Healthy Lactation Cookies are made with milk-boosting ingredients, like flax seed and oats, and have the perfect chewy texture. They make a great gift for new moms!
Why You’ll Love Them
They may help boost milk supply. Ingredients like flaxseeds, brewer’s yeast, and oats are known as galactagogues. These may help to increase milk supply by boosting prolactin, the hormone responsible for breast milk production.
They’re nourishing. This is still a cookie recipe with sugar & chocolate chips, but the ingredients also provide essential omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and extra calories that nursing moms need.
They are unbelievably delicious. Not all lactation cookies are created equal, and this recipe is one of the best you’ll ever taste. It has enough sweetness to hide the bitter flavor of brewer’s yeast, and the perfect chewy texture, so it feels like you’re eating a real cookie.
They’re allergy friendly. These lactation cookies are dairy-free and gluten-free when you use a gluten-free brewer’s yeast and oat flour that is certified gluten-free. You can also make your own homemade oat flour, if you need to! It’s a great way to sneak more oats into these cookies.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Lactation cookies are quite similar to a traditional oat flour cookie, only you’ll replace some of the flour with ground flax seeds and brewer’s yeast. The coconut oil provides medium-chain fatty acids, including lactic acid and capric acid, which may help to boost both mom and baby’s immune systems.
Brewer’s yeast can taste quite bitter, so be sure to look for “de-bittered” on the label when shopping for this ingredient. This product can come in a powder or flakes, and I find the flakes to be the most neutral in flavor, but either option will work for this recipe.
Note: For the most neutral-flavored cookie, use refined or expeller pressed coconut oil, which has zero coconut flavor. If you use a virgin coconut oil, it will add a slight coconut taste.
If you need a vegan lactation cookie, you can replace the egg by adding in an extra tablespoon of ground flax seed, plus 3 tablespoons of water. The result is just as delicious!
How to Make the Best Lactation Cookies
1. Mix the wet ingredients.
Add the melted coconut oil, vanilla, sugar, and egg to a large mixing bowl and mix well. This is sort of like “creaming” together the butter and sugar like you would in a traditional recipe, only the coconut oil here is melted for easier measuring.
2. Add in the dry ingredients.
Next, add in the ground flax seeds, brewer’s yeast, oat flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well, until the batter sticks together, with no white flour visible. It might take a few minutes to stir it together evenly.
Fold in the rolled oats and chocolate chips. The batter will be slightly thick and shiny, with oats and chocolate chips speckled throughout.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop the dough onto the lined pan. Keep the cookie dough mounds 2 inches apart, to allow for spreading.
This batch makes roughly 20 cookies, so you’ll need to use two baking sheets if you want to bake them all at once. Otherwise you can bake them in two batches.
Bake the lactation cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they spread and start to turn lightly golden around the edges. Let them cool on the pan for at least 15 minutes, to let them firm up even more.
These cookies taste best when you serve them warm, straight off the pan, after that initial cooling time. You can also serve them at room temperature, once they are totally cool.
Storage Tips: Lactation cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Or you can bake a double batch and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Substitutions & Common Questions
You can most likely use all purpose or whole wheat flour with similar results in this recipe, or buckwheat flour is a great gluten-free option. Keep in mind that this recipe calls for oat flour as a way to get more oats into the recipe, since they may help with milk supply.
Using a granulated sugar is important to give the cookies a chewy texture. If you use white sugar or brown sugar instead, the cookies will be sweeter than intended, so feel free to experiment with cutting back on the sugar in that case. (This might alo affect the texture, though.)
If you don’t have brewer’s yeast on hand (or you can’t get past the flavor), you can replace it with 3 extra tablespoons of oat flour, or try using nutritional yeast, instead. It is speculated that brewer’s yeast works as a galactagogue because it helps boost nutrition, by boosting b vitamins and chromium, but you can find those in nutritional yeast, too.
Additional Tips for Boosting Breast Milk Supply
The most important factor when it comes to making breast milk is how often you allow your baby to nurse. Your body produces breast milk using the “supply and demand” system, so the more you let the baby nurse, the more milk you will make.
