Chocolate-Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2011 • all rights reserved

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 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!

Chocolate-Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies
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.

This recipe is part of The Boat Galley Cookbook.

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

  2. Candy Ann Williams on Facebook says:

    My stomach is now growling!!!!

  3. Yum!

  4. Candy Ann Williams on Facebook says:

    These always make me hungry!!

  5. 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).

  6. 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!!

  7. Susan Leaf says:

    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!

  8. 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!

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

  10. 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?

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

  12. 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!

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

    • 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.

  14. margaret strehlo says:

    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.

    • 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.

  15. Rico

  16. A childhood favorite.

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