“Thick, fudgy, and creamy no-bake cookies. A no-fail recipe!”
Watch me make these no-bake cookies from start to finish!
No-bake bars and cookies are just as delicious as baked versions, but they won’t heat up the house or take up valuable oven space. These delectable desserts are quick, easy, and—most importantly—don’t require an oven!
Tip #3 The No-Fail Timing Method
If you’ve glanced at other no-bake cookie recipes then you’ll see how important it is to boil the sugar mixture long enough which will help the cookies to set. Boiling too long will cause the cookies to be dry and crumbly. However, if you don’t boil long enough the cookies will not set and will be runny. Some folks say bring the mixture to a rolling boil and then count to 60, while others swear by counting to 90. Then there’s the rule that says to stir it the whole time and the other rule that says don’t stir it.
I say “ain’t nobody got time for all that” lol.
This is the tried and true technique that I use and it takes all the guesswork out of wondering if I timed it out correctly or if the mixture is hot enough.
First, grab a candy thermometer ( I used a meat thermometer LOL) and get your timer cued up for 2 minutes. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil (meaning the middle of the mixture is bubbling up with large bubbles and not just simmering). Once this happens press start on the timer. Insert your thermometer into the liquid but don’t let it touch the bottom of the pan.
You want to get this mixture to 230-234 F. before those two minutes are up. So increase or decrease the temperature accordingly. DO NOT STIR. If you get to 230 quicker than two minutes that’s fine to remove it from the heat. If after 2 minutes you still haven’t reached 230 then it’s ok to cook it a bit longer, but try to increase or decrease your heat so that it reaches between 230-234 close to the end of 2 minutes. This method never fails me and my cookies ALWAYS set up so beautifully.
There are a TON of reasons you might want to make a dessert without having to turn on your oven. Maybe your oven isn’t working quite right, or is too full of other, more important things (like a Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham). Maybe you’re cooking with kids and don’t want them going in and out of a hot oven. Maybe it’s just too dang hot out (or inside your apartment, radiator heat’ll get ya!), and you want to avoid turning on the oven at all costs. Whatever the reason, these 70 no-bake desserts are for you.
Some dessert recipes are inherently no-bake, like truffles, ice cream, or fudge, and we’ve included a number of our favorites here. Others are easy shortcuts to more complicated desserts, and that’s where the meaning of no-bake really shines. Love cheesecake, but hate water baths? Yeah, us too. Make our no-bake blackberry cheesecake bars, our no-bake pumpkin cheesecake, or our lemon-blueberry mini cheesecakes, or our banana pudding cheesecake bars instead. More of a cake or pie fan? Try our éclair cake, our chocolate fluffernutter pie, our lemon icebox cake, or our mint chocolate chip pie. They’ll scratch that itch without having to roll out dough or deal with cake layers. We will say, while making these recipes themselves is a lot easier, there is often a bit more patience required—check to see if these need to set up for a few hours/overnight and plan accordingly. Your future self will thank you.
While these are no-bake, that doesn’t necessarily mean no-cook. We’ve included some recipes here that are cooked on the stove, or involve minor heating up of ingredients (more power to you to melt your chocolate in the microwave). Some, like our buckeyes, our no-bake oatmeal cookies, or our chocolate-covered strawberries, are still crazy easy to make. Others, like our peanut brittle, halva, or chocolate almond toffee take a little bit more finesse (and sometimes a candy thermometer). Even so, we think they’re the kind of recipes you should have in your dessert arsenal, and make a great addition to any dessert table, year-round. (Hot tip: They also make awesome holiday gifts!)
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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions no-bake desserts? I think of classic no-bake cookies every time.
All 15 of these easy no-bake desserts require one thing—not turning on your oven in the summer.
I’ve included a variety of desserts in this roundup
No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
If you’re a peanut butter cup fan, you will love this no-bake peanut butter pie recipe. You can make the chocolate crust using crushed Oreos or you can buy a pre-made chocolate crust.
No-Bake Caramel Apple Cheesecake
This no-bake caramel apple cheesecake is a decadent treat that tastes even better when it’s served warm (with ice cream!). The base is only 4 ingredients, so it’s an easy recipe that anyone can make.
Bakery-Style Giant Rice Krispie Treats
Rice Krispie treats are a popular no-bake dessert and they’re super easy to make. You can’t beat that rich vanilla flavor! This recipe makes BIG squares.
No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
This is Emma’s recipe for fool-proof no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies. They’re a delicious treat for any occasion. Making a double batch of these cookies is never a bad idea. 🙂
No-Bake Cheesecake Truffles
If you’re looking for a delicious cheesecake-version of truffles, here’s a recipe for no-bake cherry cheesecake truffles made easy with a box mix and cherry pie filling.
No-Bake Chocolate Silk Pie
This rich no-bake chocolate silk pie is for all the chocolate-lovers. The crust is incredibly easy to make and the peanut butter-based filling can be made in a blender. You’re going to love this recipe!
No-Bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
No-Bake S’mores Icebox Cake
A mouth-watering icebox cake made with graham crackers layered with mascarpone whipped cream, chocolate ganache, and topped with toasted marshmallows. Perfect for a summer party!
