Peanut Butter Lactation Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-free, Vegan!)

In my breastfeeding posts about What to Eat While Breastfeeding and Pumping in Your Classroom, I refer to lactation cookies as a great snack to keep mama energized and the milk flowin’. It was time I shared a recipe of my own! (Read: it was time I stopped sending y’all off my site to other people’s damn cookies.) 🙂

So, without further ado, a lactation cookie like none other, packed with all the good stuff those mammary glands (and fading energy) could use: protein from peanut butter and coconut flour, iron from brewer’s yeast and oatmeal, and a nice serving of healthy fats.

A note about the ingredients: Some ingredients, like coconut flour, aren’t always readily accessible (or can’t be found at a reasonable price). If you live in an area with limited options, try Green Polka Dot Box, an online grocery store, that will deliver to your doorstep.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Peanut Butter Lactation Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-free, Vegan!)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
  • 1 cup peanut butter (Feel free to substitute another nut butter.)
  • ½ cup raw honey (Substitute agave nectar for vegan preparation.)
  • ¼ c. flax meal
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats (be sure to choose gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast (use brewers yeast if gluten is not an issue)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine ¼ c. flax meal with ½ c. water. Allow to rest while you prepare the other ingredients. The mixture will be ready when the flax has absorbed most of the water and is almost gelatinous.
  3. In a large bowl, combine coconut flour, oats, baking powder, and brewer's yeast.
  4. Once the flax mixture is ready, add it and all the remaining ingredients to the flour mixture.
  5. Stir well to combine. Add more milk in tablespoon increments, if necessary. (Coconut flour has a tendency to soak up all the liquid.)
  6. Once a dough has formed, roll into 1" balls and place on cookie sheets.
  7. Flatten each ball with a fork before placing in the oven.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
These would be delicious with chocolate chips added! Be sure to choose dairy-free chocolate.

Scarf these cookies for a mid-afternoon snack with a glass of coconut or hemp milk, or, double the lactation benefits and have them with a tall glass of stout beer! 😉

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62 Responses to Peanut Butter Lactation Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-free, Vegan!)

  1. Sarah August 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    I’m not currently lactating, but I want to eat these anyway! Yum!

  2. Abbie @ Farmer's Daugther August 23, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    These look so yummy! I tend to have oversupply in the beginning, but definitely needed a boost when I went back to work and was pumping. Cookies are an awesome way to do that! You should come share this recipe at my Homesteading Link Up!

    • HealthfulMama August 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

      Will do, Abbie! Thanks 🙂
      I was the same; never needed any help with supply until I returned to work.

  3. Grace September 12, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    Do you sell these cookies?

  4. Sally November 11, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Hey, Mama!
    Could I sub almond flour for the coconut flour? These look soooooooo goood, and I will definitely be adding chocolate chips, purely for the antioxidant protection, of course!

    • HealthfulMama November 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

      Hi Sally! You can sub almond flour but the consistency of the dough will change to be a bit looser.

    • Jessica Childs July 10, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      Did you try? I have almond flour and flax meal but no coconut flour. And that stuff is pricy so if hate to waste it.

  5. Becci November 23, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Oats have gluten in them love…

    • HealthfulMama November 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      If you’re buying traditional oats, then, yes, they are probably contaminated. I suggest buying a specifically gluten-free brand if you’re concerned with Celiac’s or otherwise. I like Bob’s Red Mill.

  6. Becci November 23, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Unfortunately I live in Australia… all of our oats are contaminated.
    I’ve tried ordering from America but they don’t seem to ship them here, quite frustrating

  7. laRaie November 23, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    brewer’s yeast is not gluten free. It is a byproduct of beer brewing so it contains malt and or grain.

    • HealthfulMama November 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

      Well, shit, laRaie. You’re right! I totally forgot about that! Geez, I’m striking out on this one! I suppose you could substitute Nutritional Yeast, but that’s been said to contain MSG so… oy. The Brewer’s Yeast isn’t necessary to the recipe; it’s just good for promoting lactation. I’ll make a note in the recipe. Good call!

