When I first published my flourless peanut butter oatmeal breakfast cookies recipe, I had no idea what people would think of it. I had a hunch that it would do okay – soft and chewy cookies usually do! – but in the moment, it was merely an easy recipe I threw together because it sounded good… And because I wanted breakfast ready and waiting for me in the kitchen the moment I opened my eyes the following morning.
However, it became one of my most popular recipes… Within just a few days. And it’s stayed that way ever since.
Millions of views on Pinterest. Thousands on Facebook. Thousands more on Instagram. Dozens and dozens of emails, comments, and notes from readers saying they tried and loved the recipe.
I was blown away.
In hindsight, it kind of made sense. It’s hard to go wrong with peanut butter or with cookies for breakfast – especially ones that are that simple to make!
But there was just one problem…
Some of my family members are sensitive to peanuts.
They have very mild reactions, thank goodness, and actually do eat small amounts of peanuts and peanut butter without any major issues. But still, I wanted to create a version that those people could enjoy as often as they liked too.
So that led to these healthy flourless almond butter oatmeal breakfast cookies! They’re just as easy to make, and they have the same irresistible texture as the peanut butter originals. They’re also perfect for snacks or meal prepping – in addition to breakfast, of course!
QUICK OVERVIEW – HEALTHY ALMOND BUTTER OATMEAL BREAKFAST COOKIES
Difficulty: Fairly easy, including for many beginner bakers.
Taste: Lightly sweetened, yet quite cozy and comforting, with notes of rich cinnamon shining through the subtle almond butter background.
Texture: Really chewy, with lots of soft oats filling every bite.
KEY INGREDIENTS TO MAKE HEALTHY ALMOND BUTTER OATMEAL BREAKFAST COOKIES
Let’s go over the key ingredients you’ll need to make these healthy almond butter breakfast cookies! I’m assuming you have the basics like baking powder and salt, so we’ll focus on the others.
Creamy almond butter. I like to use my homemade creamy almond butter. It tastes just as good store-bought, if not better (in my not-so-unbiased opinion!), and you only need 10 minutes to make it. So simple!
If you prefer store-bought, use the natural drippy-style kind that only contains almonds and salt. (A little bit of oil is fine too!) When you spot them on the grocery store shelves, these jars often have a layer of oil on the top. Thoroughly stir that in before using the almond butter to make these cookies!
Tip: My family’s favorite brands of store-bought almond butter are Trader Joe’s, Open Nature, and Justin’s. Target’s own Good & Gather brand is good too.
Note: Do not substitute crunchy almond butter. It will alter the texture of your cookies and make them more cakey or dry.
Unsweetened applesauce. This replaces the eggs, so your healthy breakfast cookies are egg free! I keep single-serving applesauce cups (like these!) in my pantry because they’re so handy for baking. (They make fantastic egg free brownies too!)
Pure maple syrup. The real kind that comes directly from maple trees! It’s generally sold in thin glass bottles or squat plastic jugs (like this!). The only ingredient on the label should be “maple syrup.”
Since pure maple syrup is considered an unrefined sweetener, these almond butter breakfast cookies are “clean eating friendly!” They contain no white sugar. However, to make sure they can still be classified as breakfast cookies, you’ll use half the amount of maple syrup compared to my usual “dessert” oatmeal cookie recipes.
Then to compensate for the “missing” liquid, you’ll add…
Milk. I opted for unsweetened vanilla almond milk because it’s what my family buys the most. By doing so, it made these healthy almond butter breakfast cookies dairy free (along with egg free and vegan!), so my lactose-intolerant family members could eat them too.
Tip: Just about any milk will work, so use whatever you already have in your fridge!
Oats – two ways! First, you’ll need instant oats. They’re also called “quick cooking” or “one-minute” oats. They’re smaller and thinner than old-fashioned rolled oats, so they give your breakfast cookies a better soft and chewy texture.
Hint: Instant oats are sold in containers right next to the old-fashioned rolled oats, and “oats” are their only ingredient. They’re NOT the ones sold in boxes of individual brown paper packets with flavors like cinnamon apple or maple brown sugar!