Easy No-Bake Key Lime Pie
This easy no-bake key lime pie is a perfect warm-weather treat— super simple to make and the perfect blend of tart and sweet. This recipe includes a homemade crust option or you can use a store-bought kind.
No-bake chocolate eclair cake is the perfect dessert to make when it’s too hot to turn your oven on or when want an easy dessert idea for a party. This recipe is easy and always a crowd favorite!
Matcha No-Bake Cheesecakes
Here’s a unique flavor profile for you: matcha cheesecake! These delicious individual-size cheesecakes have crushed matcha green tea Pocky in the crust.
No-Bake Banana Cream Pie
If you love banana cream pie, then today is your lucky day. This recipe is super easy to make and it can be prepared ahead of time. You can top the pie with fresh whipped cream or Cool Whip.
No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake
This no-bake cherry cheesecake recipe is the perfect mix of sweet and savory. The crust is delicious and buttery (with a surprising ingredient). I love that you can serve it in squares or a fancy glass with a spoon.
Easy Chocolate Oreo Truffles
No-bake chocolate truffles are another dessert that seem impossible to put down once you’ve eaten one. They’re rich, easy to make, and one of my go-to’s if I want to make something sweet for a crowd.
No-Bake Pumpkin Pie
A simple and delicious recipe for no-bake pumpkin pie that anyone can make (and freeze ahead of time). A classic made ultra easy for the holidays!
No Bake Cookies are a great way to save time and money when you’re looking for an easy dessert. They’re also a great option if you don’t have access to an oven and they’re also perfect for last-minute get-togethers.
Jump to Recipe
No Bake Cookies are super easy to make and customize with your favorite add-ins. Whether it’s nuts or raisins, or just plain chocolate chips, these cookies aren’t fussy about what goes into them!
If you want to keep your No Bake Cookies fresher for longer, you’ll need to know how long they’ll last in the fridge, or how long they can be frozen before they start going stale. We’ve put together a list of tips on how to store and how to freeze No Bake Cookies so you can enjoy them for as long as possible!
No Bake Cookies are such a yummy treat to make when you’re pressed for time or just want a little something sweet right now. Our easy no bake cookies recipe is made with simple pantry ingredients, like creamy peanut butter and quick-cooking oats, and they come together in under 15 minutes. My kids love them as an after-school snack with a tall glass of cold milk. My husband whips them up on a lazy weekend afternoon as we’re playing board games or watching movies. And no bake means you don’t need to heat up the house with your oven. Just a little stove top stirring and you’re done!
Ingredients Needed for No Bake Cookies
Chances are, you have every ingredient you need to whip up a batch of our no bake cookies right now! Here’s all you need:
- Butter – I like to use real butter, unsalted, to cut down on sodium, but you can use margarine, coconut oil, or whatever you have on hand.
- White Sugar – regular granulated sugar helps the cookies set up nicely.
- Milk – skim or whole milk work great as dairy options!
- Cocoa powder – unsweetened powder or Dutch-press cocoa.
- Vanilla extract – just a teaspoon vanilla extract adds a rich depth of flavor to the cookies.
- Creamy Peanut Butter – for extra texture, you can try crunchy peanut butter too.
- Rolled oats – use quick-cooking oats or old-fashioned.
- Salt – a dash of regular or kosher salt will enhance the flavor of the chocolate mixture.
How To Store No Bake Cookies
- No bake cookies do not NEED to be refrigerated, but they can be if you prefer. Refrigerator space is sparse in my house, so I like to just keep them on the counter in a large, airtight Tupperware.
- To keep them from sticking together, place the cookies on a single layer in the container, then add a layer of wax or parchment paper over the top before adding the next layer of cookies.
- You can store no bake cookies at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in an airtight container before they start losing quality.
How to Freeze No Bake Cookies
Yes, you can freeze no bake cookies! Just spoon out the mixture on a large prepared baking sheet with a cookie scoop and place the cookies in the freezer until frozen (one to two hours).
Once frozen, place them in an airtight container or a Ziplock bag and freeze for up to two months. To thaw, just place cookies in a single layer on a pan at room temperature until thawed and ready to eat.
Tips for the Perfect No Bake Cookie
- Try to avoid switching out ingredients in our no-bake cookies. Many recipes can swap out sugar for sugar substitutes, but these cookies need the real thing to cook up right. Everything in moderation, right? Enjoy a cookie and eat a salad later.
- If you do want to add a little something extra, you could toss in chopped nuts, coconut, or even mini chocolate candies to give the no bake cookies an extra dimension.
- Old-fashioned oats or quick oats work well in this no-bake cookie recipe. So, feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
- Store these cookies in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to a week. They freeze beautifully for up to three months.
Frequently Asked Questions for No Bake Cookies
Are no bake cookies gluten-free?
They are gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free oats. Not ALL oats are GF so be SURE to check the packaging before preparing for someone who can’t have gluten. Otherwise, all the other ingredients are gluten-free and you are good to go!
Why do my no-bake cookies never harden?
This happens when the sugar/butter mixture isn’t boiled long enough. It should be at a full boil for one minute. Make sure you allow the cookies to cool for a full 30 minutes. You can chill the cookies after this to help them harden if needed.
What happens if you boil no-bake cookies too long?
