Easy No Bake Cookies, just like you remember, but better. We make these easy no bake oatmeal cookies on repeat, and soon you will, too.

Everyone needs a great no-bake cookie recipe; this is our family’s go-to. They are everything you expect with chewy oatmeal, peanut butter, and chocolate but amped up with extra vanilla for a special touch. Plus, learn my secret for making shiny cookies that are never dry and crumbly. It might surprise you.

A stack of no bake cookies.

I have been making no bake cookies for as long as I can remember but I never published the recipe because there are just so many versions on the internet already. These are my family’s favorite cookies and after researching, I realized my version has a few unexpected twists.

Also, when I asked my 12-year-old daughter, Jersey, what food she thought represented our family, without hesitation, she replied, “no bake cookies”. Well then, that settled it. I had to share the recipe.

Classic No Bake Cookies

These are the classic chocolate and oatmeal no bake cookies that are made with peanut butter. My husband’s dad made these for him growing up, and I grew up with a version my mom’s best friend, Connie, made. I found any excuse to go to Connie’s house because her no bake cookies were always the best.

Now we make them one to two times a week. I am not kidding about that, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that Jersey said it’s the food that represents us best. If we had a family crest, a no bake cookie would be the centerpiece!

a hand holding one cookie.

After making this recipe countless times, I can tell you what makes it so unique. Whenever we share them with friends and family they want to know the secret – they’re that good!

The first secret is margarine. I use it instead of butter and it makes these cookies so shiny and not dried out. No bake cookies made with butter can look a little chalky – margarine solves this problem.

The second secret is vanilla and lots of it. It gives them a great flavor – we love it.


  • Margarine- we like Blue Bonnet
  • Cocoa powder – we like Hershey’s
  • White sugar 
  • Milk – any kind will work
  • Salt
  • Quick oats – we like Quaker Oats
  • Creamy peanut butter – I like to do a heaping 1/2 cup! Just a smidge more than 1/2 a cup.
  • Pure vanilla extract – there are two whole teaspoons in this recipe.

How to Make No Bake Cookies Step-by-Step

Measure out the ingredients so they are ready. This is an easy recipe, but it goes quickly so it’s good idea to have everything ready before you start.

sugar, butter, and cocoa powder in a skillet.

Combine the sugar, cocoa, margarine, milk, and salt in a non-stick skillet and bring the mixture to a rapid boil for one minute.

pouring milk into the pan.
the mixture mixed.

Add peanut butter and vanilla and stir to combine.

Peanut butter being added.
vanilla being poured into the pan.

Once combined, immediately add the quick oats and stir them.

oats mixed in.

Working quickly, drop the oatmeal mixture by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper.

a spoonful of the mixture being dropped into a sheet pan.

Leave them to cool and, once set, they are ready to serve.

They will stay at room temperature for up to a week or store them in the fridge for up to two weeks.

cookies dropped onto the pan.

Sandra’s Tips

  • Why did my no bake cookies not set? The key to this recipe is cooking the cookie mixture. You need to boil it for one full minute or to a temperature of 230°F. If the mixture is undercooked, your cookies will be soft and not set correctly. In my experience, bringing the mixture to a rapid boil for one minute works every time and I don’t need a thermometer to check the temperature
  • Can you put them in the fridge to harden? It’s unnecessary because it doesn’t take long for them to firm up at room temperature. Unless it’s very warm in your kitchen, you don’t need to chill them.
  • Can you use foil instead of wax paper? Yes, if that’s what you have on hand, it will work. You want to use something that is nonstick.
  • How long do no bake cookies keep? Keep them in an airtight container, and they will keep them at room temperature for up to a week. Or keep them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • Can you freeze No Bake Cookies? Yes, just place them in a freezer container and they will keep for two months in the freezer.
overhead shot of the no bake cookies on a sheet pan.

There might be a gazillion recipes for this type of cookie, but I can promise you this no-bake cookie recipe is the best. Like my family, you will love every last bite of these chocolatey oatmeal treats. Enjoy! xoxo San

a stack of five no bake cookies.

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pinterest collage image.

No Bake Cookies

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 19 minutes
Servings: 22
Calories: 188 kcal
Everyone needs a great no bake cookie recipe and this our family's go-to recipe. They are everything you expect with chewy oatmeal, peanut butter, and chocolate but amped up with extra vanilla for a special touch.
no bake cookies.


  • 1/2 cup margarine we prefer Blue Bonnet
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder we prefer Hershey's
  • 2 cups white sugar 
  • 1/2 cup milk any milk will do
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups 1-minute quick oats we prefer Quaker Oats
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter Do a heaping 1/2 cup! Just a smidge more.
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • In a non-stick skillet bring sugar, cocoa, margarine, milk, and salt to a rapid boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat.
  • Add peanut butter, and vanilla; stir in well. Then immediately add the 1-minute quick oats.
  • Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper, and let cool.
Serving: 1cookieCalories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 92mgPotassium: 98mgFiber: 2gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 194IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
no bake cookies.
Tried this recipe?Let us know what you think!

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  1. 5 stars
    My dad made these weekly growing up – one of the best memories of my childhood and now are part of my own children’s memories. Love it – although i love crunchy peanut butter!

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