Inside: Get a recipe for easy Peanut Butter Chocolate No Bake Cookies. They’re loaded with oats and chocolate-peanut buttery goodness.
I have used many no bake cookie recipes over the years and this one is my absolute favorite.
When I say these are THE BEST No Bake Cookies, I mean it. Because they have the distinction of winning a No Bake Bake-Off. Of sorts.
In fourth grade, a friend of mine and I were boasting about how great our mom’s cookies were. Both of us loved No Bake Cookies and both of us were convinced our mom made the very best ones.
So we decided to make it interesting. We asked each of our mothers to make a batch and pack one in our lunch boxes for a cafeteria showdown taste test.
Turns out, her mom’s were actually better.
Once I recovered from my shock, I swallowed my pride and asked for the recipe. And I’ve been making them ever since.
Ingredients You Need For No Bake Cookies
- Sugar: Use white granulated
- Butter: I use butter but one reviewer swears by swapping in margarine, FYI.
- Peanut Butter: I use natural for many recipes but not this one. Using natural peanut butter results in drier cookies, so use regular peanut butter.
- Vanilla Extract
- Oats: I prefer old-fashioned oats, but you can use quick oats as well. They’ll just be a bit less chewy.
How to Make No Bake Cookies
- Combine the sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk in a large saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until combined.
- Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil for one minute, stirring occasionally. (Watch the clock closely–if you don’t boil them long enough, they will not set. Boil them too long, and they will be dry.) Remove from heat.
- Add peanut butter, vanilla, and oatmeal to mixture and stir until combined.
- Drop by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet (I use a cookie scoop like this one). Cool, then remove from sheet with a spatula, and store in an airtight container.
Questions about No Bake Cookies
What’s the best way to store No Bake Cookies?
Once the cookies are cooled and hardened, store them in an airtight container and use within a week (but I doubt they’ll last that long!).
Can you freeze No Bake Cookies?
Yes! Simply place the (cooled) cookies in a freezer bag, seal out the air, and store in the freezer. Allow to thaw…or eat them frozen (they’re still good that way!).
Can I use crunchy peanut butter instead?
Yes, It obviously adds more texture. Be sure it is regular crunchy peanut butter (not natural) for best results.
Can I use less sugar in this recipe?
Yes. I have made these with 1 3/4 cup sugar (instead of two cups) and they turned out well.
Can you swap in honey instead of white sugar?
No. The texture will be all wrong. I know there are “health-ified” versions of these cookies out there–with coconut sugar, chia seeds, and what have you–but I’m a purist when it comes to No Bakes. I’d rather make the real deal and enjoy them a couple times a year.
How do you fix No Bake Cookies that don’t set up?
Boiling the mixture for less than a minute will produce cookies that are too soft. If you haven’t portioned out all of your cookies, adding some additional oats to the batter may help a bit. Next time, be sure to follow the one-minute-boil rule exactly, starting the timer when the mixture reaches a full boil.
How do you fix No Bake Cookies that are too dry?
Boiling more than a minute may lead to cookies that are too dry. Next time, only boil the mixture for one minute, starting the timer when the mixture reaches a full boil.
The BEST No Bake Cookies
These No Bake Cookies are rich, soft, and ready in minutes.
- 2 cups sugar, white granulated* (see notes)
- 3 tablespoons cocoa
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup peanut butter, regular, not natural* (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats, or quick oats
- Combine sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk in a large saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until combined.
- Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil for one minute, stirring occasionally. (Watch the clock closely--if you don't boil them long enough, they will not set. Boil them too long, and they will be dry.) Remove from heat.
- Add peanut butter, vanilla, and oatmeal to mixture and stir until combined.
- Drop by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet. Cool, then remove from sheet with a spatula, and store in an airtight container.
If you'd like to use less sugar, I have made these with 1 3/4 cup sugar and they turned out well.
