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.
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. They’re as classic as a good batch of chocolate chip cookies or sugar cookies. And after one bite, you’ll understand exactly what the fuss is about. Let’s do it!
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
- Butter: Like all the best desserts, butter and sugar make the base of this recipe.
- 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.
- Milk: Milk also creates the base of these cookies.
- Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder not only flavors the cookies, it acts as a thickener and binder. Remember this post on dutch-process vs. natural cocoa powder? Fun fact: Since we’re not using a chemical leavener, you can use either in this recipe.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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. For my gluten free readers, you’ll also appreciate this recipe for no-bake chocolate fudge oat bars.
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.
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.
Success Tips for No Bake Cookies
- 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.
- 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.
- Avoid crumbly cookies: Don’t overcook the chocolate mixture. Doing so will over-thicken it, which inevitably leads to crumbly no-bake cookies.
- 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.
Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 24 cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: American
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.
- 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 (255g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats or quick oats*
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 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.
- Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes. This allows the oats to soak up some moisture.
- 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.
- 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.
- Refrigerate the cookies for 30-60 minutes so they set. Remove from the refrigerator and enjoy!
- Cover and store leftover cookies in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Instructions: Once completely set, the no-bake cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- Butter: Coconut oil works instead of butter because like butter, it solidifies when cold.
- 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.
- Milk: Use your favorite milk, dairy or nondairy.
- 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
Reader Comments & Reviews
Can I use Skippy Crunchy Peanut Butter?
Hi Brenda, The cookies can be a little crumbly with crunchy PB, but it still works.
Quick, easy, and delicious! Thank you Sally!
I made two batches of these cookies and they came out great. I did not have to refrigerate to get them to set up. They were delicious. I made this recipe exactly as written and used a timer.
I made this recipe exactly as written. Best no bakes I’ve ever made! Definitely a keeper!
Finally, I have found the BEST No Bake Cookie recipe! So easy, and what great flavor. They were a HUGE hit in my house. I am making them again, and doubling the recipe. My family loves these. I love this website !
These are wonderful just the way you have this written! My whole family loves them!!
Made these exactly per the recipe and the oats are way too hard.. Sally even swears by rolled oats, which I used, so what went wrong? How do I fix these – should I now bake them? They’re not exactly edible as-is
One of my favs. Have made these several times my husband loves them. You can use Quick Oats to make cookies easier to eat, unless you just want to keep rolled oats in the recipe. Just add the rolled oats to the mixture as soon as you take off heat this will help oats to soften. Than add the rest of the ingredients. My husband had his bottom teeth removed and this batch is difficult for him so next batch will be with Quick Oats.
Hi Sally. Just made these and sitting in my fridge. Taste good! I have been wanting to make dulces de avena, or oatmeal candy since I left Mexico at 11 years old. My mother would make dulces de avena and us kids were crazy about them. Your recipe as given the the base to make them. All I need to do is take out the peanut butter, cut sugar by half and increase cocoa one tablespoon. I will taste test as I go. I want to thank you for your awesome recipe! Sincerely, Elisabeth
These are sitting in my freezer and going fast. So good!
Has anyone made these without the chocolate powder? I know it’s not advised to mess with Sally’s ratios but I’m dying for a peanut butter (no chocolate) version of these!
Great recipe! I also stirred in 1/2 cup of coconut at the end. Yum.
I substituted coconut oil instead of butter to achieve that “coconutty” flavor undertone.
Anyone use crunch peanut butter? What were your results? I don’t usually buy creamy peanut butter, and if I can get away with using crunchy, I’d sure like to.
Our favorite is to use crunchy peanut butter, and I definitely prefer quick oats in these instead of rolled oats. This is my husband’s favorite cookie, I’ve been making them for 10+ years for him and his mom has been making them even longer!
This recipe worked great for me! In fact, I was out of dutch cocoa powder, but I had semi-sweet chocolate chips. So I reduced the sugar down to 1 cup, and added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. It didn’t melt evenly, so the one extra step involved additional whisking in a bowl before adding in the PB & oats. I could see reducing the sugar even further, but they turned out great, and after resting in the fridge overnight these cookies are nice and solid. Satisfies that craving!
