Nutty Vegan Breakfast Cookies

Created by Laura Wright
4.98 from 44 votes

Nutty vegan breakfast cookies are a delicious and hearty grab-and-go breakfast or snack. These cookies are naturally sweetened and gluten-free as well.

An overhead shot of 9 cookies in a grid formation.
An overhead shot of ingredients and prep for a baking project.
A hand is mixing together dry ingredients for baking.

I thought that the world was rich enough in vegan breakfast cookie recipes (heck, I even have one in my cookbook!), but I polled interest on this particular one on Instagram a little while ago and the response was so surprising! I guess a lot of us are in need of grab and go breakfast options these days. Or we all just really love cookies :)

These vegan breakfast cookies were tested and refined quite a bit to get to this point. The first iterations were tasty enough, but unfortunately fell apart quite easily after a couple days. I know that a lot of people prep things like this at the beginning of the week, so I was after a certain level of sturdiness.

I also realized that I didn’t enjoy the dried fruit in them at all, which is strange because I love raisins in cookies generally. But in this one, it was really messing with the texture and making them a lot more wet-seeming than they needed to be.

After sharing this article about the toll of industrial almond crops on bee health and the environment, SO many people responded to me. A couple professional beekeepers messaged me and confirmed that the rate of almond production in North America really is messing with bees.

On top of that, I’ve read that a single almond requires over one gallon of water to produce. Going forward, I will try to be more selective with my almond sourcing and will likely opt for other plant-based milks more often if I can.

But why did I keep the almond flour in this recipe? Quite simply: I had a big bag sitting in my pantry. One of the most basic but important things I’ve learned about minimizing waste and environmentally-conscious lifestyle choices is that actually using what you have before purchasing the most sustainable/ethical replacement is the right thing to do–even if it isn’t super exciting.

There’s a great local shop that sells a lot of cool zero waste and natural body care items, and the owner often emphasizes that she would prefer her potential customers use up what they have before making a purchase at her store. I respect this so much!

If you’re out of almond flour and have the opportunity to make a more sustainable choice, I list some alternatives in the recipe headnotes. Ultimately, using what you have access to is what will work best for you. I’m all about those small and gradual changes that take up more space in our consciousness because we’ve slowly built them up over time.

Wet ingredients being poured into a bowl of dry ingredients from up high.
A side angle shot of a plate of wholesome cookies.
An overhead shot of a single cookie on a beige napkin.

Nutty Vegan Breakfast Cookies

Nutty vegan breakfast cookies are a delicious and hearty grab-and-go breakfast or snack. Naturally sweetened and gluten-free as well.
4.98 from 44 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings 11 large cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 6 tablespoons filtered water
  • 1 cup rolled oats (certified GF if necessary)
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup avocado oil, sunflower oil OR melted and cooled coconut oil
  • ¼ cup smooth, well-stirred peanut butter
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • millet, for sprinkling (optional)

Notes

  • If you have a sensitivity, you can replace the rolled oats with either quinoa flakes or buckwheat flakes. These are both pseudograins, so not totally appropriate for those that are avoiding grains. I have not tested a grain-free version of these, so cannot comment on substitutions.
  • You can substitute hazelnut meal or a homemade meal of raw sunflower seeds (just grind raw sunflower seeds in a food processor until they resemble almond flour/meal). Be aware that sunflower seed meal combined with baking soda always leads to green-ish tinged baked goods.
  • The maple syrup is a key structural and binding component for these. I have not tested the cookies without the presence of any kind of sweetener, so experiment at your own risk.
  • If you’re using an alternative nut/seed butter here, it MUST be smooth, well-stirred, and fluid.
  • These cookies store best when they are LOOSELY wrapped in either aluminum foil or Beeswrap. A tightly sealed Tupperware-style container will make them too moist/crumbly over time!

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed and water. Stir to combine and set aside to thicken for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, almond flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, coconut, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the avocado oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and the thickened flaxseed mixture. Whisk until thoroughly combined and creamy.
  • Add the avocado oil mixture to the dry ingredients in the largo bowl. Using a spatula, stir until you have a thick batter and all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Using a scant ¼ cup measure, scoop up the batter and bang it out onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Flatten each portion of dough out with your palm while simultaneously shaping the sides of the cookie with your other hand. You want solid edges; not craggy ones. Top each cookie with a sprinkle of millet.
  • Bake the vegan breakfast cookies for 28-30 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly firm. Let them cool thoroughly (at least one hour) before storing in a loosely covered container/aluminum foil/Beeswrap setup (see headnote) at room temperature for up to 5 days.
An overhead shot of a single cookie on a beige napkin alongside a frothy coffee.
15/01/2020 (Last Updated 04/09/2023)
Posted in: autumn, breakfast, dessert, gluten free, snack, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter

70 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Tiger

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I want to add chia seeds to it–just because I am trying to incorporate more in my diet.

