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No Bake Cookies

No bake cookies are one of the easiest cookie recipes you can make. They’re a blend of 7 simple ingredients and no flour or eggs are needed! Just boil everything in a pot, scoop it out onto a baking sheet, and let it cool. That’s it!

No bake cookies on a marble counter top.

With Christmas just around the corner, dessert season is officially in full swing. In previous years, I would always bake a cake such as my flourless chocolate cake, paleo chocolate cake, or vegan caramel cheesecake. But this year, I decided to partake in the Christmas cookie tradition and whip up no bake cookies!

No bake cookies are a classic and while they should be easy and foolproof, it seems many still run into issues when making them (i.e. too soft and gooey or too hard and crumbly). So today I’m not only sharing my delicious recipe, I’m sharing heaps of tips so that your cookies are NO FAIL and turn out perfectly. Let’s dive in!

No Bake Cookies Ingredients

There’s 7 basic ingredients in this recipe, but see below for variations. It’s quite adaptable!

  • Butter: I’m using unsalted butter, but you can also use ghee or vegan butter.
  • Milk: I’m using my homemade almond milk, but feel free to use any type of milk, dairy or dairy-free.
  • Sugar: Coconut sugar is my favorite for dessert recipes, but you could use any granulated sugar. Just don’t use honey or maple syrup.
  • Cacao Powder: I always use raw cacao powder, but you can use unsweetened cocoa powder as well.
  • Almond Butter: I only stock my pantry with almond butter (due to my nephew’s peanut allergy), but any nut butter will work.
  • Vanilla Extract: A splash of vanilla extract adds that sweet depth of flavor.
  • Oats: You can use old fashioned rolled oats or quick cooking oats (see more in the tips below). Just don’t use steel cuts oats.

No bake cookie ingredients in a saucepan on the stove.

Making no bake cookies on the stove and dolloping them onto parchment paper.

No Bake Cookies Tips

After making this recipe numerous times with fails and successes, I’ve learned a few tricks. Let me share some tips:

  • Use old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats. When it comes to these cookies, it’s all about which texture you prefer. Old fashioned rolled oats will produce a thicker, heartier cookie. And quick oats will produce a finer textured, chewier cookie. Either works! Or do what I do and use a 50/50 mix of both!
  • Watch your boiling time. To get the perfect consistency, you’ll need to keep an eye on your butter and sugar mixture. Once the mixture starts to fully boil (not just simmer on the edges), let it boil for 2 minutes. Set a timer! This will allow the sugar to get close to 230F (just below the soft ball stage), allowing them to set-up properly when cooled.
  • Cookies too soft or too hard? Most recipes online say to cook for 1 minute, but this always produced overly soft, sticky, gooey cookies for me that never firmed up. You really need to cook the sugar mixture at least 2 minutes. Humidity can also affect the boil time. So, if your cookies are too soft, boil the sugar an extra 15-20 seconds next time. And if they’re too hard (almost like candy) and crumbly, boil the sugar for less time.
  • Still too soft? The cookies will be naturally softer with quick cooking oats. Old fashioned rolled oats will absorb a little more moisture and help them firm up. That’s why I love to use a 50/50 combination of quick cooking and rolled oats. It makes for the perfect texture.
  • Still too soft? Let the cookies sit out overnight uncovered. They’ll naturally firm up as the moisture inside the cookies evaporates.

No bake cookies on a marble counter top.

Why Use Coconut Sugar?

While most no bake cookie recipes use white granulated sugar, I personally like to use coconut sugar (as I do in many of my dessert recipes) for a few reasons.

First, it’s an unprocessed sugar made naturally from coconut palm sap. There’s no bleaching or chemicals involved. Once the liquid sap is collected from the palm, it’s left out to dry. The result is the granulated brown coconut sugar you see in the market.

And second, coconut sugar has a butterscotch, almost caramel-like taste to it. On the sweetness scale, it actually tastes less sweet that cane sugar, but has more depth. This gives the cookies a richer, more delectable flavor.

No bake cookies stacked on top of each other on a plate.

How To Make No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Yes, this recipe only takes 10 minutes to make. And while it’s easy, it always helps to watch a quick tutorial video. So make sure to watch the video below! 