Unlimited access to the breast is essential for establishing an adequate breastmilk supply, and no number of lactation cookies or herbs can replace that. (Though they do help boost your caloric intake, and that’s necessary for breast milk, too– don’t be tempted to diet or reduce your calories when you’re trying to establish your milk supply.)
The nurses at the hospital where I had my first baby even recommended that I completely avoid using pacifiers or bottles for the first four weeks of our son’s life to ensure that I nursed him every single time he needed comfort. (Which felt like 20+ hours out of the day.) You can’t nurse a baby too often, but you can nurse them too little.
With that being said, I hope you’ll enjoy eating plenty of these cookies, too!
The Best Lactation Cookies
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil (see notes)
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 1 large egg (or 1 flax egg; see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup oat flour (certified gluten-free, if needed)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- ¼ cup debittered brewer's yeast (see notes)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup old fashioned oats
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla and mix well.
- Add in the oat flour, ground flax seeds, brewer's yeast, baking soda and salt, and stir again until a thick batter is formed. It may take a few minutes of stirring to incorporate the dry ingredients evenly. Fold in the oats and chocolate chips. (Do not taste-test the batter at this point.)
- Use a 1-ounce cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop the dough and drop it onto the lined pan, about 2 inches apart to allow for the cookies to spread. You should get 18-20 cookies from this recipe, so you'll need to use 2 pans, or bake in 2 separate batches. Bake at 350ºF for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies have spread and are lightly golden around the edges.
- When the cookies are done baking, let them cool on the pan for at least 15 minutes before serving. Once they have totally cooled to room temperature, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Or, freeze them for up to 3 months, if you want to make a double-batch.
- Use coconut oil that is labeled “refined” or “expeller pressed” if you want a cookie with zero coconut flavor. You can also replace the coconut oil with a 1/2 cup of softened butter, if you prefer.
- To make a vegan lactation cookie, replace the egg by adding an extra tablespoon of ground flax seed plus 3 tablespoons of water to make a flax egg substitute.
- Brewer’s yeast can taste VERY bitter and ruin the flavor of your cookies. Look for non-bitter or debittered yeast for the tastiest results. (I most recently tried Blue Bonnet’s brewer’s yeast flakes, which have no bitter flavor.) You can also try using nutritional yeast instead, or replace this with a scoop of unflavored protein powder or an extra 3 tablespoons of oat flour, for a similar texture.
- If you are gluten-intolerant be sure buy certified gluten-free oats. If you cannot find a brewer’s yeast that is certified gluten-free, try using nutritional yeast instead, which is thought to have similar properties for milk production.
Original Recipe: This recipe was updated in September 2022 because I found the original recipe to be too dry when I was baking this for my friends who just become new moms. In case you prefer the old version, here are the original ingredients below:
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup debittered brewer’s yeast
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups oat flour (certified gluten-free, if needed)
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
To make this version, mix together the ground flax and water in a large bowl, then add in the coconut oil, sugar, yeast, and vanilla and stir again. Mix in the baking soda, salt, and oat flour and stir until a thick batter forms. Then fold in the oats and chocolate chips. Scoop onto a lined baking sheet, and bake at 350ºF for 10 to 12 minutes.
If you try this lactation cookie recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like them.
Questions and Reviews
I’m not a mother but I would love to try this recipe. I simply love cookies and have all of the ingredients to hand plus I know my loved ones would adore these nibbles.
These are so good!!
I added some chia seeds and coconut flakes instead of the rolled oats ,plus I used monkfruit sweetener instead of coconut sugar and it was super tasty!! I could only find the normal brewers yeast but the monkfruit sweetener got rid of the bitterness which was great!
Thanks so much for the recipe I made them for myself but everyone keeps eating them so I’m already on the second batch! 🙂
I made lactation cookies similar to these while I was feeding on demand and I believe they worked! The oatmeal and brewers yeast was key 🙂
I had to order the brewers yeast and oat flour. They came in yesterday so I made 2 batches of these.