Natural peanut butter will result in drier cookies. Stick with regular peanut butter.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g
More Cookie Recipes
Easy No-Flour Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (4 Ingredients!)
Old-Fashioned Graham Cracker Cookies
The Very Best 4-Ingredient SunButter Cookies (Nut-Free + Peanut-Free!)
These Cookies Can Help Your Kids Learn to Like Lentils
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Blast from the past!!!! I used to make these in grade school too (a million years ago), it made me feel so independent in the kitchen because I could “bake”.
I love no-bake cookies! This recipe is very similar to mine. I figure they’re fairly healthy as far as cookies go – they’ve got lots of oatmeal and some PB!
You almost had me…I was thinking this would be a healthy alternative to all baked cookies, which are all cancer causing, due to acrylamides formation during the baking process. But, you are causing the same acrylamides to form my putting ingredients in a sauce pan over high heat! Still cancer causing cookies!!!
Grace–I’m not sure if you’re trolling me or if you really believe what you’re saying. But at any rate, we’re going to need to agree to disagree.
If that’s the case, Grace everything in the world can cause cancer somehow or some way. …….. Sally, thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us. I choose to eat a cookie in moderation and enjoy life. This has been my favorite cookie/ candy lol all my life.
Dont eat cookies then…everything seams to cause cancer….if ur gonna get it ur gonna get it no mater wat u do..several deceased family members of cancer
And my grandaughter helped with cookies..she loves them…my aunt used to make them for me as a child. We no longer speak….now thanks to u i can carry on this wonderful tradition
Roxane L Service
Oh my! My whole family should have cancer! LOL! I myself have had cancer 3 different times. Still going strong my husband will eat the whole batch, this receipe is very good tastes like mom used to make!!
Thanks for sharing.
There is no definitive evidence that acrylamides cause cancer in humans. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/acrylamide-fact-sheet. These are NO BAKE Cookies and according to the FDA(https://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/ChemicalContaminants/ucm053569.htm), boiling generally doesn’t cause the formation of acrylamides. Everything in moderation.
LMAO go eat some grass then!
What in the?!?!! Just relax and enjoy some cookies.
Youre nuts!! I should have been dead years ago!!lol!! Life is too short..enjoy cookies!!
Brenda Gayle Darrow
FYI…the longer you live, the more chances you have of Getting ANY KIND OF CANCER. Live and Love Life. Don’t sweat the small things.
I HIGHLY recommend using margarine with these! Any time I use real butter they turn out dry and crumbly. I made a batch last week following this recipe with margarine and they were the best No-bakes I’d ever made. Just finished making some today wuth real butter and I’m going to have to use them as icecream topping because they arent edible as a cookie.
Glad you enjoyed the recipe. I’ve made these for years with butter and they’ve never come out dry, but glad the margarine substitution works better for you.
I’ve had this happen to me too. I believe my mistake was letting the chocolate mixture cook too long.
Has anyone tried crunchy peanut butter?
Yes, I’ve used crunchy–just adds more texture obviously. 🙂 Be sure it is regular crunchy pb (not natural) for best results.
Just curious, was your moms recipe the same ingredients with different measurements or different ingredients all together?
As I remember, it was the same basic ingredients but in different proportions. My mom’s cookies weren’t nearly as peanut butter-y and were much drier than these.
Made your no bake cookies today and they came out beautiful!!!! I did use crunchy peanut butter cause I like.nuts.!! Thanks for the recipe !!
So glad to hear that! Thanks for letting me know.
My Mom used to make something like this often. Thelma also used some coconut and/or walnuts to make it more crunchy. We called them chocolate haystacks…
Yummy! I am going to try these soon!
From another registered dietitian… On the cancer comment… you can honestly find info that pretty much anything and everything causes cancer these days, as for food… moderation is key! If you are truly so worried you wouldn’t eat this cookie (or any cookie ) you should probibly stop using your cell phone or computer as well!