    • S.Nabbit December 17, 2015 at 6:31 am #

      There is GF Brewer’s Yeast frown on beets, Lewis Labs and Bluebonnet are the first two that come to mind for me.
      It’s only the stuff that is actually a by product of brewing that is no-go. And Nutritional Yeast shouldn’t have any added glutamates, like Brewer’s yeast the ingredient list should be single item (unless you are buying fortified, I suppose)

  8. Leah Marie January 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    It’d be really smart to sub almond butter for the peanut butter in these. Almonds are also a milk booster!

    • HealthfulMama January 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

      Yum. I prefer almond butter over peanut in most scenarios. 🙂

  9. Heather February 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    Can you use rice flour instead of coconut flour?

    • HealthfulMama February 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

      You could try it, Heather, but my recipe takes into account the fact that coconut flour soaks up a lot of liquid.

  10. Heather February 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    Just thought I’d let you know, I tried the recipe with rice flour .. Did not turn out at all. i kept adding more and more flour because the cookies were too wet to cook through, but they were also too dense i think, so even when the consistency seemed good when raw they were more like playdough in consistency when cooked (gummy), and as I’ve also discovered, rice flour sucks the flavour out of things! Perhaps it could be tested with rice flour mixed with ground oats, as the recipe I ended up making afterwards did that and the consistency was better. Just wanna make sure no one else wasted their time on doing what I did. I’ll definitely have to try this recipe again when I can get a hold of some coconut flour though!

    • HealthfulMama February 9, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback, Heather! I appreciate that you took the time to give us an update. (And I’m sure someone will be grateful that they didn’t experiment with the rice flour after reading your comments!) Just a note–these are very dense cookies, even when made with coconut flour. They’re not gummy, but they are dense and sometimes crumbly. It’s a trade-off I’m willing to make for the protein and calorie benefits in the coconut flour.

  11. Neri March 5, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    Thanks for this recipe, I’m just about to try it! I was keen to make some lactation cookies as a healthy snack for a friend whose baby is due any day, when I remembered she avoids dairy and gluten, so this is perfect! I’m looking forward to eating some myself, too! It might be worth noting that 1 in 5 people with coeliac disease react to oats, as apparently there’s no such thing as truly gluten free oats, even uncontaminated ones (

  12. Nicole March 7, 2013 at 2:27 am #

    I made these today and love them! I followed the recipe pretty closely except that I used 1/2 honey and 1/2 maple syrup and just regular whole milk since I’m not a vegan. I have had to eliminate wheat recently so I was thrilled to find this recipe. I’ve just run out of pumped milk for my 5 month old and am trying to pump like crazy to get the supply up a bit. Hopefully these will help!

    • HealthfulMama March 7, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      Good luck with your supply! I know that feeling of being scared there “isn’t enough!” I used to eat oatmeal every day for breakfast and lactation cookies as my afternoon snack.

      Thank you so much for your feedback and substitutions! I love hearing how recipes turned out for others. 🙂

  13. Neri March 17, 2013 at 2:33 am #

    These are delicious! I made a batch with almond butter as well but I must say I prefer the peanut butter. Even hubby thought they were pretty good! I popped some in the freezer and will pass them on to my friend when she comes home with her brand new bub … but I will definitely be making some more for me! Not that I’m having trouble making enough milk at the moment but being pregnant as well as breastfeeding a toddler, it’s a challenge to keep up my nutrition and energy levels, so these will make the perfect snack. Thank you!

    • HealthfulMama March 17, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      Glad you liked them, Neri! Thanks for the follow-up! =D

  14. GGirlGGreen March 26, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    I am so making these tomorrow in case you were wondering! 🙂

    • HealthfulMama March 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      Let me know what you think!

  15. Solange April 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Can i make this and eating without baking?

    • HealthfulMama April 13, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      Solange, you could, I guess, though I don’t like the flavor of raw flour. You might like to try my Nut Butter Snack Balls, which are full of protein, easy to make, and require no baking 🙂

    • Solange April 13, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

      Thanks for answer me 🙂
      I need the lactation cookies. I’m breastfeeding my almost 10 months old and i need a boost in my supply.
      I’ll try it the unbaked dought if can’t eat, i’ll bake it
      Let yoy know 🙂

    • HealthfulMama April 14, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      The nut-butter balls would also help. They’re full of protein and oats!

  16. Laura Jacobo August 23, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    Sad to say I made these last night following the directions ‘to the t’ as they say. The flavor was good, but they were very wet in the middle. We cooked them for double the amount of time and they were still damp in the middle, so not sure what that’s all about. (We did let them sit for about ten minutes between rankings, too.)

    • HealthfulMama August 23, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      Oh, man, I’m sorry to hear that, Laura! My problem is always that the coconut flour soaks up sooo much liquid, that they can be on the drier side. Maybe it had something to do with the humidity? I wish I had a suggestion other than “reduce liquid,” because who knows if that was issue.

  17. Rose October 22, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    Can I tell you how much I love these cookies? I’ve tried several lactation cookie recipes, and this one is by far the best!!! Even better than ones full of butter, eggs and wheat. I make these as gifts for my new mama friends and have had several reports about how powerful they are!

    • HealthfulMama October 23, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      I’m so happy to hear this! Thank you!

  18. jasmine April 12, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    I am currently taking fenugreek because I am trying to build my supply…can I still put the brewers yeast in the cookies?

    • HealthfulMama April 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

      Hi Jasmine,
      Your only drawback might be an oversupply issue eventually, but check with a lactation counselor to see if it’s okay to take both.

  19. MrsW June 28, 2014 at 4:27 am #

    Is the brewers yeast necessary? I don’t have any and am wondering if I can still make these without it. Do you know?

    • HealthfulMama July 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      You can make them without the brewer’s yeast, sure.

  20. Jessica July 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    Can the dough be frozen until one needs the extra supply? Would that impact the cookies?

    • Shaina Flammia January 4, 2016 at 10:10 am #

      Just wondering if you ever got a response to your question. I wanted to know if you get the same results if they cookie dough is frozen before, or even bake the cookies and then freeze the extra until needed. Does this change what they are made for ?

    • HealthfulMama January 4, 2016 at 10:47 am #

      Hi Shaina, I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner! I can’t speak to freezing the dough ahead of baking, but I definitely made large batches and froze them after baking!

  21. Lynn August 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    Thanks for this recipe! I used oat flour because I didn’t have coconut flour and mine turned out very soft and wet in the middle. I even baked them about 5 minutes longer. Not sure if the dough was too wet–they were really sticky when trying to roll the balls. Do you think it was the oat flour or that I should cut back on the liquid? Thank you!!

    • Brandon May 10, 2015 at 9:49 am #

      coconut flour absorbs liquid at an extreme amount. you could add more of your oat flour until you get the consistency you are looking for

  22. Jen September 8, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    I’m wondering if these cookies still help with milk supply without the brewers yeast? I have celiac disease and can’t find a gf version of brewers yeast but I’m really struggling with my supply. I’ve been eating oats for breakfast and am taki g fenugreek

  23. Tiffany September 9, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    I just made these tonight and they are delicious! I am currently 3 months postpartum, and I don’t have a problem with my supply, but I want to make sure it stays that way. I used coconut flour, but added an extra dash of milk to make it more “doughy,” and it ended up a little sticky in the middle. It’s not bad, but in answer to the earlier question, it was probably the liquid that made our cookies soft, rather than the oat flour used. Or perhaps I made them too thick in the middle. Overall, definitely a tasty recipe!

  24. Nikky December 13, 2014 at 2:29 am #

    If I make them without the yeast would it still help with my supply. Also is it safe for bfing mothers to have honey? I know that babies cannot have honey they are of a certain age.

    • Krista January 5, 2015 at 2:02 am #

      yes it is safe for bfing moms toeat honey. we have enough acidity to kill off any bacteria that may be in honey to prevent botulism and anything that may be infected wont have the chance to pass to baby.

