No need to heat up the oven for these classic Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies! They are quick, easy, and a super tasty treat that is one of the first recipes I learned to make when I was a kid.

For other delicious no-bake recipes, be sure to check out my Easy No-Bake Blueberry Delight, No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake, Strawberry Pretzel Icebox Pie, Easy Lemon Icebox Cake, and No-Bake Sour Cream Lemon Pie.

4 stacked no bake chocolate peanut butter cookies

I made so many batches of no bake cookies when I was growing up! We always had the ingredients on hand and they were just so darn simple to whip up that they were sort of my go-to recipe. Especially since I didn't need my mom to help me get pans into and out of a hot oven.

Truthfully, anything involving peanut butter and chocolate is pretty much a slam-dunk in my book. 

But it's the addition of quick oats that completes the trifecta of chocolate, peanut butter, and oatmeal in these classic no bake cookies.

An image of a hand picking up a chocolate no bake cookie from off a stack of cookies.

I am a huge fan of oatmeal cookies in all their delicious varieties. It's that wonderful chewy texture and oat-y flavor that just speaks to me.

If you have the same feelings about oats as me, then you need to go make these oatmeal rolled sugar cookies and toffee oatmeal chocolate chip cookies soon!

But unlike those options, these chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies are naturally gluten-free, so long as you make sure you are cooking with gluten-free oats.

An image of chocolate no bake cookies next to a heart-shaped bowl of quick oats.

Can you put no bake cookies in the fridge to harden?

You shouldn't need to put your no bake cookies in the fridge to firm up. They will do that on their own within about 20-30 minutes of dropping the cookies onto a cookie sheet as the oats soak up additional moisture and the chocolate peanut butter mixture cools.

An image of chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies with a glass of milk and a bowl of oats next to them.

Sticking the still-warm cookies into the fridge to speed up the process can actually affect the cookies negatively by resulting in setting the chocolate portion before the oats have a chance to absorb moisture, which changes the end texture of the cookies.

BUT, if for some reason your cookies don't set up after 20-30 minutes, you can stick them in the fridge at that point and everything will turn out fine. (And if that happens, chances are you probably didn't boil the sugar mixture quite long enough. But don't worry, that's not going to happen to you.)

Can you use old fashioned oats in no bake cookies?

I use quick oats when making no bake cookies as I think that they result in the best texture in the finished cookie.

But if old fashioned oats are what you have in your cupboard, they can be used in no bake cookies as well. The cookie will just be a little chewier since old fashioned oats are bigger and thicker than quick oats.

An image of the ingredients for classic no bake cookies.

Why are my no bake cookies crumbly?

The biggest problem most people seem to have when making no bake cookies is getting dry, crumbly cookies or sticky, gooey cookies that don't set up right. There are two main causes that I am aware of.

  1. Incorrect measuring of ingredients. It happens to the best of us. But if you get too many or too few oats, that could be the cause of no bake cookie crumbles or the oats not absorbing enough of the liquid mixture. Also, although these can be made with old-fashioned oats, they won't absorb the moisture from the chocolate mixture as well as the quick oats.
  2. The bigger issue though, is overcooking the mixture. This is one of those times where the cooking time is so short that you do not want to walk away. It's just 60 seconds once the mixture starts to boil. Set a timer and as soon as it goes off, pull the mixture off the heat and add the peanut butter, oatmeal, and vanilla.
An image of chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies stacked on top of each other next to a jar of cold milk.

How to Make No Bake Cookies

  1. Combine butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder in a large pot over medium heat. Stir frequently until the mixture starts to bubble.
  2. Set a timer for 60 seconds and stir occasionally while the mixture bubbles and boils. Remove from heat immediately once timer goes off.
  3. Stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla until combined.
  4. Drop 2 tablespoonfuls at a time onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading slightly using the back of the cookie scoop. Allow to set for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Store in an airtight container.
An image of a pot of ingredients for no bake cookies showing how to make them step-by-step.
An image of peanut butter and oats in a pot of chocolate and sugar for making no bake cookies.
An image of a cookie scoop dropping no bake cookie mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

