Vegan No-Bake Cookies

These Vegan No-Bake Cookies are decadent and delicious. This recipe requires only a few ingredients and is so easy to make, you don’t even have to turn on your oven! Loaded with peanut butter, oats, and chocolate, these cookies are perfect for snacking, desserts, and even brunches. These are the best no-bake cookies, taste-tested by non-vegans who love them!

A stack of vegan no-bake cookies shows the top one with a bite taken out.

I don’t remember how old I was the first time I tried vegan chocolate oatmeal no-bake cookies, all I remember was loving them. A lifelong fan of peanut butter and chocolate chips combined together, these cookies were right in my wheelhouse.

I shared these cookies at my book reading club and they were a hit! I love baking but the idea of a no-bake vegan cookies recipe is alluring, especially in the summer months. Another example of a no-bake cookie is my recipe for Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Energy Bites. That recipe requires only a food processor and a cookie scoop.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Using instant oats keeps this recipe easy to make and creates the best texture for no-bake cookies
  • Coconut oil is the perfect fat for these cookies because it’s easy to use and adds a hint of coconut flavor
  • Using creamy peanut butter infuses these cookies with peanut butter flavor and texture.
Ingredients are laid out on a white background. The labels next to them read, white & brown sugar, vanilla, peanut butter, oats, coconut oil, cocoa powder, and plant-based milk.

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Coconut oil — You can use refined or unrefined coconut oil. Want to make your vegan no-bake cookies without coconut oil? Substitute vegan butter.
  • Plant-based milk — You can use your favorite plant-based milk, whether it’s vanilla or plain.
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cocoa powder — I prefer using natural unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Peanut butter — I recommend using creamy peanut butter.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Oats — I recommend using quick-cooking or instant oats.

Ingredient Spotlight

A bowl is full of old-fashioned oats, waiting to be cooked.

What Oats are Best for No-Bake Cookies

Oats come in a variety of forms, from steel-cut, to old-fashioned, to instant. That’s just to name a few! The best oats for no-bake cookies are instant oats. That’s because instant oats are actually pre-cooked, then pressed and dried. As a result, they’re thinner and less bulky. They absorb moisture more readily and create the perfect texture for no-bake cookies. You can use rolled oats (also referred to as old-fashioned oats), but it will impact the consistency and texture of your cookies.

How to Make Vegan No-Bake Cookies

  1. Heat the coconut oil, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and keep it there for one minute (use a timer to get this exact).
  3. Remove the pan from the heat at exactly one minute.
  4. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.
  5. Pour in the oats and stir to combine.
  6. Use a cookie scoop to drop the hot cookie batter onto prepared baking sheets.
  7. Set cookies aside to allow them to set.

Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions.

Step One: Prepare the Chocolate Sauce

  1. In a saucepan combine the coconut oil, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder.
  2. Stir over medium heat until everything has melted.
  3. Keep it at medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil and keep it there for one minute (use a timer to get this exact).
  4. Remove the pan from heat.

Step Two: Make the Dough

To make the vegan no-bake cookie dough, you’ll add a few more ingredients while the chocolate mixture is still hot.

  1. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.
    A saucepan is full of chocolate batter. A green spatula is stirring the ingredients.
  2. Continue stirring until the peanut butter is melted and combined with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Pour in the oats and stir to combine.

Step Three: Scoop and Set

  1. Use a cookie scoop to drop rounded cookie balls onto prepared baking sheets. You can hover the pan a few inches over the counter and drop it a few times to flatten the cookies slightly.
  2. Set cookies aside to allow them to set. This can take about an hour at room temperature but can be sped up by placing them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Storage Tips

Store these cookies in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days. You can even freeze these vegan no-bake peanut butter cookies and we do that all the time. Simply make up a batch and once you’ve placed them on a sheet of waxed paper to firm up, transfer that tray to the freezer. Once the cookies have frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to two months.

History of Oatmeal Drop Cookies

The story goes that no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies used to be called preacher cookies because you could see the preacher down the road and have them ready by the time he arrived at your door.

Recipes for no-bake cookies show up around the time of the Great Depression and that makes sense. It’s a little like my chocolate wacky cake recipe (also inspired during the time of the depression) because ingredients were harder to come by and people had to get creative in the kitchen. Also, they didn’t have air conditioners in every home like they do today and so I imagine they were looking for ways to feed people without heating up the oven.

That’s another reason these vegan no-bake oatmeal cookies are so popular in the summer months. No oven required!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use old-fashioned oats to make no-bake cookies?

You can use either old-fashioned oats (referred to as rolled oats) or quick-cook oats to make vegan chocolate no-bake cookies. I prefer quick cook oats (otherwise known as instant oats) because they create a very soft texture in the cookie. Rolled oats are more firm and create a chewier cookie. However, if you prefer using rolled oats, give them a quick pulse or two in a food processor before adding to the chocolate batter.

Do no-bake cookies need to be refrigerated?

