Banana Oatmeal Cookies

The Recipe: Oatmeal cookies with a twist, a banana twist, that is.

~Recipe updated & republished 2015 for a little weekend baking inspiration~

Banana Oatmeal Cookies ♥, oatmeal cookies with a banana twist.

"These are delicous!" ~ Mia
"... very yummy ..." ~ Becky
"I love them - a soft cookie that really feels like a treat ... whilst not being too naughty!" ~ amalissy
"... they turned out great! Love the coconut touch." ~ Susan

Long-time cooks know that the first rule of baking with banana is "Think Ahead".

The unavoidable fact is that it takes a couple of weeks for bananas to ripen enough.

You see, green bananas (as in "unripe" bananas which may have tinges of green but are often yellow) make for blah banana-baking. A banana must be really ripe — nearly all brown and even, if you want, well into "black" — to yield the luscious banana flavor in banana bread, banana cakes and here, Banana Oatmeal Cookies.

So wait for dark-brown, not yellow, skins to imbue heady banana flavor into quick breads, banana cakes, banana pancakes and here, the best oatmeal cookies, bar none, I’ve ever made – or eaten.

The freezer can help! To keep ripe bananas on hand all the time, just wash the bananas, then let them ripen naturally on the counter or in a paper bag. Once the skins turn dark, tuck the bananas into a freezer bag, right in their black jackets, and freeze. When you’re ready to bake, just thaw as many as needed in a container for an hour before using.


A couple readers have reported "sticky" cookies. It's happened to me too. I think it's caused when we measure flour by volume – there can be such variation! – but doesn't happen to everyone because smaller bananas do fine with less flour. Ohhh the vagaries of baking, some times! I've re-written the recipe to fix this and believe it improves the recipe considerably.
The truth is, I've gone extreme when it comes to ripe bananas. "Black bananas" aren't for everyone but for photographs, and just "how black" I let bananas get before baking, see Ripe Bananas for Baking: How Ripe Should Bananas Be? It might be a little shocking but boy-oh-boy, talk about heady banana richness.

Two more banana treats!

BANANA MANGO SMOOTHIE For a quick after-school snack, toss a frozen banana (skin removed, silly!) and frozen mangoes into a blender with a couple of ice cubes and skim milk. Delicious – and refreshing!

QUICK BANANA DESSERT I made this a-l-l the time when I was a kid! Just slice a barely ripe banana lengthwise. Spread each flat side with sour cream or Greek yogurt, then sprinkle with bits of brown sugar, it'll soon "melt". It's gorgeous good!


Oatmeal cookies with a banana twist
Banana ripening: 2 weeks
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes about 30 cookies, easily doubled
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/4 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 155g
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1-1/2 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick, not instant)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut

Heat oven to 350F/180C. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugars, banana, egg and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to mix thoroughly.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the oatmeal and coconut. By hand, stir the flour mixture into the mixing bowl.

Using two spoons, one to scoop and one to scrape, drop dough onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 11 – 14 minutes until set and golden. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the parchment.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cookie: 98 Cal; 3g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 16g Carb; 1g Fiber; 58mg Sodium; 11mg Cholesterol. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 2

Yes, Splenda works! Great news for dieters and diabetics, Banana Oatmeal Cookies turn out beautifully when made with "alternate" ingredients. Substitute Smart Balance for butter, Splenda for the white sugar and white whole wheat flour for the flour.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cookie: 81 Cal; 5g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 7g Carb; 2g Fiber; 60mg Sodium; 7mg Cholesterol. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 2

ALANNA's TIPS Be prepared! Your kitchen is going to smell like warm banana bread! Does your brown sugar get a little clumpy in the cupboard? Mine too. I like to "work" the white and brown sugars together with the back of a spoon in the mixing bowl before adding the other wet ingredients, working out those tiny clumps which can create little pockets of dark, even burned sugar in baked goods. To produce Banana Oatmeal Cookies all the same size, I some times use a cookie scoop but then use a small spoon to gently flatten and shape the dough.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Banana Lovers Will Love These Oatmeal Cookies!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies ♥, oatmeal cookies with a banana twist.

More Great Banana Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Cheery Cherry Banana Bread Banana Streusel Muffins Banana Nut Cake with Caramel Frosting

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Thanks for the banana pictures. I always wonder how ripe the bananas should be, it takes a long time. I've heard that a bag helps, do you know?
Hi Ali ~ Great question and honestly I don't know because I just leave them on the counter, where the only trick is not to eat them all so there'll be a couple left for baking. Anyone else?
These sound really good. Years ago during my fat-free craze (so glad that's over) I used to replace some of the butter in my oatmeal raisin cookies with applesauce. The added flavor was really nice, and the cookies were extra moist. I bet bananas do the same kind of thing.

The banana ripening lesson is great. I have to admit, though, that I let mine get slightly more ripe than you do. We're actually talking mushy and black with possible spots of mold on the skin. Scary, yes, but they make the most incredible banana cake!

I think the brown paper bag thing Ali asked about might be the same as what they say about ripening avocados and tomatoes in bags. In very non-scientific speak: something (gas?) in the bag seeps out and then somehow helps the fruit ripen. I think. I've never actually tried it.

I am so loving the new look of Kitchen Parade, Alanna! You did such a beautiful job with the remodeling--everything is so well laid out and easy on the eyes. The triple photo layouts are fantastic. You manage to pack in so much great info (including all those yummy links) without it feeling packed at all! : )
Oh, thank you, Alanna! My mom always made me the most delicious banana oatmeal bread (which I have never been able to replicate),but I'm better with cookies, so I still have a chance. :)

I love your new layout,Alanna, especially the photos.

