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Need a recipe for no bake cookies without peanut butter? These are the best no bake cookies we’ve tried, and they’re completely nut-free!

plate of no bake cookies without peanut butter

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There are so many times when I need to make cookies but don’t really have time. Sure, I love to bake, but my schedule doesn’t always allow it. Sometimes, I need something quick, easy, and still totally delicious. That is when I reach for this no bake, no nut cookie recipe. 

These cookies take just 10 minutes to make and then they sit for an hour to get nice and firm. You can speed up the waiting time even more by popping the cookies in the fridge to cool them quickly. Fresh, homemade cookies are ready to eat so fast that you won’t believe it!

(If you love no bake desserts, check out our No Bake Oreo Dessert and No Bake Pumpkin Pie too!)

top down close up image of no bake cookies without peanut butter

Besides being so easy to make, these cookies are also completely nut-free. I have tried many other no bake cookie recipes, but they always contain peanut butter. When baking for a crowd or making treats for my kids’ schools, I can’t always use peanut butter due to allergy concerns. But with this no bake, no peanut cookie recipe on hand, I don’t have to worry about nut allergies at all! 

As you can see, there are so many reasons why these no-bake cookies are pure perfection. So, without any more delay, let’s get into the details of what goes into these cookies. It won’t take very long to discuss since they are oh so simple (sorry, I just had to say it one more time!). 

ingredients to make no bake cookies without peanut butter

Ingredients

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions. 

  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter – I always use unsalted butter to bake.
  • Milk – Whole milk works best for this recipe, but you can also use nondairy milk, such as coconut milk or almond milk, if needed. 
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – I like to use Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder, which is really rich and flavorful. 
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Quick cook rolled oats – Quick cook oats are also labeled as 5-minute oats. They are a little softer than other types of oats and will make the no bake cookies tender, rather than chewy. Do not use Irish oats or steel-cut oats for this recipe. They are much too crunchy, which is why they’re never really used in baking. 

Variations

This no bake cookies recipe without peanut butter is delicious exactly as is, but I know sometimes you may want to try a variation or two. Here are a few ideas you could use to make these cookies truly your own creation:

  • Stir in ½ cup mini chocolate chips to make the cookies extra chocolatey. Add the chocolate chips at the same time you mix in the oats.
  • Use all brown sugar in place of white sugar to make the cookies a little more moist and to give them a rich, molasses taste. 
  • Use maple extract in place of vanilla extract to give the cookies a sweet, decadent taste.

How to Make No Bake Cookies Without Peanut Butter

  1. Make the syrup: Start by bringing the butter, sugars, milk, and cocoa powder to a boil. Simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes, making it thick and syrupy. This is the sticky mix that will hold the cookies together. 
  2. Add the oats: Remove the pot from the stovetop and stir in the vanilla, salt, and rolled oats. Stir quickly so the chocolate syrup coats the oats completely. You don’t want any dry oat spots so be sure to mix well!
  3. Scoop the cookie dough: Use a tablespoon or a small cookie scoop to scoop the oat mixture onto parchment-lined baking trays. Make scoops about 2 tablespoons in size. You can press the scoops down to make flatter cookies or you can leave them shaped as balls. 
  4. Chill the cookies: Let the cookies sit at room temperature for about an hour to get nice and firm. You can also pop them in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill them faster. Then, the no-bake cookies are ready to eat! 
plate of no bake cookies without peanut butter stacked on a white round plate

Quick Tip

Make sure the pot you use to boil the first few ingredients is nice and big. You want to be able to stir the oats into the pot easily, so a large pot with lots of space is best.

How to Store No-Bake Cookies

Once your cookies are nice and firm, you can move them into a cookie tin or airtight container. Keep the cookies sealed at room temperature for up to two weeks. 

You can also freeze these no bake cookies for up to three months. Let the cookies thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours, then they are ready to enjoy! 

FAQs

What makes no bake cookies harden?

The cooked sugar syrup is what makes these cookies harden. When you boil the sugar mixture, the sugar starts to caramelize. Caramel is naturally hard at room temperature, and this is what will bind the oats together and keep the cookies nice and firm.

How do you fix no-bake cookies that won’t harden?

If your cookies are too soft and wet even after sitting for an hour or two, you can scoop all the cookies back into a big pot and try cooking them for 1-2 more minutes over medium heat. They are likely too soft because the sugar syrup was not cooked long enough. You can also try simply placing the cookie tray in the fridge or freezer to make them set. Sometimes a little cold air is all they need!

Why are my no bake cookies grainy?

Grainy cookies were likely cooked too long. When you over cook the sugar syrup, it can become gritty, as sugar crystals form as the syrup cooks. Unfortunately, this cannot be fixed but the next time you make the cookies, try cooking the sugar for a minute or two less. The mixture should be bubbling and thick, but not look chunky or rough.

No Bake Cookies (Without Peanut Butter

You can make amazing cookies without ever turning on your oven. These no bake cookies are completely nut-free so everyone can enjoy them worry-free!
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Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Kasey Schwartz
Servings: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick cook rolled oats

Instructions 

  • Line two baking trays with parchment paper or with silicone baking mats and set aside.
  • Add the brown sugar, white sugar, milk, butter and unsweetened cocoa powder to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Let the mix boil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should get thicker and start bubbling slower after 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the stovetop and stir in the vanilla and salt.
  • Add the oats and stir quickly, coating the oats completely in the chocolaty syrup.
  • Scoop the oat mix onto the prepared cookie sheet trays, making two tablespoon sized cookies. Do not worry about spacing them perfectly as they don’t need to bake! The size the cookies are now is the size they will be when they are done.
  • Let the cookies sit at room temperature for about an hour to harden. You can also pop the trays in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Quick cooking rolled oats are also called instant oats or 5 minute oats. They are simply softer than regular old-fashioned oats and will make the cookies less chewy.
  • Scoop the cookie dough into one tablespoon sized mounds for smaller, bite sized cookies.

Nutrition

Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 88mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: no bake cookies
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

Hi, I’m Kasey, Founder of All Things Mamma – where I am dishing up family favorite recipes that are easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients. Plus – tips and tricks for living your best life!

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