Do you remember eating no-bake cookies as a kid? I sure do. My brothers and I routinely begged my mother to let us make cookies. She usually indulged us by agreeing to make no-bake cookies. No chocolate chip cookies or sugar cookies—just no-bake cookies. She was busy raising three kids and running her own business, so I can’t blame her for wanting to minimize mess and baking time.
Granted, we were in for a treat every time we gathered around the stove to watch the cocoa, butter and peanut butter boil. Since childhood, I’ve tried various homemade versions and they tend to disappoint. They’re either too dry or bland for my more mature taste buds. I pulled out my favorite old recipe from The Muffin Lady and made half batches until I found the perfect ratio of oatmeal, cocoa, peanut butter and extra flavor.
First off, I almost doubled the amount of cocoa powder so the cookies are sufficiently rich. I also wanted to add espresso powder to intensify the flavor of the chocolate, but I couldn’t find any at local stores. I had a packet of Starbucks VIA instant coffee, so I poured that in at the end. Eureka! I substituted turbinado sugar, a less refined sugar, for a more moist cookie with better flavor. And for texture, I chose extra thick rolled oats instead of the instant variety. End result? A grown-up, decadent no-bake cookie, ready to eat in less than twenty minutes flat.
Chocolate & Coffee No-Bake Cookies
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 10 minutes (plus 30 minutes resting time)
- Yield: 24-30 cookies 1x
- Category: Cookie
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
Rich no-bake cookies intensified with espresso powder. Recipe yields 24-30 cookies.
- 2 cups turbinado (raw) sugar
- ½ cup milk of choice
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch wide slices
- ½ cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
- 2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking oats*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional: 1 packet Starbucks Columbia VIA or 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee
- Combine sugar, milk, cocoa powder and butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Once it reaches a rolling boil, set a timer for 1 minute and 30 seconds and let it continue boiling, stirring often.
- When the timer’s up, remove the pot from the heat and quickly stir in the remaining ingredients.
- Drop spoonfuls (about 1 heaping tablespoon each) onto wax paper or parchment paper. Cookies will firm up in 30 to 40 minutes at room temperature. Once solidified, store for up to 5 days at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from The Muffin Lady Cookbook.
*Make it gluten-free: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats. Old-fashioned oats will yield a more chewy texture, while quick-cooking oats will be less noticeable.
Ha! I’ve been thinking about making no-bake cookies for about a week now so clearly this is a sign that I need to stop thinking and start making!
I love the addition of the coffee- yum!
yes! i get so obsessed with these. oh and confession? i often mix them up and eat them straight out of the bowl. bad fat girl!
Imagine… a big scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with warm no-bake cookie mix. Like WOAH.
I love no bake anything because I tend to mess up sweets once they go in the oven. I made some no bake chocolate peanut butter bars on my blog and they were so easy and delish. As a kid it was good ol chocolate chip (especially the dough). Yours look so pretty and that glass of milk really ties it all together!
I’ve never had no bake cookies but these look absolutely yummy (and I don’t even like peanut butter)! Perfect with a tall glass of milk! My favorite cookies growing up were these Chrusciki’s and Anise Biscotti my grandma would make around the holidays. Thanks for sharing Kate! These photos are beautiful :)
Would you happen to have your grandma’s recipe for Chrusciki? If so, would you be willing to share it? I grew up eating them (from bakeries). Unfortunately, I don’t live near any bakeries now that have them. I would love to make them for my daughter (and me, of course); she has never had them. Thanks.
omg, my mouth is seriously watering. those looks and sound so good. i loved eating cookie dough as a kid but never had real no-bake cookies…
i’ve always wanted to try no-bake cookies… hmm with these looking so yummy – i may have to!
I love a good no-bake cookie! I love a big spoonful right when they’re done, so it’s all warm and practically melts in your mouth! Yummy. What a great idea adding espresso powder – I have never seen anyone do that in this type of cookie. Sounds great.
I replace the peanut butter with almond butter and
I replace half the butter with coconut oil.
I just made these tonight for a dinner party. I feel that mine turned out much more chocolatey than pictured! Also, the coffee was a bit strong.
Great reception, though. I was crunched for time, so these were perfect.
Thanks Kate. : )
Thanks for the coffee idea. I actually searched “coffee no bakes” to make sure someone else had tried this, in case it was a no-go, LOL… I trusted your judgment, and they turned out to be delicious! :-)
Glad to hear it, Colin! Coffee and chocolate are always a good combination, if you ask me. :)
I loved the idea! But I don’t have any package of Starbucks Columbia VIA. Can I replace it with any instant coffe?
Yes, I believe that will work just fine. A tablespoon or two might do it. I’m not sure if the instant coffee will retain its texture or melt into the chocolate, but I think the cookies will be great regardless!
Is this Starbucks coffee regular coffee?
It’s the unflavored Starbucks VIA instant coffee. I bet you could just add a 1/2 teaspoon ground coffee instead, if that’s easier for you.
whoa, where did I go wrong… just tried to make these and absolutely failed. After about 6 minutes at medium heat (it came to a boil very quickly so I didn’t turn it up any further) with constant stirring, the chocolate mixture started BURNING all at once. I finished mixing everything together but I ended up with very dry, hard, burnt tasting rocks. I just re-read the recipe and ingredients and I’m sure I’ve followed everything as directed!
