Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

Give the oven a break! Whip up a batch of these 7 ingredient chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies. This family favorite recipe is super simple and best of all, the cookies are deliciously addictive. 

chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies

Today I’m bringing an older family recipe back into the spotlight. I make these peanut butter chocolate no-bake cookies more than any other cookie recipe on my website.

Why This is My Repeat Recipe

  • No mixer and no oven
  • Little clean-up
  • Only 7 basic ingredients – nothing weird
  • Chocolate + peanut butter
  • Shockingly easy
  • Dairy free + egg free if needed

I married into a food-loving family. My husband grew up baking zucchini bread, soft pretzels, and these no-bake cookies with his siblings. Kevin said he made these no-bakes so many times growing up that he could mix them together in his sleep. Partly because they’re so easy and partly because everyone craves chocolate and peanut butter at bedtime, right?!

Simply put, these are awesome cookies. And after one bite, you’ll understand exactly what the fuss is about. Let’s do it!

no bake cookies

There are a billion and a half recipes for no-bakes on the internet and most of them call for the same ingredients as our family recipe. What makes each recipe a little different, though, is the ratio of ingredients. More butter, less sugar, more cocoa, less peanut butter… you get the idea. Our recipe, in my eyes and on my tastebuds, perfects that ratio. There’s just enough sugar, just enough cocoa, and definitely enough peanut butter.

Ingredients in No Bake Cookies

  1. Butter: Like all the best desserts, butter and sugar make the base of this recipe.
  2. Sugar: I swear by 1 and 1/2 cups of regular granulated sugar here. Over the years, I’ve tested several different amounts and even tried brown sugar once. For success, stick with the recipe below.
  3. Milk: Milk also creates the base of these cookies.
  4. Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder not only flavors the cookies, it acts as a thickener and binder. Fun fact: Since we’re not using a chemical leavener, you can use either dutch-process or natural cocoa powder.
  5. Peanut Butter: For best taste and texture in baking recipes, I usually push you to use standard commercially processed peanut butter. While I typically use Jif creamy here, you can substitute your favorite natural peanut butter. Give it a good stir before measuring and using. Nut-free? Scroll below.
  6. Vanilla Extract: A splash of vanilla extract adds flavor. Bonus: You can use homemade vanilla extract if you have it!
  7. Oats: I used to use quick oats in this easy cookie recipe, but lately I swear by using whole rolled oats. The difference between quick oats and whole oats is their size and that can definitely affect the success of a recipe. Surprisingly, these work with either type. (Just another reason to love this recipe!) You need 3 cups of oats.

If using certified gluten free oats, these cookies are gluten free.

no bake cookies mixture

no bake cookies mixture

no bake cookies on baking sheet

How to Make Easy No-Bake Cookies

Have I mentioned yet how easy these cookies are? Besides using super basic ingredients, the method couldn’t be simpler. Whisk the butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder together in a medium (3 quart) pot until the butter melts. Once simmering around the edges, start a timer. Let it simmer for 1 minute. After that, immediately remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract. Once combined, stir in the oats.

Grab your timer again and let the mixture cool for 4-5 minutes. This gives the oats some time to absorb the liquid, which makes scooping and shaping much easier. If you used a super thin natural-style peanut butter, let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Drop 1 Tablespoon sized mounds about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Feel free to slightly flatten down the cookies with the back of a spoon. Let the cookies set in the refrigerator for about 30-60 minutes. That’s it, we’re done.

no bake cookies

Best Part of All

If you haven’t realized by now, there’s no turning on the oven for no-bake cookies. Instead, the cookies firm up in the refrigerator. I love that! They’re perfect if you’re having a marathon baking day and other items need the oven.

Other Flavor Variations

  • Nut-Free No Bakes: Swap peanut butter for sunflower seed butter or Biscoff spread.
  • Almond No Bakes: Swap peanut butter for almond butter.
  • Nutella No Bakes: I have that recipe in Sally’s Cookie Addiction cookbook!
  • Sprinkles: Add sprinkles to the tops of each wet cookie before refrigerating.

chocolate peanut butter no bake oatmeal cookies

Success Tips for No Bake Cookies

  1. Have your ingredients ready: Once the chocolate mixture comes off the stove, the remaining ingredients must be stirred in right away. It’s helpful to have all your ingredients on stand-by.
  2. Follow the recipe: Sounds like a silly success tip, but it’s worth mentioning. The cookies work because we’re using a particular wet to dry ingredient ratio.
  3. Avoid crumbly cookies: Don’t overcook the chocolate mixture. Doing so will over-thicken it, which inevitably leads to crumbly no-bake cookies.
  4. Use a cookie scoop or spoon: 1 Tablespoon of dough will give us perfectly portioned cookies. Use a cookie scoop, a spoon, or your Tablespoon measuring spoon.
Print
no bake cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Give the oven a break! Whip up a batch of these 7 ingredient no bake cookies. Have your ingredients ready and review the recipe notes before beginning.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp; 60g) unsalted butter*
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk*
  • 1/4 cup (21g) natural unsweetened or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup (170g) creamy peanut butter*
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract (yes, a full Tablespoon!)
  • 3 cups (240g) old-fashioned whole or quick oats*

Instructions

  1. Combine the butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder together in a medium saucepan (about 3 quart) over medium heat. Whisk until the butter melts, then bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 1 minute without whisking. Remove from heat, then immediately stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until completely combined. Stir in the oats.
  2. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes. This allows the oats to soak up some moisture.
  3. During the 5 minutes, line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. And make sure there is enough room in your refrigerator for the baking sheets.
  4. Using a 1-Tablespoon cookie scoop (or simply a spoon!), drop a Tablespoon of dough onto the lined baking sheets. If desired, slightly flatten down with the back of a spoon. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  5. Refrigerate the cookies for 30-60 minutes so they set. Remove from the refrigerator and enjoy!
  6. Cover and store leftover cookies in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Once completely set, the no-bake cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  2. Butter: Coconut oil works instead of butter because like butter, it solidifies when cold.
  3. Peanut Butter: (updated note) This recipe works best if using a non-natural style peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. However, you can substitute your favorite natural peanut butter if desired. Give it a good stir before using and in step 3, let the oat mixture sit for about 10 minutes to thicken properly. Nut-free? Substitute sunflower seed butter or Biscoff spread.
  4. Milk: Use your favorite milk, dairy or nondairy.
  5. Oats: I used to use quick oats in this easy cookie recipe, but lately I swear by using whole rolled oats. Surprisingly, these cookies work with either type of oat! Do not use steel cut oats.