  • Measure and set aside all of the ingredients before you start making these no bake cookies. The only tricky thing about this recipe is that things move quickly towards the end, so having everything measured out beforehand makes a big difference.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set a medium cookie scoop (I use a 2 tablespoon scoop) next to it so it's ready to go because the cookie mixture will start to set up quickly once everything is combined.
  • Use a timer. Once the mixture starts to bubble, set the timer for 60 seconds and stir the mixture a couple of times during that minute, then remove it from the heat immediately. The flipside is that if you don't boil the mixture long enough, the no bake cookies won't set up properly.
  • That said, each stove is a little different and you might need to make these once or twice to figure out how this works on yours. I cook these on medium heat and set my timer when I very first see bubbles showing up without waiting for a full rolling boil.
  • Spread the cookies just a bit using the back of your cookie scoop or spoon right after dropping them onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. This will give them a nice shape and make them a bit thinner.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.
An image of classic no bake cookies (also known as preacher coookies).

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

4.88 from 47 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 6 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 30 cookies
No need to heat up the oven for these classic Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies!  They are quick, easy, and a super tasty treat that is one of the first recipes I learned to make when I was a kid.

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • In a large heavy pot, combine the butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder.  Heat over medium heat until it starts to bubble, then set a timer and boil for 60 seconds (no more!).  
  • Immediately remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter, oats, vanilla, and salt until combined.
  • Working quickly, drop about 2 tablespoons of the chocolate peanut butter oats mixture at a time onto the prepared cookie sheet, pressing gently on the tops of each cookie to flatten slightly.  
  • Let the cookies sit at room temperature until cool and firm.  Store in an airtight container.  

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

Share This With the World

PinYummly

Related Recipes

About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

How many stars would you give this recipe?




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This brought back so many memories. My mother and grandmother made these for us. For a treat, they would serve it warm over ice cream. Oh my.

    1. Thank you so much for this recipe! I found the tips about the cooking time very helpful and even though I used old fashioned oats, they still set up pretty well. I've tried other versions over the years and sometimes it worked, but most often it didn't and I could never figure out why. In case anyone else is interested, they turned out great substituting almond milk for the regular milk and almond butter instead of peanut butter.

  2. It's been a hot minute since I've made these. Delicious! Brings back memories of the school lunch ladies who made them fresh twice a week to go with our lunches. We used to bring extra money to buy an extra cookie lol

  3. 5 stars
    Chocolate and peanut butter is definitely the best combo. Thanks for the tip on not refrigerating these no bake cookies. I would definitely have popped them in the fridge to speed up the process!

  4. 5 stars
    My mom made a variation of these my whole childhood. We called them tweedle dee dees. This brings back such fun childhood memories! No bake cookies are so delicious!

  5. Unfortunately I followed the instructions exactly and boiling the mixture for just 60 seconds was not enough time to allow the cookies to harden in the end. I recommend using a candy thermometer and heating the mixture until it reaches the "soft ball" stage and then your cookies will be perfect every time.

    1. Going to soft ball stage (235 degrees) resulted in SUPER crumble. That was too far. I think sticking closer to the "one minute" rue is better!

    1. 5 stars
      The comments on these make it seem like they must be hard to make...heck no. If you screw these up, then stick to top ramen and rice krispy treats for the rest of your life, because you officially struggle. Im homeless and live in a hotel and i didnt have vanilla, or salt, and only had a microwave and small bowl to work with. I didn't even have a spoon. But i cut the recipe in half and made it work. They stiffened right up, they taste amazing and they cured the craving id been having for the last month. Thank god. I used quick oats as well, natural peanut butter and foil instead of parchment. And they are delish. Next time im gonna try half brown sugar. So dont be scrrrrrd. Just make em. Good luck.

  6. If you don't want to overindulge, don't make these! We make them about once a week, and they are so insanely delicious!

    Thank you!

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is absolutely my favorite Christmas cookie! My mother would have a tin of these ready for me when we arrived on Christmas Day. She passed away years ago without leaving behind a written recipe. I have tried for years to duplicate these "easy" cookies and have always failed with other internet recipes. My cookies were either crumbly and dry or wet and sticky. I was determined to try again this year and found your recipe and fantastic tips! I found out the other recipes have you boil the mixture way to long and they double the butter, every single time led to disappointment and terrible cookies.

    With your recipe my cookies turned out PERFECT! They LOOK and TASTE just like my Mother's! It has been the delight of my Christmas season this year. Thank you for taking the time to post. Bless you and Merry Christmas.

    1. Merry Christmas to you, too! I'm' so glad that my recipe and tips were helpful to you! I always do my best to be thorough!

