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
What’s in lactation cookies?
- Oat flour
- Ground flax seeds
- Brewer’s yeast powder
- Coconut sugar
- Coconut oil
- Egg (or flax egg)
- Vanilla extract
- Baking soda & salt
- Dark chocolate chips
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.
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
Can I use a different flour? 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.
Can I use a different sugar? 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.)
Do I have to use brewer’s yeast? 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!
Healthy 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
- ¾ cups 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, 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 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. Then serve them warm for the best flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. 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 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. 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.
Update Note: 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
What is the serving size on these cookies?
Just made these with a few liberties (coconut flakes and dried currants). These cookies are delish! Can’t comment on whether they effectively boost my milk but I’d definitely make them again just based on flavor 🙂
Thanks for sharing the recipe!
These WORK. I hadn’t pumped enough at work to send for my son at daycare for weeks, but literally the day after making/eating these I pumped enough to send!
I didn’t have coconut sugar so I used half white and half brown sugar and I used a little less oil and added sunflower butter (it’s really oily) since I can’t have peanuts or almonds. Will be making again!
Hi, if i wanted to separate the mix into 2 jars as a baby shower gift to make at least 12 cookies in each jar. How can i alternate the liquid measurements in the recipe
Has anybody tried this with whole west flour?
How much does this recipe weigh as I’ll be using it as a baby shower gift and want to put in a bag but the bags depend on the weight of the recipe?
This is my second batch! I store them in the freezer and enjoy one straight from the freezer in the evening with a cup of Mother’s Milk Tea. For those who want a sugar free option, I sub the coconut sugar with 1/2 cup of monkfruit sweetener (1:1 granular) and about a teaspoon of pure stevia extract. I also add almond extract (bc I love it in everything and it helps to mask the taste of the yeast) and I use cacoa Nibs instead of chocolate chips. Delicious! As the mom of a very hungry 3 month old, they seem to help with my milk supply too – bonus! Thanks!
So my sister made them for me. Just trying to figure out how many I should eat in a day or sitting…they are delicious just don’t know if I can over eat them. Lol 🙂
This recipe is amazing! I didn’t have coconut sugar and I only had regular brewers yeast, not debittered. I substituted 1/2cup brown sugar instead of the coconut sugar and they turned out perfect! I think the extra sweetness of the brown sugar helped to cut the bitterness of the brewers yeast. Thank you for this recipe.
I tried this recipe and love it. I did change it up a bit thought by doing 1.5 cups oatmeal and using nutritional yeast. Had to bake mine for at minimum 15 minutes as well.
Thanks for sharing! Do you think these will freeze well? If so, do you recommend freezing the dough or the baked cookies? Thanks!
I tend to freeze baked cookies, so the work is already done! But, then we also eat them straight from the freezer. The cookies might be a little softer when they are thawed later, so if you don’t want to eat cold cookies, I would freeze the dough, then thaw and bake.
Hi I have always used brewers yeast in my cookies, but i have a friend asking me to make them with nutritional yeast. Can you tell me the ratio? Would it be the same amounts? Thanks
These were fantastic! So yummy! I don’t leave reviews, but I had to for this gem. They melted in your mouth and were full of flavor. I recently baked another recipe for lactation cookies, and they were great too…however, I had to cut out all dairy, added sugars, and flour from my diet (whole 30) so I found this recipe. You will not be disappointed. What a treat! Thank you, thank you!
I didn’t have debittered brewer’s yeast so I used nutritional yeast. I made my own oat flour in my vitamix as I forgot to purchase at the store. I probably will never purchase oat flour now that I know I can make my own in a pinch. I melted 1/3 cup of ghirardelli 100% cocao into batter, and after placing on cookie sheet I topped each cookie with 5 dark chocolate chunks (qty 12). Dark chocolate is not whole30 compliant but I figured 5 chunks a day wouldn’t hurt.
THESE ARE AWESOME!! SO, SO TASTY AND EVEN MORE ENJOYABLE BECAUSE OF THE GUILT FREE INGREDIENTS. MY DAUGHTER IS 3 MONTHS OLD AND I JUST GOT MY PERIOD, WHICH DEFINITELY HAD AN EFFECT ON MY MILK SUPPLY AND HER WILLINGNESS TO NURSE. I JUMPED INTO TRYING EVERYTHING FOR INCREASING LACTATION, FROM TEAS TO FENUGREEK SUPPLEMENTS, TO EATING SPOONFULS OF FLAX SEEDS AND HEMP AND NUTRITIONAL YEAST… FELT LIKE I WAS TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM, HAHA! I GOT SERIOUS ABOUT AND CONSISTENT WITH PUMPING, TOO, WHICH REALLY HELPED. THAT SAID, I LIKE THE IDEA OF EATING A FEW YUMMY COOKIES MORE THAN SPOONFULS OF SEEDS ON THEIR OWN! I SEARCHED LONG AND HARD FOR A RECIPE THAT ISN’T LOADED WITH BUTTER AND PROCESSED SUGARS AND AM REALLY STOKED THAT THIS IS THE ONE I TRIED! I’M ALSO HAPPY TO HAVE NEW HEALTHY INGREDIENTS ADDED TO MY PANTRY:) MY HUSBAND LOOOOOVES THESE, TOO. SO EXCITED TO SHARE THIS RECIPE WITH MY FRIENDS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CREATING THE PERFECT COOKIE!!
