2-Ingredient Breakfast Cookies…with options (and a fun kitchen experiment!)

By Ann Fulton

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I never set out to be an oatmeal expert, but one baked oatmeal with an enormous following at a local cafe put the wheels into motion.

For those who haven’t read the story in one of my umpteen other recipe posts for baked oatmeal, I initially started making baked oatmeal years ago to replicate a gem of a recipe offered at a local, corner cafe called Fred and Mary’s. Judy, the owner and creator of this masterpiece, sadly passed away without ever sharing her recipe. When I looked at existing recipes for baked oatmeal, they all seemed to have more sugar and oil than oats, and I knew there must be a better way.

In the process of countless cooking experiments with oats, I learned quite a lot about general baking and, specifically, gluten-free baking.  Although gluten-free baking came on my radar a year or two later when the first of a couple of family members discovered a gluten intolerance, I was committed to making my baked oatmeals without the use of flour for a couple of reasons. First, Judy had shared with me a couple of details about her secret recipe; there was not a speck of flour in it.  Moreover, why use it if there’s a better way?

So even though I have already created oodles of baked oatmeal recipes that my family loves and have become quite popular on this blog (click HERE for the original recipe–which actually won a national recipe contest!–and scan through the breakfast category to see all the variations that have come since), I still experiment so that I continue to learn new ways of putting wholesome ingredients together in simple, delicious ways.  I joke with my kids that I should work in a test kitchen…or maybe be one of Bobby Flay’s assistants when he is trying to come up with a recipe for one of his Throw-down challenges!

The cookie photo shown above depicts how I spent two afternoons recently.  I was working on developing recipes using instant oats.  In the past, I have cooked a lot with old-fashioned and steel cut oats, and I even have recipes where I think quick oats really shine.  But I had not baked with instant oats much.  So, I created a series of mini batches using a variety of oats and various fruit purees (applesauce, apple butter, pumpkin puree, and mashed banana), nut butters, and egg to see how these ingredients would interact with the different textures of the various types of oats.  (Interestingly, all oats share the same terrific health benefits; it is the texture and cooking time that vary greatly from one type to the next.)

What I found was most interesting, and I came up with several super simple combinations that make for fabulous and fast breakfast or general snack cookies.  I took some of the successful combinations a few steps further, adding a couple of extra ingredients to create more easy recipes.  Several still need some fine tuning, but I am confident I will be sharing more recipes that fill the need for an easy, hearty snack or breakfast on the run.

The following shows our favorite combination with notes describing various options.  Two girlfriends happened to stop by at just the right time for samples and thought the 2-ingedient cookies were reminiscent of banana bread.  They enjoyed the pumpkin and apple sauce varieties with a smear of peanut butter on top. The success of the mashed banana oat combination is notable in my family because my two sons don’t particularly care for bananas.  Yet they love these.  A few chocolate chips help, but raisins or other dried fruit, nuts, or shredded coconut could also be used.  An addition of 2-3 tablespoons per half cup of oats is a good ratio for us and allow the cookie to stay in tact.

2-Ingredient Breakfast Cookies (with options)
Overripe bananas are ideal for this recipe as they add good natural sweetness. Frozen bananas work perfectly, too. To quickly defrost, heat the frozen banana in the microwave for 15-20 seconds or until barely thawed but mash-able. Really ripe bananas will provide the most natural sweetness.

To add a protein boost to this easy breakfast on-the-go or snack, spread with almond or peanut butter. I like to then top with a few raisins for extra sweetness…the possibilities, as you will read below, are endless!

Yields 2 large cookies. Double, triple or quadruple the recipe, as desired.
  • 1/2 cup (45 grams) quick or old-fashioned oats* (not instant oats)
  • 1/2 cup very ripe mashed banana (frozen is fine; see notes for substitutions)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons chocolate chips (may substitute raisins, chopped nuts, etc.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mash the banana with a fork, and then stir in the quick oats until thoroughly combined.
  3. If desired, add chocolate chips or a mix-in of choice. (For extra sweetness, you may add a teaspoon or two of maple syrup or honey, but I would make without the first time as you probably won’t need it.)
  4. Form two cookies from the mixture, and place on a parchment-lined or very well-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are just cooked through.
  • The choice of quick versus old-fashioned oats comes down to a matter of preference. They both work well; the texture with the thicker old-fashioned oat will simply be a little heartier. I think instant oats don’t provide enough texture so don’t use them for these cookies.
  • My kids do not love bananas yet they love these cookies, especially with the added treat of chocolate chips. If you really are not a fan of bananas, apple butter, applesauce, pumpkin butter, and pumpkin puree all provide good texture and may be substituted. With the apple and pumpkin butter, I like to add nuts, raisins, and a little cinnamon. Apple sauce and pumpkin puree result in a blander tasting cookie, so you may wish to add a little honey or maple syrup, cinnamon, etc. Feel free to experiment and find combinations you enjoy.

