These easy no-bake chocolate, peanut butter, and oatmeal cookies are a classic; they come together in minutes and are great to make with kids. Sometimes called “preacher cookies”, they are the perfect after-school treat, a must for holiday cookie trays, and the best “just because” cookie.

No bake cookies on parchment paper cooling.

These cookies are perfect for those moments when you are desperately craving something sweet and chocolatey, but don’t have a lot of time (or patience) to make a full-blown batch of cookies. I know that a lot of people grew up eating no bake cookies as after-school snacks or saw them every year on holiday cookie trays, but believe it or not, I had never heard of them until a few years ago!

These mounds of sugary, peanut buttery, chocolate goodness are incredibly addicting. They take only minutes to make and if you’re really desperate and don’t want to wait for them to set, you can eat the mixture straight from the bowl!

An overhead picture of six no bake cookies on parchment paper.

As soon as I took my first bite, I immediately thought that they tasted like the icing for the Texas Sheet Cake that I love so much.

After thinking about it, the ingredients are very similar – butter, sugar and cocoa that are boiled together. The peanut butter and oats help to cut the sweetness and add great flavor and texture.

Why Are They Called “Preacher Cookies”?

Sometimes no bake cookies are also referred to as “preacher cookies”.

The reason?

These can be made so quickly that a housewife could look out her window and see the preacher coming for a visit; by the time he got to the house, the cookies could already be cooling.

Why Are My No Bake Cookies Sticky/Gooey or Dry/Crumbly?

If your no bake cookies are sticky and gooey, then they were not boiled quite long enough.

On the flip side, if your no bake cookies are dry and crumbly, they were boiled a tad too long. You should let the mixture come to a full rolling boil and then time exactly 1 minute from there.

However, some stoves run hotter or cooler, and things like humidity or kitchen temperature can play a role in how they set, so there may be some trial and error involved as you gauge the exact boiling time for your kitchen.

Do No Bake Cookies Need to Be Refrigerated? Can They Be Frozen?

They do not need to be refrigerated. Once set, the cookies can be kept at room temperature, although you CAN refrigerate them if you’d like! They are also a perfect candidate for freezing! Just pop them in a freezer ziploc bag and they’ll be good for at least a couple of months.

A stack of three no bake cookies on a cooling rack.

Substitution Questions

  • Can you make no bake cookies without cocoa powder and with chocolate chips? Yes! Simply replace the cocoa powder with 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips.
  • Can you make no bake cookies without regular milk and with soy milk or almond milk instead? Yes, soy milk or almond milk will work in this recipe.
  • Can you make no bake cookies without peanut butter? Yes, you can substitute any other nut butter, so long as it is not natural, as there will too much oil, which will keep the cookies from setting properly. You can also eliminate the peanut butter entirely without modifying the rest of the recipe.
  • Can you make no bake cookies without butter? You can replace the butter in this recipe with margarine, vegetable oil, canola oil, or coconut oil.
  • Can I use old-fashioned oats instead of quick-cooking oats? You can, but the texture will be quite different. Quick-cooking oats are smaller, so they absorb liquid more readily. They work well in this recipe because they absorb the melted mixture and give structure to the cookies; using old-fashioned oats will result in a much chewier/oatier cookie.
  • What about using coconut in no bake cookies? Sure! Omit the peanut butter and add 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut to the mixture with the oats.
  • Can you make vegan no bake cookies? Yes, you can find recipes for vegan versions here, here and here.

An overhead shot of no bake cookies on parchment paper.

These no-bake chocolate, peanut butter, and oatmeal cookies really are as easy as they sound, and a great recipe to make with kids if you have any little hands eager to help in the kitchen.

I can’t believe that these cookies were off of my radar until recently… I love having quick, easy recipes on hand for a simple sweet treat. Plus, no-bake recipes are perfect for the summertime when the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven. Whatever the occasion, I guarantee this is a recipe that you’ll want to stash away and use time and time again.

A pile of no bake cookies with a half-eaten one on top.

If You Like This Easy No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Oatmeal Cookie Recipe, Try These:

Four no bake cookies on parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Four years ago: Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream
Five years ago: Banana Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Six years ago: Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Topping
Nine years ago: Chocolate Ice Cream
Ten years ago: Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

No bake cookies on parchment paper cooling.

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Oatmeal Cookies

These easy no-bake chocolate, peanut butter, and oatmeal cookies are a classic; they come together in minutes and are great to make with kids.
4.54 (156 ratings)


  • ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (122 ml) whole or 2% milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup (129 g) peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (243 g) quick-cooking oats


  • Add the butter, sugar, milk, cocoa powder, and salt to a 4-quart saucepan.
  • Bring to a rapid boil and let boil for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth, then stir in the oats.
  • Using a medium cookie scoop (or 2 tablespoonfuls), drop onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Let cool until set, about 30 minutes. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the refrigerator) for up to 2 weeks.


Nutritional values based on one cookie
Calories: 103kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 28mg, Potassium: 48mg, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 170IU, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1.3mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

[photos by Whitney Wright]