No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

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No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies are an old-timey favorite and one of the easiest and most delicious cookies you’ll ever make. I think pretty much everyone has had these cookies at one time or another and pretty much everyone loves them.

No-bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies


No oven needed for these cookies which have the most amazing texture and you likely have all the ingredients on hand. You’ll need butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, milk, quick-cooking oats, peanut butter, and vanilla extract.

The butter, cocoa powder, sugar, and milk are placed in a saucepan and brought to a boil. Let the mixture boil for 90 seconds. Set a timer and keep track becasue the cookies might not set up right if you boil the mixture too long or not long enough.

Then remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. So simple!

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies


In less than 10 minutes you can have the ingredients measured, the batter mixed together and shaped into cookies. These No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies do need a little while to set, but you won’t have to wait long. They should only take about 30 minutes to set up. If they are still too wet at this point, try sticking them in the fridge.

This recipe makes a pretty large batch of cookies-  about 24 cookies. They are dense and filling cookies so they will go a long way. That being said, it is hard to not go back for another.  🙂

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Watch the video below to see how to make these easy cookies!

No-bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Course: Cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies are an old-timey favorite and one of the easiest and most delicious cookies you'll ever make. I think pretty much everyone has had these cookies at one time or another and pretty much everyone loves them.
Print Recipe


  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces so it meltes faster
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • In a large saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, sugar, and milk,
  • Stir well and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 90 seconds, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the oats, peanut butter, and vanilla.
  • Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Let cool to set.

Recipe Source: Bless Your Heart


126 thoughts on “No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

  1. Carol, the recipe my mom used in the early 1960’s called for 1/2 cup coconut and 1/2 chopped pecans. No coconut oil though. She wasn’t known for her baking, but they were great 🙂

  2. Great recipe! My mom’s handwritten recipe calls for slightly less cocoa. I think either way, it’s perfect.
    Thank you for the part about the 90 second boil. When you do this, it won’t turn out granulated. This was just like my mom’s! Thank you!!

  3. I made these a few minutes ago. Had to taste test and they are delicious, just like the recipe I used to have. I used whole milk and real butter. Didn’t
    change a thing. I did spread them out on waxed paper, rather than drop by spoonfuls. I’ll cut them to small sizes.

  4. If you want a sweetier cookie use herseys nesquik instead…..I have for years……doesn’t have that cocoa taste. and yes you have to wait for a rolling boil or they will be sticky……if you go over the 60-90 they will be crumbly.

    1. I have made these for years and they have always turned out good a little over a year ago I moved and now use a gas stove and for some reason the cookies won’t set I’ve used a gas stove in the past and they turned out what am I doing wrong

  5. Amazing if you follow the directions they come out PERFECT! I make them every yr and threw out the yr they come out perfect every time! Make sure you do the 90 sec as soon as they start to boil turn it down don’t forget or you will bring it! Don’t leave the stove when making these it’s easy to walk away an they boil an you ruined them that fast! Timing is everything!!

  6. Could not save these…followed the recipe exactly, wound up with mounds of granulated chocolate and oats that didn’t behave like any no-bake I’ve ever made, and I’ve been cooking and baking for over 4 decades. Darn. Hoped they’d work but they didnt.

    1. Did you let boil for 90 secs? Did you put in the correct measurements? I put everything in a sausepan at once then when it started to boil that’s when i started my timer. Mine turned out correctly.

    2. Hi. Sorry but what helps me is I put the cookies in the freezer for a short time after I form them and they harden and stay together well. Years ago I didn’t need to do that but today I do or they won’t set up like they should.

    3. I just made these, even used generic ingredients and they are perfect! You have to do the 90 second boil for sure

  7. Just did this and followed the recommendations in comments to boil for 60 seconds the. Add the other ingredients. Turned out great!

  8. I read the comments before I tried this. I didn’t boil too long but I dont think I boiled long enough. My question is does it have to be a rolling boil to start the 60-90 sec clock?

    Part 2 of my question now that I have a bunch of sticky gooey mounds what can I do to make them into something? Can bake? Melt again and something?