You will have the opposite result, the cookies will be hard and crumbly. The boiling time needs to be exact for the best result.
More No Bake Recipes
When you’re looking to whip up something quick without the oven, yet still wow guests with gorgeous treats, we have more no bake recipes to choose from! Here are a few of our favorites:
How to Make No Bake Cookies
- creamy or crunchy
- old-fashioned or quick
- Measure out rolled oats, peanut butter, and vanilla into a mixing bowl. Don’t mix.
- Mix butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa together in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Quickly stir in the rolled oats, peanut butter, and vanilla.
- Return the saucepan to the burner and, while stirring, cook on low for 1 more minute.
- Drop by spoonfuls or cookie scoop onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or wax paper as quickly as possible. Cool 20-30 minutes.
- Measure ingredients exactly to get best results.
- Watch boiling time carefully to get best results.
- Use a quality unsweetened cocoa powder for a rich chocolate flavor.
- Any nut butter can be substituted for peanut butter.
- Optional additions: ¼ cup coconut, chocolate chips, chopped nuts.
- Store no bake cookies at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
- Place cookies in an airtight container or a Ziplock bag and freeze for up to two months.
Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.
I like using pretty mini muffin liners and topping these homemade peanut butter cups with colored sprinkles to coordinate with the holiday we’re celebrating. People can’t believe how simple it is to make this irresistible candy with gooey peanut butter centers. This is how to make homemade peanut butter cups. —LaVonne Hegland, St. Michael, Minnesota
Go to Recipe
My daughters and I came up with this treat when planning a candy-making party. The pops also make adorable hostess gifts, are perfect for potlucks and would sell out quickly at a bake sale. —Lisa Haboush, Geneva, Illinois
No-Bake Cereal Cookie Bars
Microwave Egg Sandwich
If you’re looking for a grab-and-go breakfast for busy days, this high-protein sandwich is low in fat and keeps me full all morning. Plus, it’s only about 200 calories! —Brenda Otto, Reedsburg, Wisconsin
Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars
If you’re looking for a fun snack for kids, try this chewy peanut butter popcorn recipe that have a mild peanut butter taste. They’re easy to mix and can be pressed into a pan to form bars, or shaped into balls. —Kathy Oswald, Wauzeka, Wisconsin
Rice Krispie Cookies
My mom and I used to prepare these Rice Krispie cookies for Christmas every year. Making them with just the microwave means they’re super easy and fun to mix with the kids. —Savanna Chapdelaine, Orlando, Florida
Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
We came up with this fresh and fruity summer snack idea. It’s easy to make ahead and carry to the ballpark, beach or playground, and the cinnamon-spiced yogurt dip adds a fun touch kids love. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
These Walking Tacos are perfect for an on-the-go dinner, a campfire meal or an easy game-night supper. The ingredients go right into the chip bags! —Beverly Matthews, Richland, Washington
South Dakota Frito Treats
Yep, they’re made with corn chips, but don’t let that fool you. These salty sweets were a staple after meetings at the quilt guild I once belonged to. —Carol Tramp, Wynot, Nebraska
Kids’ Favorite Chili
This third-generation hearty chili is a family favorite. It’s a sweet and easy chili that’s sure to warm up the whole family on those chilly fall nights. —Terri Keeney, Greeley, Colorado
No-Bake Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprints
Years ago, a friend gave me a recipe for chocolate peanut treats that didn’t require baking. I thought it was a quick and clever way to whip up a batch of sweet snacks without heating up the kitchen, and I started making different variations. This one includes luscious Nutella and crunchy hazelnuts. Yum! —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
White Chocolate Party Mix
You won’t be able to stop eating this irresistible white chocolate party mix. The light, sweet coating is great over cereal, peanuts, pretzels and M&M’s. —Norene Wright, Manilla, Indiana
Green Flop Jell-O
Get ready for fluffy lemon-lime goodness. My family calls it “flop Jell-O” because most of the time a clear gelatin layer that tastes like lemon-lime soda falls to the bottom of the dish. Try it with any flavor gelatin! —Michelle Gauer, Spicer, Minnesota
This is the yummiest, quickest recipe I have. There’s no need to precook the macaroni. Everything comes together in one smart skillet. —Maurane Ramsey, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Creamy Frozen Fruit Cups
I love to prepare these cool, fluffy fruit cups to give a refreshing boost to many meals. They’ve been well received at family gatherings and summer barbecues. There’s no last-minute fuss since you make them well in advance. —Karen Hatcher, St. Amant, Louisiana
Take a bite out of summer boredom with this kid-friendly food project. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Ranch Snack Mix
This is a wonderful fast-to-fix munchie. The recipe makes tons and doesn’t involve any cooking. It’s a cinch to package in individual snack bags, it keeps its crunch and it’s a savory alternative to the cakes and pies usually offered at bake sales. —Linda Murphy, Pulaski, Wisconsin
Hay and Straw