This is a incompetent review. I don’t get why you would rate something based on your accomplishment of burning the chocolate mix. Lets think before we post.
ABT, I’m sorry, I must have missed your comment when you posted it. The recipe says to boil the chocolate mixture for 1 and 1/2 minutes, so I’m afraid you misread the numbers. I can see how that would happen, and I’m sorry!
I bought via coffee it comes with 12 packets do I use them all
No, sorry, just one! I just edit the recipe to make that more clear.
I happen to have espresso powder, so I would like to use that. Do you have any idea how much I should use? I noticed that you couldn’t find it in your local stores. I buy mine at Kroger. It doesn’t look like you have any Kroger stores in your area, but Kwik Shop is owned by Kroger; maybe they have it? The brand I buy is Medaglia D’Oro. It is in a small glass jar in the coffee isle.
Hi Kate–love your work and have enjoyed multiple new recipes found here–thank you! Looking forward to your beautiful book :)
One of our faves is a no-bake with oats & peanut butter, toasted coconut, honey, and choc chips….kids and grandkids LOVE.
Now, my foodie grandson is off grains & legumes, including oats and peanuts. Have substituted almond butter without issue, but what to use instead of oats: maybe sesame + chia + added coconut? Add some almond meal or sorghum flour? Would so love your ideas….
Hi Kate!! Well, I made these and they lasted in our all adult home, 4 minutes. So I made they again, tweeted just a touch by using coconut oil, 6T cocoa, 1/2C sliced almonds and a tsp almond extract. No one knows they’re in the frige and I’m not mentioning it. Thanks so much-
Ha! This made me smile, Mel. I hope you get to have some this time!
Loved loved these as a kid… I think almond butter / peanut butter mix won’t be an issue but am wondering if almond milk and honey will be too many substitutes?
I don’t think so, Kelly! They should work similarly in the recipe.
Could you use honey instead of sugar in chocolate no bake cookies? Might need to reduce the amount of milk?
Hmm. I haven’t tried it myself, but I’d guess that yes, you’d have to reduce the liquid content to make sure they stay together.
These were wonderful. I used almond butter instead of peanut butter but they came out a bit sticky so I froze them a bit and that helped. The second batch I am trying with a cup less sugar. See how that works out. I love Kates recipes!
Let me know how the next batch works for you, Ann.
Ann Strickhouser Strickhouser
Thank you Kate. I tried the recipe with one less cup of sugar but I did use Allman butter because I have so much of it left in the fridge. They still taste very yummy with one less cup of sugar. Still a little sticky, but I think that’s just because Allman butter instead of peanut butter. I will post when I try with peanut butter.
This recipe brings back great memories of childhood. I made these today and they turned out great – and are super yummy of course! Really easy and fast turnaround time too! A few questions: I saw in the comments that someone tried coconut oil – I’m interested but wondering if that throws off any other ingredients or the cooking time? Same question I have about a comment from a reader who reduced the sugar by half. Finally, the recipe states to add a packet of Starbucks Columbia – how much is that? I only had espresso powder and wasn’t sure how much to add. Another great recipe from Cookie + Kate!
Hey Emily! Thank you for your feedback and I’m sorry I missed your comment so long ago. I’ve tried no-bakes with coconut oil, and the trouble is that they are only firm when chilled (at warmer temps, even room temp, they’re quite soft/kind of squishy). I haven’t tried with less sugar, but someone said it worked, so go for it! I think a teaspoon or two of espresso powder would be a safe bet.
Thanks so much for the helpful responses to my questions, Kate. No worries responding at this time – you’ve given me a reason to make them again tonight! Best wishes!
WOW! So much chocolate flavor and so simple to make. Different from the chocolate chip cookie I normally bake. Thanks for diversifying my cookie recipes…
I have not made this recipe yet but want to know if I can use almond milk or coconut oil instead of milk. I have a dairy allergy.
Also can I use regular espresso coffee and what quantity? I don’t know the measurement of the Starbucks via package.
Hi Susan! You could almond milk. Coconut oil has some drawbacks. Since it’s liquid above about 74 degrees Fahrenheit, the cookies will be quite soft/fudgy at that temp and higher (they hold their shape ok when chilled, though). I think you could actually add a teaspoon of espresso powder (not brewed coffee, which will affect the consistency). Hope that helps!
I’d really like to try this. Can I use cacao powder instead?
You could try it, but the flavor will vary. Let me know how it works for you!
Just made these as a treat for Canada Day tomorrow. So good! Also making the cherry crisp from your cookbook and subbing strawberries. Thank you for the amazing recipes!
I made these to the recipe, except only used about 1 3/4 sugar because I ran out. I used two tsp instant espresso powder. Came out perfect. Best no bakes I have ever made. They set up shiny and perfect and are so chocolaty!!
Thanks for a great recipe.
That’s great to hear, Brenda! I appreciate your review.
Another win, as expected! I’ve made this *a few* times recently. Enough to have found my favorite tweaks and have them yield consistent results. 1.5 cups granulated cane sugar. 1 minute, 45 seconds on medium. 6 TB butter. One day I used tahini and unsweetened coconut instead of PB and oats. Fantastic nut free/grain free option, and, just yum. I use whole milk, and usually fresh ground PB. Once or twice I had Adams PB, I think it was crunchy.