Lifestyle

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Recipe


A few readers requested I share my no-bake cookie recipe on the blog sometime. Which, of course, gives me an opportunity to make and eat more cookies, so I promised I would. 

These no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are probably my all-time favorite and one that ALWAYS reminds me of summer in the Midwest.

Growing up, once our air conditioner was turned on for the summer, we no longer would use the oven. So, no-bake cookies were the only way to go if you wanted to make cookies.

Over the years when I’ve posted about these cookies, I’ve seen them called by other names. My favorite is “cow patty cookies.” Lol. My grandparents had a cattle farm we visited as a lot as kids so … I get it. Tell us in the comments if you call these by another name.

Jump to Recipe

Although no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are pretty simple to make, they can be a little bit finicky. So I’m sharing my tips to make these foolproof.

Why didn’t my no-bake cookies set?

Likely, you didn’t boil the mixture long enough. You want the butter, milk, sugar, and cocoa mixture to boil for 2-3 full minutes and reach between 190°F-200°F.

If you don’t boil them for long enough, they will turn out gooey and will not set.

My favorite no bake cookie recipe (click through for recipe)

How do you fix gooey no-bake cookies?

Freeze them. Once you have added the peanut butter and oats, the only option to fix gooey no-bake cookies is to freeze them so they will hold together enough that you can eat them.

It might not be perfect, but it’s not the end of the world and they will still be delicious!

Why are my no-bake cookies dry and crumbly?

This means you boiled the mixture too long. The sugar got too hot (above 200°F) so it began to harden. This is a good thing if you want to make homemade candy. But for no-bake cookies, you want to boil the mixture for 2-3 minutes until it reaches between 190°F and 200°F.

A candy thermometer is best. But honestly, I don’t usually use one when I make no-bake cookies—I just set a timer during the boil period. And it’s best to err on the side of under boiling the mixture rather than over boiling.

You can freeze soft, gooey cookies. But once the mixture is hard and crumbly, your cookies are basically ruined.

Substitutions you can make to this recipe:

  • Peanut butter can be swapped for any nut butter, like almond butter.
  • Dairy milk can be swapped for any non-dairy milk, like soy milk.
  • You can make this with quick oats instead of old-fashioned oats, but I prefer the texture of old- fashioned oats.
  • You can also swap the oats out for sliced almonds or a mixture of nuts and unsweetened coconut flakes if you want these to be grain-free.
  • Vanilla extract could be swapped for any cooking extract (like mint extract) if you want these to have a chocolate mint flavor. You may want to adjust the amount. I would use less mint extract than vanilla since it’s a stronger flavor.

How to make no bake cookies

No-Bake Cookie Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

I like to already have my peanut butter and oats measured out in separate bowls or containers. It’s good to have them ready to go, because once it’s time for them, you better have them ready.

Best no bake cookie recipe

Other No-Bake Desserts:

Will aluminum foil work for no-bake cookies?

I usually spoon no-bake cookies onto parchment paper, but you could also use aluminum foil or wax paper instead.

For a reasonable option, you could also spoon these onto a baking mat, even though you will not bake them after (they just need time to set, then you can remove them from the mat).

My favorite no bake cookie recipe (click through for recipe)

These no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are so easy, fast, and addictive. Enjoy! xo. Emma

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

  • ¼
    cup
    butter
  • 1
    cup
    sugar
  • 2
    tablespoons
    cocoa

  • teaspoon
    cinnamon
    optional
  • ¼
    cup
    milk
  • ½
    cup
    peanut butter
    creamy
  • 1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • 1 ½
    cups
    oats
    old-fashioned
  • sea salt
    optional

  1. I like to already have my peanut butter and oats measured out in separate bowls or containers. It’s good to have them ready to go because once it’s time for them, you better have them ready.

  2. In a medium pot, begin melting the butter over medium heat. Just before it’s all melted, add in the milk, sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon if using.

  3. Stir this together so it’s well combined. Now, turn up the heat. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, begin a timer.

    Allow the mixture to boil for a full two to three minutes. If using a candy thermometer, you want the mixture to reach between 190°F and 200°F.

  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla and peanut butter.

  5. Once the peanut butter is mixed in, stir in the oats.

  6. Quickly spoon the mixture into small mounds on parchment paper, topping with a little sea salt if using.

  • Peanut butter can be swapped for any nut butter, like almond butter.
  • Dairy milk can be swapped for any non dairy milk, like soy milk.
  • You can make this with quick oats instead of old-fashioned oats, but I prefer the texture of old-fashioned oats.
  • You can also swap the oats out for sliced almonds or a mixture of nuts and unsweetened coconut flakes if you want this to be grain-free.
  • Vanilla extract could be swapped for any cooking extract, like mint extract if you want these to have a chocolate mint flavor. You may want to adjust the amount, like I would use less mint extract than vanilla as it’s a stronger flavor.

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. 



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