Aside: Lactation cookies

It’s been a busy summer, with dissertation data pouring in and job applications pouring out. Since I haven’t had much time for cake (since the epic June cake, post coming soon), I figured it would be a great time to share the recipe I’ve been baking the most this year: lactation cookies.

My little love bug, seen here at the grocery store, probably helping me buy more butter and cake flour.
My little love bug, seen here at the grocery store, probably helping me buy more butter and cake flour.

Our little girl was born last fall (her birthday cake will be the September Year of Cake entry), and I haven’t had as easy a time with milk for her as my first. Things were going well until I spent 3 days away from her for a conference when she was 4 months old; after that I could barely keep up.

The Internet is full of suggestions for galactagogues like fenugreek tea, but I figured any problem that can be solved with cookies should be solved with cookies.

Lactation Cookies

One of my favorite combinations is white chocolate and cranberry, seen here.
One of my favorite combinations is white chocolate and cranberry, seen here.

For milk purposes, the key ingredients are the oats, the brewer’s yeast, and the flax seed meal. The latter two ingredients are all that set them apart from your normal oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, though I swapped some whole grain flour for all-purpose and lowered the sugar by 1/4 cup, figuring that if I’m going to be eating several per day I should at least attempt to lower the calorie count. Feel free to change them back if you are so inclined.

Some other notes:

  • This dough freezes very well. I recommend baking a dozen or so at first and then scooping the rest of the dough into rounds onto a cookie sheet, freezing for a couple hours, and then transferring to a freezer storage bag. They can be baked straight from the freezer, just add a minute to the baking time.
  • You can substitute 4 Tbs of the butter with coconut oil, if you’re into that.
  • You can use quick cooking oats instead of old fashioned, but they aren’t quite as good.
  • Brewers yeast can probably be found in the supplement section of your grocery store.
  • I like to split the batch in half and make some chocolate chip and the rest something else, just for variety. For milk supply purposes you need to eat several of these per day, and though it seems impossible to actually get tired of cookies, believe me it can happen.


3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour (or more all-purpose)

5 Tbs. brewer’s yeast

3 Tbs. ground flaxseed

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. salt

·      Combine in large bowl, set aside.
1 cup (unsalted) butter, softened½ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

·      Beat in mixer on medium to high speed until fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
2 eggs ·      Beat in
2 tsp vanilla extract ·      Beat in·      Gradually add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips and/or butterscotch chips, and/or craisins, and/or raisins, and/or anything else that seems reasonable to put into oatmeal cookies) ·      Stir in to dough. This dough is extremely thick, so you may have to knead the chocolate in with your hands.·      Spoon onto cookie sheets.

·      Bake 350 degrees 12-14 minutes


Get a PDF version here: LactationCookies

But does it work?

The big question of course is whether these have actually helped with my milk supply, and I think the answer is yes. Even if it’s a placebo effect, I have found that after a day or two eating 3-4 cookies, I am able to pump more (like 1-2 oz instead of a few drips). Any nursing mom can tell you how huge a difference that is.

One comment

  1. She is the cutest! I need to see her soon. I think I missed a big opportunity for cookies while nursing! They look delicious and “it’s for the baby!”


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