Second, you’ll need finely ground oats… aka oat flour. Since oat flour is merely whole oats that were thoroughly ground until they turned into a powder, I wasn’t sure whether to call these breakfast cookies flourless or practically flourless… But either way, I promise they’re delicious!
Tip: If you want to make your own, I have a tutorial about how to make oat flour at home!
Hint: If you use certified gluten free oats and certified gluten free oat flour, then your healthy almond butter breakfast cookies will be gluten free!
No butter or oil? That’s right! No butter or oil in these breakfast cookies, but they’re still perfectly soft and chewy, thanks to the almond butter. That’s why I recommend using a high quality creamy almond butter… It plays a role in the flavor and texture!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY ALMOND BUTTER BREAKFAST COOKIES
Let’s talk about how to make the best almond butter breakfast cookies! Although the recipe is straightforward, I still have some tips for you to ensure your cookies turn out perfectly.
Measure the ingredients correctly. This is especially important for the oats and oat flour. Oats act like little sponges and soak up lots of moisture, so your cookies can turn out cakey or dry if you accidentally add too much. I highly recommend a kitchen scale! (← That’s the one I own!) Otherwise, use my “fork-and-level” technique to make sure your breakfast cookies turn out chewy and soft.
Follow the instructions exactly. Although always important, it’s even more crucial for one-bowl recipes, like this one! Add ingredients when they’re supposed to be added, and stir them together when they’re supposed to be stirred. If you add certain ingredients too soon or too late, it’ll throw off the cookie dough consistency and ruin the texture of your cookies.
Chill. Initially, the cookie dough is really loose and wet, so chilling is mandatory. This helps stiffen the cookie dough so it’s easier to work with. A brief 20 minutes is all it needs! However, it’ll still be sticky after chilling, so don’t use your hands. Instead…
Drop, flatten, and shape. Use a spoon and spatula to transfer it to your baking sheets. I use these mini spatulas. (Aren’t they cute?) These cookies don’t spread at all while baking, so you also need to flatten the cookie dough. I use the same mini spatulas to do that, as well as to smooth out the edges.
Hint: That’s the #1 question I get about cookies… “How do you make yours look so round and perfect?” No special tools or equipment – just a mini spatula, a little patience, and a lot of practice! 😉
Bake. But don’t over-bake! Your cookies are done when the centers still feel a little soft and underdone. The heat from the warm baking sheet will continue to cook the centers all the way through while they sit for a few minutes after you remove the pan from the oven.
Hint: This is my #1 tip for soft and chewy oatmeal cookies! Pull them a little earlier than you think you should, when those centers are still slightly soft. That gives your cookies the best chewy texture imaginable!
FAQS ABOUT HEALTHY ALMOND BUTTER OATMEAL BREAKFAST COOKIES
Are these almond butter breakfast cookies vegan, gluten free, or clean eating?
Yes – to all of the above! This recipe is naturally egg free and dairy free too.
What’s the best almond butter for making these cookies?
I may be biased, but I think my homemade creamy almond butter is best! 😉 If you prefer store-bought, look for jars that contain only almonds and salt. Do not substitute crunchy almond butter. See the “creamy almond butter” section above for more information!
What can I substitute for the applesauce?
If you can’t find unsweetened applesauce, sweetened applesauce will work just as well. If you’re unable to locate any type of applesauce, then you can substitute mashed banana. Just keep in mind that bananas have a much stronger flavor, so you’ll detect a prominent fruity flavor in your breakfast cookies.
Can I use a different milk?
Absolutely! Just about any milk (dairy or non-dairy) will work.
Can I use old-fashioned rolled oats?
If you blitz them in a blender or food processor first! See my Oatmeal Cookie FAQ Page for more details on how to substitute them.
Can I use a different flour?
Depends on the flour! Wheat-based flours will work (such as regular whole wheat, white whole wheat, whole wheat pastry, and all-purpose). Almond flour also works. See my Oatmeal Cookie FAQ Page for more gluten free alternatives and tips!
