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 & 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.

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*
  • 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 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 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

148 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. Jaime Sue Hines says:

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

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 🙂

  7. 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.

  8. can i use coconut milk?

  9. Can you simply omit the pb, or do you have to substitute it with something else?

    1. 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!

      1. 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?

  10. Have you ever substituted monkfruit sweetener for the sugar in this recipe or in any of your other recipes? Just curious how they would turn out.

    1. I haven’t. Let me know what you try!

    2. Jennifer Roman says:

      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.

  11. Is there any way to make this recipe diabetes friendly? They are so good I would love to make some for a friend with diabetes.

    1. Jennifer Roman says:

      Peek,
      I used Monk Fruit sweetener and unsweetened shredded coconut. Same quantity to substitute oats for coconut, and try ONE CUP of sweetener, instead of 1 1/2 C Sugar. Thanks!

  12. Ellen Archibald says:

    Added a fresh pecan half to the top of the wet cookie! Oh my–absolutely delicious!

  13. 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.
    Patsy

    1. 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.

  14. Made these for my family. We all loved them. I Am also wondering about a substitute for the sugar?

    1. Hi Yvonne! I don’t recommend leaving out or subbing out the sugar. For a healthier alternative, if that’s what you’re looking for, here are my no bake cookies made with honey.

  15. 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!!

  16. I’ve seen no bake recipes where the ingredients in the pan are boiled for 1 minute and this recipe says to simmer for 1 minute. Will they set up if they are just simmered or should I boil the ingredients in the pan for 1 minute?

  17. Great recipe, if you’re making these for one person. I had to double these up. I guess the kids wanted some.

  18. 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

    1. 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.

      1. Hey Sally!

        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…

  19. 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!

    1. They are addictive 😉 Thanks so much for your positive feedback, Dianna!

  20. Love love love! They were such a hit!

    1. So happy you enjoyed them, Sara!

  21. 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!

  22. Love these…just wondering how many calories they are ? Thanks

  23. Hi Sally, can I use crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy?

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

  24. 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!

  25. Keisha salvary says:

    I just made some. They are in the fridge..tge mixture tastes really good. Can I use less sugar or it’s not recommended? I did add a pinch if salt.

  26. Gonna hold my hands up and say I changed the recipe a little bit by adding 200g chocolate and then thickening the mixture with a bit more peanut butter and oats. I’m a chocolate fiend and it did work. But next time I will go a bit lighter on the peanut butter as it is a tiny bit greasy. But adding the chocolate was well worth it!

  27. 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.

  28. 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?!

  29. Shannon Hickey says:

    This recipe needs salt! It’s no fun without a little salt. And very sweet. The salt will tamper down and balance the sweetness.

  30. Dear Sally,
    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!

    1. 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!

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