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. 

stack of 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. He 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

Video Tutorial

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 & Salt: A little salt and 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.

2 images of no bake cookies ingredients and the combined mixture

2 images of no bake cookies mixture in a bowl and placing onto baking sheet

no bake cookies on baking sheet

Overview: 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 boiling in the center, 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 on a red plate

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
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stack of 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*
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder together in a medium saucepan (about 3 quart) over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the butter melts. Whisking occasionally, bring to a boil. Once boiling, stop whisking and allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, then immediately stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until completely combined. Stir in the oats and salt.
  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

150 Comments

  1. These sound so tasty! Can’t wait to make. Can I also omit the peanut butter for one non-peanut butter loving family member?

    1. I would add another 1/4 cup of butter and another couple Tbsp of cocoa. Without the peanut butter, they won’t set up properly. But adding more of these ingredients would help for sure.

  2. Sally,  I just made these cookies. They are fantastic and so easy to make. Thanks for all the delicious recipes. Most of my Christmas cookies are your recipes. 

  3. Hi Sally- I made these last nite and they  are incredible.  Other recipes I’ve tried were chalky,
    dry and a funny after taste . But your recipe is perfect.  Every single thing I’ve tried here has been amazing.  I don’t know how on earth you do it. I’ve requested your books for Christmas.
    Let’s see if Mr. Santa (aka my hubby) will make it happen. Have a great holiday. I really enjoy your writings and I also am obsessed with baking.

  4. Do you think this would work with cookie butter?

    1. I’m sure it could!

  5. I made these for my students.  They RAVED about them! They were all saying they were the best no-bakes they have ever had. EVER.  I wish I would half been able to snag one before they ate them all up! 

  6. Well these are definitely the best no bake cookies I’ve had in a long time, but I’m afraid they’re still a little too dry for my tastes. And I would definitely love an even stronger peanut butter flavor. But still, these were delicious and I’m sure I’ll have no trouble eating them all, lol.

  7. Liz (mom to 5 under 10) says:

    I made these and my oldest son and husband devoured them!!!! They were so simple to make ! Mine actually made more than stated even scooping with a tablespoon! I will be looking at other no bakes on here soon!

  8. Hi, Sally!
    Would it be okay to sub the peanut butter for almond butter?  I tried looking through all the comments / notes to see if you had answered this for someone else…  My toddler is severely allergic to peanut butter, so, just wanted to check if you thought it would be ok – I never deviate from your recipes!  I’m also excited to try your Maple Almond Butter Cookies, but, wanted to try your no-bake cookie first.

    Best,
    Amy

    1. Oh absolutely, Amy! Almond butter works wonderfully!

  9. Will these be okay if they have to be out of the fridge for ~5 hours before serving? Or do you think will they be to melty/sticky? Thanks!

    1. They’ll be just fine!

  10. 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! 

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Hey!
    Is that OK if I’ll use the super-chunk-PB?

    1. I find the cookies are a little crumbly with crunchy PB, but it still works.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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,!!

  17. Made these last night and they are amazing! Everyone was eating them before I’d even finished scooping them!

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. Hi Sally, can I use less sugar in this recipe?

    1. Hi Elisa! You can definitely try. The cookies may not set up properly without this ratio of ingredients. I also have a skinny no bake cookies recipe which uses honey and banana.

  22. 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!

  23. Hey Sally!

    I made these last night but had issues with them sticking to the parchment paper and being very sticky this morning. Any ideas how to fix that for next time?

    Thanks! Love your recipes

    ~Alyssa

    1. Hi Alyssa, Did you store them in the refrigerator? Usually they firm up pretty well in the refrigerator if you didn’t make any ingredient substitutions!

      1. I did refrigerate them but I’m thinking I didn’t simmer the mixture long enough! Thank you.

    2. Corinne Sturgeon says:

      I put them on waxed paper and they don’t stick.

      My aunt always made these, when I was growing up, and she called them mud cookies.

  24. Jeannie Lunde says:

    I followed this recipe to a T and for some reason they were really dry anything I can do if this happens again???

    1. Hi Jeannie! This usually happens if the mixture has been cooked too long on the stove or if you’re using a natural style/thicker peanut butter. Also, a little more milk can help thin out the wet ingredients if you decide to try it again.

  25. Jaime Sue Hines says:

    Fantastic tried several other recipes but yours was the easiest and yummy just follow your instructions exactly and enjoy

  26. David Vanroekel says:

    Hi Sally, theses were a super hit! Mine came out sticky as well but after sitting out for a day, no more sticky. Not sure why but really happy. Thanks for sharing.

  27. These turned out so yummy! Followed her recipe as stated, it was so easy. Will definitely be making them again!

  28. Sheila Acosta says:

    Just made these and substituted 1/2 cup of finely chopped peanuts in lieu of a half cup of the oats. They are in the fridge now. Licking the spoon was awesome! I think they will be amazing. Takes me waaaaayyyyy back to high school. in Athens, Ohio.

  29. I love this recipe, tastes delicious! Although I’m not sure where I went wrong. They are very chewy not firm and has no crunch after being refrigerated for an hour. Please help!

    1. Hi Nicole! These are chewy cookies– they are not supposed to be crunchy. 🙂

  30. Thank you for the repeat recipe! I only have salted butter here (I live on an island) and won’t get to the mainland for groceries until next week. Would the salted butter work OK, do you think?

    1. Hi Kate! You can definitely use salted butter with no other changes to the recipe.

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