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Two economical ingredients form the foundation for these hearty, healthy, super-easy-to-make cookies.  Perfect for a quick breakfast, after-school snacking, and even a wholesome dessert, they’re packable and freeze well.

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  1. Strugglingmom

    Thanks for this! I struggle being a single parent and being able to afford multiple healthy options for my kids but this won’t break the bank and is yummy! Just took my first batch out the oven for breakfast tomorrow!

    1. Ann Post author

      You are so welcome! How wonderful that you took the time to make these at the end of what I’m sure was a long day. I hope your kids enjoyed them and maybe even appreciated your effort. (If they don’t now, they will someday!)

  2. Shelley

    I have 4 small kids, one is autistic and has allergies to just about everything. Looking for a simple oatmeal cookie with no pb or nanas. Any ideas?

    1. Ann Post author

      I do have ideas, Shelly! If you look at the “experiment” photo, you can see all the combinations that I tried. They all worked, although we had our own preferences in terms of flavor and texture. The fruit purees were best in the texture department. Apple butter and pumpkin butter were my top picks behind bananas. Applesauce and pumpkin puree provide good texture and may also be substituted. They do provide slightly less flavor, so in those cases I like to add nuts, raisins, and a little cinnamon. Let me know if you have additional questions, but I hope this helps. You can most definitely feel free to experiment and find combinations you enjoy, as the simple recipe is quite forgiving.

  3. Christina Newman

    Made them last night, added cooked rice and coconut flakes to old fashion oatmeal and banna, a few white chocolate chips, almond flavoring and homemade vanilla, this recipe is a keeper. Am going to do with pumpkin today. Thanks

    1. Ann Post author

      I’m so happy they were a hit and that you’re making them again, Christina. Your additions sound fantastic!

  4. Margot

    What’s the best way to store once cooked for a few days? Do you freeze right away or leave some out / in the fridge? Excited for these.

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Margot, To best preserve freshness, I usually let the cookies cool and then refrigerate, although they can stay at room temperature for several days. I do often make a bigger batch so I have some to freeze as they do freeze well. You can also try some cold and some at room temperature to see how you prefer them. Hope you enjoy!

      1. Margot

        Thank you!! They’re delicious. If freezing do you then let them thaw in the fridge or could they be microwaved quickly when you want to eat them? Love these so much!

        1. Ann Post author

          I’m delighted you enjoyed these, Margot. I typically let them thaw in the fridge but you could absolutely zap them briefly!


    I have made the applesauce ones. They were awesome!
    I want to make peanut butter chocolate chip, banana nut, maple pumkin, and pumpkin spice ones in the future.
    You really did open up a new world to me and my mostly vegan (4 out of 6 of us are vegan) family.
    Thank you 🙂

    1. Ann Post author

      Awesome comment…thank you, Terry. I’m thrilled these were a hit with your family, and I love all the combinations you want to try!

  6. C Moses

    The banana cookies were great. My girls did a great job–I told them what to do and they did it. Easiest recipe, going to make it again. Thanks for putting this up.

    1. Ann Post author

      I would think these wholegrain, fruit-sweetened cookies would be a very good option for diabetics, Joan, but I don’t want to issue a blanket statement since I’m not a doctor. If you have any doubt, consult your physician, and if you try, I hope you enjoy!

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  8. Kirumm

    Came across this recipe purely by accident. Had some ‘very’ ripe bananas just inches away from being thrown away so thought I would give this a go. Nothing to lose! They are de-lic-ious!! Divided up the banana and oat mixture, added choc chips to one half and mixed fruit to the other. Both a big hit. Can’t believe something so simple tastes so good. …….. Just need to find some more ripe bananas now!!

    1. Ann

      So glad these were a success, Kirumm. I am happy you stumbled upon the recipe and appreciate the great feedback!

  9. Amanda N

    Ann,these were awesome! We put crushed up macadamia nuts in them. Drew is taking them on his next bike ride for fuel. Also my son loved them and he hates oatmeal… He had no idea his “cookie” had oatmeal in it. Thanks for the great and easy recipe!

    1. Ann

      Thanks for the great feedback, Amanda. My non-banana-liking son has been gobbling these up…and neither of my kids especially like “mushy” oatmeal, so these have been the perfect solution. Coincidently, I literally just pulled another batch out of the oven!

    1. carol

      We love the oatmeal banana breakfast cookies for breakfast on the run for my busy family!!! Do you use the same measurements for the 2 ingredient pumpkin, and butter recipes–1/2 cup?

      1. Ann

        I’m sp glad you enjoyed these, Carol, and you are correct. I used the same proportions with all of the options added to the oats. They all turned out a little differently in terms of taste and texture, and you can have fun experimenting with different combinations to determine if there are any that you prefer with a confidence that they will all be edible! You could also mix half almond or peanut butter and half mashed banana or pumpkin, for example. They do freeze well, too.