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Classic No Bake Cookies

Making candy and anything that requires boiling to a set temperature is never my thing. But these classic no bake cookies are easy, easy, easy and don’t require any of the fuss of candy making.

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no bake cookies on a table with a big glass of milk

This cookie starts wars. Big ones.

No bake cookies have been around for decades, and so has this recipe. It’s nothing new, but it’s mine and it’s made the way that I like a no bake. I like mine soft-ish.

I’ve eaten some that are hard. Like a sugar-coated, grainy, dry, hard rock. Gag.

When I posted this recipe originally I called it a “no fail no bake” because (I’m still sticking to my story) that these have never failed to set up for me. Well, after about 500,000 Facebook views I received more than one nasty comment from readers saying things like “These are terrible!” and “Mine ran all over the counter and I had to throw them all out! What a waste!” and my personal favorite” “Three cups of oats?! That’s absurd! Who puts three cups of oats in a no bake cookie?!

Oh snap. I do lady, I do.

no bake cookies on a pan with milk and cocoa powder on the side

But being the professional that I am, I held my peace and said nothing.

So here’s what I say before you try these: they come out soft. They hold together, but they are soft. Be warned. And remember there are starving children in Africa, civil wars ruining lives, and bad things happening everywhere–this, IS A COOKIE. Let’s keep some perspective, shall we?

no bake cookies on a table with a big glass of milk

Classic No Bake Cookies

A traditional no bake cookie that sets up soft and delicious.
5 from 8 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 528kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard


  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter almond or sunflower may work as well
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Cook the first four ingredients in a sauce pan over medium high until the butter melts completely and the sugar dissolves most of the way. 
  • Allow the mixture to just start to bubble and cook one minute over medium-low heat.  
  • Turn off heat and add the peanut butter, oats and vanilla and stir well. 
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper to cool. Allow a longer set time for humid days or you may need to place them in the fridge to firm.


Calories: 528kcal
Recipe Rating

Stephanie Andrewski

Sunday 25th of July 2021

I love your no-bake cookies and so does my family but I have a question about your recipe and that is can I use can milk in place of evaporated milk in the recipe. Thank you so much, we enjoy the recipes.

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 3rd of August 2021

I'm sorry I'm just getting to your question Stephanie. I have used a dash of milk in the past when I was out of evaporated. It worked fine. --Rachel

Erin Kachadurian

Monday 21st of December 2020

Oh, good heavens! I’m blown away by how delicious these super simple cookies turned out! Rich, chewy and couldn’t have been easier to make. I only wish I had doubled the recipe, they’re that good. Thank you. ♥️

Rachel Ballard

Monday 21st of December 2020

I'm so glad Erin! --Rachel


Thursday 23rd of July 2020

This recipe for no bake cookies is perfect — it is “no fail” — just follow it exactly and wallah! (I double check that the mixture is done by testing for soft ball stage — drip a few drops in water and if it forms a soft ball it’s ready) I’ve been making them for years and this is the one!

Rachel Ballard

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

So glad you enjoy them Regina. I never test for soft ball but if that works for you--wonderful! They are delicious! --Rachel


Friday 17th of April 2020

Dear Rachel, Will these turn out the same if I eliminate the peanut butter? Just wanted regular chocolate no bakes. Thank you!

Rachel Ballard

Friday 17th of April 2020

Hey Michele, I haven't tested this recipe without the peanut butter and I'd be afraid to tell you to try this recipe without it. It's sort of a delicate balance of texture with this. I'd recommend you try finding a version that's been tested without the peanut butter just to be safe. --Rachel

Lori Danielle

Tuesday 14th of April 2020

If I don't put vanilla in what's it gonna taste different or what should I wait till tomorrow and go get valid the store it's not really a big deal for may come tonight or tomorrow

Rachel Ballard

Wednesday 15th of April 2020

Lori they would taste fine without the vanilla if you're out. It just adds a bit of depth to the flavor. --Rachel

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