Cookies make for the ideal sweet afternoon snack. However, you don’t always want to have to turn on the oven and heat up the house to whip up a batch. These peanut butter no-bake cookies are the answer.

This quick cookie recipe requires just six ingredients to stir together a thick batter that will firm up on its own, without any time in the oven. The key is to boil the butter, milk and sugar to create a base, resulting in a smooth, creamy texture with every bite. Try them with just peanut butter or get creative by adding in other mix-ins such as chocolate chips or mini M&M’s for the perfect peanut butter cookie!

Key Ingredients for Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

The secret to making great peanut butter cookies is all in the precise ingredient measurements. Here are a few things to consider.

Unsalted butter: To better manage the amount of salt in these cookies, use unsalted butter, rather than salted. The peanut butter provides enough salt as it is.
Milk: Milk plays a role in creating the base for this no-bake cookie batter. You can choose to use either 1%, 2% or whole milk.
Peanut butter: Peanut butter adds great flavor and texture and helps to bind these cookies. Using a creamy peanut butter is best for creating the ideal texture, but you could try crunchy if you’d like to have chunks of peanuts mixed in as well. Stick to standard creamy peanut butter, rather than natural peanut butter for best results.
Oats: I love to use old-fashioned oats for these cookies because of their thick texture. However, quick-cooking oats, which are smaller, will work just as well.

Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies Recipe

This recipe makes 18 cookies but can easily be doubled for a larger batch.


8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats


Step 1: Boil the butter, milk and sugar

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, stir in the milk and sugar until combined. Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Boil for two minutes without stirring.

Step 2: Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla

Remove the mixture from the heat. Mix in the peanut butter until melted and then mix in the vanilla extract.

Step 3: Add the oats

Use a spatula to mix in the oats until combined with the peanut butter mixture.

Step 4: Scoop and chill the cookies

Use a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to scoop balls of the thick batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Chill the cookies for one hour at room temperature to allow them to set, or transfer the baking sheet to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Tips for Making Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

What are some variations of peanut butter no-bake cookies?

Want to make these simple cookies that much more interesting? After mixing in the oats, mix in additions such as chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, sprinkles or crushed nuts. We also love the idea of using mini M&M’s!

What should you do if the cookie batter is too wet?

The key to these cookies is precise measuring and allowing the mixture to boil long enough to set yourself up for success. If the mixture seems too wet, try adding a bit more oats to soak up the moisture. Then, scoop the cookies and transfer them to the fridge or freezer to harden and set.

How do you store peanut butter no-bake cookies?

These cookies should be stored in an airtight container. They can be stored at room temperature for up to three days or in the fridge for up to one week. Prefer to freeze them? Once the cookies have chilled in the fridge and are set, layer them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag with wax paper or parchment paper between each layer. Keep them in the freezer for up to three months.

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