How to Make No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

This simple recipe for no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies is ready to enjoy in less than 30 minutes!

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 babysitter. 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 tweaked the recipe to create an equally delicious nut-free version.

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

This recipe yields approximately 36 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

Directions

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

Mixing cookie ingredients togetherBlair Lonergan for Taste of Home

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.

Step 3: Add oats

Adding oatmeal into the mixBlair Lonergan for Taste of Home

Stir the oats into the chocolate mixture until completely combined.

Step 4: Drop onto baking sheet

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

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.

Step 5: Chill

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

Once the 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.

Tips for Making No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

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

Don’t undercook the chocolate mixture

If you don’t cook it enough, the sugar hasn’t dissolved and won’t set. You’ll end up with gooey no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies! Be careful, though—if you cook them too long, the sugar overcooks and the cookies will set hard as rocks. I find a low simmer for 2 minutes does the trick.

Use quick-cooking oats

I do not recommend substituting with old-fashioned rolled oats or steel cut oats.

Add coconut

Make No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Coconut by reducing the quick oats to 3 cups and adding 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut.

Stir in dried fruit

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.

Top with flaky sea salt

If you like a sweet-and-salty contrast, sprinkle the tops of the cookies with flakes of sea salt before the cookies set.

Freeze leftover cookies

To freeze, place the cookies on a baking sheet and chill in the freezer for 2 hours. Once frozen, transfer the cookies to an airtight container or a large resealable plastic freezer bag. The no-bake cookies will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies Nutrition Facts

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.

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.