No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies Recipe (without Cocoa)

No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies are so easy to make and healthy too with whole grains and peanut butter. But the best part is that they taste delicious. Not too sweet but sweet enough to be considered a dessert, the mixture blends well with the brown sugar and vanilla. This is definitely going to be one of your favorite dessert recipes. 

no bake oatmeal cookies recipe

No-bake Oatmeal Cookies

This is one of the easiest oatmeal cookie recipes you can make. There is very little prep time, just a handful of ingredients, and the best part is you do not even have to bake them!

You can make them your own by adding or removing certain ingredients until you have your own no-bake oatmeal cookies recipe. 

peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe

Ingredients Needed:

You will need these simple ingredients to make these delicious oatmeal peanut butter cookies.

To get the precise measurements and directions, scroll down to our printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Whole milk
  • Kosher salt
ingredients for no bake oatmeal cookies

How to Cook No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies From Scratch?

  1. Prep: First, line two baking sheets with parchment paper or wax paper.
  2. Cook milk mixture: Then, combine sugar, butter, and milk in a large saucepan. Cook with medium heat until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally. After the butter melts, turn up the heat to medium-high, and bring to a full rolling boil. Keep it at a full boil for one minute.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients: After, remove the saucepan from heat, and stir in the vanilla, peanut butter, and salt until smooth. Then add the oats and stir well. 
  4. Make the cookies: Next, use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to drop cookies onto the prepared pans in a cookie shape. Make sure to leave about an inch between them because they will spread as they set. 
  5. Refrigerate and serve: Last, refrigerate for one hour, or until cookies set, before serving. 
no bake oatmeal cookies

Recipe variations

Try a few of these varieties to mix things up next time. These are the easiest cookies, and this simple recipe can be adapted with the variations below.

Try making a chocolate version to indulge your sweet tooth or use tahini or sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter if you have a family member with a peanut butter allergy.

  • Crunchy peanut butter: Try crunchy instead of creamy peanut butter for chunky cookies.
  • Cocoa powder: Add 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to the brown sugar mix before cooking on the stovetop for chocolate oatmeal cookies.
  • Other nuts: Try using almond butter or cashew butter for a different flavor.
  • Almond milk: In addition, you can use almond milk too. It is great for those who are lactose intolerant and even adds a bit more sweetness to your no-bake cookies.
  • Nutella: Make no-bake oatmeal cookies with Nutella or another hazlenut spread instead of peanut butter for a more chocolatey flavor. 
  • Tahini cookies: If you do not like the taste of peanut butter, try using tahini or sunflower butter. These are made with ground sunflower seeds instead of peanuts. You may have to add more sugar to replace the added sugar in the peanut butter. 
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free oats for those who have celiac disease or just cannot tolerate gluten.

How to serve:

When it is too hot to turn on the oven, try making these delicious no-bake cookies. Here are some delicious serving suggestions:

delicious no bake peanut butter cookies
  • These no-bake cookies go great with a glass of ice-cold milk. 
  • Add some vanilla glaze or whipped frosting on top for a decadent dessert. You can even toss some pecans or walnuts on top. 
  • Alternatively spread some creamy peanut butter on top like a peanut butter frosting. 
  • Press some chocolate chips into the top of the cookies before serving for chocolate lovers.
  • In fact, you can add raisins instead for oatmeal raisin cookies. 
  • If you just have a few cookies left over, why not crumble them up and use them as a topping for cake, pie, or ice cream. You can even put it in a bowl with milk to make granola cereal. 

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between old-fashioned oats and rolled oats?

Actually, they are old-fashioned rolled oats, so they are the same thing. These are flattened oats that absorb more water than steel-cut oats. The steel-cut oats take longer to cook because they are not flattened. There are also two other types of oats.

Quick oats are easy to cook on the stove in a few minutes. You can also microwave them for two minutes. Instant oats are what you find in the little individual packaged oats that are finely chopped and only need one minute in the microwave.

Can I use other oats for this recipe?

You can typically substitute your old-fashioned oats with quick oats in this recipe. However, if the recipe asks for quick oats and all you have are old-fashioned or rolled oats, just put them in a food processor or blender and pulse them a few times.

Why won’t my cookies set?

If your cookies are gooey and do not set, the oats have probably not boiled long enough. The cookies will not stick together and harden unless they reach the soft ball stage. On the other hand, if they are dry and crumbly, you may have cooked them too long.

How to store leftovers:

  • Store: Store these no-bake oatmeal cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for three days or keep them in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Freeze: If you make too many, let them cool to room temperature and then put them in the freezer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until they are frozen. Then, put them in a freezer bag with wax paper between each cookie. Eat within one month for best results.
  • Thaw: Do not forget to thaw these overnight in the fridge before serving chilled or at room temperature.   

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure not to boil these too long or they will be crumbly.
  • Alternatively, if the oats do not boil long enough, they will be too gooey and will not harden.
  • Add oats one cup at a time for soft and chewy oatmeal cookies. Stop adding when the dough is thick enough for your taste. 
  • To make sure your cookies set, use a candy thermometer to check the temperature. The soft ball stage is 235 degrees F so try to get to that temperature. 
  • If you only have salted butter, just omit the salt from the recipe. 
  • Also, it is important to use real butter in this recipe. Margarine will not set up the right way. 

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal No Bake Cookie Recipe
Yield: 16-20

Oatmeal No Bake Cookie Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

These are going to be your new favorite cookies! This no bake recipe is so easy to put together and perfect for the whole family.

Everyone is going to love this no bake treat.


  • 1 1/2 cups light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats


    1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. Add the brown sugar, milk, and butter to a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until the butter and sugar have melted.
    3. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a light boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring a few times.
    4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until smooth and fully combined.
    5. Stir in the oats. Let it lightly cook for 3-5 minutes.
    6. Take an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop and drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared pans, leaving about an 1-2 inches between cookies. Lightly press them with your hand or a spoon to flatten the tops.
    7. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until set.

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no bake oatmeal cookies recipe with peanut butter and no cocoa

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