How to Make No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

This simple and delicious dessert is ready to enjoy in less than 30 minutes—and you don't even have to turn on the oven!

When my boys were toddlers, our neighbor Rebekah, who lives on a Mennonite dairy farm up the road from us, started helping me as a regular babysitter multiple afternoons per week. Rebekah’s mom has a stand at our local farmers market, where she sells fresh vegetables from the garden, homemade jams and sauces, and a wide array of baked goods like cookies and breads. Needless to say, we have been the lucky recipients of many of Rebekah’s treats over the years—including these No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies!

Her no-bake cookies quickly became my boys’ favorite dessert, so Rebekah would make them for special occasions (like the kids’ birthdays), as well as for fun afternoon snacks. Her original recipe included peanut butter, but I have since tweaked the treats to create an equally delicious nut-free version. These cookies continue to be a favorite in our house, and are always a welcome contribution at class parties, summer picnics or family gatherings.

How to Make No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use 2% milk)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups quick-cooking oats

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare baking sheet

Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat and set aside. You’ll want the tray ready to go as soon as your cookie mixture is combined!

Step 2: Boil chocolate mixture

Combine butter, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking regularly. Continue whisking and allow the mixture to boil for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Mixing cookie ingredients togetherBlair Lonergan for Taste of Home

Step 3: Add oats

Stir the oats into the chocolate mixture until completely combined.

Adding oatmeal into the mixBlair Lonergan for Taste of Home

Step 4: Drop onto baking sheet

Use a spoon or dough scoop to drop the oat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Work quickly, because the chocolate will start to set right away.

Globs of cookie on a metal trayBlair Lonergan for Taste of Home

Step 5: Chill

Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and allow the cookies to chill for about 10-15 minutes, or until firm.

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations

  • Storage: Once the No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies are cool and set, package them in an airtight container. The cookies will stay fresh at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • To freeze: Place the cookies on a baking sheet and chill in the freezer for two hours. Once frozen, transfer the cookies to an airtight container or a large Ziploc freezer bag. The no-bake cookies will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Nutrition: This recipe yields approximately 36 cookies. Each cookie contains about 100 calories, 3 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates and 1.4 grams of protein. Of course, exact nutrition information will vary depending on the ingredients that you use and the size of your cookies.
  • Quick-cooking oats work best in this recipe. I do not recommend substituting with old-fashioned rolled oats or steel cut oats.
  • Coconut variation: Make No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Coconut by reducing the quick oats to 3 cups and adding 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut.
  • Fruity variation: Add dried fruit to the cookies by reducing the quick oats to 3 cups and adding 1 cup of raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricot or other similar mix-ins.
  • Salty-sweet variation: If you like a sweet-and-salty contrast, sprinkle the tops of the cookies with flakes of sea salt before the cookies set.

No-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies on a plateBlair Lonergan for Taste of Home

More No-Bake Desserts You’ll Love

You can’t beat the convenience of no-bake, no-stress desserts! While my 5-Ingredient Ice Cream Sandwich Cake is a popular choice in the summer months, this Breezy Lemon-Berry Dessert would be ideal for a spring holiday. And you can never go wrong with classics like Easy Banana Pudding, No-Bake Haystack Cookies or a Make-Ahead Tiramisu! (Or learn how to make classic oatmeal cookies from scratch.)

Note: Recipes submitted by our trusted contributors are created and tested in their kitchens.

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Blair Lonergan
Blair Lonergan lives with her husband and three young boys in a 100-year-old farmhouse at the base of Central Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. A freelance writer and food photographer, Blair shares easy, quick-prep recipes for busy families on her blog, The Seasoned Mom. Her work has been featured in magazines and online at Today, SELF magazine, Buzzfeed, Parade, and Redbook magazine.