This recipe is a tried and true classic! Quick-cooking oats are mixed with a melted chocolate peanut butter sauce to make these simple and tasty cookies.

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The best recipe for no bake cookies

About Classic No Bake Cookies

Everyone has a favorite dessert they absolutely have to make during the holiday season, and for me, that dessert is the ugly duckling of the cookie world:

The classic no bake cookie recipe.

But while these cookies might not be winning any beauty contests, there’s something still something about them that manages to be rich and delicious.

This is why I like to make them when we have company coming, because otherwise, I’ll end up eating the entire batch by myself.

How to make no bake cookies.

Do no bake cookies need to be refrigerated?

No, no bake cookies do not need to be refrigerated. They are completely shelf stable.

How long are no bake cookies good for?

Once baked, these no bake cookies will remain good in a sealed container for up to two to three weeks.

Can you freeze no bake cookies?

Yes, you absolutely can freeze these cookies!

For best results, place the cookies on a plate or cookie sheet, not touching, and chill for about two hours.

Once frozen, transfer cookies to a sealed container or Ziploc bag. Cookies can be frozen for about three months.

Can you use old fashioned oats instead of quick oats?

Yes, you can substitute old fashioned oats for an equal amount of quick cooking oats in this recipe. The only real difference between the oats is the texture, and you’ll find fans for both types of oats. There is no wrong answer, but if you already know you prefer a certain type of oat, stick with that for this recipe.

Notes & tips for these easy no bake cookies

  • No bake cookies have been around for a long time, so it probably comes as no surprise that there are different names for them. I’ve heard them called quick cookies,  fudgies, peanut butter oatmeal cookies, and plenty of other names I can’t even remember. If you have a special name for these cookies, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
  • Some readers have said they add 1/2 cup of shredded coconut to this recipe. If you love coconut, give it a try and let me know what you think!

More fun cookie recipes

How do you make no bake cookies?

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Melt butter in a saucepan.

Step 2 – Add sugar, milk, and cocoa powder, then bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute.

Step 3 – Remove saucepan from heat and add vanilla and peanut butter. Stir until smooth.

Step 4 – In a large bowl, add quick cooking oats. Pour the chocolate mixture on top, then stir until the oats are coated.

Step 5 – Using a 1 teaspoon (or up to 1 tablespoon) cookie scoop, scoop out cookie mix and place it on a wax-covered baking sheet. Repeat this step until all of the cookie mix has been used.

Step 6 – Let cookies cool and dry for at least 30 minutes.

Step 7 – Enjoy!

Recipe Details

The best recipe for no bake cookies
4.64 from 22 votes

Classic No Bake Cookies

5 minutes prep + 5 minutes cook + 1 hour Cooling Time
183 kcal
Yields: 20 cookies
This recipe is a tried and true classic! Quick-cooking oats are mixed with a melted chocolate peanut butter sauce to make these simple and tasty cookies.



  • Line a large baking sheet with wax paper, then set nearby.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add granulated sugar, milk, and cocoa powder to saucepan. Bring to a boil and let cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Pour quick-cooking oats into a 13 quart mixing bowl (or other large mixing bowl of your choice) then pour chocolate mixture on top. Use a spatula to stir until oats are completely coated.
  • Scoop out 1 tablespoon (or up to 2 tablespoons) of cookie mix (I used a cookie scoop) and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step until all no bake cookies have been formed.
  • Let cookies cool at least 30 minutes before eating.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating


    • Marji
    • 1 star

    I made them but they are not drying what happened?

      • Sarah

      You need to follow instructions to a T. Make sure there are no guesstimated measures, and time the boiling time to the second.

    • PJ
    • 5 stars

    My friend’s cookbook called these Kettle Cookies.
    Also the instructions in that book said to just boil the butter with the milk & sugar mix, no separate melting.
    “Bring to a boil for ONE minute”…just enough to melt the sugar, in my opinion.I would think if you boil it longer you could end up with caramel-like candy!

    • Patti
    • 5 stars

    Love these cookies. I have been making them for over 40 years for my family and they are delicious. I think the secret to this cookie is getting the mixture up to a Rolling boil and then boil for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes from that point. I like to add a red hot cinnamon candy or crushed candy cane in the center for a Christmas look.

