These No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are just like your mama made! This classic recipe is so easy to make and are a crowd pleaser every time. They only take 10 minutes to make on the stovetop, and of course, no baking required! They are fudgy and chewy and full of chocolate peanut butter flavor. The best combo!
Eric just said to me, after listening in on our kids, “I get this sense of inner turmoil whenever I hear the kids pronounce it “Star Wers” instead of Star Wars. On the one hand, it’s super cute. On the other hand it’s very wrong, and makes it sound like they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Now that he knows I’m writing this down he’s backtracking. “Not inner turmoil! That’s too strong. Just mixed feelings.” Okay Eric, suuuure. I still remember a few years ago when I got in trouble for reading our two-year-old a Star Wars book that revealed exactly who Luke’s father was. Never making THAT mistake again.
We’ve actually been watching the Star Wers movies over the past few weeks. Every Friday we have a family movie night with pizza and a movie for everyone. It’s a lot of fun! Eric is showing them the ORIGINAL original movies, meaning the theatrical version, before there were special editions. I’m sure these details are not totally lost on our children who are all under the age of 10. Gotta start their education somewhere, I guess.
No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Did you grow up making these No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies? Most people just call them “No Bakes” I think. My mom never made them when I was a kid (I think she just didn’t know about them. She came over on the day I shot this and was VERY excited.)
My roommate Lauren introduced me to these cookies. She probably made them like once a week. A cheap and easy recipe for college students! Plus there is the bonus of the “dough” not having eggs, and you really can just start eating it out of the pan like an animal once the oats are added.
(Not that this stopped us in college from eating regular cookie dough. I remember one time we made a batch of chocolate chip cookies, intending to bake them, but the bowl got passed around over the course of the afternoon through several apartments as we all visited one afternoon, and pretty soon the dough was gone and there were no cookies to bake. Ha!)
These no bake cookies are so good though. They are actually more like a simple candy recipe than a cookie. Cookies are technically baked, after all. But these have a cookie shape so we will roll with it! They are made with butter, brown and white sugar, milk, cocoa, peanut butter, and oats. The resulting cookie-candy is fudgy, soft and chewy, but more in the way that fudge is chewy than cookies. The oats give them this hearty texture that is just such a good compliment to the fudgy chocolatey-ness!
How to Make No Bake Cookies
It’s a really simple recipe that only requires a few ingredients and a pot on the stove. No oven required, meaning they are the perfect hot-day treat. (I know for some of you it’s cooling off already, but it’s still hot here!)
First start by melting some butter in a pot with sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, and milk.
Then bring the mixture to a boil. Not just the start of a boil, like you can see on the left here.
It needs to be a full rolling boil with bubbles all across the surface, like the picture on the right. Let boil 1 minute.
Add in plenty of peanut butter.
Then stir in some oats and vanilla. I like to use a combination of quick oats and old fashioned oats, but you can use any combination (or all of one or the other) that you like.
That’s IT. Then drop them by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. The hardest part is waiting to eat them. But like I said, you don’t even have to have salmonella guilt because there’s no egg in the dough. Grab a spoon and dig in! It’s delicious warm.
You can make these cookies as large or as small as you like! They also freeze well. This is such a nice recipe to have up your sleeve for unexpected company! Quick, cheap, easy, fast, DONE.
More delicious chocolate cookie recipes you will love!
The Best Bakery Style Double Chocolate Chip Cookies << these are hands down my favorite chocolate cookie.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies << these are a huge reader favorite! Cinnamon + chocolate = love.
Ultra Fudgy Chocolate Crinkles << a Christmas dream come true
Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies << these cookies are also flourless. They are ultra fudgy! Perfect for gluten free friends (or not gluten free friends).
Flourless Chocolate Cookies from Glorious Treats
Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies from Domestic Rebel
Healthy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups from Amy’s Healthy Baking
More Candy Recipes to Try!
I know we call these no bake cookies, but really they are more like an easy candy recipe. Here are some more!
Oreo Truffles << if you’ve never made these, you are seriously missing out. So easy, and so good!
Easy Penuche Fudge Recipe << Chocolate fudge’s blonde cousin has got it goin on.
My Mom’s Fudge << this is the recipe my mom made more than any other growing up. We are a fudge family through and through.
Caramel Nougat Pecan Rolls << I make these every Christmas for the neighbors. It’s the best!
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No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter, (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter*
- 2 & 1/2 cups quick oats**
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a medium saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium high heat. (I like salted butter, but unsalted works great too!)
- Add 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup granulated sugar, and 1/3 cup cocoa powder. Stir well until combined and continue over medium high heat.
- Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. This means bubbles all across the surface, not just the edges. Once it is boiling, set a timer for 1 minute.***
- Remove from heat and add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 2/3 cup peanut butter, 2 and 1/2 cups quick oats, and 1/2 cup old fashioned oats. Then add in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir it all together.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Use a cookie scoop or just a spoon to drop cookies onto the baking sheet.
- Work quickly to avoid having the mixture set up before you can shape the cookies. You want to drop them on the baking sheet while the mixture is still hot. You can make them any size you want. I used my fingers to nudge them into more of a cookie shape.
- Let cool at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes, or you can chill them in the fridge or freezer for an even faster cool. The cookies will maintain their shape at room temperature.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container on the counter for 3-5 days. These cookies freeze very well. You could stash some in a ziplock in the freezer and always have them on hand! Let thaw in the sealed bag at room temperature.
I made this recipe and they came out great! My kids made them in Home Economics when they were in school. Wanted to try them also with just the peanut butter. Plus substituted Splenda for the white sugar. They did not quite set up like the original recipe, a little sticky. The rolling boil was different since it was quite foamy and did cover the whole surface for about 10 seconds. Not sure if they came out the way they did because of the Splenda, or maybe shorted the cooking time?
I noticed people not using P-nut Butter. What do you use in its place? Don’t you need it for them to stick together?
Thank You for your help and great recipes!
Hi Debbie! This recipe hasn’t been tested with Splenda; thanks for letting us know about the experience you had with trying it. If you don’t use peanut butter in this recipe, the cookies will still come out just fine and other ingredient amounts won’t need to be adjusted. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
My mom made these often (with 11 kids) while I was growing up! She always added two cups of miniature marshmallows to the butter and sugar to boil, it makes them hang together (BUT she didn’t do the peanut butter b/c of allergies) Now, I make them for ALL the family gatherings – my siblings EXPECT them :) They are a “Favorite”!!
I mixed everything all together at once will they still come out right
We made these when I was a girl in 4-H and called them Cow Patties (this was in rural Napa!)
That is so funny Mary, I hadn’t heard that one! This recipe is old as the hills!
Like wow, these are so delicious! My childhood recipe did not have peanut butter, just cocoa, so what a great addition of the peanut butter richness. For the 3 cups of oats I used 2 1/2 cups quick oats and 1/2 cup ground flaxseed for a nutritional boost (next time I’ll try a 2 to 1 ratio of quick oats and ground flaxseed). They’re almost cool lol and are setting up perfect! Thanks for sharing this easy recipe, luv it :)
Love the flaxseed addition Mrs. G! What a great idea. Thanks so much for chiming in with your notes! Enjoy the cookies!
My mom never made the peanut butter variety or the peanut butter chocolate variety, only the chocolate ones.
I miss them. Until I can find a recipe listing nutrition info (specifically carbs and calories) I don’t dare make them anymore. Too many diabetics and dieters in the family. But thank you for the memories.
Do you pack the brown sugar? I’ve made these cookies for years and never heard of using brown sugar. Thanks, Bonnie
Hi Bonnie! Yes, pack the brown sugar, thank you for noticing that, I will update the recipe. You can certainly replace the brown sugar with white sugar if you like! Either way will work fine.
We substitute a cup of oats with a cup of confectioner’s coconut and it’s really really good!
Forgot to mention, i subsituted almond butter (due to allergies) and made 1/2 recipe. It’s delicious!
First of all, thank you for sharing your recipies – I’ve tried several and have not been disappointed. This is the first no bake cookie I have tried.
I noted kosher salt listed as an ingredient, but the recipe didn’t state when to add it. I figured it out, but wanted you to know. I’m still waiting for them to cool, but the “dough” was quite delicious. It’s a good thing I didn’t have this recipe in college!
Keep the stories coming, I do feel like I’m a guest in your kitchen :-)
Ah thank you for catching that Mary! I fixed it. And good to now that these work great with almond butter! Great idea. Thank you so much for reading and appreciating my stories, you are so sweet to tell me that! :)
Ive always made mine with some coconut, sugar, butter, cocoa and of course quick oats. Just another option. I don’t like with peanut butter so good for people who are allergic to peanut butter. Your recipe is actually 1 of 3 different ways to make these😊👍
Thanks for telling us about a different version Lisa! I like the coconut idea. I bet it’s really tasty even without the peanut butter! Thanks for chiming in!
My friend makes these for Christmas every year and adds coconut to them. It’s delicious!
Coconut would be so good in these Holly! Great tip, thanks for sharing!
Hi! About how many cookies will this make if about the size in your picture.. looks to be about a couple inches across? Thank you!
Hi Angela! You’re right they are about 2 inches across, and you will get about 30-35 cookies! Enjoy!
Too much sugar. As well, why do post recipes with a prelude about their entire lives???
Hi Alamrin! Most recipes for no-bakes call for this amount of sugar. Did you try the recipe? Maybe you could try reducing the amount!
And this is a personal blog, that’s why I include personal stories. It’s kind of like you’re coming in for a chat in my kitchen. Welcome!
We call these Missouri Cookies, but I don’t know why! I have one suggestion that really takes these over-the-top. Instead of cooking on medium/high heat, force yourself to bring them to a full rolling boil using low/medium heat instead. The sugar dissolves completely this way, making for a much smoother, creamier mouth feel. Cooking fast, they’re grainy from undissolved sugar. Try it…you’ll never go back to higher heat!
Missouri cookies! Haven’t heard that one before! It’s so fun to hear all the different names for old recipes like this. And I’m really excited to try your medium low method to get an even smoother finish. I think that’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing Betty!