Desserts

September 22, 2022

Vegan Gluten Free Lactation Cookies (without brewer's yeast)

Made with milk boosting ingredients like oats, almonds, and flaxseed, these Lactation Cookies are the best for breastfeeding moms who want to increase their milk supply. They are gluten free, refined sugar free, vegan, and require NO brewer's yeast.
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New moms love lactation cookies because they're a great way to increase their breast milk production and boost energy levels.

(When I had my first baby, I made them at least once a week because I was obsessed!)

But most recipes call for a unique ingredient called brewer's yeast that, while one of the top lactogenic foods out there, is also hard to find, expensive, and not that tasty.

In fact, it's easy to experience the negative side affects from too much brewer's yeast because every lactation recipe says you have to have it.

Well, good news!

Today's recipe for Healthy Lactation Cookies doesn't need an ounce of brewer's yeast!🤯

Yes, you read that right.

Not only is it possible, but it's wonderful.

You save money, you skip the headaches and diarrhea, and you get a boost in milk supply all at once!

Whether you're a first time mom, a mom who wants peace of mind about having enough milk, or a mom who just had her fifth baby, this is a great recipe to have on hand!

(And if you want more amazing lactation recipes, be sure to snag a copy of my Lactation Cookbook! Use the code "MAMA10" for 10% off your order.)

A lactation cookie with a bite out of it


Why you'll love this recipe

NO brewer's yeast: yes, you read that right! These truly are the best lactation cookies because they're made without brewer's yeast. No special, overpriced, online orders here! (Besides, no one likes the taste of brewer's yeast anyway.)

Wholesome ingredients: each cookie is made with complex carbs, plant based protein, and healthy fatty acids that also have estrogenic properties. Win-win!

Delicious cookies: basically these are oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that also increase your breast milk supply. Another win-win!

Allergy friendly: this recipe is naturally gluten free, refined sugar free, and vegan, so everyone can enjoy them! (and even if you're not gluten free or vegan, they're still delicious!)

Easy to make: all you need is a stand mixer or a hand mixer with a large mixing bowl. Once you make them homemade, you'll never want store-bought lactation cookies again!

Just the beginning: if you love these cookies, you need to grab a copy of my Lactation Cookbook! It has over 50 lactation recipes and 13 pages of everything you need to know about breastfeeding nutrition. Use the code "MAMA10" at checkout for 10% off your order!

A pile of lactation cookies with sea salt on top


What are lactation cookies?

Lactation cookies are essentially oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that have a few extra ingredients added to boost milk supply.

Some of these important ingredients are oats, flax meal (made from ground flax seeds), and almonds.

To learn more, check out my post about Everything You Need to Know About Lactation Cookies!

For more healthy lactation recipes, check out my Lactation Cookbook!


What is brewer's yeast?

Brewer's yeast is a one-celled fungus collected during the process of making beer that is used as a dietary supplement or a key ingredient in bread and wine.

It's also well-known for its natural ability to increase milk supply in lactating women.


Brewer's yeast vs nutritional yeast

When it comes to lactation, only brewer's yeast is considered a lactogenic food, but both brewer's yeast and nutritional yeast are great options for nursing moms.

Both are made from the same fungus, both are inactive forms of yeast, and both are high in plant based protein and B vitamins.

However, brewer's yeast is bitter and can cause uncomfortable side effects, while nutritional yeast has a savory, nutty, cheesy flavor.

To learn more about brewer's yeast vs nutritional yeast, check out this article by I Am Going Vegan.

Ingredients for lactation cookies


Ingredients you'll need

When I wrote this lactation cookie recipe, I wanted every ingredient to boost milk supply, not just one or two of the ingredients.

I'm proud to say that I did it! Every ingredient, including the chocolate, will help milk production.

