WholeFlour Breakfast Cookie

June 15, 2021
10 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Makes 15 cookies
Author Notes

From Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery and Myers+Chang: "I know that people often don’t have time for breakfast, so I wanted to create something easy to eat on the run and full of whole grains and nuts and seeds, because that’s what I personally love to eat. I saw a picture in Bon Appétit of a breakfast cookie and wondered if we could come up with something similar. We tested this for weeks, adding a bit of this and that and continuing to improve it so that it was not too sweet but still a little sweet, crunchy, filling, and full of flavor. I love this cookie—it’s everything I hoped it would be."

Featured in: We Found a Way to Have Cookies for Breakfast (You’re Welcome)

On The Genius Recipe Tapes, Kristen checked in with chef and co-owner of Flour Bakery and Myers & Chang Joanne Chang—they discussed how the past year has gone, "the mom test," and what authenticity means to Joanne in her work. Listen here.
Joanne Chang

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks or 225 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (170 grams) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed (about 100 grams or 1/3 cup)
  • 3/4 cup (100 grams) pepitas
  • 3/4 cup (40 grams) flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup (45 grams) sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) millet
  • 1 1/2 cups (150 grams) rolled oats
  • 1 cup (160 grams) dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup (100 grams) whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Place the walnuts on a baking tray and toast for 6 to 8 minutes, until light golden brown and fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool. Line a baking tray with parchment or grease the tray and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in the eggs and banana until the mixture is totally homogeneous. The banana needs to be completely mashed so it whisks in smoothly.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together pepitas, flaked coconut, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and millet. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside for topping the cookies. Add the cooled walnuts, oats, cranberries, whole-wheat flour, cherries, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the bowl and stir well to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add the butter/maple mixture. Stir well to combine. The mixture will be more like a soft batter than a stiff cookie dough. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes or in the fridge for up to overnight.
  4. Scoop about 1/4-cup-sized balls of cookie batter with your hands and roll them in a rough ball. Dip the top of each ball into the reserved seed mixture and plop it, seed side up, on the prepared baking tray. Press the cookie down with the palm of your hand to flatten.
  5. Bake at 350° F for 20 to 22 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and firm when you press them in the middle. Remove from the oven and let cool.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hannah Rose Haslam
    Hannah Rose Haslam
  • Lisa Cronin Plume
    Lisa Cronin Plume
  • Patricia Evans
    Patricia Evans
  • SophieL
  • Laura415
I am a pastry chef/restaurateur in Boston passionate about all things sweet and savory. I co-own Flour Bakery+Cafe and co-own Myers+Chang, both in Boston. I love my work, I'm crazy about my husband, my staff keeps me going and is truly the most amazing group of people I've ever known, I am addicted to ice cream and fruit of all kinds. I used to run marathons but have scaled back a bit and am trying to be more well-rounded by attempting yoga. I read voraciously, I plan obsessively, I feel so very lucky to have found a life partner and a life passion both of which make me happy every day.

24 Reviews

Virgiegirl May 2, 2023
I ended up with 20 cookies. I added up the calories for all the ingredients (5,193/20) = 296 calories each. I didn't calculate other nutritional information - but they do have tons of fiber. They are delicious and filling. I cooked them 22 minutes so they were a bit crispier, I thought that at 18 minutes they were too soft. Will be freezing them to not eat too many at one.
Hannah R. January 29, 2023
I make a big stash of these every couple weeks. We love them!! It’s really easy to sub out nuts and fruits for what you have on hand. I always add more spices to the mix- and I’ve found that after resting the dough in the fridge overnight- making the cookie balls and placing them on a pan in the freezer for 20 min before baking really helps them keep their shape the best. I also don’t bother to dip the cookies in some of the saved nuts and seeds- I just dump all of it in a big bowl and pour the wet ingredients on it- saves a bit of time and I don’t find it makes that big of a difference.
Shinta O. June 15, 2021
Delicious! I substituted the butter with 180 grams of coconut oil. Don’t omit the millet, it gives a nice crunch
Sinamen78 February 17, 2021
30 min at room temp or fridge overnight ? Confusing. DO they need chilled in order to roll them ?
SophieL March 14, 2021
Chilling helps a lot to form the cookies. I chilled the dough 30 minutes in the fridge.
deweeks10 January 19, 2021
Delish! I didn't have millet, yet these cookies still came together fine. I also didn't have dried cherries, so I subbed dried blueberries and they tasted great! A good, hardy snack or breakfast that's not too sweet.

