No Bake Cookies Without Peanut Butter

no bake cookies

No-bake cookies are perfect for a hot summer day when you feel the need for something sweet but you are terrified of turning on the oven. Or for any moment when you are in a hurry. Or for any time when you just don’t want to bake something but you want cookies.

Besides, having a batch of cookies at hand is always a good idea. I can’t think of anyone who can refuse a delicious, chewy and chocolatey cookie. They can be enjoyed for breakfast, dessert or even a quick snack.

There are plenty of recipes out there and most of them use peanut butter. It has the role of keeping all the ingredients together and bring a chewy texture. Nonetheless, no-bake cookies can be also made without peanut butter and still stick together. 

No-bake cookies need an ingredient to help them set up. In this case, oats fulfill the duty of nut butter. Combined with something liquid, oats become sticky and one can easily create the cookies. 

no bake cookies

What type of oats should I use?

Usually, quick oats are best as they soften faster. However, rolled oats or old-fashioned oats work just fine, you only need to let them soak for longer in the chocolate sauce and the cookies will be a bit crunchier.

How do the no-bake cookies stiffen?

These cookies contain butter and chocolate which harden in the refrigerator. It takes about one hour for the cookies to set.

Also Check: Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Brown Sugar

Substitutes for Peanut Butter in no-bake cookies

As previously said, peanut butter can be successfully replaced with oats.

Another alternative would be to use other type of nut butter, like almond, cashew or sunflower seeds butter. Soy butter or tahini have a similar texture. Apple butter is also a good substitute. Just keep in mind that the taste of the cookies will change in each of these cases.

What will you need?

no bake cookies ingredients

  • Butter – use grass-fed butter, preferably. It tastes better and has a richer texture.
  • Chocolate – I used milk chocolate but feel free to choose any type of chocolate you prefer, even chocolate chips. Most of the no-bake cookies recipes use cocoa powder, still I prefer chocolate since it has a better taste in my opinion. In addition, the cocoa butter in chocolate gives the cookies a richer consistency.
  • Milk – you may use any type of milk, even vegetable one. 
  • Sugar – brown sugar is one of my favorites for this recipe. Yet, granulated sugar, coconut sugar or xylitol are also a perfect match. Liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or date puree are fine too but in this case, use less milk. 
  • Salt – you could probably ask yourself why someone uses salt in sweet treats. Salt has the ability of enhancing flavors and just a pinch of it will do this and bring to surface all the essences of the ingredients.
  • Oats – this recipe works best with quick oats. But since I couldn’t find them in the store this time, I added rolled oats instead. After mixing them in the chocolate sauce, I set aside the pan for about ten minutes so they had time to soak in all the liquid and soften.
  • Dried cranberries – cranberries pair perfectly with oats and add a sweet and sour aroma to the cookies.
  • Almonds – usually, I prefer my cookies a bit crunchy and I seldom add nuts or seeds to the batter. This time, I chose crushed almonds.

Options for vegan no-bake cookies

Grass-fed butter can be replaced with coconut oil. In this case, reduce the quantity a bit, with about 10%-15%. Coconut oil contains more fat than butter and the cookies may turn out a bit greasy if replacing butter with oil.

Coconut oil tastes great but not everybody likes it in cookies. Unrefined oil will definitely bring a slight coconut flavor so you may use refined oil if you don’t like the taste. There are also different brands of vegan butter which are suitable for this recipe.

When making vegan cookies, add dark chocolate in place of milk chocolate since the first one doesn’t contain any dairy.

Also pay attention to the type of milk you use: choose a vegetable alternative for vegan no-bake cookies.

Options for gluten-free no-bake cookies

Make sure you buy gluten-free oats. Unfortunately, oats can’t be replaced with other cereal for this recipe since the cookies won’t have the same texture.

Tips for making the best no-bake cookies

crushed almonds

  1. If you don’t have crushed almonds, place the whole ones in a plastic bag and use a meat hammer to crush and bring them to the desired size.
  2. Depending on the type of chocolate used, you might want to adjust the sugar quantity. I used milk chocolate so I only added one teaspoon of sugar. If working with unsweetened dark chocolate, use all the sugar quantity.
  3. Don’t forget to diminish the milk quantity if using a liquid sweetener so that the oats can soak in all the liquid.
  4. Let the butter and chocolate melt over low heat. When everything is well combined, boil for 1-2 minutes and then remove from heat. Add the oats to the pan immediately. Oats soften quicker when placed in warm or hot liquid.
  5. When using quick oats, five minutes are enough for them to soften in the chocolate syrup. Rolled oats need about ten minutes to become sticky and chewy.
  6. Allow the cookies to rest in the fridge for at least one hour before enjoying them. After preparing these no-bake cookies several times, I discovered that they taste best after about four hours or if kept in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Instead of cranberries and almonds, you may add desiccated coconut, dates or raisins. 
  8. Some flavored extracts could be a great addition to these no-bake cookies. You may try vanilla or even almond or orange. Do not use more than ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and ¼ teaspoon of almond or orange since the last two are stronger and may affect the taste.

Also Check: Pancakes Without Eggs

How to Make No-bake Cookies without Peanut Butter

Step 1


  • Place the chocolate, butter, milk, brown sugar and salt in a pan.


  • Bring to a boil over low heat and cook for 1-2 minutes. 

Step 2


  • Remove from heat and add the oats, cranberries and almonds.


  • Stir well and set aside for 10 minutes.

Step 3


  • Line a tray with parchment paper.
  • Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to take small amounts of batter. Roll or press the batter with your hands to create cookies.

Step 4

  • Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
No Bake Cookies Without Peanut Butter

No Bake Cookies Without Peanut Butter

Yield: 16 cookies
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes


  • 2.5 oz (70 g) milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) grass-fed butter 
  • 3 tbsp milk 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 ¼ cups (200 g) rolled oats
  • ½ cup (65 g) dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (70 g) crushed almonds


  1. Place the chocolate, butter, milk, brown sugar and salt in a pan. Bring to a boil over low heat and cook for 1-2 minutes. 
  2. Remove from heat and add the oats, cranberries and almonds. Stir well and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Line a tray with parchment paper.
  4. Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to take small amounts of batter. Roll or press the batter with your hands to create cookies.
  5. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
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