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Chocolate-Oat Lactation Cookies



A pile of oatmealchocolate chunk lactation cookies on a pink platter.
Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell

Chewy, chocolate-studded lactation cookies are among the tastiest ways breastfeeding parents can boost their milk production. Thanks to hearty ingredients like lactogenic old-fashioned rolled oats, brewer’s yeast, flaxseed meal, and crunchy omega-rich chia seeds, they’re chock-full of galactagogues, or substances that can increase milk supply. (Additional galactagogues include fenugreek, alfalfa, and other herbs rarely used to make delicious cookies.) Not to be confused with baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast powder is a nutritional supplement sold on Amazon and in many grocery and health food stores. This recipe also contains coconut oil, a pantry power player that researchers believe increases prolactin, a hormone tied to lactation.

Even if you’re not concerned with breast milk production, there’s a lot for new moms and dads to love about these energizing chewy oatmeal cookies. Number one, they’re adaptable: Substitute milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chunks, or dairy-free carob chips. Instead of cranberries, use golden raisins or chopped dried apricots. Add a ½ teaspoon almond or coconut extract, or trade ½ cup white sugar for brown sugar for nuttier-tasting cookie dough. Wholesome enough to eat for breakfast and sweet enough to have as a dessert, lactation cookies also freeze beautifully.

Recipe information

  • Total Time

    2 hours

  • Yield

    Makes 26 cookies


3 cups (267 g) old-fashioned oats
1 cup (113 g) whole wheat flour
¾ cup (94 g) all-purpose flour
5 Tbsp. brewer’s yeast powder
¼ cup (25 g) ground flaxseed
3 Tbsp. white chia seeds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
1¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar
6 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil, melted, cooled slightly
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
6 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1½ cups (255 g) semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup (86 g) dried cranberries (optional)
¾ cup (45 g) unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Flaky sea salt


  1. Step 1

    Mix 3 cups (267 g) old-fashioned oats, 1 cup (113 g) whole wheat flour, ¾ cup (94 g) all-purpose flour, 5 Tbsp. brewer’s yeast powder, ¼ cup (25 g) ground flaxseed, 3 Tbsp. white chia seeds, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, ½ tsp. aluminum-free baking powder, ½ tsp. baking soda, and ¼ tsp. fine sea salt in a large bowl to combine.

    Step 2

    Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat 1¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar, 6 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil, melted, cooled slightly, and 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature, in another large bowl, scraping down sides as needed, until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add 2 large eggs and 2½ tsp. vanilla extract and beat until incorporated, about 4 minutes. Add 6 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce and beat for just a few seconds (it will break the mixture slightly and look lumpy; that’s okay).

    Step 3

    Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Using a wooden spoon, stir in 1½ cups (255 g) semisweet chocolate chips, plus ¾ cup (86 g) dried cranberries and ¾ cup (45 g) unsweetened coconut flakes (if using). Chill dough at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

    Step 4

    Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat parchment with nonstick spray.

    Step 5

    Using a ¼-cup (2.5-oz.) scoop, portion dough on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1"–2" apart (you’ll get 6 per sheet). Flatten top of each cookie with your hand, then season lightly with flaky sea salt. Bake cookies until golden brown, 12–14 minutes.

    Step 6

    Let cookies cool on baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely (if moved immediately, they will crack and start to break apart). Repeat with remaining dough.

    Do Ahead: Cookies can be made 5 days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or place in a freezer-safe bag and freeze up to 1 month. Reheat by microwaving on low about 1 minute.

    Editor’s note: This lactation cookie recipe was first printed online as part of our guide to breastfeeding. Head this way for more of our favorite cookie recipes

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  • These are legit good cookies! Simultaneously soft, but a little crunchy from the chia seeds. I used pumpkin purée and did pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon since I didn’t have applesauce and it was delicious. I had to bake them for 18 minutes to dry them out to my liking! Totally baking them again as they help ease the new mom learning pains of breastfeeding and pumping.

    • Anonymous

    • San Diego, CA

    • 10/17/2018

  • So yummy! Made with everything except cranberry and they turned out perfect!

    • abbeybentley

    • Salt Lake City, UT

    • 1/1/2019

  • These cookies are hugely popular with my daughter. After the first batch, she was worried that her baby had allergies. I successfully made them replacing the butter with shortening and replacing the eggs with flaxseed/water mixture. I also don’t refrigerate them before baking them and they turn out fine.

    • juliefowler

    • Virginia

    • 9/1/2019

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