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. 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

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

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 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 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

240 Comments

  1. These are DELICIOUS!!! They taste like chocolate peanut butter no-bake oatmeal cookies (only much healthier in comparison). I was looking for something to satisfy my sweet tooth but also provide nutrition. This is a great recipe for just that! Thanks!

  2. These are exactly what you think they will taste like…. so delish!! The only thing I did differently was melt some chocolate chips in the beginning steps and reduce the sugar a bit. I’m sure you could reduce sugar or replace with a sugar alternative to make these cookies for breakfast! Also I wish you the best of luck not eating the mix by the spoonful!

  3. These are delicious!! Super easy and def satisfying for any sweet tooth! Going to make an extra batch to see about freezing them so I can have them whenever 🙂

  4. Delicious old school cookies! So stinkin easy!

  5. These sound so good. Has anyone tried substituting vegan butter for the butter? Or is coconut butter better. (I am dairy free and use both but have a lot vegan butter in fridge right now!)

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nic, we haven’t tested vegan butter, but we’d love to know if you give it a try. Or, coconut oil works wonderfully in place of the butter. Enjoy!

      1. They turned out great with the vegan butter!! I used those and almond milk and had a great flavor with lots of chocolate and peanut butter flavor!

  6. Erin Talbott says:

    Has anyone tried using Munk fruit?

    1. Can I use brown sugar instead?? It’s just we don’t have granulated sugar currently 🙂

      1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Molly, we haven’t tested it but a few readers have made that swap with no problem. Let us know if you try it!

  7. Has anyone tried adding an extra ingredient like coconut (maybe decreasing amount of oats a little) ? I used to make these but haven’t in quite a while. Lately I’ve been craving these cookies !!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sandy! We haven’t tested it, but other readers have reported success stirring in 1/2 – 1 cup of shredded coconut. You may also love this recipe for chocolate coconut snowballs!

  8. Lady Marianne says:

    I remember making these when I was a kid, only this time I substituted Peanut Butter Whiskey for the vanilla, can’t have too much peanut butter! Thanks

  9. Easy recipe and very delicious. Unfortunately cookies were demolished within 24 hours so no leftovers for me to freeze. Will be making again!

    1. Hi, these look great, and I want to make them so badly! The problem is I don‘t have peanut butter at the moment… is it possible to substitute it with chocolate spread?

      1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Eliana! We’ve tried these with sunflower seed butter and Biscoff spread, which both work great. We haven’t tested Nutella or another chocolate spread, but a few readers have had success doing so. Let us know what you try!

  10. Mary Belknap says:

    I am from Michigan and started adding Traverse City dried tart cherries to these cookies…it is a GREAT hit.

  11. Mishygrani says:

    Thanks for bringing back fond childhood memories! I didn’t have cocoa in the house so I substituted hot chocolate mix. I also added a 1/4 c coconut and used chunky peanut butter rather than smooth. They turned out great!

  12. Donna Berry says:

    Can I double this recipe and if so do I need to change cooking time?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Donna, you absolutely can double this recipe. It may take a bit longer for the ingredients to come together to a simmer, but it shouldn’t be much longer. Enjoy!

  13. Andrena Dwyer says:

    Could I substitute Rice crispies for the oatmeal.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Andrena, we haven’t tried that substitution — you’d likely have to play with the ratio of other ingredients, as the cereal would absorb them differently than the oats. If you decide to try, let us know how it goes!

  14. Do these have to be refrigerated? Most no-bake cookies that I have known don’t need to be. Wanting to make these for my father when he comes this weekend.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sammy, we recommend storing in the fridge for a longer self-life, but they should be okay at room temperature for a day or two if desired. They may get a bit soft and melt-y, depending on the temperature in your kitchen. At a minimum, we still recommend refrigerating them for the setting process. Hope this helps and that your dad enjoys these cookies!

  15. Any idea if these can be frozen? I would like to make this recipe with my students tomorrow for a picnic we will be having in a couple of weeks…

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely, see recipe notes for freezing instructions. Hope they’re a hit!

  16. I’d give this recipe a full-to-the-brim five star. These no bake cookies are awesome. I am pretty sure no other recipe book or website has something similar in goodness and in easiness!!!!!!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Thank you so much for your positive feedback, AK!

  17. These are very tasty! I used half a cup less sugar and probably could have left out more. Also I like to mix cornflakes in with my oats for a new twist on the old favourite 🙂

  18. I used coconut palm sugar and coconut oil in place of butter and granulated sugar. They are so amazing, the taste of coconut sugar with the oats is unbelievably good and so crazy easy to make! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe ! Would prolly try to cut down on the amount of sugar the next time and sub with some monk fruit sweetener or replace with monk fruit sweetener completely. Would that work I wonder?

  19. Made these and they’re perfect, just like when I was a kid. Only “problem” is a tablespoon scoop yielded 48 cookies, double the suggested yield of 24. Did I miss something? I don’t mind the extra cookies, but will plan ahead next time for more!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Courtney, yield size can vary slightly by person — it’s possible your cookies were just a bit smaller than a tablespoon. Glad you enjoyed these!

  20. For some reason mine seemed too soft and sticky. Is this how they are supposed to be. I remember them as a kid being firmer than they turned out… followed recipe to a T. What am I missing?

  21. How many calories are in one no bake cookies?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lydia, We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

    2. Delicious! But they are too soft, and I made them exactly as the instructions said.

  22. I love these cookies, but I’m wanting to try an all peanut butter version. Can you tell me what adjustments will need to be made?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Chasity, we haven’t personally tried it, but some readers have reported success making an all-peanut butter version. You may need to play around with the ratio of ingredients to ensure the cookies still set properly. You could also try simply replacing the cocoa powder with peanut butter powder. Let us know what you try!

  23. Shirley Bridges says:

    I’m not able to eat oats. Do you think that Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes could be substituted? Other options? Many thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shirley, we haven’t tried that substitution — you’d likely have to play with the ratio of other ingredients, as the cereal would absorb them differently than the oats. If you decide to try, let us know how it goes!

  24. Nina Emanuel says:

    Love these cookies. Appreciate all the helpful hints. I struggled to make them repeatable despite it. I think I finally realized that you don’t mention transferring to a bowl to add the oats. It appears you recommend adding it all in the same warm saucepan and letting it rest there. If that’s the case, I’ve overlooked it a few times 🙂

  25. Ward Vanderberg says:

    Delicious! I followed the recipe exactly, but they came out quite soft – mushy – and I can’t figure out why. Any suggestions?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ward, is it possible that they need a bit longer to set in the fridge? Also, storing them in the fridge will help to keep them cooler (rather than at room temperature), especially during the summer. Thanks so much for giving these a try!

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