I’m exclusively feeding my 5 month old daughter and I’m pumping for a friend who is adopting a baby boy (born yesterday!).
I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and the result. I was able to pump 5 oz after feeding my daughter. I got everything gluten free, even the oats. I have thyroid disease with hashimoto, so omitting gluten really helps me out.
Super awesome!! Thank you! I have tried several healthier, gluten free versions of lactation cookies and they’re all a waste of calories, I’m so happy to see your version! Thank you, thank you!!!
Hi I’ve made these before a few times now and they are delicious! I substitute nutritional yeast and it tastes great. My only problem is my cookies always tend to turn out flat. Do you know what could be causing this?
These look amazing!! I have already made 2 different batches of lactation cookies which are different to these and contain wholemeal flour as well as oats, they went soft even though I went out and bought an air tight container so it is interesting to see your recommendation about storing in fridge 🙂 My questions is, with your recipe do I need to cream the coconut oil with sugar? Also are these very sweet as I normally only use half cup of sugar so wondering if they need the cup 🙂 Look forward to hearing from you as hopefully these can assist me with my 11 week old munchkin that is on 3 hourly feeds..
I mean’t an air tight GLASS container 🙂 x
These cookies are not as sweet as traditional recipes, but if you are used to lower sugar desserts, you could probably reduce the sugar a bit more. Coconut sugar tastes less sweet than refined white sugar. And I didn’t cream the oil with the sugar, but I did mix pretty aggressively to make sure all the ingredients were very well incorporated.
Thank you Megan x
Love this idea – my sister is about to pop so maybe i will make her a batch of these, i didn’t realised nutritional yeast could be helpful for lactation as well – it seems to be one super food!
I love the idea of making these for new (Breast feeding moms)! When I brought my babies home, people. came over with such well meaning desserts….but they only seemed to make me bigger than I already was. And I just felt worse about myself. I needed these! What a great gift to accompany a new outfit for a new mom. Thanks!
Thanks for this recipe – it comes at a perfect time! I have a 9 week old and have been struggling with milk supply. I have been making the traditional lactation cookie recipe but am not a fan of the amount of refined sugar in it as well as the flour. Can’t wait to try this alternative recipe – thank you!
the supply and demand law really works with breastfeeding. I breastfed all my kids way into toddlerhood. I was 31 to 42 – I wasn’t a young girl, either. I never gave my kids pacifiers or bottles at all. Because they were at the breast whenever they wanted they cried less, would sooth easier and never needed any “crutches” of any kind (blankeys, toys etc).
Hi Tereza. Just read your comment. I’m a first time mum to a 8 month old bubba girl, I have always up until a month ago, breastfed on demand. I was getting a lot of people telling me she would never be a good sleeper as she will have to settle on the boobie etc. she doesn’t have a pacifier or take bottles.
My question from one mum to another… Did u find this caused sleep issues, self settling issues etc
I know your question is a few months old, so I don’t know if you are still looking for info, but just in case you are, or someone else is… I just read a couple of articles recently, about the many benefits of breastfeeding for the baby… And how unnatural it is the wean them for sleeps sake… Go with your gut.
Here are a few articles that speak to the importance of breastfeeding (and that the “experts” are full of it) . Every time I think about doing what mainstream thinks I should I read these articles and feel empowered to continue doing what I feel is right for my baby.
That being said, not everyone can breastfeed or breastfeed on demand, but if you can and you want to, don’t let what other people think or say stop you.
Hi, I’m a new mom of a beautiful girl who is now 3 months old. I exclusively breastfeed on demand and she does not like bottles or pacifiers. I feel she sleeps well through the night but I also cosleep. She is well over the 70% for weight and 90% for height and I wanted to make sure I keep a good milk supply hence what brought me to your recipe. I will try them today but just wanted to say thank you. I don’t let her cry for to long and she only cries for 1 reason and that’s to eat, though I fear her not being able to self soothe well because she’s a little high maintenance. I enjoy and believe in breastfeeding 100%!