My cookies turned out cakey, not chewy. Why is that?
There are three main culprits! The first is too much flour and/or oats. Be really careful when measuring these! (See the “measure the ingredients correctly” section above!) The second is not enough maple syrup and/or milk. For these two liquid ingredients, use regular measuring cups – not a kitchen scale! – to ensure you add the correct amount. The third is over-baking. See the “bake” section above for more information about how to tell when your cookies are done!
How should I store these almond butter breakfast cookies? And how long do they last?
Store them in an airtight container. When left at room temperature, they’ll keep for at least a couple of days. I prefer storing them in the refrigerator, which means they last closer to a week (if not longer!). These breakfast cookies freeze really well too!
Ready to make your own? And when you do, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy almond butter oatmeal breakfast cookies!
Healthy One-Bowl Almond Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- ¼ cup (64g) homemade creamy almond butter (see Notes!)
- ¼ cup (56g) unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ cup (60mL) pure maple syrup
- 5 tbsp (75mL) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 cup (100g) instant oats (gluten-free if necessary and measured like this)
- ¾ cup (90g) oat flour (gluten-free if necessary and measured like this – see Notes!)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- In a medium bowl, stir together the almond butter and applesauce until smooth and creamy. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until fully incorporated. Stir in the maple syrup. Stir in the almond milk. Pour the oats and oat flour into the bowl, and sprinkle the baking powder evenly over the top of the oats and oat flour (to prevent clumping!). Stir all three ingredients in together until just incorporated. Chill the cookie dough for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Using a spoon and spatula, drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops onto the prepared sheet. Flatten to ⅜”-thick using a spatula. Bake at 325°F for 8-10 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Healthy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
♡ Healthy Flourless Double Chocolate Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
♡ Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
♡ Healthy Peach Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
♡ Healthy Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
♡ Healthy Raspberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
♡ Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy breakfast cookie recipes and healthy oatmeal cookie recipes!
Hi Amy. This sounds yummy and healthy. But I can’t get applesauce in Asia and some family members don’t eat bananas in baked goods. What else can I use? Thanks
I really appreciate your interest in my recipe, Eleanor! If you’re unable to use applesauce or mashed banana, then 1 large egg white (whisked first!) may be substituted for the applesauce. 🙂 I’d love to hear what you think of these breakfast cookies if you make them!
Autumn Elizabeth Schmaltz says...
They don’t taste good. I followed the recipe to the T. They need chocolate chips or something!
It means a lot that you tried my recipe, Autumn Elizabeth! That sounds frustrating and not like how these cookies are supposed to turn out, so I’d love to help figure out what happened with your batch. In order to do so, I have some questions for you! 🙂
Was it just the flavor that you didn’t care for, or was the texture off as well?
Can you describe what you didn’t like about the flavor a bit more? Were they not sweet enough, too bland (ie you couldn’t taste the cinnamon!), or something else?
(Just a quick note… These are breakfast cookies, which means they’re only half as sweet as regular “dessert” cookies. They’re meant to have the sweetness level of breakfast muffins or scones, rather than regular “dessert” cookies!)
Did you make any substitutions or modifications to the recipe, including those listed in the Notes section?
Did you use a kitchen scale or measuring cups/spoons for all of the ingredients — especially the pure maple syrup, milk, oats, and oat flour?
Did you use the full amount of pure maple syrup?
How long did you chill the cookie dough?
Did you flatten the cookie dough to ⅜” thick before baking?
How long did you bake your cookies?
I know I just asked a LOT of questions, but I’ll have a much better idea of the culprit once I know your answers to all of them! 🙂
And if you’d like to add chocolate chips, that’s completely fine! I actually did that with this almond butter oatmeal breakfast cookie recipe of mine. I’m a huge chocolate fan, so I’d never turn down breakfast cookies with added chocolate chips! 😉
Chris David says...
I loved this recipe so much!!
I’m so glad, Chris! Thanks for taking the time to let me know! 🙂
Hi! Could I omit the nut/seed butter to make it allergy friendly? Thanks!