Here's what you'll need for these amazing cookies:

  • Vegan butter: my favorite is this olive oil butter because it's made with heart healthy fats but tastes and bakes just like regular butter.
  • Almond butter: another lactogenic food that doubles as a "butter" replacement. It also adds a rich flavor to the cookies and brings out the cinnamon and coconut sugar.
  • Sugar free maple syrup: my secret to less sugar without less flavor. You'd never notice!
  • Coconut sugar: an unrefined sugar with a subtle caramel flavor.
  • Stevia: a zero calorie replacement for traditional white sugar. You can also use Monkfruit sweetener.
  • Flax egg: made from ground flaxseed meal and water. It's a vegan egg substitute that works great for these cookies and has amazing nutritional benefits.
  • Oat flour: a nutty gluten free flour packed with plant based protein, fiber, and lactogenic nutrients. You'll also need quick oats (not rolled oats) to fold in at the end. For the best results, I recommend purchasing oat flour here on Amazon (it's hard to find at the grocery store) instead of making your own. In my experience, homemade oat flour never truly becomes a "flour," just gritty oats, and that doesn't make for yummy cookies.
  • Cinnamon: for a boost of antioxidants and delicious flavor.
  • Dark chocolate chips: a must, of course! Not just for those happy hormones, but dark chocolate (70% or higher) is a good source of magnesium, manganese, and antioxidants.

Substitutions

  • Butter: although I do recommend an olive oil butter (that you'll melt), I don't recommend swapping in pure olive oil because the viscosity and flavor are too different from melted butter. You can use any unsalted butter or coconut oil you like, but make sure to melt before mixing into the cookies.
  • Almond butter: you could substitute any nut or seed butter here, but I don't recommend it. Almonds are one of the key ingredients for lactation in this recipe and they have the best flavor. My next choice would be cashew butter, then tahini.
  • Coconut sugar: equal parts brown sugar will work just as well, but your cookies might spread a bit more.
  • Flax eggs: since flax is one of the key ingredients for lactation, I don't recommend substituting. I also haven't tested this recipe with eggs, either.
  • Oat flour: this recipe developed specifically with oat flour, so white flour (all purpose flour), whole wheat flour, or almond flour won't work.
  • Chocolate chips: I use Lily's 70% dark chocolate, but you can use Hu dark chocolate gems or Enjoy Life's mini chocolate chips too.

Lactation cookie dough balls on a baking sheet


How to make lactation cookies

Step 1: melt the butter. All you need is 30-60 seconds in the microwave here. Since we're doing [almost] everything in one bowl, use your large mixing bowl here to save on dishes!

Once the butter is melted, let it cool for at least 10 minutes.

Step 2: make the flax egg. Whisk together the flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water and let it thicken for 5 minutes. Give it one final stir before incorporating.

Step 3: combine the wet ingredients. Whisk together the cooled butter, almond butter, maple syrup, flax egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. Then, whisk in the coconut sugar and Stevia until smooth.

Step 4: fold in the dry ingredients. First whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Combining the flour and leavening agents in a separate bowl first is not required, but it helps make sure each cookie bakes evenly.

Once those are combined, gently fold them into the wet ingredients. When there are a few streaks of flour remaining, fold in the oats and chocolate chips.

Lactation cookie dough with chocolate chips on top
A bowl of cookie dough

Step 5: bake the cookies. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop (also known as a #20 scoop or ice cream scoop), portion out 6 cookies per cookie sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven for 12-14 minutes.

I like pulling mine out at 12 minutes so the centers are a little bit underdone even after they finish cooling. If you prefer your cookies golden brown and completely baked, pull them out closer to 14 minutes.

Note: it will be SO hard not to scarf down the first batch of cookies right out of the oven, but I promise you will be so much happier if you let them cool for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise they will fall apart!

Step 6: garnish. As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, sprinkle them with course or flaky sea salt and let cool on the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Feel free to top with additional chocolate after baking, too! More chocolate is always a good idea.

A pile of lactation cookies on a cooling rack


How to store lactation cookies

At room temperature

Let the cookies cool to room temperature after baking, then store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

In the fridge

I personally only like storing the cookie dough in the fridge (because it's 100% to eat raw and it's DELISH) but you can keep your cookies in the fridge for up to 1 week.