Delicious!! The best healthy lactation cookies I have tried!!! Thank you! I followed the recipe as is but had Lewis Labs yeast and it still turned out great. Super good, just a good cookie healthy or not. Thank you!!
Don’t use nutritional yeast! That would taste totally different (gross really) and it does not increase milk supply.
These taste amazing! They are my new favorite cookie. Thank you so much!
These cookies are great! I made the dough when I as expecting, froze it and thawed after baby was born. They’re a great snack for late night feeds or while pumping! I especially loved all the healthful ingredients compared to many other recipes. Thanks!
I just took these out of the oven so I can’t say how good the baked cookies are, but I’ve been snacking on the batter I had leftover since I used a small pan. Amazing! Thanks for the recipe!
These are great!!!! Love the taste, easy to mix up, and they bake so nicely! Thank you for a wonderful addition to my lactogenic eating plan! I work full time and have had trouble making enough milk for my Little. We are still EBF at nine months but I fight for every ounce that I pump. So happy to have this recipe for a special treat.
Could you use coconut flour in this recipe ?
I don’t recommend using coconut flour in recipes that don’t call for it– it’s VERY different from other flours, and you’ll basically have to come up with a whole new recipe to use it. I have several recipes that call for coconut flour already, so I’d suggest you start with one of those and add lactation-friendly ingredients from there. (You can search for coconut flour in the search bar to the right!)
Just made these with butter instead of oil and no yeast like you recommended for a nut free cookie recipe. Used ground chia instead of flax. They were good in flavor but not in texture. definitely really stuck to the roof of my mouth hard to eat type thing. Really gummy maybe the word? How to I fix that? Also, can i leave the whole oats out at the end for a smooth non oatmeal type cookie? Really looking for that staple choc chip cookie recipe and I’m hoping this can be it with some fixes! I made your single serving buckwheat cookie since that had no coconut and tree nut flour in it and the texture was a lot better on those, but hard to figure out how to make a big batch. Let me know what you think, could really use your advice!
Hi Danielle! I know your comment is old, but just in case you’re still looking for a good staple chocolate chip cookie recipe made without nuts or rolled oats, these oat flour chocolate chip cookies are delicious: https://detoxinista.com/oat-flour-cookies/
im thinking it was too much chia, from doing some googling of “sticky, gummy” GF cookies. Should I take it down to two ground tablespoons chia seeds? Do I leave the water the same as a half a cup? Also, can I leave out the oats at the end just for a regular chocolate chip cookie?
Just made these- used two cups of gluten free oat flour instead of blending, organic unbleached sugar (not coconut), and nutritional yeast instead of Brewers. They taste great!!
I made these with oat flour instead of grinding oats… they came out very dry/tasteless. If I am not starting with whole oats should I use less oat flour than 2 cups? I am thinking of trying again with less flour and more liquid like applesauce?
I used less oat flour (maybe 1 1/2 cups) and 1/2 cup honey instead of coconut sugar. they are delicious.
Definitely try using less oat flour. Probably closer to one cup. You could start with one and then add more as needed based on how sticky the batter is.
These cookies are fantastic. I added cinnamon the second time I made them and they were even tastier! You’d never know they were lactation cookies.
I love these and have made several batches, I feel they help make more milk as I have a low supply. I use steel cut oats and grind all the oats and flax in a coffee grinder for a smoother cookie. I also melt the chocolate into the water and coconut oil so each bite is chcolatey. A pinch of cinnamon warms the flavour too.
Made a double batch of these and am keeping them in the freezer for my baby’s arrival! They are definitely satisfying as a cookie should be, but without the guilt and with added benefits of boosting milk supply! I I love that they have whole food ingredients!
I made these cookies and love them. Followed your recipe, didn’t make any changes. I would love these even when I’m not breastfeeding. Thanks for this delicious recipe!
Hello – this recipe has been recommended to me but I’m allergic to brewers yeast – do you think it would work if I left it out altogether or should I replace it with something else ?
Yes, I’d just leave it out!
Thanks Megan !
