These no bake cookies are the easiest kind of cookie ready in 10 minutes! We love these no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies in the summer or the winter.
Having company over last minute? Need to bring cookies to a cookie swap and don't have time to bake batch after batch? These no bake cookies are the yummiest and fastest stove-top cookies you'll find! The chocolate peanut butter oatmeal combination is irresistible!
About this Recipe
This is my sister's recipe I've made countless times over the last few years. Although they are popular during the holiday baking season, these are made on the stove-top and enjoyed during all seasons.
Below is a list of ingredients you need to make these no bake cookies.
Grocery List for No Bake Chocolate Cookies:
- Cocoa powder
- Peanut butter
- Vanilla extract
- Quick oats (not instant)
Click here or scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe ingredients and instructions.
Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the step-by-step on how to make no bake cookies. The general steps are as follows:
- Combine butter, milk, sugar and cocoa in a saucepan.
- Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Stir in peanut butter and vanilla, then the oats.
- Scoop onto wax paper and let cool completely.
Top Tips and Tricks
Many of you already have your favorite no bake cookie recipe. This one is foolproof, in my opinion. I've never had a failed attempt where they are too soft or too hard. These are my tips for helping you make the best no bake cookies:
- Use butter - Do not substitute for margarine or a blend, or your no bake cookies may not set right and will turn out gooey.
- Boil 1 minute - It is very important you stay close to the stove and allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute only -- no more!
- Allow a rolling boil - The mixture needs to heat to a rolling boil which means it is boiling in the middle of the mixture, not just a low boil on the sides of the pan. Then count 1 minute from there.
- Do not stir - While the mixture boils for the 1 minute, do not stir it. Don't even touch it. Let it do its thing.
- Quick oats or old fashioned oats - My recipe calls for all quick 1-minute oats (NOT instant), but you can use half quick oats and half old fashioned oats for a heartier cookie. (Photos reflect the cookies made with half of each, but I prefer all quick oats.) Do NOT use all rolled oats or it will turn out too dry.
- Work quickly - Once you're ready to scoop the no bake cookies onto the wax paper, work quickly. This mixture sets fast.
- Use a cookie scoop - I preach it all the time. If you don't already have one, get yourself a medium sized cookie scoop. You can use it for muffins, cupcakes, ice cream, cookies, etc. etc. I use mine all.the.time.
Your Questions Answered
What causes no bake cookies to harden?
If your cookies turn out too hard or dry, it may be you're boiling them for too long. Watch that 1 minute time!
Can you put no bake cookies in the freezer to set?
Yes, you can quicken the setting process of no bake cookies by placing them in the freezer. Although, I prefer letting them cool and harden at room temperature for best results. Or you can let them harden in the fridge.
Why are my no bakes sticky?
If your no bake cookies turn out too sticky, you may need to add more oats or you might not be boiling at the correct high boil. See notes above for best tips and tricks.
How long do no bakes take to harden?
Depending on the humidity and temperature of your climate, no bake cookies should take about 45 minutes to harden at room temperature on the counter. Or 15 minutes in the fridge.
Can I use instant oats?
No, do not use instant oats in this recipe. Instead, we use quick (1-minute) oats or half quick and half old-fashioned rolled oats.
Storage and Leftovers
Store: Store these cookies in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Freeze: These cookies freeze beautifully. Allow to harden at room temp then place in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This recipe was originally published on December 17, 2015 and updated on December 10, 2019 with improved photos and recipe tips.
No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
- ½ cup salted butter
- ½ cup milk
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups quick oats (not instant)
- In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the milk, sugar and cocoa. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat and let boil exactly 1 minute without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla. Stir in the oats.
- Working quickly, scoop mounds onto wax paper. (I use my medium cookie scoop.) Allow to cool completely. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- For a heartier cookie, use half quick oats and half old fashioned oats (1 ½ cups of each). Not not use all old fashioned oats.
- These cookies are great for freezing. Allow to completely cool, then place in freezer bag in single layer. Store in freezer up to 3 months. When ready to eat, allow to set at room temperature until thawed.