    Where would you recommend I do that? Add them with the ground flaxseed/water combo to soak as well? Any idea/guess how much chia seeds? Would I need to increase the water?

    • Laura Wright

      You can replace the ground flax seed with ground chia seeds 1-for-1! I wouldn’t go beyond this as chia seeds can soak up moisture and may impact the outcome of the final texture.
      -L

  • Sandy

    5 stars
    There are already so many comments for these cookies but I think they deserve at least one more. I was so grateful to find this recipe. The proportions for all the ingredients are so perfect. I love that you use just a bit of everything. It’s cost-effective (I run away from recipes with a huge amount of nut butter and/or maple syrup because they are so very expensive), super tasty and nutrition-packed.

    Next time I think I’ll use just a pinch of cinnamon and let the other flavors shine more because those nuts and almonds are so good.

    Even my 4-year-old loves them even if they’re not as sweet as regular cookies. That’s a win for me.

  • Anne

    5 stars
    These are awesome. Best breakfast cookies I’ve ever had. And so easy to make. I had everything I needed in my pantry.

  • Tanya

    Laura, these look amazing! Is there a substitution for the oil? Either applesauce, pumpkin purée or maybe more nut butter? I appreciate your gf recipes so much (Celiac disease), but I also eat oil free. Thank you :)

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Tanya,
      I have not tested these without oil unfortunately. If I was going about it, I’d probably go for applesauce or mashed banana first as a substitute.
      -L

  • Sykvia

    Great recipe, I made a couple of tweaks. I didn’t use any oil, instead I used applesauce, and added 1/2 teaspoon of corn starch. No need for flax seed for me and I used pb2 peanut butter. I used walnuts instead of pecans and used 3 tablespoons of maple syrup. I wanted these for breakfast so I made 4 large cookies and 1 small one, next time I will make 5 the same size. I will definitely make these again, thank you for sharing.

  • Emma

    5 stars
    Hi Laura,
    I just made these cookies without chocolate for my two year old and they are frickin’ delicious!!!
    He’ll be lucky if he gets one…

  • Dana

    I have searched for where are you say you list alternative flours in the head notes, but cannot find it! Do you think millet flour would be a fair substitute?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Dana,
      My note on almond meal substitutions is the second bullet point under the “notes” section of the recipe (under ingredients list). I’m not sure on millet flour honestly! Since almond flour is pretty rich and has a particular texture, I recommend replacing with a nut or seed meal-type of flour. I don’t know if a grain-based flour would work. Sorry, I wish I had a better answer!
      -L

  • Emily

    5 stars
    These are fantastic! We used applesauce instead of oil and date syrup instead of maple. We couldn’t wait for them to cool (so we didn’t). First recipe off your site and it’s definitely a winner. Can’t wait to try more.

    • Laura Wright

      Emily,
      I’m so glad that you enjoyed the recipe and that your modifications were successful! I know that this information will be helpful to others looking to make the recipe without oil :)
      -L

  • Kristine

    5 stars
    Subbed tahini because I was out of nut butter. Turned out great!

  • Phoebe

    5 stars
    These were so fragrant and incredibly delicious, thank you!

  • Aimee-Leih Dillon

    We love these cookies! 

  • Liz

    5 stars
    At my house we love the cookies any time of day! Made a triple batch wondering if I can freeze dough or bake and freeze cookies?

  • Ashley

    They smell good, and the batter is delicious, but they are spreading significantly, i may not bake them as long as directed. I did not have natural pb, so used almond butter, and ran out of maple syrup so I used honey. They’ll be edible, not sure what texture will be while cooled. Thanks? 

  • Rae

    These look delicious! Couple of ?s – could brown sugar be subbed for the maple syrup? Also ok to swap out the oil with unsweetened applesauce? Thanks!

  • Jill

    5 stars
    I make these monthly! They are ab amazing breakfast.
    My only tip is to shape them with wet hands! It helps so much 

  • Peasnips

    Made these yesterday and I love them.  Did not have pumpkin seeds so I substituted walnuts. Used a tart ring and a quarter cup ice cream scoop to form them. Super easy recipe thank you

  • Marlene L Monica

    Do you have the calorie and other info on this recipe?

  • Cherri

    Another delicious recipe from you. I sprinkled the tops with amaranth flakes and used walnuts instead of pecans. It’s great that you suggest subs and offer additional info. Every one of your recipes has been easy to follow and tasty. Thank you. 

  • Lindsay

    4 stars
    I just made these and I am thinking I would not use avocado oil next time? Makes them a bit too vegetal for my taste but otherwise I’m sure they’re great. Will use coconut oil next time and report back. Thanks Laura!

  • DeAndra

    Will coconut flour work here? I know you said to use what you have but I’ve read that coconut flour could be a little tricky to work with since it absorbs so much?

    • Laura

      Hi DeAndra,
      Coconut flour is extremely drying, so that’s why it’s a difficult substitution. Do you have any other type of flour on hand? Generally if you’re subbing coconut flour, you need to reduce the amount of it by at least two thirds. And even then, some other ingredient amounts may have to be shifted. Sorry, wish it was easier!
      -L

      • DeAndra

        Thank you for your response. I opted not to make them the first time around since all I had was coconut but here I am, back, equipped and ready to devour a tray of them thanks! 

  • Thais

    5 stars
    These are THE best cookies!!! Right amount of sweetness, nutritious and absolutely delicious. My husband doesn’t even like cookies or sweets and loved them. I have the sweetest tooth and also loved them… It’s hard to find recipes that please both of us, but this one nailed it! Thank you very much for sharing. I have a batch in tthe over right now and am excited for a bite :)

  • Bianca

    Just wondering if you think there is anything I could substitute for the oats? Sensitive to all grains!

  • Maia Bromberg

    I tried these today (for lunch) and they are just as yummy as everyone says.  My husband kept asking over and over, these can’t be healthy?!?  They are just a cookie, right?  I am excited for something to switch up my “quick breakfast “days.  

  • Riley Nelson

    Can I use olive or canola oil instead of avocado oil? Thank you, these cookies look delicious.

    • Laura

      Yep, both will work!
      -L

  • Chantal

    These cookies are delicious. They have such a nice balance of flavour, and are very satisfying! I love them as a afternoon snack…or morning snack ;) I’ve made them probably a dozen times now, and I’m never disappointed. My family members who I’ve shared cookies with really enjoy them as well. I have made 11 big cookies, and I’ve tried making 22 smaller cookies, and my personal preference is the 11 big cookies…but when I make the smaller ones I eat 2 at a time instead of holding back at 1 ;-P

  • Lilly

    These are absolutely fabulous, and all of your content is great. Thank you!

  • Laura

    Wondering how to make my natural almond butter “drippy”. I can’t eat peanuts.

    • Laura

      If your almond butter is super firm, it’s fine! You’ll just have to work a bit harder at the stirring of the finished batter ;)
      -L

  • clara

    These are exactly what I was looking for, they are really good and not too sweet ! Thank you

  • Jen Hodder

    Oh my, a must make. Thank you ♥️

  • Talia

    These are the best breakfast cookies! I don’t know why I never thought to make a breakfast cookie WITHOUT dried fruit. It seems like every breakfast cookie recipe out there includes dried fruit, which actually makes the cookie quite sweet.

    Sticking to just nuts and seeds keeps the flavour more nutty (obviously) and almost savoury, but also just sweet enough??? Maybe that’s confusing, I don’t know.

    What isn’t confusing is this recipe. It’s the bomb. Thank you, Laura!

  • Roberto

    They look absolutely amazing, I am going to give them a try :)

  • Kimberly

    These look delicious! The only thing is, I don’t like flaxseed. Will ground Chia seeds work as a substitute?

    • Laura

      Hi Kimberly! I think ground chia seeds would work just as well.
      -L

    • Kelly Wingard

      I made them yesterday with Psyllium Husk instead of Flaxseed. They are holding together well.

    • Kelly Wingard

      I made them yesterday with psyllium husk in 1 for 1 replacement with the flax seed. I think they turned put a great texture.

      • Laura

        Love this substitution tip! Thanks Kelly.
        -L

  • Cassie Thuvan Tran

    These look UNBELIEVABLE–I’m in love with anything nutty with a mix of sweet, crunchy, and a little salty flavors! Would almond oil work for this recipe?

  • Kristen

    Just made these today, with a couple substitutions using what I had, and they are so. Stinken. Good I’ve been making different ‘breakfast cookie’ recipes all winter trying to find the right one, healthy enough to not be dessert but flavorful enough to go with my coffee, and this is it!! The flaxseed meal is a great egg substitute too, gonna use that one in other recipes I’m working on. Thank you!