This recipe is not only quick and easy to prepare, it’s pretty, too. This colorful pasta dish combines julienned ham, Parmesan cheese, peas and linguine.—Priscilla Weaver, Hagerstown, Maryland
Brownie Batter Dip
I’m all about the sweeter side of dips, and this brownie-batter variety fits in with my life’s philosophy: Chocolate makes anything better. Grab some fruit, cookies or salty snacks and start dunking. —Mel Gunnell, Boise, Idaho
Strawberry-Peach Milk Shakes
You’ll either need thick drinking straws or spoons to enjoy this refreshing shake that combines two favorite fruits—strawberries and peaches—for a thirst-quenching treat. —Karen Edwards, Sanford, Maine
Hearty Beef Ravioli
In this fun family-friendly supper, we add our favorite taco toppings to beef ravioli. It’s easy for kids to customize their own fixings for a no-fuss meal. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Layers of colorful fruit submerged in a fizzy, sweet beverage make this a kid-friendly sipper that gets two thumbs-up. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Peanut Butter Granola Pinwheels
I came across this easy and tasty snack while searching online for healthy munchies for kids. Great for after school, it’s really quick to make and filling enough to hold the kids until dinner. To satisfy heftier appetites or to serve as a power lunch, cut each tortilla into fewer pieces or provide one per child. The recipe is easy to increase as needed. —Mary Haluch, Ludlow, Massachusetts
Fluffy Scrambled Eggs
When our son, Chris, wants something other than cold cereal in the morning, he whips up these eggs. Cheese and evaporated milk make them especially good. They’re easy to make when you’re camping, too. —Chris Pfleghaar, Elk River, Minnesota
Chocolate-Hazelnut Fruit Pizza
You can prepare this snackable pizza in just 10 minutes! It’s a fun way to sneak in those daily servings of fruit. —Dalynn Dowling, Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota
Raspberry Cheesecake Floats
I’ve yet to meet a cheesecake I didn’t like! The flavors here of cream cheese and raspberries create an ideal combination. Although ice cream floats are summery, I like this treat so much that I whip it up during the winter, too. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
Favorite Sloppy Joes
I’ve prepared these sandwiches for years. I’ve tried many sloppy joe recipes, but this one is the best by far. It also travels well for picnics or potlucks. —Eleanor Mielke, Snohomish, Washington
My two little guys can’t get enough of this sweet and salty snack that uses just three ingredients and is ready to eat in 15 minutes. The boys like to drizzle on the melted chocolate. Sometimes we replace the potato chips with apple slices. —Jami Geittmann, Greendale, Wisconsin
My son watches a show where the kids eat spaghetti tacos. As a joke, I made him his own, and now these tacos are here to stay. —Mindie Hilton, Susanville, California
Strawberry Watermelon Slush
We like to relax on the back porch with glasses of my slush after a long, hot day. Strawberries and watermelon blend up with lemon juice and sugar for an instant refresher. —Patty Howse, Great Falls, Montana
Stuffed PB&J French Toast Kabobs
These ice cream sandwiches have a little bit of everything in them to satisfy all your cravings. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Save both time and money with a big batch of this sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy treat. Any dessert that is left over is super the next day, too. —Rita Winterberger, Huson, Montana
Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert
The desserts of my dreams have both chocolate and peanut butter. So when I came up with this chocolate peanut butter dessert, it quickly became my all-time favorite. It’s a cinch to whip together because it doesn’t require any baking. My family loves this chocolate peanut butter cup lasagna! —Debbie Price, LaRue, Ohio
You can enjoy a small batch of these sweet crunchy pickles anytime without the work of traditional canning methods. They’re loaded with flavor and so easy to make. —Marie Wladyka, Land O’Lakes, Florida
Strawberry-Citrus Freezer Pops
I knew that clementines and strawberries would create a luscious combination in a fruit pop, and I have to say these are delicious! —Colleen Ludovice, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Cool and Creamy Watermelon Pie
This simple pie is so refreshing that it never lasts long on warm summer days. Watermelon and a few convenience items make it a delightful dessert that doesn’t take much effort. —Velma Beck, Carlinville, Illinois
Cherry No-Bake Cookies
I always loved my no-bake cookie recipe, but I was never able to place at the fair with it. So I mixed in some maraschino cherries, added almond extract and voila! I won a blue ribbon at the county fair in 2010. —Denise Wheeler, Newaygo, Michigan
Peanut Butter Milk Shakes
You’ve got milk, peanut butter, and probably vanilla ice cream, too. Using just a few ingredients, you can whip up this peanut butter milkshake recipe in seconds. —Joyce Turley, Slaughters, Kentucky
Frozen Banana Cereal Pops
When we want a healthy snack, we dip bananas in yogurt, roll ’em in cereal, then freeze. Ta-da! —Scarlett Elrod, Newnan, Georgia
We serve these quesadillas as chili dippers or load them up with salsa and sour cream for a super starter. —Terri Keeney, Greeley, Colorado
Gooey Caramel-Topped Gingersnaps
Making these cookies is therapeutic for me. And they are always quite popular at fundraisers. If you’d like, you can make variations by using different nuts.
—Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
ABC Cheese Dip
My children like this dip because the seasoning is mild. You can use plain veggie sticks or cut out numbers and letters from the sweet peppers. —Kimberly Miller, Norfolk, Virginia
Frosty Peanut Butter Pie
With only a handful of ingredients, this peanut butter pie promises to deliver well-deserved compliments. Whenever I bring this creamy, make-ahead pie to get-togethers, I’m asked for the recipe. —Christi Gillentine, Tulsa, Oklahoma
This recipe features the flavors of your favorite pie but only takes a few minutes to make—and there’s no cooking or baking required. Perfect for when you’re rushing to get kids on the bus! —Elizabeth Dumont, Boulder, Colorado
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars
My twist on rice crispy bars includes crunchy crushed pretzels. Then I top them with a creamy peanut butter coating and rich chocolate topping. Garnished with peanuts and even more pretzels, I don’t think I’d ever go back to plain old bars again. —Sherri Melotik, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
PHOTO: ANDREW BUI; FOOD STYLING: JASON SCHREIBER
If you’re looking for a boozy treat to get the party started, these bourbon balls are calling your name. Made with finely chopped pecans, crushed vanilla wafer cookies, and of course, bourbon, these no-bake cookie truffles highlight the flavor of the bourbon while taming its typical burn. Warning: You won’t be able to stop at one!
Get the Bourbon Balls recipe.
Cool Watermelon Pops
The kids are going to flip for the miniature chocolate chips in these picture-perfect pops. They’re almost too cute to eat (but you’ll be glad you did). —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
What are no-bake cookies?
First, if you’ve never had a no-bake cookie let me tell you all about these incredible, delicious cookies! There are plenty of no-bake cookie recipes but typically when you hear no-bake cookies it’s referring to the peanut butter chocolate oatmeal version. No eggs or flour is required in this cookie recipe! This is an old-fashioned recipe and was a very popular dessert when I was growing up. No-bake cookies are a type of fudge cookie with peanut butter and oats. Once the batter is mixed up in a saucepan on the stovetop it’s quickly dropped on wax paper by the spoonful to set. No oven baking is required.
You can even make this without the chocolate for super creamy peanut butter no-bake cookies!
The BEST no-bake cookies start with your favorite ingredients. That doesn’t mean the most expensive ones, just what your taste buds like. I prefer to use the tried and true old-school brands here. It’s what my mom used.
Butter- Use unsalted butter. Although some people prefer no-baked cookies with margarine, my mom always used real butter. It lends the perfect creamy texture and delicious flavor.
Warm Milk- Whole milk works the best for the creamiest no-bake cookies. I’ve tried these with heavy cream, almond milk, and rice milk, but whole milk takes the prize. In a pinch, evaporated milk works ok.
Sugar- Pure granulated sugar is classic to the recipe. I’ve played around with adding brown sugar but always come back to just plain granulated sugar. It works!
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder– You can get fancy here and purchase the expensive stuff if you want. I always go with Hershey’s brand.
Cream of tartar- Don’t skip this ingredient. It’s like magic to your no-bake cookie.
Peanut Butter- Use creamy peanut butter and whatever brand you could eat by the spoonful. Trust your tastebuds here. I always use creamy Skippy or GIF because that’s what I grew up eating and it’s what my mom used.
Oats- Use 1-minute quick-cooking oats for the best texture. Rolled old-fashioned oats are too thick and need time to cook. This will not make for a very enjoyable no-bake cookie. I always use the Quacker brand. Other brands seem to be hit or miss when it comes to texture.
Vanilla extract- A bit of vanilla extract adds a nice level of flavor to the cookies so don’t skip it. You can use up to a teaspoon vanilla extract.
Happy no-bake cookie making!
No-Bake Lemon Dreams
Make these sweet-tart treats with off-the-shelf sugar cookies and luscious lemon curd. Decorating the edges with stars or rosettes (of piped-on purchased frosting) gives these cookies a gourmet look. The easy no-bake cookie recipe looks homemade but lets you skip the time-consuming baking and go straight to the fun of cookie decorating.
Coconut-Date Cracker Bars with Browned Butter Glaze
Crackers make for a super easy, buttery crust that balances the browned butter topping (and a tasty change from graham crackers). The coconut-date layer adds bursts of flavor and texture, and the dates do double duty as a natural sweetener. You can freeze these no-bake dessert bars for up to a month, so feel free to get a jump on your holiday dessert-making now.
Classic No-Bake Cookies
These classic no-bake oatmeal cookies are one of our all-time favorites. Rolled oats, peanut butter, and chopped peanuts make for an extra tasty cookie, while a scoop of cocoa powder makes them chocolaty to boot. In fact, this easy recipe only takes 20 minutes of hands-on time. The other 30 minutes is just testing your patience while you wait for them to cool.
Tip #2 Always Melt The Sugar
No-Bake Butterscotch Bars
Love Butterfinger candy bars? Then you’ve got to make these no-bake butterscotch bars that use Butterfingers as one of the main ingredients. We mixed some of the chopped candy bars into the butterscotch pudding layer, and the rest are sprinkled on top of the chocolate frosting. Each square is like your own homemade candy bar!
Tips for making the BEST no-bake cookies
1. Use your favorite peanut butter. Like seriously, this is where many recipes go wrong. The peanut butter is crucial and a really delicious one will set your cookies apart. Make sure it’s good enough to eat by the spoonful.
2. Use 1-minute quick oats. If you use Old-fashioned rolled oats you’ll feel like a horse eating those cookies because they will seriously taste like eating raw, chewy oatmeal.
