Cookies, Dessert

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Are you looking for a sweet treat that doesn’t require the oven?  These no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are just the thing to satisfy your sweet tooth without having to heat up the kitchen from the oven.  They are especially popular with kids, and always disappear quickly at our small group Bible studies.  In our circle of friends, these no bake cookies definitely make the list of Top 5 Favorite Cookies.

person holding a no bake chocolate oatmeal cookie

An interesting bit of history is that these no bake cookies can also be called preacher cookies.  Ladies would whip up a batch of these chocolatey cookies when they saw the preacher coming up their driveway for a visit.  The recipe took basic pantry ingredients and were ready to eat in about an hour.  The funny part is that these no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are actually my pastor’s favorite cookie.  😊

ingredients for no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

Why are my no bake cookies too dry?

Believe it or not, the ambient air temperature doesn’t affect whether your no bake cookies will harden or not.  It’s all about the temperature of the cookie batter before the peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and oats are added.  Basically, this step is similar to making fudge.  Cool, right? 😍 However, it’s super important to let the fudge cook until it reaches precisely 230 F on a candy thermometer.  If you let the fudge get above 230 F, the cookies will harden waaay too fast, and be super dry and crumbly.  Yep, it’s happened to me more than once. 😉

some ingredients for no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies in a pot

Why aren’t my no bake cookies hardening?

Chances are, you haven’t cooked the ‘fudge’ (the liquid chocolate part of this recipe) long enough.  It’s extremely important to get the fudge to exactly 230 F when you’re cooking it on the stove top.  If you’re stuck with a batch of gooey cookies, pop them in the freezer until hard, then enjoy.  They’ll still taste fantastic!

How long does it take to harden no bake cookies?

It takes about 35 minutes, or even up to 1 hour depending on how long the fudge mixture was cooked and the humidity in the room.  If the cookies weren’t made correctly, or if it’s too humid in your kitchen, the cookies may not set properly at all.  Make sure to use a candy thermometer when you make these cookies!

no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies on a cookie sheet

Does the humidity affect my no bake cookies?

The humidity can slow down the cookies’ hardening, or stop it altogether if it’s really humid.  If you are making the cookies on a really humid day, boil the mixture a little bit longer–to about 235 or 240 F to encourage it to set properly.  Don’t let the mixture get too hot, though, or the cookies will be dry and crumbly!

Looking for other delicious treats that don’t need the oven?  You’ll want to try these ones.

person holding a cookie sheet of no bake buckeyes person holding a frozen grasshopper pie white plate of banana pudding with a drink and two spoons

Did you make these no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies?  Please leave a recipe rating and review to share how you liked them.

person holding a cookie sheet of no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American


No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, also known as preacher cookies, are a fun dessert made with old fashioned oats, cocoa powder, and other pantry ingredients.  These fudgy cookies are an easy, gluten free treat that kids love!


  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar (346g)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (20g)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (118 ml)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed (115g)
  • 1/2 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter (128g)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 to 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (160-240g)


  1. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or wax paper.  Measure out all the ingredients.
  2. Whisk together the granulated sugar and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan until blended.  Add the milk and butter and set over medium high heat, stirring constantly until all the butter has melted and it’s evenly mixed.
  3. Bring the fudge mixture up to a full boil, keeping the pot uncovered.  Insert a candy thermometer and let the mixture cook until it reaches 230 F, stirring frequently, then immediately take it off the heat.
  4. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt until thoroughly mixed, then gradually add enough oats to get a thick and fudgy, but not dry, consistency.
  5. Drop the mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Allow the cookies to harden at room temperature, about 35 minutes to 1 hour, then serve.  Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.


  • Increase the cocoa powder to 1/2 cup if you’re looking for a stronger chocolate flavor (like I did in the cookie photos for this recipe).
  • Change up the texture by using quick oats instead of the old-fashioned rolled oats.  Experiment to see which kind or combination of the two your family likes.
  • If the cookies aren’t hardening up, try chilling them in the fridge for 30 minutes or freezing them.  Don’t worry; they’ll still taste wonderful!

Keywords: no bake cookies, chocolate oatmeal cookies, peanut butter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *