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The Early Bird Breakfast Cookie (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo)

breakfastcoffeecookiecorn flakesdessertgluten freeoatspaleosimple mills
The Breakfast Cookie

Hello, lovelies, and welcome back!  I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving – I ended up going to my hometown in central California for a lovely home cooked meal, then heading up to Napa and Sonoma with my dad and Z to do some wedding planning.  We suffered through tasting after tasting of reds and whites and sparklings; we ate far too much farm-to-table pasta as we scoped venues for the rehearsal dinner; we hiked through the redwoods looking for perfect photo spots.  A pretty rough way to spend the holiday weekend, I know.

What I have for you to today is the perfect mix of decadent holiday madness and a way to offset the, well, decadent holiday madness: the Early Bird Breakfast Cookie.  Yes, you read that right: this is a cookie that’s made to be eaten for breakfast.

The Breakfast Cookie

Let’s talk flavor first, shall we?  This cookie is loosely inspired by NYC Milk Bar’s Compost Cookie, a creation by the incomparable dessert genius Christina Tosi.  The Compost Cookie, much like it sounds, involves taking a bunch of things you wouldn’t typically expect to find together in a cookie – potato chips, coffee grounds, butterscotch chips and mixing them all together.  The result is a perfect blend of sweet, salty and savory.  It’s completely decadent and delicious – and absolutely packed with butter, milk powder, sugar and more.

The Breakfast Cookie

This cookie is part of the 12 Days of Cookies holiday extravaganza, brought to you by Simple Mills, my absolute favorite source for healthy baking mixes.  Each day for 12 days, they’ll be sharing one cookie recipe that corresponds with a personality type (follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any!) and a Pinterest board filled with awesome gift ideas for that personality type.  While I’m not an Early Bird myself (you’ll find me cuddled up under my cozy covers with my cat until the alarm has gone off at least five times), I definitely know the type: they’ve already run a few miles, showered, blown out their hair and tapped off a few quick emails before I’ve opened my sleep-crusted eyes.  They need a breakfast they can grab and go, but that nourishes them and feels just a little bit special, because those tiny moments of self-love and pampering really add up in a busy life.  They need a breakfast that’s a cookie (oh, who are we kidding?  We all need a breakfast that’s a cookie.  I have no idea why this isn’t the norm, people! Come on!).

The Breakfast Cookie

The Simple Mills chocolate chip cookie base was already paleo and gluten free, made with almond and coconut flour, so I knew it would be a worthy base for breakfast, full of the protein, good fats and fiber that energizes and keeps you full enough for lunch, without the sugar crash that accompanies far too many traditional breakfasts (I’m looking at you, 90% of the cereal aisle…) Using the Compost Cookie as inspiration, I began playfully combining my favorite healthy breakfast ingredients: some oats, corn flakes, even a few scoops of my favorite dark roast ground coffee.  The resulting batter had a decadent crunch from the flakes, a chewiness from the oats and a gorgeous, surprising depth of flavor from the coffee grounds.  A sprinkle of sea salt on top brought all of the flavors to life, replacing the (decidedly not healthy) potato chips in the original version.

The Breakfast Cookie

The result?  A breakfast cookie that was not only bursting with health benefits, boasting a better nutritional profile than the vast majority of breakfasts, but is mind-blowingly delicious – too delicious, really, to stop at breakfast.  I eat these for lunch, for a mid-afternoon snack. I bring them to holiday parties and sneaky laugh as guests devour them, with no clue that they’re eating something that’s actually good for them (buah ha ha!).  They’ve also completely replaced the energy bars I used to carry around in my purse because they not only taste way better, they’re way better for me (have you ever read the back of energy bar packets? They often contain scary amounts of sugar!).

The Breakfast Cookie

These breakfast cookies have become an absolute staple in my breakfast rotation – they feel like I’m starting the day with such a treat that I find myself happily saying no to the baked goods that cycle through my office.  They’re also incredibly simple to make – and they freeze beautifully!

This post is sponsored by Simple Mills, a company whose mixes I’ve used long before we were working together (they’re simply the best healthy baking mixes on the market, period).  Thank you so much for supporting the brands that make Sprouted Routes possible.

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The Early Bird Breakfast Cookie (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo)


  • 1 box Simple Mills Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp grassfed butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2.5 tsp ground coffee
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cups corn flakes (gluten free if necessary)
  • 1 tsp sea salt, the chunkier the better


  1. Prepare cookie mix according to package directions, then add coffee, oats and corn flakes; mix well. Roll into balls and press flat then sprinkle with sea salt. Bake on parchment lined pan for 15 minutes at 350 degrees; let cool completely before removing from pan. Makes 12 – 16 cookies.


If strictly paleo, the oats and even the corn flakes can be omitted as they’re primarily textural components. Feel free to play around with the mix ins, depending on your dietary restrictions – potato chips work great, chopped, pre cooked bacon would be fun as well. Have fun with it!

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  1. Tilly says:

    I love these :)) Always try to find sugar-free cookie recipes, but not all are good. This sounds like a great one 🙂 Thanks 🙂

  2. Betty says:

    Hey there,
    Where I could find this mix. Love the recipe, but I am not sure I’ve seen the Simple Mills Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix in my neighborhood in Ilford, UK. Thank you!
    Otherwise it’s really great. I want to try it!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      I think right now it’s only available in the US, unfortunately, but this recipe would work wonderfully with my healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe, which can be found here. Just mix in the oats, coffee grounds and corn flakes when you add the chocolate chips, and sprinkle the sea salt on top. Xx Liz

  3. Tam says:

    Just ordered the mix! Can’t wait to try these. thanks for sharing!

  4. Bern says:

    I would so have loved to try this recipe but … with the key ingredient being the Simple Mills Chocolate Cookie Mix, it’s a bit hard for me to try. I live in Australia and so don’t have access to this cookie mix. It would be great to see recipes posted on this blog that do not have country-specific ingredients or, if this can’t be avoided, suggest an alternative in the recipe.

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi there! While the vast vast majority of my recipes can be made without any special ingredients, this one was done in collaboration with Simple Mills, one of the brand partners that allows me to keep making recipes on Sprouted Routes for all your lovely people. That said, I totally understand your frustration. I think this recipe would work wonderfully with my healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe, which can be found here. Just mix in the oats, coffee grounds and corn flakes when you add the chocolate chips, and sprinkle the sea salt right on top. Hope that helps! Xx Liz

  5. Melissa M says:

    Are rolled oats paleo?? I was under the impression that paleo = no grains…..but I’m certainly no expert

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Melissa – they’re not, no. Paleo does mean no grains – the note at the end of the recipe got cut off when I published previously. Check it out for clarification, and thanks so much for bringing this to my attention! Xx Liz

  6. Jesse says:

    These look amazing! Can’t wait to try!