Keywords: chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies, no-bake cookies

My family's favorite recipe for super easy no-bake cookies! No fuss at all and they're completely addictive!

93 Comments

  1. I made these, and they barely made it through the night! I had to make a second batch.
    Super easy, way worth it (well, my waistband may disagree haha!)

    I added nuts to the second batch since I love a crunch, still amazing. 
    Thanks for the recipe! 

  2. I’d love to make these but I only buy natural peanut butter. Why wouldn’t it be OK to make these with natural peanut butter (no palm oil or sugar added) but at the same time be OK to use almond butter? That’s usually a natural product too, with no added palm oil.

    1. I tried a no-bake food bar (similar makeup with a few added items), and it didn’t solidify well. I’m guessing this is the reason peanuts-only peanut butter isn’t recommended.

  3. Just made these last night and they were amazing…one of the best no bake recipes I’ve ever tried! I can attest to using a non oily PB though…I didn’t read the additional notes and so mine craft out a tiny bit gooey but popping them in the freezer helped. I’m sure a little longer on the stove would’ve done the trick as well, but they were fantastic regardless. Lesson learned on scrolling down to read the whole recipe as well haha

  4. I just made these to take camping and they are so amazingly easy and delicious. So delicious in fact that I got nervous and calculated the calories. If making 24 cookies as per the recipe, they work out at roughly 127 calories per cookie according to my calculation 🙂  Thanks for the splendid recipe 🙂 

    1. Oh, just saw Verona’s comment above; if the sugar is 300 grams then that makes each cookie about 150 calories. 

  5. I’m a tad bit confused! You have listed 1 & 1/2 cups (150g) granulated sugar, but isn’t 150g of sugar equivalent to 3/4c? How much sugar do I use, 1 & 1/2 or 3/4 cup?

  6. These are OMG delicious! I replaced the creamy peanut butter with powdered peanut butter(PBFIT) and they turned out great! Love these cookies! Thank you

  7. I have made a similar recipe for years but the oatmeal is a little less and I add coconut instead! Have you ever tried coconut in these? You would LOVE them Sally!

  8. Has anyone made these without milk? We’re staying in a cabin, away from any stores, and I have limited resources. I know, no milk of any kind and a hubby with a no bake craving and not a single substitute. Ideas?

  9. I made these cookies and after 1 hour in the refrigerator, they are still soft. What can I do to avoid that next time? As a kid, I remember them having a harder texture. Taste is great, though!

    1. See Pat’s answer under this post. I did this as a child and still do. Fantastic each time. Just remember its basically fudge, so if you are in a humid place, they might not set straight away.

  10. I made these last night using salted earth’s balance margarine and chocolate almond milk (it’s all I had milk-wise, haha). They turned out fantastic! Because of the choc almond milk they turned out SUPER dark and fudgy. So delicious! I also added just a 1/4 cup more oats because seemed a bit too liquidy after waiting the 5 minutes. They are just SO good. I am so glad I found your recipe. I had a real hankering for them but have developed a cow’s milk sensitivity so I thought maybe they were a thing of the past for me. SO happy they aren’t! Thank you!

  11. My mom taught me how to make these cookies decades ago. They are always a hit. I discovered that if I stir the cocoa and sugar together in the saucepan before adding the butter and milk, it all mixes together easier. I’ve never put them into the refrigerator though. They always seem to set up just fine.

  12. I measured out a Tablespoon for each cookie and ended up with 41. They’re little but cute. The batter was definitely runnier than in the photos, despite me following the ingredients to the gram/ml, but the flavor was wonderful!

  13. Hi Sally- I’ve made these regularly since when you originally published the recipe! Like one commenter said, other recipes I’ve tried taste chalky, but these are soft and chewy,!!

  14. Hi Sally!

    Love your recipes! They are always delicious. This is very similar to a recipe my grandma used to make when I was a kid. I now continue the tradition. The difference is that we use shredded coconut instead of peanut butter. It is super tasty and easy but you have to work fast after mixing all the ingredients because it sets up pretty fast. I can’t wait to try this variation with the peanut butter. Sounds delicious! Thanks Sally! xx

  15. Oh my word. I shouldn’t have made these. Cannot. Stop. Eating! So easy and the flavor is out of this world! Best no bake I have ever had!

  16. I would like to make these but my daughter does not like the taste of peanut butter at all (including substitutes)… is there a way to make these without PB or the Substitutes, just like a chocolate version?

    1. Hi Sophie! I haven’t tested any replacements for the peanut butter besides the substitutions offered. Let me know if you try anything!

    2. Hi Sophie! I have made these using Nutella instead of peanut butter. I reduced the amount of sugar to 1 1/4 cup. Tasted really good just like with the original recipe.

  17. Have you ever added shredded coconut? My grandmother did and I loved them; however, most of my family does not care for coconut. So occasionally, I will save a little “batter” and add coconut just for me!

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