3. Use the no-fail timer method to take the guesswork out of making no-bake cookies. Sure, you could change4. it and use the counting method but why?
4. Make these on a clear day. It’s been said that a rainy or humid day will cause these cookies to not set correctly.
5. Don’t skip the cream of tartar
6. Whisk the sugar mixture well and make sure there are no sugar granules in the stove-top chocolate mixture before moving to the next step.
7. Store the cookies correctly. Wrap the cookies in plastic wrap individually and store them in an airtight container.
8. Make them thick! I use two scoops per cookie (2 Tablespoons) Thick cookies have the best texture once set.
Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
Rather than spending a huge part of your day making a cheesecake from scratch, make these no-bake cheesecake bars. They’re still creamy and delicious but a lot less work. Lime gelatin and key lime wedges give these bars their tang, while cream cheese and cottage cheese (yes, cottage cheese!) make them smooth and creamy. This no-bake dessert might even be gobbled up faster than key lime pie.
Choose-Your-Flavor Edible Cookie Dough
If you find yourself reaching for a taste of the cookie dough before your cookies go in the oven, here’s an easy no-bake dessert to try. In order to make raw flour safe for eating, all you have to do is spread it on a shallow baking pan and pop it in the oven for a few minutes. From there, you can build the cookie dough of your dreams. Choose from chocolate chips, sprinkles, peanut butter cups, you name it!
No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies
Use the base of these impossible-to-mess-up cookies as your launchpad, then stir in some additions to make them your own. Unsweetened shredded coconut, almond extract, chocolate peanut butter or Nutella, and chopped nuts all add extra depth to these cookies. Use a crunchy peanut butter or almond butter if you like too.
Get the No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies recipe.
No-Bake Peanut Butter-Oat Bites
Reminiscent of peanut butter cookies, this no-bake cookie recipe is peanut butter and honey at its core. Coconut, oats, chocolate, and fruit make these bites look pretty, but they also amp up the flavor. Roll each ball through shredded coconut before chilling to give the exterior a fancier finish.
No-Bake Lemon Drops
Get ready to pucker up for this no-bake cookie recipe. It’s got a double dose of sour. Tangy crushed lemon drop candies are mixed into the cookie, and then each ball is rolled through even more crushed candies. Though these no-bake lemon cookies are small, they pack a ton of citrus flavor into a one-bite dessert.
Prizewinning Caramel Apple Bars
These six-ingredient bars may look complex, but they only take 25 minutes to toss together. Let them sit for an hour before enjoying the peanut buttery, caramel-appley, nutty fusion of flavor. Indulging in one of these yummy no-bake bars is healthier than having a traditional caramel apple for dessert thanks to the higher protein and smaller serving size.
White Chocolate-Cranberry Crispy Treats
These crispy bars are a jazzed-up version of the classic rice cereal treats. Make them stand out by adding your favorite dried fruit, chopped nuts, and flavored baking pieces. You can easily make these no-bake dessert bars a treat for the holidays by mixing in nutmeg, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans.
Raid the cookie and candy aisles to jazz these up—a bit of crushed candy or changing up the variety of Oreo can add a fun boost of flavor and color to your truffles. Make sure to save a little extra too, so you can top each truffle with some crumbs.
Get the Oreo Truffles recipe.
No-Bake Irish Cream Pudding Bars
Just as good as no-bake peanut butter bars, this chocolate peanut butter cookie is essentially the same thing in bite-size ball form. Dark chocolate pairs with creamy peanut butter in these decadent treats. And you can make your homemade truffles look like they came from a fancy bakery by sprinkling with chopped peanuts before the chocolate is set.
4-Layer Nougat Bars
These gorgeous no-bake bars are SO pretty when they’re sliced. You can truly appreciate the layers of pistachio-graham cracker crust, pistachio pudding, and luscious chocolate ganache. With a sprinkle of extra pistachios on top, this pistachio dessert is eye-catching and enticing even before you make the first cut.
Tip #1 The Secret Ingredient for the BEST No-Bake Cookies
So right out the gate, let’s just start with the secret ingredient to getting the best ever no-bake cookies. And that my friend is cream of tartar. It’s not an ingredient that’s included in the old-fashioned no-bake cookie recipes but it adds a bit of forgiveness to your no-bake cookies that will set them apart.
What does cream of tartar do for no-bake cookies? Cream of tartar is a white powdery stabilizer made from tartaric acid. You can find it in the baking aisle. A lot of fudge makers swear by this ingredient for creating the creamiest fudge that sets up beautifully.
Since no-bake cookies are pretty much just peanut butter fudge loaded with oats, it’s a huge winning ingredient! Cream of tartar not only helps prevent crystallization (which causes that crusty no-bake cookie) but will also help the cookies set up, resulting in a no-bake cookie with the PERFECT creamy texture.
No-Bake Butterscotch-Pretzel Bars
A pretzel-peanut butter crust holds these bars together but lets the butterscotch flavor shine. Everything about this dessert is delicious (you can’t go wrong with peanut butter desserts, after all), but it’s the combination of salty and sweet in every bite that makes this one of our best no-bake bars.
How to Make No-Bake Cookies
- In a bowl, whisk together sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and cream of tartar until no lumps remain. Set aside
- In a large, deep non-stick skillet melt butter over medium-low heat.
