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These Vegan No Bake Chocolate Cookies are the easiest vegan dessert to make when it’s too hot to turn on the oven! Rich cocoa powder, creamy peanut butter, quick-cooking oats and a few other simple ingredients combined to make a soft and chewy cookie. Everyone will be coming back for seconds!
Table of contents
Simple Soft and Chewy No Bake Cookies
Aside from being the best cookies to make when you need to satisfy a sweet tooth without turning on the oven, these vegan no bake cookies are a recipe I have on repeat for several reasons:
- No fancy appliances – just a mixing bowl, spatula, saucepan, and baking sheet!
- Pantry-friendly ingredients – I almost always have what I need to make these cookies at a moment’s notice.
- Freezer-friendly – what’s better than a stash of pre-made cookies in the freezer?
- Budget-friendly – don’t have everything you need? Pick up the ingredients at any grocery store at an affordable price.
- Gluten-free cookies – when made with gluten-free oats these cookies are naturally gluten-free.
- Healthy enough for breakfast – these cookies are low in refined oils and fat and can be enjoyed for breakfast if desired.
- Oats: Quick-cooking oats or old-fashioned oats are best. Avoid instant oats – they are too soft and won’t add enough texture to the cookies. If you eat a gluten-free diet, use certified gluten-free oats.
- Peanut butter: Runny, creamy peanut butter will work best. If you want to add an additional crunch to the cookies, use a natural crunchy peanut butter.
- Almond milk: Any plant-based milk will do. Try unsweetened almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, or coconut milk.
- Sugar: These no-bake cookies are sweetened with brown sugar. For a lighter flavor, use light brown sugar. Avoid liquid sweeteners such as pure maple syrup. They will make the cookie dough batter too wet.
- Cocoa powder: Adds a chocolate flavor while keeping the cookies dairy-free and vegan. Use unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder, as desired.
- Non-dairy butter: Adds moisture, saltiness, and flavor. If your favorite vegan butter is unsalted, add an additional dash of salt to taste.
Possible Add-ins and Substitutions
- Peanut butter substitutions: If you have a peanut allergy, use cashew butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter.
- Nuts: Want to give your cookies an additional crunch? Add ¼ -½ cup of chopped nuts.
- Coconut: Add ¼-½ cup of desiccated coconut (toasted coconut would be delicious!).
- Vegan chocolate chips: Want additional vegan chocolate? Add ¼-½ cup of mini vegan chocolate chips.
- Pretzels: Add ¼-½ cup of chopped pretzels for a salty, savory crunch.
- Caramel: Once the cookies are hardened, drizzle them with a vegan caramel sauce and refrigerate for an additional 20 minutes to harden.
Note: When adding ingredients to the mix, add no more than a total of 1 cup of additions.
How to Make Vegan No Bake Chocolate Cookies
- 1) In a large bowl, add the quick oats, peanut butter, vanilla extract and sea salt. Set aside.
- 2) In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the vegan butter, brown sugar, plant-based milk and cocoa powder. Bring to a rolling boil and set a timer for it to boil for exactly 1 minute and 30 seconds (90 seconds).
- 3) When the timer goes off, immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the mixture into the bowl with the oats and peanut butter.
- 4) Stir until well combined, then immediately scoop into individual cookie dough balls using a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop or spoon. You should be able to make about 18 cookies.
- 5) Place the cookies in the refrigerator to harden, then enjoy!
Incorrect ingredient measurements, high humidity, and a shortened cooling time can all contribute to no-bake cookies not hardening. Additionally, boiling the liquid ingredients for a different length of time can also cause the no-bake cookies not to set.
It can vary depending on the environment, but these cookies should begin to firm up within 30 minutes to an hour upon refrigeration.
Absolutely. If you’re short on time, place the cookies in the freezer to harden. This will still take about 30 minutes, but should speed up the process compared to refrigeration.
Top Recipe Tips
- Measure the ingredients accurately. In order for the cookies to set properly the ratio between wet ingredients and dry ingredients needs to be exact.
- Work quickly! Once the wet mixture and the dry mixture are combined, the plant-based chocolate mixture will start to set. Mix and scoop the cookies as quickly as possible to prevent the mixture from hardening together in the mixing bowl.
- Use a runny peanut butter. These delicious cookies are low in added moisture. Using a natural, runny peanut butter keeps the cookies perfectly soft and chewy!
- Line the baking sheet. This will prevent the cookies from sticking to the baking sheet when the cookies are hardening in the refrigerator. I typically use a silicone mat or wax paper but parchment paper will work as well.
No-bake cookies are the perfect easy dessert, afternoon snack, or even breakfast, if desired! Serve alongside a glass of your favorite non-dairy milk, smeared with nut butter, or served over a scoop of vegan ice cream like homemade banana nice cream.
Once the cookies are completely set, transfer them to an airtight container or silicone bag. These cookies will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If frozen, allow the cookies to thaw until softened in the refrigerator before serving.
Storing these cookies at room temperature is not recommended, especially in warmer climates. The cookies will melt and become overly soft.
More Vegan Cookie Recipes
- Banana Zucchini Cookies
- Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Raspberry Jam Thumbprint Cookies
- Keebler-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Photos by Alfonso Revilla
Vegan No Bake Chocolate Cookies
- 3 cups of quick oats
- ½ cup of peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Dash of salt
- ¼ cup of vegan butter
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- ½ cup of plant-based milk (any kind)
- 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- In a large bowl, add oats, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. No need to mix yet—wait until the next part is ready.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat vegan butter, brown sugar, plant-based milk, and cocoa powder. Bring to a full rolling boil and set a timer for it to boil exactly 1 minute 30 seconds.
- Immediately remove from heat and add to the oats in the large bowl and stir. Immediately use a small serving scooper (about 1/2' circumference) to scoop out onto a silicone mat or wax paper to dry. (If you don't have one, you can use a spoon to scoop it, and another to scoop it off.) Allow to sit in the refrigerator to harden.
Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.