In the freezer

Before baking: portion out the cookie dough into balls, place on a plate, and flash freeze for 15-20 minutes. Transfer the no bake lactation bites to a ziploc bag and store for up to 2 months.

When ready to bake, you can let the dough thaw in the fridge the night before, thaw at room temperature for a few hours, or bake immediately. To learn more about baking frozen cookie dough, check out this post from Handle the Heat.

After baking: let the cookies cool to room temperature, then store in a ziploc bag for up to 2 months. Let thaw at room temperature before eating.

A stack of lactation cookies with a bite out of the top cookies


Frequently asked questions

Can I make these no bake lactation cookies?

Absolutely yes! Because there is no gluten, dairy, or eggs, this cookie dough is 100% edible. Just prepare according to directions, then portion into 1 tablespoon balls and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Are lactation cookies a healthy snack?

Yes! They are made with wholesome ingredients and are a type of "dietary supplement" for your milk supply. I'd like to think they're extra delicious during "middle of the night" feedings, too.

I want my cookies to be smaller. Can I do that?

Of course! If you want more smaller cookies (instead of fewer larger cookies) use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Do I need to modify this recipe for high elevation?

Yes. If you live in a place that is 3,500 feet or higher, add an extra 2 tablespoons oat flour to your cookie dough. Keep the baking time the same, though.

Do I need an appliance to make these cookies?

Nope! You can totally use one, though, if you want to. When adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix on low speed to keep from over mixing.

Can I eat these lactation cookies if I'm not breastfeeding?

Yes! Please do! They are still my favorite cookies I've ever made and my husband loves them too.

A cooling rack of lactation cookies


More lactation recipes

The Best Healthy Lactation Banana Bread

Healthy Carrot Cake Bars with Greek Yogurt Frosting

Vegan Vanilla Almond Granola

Milk Boosting Lean Green Smoothie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins


So, if you're a new mama looking to boost your breastmilk supply, these easy lactation cookies are for you!

And, if you know a nursing mom with a new baby, bring her a plate of these lactation cookies!

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Vegan Gluten Free Lactation Cookies (without brewer's yeast)

Made with milk boosting ingredients like oats, almonds, and flaxseed, these Lactation Cookies are the best for breastfeeding moms who want to increase their milk supply. They are gluten free, refined sugar free, vegan, and require NO brewer's yeast.

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

20

min

cook:

15

min

total:

35

min

servings:

14

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C Country Crock Olive Oil Butter
  • 1/2 C creamy almond butter
  • 1/4 C sugar free maple syrup
  • 1/2 C coconut sugar
  • 1/3 C Stevia
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed
  • 1 C + 1 Tbsp oat flour*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 C quick oats
  • 1/2 C sugar free dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl in the microwave, then let cool for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water and let it thicken for 5 minutes. Give it one final stir before incorporating.
  4. Whisk together the cooled butter, almond butter, maple syrup, flax egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. Then, whisk in the coconut sugar and Stevia until smooth.
  5. Add the oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt into the wet ingredients, then fold until just combined. When there are a few streaks of flour remaining, fold in the oats and chocolate chips.
  6. Using a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop** (also known as a #20 scoop or ice cream scoop), portion out 6 cookies per cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes. (I like pulling mine out at 12 minutes so the centers are a little bit underdone even after they finish cooling. If you prefer your cookies golden brown and completely baked, pull them out closer to 14 minutes).
  7. As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, sprinkle them with course or flaky sea salt and let cool on the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Notes

*If baking at high altitude, add 2 tablespoons of oat flour.

**See blog post for options for different cookie sizes and bake times.

See blog post for ingredient substitutions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookie / Calories: 272 / Fat: 9.6g / Saturated fat: 2.4g / Carbohydrates: 28.4g / Fiber: 3.8g / Sugar: 5.6g / Protein: 5g