A tip: if baking in C (180 C), keep an eye on them starting at 18 minutes. 20-22 minutes seemed a bit too long.
Sinamen78 February 18, 2021
Thank you for the heads up about the time. 18 min. is definitely better.
Emilie T. May 2, 2020
I had one the Breakfast Cookie at Flour Bakery a couple of months ago and really loved the flavor. I'm so happy to have found the recipe online!
I had the chance to make this yesterday and they tasted exactly like the one I had in store. I love that there are so many different seeds and nuts and it's not overly sweet. It's also filling, which makes it a truly ideal breakfast cookie, and so good with a cup of coffee.
I didn't have any bananas, so I subbed this with some mashed sweet potatoes. I think I prefer this as it cuts down on the sweetness.
Stacy H. August 16, 2018
I have been making these wonderful cookies for about 6 months now, for breakfast, as I was tired of muffins. They are soooo yummy and take a while to eat, because of the seeds. I use whatever nut is on hand, (usually toasted cashews), and I increase the total dried fruit to over 2 1 cup of raisins and 15 dates cut up. For the more seed/health fun, I also add 3 to 4 tbsps of hemp seed. Since I am not a banana fan, I stir in milk or yogurt. Wonderful recipe.
SophieL March 14, 2021
I subbed applesauce for the banana because I was out of bananas and it worked out fine. Also subbed raisins for the dried cherries. Baked it 20 minutes and got nice browning. The yield was 24 cookies, using 1/4 measuring cup. Great recipe!
Lisa C. May 4, 2018
I adore these cookies. I subbed dried cherries for cranberries and skipped the flax seeds (forgot to buy-oops). I have nick named them the bird seed cookies due to the millet, and shared them with friends volunteering at the Boston Marathon. The recipe for the "bird seed cookies" was later requested. Success all around - thank you for sharing the recipe!
Sharyn April 13, 2018
I’m in Cambridge and just had one of these. Awesome. I did not think I would find the official recipe but am happy I did. As requested before please provide nutrition information.
Michael May 1, 2018
If you’re concerned, and incapable of infering the general over all nutritional value from the ingredient list, how about taking responsibility and doing the work for yourself, instead of demanding it from others? Why should someone that is giving you a recipe, for free no less, sit there and do that work for you?!
Laura415 September 24, 2018
I don't know why your comment is so terse. I too would like to know more about the sugar content. After all this recipe for many of us was linked from an article about cooking with less sugar. So we have a 1/2 cup of maple syrup has over 100 grams of sugar and dried cranberries and dried cherries totalling 1.5 cups is also a lot of sugar. Finally, a banana has something over 14 grams of sugar depending on how big it is. I tried to look all this up but couldn't get all the info. Hey it's ok to ask and not get shamed for not doing an hours worth of googling to get the info.
Michael September 25, 2018
Well you couldn't even be bothered to look up the definition of 'terse' before you used it. Really not surprised.
Jenny A. November 26, 2019
Rudely stated, but true. Joanne is a chef and restaurant owner, not a nutritionist. She probably has less time on her hands than all of us readers.
Trudy April 11, 2018
If there is such a thing as happiness in a cookie, this one is it. I just feel really good when I eat one. Thank you so much for this recipe, it is wonderful. I like to eat healthy, but for me it also has to taste great, these cookies are both healthy and delicious.
Trudy April 11, 2018
If there is such a thing as happiness in a cookie, this one is it. I just feel really good when I eat one. Thank you so much for this recipe, it is wonderful. I like to eat healthy, but for me it also has to taste great, these cookies are both healthy and delicious.
zippy365 April 4, 2018
Thank you thank you thank you for the perfect thing that I have been wanting for breakfast but was unable to identify. I made mine gluten free by substituting brown rice and teff flour for the whole wheat flour. I don't know what the whole wheat version tastes like, but I don't think these suffered any for it. Amazing!
Patricia E. April 1, 2018
please send nutritional info for recipes, thank you
judy March 28, 2018
These look great. I recently made a version. I am a big fan of oats, so glad to see theses in the recipe. I only bake with whole flour. These will be my next effort, I think. I have most of the ingredient already. Only think I might add is some orange zest, before all the citrus is gone for the season.
Christa March 27, 2018
I'm curious if it would change the recipe much to grind half the flaxseeds, or more to make their nutrients more readily available. I study nutrition and we've learned that when whole, the flax seeds will act like a fiber and just go right through you, but when ground, you get more of the healthy fats and omegas associated with their health benefits. Did you try both ways or should I go ahead and experiment...? I love Flour Bakery and Joanne Chang's kitchen science videos are also amazing. Looking forward to trying these!
Christa April 9, 2018
So I made these with the variations I mentioned, and ground half the flax seeds called for and left the rest whole. It made a really wonderful chewy-interior, crisp-edged cookie. This cookie was a big hit with kids and grown-ups on a ski trip, the cherries are key, and I could see room for lots of variations. Yum! Printing this one to keep handy!
DianeKirkland September 18, 2020
Thanks for posting about grinding the flax seeds. A lot of people don't know they can't be digested whole. We're not the right kind of bird. :>