      1. I always use old fashion oats. No problems. actually….they’d take longer to cook. Not less time but none of the oats ever cook anyway. Only problem I know of is I eat too many of these delicious cookies.

  9. I noticed that other recipes for no-bake cookies (which did not have peanut butter)used same amount of butter and sugar and cocoa so I added an extra 1/2 cup of oatmeal. They came out fine and using a heaping TBSP measure made 40 cookies of a size I like.

    1. I made this recipe to the t twice and both times my cookies never set up. What am I doing wrong? Ugh these are supposed to be for a work party tomorrow and bane sale Thursday and they are ruined. How to fix? The first time I tried making recipe a few months ago and when they didn’t set up I put in frig and that did not help. They were super gooey. The kids at church loved them but I did not

      1. What kind of butter did you use? I have found that you have to use real butter or pure margarine. A butter or margarine spread will not work. You cannot use Blue Bonnet. I always use either real butter or Land o Lakes Margarine sticks. Hope this helps.

        1. I just made a batch that came out perfect!! I made them exactly as the recipe directed using unsalted real butter (Great Value brand).

  10. I made them this afternoon and a mistake was made in my batch. I corrected my sugar and cocoa powder. Boiling for 60 seconds made the grade. B SWEET ESSENTIAL DESSERTS.

    1. Anyone ever tried adding coconut? I switched the peanut butter for shredded coconut, packed in the measuring cup and 2 T coconut oil. They were awesome.

  11. Other than cutting the ingredients in half to make a small batch, I followed this recipe as written and the cookies came out perfect! I will definitely be making these again.

    1. What you sre doing by bringing the mixture to a low boil is tempering the chocolate. Then it will set. Try lightly buttering a sheet pan & pouring the mixture in it. Smooth it out & let set. Cut into small bars. They are thick, rich, delicious & shiny!! I do put less oatmeal & I use store brand oatmeal-broken into pieces. Or crush yours. I add toffee or pecans chopped up.

  12. The ingredients and measurements are exactly the same as my recipe, which turns out perfect. Only diference is that I only cook for 60 seconds AFTER it comes to a full rolling boil. Then add the peanut better & mix well. Remove from the heat, then add oatmeal. I might try adding a pinch of salt to mone next time as some readers have suggested. I enjoy mine the most when they are still warm, just cooled down enough to bite into! I have tried the dark cocoa, and did not care for it at all.

  13. Can we skip the butter, sugar, and milk? All of that stuff is extremely unhealthy. Defeats the purpose of oatmeal cookies. The Oatmeal, Cacao (or Unsweetened Cocoa), peanut butter, and maybe cinnamon, all make great ingredients. Maybe sub milk with almond or oat milk?

    1. “All of that stuff is extremely unhealthy.”
      The word “All” is false. This is a cookie recipe, for a snack/occasional treat, not a meal replacement. Suggest you look at health food recipes if you don’t want regular cookie recipes.

      Just because something has oatmeal in it doesn’t mean it’s required to contain no sugar. There is no “defeating the purpose”, a recipe can contain whatever it contains.

  14. Make some for adults only.
    Omit Peanut butter and add 1/4 cup 40% dark rum and crushed pecans.
    This tastes great.. Make them smaller,If you want more than take one more.

  15. I’ve left vanilla out and added ground coffee to the cocoa for a great mocha taste.
    I’ve also added Cocoanut and pecans.

  16. They should set almost instantly into fudge even in a warm room. This recipe is all messed up. You have to combine butter, peanut butter, sugar, milk and cocoa, stir constantly til it boils then stir for 3 minutes. Remove from heat add the vanilla and stir. you’ll see it do it’s magic fizzle, then quickly add oats stir and the drop on parchment paper!!!