    • martina

    One tip to make sure they always come out glossy and not crystalized: use a thermometer. It should reach exactly 230°F (110°C). I just discovered this trick (thanks to Stella Parks) and it’s so useful!

    • Debbie Beaver
    • 5 stars

    I love these cookies my older sisters used to make them when i was a kid. We just called them no bake cookies. They would make them for holidays or anyday. Brings back alot of memories.

    • Lindsay

    My grandmother made these when I was a kid….we called them Cow Patties

    • Jude
    • 5 stars

    I do know when it is humid out they dont set up. Also I just pour them into a 9×13 pan then cut them into squares. We call them No Bakes.

    • sassypants
    • 5 stars

    We call them dog poo cookies. LOL! And yes, mine always start off a bit too soft but once they sit for a bit, they firm up.

    • Arlene
    • 5 stars

    My brother Bob (6’5″, 300 lbs) loved these cookies and taught his nephews how to make them. He called them Cow Patties. Now that he has passed, family story time always includes Bob’s Cow Patties.

    • Noey

    We call these Charlie Browns

    • Joyce bonnett
    • 5 stars

    We call them cow pies!

      • Chrisy

      LOL, that’s a new one for me, but I can totally see why 😀

    • Terry Rosebrock

    We used to add 1/2 cup of coconut to these. Talk about yummy! !!

    • Jen

    I made these as a kid. I never melted the butter before I added the cocoa, sugar and milk; I just plopped it all in the pot and heated it together. I don’t remember having to boil it a certain amount of time either. By the time the butter was melted and the sugar dissolved, it was heated enough, I guess. Then I added the vanilla and peanut butter and oatmeal. They always turned out great! I just put wax paper out on the counter and dropped ’em with a big spoon.

    • J. C. Baldwin

    I have been making these cookies all my adult life and my mother and grandmother made them before I was an adult. My first memories of these cookies come from elementary school, when they were actually served with our lunch. Church dinners almost always had these as part of the dessert table. I make them every holiday and as an added twist I sometimes put in shredded coconut and/or finely chopped pecans. The secret to perfect every time cookies is in the boil. Make sure to stir constantly and bring to a full boil before starting the timer. Almost every recipe has a different amount of boiling time so follow recipe closely. The boil depends on the amount of each ingredient. Sometimes the name brand oats have a recipe on the box and it is the best recipe to follow.

    • Mari

    My mom used to make these in the 60’s and they were called Fudgies.

    • Of all the names I’ve heard for these cookies, that’s a new one 🙂 I like it!

    • Holly

    I’m a 35 week pregnant sweet tooth…that said, I used half the sugar and I think these cookies came out perfectly sweet. Also, I subbed 1/3 of the butter with coconut oil (for that subtle coconut flavor) and mixed in 1/4 c flax seed for the, um, fiber ?

    • I’m glad they cured the cravings Holly 😀 That’s also something else I love about these cookies – they’re very forgiving, so you can make all sorts of fun (or healthy :D) adjustments.

    • Marianne

    Omg I’m in love with these *-* I’m gonna make them all year long in 2016 😀 <3

    • Gina

    I followed recipe, but it came out extremely runny. Is this how its suppose to look before cooling on the cookie sheet.

    • The mixture should be thick and sticky enough to cover the oats and hold the form of the cookies while they’re cooling. Is that how it looked? You could try adding more oats, but that might not help if the chocolate mix is too runny. Can you double check the sugar, peanut butter, and cocoa amounts you used?

        • Tammy Young

        I’ve been making these for 40 yrs, you must boil the mixture for 3 min, then cool for 1 min begore adding oats, vanilla and peanut butter

      • Great tips Tammy, this!

        • Rae Schimmel

        There is conflicting boil times on each recipe iI see, I don,t want them dry and sugary and have found that is what I get, Stopped making them years ago because of that. How long to boil for a shiny chewy cookie?


      • Della

      Mine was the same way but I added a little more dry oatmeal. It helped them stick together more.

      • Missie

      I’ve found that if I let it boil for 2 minutes, they come out perfect. Don’t add extra oatmeal because they just get dry and hard.

      • Regina Jackson

      I always boil 4 minutes

    • Bethany

    Yum, these look great! I used to love them as a kid!

    • Thalia @ butter and brioche

    Love how easy and delicious these no bake cookies are.. a perfect recipe for this time of year. Pinned!