May I know is it possible to substitute the yeast with something else? As I’m allergic to egg and yeast. Thanks.
Thank you soooo much for posting these!!! You’re right, pretty much all the recipes out there for lactation cookies are filled with unhealthy ingredients and are so calorically dense too! I just made these and LOVE them (so does my husband!!!) and I’m re-posting on my blog!!! I have linked to your blog 🙂
I’ve loved your blog forever–thanks for all the great recipes, info, and inspiration!
Hi Megan ! Thank you so muchfor this recipe as I am fairly restricted with what I am eating and struggling with my supply. I have made your Paleo choc chip cookies for years and really prefer the taste of those. At the end of this post you mention adding brewers yeast and flax egg to the Paleo recipe. That works without any modifications? Is there a way to use the ground oats instead of almond meal in that same recipe or will that change too much?
I do think adding a tablespoon or two of yeast to the Paleo cookie recipe would be just fine– the only alteration you might need to make would be adding a splash of water to help bind it all together if the mixture gets too dry. I’m not sure how you’d add oats to the mixture, though… that would change the flavor and texture, so it would take quite a bit more experimentation.
my container of Brewers yeast says it’s a beer making byproduct. That would mean it is not gluten free. The malt in beer is full o gluten.
Yes, true brewer’s yeast is byproduct of beer, but other brands of “brewer’s yeast” are grown using another medium, such as sugar beets. That’s why I recommend looking for a brand that is labeled gluten-free or using nutritional yeast as an alternative.
I halved the sugar and replaced the oil with pumpkin purée. It tasted great. I also kept the flax seed whole rather than ground. The cookies came out great. Not too sweet. They are more chewy than crisp probably because of the lack of fat but they have all the lactation ingredient goodness they need in them.
Thank you, I was reading through comments trying to see what I could replace the oil with and as a plus I love pumpkin!! Did you sub for the same amount??
First recipe I’ve ever tried for lactation cookies! Made the cookies exactly how the recipe calls for! Exact measurements and ingredients! The coconut ingredients gives the cookie such a good coconut flavor and paired with the chocolate it’s so good! I can’t comment on whether or not my production is up bc of the cookie bc I literally just made the cookies and ate two!
These are amazing! I love that they are gluten-free and loaded with whole grains and galactogogues. I’m hopeful that they’ll work their magic on my milk supply, but regardless I’ll be devouring them (and if they last long enough, sharing them with friends for their pure deliciousness).
These!! I devoured two immediately. These are the best cookies I’ve ever tasted. My supply increased significantly. Thank you!! Oh and I used cane sugar instead of coconut because I ran out of coconut.
The yeast taste can be overwhelming, so I discovered that 1 mashed banana / batch, plus 1/4 – 1/2 cup of toasted unsweetened coconut flakes balance out the flavor. I’ve been eating these as breakfast for the past 3 months, and there’s lots you can do to mix up the flavor profile!
These cookies are delish! I recommend making a double batch.
Can I freeze the cookie dough? If so, do I need to defrost before I bake? These are delicious.
Did you end up trying to freeze them? I am about to meal prep before our baby comes and loved these last time I was pregnant but now with a toddler, baking is a luxury lol
These cookies are delish! I was skeptical of them being both gf and vegan, thinking they might end up dry or funky tasting, but they are absolutely moist and delectable. I’ve made three batches so far, one where I doubled the recipe, and all turned out great!
They are probably little calorie bombs, but when you are breastfeeding you need the energy boost (tho my husband, who is clearly not breastfeeding but is vegan, loves them too).
I’ve been cutting back the amount of sugar in the recipe and so far they are still “sweet enough” (I’ve cut back to 3/4 a cup… next up will try 1/2 cup).
I’m also using 85% dark chocolate (just cutting up a bar into chips) and sometimes adding mint chocolate chips (absolute yum).
Another plus: they’ve made me quite “regular” with firm-but-easy-to-pass stools (a huge bonus when you gave birth naturally a week ago)–all that oat fiber!!!
