What’s better than chocolate oatmeal cookies? No-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, of course!
Some of our best cookie recipes are chewy and aromatic, perfect when warm from the oven. Even still, no-bake cookies have some pretty major perks. You don’t need to turn on the oven, so they’re the ideal no-bake summer desserts. And since the cookies don’t need to bake, you don’t need to worry about underbaking or overbaking them. They’ll turn out just right no matter what.
These no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are endlessly adaptable to suit your tastes, with mix-ins and flavor swaps galore. Here’s how to make them at home.
Ingredients for No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
- Quick-cooking oats: Chewy oatmeal cookies rely on—of course!—oats to taste great. Make sure to buy quick-cooking oats, which will soften up nicely using the method below. Hardier oats, such as rolled, will not work in this recipe. (If you can find gluten-free quick-cooking oats, you may use them!)
- Milk: Milk adds both flavor and moisture to the cookies, helping to bind them together without heat. You can use any type of milk, from whole milk to nonfat to nondairy (our Test Kitchen ranked the best nondairy milks).
- Shredded coconut: Shredded coconut offsets the chewiness of the oats and makes for a more tender cookie. It also adds a gentle sweetness and subtle flavor.
Step 1: Boil sugar, milk and butter
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, milk and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the sugar dissolves. Boil for two minutes. Remove from heat.
Step 2: Stir in the oats and flavorings
Taking care not to splash, stir in the oats, coconut, cocoa and vanilla. Stir until the cocoa is well distributed. The batter should be uniform in color.
Step 3: Form cookies
Working quickly, drop the batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. There’s no need to leave much extra space around the cookies, as they won’t spread very much.
Step 4: Let stand
Let the cookies stand until set, about one hour. If it’s a very hot or humid day, this step may take a bit longer.
That’s it! No need to preheat the oven. No need to bake. The cookies are ready to enjoy right now. Serve with a big cup of milk as an after-school snack, a mid-morning energy booster, or even a quick dessert.
No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies Variations
- Add peanut butter: Add flavor and protein with some peanut butter! Stir 1/2 cup peanut butter into the mixture in the saucepan after Step 1. Continue with the recipe as written.
- Add a nut butter: Feel free to add almond butter or another healthy nut butter instead of peanut butter.
- Stir in your favorite mix-ins: Chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and raisins (or all three!) are all classic additions to oatmeal cookies. Other dried fruits, such as cranberries or chopped apricots, are also tasty add-ins. Stir into the cookies at the end of Step 2.
- Top with flaky sea salt: Love sweet-and-savory flavors? Sprinkle on some flaky sea salt. Think coarse flakes, not fine granules. Here’s our guide to the types of salt.
How to Store No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Store cookies in an airtight container or resealable bag at room temperature for up to five days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
How to Freeze No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
No-bake cookies freeze well. After the cookies set, place them on a baking sheet, and chill in the freezer for a few hours, until solid. Transfer the frozen cookies to an airtight container, and store in the freezer up to three months. Defrost in the fridge or microwave.
No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies Tips
What type of oats are best for no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies?
Quick-cooking oats, as the name suggests, cook quickly. Quick-cooking oats are steamed and rolled thinner than other types of oats, so they’re quick to soften, even with the minimal cooking in this recipe. Heartier oats, such as steel-cut or rolled, won’t soften up enough in this recipe.
Can you make chocolate oatmeal cookies with dairy-free milk?
Yes, these cookies can be made using dairy-free milk! We suggest using a milk that you like the flavor of—oat milk would be a natural pairing. If you’d like to turn these into vegan cookies, you can swap in your favorite vegan butter. Note that replacing the butter with an alternative such as oil will not work well in this recipe.