Great cookies made them exactly as the recipe cAlls. I’ve never tasted brewers yeast before the taste is a bit overwhelming. Other than that crisp brown on outside soft chewy on inside yummy!
New mom here making these to get my milk supply up! Love it! Question: In the video you add water a second time however in the written instructions I don’t see that. Can you clarify how much water to add in that second phase? Thanks!
Hi! I just made these but I used spent grain flour instead of oat flour & nutritional yeast instead of brewers yeast. I was convinced these substitutions was going to make them terrible but they are still really good! A solid recipe, thank you!
Good recipe. I am not vegan or gluten free (just dairy free for the baby), so I modified it slightly. I used half oat flower, half conventional flour and instead of water, I used an egg and almond milk. Very fluffy and yummy. Cant comment yet on the lactation effect but these ingredients are tried and true, so I wouldn’t worry.
Hi, Have you ever frozen a batch to eat later? If you have, how were they? I am 31 weeks pregnant & thought about making these ahead of time.
Yes, but I have not thawed them all the way to room temperature again, so I’m not sure how they hold up in that case. I tend to eat cookies straight from the fridge or freezer after I make them, so I can say that they are great that way! They do thaw well in the fridge after freezing.
Thank you!! I look forward to making them soon.
These were easy to make and yummy. I accidentally brought the bitter brewers yeast, but still tasted better than some other recipes I tried. Thank you!
Hi, would it be possible to use almond flour instead of oat flour?
Delicious! Thank you! Didn’t have coconut sugar so replaced with 1/2-1/2 brown and white sugars. Easy!
Hi, i used this recipe but they are not sweet, they turned out bitter.i used brown and cane sugar instead of coconut sugar because i couldn’t find it anywhere. Could it be the dark chocolate? I mixed the yeast before i mixed the yeast well and it bubbled up alot and THEN i added everything else. I also used white chocolate along with dark chocolate. Are they suppose to be bitter? If not then what did i do wrong?
Brewer’s yeast is incredibly bitter unless you find one that is labeled “debittered,” so my guess is that’s the culprit? I couldn’t add regular brewer’s yeast to anything without a very noticeable flavor.
I love this recipe! I made a batch and froze them before baby arrived in 6 cookie baggies. I pulled the baggies out as I needed and it was the perfect treat while I was figuring out mommyhood for the first time. I have a 4 week old that I have a strong milk supply for and waiting for my next batch to bake as I leave this comment.
I tried the recipe and it came out splendid. Thanks for sharing. It has help me to save money from buying the cookies.
My cookies came out tasting good, but were very flat and flimsy (they easily fell apart). I like more puffy/ chubby cookies, so I am going to experiment with adding more flour, and hopefully will yield cookies with a better appearance for gift-giving. However, this recipe stands “as-is” for tasty cookies for myself, with only a slight aftertaste from the brewer’s yeast that isn’t bad at all. I ate several throughout the day, with no sugar crash.
I used olive oil instead because I don’t like coconut oil and olive oil works just as good just with less of the amount or alittle extra oats like I did
Thank you so so so much for this amazing recipe. I baked two batches of this before my due date and froze it. Been eating 2 cookies everyday (reheat in microwave for 30 secs) and my milk supply has never been a problem. Also, super delicious. Like really good! Thank you once again!!! ❤️ Baking the next two batches today. Yumm!
I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying them! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
Can I substitute coconut oil with butter?
Yes, that should work just fine!
I only had steel cut oats so I replaced the oat flour for almond Flour and cooked the steel cut oats in a bit of water to softened them. I also used a bit less sugar.
They turned out pretty good as well.
My favorite lactation cookie recipe by far! I produced over 1/2oz more just with 2 cookies the first night I ate these.
I substituted the chocolate chips for raisins and added just a little bit of maca and lucuma powder to my batch.
Overall, they taste delicious and are very effective. My family also loved them!
I am breastfeeding my daughter who has a dairy allergy so I had to go dairy free. I stumbled upon these cookies and they are amazing! Not only do they help with your milk supply but they also are delicious and super easy to make. I cannot thank you enough!
