Healthy pumpkin breakfast cookies 

These pumpkin breakfast cookies have saved me on more times than I can count. No matter how prepared we (think we) are, weekday mornings are inevitably a hustle. Between getting the kids up and ready, packing up lunches and snacks, and orchestrating our daily schedules, it’s rare that we have a take-your-time kind of morning. But if I have a stash of these cookies in the freezer, I can breathe easy. We can pull a few out for those “oh-crap-we-all-slept-late” breakfasts. Or I can stash them in the kids’ backpacks for a healthy school snack. (Don’t miss the video below!)

Close-up of two cookies on a plate.

Pumpkin oatmeal cookies

The recipe was inspired by my banana breakfast cookies, which have been a longtime favorite around here. These spiced pumpkin cookies incorporate some of our favorite fall flavors while filling us up with oats, flax seeds and almond butter (see below for a nut-free option).  Dried cranberries (or you could use cherries, raisins or currants) provide a sweet-tart chew. You can also add dark chocolate if you’d like, which we always do because who would ever say no to chocolate (hey, it’s good for brain health!). Plus, the girls think they’re getting away with some serious shenanigans when allowed to have cookies for breakfast or as a school snack!  I often use Lily’s brand, which are sweetened with stevia. 

Overhead shot of a hand grabbing a pumpkin breakfast cookie off of a baking sheet.

Vegan pumpkin breakfast cookies

Instead of using eggs to bind these cookies, they’re bound with either almond butter or sunflower seed butter. Opt for sunflower seed butter if there are any nut allergies in your house, or if your school is nut-free. You could also use cashew butter, but I would stay away from peanut butter, which has too strong of a flavor.

Breakfast cookies with pumpkin puree

I usually use canned pumpkin for these cookies, but if you have fresh pumpkin or squash puree, you can absolutely use it! A mix of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves give them an incredible flavor and aroma. 

Process shot divided into 4 quadrants, showing the steps for mixing the breakfast cookie batter.

This is an easy dump-and-stir recipe. First combine the oats, flaxseed and spices. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and microwave them (or heat them on the stovetop) until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and let the batter sit for 5 minutes to allow the oats to soften slightly. Then stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips. I use an ice cream scoop to easily scoop the batter onto the baking sheet before baking.

Process shot showing hand scooping the cookie batter onto a baking sheet.

How long will the cookies keep?

You can store the cookies in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze them for up to 3 months (or even longer!). The cookies can be eaten cold or you can reheat them in a toaster oven or regular oven until warmed through and crisp.

Substitutions you can make to this recipe:

  • For a nut-free version, use sunflower seed butter. You can also use cashew butter in place of the almond butter, but stay away from peanut butter, which has too strong of a flavor.
  • I use canned pumpkin puree in this recipe, but you could use fresh if you have it (or you could use butternut squash puree).
  • Feel free to swap out the coconut oil for butter.
  • Instead of dried cranberries, you can use dried cherries, raisins, dates or currants (or you can omit them altogether if you prefer!).

Tips for making this pumpkin breakfast cookie recipe

  • A 2-ounce ice cream scoop with a lever is the perfect tool for transferring the batter to the baking sheet, but you could use two spoons instead. Flatten the cookies gently with damp hands before baking. 
  • I cook the cookies on a large 18×13-inch baking sheet. If you don’t have one that big, use two baking sheets instead.
  • Be sure to line the baking sheet with parchment paper so that the cookies don’t stick (I love these pre-cut sheets). 
  • The cookies freeze beautifully and can be reheated in a toaster oven or regular oven until warmed and crisp. For snacks I packed them directly from the freezer (they’ll be defrosted by snack time!).
Close up side view of three pumpkin breakfast cookies stacked on a plate.

Other healthy, make-ahead breakfasts and snacks:

Watch the video!

Get the recipe!

Healthy Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

These pumpkin breakfast cookies are jammed with nutritious ingredients but taste like treats! Made with whole oats, pumpkin, nut butter and flax seeds, these vegan and gluten-free cookies, which are flavored with maple syrup, warming spices, cranberries and dark chocolate (optional, but not in my house!) are the perfect make-ahead breakfast or snack. They’re even better the next day, so make a batch today and throw them in the fridge or freezer for tomorrow (or next week). Your weekday mornings just got a little easier…
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy breakfast cookies, pumpkin breakfast cookie recipe, pumpkin breakfast cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 cookies
Author Nicki Sizemore

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (240g / 9.5oz) old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1 1/3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup almond butter or sunflower seed butter
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Mix together the oats, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and ground flaxseeds.
  3. In a heatproof bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Microwave on high, stirring occasionally, until smooth (about 1-2 minutes). Alternatively, combine everything in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until smooth.
  4. Scrape the pumpkin mixture into the bowl with the oats and stir to combine. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes. Fold in the cranberries and chocolate, if using.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop or two large spoons, scoop the dough into ¼ cup mounds onto the baking sheet (if your baking sheet isn’t large enough, use two). Using damp hands, flatten the mounds into 3-inch cookies that are about 1/2-inch tall. Bake 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until the cookies are golden. Let cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Do Ahead: The cookies can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. They can be eaten straight out of the fridge, or they can be heated up in a toaster oven. For school and work snacks, I pack them into bags straight from the freezer (they will be defrosted by snack time!).

Tips:

  • For a nut-free version, use sunflower seed butter. You can also use cashew butter in place of the almond butter (I find that peanut butter has too strong of a flavor).
  • You’ll need 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree for this recipe (don’t use a pumpkin pie mix). You’ll have some pumpkin leftover, which you can stir into oatmeal or soups.
  • Feel free to swap out the coconut oil for butter. Instead of dried cranberries, you can use dried cherries, raisins, dates or currants (or you can omit them if you prefer!).
  • Since we eat these cookies as breakfasts or snacks, I often use Lily’s Chocolate Chips, which are sweetened with stevia instead of sugar.
  • I bake these cookies on an 18×13-inch baking sheet, which is the workhorse of my kitchen (I own five of them!). If you don’t have a pan that big, use two smaller pans. (p.s. these pre-cut parchment sheets are a fantastic time saver!)