  • Anne

    Just made these tonight, they’re delicious! I think they would be great to take along on a hike, or a road trip.

  • Jane

    These were amazing! We all loved them! I was worried they may be too sweet for me but they were just right. I omitted the chocolate chips and added sunflower and sesame seeds. Oh……and I did have one prior to the cooling stage. Mmmmmm! Highly recommend! ;-)

  • Kim

    These are delicious! I forgot the coconut and the cookies did not suffer. I froze the cookies once they cooled completely and have been enjoying them (a little too often) since I made them. Thank you, Laura!

  • Laura

    Dang, these were delicious – and so easy to make! I also had just the right amount of almond flour to use up. I followed this recipe to a T and wouldn’t change a thing. Luckily my partner is experimenting with intermittent fasting so I get to eat all of them for breakfast :D Thanks, Laura!

  • Sue

    Excellent recipe! Thanks so much. :)

  • Lucy

    Oh man, these are so good. I used steel cut oats that I whirled in my food processor for a bit. I added chocolate chips to just half of mine as I, personally, don’t like chocolate. I found the ones with chocolate in them to be more difficult to form, but otherwise this was an easy and fast recipe. I won’t eat these for breakfast as the sweetness is more dessert cookie for my tastes, but I will definitely be making these again.

    • Sus

      So yummy! I used tahini instead of peanut butter and added a few extra chocolate chips but otherwise stuck to the recipe. We will definitely make these again! Love all the First Mess cookie recipes

      • Kelli

        I’m gad that you posted this as I am going to use tahini, too! I find peanut butter overpowering. And I ALWAYS add extra chocolate chips 

  • Hilary

    I just ate one out of the oven and I think they will make a lovely on the go breakfast! So tasty. I made as directed except I used sweetened coconut and regular milk chocolate chips cuz that’s what I had on hand. But when I make again I will use what you suggested as they are just a tiny tiny bit too sweet for breakfast (but I don’t really love sweet things in the morning, crazy I know)

  • Helen

    I made these as directed, including the sprinkling of millet & pushing a pecan into the top before baking. Pretty & delicious! I will definitely make again.

  • Jordan

    I loved these breakfast cookies! I made just a few changes based on what I had: a mix of sunflower seeds and cashews instead of pecans, and I used just 2 Tbsp of honey instead of the maple syrup. (Next time I think I would use 3) They turned out great and have a very hearty taste and texture and even with less of the honey/maple syrup, seem to hold up well. My partner loves them and he usually shies away from sweeter versions of these cookies. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Theresa

    I made these last night. My 8 year old daughter loved licking the batter off of the spoon. I shared them with a few co-workers this morning. They turned out great. I used 1/4 cup and it made 9. Thank you for all the lovely recipes.

  • Carrie Jenkins

    I made these today with my daughter. They turned out great! They were a little sticky and hard to form so I put them in a silicone muffin liners and they turned out perfectly.

  • Dana

    Just gorgeous, friend!

  • Pavlina

    Do you reckon they would freeze well..? They look like the perfect emergency snack :)

    • Laura

      Hi Pavlina,
      I haven’t frozen these specific ones yet, but I have froze cookies similar to this and they held up great. Do let us know if you try it :)
      -L

      • Pavlina

        When I asked about freezing, that was before I made them. Now that they came out of the oven, I doubt there will be any left for the freezer :) They are DELICIOUS!!! And exactly what I need to replenish energy after a (baby induced) sleepless night. When I freeze the next batch, I will report back if it worked ;) Thank you!!

  • Salina

    These look absolutely delicious! So glad you posted the recipe today because I actually wanted to make them yesterday (looking at your picture) and since the recipe wasn’t up I had to make my own one up but wasn’t so satisfied with the texture of it, I’ll be sure to try these out! Love the bowls :)

  • Mary Ann Harville

    I need to pick up some drippy peanut butter but I’ve got everything else on board! I’m going to make these this weekend and will give you a report! I second everything that Elizabeth said so I’m going to repeat the most important art. You are awesome, the work you do for all of us is awesome and I love that I can reach out to you and get a response. Thanks for all the work you do, not just with your recipes but also with creating a space that is full of positive energy and forward movement!

  • Elizabeth

    So excited for these! I have made the ones from your cookbook so many times, I’ve memorized the recipe. I definitely fall into the category of a person who just really loves cookies – I’m always looking for a more nutritious choice I can eat on the daily without worrying about sugar overload. These look perfect and I have total faith in your recipes. Thanks for all the work you do, not just with your recipes but also with creating a space that is full of positive energy and forward movement!