  1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Add the butter, milk, coconut sugar, and cacao powder to a saucepan on medium heat. Stir it all together and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for 2 minutes then remove from the heat.
  3. Add in the almond butter, oats, and vanilla and stir until everything is mixed together.
  4. Scoop the cookies onto the baking sheets using a medium sized cookie scooper. Slightly flatten the cookies using a spoon to desired thickness.
  5. Let the cookies cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or you can pop them in the fridge to cool for about 20 minutes.

No Bake Cookie Variations

  • Switch up the nut butters: Feel free to use any other nut-butters such as peanut, cashew, macadamia or even sunflower seed butter.
  • Add shredded coconut: If you want to add extra coconut flavoring and texture, reduce the almond butter to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup shredded coconut.
  • Add chocolate chips: If you want it extra chocolatey, add 1/4 cup chocolate chips. They’ll melt when you stir them in and help to harden the cookies when cooled.
  • Add espresso powder: Espresso powder always amplifies chocolate desserts, just add 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Add sea salt: For a sweet and salty combo, just sprinkle flaked sea salt on top when they’re drying.

No bake cookie half eaten and held in hand.

How To Store No Bake Cookies

The best part about these cookies is that they can last for quite awhile – up to 2 weeks. If stored in the freezer, they’ll be good for 2 months (perfect for keeping a post-holiday stash).

Just make sure to store them in airtight containers or stasher bags. You can also use parchment paper to divide the layers so that the cookies don’t stick to each other.

More Cookie Recipes

Cookies are always a good idea, no matter the season. Here’s a few more delicious recipes to try next time!

No bake cookies on a marble counter top.
4.95 from 17 votes

No Bake Cookies Recipe (Foolproof!)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Resting Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 20 cookies
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
No bake cookies are one of the easiest cookie recipes you can make. They're a blend of 7 simple ingredients and no flour or eggs are needed! Just boil everything in a pot, scoop it out onto a baking sheet, and let it cool.

Ingredients

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter , unsalted
  • 1/2 cup milk , dairy or dairy-free
  • 2 cups coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder, or cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick cooking or rolled oats

Instructions

  • Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the milk, sugar, and cacao powder and stir until it starts to boil. Set a timer and let the mixture boil for 2 minutes. Then, turn off the heat.
  • Add in the vanilla, almond butter, and oats, and stir until everything is combined.
  • Using a medium sized cookie scooper, scoop the cookies onto the baking sheet. Then flatten the cookies using a spoon to desired thickness.
  • Let the cookies cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes until firm.

Lisa's Tips

  • If you're gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free certified oats.
  • The cookies will need the full 30 minutes to set, so be patient.
  • Make sure to boil for 2 minutes so that the sugar starts to caramelize. If you don't boil the mixture enough, the cookies will stay soft, and if you over-boil, they might turn out too crumbly.
  • And if you want to make your life easy, buy these pre-cut parchment paper sheets (I'm obsessed).

Nutrition

Calories: 171kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 68mg, Potassium: 115mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 152IU, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: no bake cookies, no bake cookies recipe
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
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51 comments on “No Bake Cookies”

  1. Made these for a get together of friends and they loved them.  I love how you are very detailed in your recipes and how well they turn out.  Easy peasy cookies!  

  2. These are the best no bake cookies I have ever had!!! I made mine with cashew milk and peanut butter. I was a teeny bit short on coconut sugar, so I made up the difference with regular sugar. it was probably only 2 tablespoons or so. I keep telling my husband he needs to come home from work asap before I eat them all! 

    • Hi Sasha – These cookies are definitely addictive! I love how you used cashew butter too – I will definitely need to try that next time :) But, happy you enjoyed these cookies overall!

  3. I made these no bake oat cookies and my kids and I love them. So easy to throw together, and delicious to keep in the fridge as a sweet snack to grab throughout the school week. Lisa you are my favourite influencer. I love your videos, posts, recipes, ideas and just everything you stand for. The effort you put into your brand and content is so remarkable. I can see your hard work. You are outstanding at what you do. Thank you!

  4. I’m curious from a scientific baking point if I used dairy-free milk, how would the cookies differ from using cow milk. Thoughts?

  5. I learned to make these cookies in my 70s high school home ec class. They were the rage back then. So it’s nice to see them make a comeback. However, I don’t recall using 2 cups of sugar. So I only used 1 cup plus a few chocolate chips and they were plenty sweet. So if we’re trying to be healthy, not sure why she added so much sugar. Even coconut sugar contains calories and can be bad for the blood sugar.