You do not know this, but you have become an important member of our family!! Since I found your website I have been in my happy place baking so many of your DELICIOUS recipes with my children and husband. Since the pandemic began we have a new ritual of a family meal in the evening( no busy schedule!) with Dessert by Sally! Yes, a different dessert each night( lol) No, we do not weigh too much! Every dessert has been 5 Stars!!! Your recipes are so tested and rock solid that they hold up to the changes I make, whole wheat flour( even for cakes) and honey for sweetener. Every single recipe has been absolutely superb. The family is starting to request some favorites now too! This week it is all about oats since there is no flour in the grocery store at the moment and I am reserving my last bag for your bread and bagels.
Thank you so much for all of the love and care that goes into all of your recipes. And I love your notes before and after recipes. It is these peanut butter chocolate oatmeal cookies today!
Stay safe and healthy, and all the best to you, your family and your readers!
Hi Jennifer! Wow! Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words. I’m thrilled you and your family have been enjoying so many of my recipes 🙂 I truly appreciate your positive feedback!
This recipe needs salt! It’s no fun without a little salt. And very sweet. The salt will tamper down and balance the sweetness.
Thanx a bunch for this one! I’ve left them in the refrigerator to set overnight but neither of us could resist and have had some already!
Wanted to check with you – we aren’t cooking the oats, are we? I’m finding the rawness of the oats rather overwhelming!! Don’t know if it’s just psychological, since nobody else complained 🙂 but shouldn’t we roast them and then add them to the mix?!
I made two batches of these following the recipe exactly and they’re all very sticky. I could barely get them off the silicone mat after refrigerating for hours, and they’re still so sticky even after refrigerating overnight. I think the recipe doesn’t have enough butter, which helps no-bake cookies be more solid when chilled.
My Mom has made these all my life. Our recipe is a little different though. She altered the recipe to fit her no chocolate diet. So the ones I would eat were more of a peanut butter treat. She would also pt them in a 9 by 13 inch pan and make bars. This is a great recipe. Thanks!
Bernita and Sally,
I cheated! I wanted to make a keto-friendly version of this recipe, so I used Monk fruit sweetener-granulated, and shredded unsweetened coconut, instead of the oats. I followed the recipe as closely as this allowed me to, and they turned out yummy. The monk fruit makes a very sweet treat, though. Next time, I will try using only 2/3 rd’s measurement of the sweetener that the recipe calls for, when converting from sugar to monk fruit.
Hi! Lovely recipe! I remember when we would have these cookies at the summer camp I always went to, and they’re still my favorite!
I halved the recipe because I have texture averse family who don’t like these, but it still came out really well. I wound up using a half-butter-half-vegetable-oil combo, and it tastes fantastic.
*half of 1/4 cup is just 2 tbsp for anyone else who wants to halve the recipe!
Love love love! They were such a hit!
I don’t care for chocolate, so I left out the cocoa powder. I used Truvia brown sugar, plant based “butter” and natural peanut butter (the kind where the oil separates). It came out great! Oh, one problem….can’t stop eating them! Thank you for the recipe!
First of all, I just want to quickly say that I love your recipes. They’re my go-to’s. However, I SUCK at this recipe. This is my 4th attempt and they still haven’t come out right ♀️ I followed your directions to a T but for some reason, my no bakes just won’t set! They turn out really sticky and the consistency is almost like taffy. Any idea what I’m doing wrong?
Thanks for the help
Hi Amanada, What type of peanut butter are you using? Usually non-natural (like creamy Jif or Skippy) work best but if using natural style see the recipe note.
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! I used Jif peanut butter. I also used a blend of natural and Dutch-based cocoa powder (maybe that’s why?) and old fashioned rolled oats. Some of the cookies had actually set over night but some are still shiny and tacky. Weird…
Great recipe, if you’re making these for one person. I had to double these up. I guess the kids wanted some.
Thank you for providing a non peanut butter alternative! My kids don’t have an allergy, they just don’t like peanut butter right now (insane, right?!). Ha. So using Nutella or the biscoff spread is an amazing suggestion. Keep up the good work Sally!!
No Bake Chocolate PB Cookies : They look easy and delicious. Good for shipping to college grandson after freezing first?
Thank you. Love all your recipes.
Yes, as long as its not hot where you live you should be able to ship these. This is how I usually package my cookies to ship.
Added a fresh pecan half to the top of the wet cookie! Oh my–absolutely delicious!
Can you simply omit the pb, or do you have to substitute it with something else?
Hi Mina, You can swap the peanut butter instead of just leaving it out. Scroll up to about halfway through the post above to the section “Other Flavor Variation” for some ideas!
Hi, thanks I did see the other variations but was wondering if I don’t use any other variation, would it change the finished result?
can i use coconut milk?