  8. As a child, in elementary school, I recall having something very similar to these cookies for desert every now and then. They were always my favorite. Having been in elementary school in the 60s, I had no way of finding the recipe. That is, until a couple years ago when I googled the ingredients. Wouldn't you know that I would come across your recipe and so very happy I did, especially when my fear was that they were so old, I had not much chance in doing so. This will be my third year making them and I have not been one bit disappointed! So happy, I am, after all the years of searching in any and all books I could get my hands on, only to find it once the internet was up and running, and I actually mastered navigating it!
    Thank you for sharing your recipe. Finally, there is something I am actually capable of making, that, not only do I love, but is worthy of sharing as gifts to others during the holidays! Again, Thank you for ending my 40 to 50 years of searching for this recipe!

    1. Thank you for sharing, Jeanie! I'm so glad I was able to help! I've had a few of those like that myself that I still haven't been able to recreate or find!

  9. Chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies. I tried this recipe several times. I love how easy they are to make. Plus it's fast and the ingredients are common items I already have in my kitchen. Thank you for this recipe.

  10. Hello! If I don’t have cocoa powder available, can I use chocolate chips instead and have the same or similar consistency of the cookies?

    1. Hmm, that is a very good question, especially given the availability of ingredients at this time. I did a little research since I haven't tried this yet myself and it looks like you can probably use 1 cup of chocolate chips in place of the cocoa powder. Just cook the butter, sugar, and milk together for the 60 seconds, then remove it from the heat and add the peanut butter and chocolate chips at the same time, stirring until combined. I would probably also decrease the sugar slightly, by maybe 1/4 cup, to account for the additional sweetness in the chocolate chips, but sugar can impact the final texture as well as the flavor. I wish I had a better answer and may have to try this myself now!

  11. Fabulous--followed the recipe and used your tips and they came out perfectly--I only made half a batch as I knew I would eat too many. I used Trader Joe's Old Fashioned Oatmeal and had no problems. Thanks--although I'm baking a lot during this stay at home time, this no bake reminder was just what I needed. (also, Please wear a mask to keep others safe.)

  12. It took me about 2 hours (LOL - but really) to get these to a point where I felt I could even move them to the refrigerator. Fingers crossed. I’m over 60, and there’s probably been like maybe 5 times in my life that this type cookie has turned out right with no issues. So I’m sure it’s me and not the recipe.  My could-cook/bake/roast/fry/etc-everything-from-scratch/never-had-to-actually-measure-anything mother is tsk tsking me from her grave right now.

  13. I was so happy when my kids were no longer in grade school so I could I bake with peanut butter again! These cookies really bring back childhood. Easy, gooey, chocolate peanut buttery-goodness to satisfy those sweet cravings. I like to add a dash of cinnamon in with the oats for that extra bit warmth. Delicious!

  14. I've always wanted to try this type of cookie but was afraid it wouldn't set, I'd burn the chocolate, it'd be too sticky, etc. I'm happy to say I chose this for the February Chocolate Challenge and they turned out great! I will definitely make these again now that I know how simple it really is. Thanks for the great recipe!

  15. These are so yummy! I love no bake cookies and this recipe is perfect! The cookies set up really well and the flavor is so yummy! 

  16. I have made these a lot my parent had to experiment without peanut butter since some one in our family couldn’t stand peanut butter but we learned y have to cook it longer and add more coco and sugar I believe to turn out the same look after done they looked exactly the same so you probably would not be able to tell one batch without and one with you may smell peanut butter one.  
    I made this recipe today totally dairy free and no granulated sugar half cup apple sauce and 1/2 cup maple syrup just divided sugar to equal one cup of sugar. I don’t like to sweet stuff Bre

  17. I made these cookies for the June no bake dessert challenge. I have made these before, but a different recipe. These turned out great - followed the recipe exactly as written. Thanks for another tasty recipe and a great one for the summer when it is so hot in Houston.

    1. Yes, these are great for the summertime when you want cookies but don't want to heat up the kitchen!

  18. I am a school nurse. I bake for our staff every night. We have several students—one in particular that is severely allergic to peanut butter. I make these using sunflower seed butter. The staff loves them. I also add craisins and shredded coconut to the hot recipe. These are so delicious and nutritious………..and I don’t have to worry about anaphylaxis! 

  19. Thanks for posting this recipe is also used for chemo patients it’s supposed to prevent diarrhea, has any one substituted the oars with quinoa?