These healthy sweet potato breakfast cookies are soft, chewy and just slightly sweet. They have a nice crunch from the apples and walnuts and make for a filling plant-based breakfast that's perfect for meal prep.
Who's on board with cookies for breakfast?
That morning I served these cookies to our kids for the first time, they looked at me like if something was wrong. Like, "mommy lost her mind" kind of look.
But hey, I can be that cool mom too, sometimes. Serving cookies to my children for breakfast. No-big-deal.
Let's face it though. There have been a few mornings when they actually got real dessert for breakfast. When the nights got cut in half by our beautiful refusing-to-sleep children. When my morning brain wasn't able to think right just yet and making a proper oatmeal wasn't possible until after at least 2 cups of coffee in my blood stream. Before then, the leftover chocolate pudding from the night before seemed like a totally appropriate breakfast for my 6am hungry children. With a piece of fruit on top, to make it look very breakfast-ish.
These cookies won't feel like a rebellious dessert for breakfast kind of situation though. They have the shape of a cookie, but are packed with nutritious ingredients, made oil-free and super satisfying. They taste delicious, especially with their crunch from the apple and walnut, and are just sweet enough to enjoy in the morning.
And what makes them even better are the sweet potatoes! You might have seen my recent post on how to make sweet potato sushi and think I'm slightly obsessing over that vegetable. But hey, sweet potatoes are SO healthy, cheap and versatile.
I also love the idea of meal-prep for breakfast. When I want to feel like I have got my life together, I'll make a bunch of overnight oats to store in the fridge. They make the whole day better. I feel like these breakfast cookies just got a nice spot in my meal-prep rotation. And I hope you like them too!
What are breakfast cookies
This is open to discussion, but to me, a good breakfast cookie has to be healthy, a great make ahead recipe, easy to store and filled with hearty ingredients to make you feel full until lunch time.
These healthy cookies not only work great for breakfast, but can also be an amazing grab-and-go snack or post workout bite.
What makes these sweet potato breakfast cookies healthy?
There are a few reasons why these cookies are super good for you!
1- The bulk of this recipe is mashed sweet potatoes. They will turn the cookies into a nice shade of orange and provide a heaping dose of healthy vitamins, mineral and antioxidants (oh hello, B-carotene) (source from WebMD).
2- They are completely free of oil. Oil when baking is important for texture as it helps keep baked goods moist and tender. In this case, both the sweet potato and apple sauce create a nice soft and gooey texture that works perfectly for these cookies, without having to use any added fat.
3- Rich in healthy omega-3 fats. Both the chia seeds and walnuts used in this recipe will provide a good amount of heart healthy omega-3 (source from healthline).
4- Mostly naturally sweetened. These cookies are filled with sweet potatoes, apple sauce and chunks of apples to keep the amount of extra sweetener needed to a minimum.
How to make them
1- First, cook the sweet potato, mash it using a fork and measure ¾ cup of the purée.
2- Make the chia egg by combining the chia seeds with the water. Let it sit so it creates a gel, for about 10 minutes.
3- Combine the wet ingredients in a medium bowl (mashed sweet potato, chia egg, apple sauce, vegan milk, maple syrup)
4- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt)
5- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Then, add the diced apple and walnut and incorporate to the batter without over mixing.
6- Divide into 10 cookies and bake in the oven.
How to cook the sweet potato for this recipe
You will need to cook some sweet potato to a very soft texture. If you have a large one, then you might have enough of one, but you will likely need 2 medium size ones.
1- Microwave method: This is the fastest method. Poke a few holes using a fork in the sweet potato and using a knife, make an opening on top without cutting it all the way through. Cook in the microwave for 5-6 minutes (depends on the size). Let cool down for 10 min before handling.
2- Oven method: Pre-heat the oven to 400º. Poke a few holes in the sweet potato and bake for 45-60 minutes. Protect your oven underneath the potato with a baking sheet or aluminum foil (they can release some juice through the holes while cooking). Check for doneness after 45 minutes by poking the potato with a knife (it is ready when the flesh is super soft)
Watch how to make them
Sweet potato breakfast cookies variations
You can easily adjust some of the ingredients to use what you already have in your house. Here are some suggestions:
- The cinnamon flavor is mild, but you can spice them by adding more cinnamon or combining also with nutmeg, ground ginger or cardamom. This would make for a great cookie in the fall!
- Swap the walnuts for chopped almond or pecans.
- Add some dried fruits, chocolate chips, hemp seeds or shredded coconut.
- I recommend you to mash the sweet potato very well to a smooth texture, so you don't end up with chunks in the cookies.
- The cookies won't spread out while cooking, so it's ok to place them close-ish to each other on the baking sheet. You can flatten them a bit after transferring on the baking sheet, but try to keep them in a dome shape so they are nice and soft in the middle.
You can keep these cookies at room temperature for about 24 hours, but transfer in a air-tight container in the firdge for up to 4-5 days.
These cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Other cookie or sweet bread recipes you might like
I hope you enjoy these vegan breakfast cookies as much as we do! If you try them, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how they were. Your feedback is so helpful!
*THANKS TO MY SISTER SONIA WHO HELPED DEVELOP AND TEST THIS RECIPE*
Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies
- 1 tsp chia seeds - + 2 tbsp water
- ¾ cup cooked sweet potato - mashed
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup apple sauce
- ½ cup vegan milk
- 1 ½ cup flour - all purpose or white whole wheat
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup apple - diced in small cubes
- ¾ cup walnut - roughly chopped
- Poke a few holes in the sweet potato (keep the peel on) and create an opening in the middle by slicing with knife. Cook in the microwave for 5-6 minutes or until soft (let cool for 10 minutes before handling). Then, remove the flesh using a spoon and mash it until super smooth using a fork. Then, you can measure ¾ cup of purée.
- Prepare the chia egg by combining the chia seeds with the water. Set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 350º.
- In a medium bowl, add the mashed sweet potato, chia egg, maple syrup, apple sauce and milk.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Transfer the sweet potato mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Then, add the apple and walnut and stir to combine.
- Divide the dough in between 10 cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 19-20 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can bake the sweet potato in the oven at 400º for 45-60 minutes (depends on the side). Keep it whole and place it straight on the oven rack. I like to poke a few holes in the potato first, so I place a foil underneath the potato to prevent a mess in the oven). Check for doneness poking a sharp knife through the flesh after 45 minutes. The potato is done when it is super soft.
- Store the cookie at room temperature for about 24 hours, then transfer to an air-tight container to the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Can also be frozen for up to 3 month.