Needed something dairy-free for the mom I am baking for, so tried these instead of my typical recipe and they worked out great. I didn’t have the coconut sugar, so used half brown sugar and half white sugar. I would definitely reduce the amount of sugar next time as I didn’t realize there was such a sweetness difference between regular and coconut sugar, but these still taste great. I love that it uses blended oats instead of wheat flour, as that just boosts the amount of oats we can pack into the cookies! Think this will be the base for my new recipe ongoing. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. (Note: I must heap my TBS somewhat less than you do as I got 25 good-sized cookies out of this batch and they spread far more than yours. Think I may chill the batter before baking next time so they are less likely to spread).
These are delicious! Do you know the protein, carb, and fat count by chance?
Have you tried this with nutritional yeast? Thanks
Megan these were fabulous! I read that dates are also a galactogogue, so I replaced the coconut sugar with your date paste recipe – even healthier and more powerful! Thanks for both great recipes! (PS – my husband Andy works for AdThrive and first pointed me to your blog. I’m a total fan!)
Hi! This is a very lovely recipe here! I couldn’t find specific “debittered” brewer’s yeast so I just bought a normal one from the health shop! It didn’t leave any noticeable taste at all.
First of all, thank you for sharing is amazing recipe! To be honest, I was a little bit skeptical but grateful that I tried!
Little of bit alteration for everyone reading this: for some reason we only had “brown” flax meal and it’s all still works just adds a bit of colour that’s all. Second, I forgot to add the sugar HAHA I’ve been too busy looking for “milk” just making sure there was actually none, and trust me you don’t need any so I added it at the last part with chocolate chips and oats and mixed it with my hands. Let it stand there for 5-10 minutes so the sugar dissolves a little bit and then mix again (with your hands) which I prefer. Speaking of oats, I had instant oats that I wanted to use so I used that in place of 1/2cup rolled oats at the last part. This will change the texture, which in the end I didn’t mind- like pillowy texture but still great because of the subtle crunch from browning on the sides. I made two trays, 16 cookies, and baked the first one at exactly 12 minutes and the other one 17 minutes. I liked both but if you want a bit more softer, chewer texture go for 12minutes.
Good luck guys! I recommend this recipe, highly!
How long will these freeze for in a sealed container? Hoping to batch cook
Thank you for the vegan lactation cookie recipe! I agree that every recipe you look up is just loaded with sugar and butter and stuff. I am curious if these would also be good if I froze half the batch of cookie dough and made cookies with the other half? Or is it only good to freeze the already made cookies? Thanks!
I followed the recipe but used Anthony’s brewers yeast, which is not debittered. They were pretty terrible! I tried the recipe again with grass-fed butter instead of coconut oil and it really masked the bitterness of the brewers yeast. If you’re used to really sweet treats, you probably won’t like these. I prefer lower sugar so I really liked them.
Hey! Made these a week ago and they are perfect!! Love them so much and they help my milk supply!
One question tho, how would I add almond butter to this recipe?? I can’t have chocolate or raisins and am just trying to mix it up a bit, ya know? Lol.. thanks in advance!
Thank you for posting this 🙂 yummy and increased my supply within hours! (I used nutritional yeast)
About to have our second baby and these were awesome with my first. They taste good and they always helped. Getting a few batches into the freezer this time so I’m ready!
YAY. These were easy to make and held up relatively well. I did swap the chocolate chips for dried cranberries, added a dash of cinnamon, and halved the sugar. I also melted the coconut oil a bit because I couldn’t see it mixing well in solid form.
As others mentioned, I went ahead and froze them, which I think will help a bit with the crumbiness. Mine held together pretty okay (considering I halved the sugar, which probably makes a difference) but I think from-the-freezer will be even better!
Is the sugar required for the yeast? Or is it strictly for taste?
Just for taste!
Ok, thank you!
These were pretty good. Not sure if mine were bitter free though. I read the last part of the article after I made them. I just bought what the store had. They tasted pretty good being dairy, wheat, egg and processed sugar free. I hope my friend likes them 🤗