Kelsi–yep, great point!
My mother homemade tons of cookies at Christmas every year. So to help out I always got to make the no bakes. I have been making this exact recipe for almost 50 years. It is my sons very favorite and so I always made them for school treats and ect. Everyone has their version and everyone always said these were the best and I have had to give out the recipe many times. One difference is that mine also and specifically calls for margarine. Mom always said it made them better some how. So my question is for the last 2 years or so I have had most of the batches not setting up for me. You specifically state to only stir occasionally during boiling but I think I have always stirred so as not to burn. Any thoughts on what I am doing wrong? I have always used the same brands so I’ve tried changing brands . Not the problem. Thanks you
Hmm, I wonder if somehow the margarine you are using has been slightly reformulated enough to make a difference. Have you ever tried them with butter? In the past, cookies not setting has been because I used more butter than usual or didn’t boil them long enough. So I would try either boiling them for slightly longer (maybe 1.5 minutes) or switching to butter to see if that makes a difference. I don’t think stirring them more frequently would cause them not to set. Did you see the link at the bottom of the post? It’s a no bake trouble-shooter and may help: https://www.recipelion.com/Cookies-and-Bars/No-Bake-Cookies-Too-Dry-Gooey
I have never used butter just because the hints my mom said you should always do the make the cookie just right is margine, don’t start the timer until it is a full boil, put in the peanut butter first and let melt slightly and used good ingredients. I don’t care to give my family margine but she always insisted. Next batch I will try the butter. And I agree with the reformulating theory. I did see the site. Thanks for the ideas.
Keep me posted!
If your cookies don’t set up, the sugar didn’t cook long enough to get hot enough to cook the sugar … it’s like when fudge doesn’t set.
I have used many no bake cookie recipes over the years and this one is my absolute favorite. I sometimes have trouble with the cookies not setting up when using other recipes. I do admit that I am novice and it’s probably my technique. None the less, I’ve never had that problem with this recipe. I also really enjoy that this recipe calls for old fashion oats vs quick oats.
So glad you like it and have success with it too!
Sally Thank you so much for this recipe! Reading about it reminded me of my mom and grandmother– both great cooks/bakers. I remember they both made their own version of a no bake cookies and my brother and I LOVED them. I like to think of them as Impatient Kids Favorite Cookies!! I’m using your recipe tonight exactly as written for a Cookie Bake Off at work tomorrow. I was dreading (a little) baking but now I’m ready to make these super fun cookies. Many thanks!!
Emily in cold northern CA
Thanks for this recipe! All I had on hand was natural peanut butter, but I just put a bit of vegetable oil and honey in the half cup before putting the peanut butter in. I think they turned out great!
Quick, easy and delicious
Thanks for sharing this recipe! All I will just put a bit of vegetable oil and honey before putting the peanut butter in. I think they turned out great!
This is very similar to the recipe I grew up making. Mine calls for a touch more cocoa and butter. And I’ve recently discovered a pinch of salt adds a little something, too.
Also, as a fun alternative (and if you’re always running out of oats like I am) you can sub graham cracker crumbs for the oats, spread the mixture in a parchment covered baking sheet, and cut them up lin squares after it cools. It’s like an easy fudge
Great recipe! I only had natural peanut butter (Aldi’s Simply Nature) and used powdered whole milk instead of regular milk. I was going to hold off making them until I could get to the market for the correct ingredients but didn’t want to wait. Even with these changes, the cookies still came out great!
Kim–that’s great to know it worked with those substitutions! Thanks for letting me know.
I have 2 questions. Is there an actual temperature I can shoot for with a candy thermometer ? And can I double the recipe to make more, or should I just make 2 sperate batches ? Thank you and Merry Christmas to everyone.
Hi Jerry–I haven’t tested it with a candy thermometer. Once it comes to a full boil, that’s when you set the timer for one minute. I have actually never doubled it either, sorry