No Bake Cocoa Cookies

There are some dishes that, no matter how many times I make them, will always be my mom’s.

Chicken casserole. Fudge pie. Pot roast. Spaghetti and meat sauce. Bubble up pizza. And the ultimate of ultimates – her no bake cookies.

no bake cookies 2

I know I’ve talked about these before, and this won’t be the last time. I was looking through some old posts and found the one where I posted this recipe and the pictures were of a mostly empty cookie jar.

That’s how it goes in this house – these cookies go fast – but I thought they deserved something better. These aren’t just cookies in my family. These are little drops of history, memories. Nick had my mom make him a platter of these cookies for his “groom’s cake” instead of having an actual cake at the wedding. That’s how deep our love goes for these.

no bake cookies 1

Whenever I talk about no bakes or preacher cookies or whatever you call them, I’m in the minority. Almost everyone I know makes theirs with peanut butter and won’t eat them unless they’re made that way.

But I grew up having straight cocoa no bake cookies. The peanut butter version doesn’t taste right to me; the texture is completely different. I’m a fan of peanut butter and chocolate together in just about every other recipe, but not in my no bakes. Never, ever in my no bakes.

no  bake cookies 3

Mom’s No Bake Cookies
Makes: 40-50 cookies


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats (use certified GF oats for GF cookies)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt


  1. Put butter, milk, and sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Let the mixture boil for 3 minutes (use a timer or watch to make sure it boils for a full 3 minutes).
  3. After 3 minutes, take the pan off the heat and stir in the oats, cocoa, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Once mixture is combined, drop by the spoonful on wax or parchment paper.
  5. Let the cookies sit until they have set and they easily come off the paper.


  1. Love this recipe! Easy, no bake cookies are the best for those times you just really don’t want to turn on the oven but want a cookie. Yours look fantastic!

    • thank you! they’re my favorite – and not just because they don’t require the oven :) but that’s a plus, for sure!

  2. Love me some no bake cookies. It brings me back to my childhood. My mom made them often and she does the PB. I kinda like that your mom’s don’t have that!

    • thanks Carrie! one of my friend’s mom in college made hers with shredded coconut mixed in – they were incredible, too

  3. chocolate, no bake…so simple and pretty!

  4. these look so good and I’ve never seen cookies made this way! Love it!

  5. Hey! I made these n they r awesome thanks for sharing this amazing recipe .. Question though what is their shelf life? Or how best to store these?

    • So glad you like them! They’re usually good for at least a week (even though they rarely last that long). I usually just keep them in a cookie jar or a large ziploc bag

  6. My cookies stick to the paper. I put them in the fridge or freezer to harden and they always get some of the paper on the bottom. How can I avoid this? And love the idea with the coconut.

    • Hm…I’m sorry you had trouble with them! They are kind of temperamental – if it’s rainy or muggy, they sometimes won’t set up. I would try letting the mixture boil a little bit longer the next time – it definitely needs to boil for at least 3 minutes. Sometimes, I let it go 10-30 seconds longer just to be sure they’ll set up.

  7. Pingback: Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  8. Just made these and waiting for them to set. I scraped out the pan and tried it, and it is so good. Tastes like fudge with oatmeal in it. I can’t wait until they are ready. I do remember making these when I was a kid, just couldn’t remember the recipe. Thank you

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