How often do you recommend eating a day?
I would like to try your recipe, but need to avoid coconut as my baby had an intolerance reaction to it last time I used coconut oil & milk. Would canola oil work as a sub for coconut oil? If so, do I need to adjust the amount? Also, what do you rec subbing for the coconut sugar – reg white sugar? White/brown sugar combo?
Thanks for any help you can offer!
Hi! I have a whole lot of instant oats at home, and was wondering if I could use these instead of regular rolled oats. Would they still be effective to promote breast milk? Also, can I make oat flour and stick to the recipe you have shared by grinding the instant oats finely (to make the oat flour)? Lastly, if I substituted the coconut sugar with organic cane sugar, will it help in avoiding that “sugar crash” you mentioned? Or would substituting with pure honey be a better alternative? Thanks in advance!
I think maybe I made it wrong… These were not tasty at all and they didnt seem to want to bake or stay together…
A close friend made these for me after I had my baby. I gobbled them up. Then my husband made a second batch. Gone. I just made a third batch for myself and used nutritional yeast since we didn’t have brewers. I was nervous about how the flavors would blend, but I don’t even taste it! Win! Might try to decrease sugar content for the next batch since I’m eating so much of these. My baby isn’t even two weeks old.😅
I love these!!! I made these for months at the beginning of my breastfeeding journey. I am 8 months PP and was just craving them so I’m making them again. Thank you so much for the recipe! Sooo good.
Love this recipe! I left out the yeast since I just want a vegan cookie. THE BEST! People who don’t know it’s vegan also love it too!
These are the best cookies I’ve ever made!! with a few substitutions though, to adequate with what I already had. I used 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar instead of coconut sugar, and butter instead of coconut oil. Also I added sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, dried cranberries and very, very bug chunks of chocolate.
I just have one little issue with them… I can’t stop eating them!
I feel they probably helped my supply, or maybe it’s just that I’m so happy eating them that my supply just when up. I don’t pump so I can’t know for sure.
(I wanted them all so I told my husband he could lactate if he ate them haha)
Oh my goodness these cookies are absolutely delicious. I’ve been looking for an egg free, dairy free option. And these seem to have more milk making ingredients than the ones I was ordering online that were pre-baked and everything. I added in 2 extra tablespoons of oats, added in some wheat germ, I used nutritional yeast because I don’t have brewers yeast (ordered some), and I added in unsweetened coconut flakes. So good. I’ll definitely will be making more of these soon.oh I also added in a 1/2 teaspoon of fennel. Cant even tell it’s there.
These cookies turned out so good 😊 i made them for my friend who just gave birth and she loves them:) I didn’t find oatmeal flour so I used almond flour and a bit of buckwheat flour instead and nutritional yeast. Yum!
These are delicious! I just made them as my main “nesting” activity for the weekend since baby is due in a couple days, and it’s going to be hard to wait to eat them. 🙂 I followed the instructions exactly, found debittered brewer’s yeast on Amazon, and had to grind my own certified GF oat flour (not sure why the main GF baking brands don’t seem to carry an oat flour that’s certified GF). I might try some modifications in future but just wanted to share how great these came out!
I didn’t have debittered brewers yeast, just the regular kind. So I added some almond extract and peanut butter to help balance out the taste. Delicious!
I had made another recipe that I’d gotten from my lactation consultant that I really did not like at all. These are SO GOOD. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to have any cookies since now I have to cut both dairy and eggs for my daughter who breastfeeds on demand while I’m home and I have to pump while at work. Seriously, THANK YOU!
I was skeptical but followed the directions except added a 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts. The cookies came out amazing and in case you’re in high altitude also, they come out just fine (no extra flour needed).
I just made these and while I can’t determine whether or not they help with milk production, I can say that they’re super tasty.
Instant oats instead of rolled oats
Nutrional yeast intead of brewers yeast
Homemade oat flour (oats in the Vitamix)
I didn’t read the instructions before making the recipe and just mixed alk dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, I mixed the wet ingredients. I then slowly incorporated the dry in the wet while mixing and the cookies turned out great.
I made these for my Daughter in Law and they turned out great. The Brewers yeast is a bit bitter, even the debittered version. She wants to keep that for the health benefits. Is it possible to lessen the amount and replace the remaining 1/4 cup with another ingredient? I’m also thinking of adding some Peanut Butter, would love feedback if anyone has tried this. Thank you
I substituted almond flour for oat flour, and threw in some walnuts. Also, I didn’t have brewer’s yeast so made it without, my family loooves these!
Third batch going on week 2. My family loooved these. Substituted almond flour for oat flour, and added some walnuts for a little crunch and protein. These are the best, thank you for this recipe!!