Simple recipe that tastes yummy! Ingredients can be found anywhere, with lots of substitution possibilities. Great for boats, camping, backpacking and more.

Chocolate-Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

Chocolate-oatmeal no-bake cookies are a favorite from childhood, one that I’d almost forgotten about.  And no-bake cookies are great for a quick treat anywhere, not just on a boat.  Most can go from idea to eating in 20 minutes or less, without having to heat up the oven (or if you don’t have an oven . . .).

I particularly like this recipe, as the ingredients have been available everywhere we’ve ever traveled.  Cocoa is much easier to find (and store) than baker’s chocolate or chocolate chips and the other ingredients are extremely flexible as to what’s available.  Finally, my husband is allergic to milk products but loves chocolate — by using soy milk or water and oil instead of margarine, it’s a treat he can eat without worry!


Total time: 10 mins
Serves: 12
Quick, easy and no baking! Great for camping or any time you don’t feel like heating up the oven.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter OR margarine OR canola oil OR vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk OR evaporated milk OR prepared powdered milk OR soy milk OR water
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or crunchy; optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal (instant or quick cooking are best, but you can use Old Fashioned) OR corn flakes OR Rice Krispies OR similar cereal
  1. Mix all ingredients EXCEPT oatmeal in saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil, stirring constantly.
  3. Boil 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from fire and stir in oatmeal.
  5. For “cookies” – drop onto waxed paper or aluminum foil coated with Pam.
  6. For “bars” – line a pan (I use an 7” frying pan) with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Put mixture into the pan and press it down. Cut into bars when cool.
  7. You can eat them as soon as they’re cool enough to handle!

For a special treat: Break into smaller pieces and sprinkle over sweetened yogurt or sweetened frozen yogurt.

Want more boat-friendly recipes? Check out The Boat Galley Cookbook with over 800 recipes or get a free PDF sample of it with 30 recipes:


  • Susan Kuter-Pagliari on Facebook
    Posted at 20 January 2012 Reply

    These look great! Can’t wait to try them…

  • Candy Ann Williams on Facebook
    Posted at 20 January 2012 Reply

    My stomach is now growling!!!!

  • Mid-Life Cruising! on Facebook
    Posted at 21 January 2012 Reply


  • Candy Ann Williams on Facebook
    Posted at 25 June 2012 Reply

    These always make me hungry!!

  • Alyssa
    Posted at 23 August 2012 Reply

    I just made some of these the other day from my Grandma’s recipe They are amazing! I modified it a bit to fit with our vegan diet though. Almond milk is also a good alternative, and I used vegan butter too (I think Earth Balance is what I had on hand). Turned out delicious–my Dad said they set up better than his usually do 🙂 And you can also put them on parchment paper to dry (I was out of wax paper).

  • MaryJo Boyle
    Posted at 12 October 2012 Reply

    I used all brown sugar and half-and-half, old-fashioned oats, and I added 1/2 cup of shredded sweetened coconut. OMG–they were fabulous!
    Thanks, Carolyn!!

  • Susan Leaf
    Posted at 24 February 2013 Reply

    Great recipe, but if you have someone who has a peanut allergy and still loves these cookies(my husband for one), you can substitute almond or cashew butter for the peanut butter. Keeps both of us happy!

  • Jamie
    Posted at 04 August 2013 Reply

    I love these cookies… but they dont love me… i think its the oatmeal so im glad to see that you can make a cereal substitution…. thank you!

  • The Boat Galley
    Posted at 24 October 2013 Reply

    My guilty little secret: these go well with a beer when watching the World Series (go Cards!)

  • Dee
    Posted at 25 June 2014 Reply

    I have made these great treats since I was a kid. I was wondering if the new PB2 could be used in place of the regular pb?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 25 June 2014 Reply

      Yep! I use about a tablespoon of the powder and no extra liquid.

  • Bonnie Gibson-Cunningham
    Posted at 29 May 2015 Reply

    I just saw these for sale at WalMart. Wow, how lazy people have become–can’t make no bake cookies!

  • Sarah Hatton
    Posted at 02 October 2015 Reply

    Perfect timing, thank you for this. I was running out of treats for my boys as we wait out the bad weather in Hampton VA. I really didn’t fancy a trip on foot to the supermarket to get more, it’s pretty wild out there!

  • Yvonne McRobbie
    Posted at 03 October 2015 Reply

    Great recipe. Will try it. But the free download failed. Hope I haven’t given my email to hackers?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 15 October 2015 Reply

      No, you haven’t given your email to hackers. I’m the only one with access to the list. You should have gotten an email with a link, too — if not, send me an email and I’ll send it to you. Sometimes there are problems, particularly if you have a slow internet connection.

  • margaret strehlo
    Posted at 18 January 2016 Reply

    I want to take these camping. How long do they last, un-moldy, without refrigeration? Can i just carry them in a plastic jar? And eat these treats with a spoon? We’ll be 3 weeks.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 19 January 2016 Reply

      Rather than make them ahead, I just take the ingredients and make them while camping. They’re easy to make on a camp stove or even over a fire.

      I don’t know how long they’d last in a jar — we always just make enough for one or two days at a time.

  • Osvaldo Otero
    Posted at 07 September 2016 Reply


  • Cory Nickerson
    Posted at 08 September 2016 Reply

    A childhood favorite.

  • Dannielle Wingate
    Posted at 11 July 2017 Reply

    I just tried this recipe and I love it!!!

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