Lactation cookies that don’t taste terrible

Over the past three months or so I’ve been on leave with a newborn baby and have learned some very important things as a parent of two young children:

  • Boxed wine is not only exceedingly economical, but it’s also shockingly delicious and better for the environment.
  • The Great British Bake Off (a.k.a. The Great British Baking Show) is on Netflix, and what a time to be alive (#MaryBerryIsEverything).
  • How to make lactation cookies that aren’t terrible.

It is this last lesson I would like to share with you, my dearest friends, because I like you so much and because, well, it’s on my mind.

My previous experience with lactation cookies were typically disgusting brittles of oatmeal and brewer’s yeast combined into a hardened oval of existential crisis. I knew this time around there had to be a better way, and it turns out I have found the light at the end of the oatmeal cookie tunnel and am here to guide you with me.

Now, if you are one of those people not currently in “need” of lactation cookies, I suggest this would make an excellent new mom gift, either as frozen dough or baked freshly. (If it were me, I’d prefer to get the frozen dough to have on hand, as these do not tend to last long in my house once baked and having a stash in the freezer is clutch in times of emergency, or when it’s pastry week on Great British Bake Off and there is hardly any lamination and Paul Hollywood is not impressed and oh my goodness I have a problem, don’t I?)

In order to freeze the dough for later, simply shape the dough in balls, as if you were going to bake them, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment for about an hour, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Write instructions to bake as directed, perhaps for 1 minute longer.

This recipe has been adapted from How Sweet It Is. I halved the recipe, changed the fat content a bit, and tweaked. She uses all organic ingredients, which of course you’re welcome to do as well, but I don’t.

So enjoy these delicious treats! Nursing or not, these will please the whole family, no existential crises necessary.

Lactation Cookies

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Yield: 24-30 small cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups (140g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups (90g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground flaxseed**
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add in egg and egg yolk, beating until combined, 2-3 minutes. Add in vanilla extract and beat again until combined.

Gradually add in dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips by hand until evenly dispersed.

Scoop dough into 1-inch rounds and place on baking sheet ~2 inches apart. Bake 10-14 minutes until bottoms are just golden.

Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.

If freezing, freeze 1-inch rounds on baking tray lined with parchment for one hour until frozen through, then transfer to freezer-safe container/bag. You may need to add 1 minute to baking time.

*This is typically found in the “health” or “supplements” aisle, not where the normal yeasts are in the baking aisle. Don’t be like me.

**Make sure you get ground flaxseed, not whole flaxseed. Ground flaxseed is typically found in the baking aisle with the yeasts, unlike brewer’s yeast. Life is confusing when you have very little sleep sometimes.

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