  25. Sharon January 18, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    I’m considering making these cookies. All of the reviews mention how good they are, but what about the lactation? Has any one actually experienced a boost in lactation? Thanks in advance!

  26. Susan March 1, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    I made these cookies this morning. Since a mom I knew made these and they were wet in middle no matter how long she cooked them, I added 1 cup of oats instead of 1/2 cup. I only used an extra tbsp of milk and the consistency felt perfect for dough so I rolled them up and baked. 10 minutes baking time and they were perfect! They hold together and are moist. Just wanted to give my adjustment as feedback.

    • HealthfulMama March 3, 2015 at 9:34 am #

      Thank you, Susan! Baking is such a science.

    • Maria November 5, 2015 at 2:07 am #

      Are these fresh oats or oat flour used?

  27. haley March 3, 2015 at 11:07 am #

    i dont have ay brewers yeast on hand but i do have nutrional yeast flakes. Will that help in boosting supply like the brewers yeast?

  28. Kourtney March 25, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

    well mine look nothing like the picture but I added extra sugar because my first batch was not sweet enough for me.

  29. Brandon May 10, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    I love recipes that give me room to improvise.

    Healthful Mama, the base of your recipe worked great! I understand you were going for the Vegan recipe, which makes things hard. The recipe I just used for my own self (I love eggs. I just can’t “go vegan”), is as follows.

    The flax mix

    Instead of a whole half cup of water to mix with the flax, i used a quarter cup water and a quarter cup of peanut oil.

    The dry mix

    I added 3 tbsp of cinnamon and a quarter cup of stevia (those with a sweet tooth would want to add 1/2 cup. I will do that next time) .

    I also used sugar free maple syrup (Sucralose based. not aspartame. Wegmans has it) instead of honey

    I’m a big fan of Blue diamond’s Almond Coconut milk. I used that for the “milk”

    The “Everything else goes in” mix:

    I added 4 eggs (optional , of course)
    a quarter cup of warm peanut oil
    4 tbsp of melted coconut oil

    I baked for 15 minutes, because I am a boy. And boys make cookies way too big..

    The end result was a perfectly soft, intact, cookie that didn’t crumble at all.

    P.S. you can turn this recipe into a “Lactation pancake mix” by either adding enough milk to liquify the mix to a mix a little thicker than basic pancake batter.

    AND!!! we have no sugar added/ sugar free/ fibrous preservatives/jams that we bought from wegmans and wal mart. if it’s a little too dry for you, topping these cookies with those jams add some antioxidant, low calorie power to the cookie.

    Cream cheese and more “milk” could be added to the mix to create a “Cheesecake” Flavor.

    I’m aware that i totall unveganed this recipe.

    • HealthfulMama May 10, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your improvisations! But, yes, it’s completely “unveganed” and, pretty much completely different lol

  30. Blakelee October 29, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    How many cookies a day should I be eating to boost? Getting ready to switch from pumping and nursing to exclusive pumping except at night!

  31. Auna Blessing December 13, 2015 at 12:49 am #

    Drinking alcohol while breastfeeding is not good for the baby:

    It makes babies 20% less thirsty and slows down milk production at the same time. Alcohol passes into the babies through the milk, and is excreted from their body much slower than how an adult excretes alcohol, so it stays inside them much longer. It can also cause developmental delays. I really wouldn’t do it. You are still sharing a bloodstream when you are breastfeeding!

    • HealthfulMama January 7, 2016 at 9:40 am #

      I saw this comment a month ago and didn’t have the energy to reply. Auna, a breastfeeding baby is not sharing a bloodstream with its mother. True, the blood-alcohol level of Mom will be reflected in her breastmilk, but that’s not the same as sharing a bloodstream like when baby was in utero. Additionally, here are some facts about alcohol and breastfeeding, with great sources and links:

  32. Katie January 16, 2016 at 11:06 pm #

    Just made these today using almond butter and they are great! Thank you for this recipe! I just returned to work and am glad to have these to keep my supply up

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