    1. You are absolutely right. My Grandmother made these and she specified a rolling boil for no more than 3 minutes. I’ve messed them up and they’ve taken a half an hour to set, but I think it was because I was at a higher elevation…? Like it boils easier, but the ‘batter’ needed to be at a higher temp to set properly…

      1. I also add the peanut butter and mix until it melts and then the oats are stirred in.
        The reason for the delay in adding the oats is that if the mixture is too hot when you add the oatmeal it cooks into ‘oatmeal’ and once it does that, no amount of waiting will make it set up into cookies. My first couple of batches didn’t set up well and after that Tip was given to me they have been perfect every time.

  17. This is great just the way it is!!! Instead of making cookies I spread the mixture out in the parchment paper cool and cut into small bites. Sometimes I don’t want a whole cookie!!!

  18. I have made these for years.. however, I still haven’t been able to replacate..the exact way the lunch ladies did it. Theirs always we’re glossy and perfectly chewy and smooth. Anyone?? Mine are usually dryish and kinda crumbly.

    1. Please try cooking it for less time. If they come out too gooy just let them sit in the fridge for a day or two and they will dry out a bit. Also weather (moisture) plus or minus will make a difference!

    2. I always beat the neck out of it after adding the vanilla, etc. Be sure not to boil too long because that can dry them out.

    3. I’ve found that by placing cling wrap over them as soon as you place onto the cookie sheet they will stay nice and moist.

    4. Hi Rae, two things I’ve found:

      1. Use at least 2% or, better yet, whole milk. If using skim and 1%, add a little extra butter and milk.

      2. 3 cups oatmeal is way too much IMO. 2 cups works well so they don’t dry out.

      1. What i use is corn syrup insted of milk.. it gives it that gloss also its alot more chewy .. it can be dry depending on how much corn syrup you use so i just use a little more my kiddos love them

    5. Are you using real butter or stick margarine? If you use tub margarine it has water in it, so never use it for baking, etc.

    6. My Mom taught me to put way more peanut butter. Your description sounds exactly like ours look. 🙂

      2-3 cups.
      Stir the first part until it boils then let it boil for 1 minute without touching it.

      Then do the second part. 🙂

    7. The first time I made these (from a family recipe — I don’t know how it compares to this one), mine came out dry and crumbly as well. My mother told me not to put everything in the pot at once. Put in the milk and sugar first. Once that is fully blended (and the sugar dissolved in the milk) then add the butter. Once the butter is melted and fully blended, add the cocoa – letting everything dissolve and fully blend before adding the next ingredient. Continue with the recipe as written (i.e. letting it come to a boil, etc), then add the peanut butter, vanilla and oats after removing from the heat. (I add those ingredients one at a time as well. The vanilla, then the peanut butter then the oats). My next batch came out perfect!

  19. This recipe has been used for 3 generations in my family. I use 6 tablespoons of cocoa, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/3 cup of peanut butter

    1. Has anyone tried using less sugar? They are great with 2 cups sugar, but really sweet. I live alone, and probably going to eat them all. Would like a little less sugar if possible. Just like to make sure using less sugar won’t hurt the way they turn out

  20. I have made these cookies for almost 30 years. They were always requested more than any other treat. My recipe is the same except I use 6 Tablespoons of cocoa.

  21. I love your recipe here, I make cookies like this with the grandchildren, we love adding dried fruit or shredded coconut , so delicious!!

  22. My mother made these In The 1950s. . She added 1/2 tsp salt to the boiling mixture. I remember because one time I reversed the salt and sugar, what a need the salt help them set up better.

    1. I should try the salt next time. Mine never do get hard enough. Sometime you have to eat them with a spoon.

  23. I love, love, love these cookies! We had them when I was in elementary school a long time ago. Easy to make and everyone I know loves them. I even get requests to make them!

  24. I believe 2 cups sugar is way too much for me.
    I made them today and used just 1 cup sugar. They are just right!

    1. Totally agree. 1 cup is more than enough. Mine also turned out a bit dry. Has anyone used more butter maybe?

  25. Hi just want to ask, is it ok to use semi-sweet chocolate instead of cocoa powder and skip the peanut butter part? Thanks.

