast in this recipe:
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup oat flour
- Or 1/2 cup fine blanched almond flour
Storing & freezing tips
These easy lactation cookies are the perfect treat to freeze for later and enjoy whenever you need a snack or sweet treat.
- To store the lactation cookies: feel free to keep these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- To freeze the lactation cookies: make sure the cookies are completely cooled, and then transfer them to an airtight container lined with wax or parchment paper or freezer-safe bag before storing them in the freezer for up to 2 months. I like to place them in a single layer to avoid any cookies breaking. Once ready to eat, simply thaw out at room temperature and enjoy!
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The Best Lactation Cookies (for nursing mamas!)
The best lactation cookies for nursing mamas! These delicious vegan and gluten free lactation cookies are packed with nutrients from oats, flax and brewer’s yeast that are great for boosting milk supply. Plus, they taste just like your favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie! This lactation cookie recipe is the perfect treat for new moms and anyone looking for a healthy cookie.
- ¼ cup flaxseed meal
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 2/3 cups oat flour, gluten free if desired*
- ¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats, gluten free if desired
- ¼ cup brewer’s yeast** (get the debittered kind if possible)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips, dairy free if desired
- Maldon sea salt, for sprinkling the tops of the cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, mix together flaxseed meal and water; let it sit for 5 minutes while you get all your other ingredients ready.
After 5 minutes the ‘flaxegg’ will be ready and you can add in the coconut sugar, melted and cooled coconut oil, and vanilla extract to the bowl; whisk together until smooth and well combined.
Next add in the oat flour, rolled oats, brewer’s yeast, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Use a medium cookie scoop and place dough on a prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. You should get about 20 cookies. If you want thicker cookies, leave as is. If you want slightly thinner cookies, very gently push ONLY the top of the cookie down a bit. Don’t over flatten.
Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes until edges are just slightly golden brown around the edges. Once cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle the tops with fancy sea salt.
Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Leaving them on the baking sheet will help them settle up, harden and hold together. Makes 20 cookies.
I’ve successfully also made these with almond flour instead of oat flour! Here’s how to do it: use 1 2/3 cup fine blanched almond flour (instead of oat flour) and 1 cup of oats (instead of 3/4 cup oats). You’ll need to bake these just a few minutes longer, and they’ll be softer, but they will be delicious!
How to make these without brewer’s yeast: instead of brewer’s yeast, feel free to use 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or 1/4 cup more oat flour.
How to make your own oat flour: you can easily make your own gluten free oat flour by simply placing gluten free oats into a blender and blending/pulsing until they’re smooth and resemble a fine flour, then measure out the amount called for in the recipe.
*If you like thinner cookies, use 1 ½ cups of oat flour instead of 1 ⅔ cups.
**Not all brewer’s yeast is gluten free, so be sure to look for a kind that is certified GF if that’s something you desire.
To freeze them: check the full post for freezer instructions!
Servings: 20 cookies
Serving size: 1 cookie
Saturated fat: 5.1g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on February 11, 2020, and republished on May 3, 2021.