It’s a good idea to keep no-bake cookies refrigerated so they stay fresh, especially in hot summer months. Besides, keeping them chilled in the fridge creates a little more crunch to the crust of the cookie thanks to the firming up of the coconut oil.

Why do my cookies not spread?

Getting the temperature right is important so the cookie batter will spread as you spoon it out onto the pan. If your batter has cooled off, you can pop it in the microwave and cook in 10- to 20-second increments until the batter is hot. The batter should spread out gently to create a 2 to 3″ in diameter cookie.

Optional Add-Ins

You can change up the ingredients in these vegan no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies. Here are ideas for substitutions and tasty add-ins:

  • You can make these no-bake cookies without peanut butter by substituting almond butter or seed butter for the peanut butter.
  • Add Flaked Coconut: I love adding coconut flakes to no-bake cookies.
  • Chopped Nuts: Give your cookies a bit of crunch by either using crunchy peanut butter or add some chopped nuts, like walnuts or pecans.

Healthy Drop Cookies

It’s so easy to make no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies healthy. Here’s how to do it:

  • Reduce the sugar: You can reduce the sugar to as low as one-half of a cup and still enjoy a sweet treat. To make keto no-bake cookies, use a zero-calorie sweetener like Swerve or MonkFruit.
  • Reduce the fat: You can reduce the coconut oil to 1/3 of a cup to reduce the fat slightly.
  • Add Ground Flaxseed: You can add a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed to this recipe to create a little more binding power (flaxseed is a great binder!), but also to add healthy omega-3s.

You can always try different variations on this recipe to make your own healthy no-bake cookies!

Three chocolate no-bake cookies are on a plate. There's a bowl of oats, a bowl of peanut butter, and a plate with more cookies in the background.

More Vegan Cookies

If you love these vegan no-bake cookies, you will love these tasty vegan cookie recipes too:

A stack of vegan no-bake cookies shows the top one with a bite taken out.

Vegan No-Bake Cookies

Every time you bite into these tender vegan No-Bake Cookies you'll experience a slight crunch as the chocolate melts away from the rest of the cookie. It will keep you coming back for more!
5 from 6 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 26 cookies
Calories: 118kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup plant-based milk, vanilla or plain
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats

Instructions

  • Line 2 cookie sheets with waxed paper.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut oil, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir over heat until everything has melted.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and keep it there for one minute (use a timer to get this exact). Then remove the pan from heat.
  • Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla. Continue stirring until the peanut butter is melted and combined with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Pour in the oats and stir to combine.
  • Use a cookie scoop to drop rounded cookie balls onto prepared baking sheets. You can hover the pan a few inches over the counter and drop it a few times to flatten the cookies slightly.
  • Set cookies aside to allow them to set. This can take about an hour at room temperature, but can be sped up by placing them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Recommended Equipment

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Video

Notes

I recommend using creamy, homogenized peanut butter rather than a natural style. The natural style is a little runny and may not allow the cookies to set properly.
You can substitute Swerve or your favorite zero-calorie sweetener to reduce the overall sugar content.
I recommend using quick oats, but if you use old-fashioned oats, run them through a few pulses with a food processor or blender first.
Store these cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four or five days. They can be frozen for up to two months.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan No-Bake Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 118 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Sodium 49mg2%
Potassium 108mg3%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 20IU0%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2019 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

17 Responses to Vegan No-Bake Cookies

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAnna Reply

    I adore how healthy and tasty this recipe is! The cookies look so delicious, they will be a perfect companion to my cup of tea right now!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Anna! So glad you liked this no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies recipe!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNicole Dawson Reply

    YUM! Looks like another delicious recipe…can’t wait to try it.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      So glad you liked this no bake oat cookies recipe Nicole!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJenn Reply

    Oh, these look fabulous!! Love oaty cookies like this! And always yes to chocolate!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Jen! I’ve seen oat drop cookies but never oaty cookies. I love it!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJasmin // VeeatCookBake Reply

    wow this is perfect. You got me with chocolate. and no bake.. such perfect cookies.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I’m with you. These are the best no bake cookies! 🙂

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLinda from Veganosity Reply

    No bake chocolate cookies, um, yes please! These look amazing and I’m making them now because I need something sweet with my afternoon tea. Thanks, Marly!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly Reply

    Thanks, Linda! So glad you like this no bake oatmeal cookie recipe!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly Reply

    You and I are kindred spirits for sure!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly Reply

    Delicious is my favorite ingredient! ❤️

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly Reply

    Thanks Anna! I love finding ways to make desserts healthier. I think we’re in the same choir on this note. 🙂

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDiane Reply

    Can’t go wrong with chocolate no bake cookies!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      You are preaching to the choir, Di!

  11. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBrianna Reply

    What do you think a good alternative to coconut oil would be? Or can it be left out?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Brianna. I have used vegan butter (Earth Balance) with this no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies recipe and it worked great. I hope that’s helpful!

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