- Add milk.
- Pour in the sugar mixture and stir using a rubber spatula.
- Stir until all sugar has dissolved, being sure to scrape down the sides of the pot. Increase the heat if needed but do not simmer. (I check for granules by rubbing the mixture between my fingers. If it feels smooth, then you’re ready to move on to the next step.)
- Once the sugar has melted, increase the heat to a rolling boil over medium heat while continuing to stir.. (meaning the middle should have large bubbles)
- Once the mixture has come to a full rolling boil, set the timer for 2 minutes.
- Insert a thermometer and cook the mixture until it reaches 230-234 F. Do not stir. (You have 2 minutes to reach this temperature so adjust your heat up or down.)
- Once the temperature is reached, remove from heat and quickly stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract.
- Once incorporated, quickly stir in the oats just until combined.
- Next, stir in 1-2 tablespoons of milk until the mixture is creamy.
- Using a mini cookie scoop, drop two scoops per cookie onto the prepared pans.
- Store cooled cookies wrapped individually in plastic wrap and placed in an airtight container.
What happens if I don’t get to 230-243 F. within the 2 minutes? If you get to 230-234 quicker than two minutes you can reduce the heat to lower the temperature so that it stays in that range. If after 2 minutes you still haven’t reached 230 then it’s ok to cook it a tad bit longer, but try to increase or decrease your heat so that it reaches between 230-234 close to the end of 2 minutes. Once the mixture comes to a full boil it will already be very hot so it won’t take long.
What if I don’t have a thermometer? Run to the store and pick one up. They really come in handy and are about $5 at Walmart or Amazon. It really is the best way to ensure your mixture gets hot enough, without having to guess & pray using the counting method.
Can I add salt? Since I use salted peanut butter I skip the salt. You can add it if you’d like.
Can I replace some of the butter with coconut oil? Yes, you can, but this will result in a softer set cookie, with a slight oiliness. Butter is best.
Are no-bake cookies gluten-free? You can use gluten-free oats. Make sure it’s 1-minute quick-cooking oats.
Can I use low-sodium, high potassium peanut butter? Sure whatever creamy brand you like to eat will work.
How many calories are in this cookie? Check the calorie counter in the recipe card to see calories, protein, calcium, cholesterol, and other recipe info.
Why did my no-bake cookies not set? Be sure that you reach at least 230 F on your thermometer. Also if your kitchen is very humid, that may result in a softer set.
Can you make no-bake cookies without parchment paper? Yes, you can place them on wax paper or a Silpat mat.
Will no-bake cookies set on foil? Yes, they will.
Can I make no-bake cookies without peanut butter? The peanut butter is used for flavor and to help thicken the no-bake cookies and make them creamy. It’s an essential ingredient. However, you can change up the type of peanut butter used and go for almond or cashew butter if preferred.
How is this recipe different than the classic no-bake cookie recipe?
This recipe uses less butter and slightly more milk. It also includes cream of tartar, less oatmeal and a longer, no-stir cooking time. The use of a thermometer ensures a perfect set every time! These simple changes create an improved no-bake cookie that still retains that classic, old-fashioned flavor.
PHOTO: ANDREW BUI; FOOD STYLING: BROOKE CAISON
Topped with fruit syrups, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry, few desserts are as recognizable as an ice cream sundae, and this recipe will help you make the ultimate version. The truly classic banana split features strawberry and pineapple syrup as well as chocolate sauce, so we’ve got it all for you here.
Get the Banana Split recipe.
This recipe is really simple, but toffee in general can be a littttlllleee fussy. Our biggest piece of advice: WHISK CONSTANTLY! The moment you walk away from the saucepan, the butter and sugar will separate.
Get the Chocolate Toffee recipe.
Tip #4 That Last Splash of Milk
Once you are at the final step of mixing in the oats, stir in two more tablespoons of milk until the mixture is super creamy. Don’t ask why because I don’t know. It’s just something that works. Every.Single.Time. Maybe mom just did it because she forgot to add it to the original milk, but I swear even when I do add this extra amount it still needs about two tablespoons at the end to get it super creamy. Who knows, just do it. It works.
Peanut-lovers, add this peanut butter no-bake cookie recipe to the very top of your list of desserts to try. Chocolate and peanut butter help hold together honey roasted peanuts and mini marshmallows in this tasty crunchy and chewy dessert. The recipe makes about 45 servings, so you’ll be able to serve a crowd.
Test Kitchen Tip: Prepare these no-bake treats on baking sheets lined with waxed paper to prevent sticking and have less mess to deal with later.
As this no-bake cookie recipe proves, chocolate and raspberry are a truly decadent combination. Spread sweet raspberry jam between two chocolate wafers, then add a thick layer of chocolate icing and let it drip over the side for effect. For a fresh finish, try adding a raspberry on top of this no-bake dessert (before the chocolate fully hardens).
The best no bake cookies with a secret ingredient! So smooth and dense!
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- cream of tartar
- whole milk, warm
- creamy peanut butter
- vanilla extract (optional)
- 1-minute Quick-cooking oats
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and cream of tartar until no lumps remain. Set aside
- In a large, deep non-stick skillet melt butter over medium-low heat.