    • Hi Kendra – yes, these are definitely a splurge and I wouldn’t consider this a healthy recipe. It’s definitely a dessert (no matter which type of sugar you use). ;) The recipe you remember from your childhood may have had different ratios altogether, so it’s hard to know. But this is the traditional amount of sugar that’s used in no bake cookies.

  6. Disheartening to see that you eat oats. For many celiacs, oats have the same reaction as gluten, even if they’re labeled GF. Both because their protein, avenin, is very similar to gluten (and some immune systems overreact), and because nearly all “GF” oats are actually contaminated. Two Canadian studies a few years ago proved that.

    • Hi Eugenia – Each person’s body is different and while some celiacs may respond poorly to oats, many others do not. My body does not have any issues with oats. Just as some celiacs cross-react with corn, or coffee or other foods, others do not. There is no one-size fits all as we all have different genetics, microbiome and epigenetics. Each person should do what’s best for their own body.

  7. This recipe is so easy to make. I love it it was so good that they only lasted a day 😞. Gotta make it one more time.

  8. Delish! These are great if you have kids, there easy to make and are super yummy!

  9. These were delicious and suuuper easy to make. My husband that claims he doesn’t like no bake cookies liked these cookies!

  10. Love that these are made with natural clean ingredients. I always ate these as a kid growing up and now as an adult I am constantly trying to make classic recipes with better ingredients – especially now that I have two little ones!

  11. I’ve never made no bake cookies before and, to be honest, I didn’t even know there was such a thing! I love the use of coconut sugar here too. Thanks so much for sharing – I am bookmarking this recipe. Happy New Year!

  12. I’ve been making similar cookies for over 40 years now.  My grandma had a recipe for it (we call them haystacks) and we would make them together at Christmas.  It’s a Christmas staple.  I don’t time my boil, just bring it to a full boil and take it off the stove – I’ve had it burn.  We also don’t put any nut butter or vanilla in (just sugar, butter, cream, coco powder, oats and coconut – same measurements for everything else + 1/2cup unsweetened coconut). I’ll have to try with the nut butter.

  13. I made these for our Christmas party and they are AMAZING! I did half with almond butter and half with peanut butter! Thank you!!! 

  14. So, I just made these and I’m finding it difficult not to eat them before they’ve even set. I guess these are my new favorites. Thanks, once again, Lisa, for another keeper recipe. Next week I’ll be making your Paleo Chocolate Cake fro NYE. Wishing you a very merry Christmas.

    • Hi Alan – I completely know what you mean. I ate 4 cookies immediately after they had chilled in the fridge for about 20 minutes! I’m happy you enjoyed these cookies and can’t wait for you to make the Paleo Chocolate Cake next :) Merry Christmas to you too!

  15. I’ve been craving homemade peanut butter cookies for several weeks, but was too busy to make them. So, I don’t really know how I ended up making your no-bake cookies (with peanut butter though) this weekend instead 😂. These no-bake cookies are def a keeper. Soooooo good.

    And just to let you know how much I trust your recipes: I’ve never made similar cookies before, but I’ve made a tripple batch at once 🙃 Thank you so much Lisa😘

  16. Delicious!! Did holiday baking and these cookies were the first ones I made. I did alter the recipe just a bit. I had organic natural peanut butter so I used that instead of almond butter. I did use the coconut sugar and I am glad I did I really enjoy how the cookie has the caramel taste to them.

  17. Omg! These cookies are nothing short of amazing! I added a little bit of almond extract and about an 1/8 more oats and they are simply out of sight!

  18. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of regular butter and 1/2 cup of almond butter… can the regular butter be switched out with coconut butter or alternative?

  19. Aww sweet! This recipe is from Stop and Shop “Savory”magazine isn’t it? 

  20. Actually a question. Can these cookies be made with Monk Fruit or Stevia instead of Coconut sugar for diabetics? Has anyone made these sugar free and how much substitutes was used?

  21. I am so keen to rebuild that cookie tower that you have in one of those shots. It looks absolutely amazing! :-)

  22. Ooh I’ve never made this sort of cookie before! They’re awesome.

  23. These no-bake cookies were to die for. I will be making them for the holidays! The family loved them. Bookmarking.

  24. These are the BEST!! I love spreading peanut butter over the top. Yum!

  25. These cookies look great. And it will be a great option for summer (no bake!), or for when the oven calls quits. :)