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!

91 Comments

  1. These look amazing! I remember making a variation in elementary school- so easy to “not” bake! Thanks for posting Sally, can’t wait to make! 

  2. Peanut butter goes with absolutely everything! Thank you for sharing this no-bake recipe, it’ll save me so much time when I want to make a quick snack 🙂

    1. PB makes the world go round! I love your quick oats tips. When I had my first baby, a friend brought over cookies similar to this (no PB though in the 🙁 and I downed the whole tin of them. Sometimes you just crave a no-bake cookie, it’s just what your tummy is telling you it wants. Thanks Sally! 

  3. Thank you Sally for another great recipe. My family has a very similar recipe called chocolate oat delights. I don’t know why I never thought of putting peanut butter in them, and I LOVE peanut butter. I can’t wait to try this one!!

  4. No bake are always my favorites! Great recipe I am always on the hunt for something like that Thanks! xo  http://whatskatieupto.com 

  5. I’ve had some version of this before, and it’s surprisingly addictive. And now I have to try the Quinn version, especially because it must be even better and that is too tempting to resist. I’ve gotten some great recipes from my mother-in-law, too!

  6. These look so easy, but good! I usually save all my “no-bake recipes” for the middle of summer when it’s too hot to turn the oven but peanut butter and chocolate is a combination too good to wait! My family is full of peanut butter lovers and I know they’ll love these cookies too 🙂 

  7. Well, these will be happening today! I wanted to start some Christmas baking but I have a sick toddler at home. Luckily, I have all these ingredients!!

  8. Oh my GOSH! These remind me of a recipe handed down from my Great Grandma that my mom and her sister used to eat while they were growing up!! I can almost eat the whole batch myself, haha! They certainly don’t last long at our house, that’s for sure! I am anxious to try your recipe with peanut butter – my recipe doesn’t have pb in it so it will be a nice change! And I have to laugh about your oven – where does that stuff in the bottom come from exactly?? We just got a new convection oven about two weeks ago (after 18 years of the other one) and let me tell you – I am in HEAVEN! 🙂 I overflowed my monkey bread the third day of having it so it’s already been cleaned. Jeesh 😉

  9. I love these!!  My mom made them for us growing up and they are a family favorite. I make them every Christmas. Last year I tried a version without chocolate (just peanut butter) and they were amazing as well. This year I’m adding a cookie butter version to the mix  Thank you for your amazing recipes btw. I’ve made many of them all with rave reviews. 

  10. We make something similar in my family but leave out the peanut butter (gasp, I know). We call them cowpies though lol. But thanks for the recipe, I’ll have to make some soon. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

  11. No Bakes are my ABSOLUTE favorite! When I was in college, our dining hall did “No Bake Wednesday,” and on Wednesdays the dessert table was STACKED with no bakes. Heaven! I actually haven’t had no bakes since I was in college – I need to change that ASAP!

  12. 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.

  13. My boss loves chocolate and peanut butter; I’ll have to try these. And some more gluten-free recipes for another coworker. I feel bad when I bake sometimes because she has Celiac disease, and I consistently forget to buy gluten-free flour and oats.

    I made your peanut butter buckeyes and chocolate peanut butter swirl bark for a coworker’s birthday earlier this week (and the bark actually looked like it was swirled! I’ve been trying to get that look for ages in your swirl recipes and IT FINALLY HAPPENED!), and everyone loved them. 

  14. I love to use the old fashioned oat meal as it is – makes them chewier, moister and more like candy. 

    Make a batch without the chocolate – those are just as delish! For events I usually make the first batch without chocolate and a 2nd batch with chocolate (using the same pot this way!) gives variety.

  15. These look really yummy! I love no-bake cookies. Now to buy some rolled oats because apparently we don’t have any? (I know, weird, right?)

  16. These are one of my all-time favorite cookies! My mom made these for Christmas, and I made them for my son. Years ago, I decided to add coconut to mine, which made these even better!

  17. 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. 

  18. 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.

  19. 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! 

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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

  23. 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. Thank you for your speedy response!! I’m going to make them to share at my club swim meet on Saturday :0) 

  24. These are my favorite cookies but my recipe is a little different than this, same directions just different amounts of thiñgs, and have always turned out great

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