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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.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 people
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
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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  1. My daughter always loved these cookies. She is now a new mom and wants to boost her milk production. Oats are in a lot of recipes for boosting lactation, but I was wondering how the recipe would change if I added flaxseed and brewers yeast which are the two most common ingredients I have found for lactation. And how much should I add?

    1. Hey Tammy–adding flaxseed would be tricky because it many recipes it serves as a thickener or even a replacement for eggs which is going to significantly alter the structure of the cookie. I can’t give you any direction on adding either of those ingredients to this recipe since I’ve never tested it but feel free to try it and report back with your findings! Just be careful with those flax seeds since they gel and expand. –Rachel

  2. 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.

    1. 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

    2. yes in always have and my family asks me to make no bakes for every and I mean every event lol.

  3. 5 stars
    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. ♥️

  4. 5 stars
    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!

    1. Yes, both Regina’s agree! I time it exactly one minute at rolling boil, no more no less, and then a few drops into water to double check. If it forms a ball it’s ready. Been making these this way about 40 years. Fast, easy, delicious!

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

    1. 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

  6. 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

    1. @Charity, I freeze these every time I make them. My recipe calls for regular milk, so will try with leftover evaporated milk. The rest of my recipe is exactly the same.

  7. Could you possibly do a video on making these cookies? They are my FAV, but mine never turn out right?. I’m making your Mac and cheese for dinner tonight, never made it homemade before. Wish me luck!??

    1. Hey Lynne, I sure can. What do yours turn out like right now? These are really more candy than they are cookies and there are some tricks to it but nothing hard! I’ll get that video on my list for YouTube. –Rachel

    2. Thank you Rachel!! ? Mine always turn out hard, crumbly and not shiny. I know that means that I have cooked the chocolate too long, but I don’t think I do??‍♀️??‍♀️ I just want to see exactly where you start timing yours. .

    3. I start timing mine as soon as I see a bubble in the pot. The longer you cook the sugar the harder they will be. I hate mine hard! I stir just until I can “feel” that the sugar has dissolved and I turn off the heat. Video to come. –Rachel

    1. Nope Anita, the vanilla wouldn’t do it. Make sure you gave them a full minute at a full rolling boil–not just a simmer. That’s usually the difference. –Rachel

  8. 5 stars
    I’m not a baker! I can make a mean casserole or pasta dish! This recipe for no bake cookies was awesome turned out awesome. Great simple recipe

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.