No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

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5 from 1137 votes
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These are the best no bake oatmeal cookies made with just three ingredients! No butter, no milk, and no sugar needed, this healthy dessert take less than FIVE minutes to make. 

Love no bake cookie recipes? Try my unicorn cookies and chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies.

no bake oatmeal cookies

As someone with a raging sweet tooth, I often make no-bake desserts.

They require minimal preparation and usually few ingredients. While I have a handful of favorites on rotation, nothing beats my famous 3 ingredient no bake oatmeal cookies.

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make no bake oatmeal cookies
  4. Arman’s recipe tips
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More no bake desserts to try
  8. No Bake Oatmeal Cookies (3 Ingredients!) (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Wholesome ingredients. Traditional no bake cookies typically contain butter, sugar, and milk, but not these… they taste just as good!
  • 3 Ingredients only. All you need are oats, peanut butter, and maple syrup.
  • Easy to customize. These cookies act like a blank canvas, so you can fold through your favorite mix-ins, like chocolate chips, coconut flakes, raisins, and more.
  • Perfect texture. Thick, chewy, and stable at room temperature. They are naturally sweetened and satisfy the sweet tooth!

Ingredients needed

  • Rolled oats. Also called old-fashioned oats, they provide the chewy texture we love in a good oatmeal cookie! You can use quick oats if you like, but it will have a softer texture.
  • Peanut butter. Smooth and drippy peanut butter works best, as it is the easiest to mix into the dough. Try to avoid peanut butter with added sugar or ones with a crunchy texture.
  • Maple syrup. A refined sugar free sweetener that not only adds sweetness but helps bind the cookies together. You can also use agave nectar or honey.

How to make no bake oatmeal cookies

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Make the batter. Start by adding your oats into a large mixing bowl. Add the peanut butter and syrup and mix well until combined. Fold through your mix-ins of choice using a rubber spatula.

Step 2- Shape. Next, lightly wet your hands. Form small balls of the cookie mixture and place them on a lined plate. Press down to form a cookie shape and refrigerate them for 20 minutes to firm up.

3 ingredient no bake cookies

Arman’s recipe tips

  • Use quick cooking oats. Most no bake oatmeal cookie recipes call for these oats as they are softer and smoother in texture. 
  • Boil the mixture. Sometimes peanut butter can be a little firm, so I like to combine that and the maple syrup in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the oats, mix, and shape into drop cookies.
  • Add mix-ins. Like any good no bake cookie, be creative by adding in nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, coconut flakes, or even candy buttons. 

Dietary swaps and substitutions

This recipe is very forgiving and easy to adapt to fit most diets out there. Here are some suggestions: 

  • Keep it vegan. While the original recipe is naturally vegan, if you opt to use honey as the sweetener, some consider that not to be vegan-friendly.
  • Keep it gluten-free. I used certified gluten-free oats. If you use other brands or makes of it, this is often not the case.
  • Swap out the peanut butter. If you have a peanut allergy or don’t like the taste of peanut butter, you can use almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or tahini.
  • Add protein. Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder to make these cookies even more satisfying (just like in classic protein cookies).

Storage instructions

To store: Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, covered. They will keep well for up to two weeks.

To freeze: Either wrap cookies individually in parchment paper and place them in a ziplock bag, or place them all together in one ziplock bag (no parchment paper needed). They will keep well frozen for up to 6 months.

no bake cookies

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my no-bake cookies turn out gooey?

If your no-bake cookies are gooey, it means your oats are too fine in texture and/or you added too much maple syrup. To rectify this, simply add more oats to the mixture.

Why do my no bake oatmeal cookies not harden up? 

You need to refrigerate your cookies for at least 30 minutes to allow them to firm up properly. Enjoying them straight from the bowl will yield softer cookies.

Can I bake these cookies?

You can bake these cookies in the oven at 180C/350F for 10-12 minutes or until firm around the edges.

Can I substitute margarine or butter for the nut butter?

No, these cookies need a nut or seed butter to bind everything together. Using butter or margarine will yield a greasy cookie that will fall apart. It also isn’t the healthiest option.

More no bake desserts to try

no bake oatmeal cookies recipe

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies (3 Ingredients!)

5 from 1137 votes
These are the best no bake oatmeal cookies made with just three ingredients! No butter, no milk, and no sugar needed, this healthy dessert take less than FIVE minutes to make. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen.
Servings: 12 cookies
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 6 minutes

Video

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Line a large plate with parpchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all your ingredients and mix well, until combined. Fold through your mix-ins of choice.
  • Using your hands, form into 12 small balls and place on the lined plate. Press each ball into a cookie shape.
  • Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, before enjoying.

Notes

* Can substitute this for smooth almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter or tahini.
TO STORE: Leftover no bake cookies should be stored in the refrigerator, covered. They will keep well for up to two weeks. 
TO FREEZE: Either wrap cookies individually in parchment paper and place in a ziplock bag, or place them all together in one ziplock bag (no parchment paper needed). They will keep well frozen for up to 6 months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 120kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 7gFat: 8gSodium: 100mgPotassium: 190mgFiber: 3gCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 14g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published January 2016, updated April 2023, and republished April 2024

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hiya Arman,
    Yes, I made these no-bake cookies & they are pretty darn good!! I also added Ghia seeds, flax seeds & hemp seeds to the mixture!! Also added 2 tbsp of honey, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract with coconut flakes and ground walnuts to offset the dryness!! Really taste good!!! Merry Christmas!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Ohhhh I finally made these and so easy to do! I used pure maple syrup and all-natural peanutbutter along with some organic oats. I tossed in some dark chocolate chips and wow these are definitely worth making over and over again! SO GOOD!

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