Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are a healthier version of the classic recipe and take absolutely no time to make!
There’s no question that one of my very favorite childhood recipes was my mother’s famous chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies.
I’m sure you’ve had the traditional versions yourself, right? 🙂 They’re quite messy to make, not the prettiest things to look at, but they are honestly one of the most delicious cookie recipes you’ll ever taste.
So obviously, I made to make a rendition of these this past holiday weekend.
And, of course, I had to share them with you.
After all, sometimes it’s just fun to make a mess in the kitchen and feel like a kid again, am I right or am I right? 🙂
First Things First: Ingredients and Supplies to Make No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
The traditional No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie recipe that I grew up eating calls for butter, cocoa powder, white sugar, oats, and typical, oil-based, sugary peanut butter.
Obviously, we aren’t using that same lineup!
My heathier—yet equally delicious recipe—calls for oats, cocoa powder, a pinch of stevia (or you could use maple syrup, date sugar, or dates if you don’t like stevia), raw coconut butter (not oil), and a natural peanut butter without sugar or oil. Yep, that’s it!
You’ll need the coconut butter to harden the cookies, though; without it, they will just be sticky and gooey and won’t set properly. I haven’t experimented with a coconut butter-free version, but if you do like coconut oil and aren’t oil-free, you could also just use coconut oil instead of that. I don’t eat oil since it’s highly refined and just as processed as refined sugar, so that’s why I use whole food coconut butter instead. Experiment with raw cacao butter for a more chocolate flavor, or just go with raw coconut butter as I used.
These are seriously one of my favorite cookie recipes because they remind me exactly of the ones my mom used to make us as kids. I love that there is no baking involved and they are also kid-friendly, too. Plus, they’re just made with whole plant foods, friends!
- 1 1/2 cup quick or rolled oats (I used gluten-free quick oats)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used a dark, Dutch-processed)
- 1/2 cup creamy, unsweetened peanut butter ( I used a natural, no salt, oil or sugar added variety)*
- 1/4 cup raw coconut butter - not coconut oil (raw cacao butter will also work)
- 1/2 tsp. of pure stevia extract (about 1 tsp. liquid stevia) - or 4 tbsp. pure maple syrup, date sugar or coconut sugar
- First, grab all your supplies and get them by your side—including the cleaning products!
- Next, add the oats to a bowl (you can use quick-cook or old-fashioned, rolled oats-either is fine).
- Soften 1/4 cup raw coconut butter. I do this on my coffee maker's hot plate in a small ramekin so I don't burn the coconut butter and it works like a charm in less than 5 minutes. Please do not microwave coconut butter; it will ruin the texture and the entire recipe. You want the coconut butter to be a melty, almost whipped consistency.
- As the coconut butter is warming, add the following ingredients into a large bowl: the oats, natural peanut butter, stevia (or other sweetener listed above), and the cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder). Stir really well. This is where things get sticky!
- Next, stir in the coconut butter and add it to the bowl with the other ingredients. Stir, stir, stir! It will harden up just like regular no-bake cookies once it starts to cool down (see below), so work as quickly as you can. When you get a thick dough, you're ready to move on.
- Next, grab a glass plate or a large (9x9 inch) baking dish like I used. Set aside.
- Dollop the dough into large drops to form cookies (large patties), keeping them as separated as possible as you drop a huge spoonful onto the dish. Like classic cookies, they will spread until they start to cool, but it's okay!
- Put the cookies on the plate or in the baking dish for 10 minutes in the freezer to set or 20 minutes in the fridge to set. They're done and ready to enjoy! From here, they'll stay solid, but the freezing or refrigerating just helps them set quicker.
- You can keep these all week long on the counter in a container or store them in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks. I personally love mine cold, yum!
- *You can use any peanut butter you prefer, but natural is best here.
- *If you're allergic to peanuts, you can sub in any nut or seed butter of your choice in the same amounts as the peanut butter.
- *If you don't like coconut butter, don't have any, or don't want a coconut taste, you can use raw cacao butter. If you're not oil-free, coconut oil will also work. Don't substitute another nut butter or they won't harden appropriately.
Nutritional Benefits of the Ingredients in Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies:
Whole Grain Oats – Oats are full of beta-glucan fibers that reduce and eliminate harmful cholesterol from the body and are rich in iron and protein. They’re also a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, along with Vitamin B6 which helps steady nerves and aids in healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Plain peanut butter – Peanut butter is rich in protein, iron, magnesium, and potassium plus zinc and Vitamin E. If you’re allergic to peanuts, just use almond butter instead. Choose a natural peanut butter with no added ingredients except peanuts, or choose one with just peanuts and salt.
Coconut butter – Packed with MCT fats that have been shown to improve liver function and improve mood and brain health, coconut butter is made from the whole coconut fruit meat, not just the oil (which is just only fat and has zero nutrients or fiber like coconut butter). Coconut butter (purée) is a good source of fiber, amino acids, and has no dietary cholesterol unlike traditional butter making it a more heart-friendly option.
Cocoa powder – A great source of antioxidants, iron, and magnesium, cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder) is one of the most heart-healthy foods you can eat … and one of the most delicious too! Cocoa powder is also low in fat and free of added sugars compared to higher fat varieties of chocolate which makes it lighter and easier on the system while still being rich in flavor!
Happy (messy) no-baking! 🙂