- Stir in milk.
- Pour sugar mixture into skillet and stir using a rubber spatula.
- Stir until all sugar has dissolved, being sure to scrape down the sides of the pot. Increase the heat if needed but do not simmer. (I check for granules by rubbing the mixture between my fingers. If it feels smooth, you’re ready to move on to the next step. For the next step, get your thermometer and make sure your timer is ready for 2 minutes.)
- Once the sugar has melted, increase the heat to a rolling boil over medium heat while continuing to stir. (A rolling boil means the middle should have large rolling bubbles and not just simmering)
- As soon as the mixture has come to a full rolling boil, set the timer for 2 minutes.
- Insert a thermometer and cook the mixture until it reaches 230-234 F. Do not stir. (You have 2 minutes to reach this temperature, so adjust your heat up or down.)
- Once the 2 minutes is up and you’ve reached the temperature between 230-234, remove from heat and quickly stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract, if using.
- Once incorporated, quickly stir in the oats just until combined.
- Next, stir in 1-2 tablespoons of milk until the mixture is creamy.
- Using a mini cookie scoop, drop two scoops per cookie onto the prepared pans.
- Store completely cooled cookies wrapped individually in plastic wrap and placed in an airtight container. The taste gets even better the n next day!
Yummy No-Bake Bars
Peanut butter and chocolate are like the PB&J of the dessert world: a perfect match! This is especially true in the form of no-bake peanut butter bars. A sweet peanut butter-cereal crust is topped with layers of creamy vanilla pudding and rich chocolate frosting. If you want to add a little crunch to your no-bake bars, add a sprinkle of peanuts on top.
No-Bake Browned Butter Cookie Dough Bars
If you love edible cookie dough, these no-bake bars are a must-make. Stick with our classic browned butter chocolate chip or try one of our variations like cake batter, monster cookie, and peanut butter cup. We recommend baking a batch and storing them in the freezer for up to 3 months so you’ve got a treat whenever a craving hits!
No-Bake Cookies 101
My mom was the king daddy of no-bake cookies.
Every year my elementary school had a bake sale and it was like every mother had the idea to make these peanut butter chocolate no-bake cookies. Probably because they are so quick and easy, I’m sure.
Every year we were the only table to sell out completely. People really looked forward to my mom’s no-bake cookies and from scanning the other identical cookies at the bake sale, I knew why!
The other no-bake cookies looked crumbly, dry, ashy, and crusty.
My mom’s no-bake cookies were smooth, thick, and creamy. Almost like eating the best peanut butter fudge loaded with oats. They tasted amazing at every stage: barely set, all-the-way set, and even somehow managed to taste even better the next day.
After this post, you too will be the King Daddy of no-bake cookies! Are you ready? Let’s talk about all things no-bake cookies!
Neapolitan Marshmallow Treats
The classic Neapolitan flavors, chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, shine in these easy marshmallow treats. Take a cue from on of our BHG home cooks and customize it with your favorite flavors. “I used raspberry jam instead of strawberry!”
Dulce de Leche Pretzel Bites
Sweet-and-salty pretzel bites easily make any dessert plate look more festive. A decadent dulce de leche filling is sandwiched between two crunchy pretzels then covered with vanilla candy coating. Since dulce de leche is sticky enough to hold the pretzels together on its own, this is a rare no-bake cookie recipe without peanut butter (great news for anyone with allergies!).
This chocolate no-bake cookie recipe might trick your guests into thinking you spent all day baking in the kitchen. But really, these easy chocolate-cherry treats don’t require much effort. Just sandwich a scoop of creamy cherry filling between two vanilla wafers, dip in melted chocolate, add sprinkles if you’re feeling fancy, and let them cool. You’ll have a showstopping dessert in minutes not hours.
Cranberry-Vanilla Cereal Drops
Maybe our fastest no-bake cookies ever, these crunchy gems take just a few minutes to assemble once you melt the candy coating. Even better, you only need five ingredients to make these cookies. Since they’re so speedy, simple, and delicious, we’re ready to name them our best no-bake cookie recipe ever when time is at a premium.
Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Any collection of no-bake dessert bars must include cheesecake bars, like this chocolate version. Spike the cream cheese frosting with chocolate liqueur for a rich, boozy finish. Top off this sweet recipe with chocolate chips to add even more decadence to these extra-chocolaty bars.
Fantasy fudge is a shortcut fudge that is just as good as the real thing. Our two favorite things about it are that 1) it’s quick to make and 2) it’s totally customizable! Not only can you use any chocolate you like, but you can also choose whatever mix-ins you want.
Get the Fantasy Fudge recipe.
No-Bake Cake Batter Puppy Chow Bars
Colorful sprinkles and vanilla extract are the secrets to capturing the flavor of cake batter in these no-bake bars. Toss them with butter, marshmallows, cereal, and vanilla candy coating to make this easy treat. A final sprinkle of powdered sugar is the finishing touch.
If you need a quick and easy dessert idea, these peanut butter and chocolate confetti squares are the perfect thing. They are a breeze to put together and after a quick chill in the fridge, everyone will go crazy for them. Rainbow marshmallows make for an extra fun pop of color, so use them instead of boring ‘ole white.
Get the Confetti Squares recipe.