  26. this worked great for me if u guys ever want more cookie ideas look up my name firetail on discord.comi have lots of videos for no bake cookies u guys will like

  27. I leave off the PEANUT BUTTER


    1. Kkqu did u find that recipe for potatoe candy? My mom use to make that and I loved it. Had forgotten all about it till I read this

  28. So far this is the only recipe I could find with the same amount of cocoa powder as the ones my grandma made! Everyone else’s doesn’t actually have that rich chocolate taste I remember!

  29. I agree about cutting the cocoa to 4 Tbs but if you add heavy whipping cream instead of milk and definitely use butter over margarine you get a smoother and richer cookie.

  30. Family favorite. Our recipe is similar. We didn’t add peanut butter. Cocoa was 4 Tbsp.. Oats were 3 1/2 cups. Rest was the same.

  31. I have found that the quick oats blends into the chocolate mixture in smaller pieces; the Old Fashioned oats are flakier, with more defined oatmeal taste. It’s mainly a matter of preference, as both taste great.

  32. I switched to almond butter, dark cocoa powder, and raw sugar. My cookies taste great and firmed up a bit soft, stuck to the wax paper, and were sticky to the touch when handled (so much you have to lick your fingers clean after eating one). I’d like them to firm up a bit more. Has anyone else addressed this (with a little flour, xanthan gum or something else) to make the cookies firmer and not sticky?

    1. Cook the liquid a bit longer. Do a candy test: When a drop of hot liquid dripped into a glass of water rolls into a firm round ball, it’s done. Then add oats, PB, vanilla & spoon out.
      As a side note, I’ve found that most confections don’t set well if they are in a damp area or are cooled too fast (makes them sweat).

    1. Yes you can, in fact I refuse to use quick cooking oats. I use regular oats as I like the texture better.
      I also like the tip about cooking for only 90 seconds, I have regularly over cooked mine and they tend to firm up in the pan. Not bad if you like cookie “bites”, but that is not how I like to enjoy them.

  33. This is almost exactly our “family” recipe, except we swap milk for water. It’s a lovely chocolate punch in the teeth and it’s perfect for a small indulgent treat (trust me you don’t need more than one!). Thanks for the recipe, the measurements are perfect!

    I’ve been making these for almost twenty years (and I still lose the recipe every time), but this time I swapped the butter for a “Light” stick butter I found last shopping trip. Still works and tastes great!

    1. The ones I make are nearly identical and without peanut butter, so it’ll be fine. Did you try it?

      My favorite variation has no peanut butter, includes a generous pinch of sea salt to the pot at the beginning, and swaps special dark chocolate cocoa powder for the regular kind. I also use less vanilla, only 0.5 tsp, and also boil mine for at least 2 minutes. They keep well in the freezer.

      1. I have made these cookies since 1975 & without peanut butter as I am allergic. This cookie is very nostalgic since I am now 54.

  34. My granddaughter and I made these cookies in a hotel that had a kitchenette. However, we were unable to locate a cookie sheet or equivalent. We thoroughly cleaned the kitchenette counter (granite) and put the cookies on the counter where they hardened satisfactorily at room temperature!

  35. The recipe turned out good. Made these all the time for my family. I think this recipe calls for more cocoa than I used in my old recipe.

  36. I made these all the time growing up, but always forget the measurements. I made them vegan with vegan “butter” and almond milk. They set up beautifully! They’re definitely FULL of cocoa– mine look much darker than your pic– but I love them this way!

  37. Thanks for the tip on how much cocoa powder to use when making no bake chocolate no bake oatmeal this will be my first time making them & I want them to taste good

  38. I couldn’t find our family’s recipe for these so I used yours. They tasted like a bar of bakers chocolate and my heart is racing – beating out of my chest. Maybe a typo? I think that’s way too much cocoa powder. I finally found ours – we’ve only ever used 3-4 Tablespoons. A half cup is 8 Tablespoons. Others with heart conditions, like me, may want to cut the amount (shown) in half as well. 🙂

      1. I used rolled oats instead of the quick and it came out dry this time. Maybe i’ll increase the butter a bit next time? My original recipe from the 70’s uses 4T cocoa and 4 T butter.

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