If I could jump in about the bag...there is a gas called ethylene (thank my husband for that)and when other fruit comes in contact with it, they ripen. Putting them in a paper bag traps the gas within, helping to speed the process along. Trust me, it works; I do it all the time, and it works for other fruit such as peaches or nectarines too.
I have a question. Could one use Organic cold pressed Coconut oil inlieu of the butter in this wonderfully sounding receipe?
Farmgirl ~ You're going to laugh but I actually go MUCH blacker than shown -- I didn't think people could stand it. And the bananas I've had ripening on the counter for 2+ weeks aren't THAT ripe yet. I'll add a picture when they get there.

Susan ~ Thanks to you AND your husband. I must try that to really shorten the timing. (And thanks for the compliments, too. The new site is still feeling good to me, too. No regrets!)

Sunny ~ I've got no experience with coconut oil so must say, I just don't know.
When I try to make this cookie receipe, I will try and incorporate the VCO into it. I have been reading alot about this oil and if it works, it will be a very healthy substitute. Thanks.
mmmm...these look good! I laughed at your hint b/c I do the exact same thing. it works, but I also think it's called laziness! :-)
I thought you were supposed to put an apple in the bag with the bananas to speed up ripening (the ethylene comes from apples - and some other things - I thought!). But the real reason I'm posting is because the link to Graham Cracker Toffee was busted. I did manage to track it down, through your index, but you might want to update the html for that one.
Oh dear the bad girl's come to call, I'm going to need at least a few chocolate chips in there and then maybe a couple of peanut butter chips!
I once had a similar recipe and am so excited to find one again. I would love to add chocolate chips to this recipe, have you ever done so Alanna? Wondering if you have any tips or can tell me how much to use along with this recipe? Thanks so much, the site looks GREAT by the way!
Briarrose ~ Chocolate chips, of course! And in fact I wish I remember, a blogger made them with chocolate chips. I would recommend the 'mini' chips that would easily disperse throughout the dough, and just a few, so not to overwhelm what's special about this cookie, the real banana flavor.
These are delicous! A wonderful pairing of banana and coconut. Sweet yet not overly so....and best yet low in fat and calories.
I am looking for good Weight Watchers recipes. I calculated these to have 2 points, not one. Thanks for the ideas!
Hi Anonymous, If you're using the cardboard 'slide' counter from Weight Watchers, it always measures high -- frankly, it's just hard to read where points fall. That's why I use the actual mathematical calculation, not the slide.

These cookies, for example, with just two more calories would yes be 2 points but with 98 points, they're 1 point.

And it would be easy to bump to 100 calories per cookie, by making just one or two fewer cookies, by natural variations in the relative ripeness (sweetness) of bananas, the use of a lower-fiber flour, etc.

THAT is why Weight Watchers points should always be considered -- why I always call them -- an estimate, not some exact-exact-exact measure.

Hope this helps: rest assured, I take the calculations of points VERY seriously although of course human errors are, of course, possible.

Just a suggestion: start leaving comments on all the magazine websites asking for nutrition information. FEW GO TO THE EFFORT, a real disservice.

I hope you'll come back often - bring your slide if you like, or rely on the stated points and be grateful they're available at all.

These cookies stuck to my pans really bad - I tried to use 1/2 cup of oatmeal in place of the 1 cup coconut (I didn't have it and didn't want to go get it). When I realized this might be part of the problem, I put it back in. It worked better, but I was still having issues, so I sprinkled some flower on top of the pam spray I used and that did the trick. The cookies came off super easy.

Thanks for the great recipe!
P.S. It was still very yummy without the coconut!
Becky ~ Just want to point out that the recipe calls for parchment on a baking sheet -- because they do stick. Glad you worked it out on your own.
Hi Alanna,
Made these today as per recipe but with a wheat free flour mix subbed in. I love them - a soft cookie that really feels like a treat with my afternoon cup of tea, whilst not being too naughty!
I just made these and they turned out great! Love the coconut touch. Thanks for a new favorite recipe!
I'm so happy to find this great-sounding recipe! We have bananas growing in the yard, and when a stalk comes ripe we "go bananas" for a while, but still can't keep up. From experience, I recommend peeling before freezing, even if it is a bit goopy, because when you want to make that frozen banana smoothie it can be difficult to peel the frozen banana, if thin-skinned, and if you defrost, then it isn't frozen anymore. I freeze mushed ripe bananas in ice cube trays and then store in a ziplock bag and have frozen banana-cubes available as necessary. This works for many other seasonal fruits (around here e.g. passionfruit, calomondin, lemon juice, etc).
Hi! When you say coconut, do you mean shredded coconut. Also, do you fluff to aerate the flour before measuring or after?
Elena ~ Nice name! :-)

Yes, the coconut is shredded - flaked - the small pieces. I've used both sweetened which in the States is easier to fine but prefer the unsweetened.

Yes, "fluff to aerate BEFORE measuring". Use this technique with other recipes too, it'll make a world of difference in the lightness.

PS For awhile now, I've added weight measurements to recipes, this one needs them too!
Hi :) Great recipe, but I baked this without the coconut and the result was...well, very cakey and sticky. I also reduced the amount of sugar to three-fourth; is that why it is not crunchy?
Hi KJenny, Ah yes, making adjustments to recipes, it's something that I do all the time. You might have been okay with one or the other, doing both affects not only volume but also the proportions of fat:flour:sugar. But yes, your changes would, I believe, result in something cakey and sticky.

FYI my recipes are nearly always lower in sugar, already, than many American recipes, it's because I like things to taste like their primary ingredients (here, banana and oatmeal) not just sweet.
My mom would only let us bake oatmeal cookies when we were little because they were "healthier" LOL! The addition of a banana is a great idea, I'll have to try.
These look yummy except for the coconut....I despise coconut for some reason! :) Wonder if it would affect the recipe to leave that ingredient out?

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna