No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

These no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies are a step above the rest! They’re so irresistible, everyone will ask for the recipe.

No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

Much as we love no bake cookies…sometimes they taste a little flat. You know, grainy and sugary, instead of nuanced and irresistible. So we’ve got a new take: these No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies are a step above the rest! These are rich and chocolaty, full of dark chocolate peanut butter flavor and sweetened just enough with sugar and maple syrup. They’re beautifully glossy in texture, and the flavor? Let us tell you: when we served them at a party, they went fast. Here are our tricks to the best ever chocolate no bake cookies!

Ingredients in the best no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

We took the basic recipe for no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies and made them even better. Here are a few of the things that make this recipe stand out:

  • Sugar and maple syrup. Pure maple syrup adds a nuance in flavor, with caramel and brown sugar notes! You’ll still need sugar for the science of these cookies to work, but it’s got less than the standard recipe.
  • Dutch process cocoa powder. Dark cocoa powder is another key to the rich, irresistible flavor (see below).
  • Peanut butter. Nut butter adds a satisfying chewiness to chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies.
  • Old Fashioned rolled oats. Use Old Fashioned whole oats for the best texture, not quick cooking oats.
  • Butter. It’s required here, so they don’t immediately melt at room temp. But all you need is 4 tablespoons.
  • Salt and cinnamon: Cinnamon adds one more hint of intrigue!
  • Milk and vanilla: The milk makes just the right liquid to solid ratio, which is important here.

Can you change up ingredients?

You may be tempted to monkey with the ingredients and add your own spin. Outside of changing up the nut butter, please stick to this recipe! The specific ingredients are key to getting the cookies to set with the right texture. However, you can change up the nut butter if you have an allergy, or add toppings. Scroll down!

No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

Find Dutch process (dark) cocoa powder

Make these no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies with Dutch process cocoa powder, and you’ll never go back! This special type of cocoa powder is easy to find at the grocery, and results in the best chocolaty, fudgy desserts. So skip the regular cocoa powder in favor of the good stuff. Here’s more about it:

Can you substitute regular cocoa powder? Yes! They’re not nearly as good, but we’ll allow it.

Dutch process vs regular cocoa powder
Dutch process cocoa powder vs regular cocoa powder

The key to chocolate no bake cookies: let it boil 1 minute!

So: we have another no bake cookies recipe called Bliss Bites that’s massively popular. But unfortunately, bliss bites don’t hold up at room temperature. You need to keep them chilled for storage, which makes them hard to bring parties or a potluck. These no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are just right: they hold up at room temperature and have a laminated texture. Here’s how to get this effect:

  • Add all ingredients except oats to a saucepan and boil exactly 1 minute. The timing is important here! Go too long and the cookies will be too crumbly, not enough and they won’t laminate. It sounds weird, but it works!
  • Remove from the heat immediately and stir in the oats. Be exact about this, and the sugar and butter will essentially caramelize, making a coating that holds up at room temp.
No bake cookies

Flavor variations!

We don’t recommend playing with the ingredients in these no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies, but you can definitely swap out the nut butter if you have an allergy. And, you can add fun toppings! Here’s what to know:

  • Almond butter, tahini, or sunflower butter: Swap out the peanut butter for almond butter or sunflower butter if you have an allergy! The flavor is slightly different but still delicious.
  • Sea salt: Love sweet and salty? We highly recommend topping with flaky sea salt.
  • Toasted coconut + sea salt (Samoa): Do you love Samoa Girl Scout cookies as much as we do? Top these no bake cookies with toasted coconut and sea salt, and they taste very similar. You will be OBSESSED!

Storage info

Got a big batch of no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies? Here’s how long they’ll last…assuming you can keep them around!

  • Store refrigerated. Some people say you can store no bakes at room temp, but we prefer the stability of the fridge.
  • They last up to 3 weeks! They taste best the fresher they are, but ours lasted refrigerated for 1 month. So a conservative estimate for these no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies is 3 weeks.
no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies

This no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free (with gluten-free oats).

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No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 4.91 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 14 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 22 to 24 cookies 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies are a step above the rest! They’re so irresistible, everyone will ask for the recipe.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate or Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except the oats in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  2. Once it starts rapidly bubbling, set a timer for 1 minute. Stirring continuously with a spatula, boil for 1 minute. Then immediately remove from the heat and stir in the oats.
  3. Make 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized scoops (using a size 40 cookie scoop, if you have it) and them place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten them with a buttered spoon, or press gently with your fingers. (Flavor variations: Top them with flaky sea salt, or toasted coconut and flaky sea salt for a Samoa flavor.)
  4. Freeze the cookies for 10 minutes. Then store refrigerated for up to 3 weeks. 
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: Cookies

Keywords: No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, chocolate no bake cookies, no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies, chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

7 Comments

  • Reply
    Tracey
    April 22, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    Hello:
    I realize you have emphasized not to replace any ingredients but was wondering if you have an opinion whether coconut oil would be an option instead of butter?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      April 23, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      You could try coconut oil — it’s just not as stable at room temperature because of the melting point. Make sure to refrigerate or freeze, and it may get gooey if you leave it out on a cookie plate at room temp. But if that’s ok with you: go for it! :)

  • Reply
    Jan
    April 22, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    Can I use homemade peanut butter in these no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies? I haven’t bought peanut butter in decades because my homemade peanut butter just contains unsalted peanuts and is delicious, but it does have a different texture than store-bought.

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      April 23, 2021 at 12:56 pm

      Great question! Because it’s boiled on the stovetop with the sugar and milk, I think this should work just fine with homemade peanut butter! Let us know how it goes.

  • Reply
    Jami
    April 22, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    These look so irresistible so I HAVE to ask… how bad would it be to use plant milk (any variety) and vegan butter, such as sticks of Earth Balance or Miyoko’s, in place of the traditional milk and butter?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      April 23, 2021 at 12:54 pm

      You can definitely use dairy-free milk! Vegan butter would be a good substitute! I just replied to a commenter that coconut oil may make them a little gooier at room temp, so you’d want to keep them refrigerated or frozen and not leave them out too long at room temp. Vegan butter is a little more solid than coconut oil so it could be even better. If you try these subs, let us know and we’ll update the post!

  • Reply
    Sabrina
    April 24, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    a fun weekend treat, thank you and like that it’s no bake, plus peanut butter even better!

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