Caramel No Bake Cookies

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These Caramel No Bake Cookies with chocolate chunks couldn’t be easier to make, and everyone absolutely loves them! They’re the perfect allergy-friendly treat to make for pretty much every occasion. And even better, you can make them ahead, and freeze them as well. This recipe is based on the classic no-bake cookies my mom made, but I’ve remade it with healthier ingredients. The ‘caramel’ flavor of these cookies comes from coconut sugar as a natural sweetener.

Wooden spatula scooping up a Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Cookie from a gold cookie sheet.

Oh wow! That was what I heard after a friend took her first bite of these cookies. So if find yourself in need of a ‘go-to’ dessert this is a good one. It’s a really allergy-friendly recipe, (since it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, paleo & vegan).

But you’re not going to feel like these are a ‘health food dessert’ if you know what I mean. In fact, fights have actually been known to break out over these cookies in our house! Friendly fights of course, but nonetheless you’ve been warned, these will go fast. And everyone will probably beg you to make some more.

Chocolate Chunk Salted Caramel No Bake Cookies on a gold baking sheet.

Recipe Inspiration: When I made my Healthier No-Bake Cookies, I wondered what would happened if I left out the cocoa powder and turned them to a caramel version. So… here we are with a caramel version! And (dare I say it?) are better than the originals because chocolate + caramel = better than just chocolate!

Ingredients for Caramel No Bake Cookies

  • Coconut sugar – is the perfect natural sweetener for these cookies because it tastes like caramel when it’s boiled together with coconut oil and coconut milk.
  • Coconut oil – is my preferred dairy-free substitute for the butter called for in the classic recipe. But you can definitely use butter as well, (see substitutions below).
  • Sea salt – Just a touch of sea salt is so important to the flavor of the caramel base of these cookies. And if you want to go one step further, try a sprinkling of flaked sea salt over the tops of these cookies!
  • Coconut milk is my favorite milk to use in these cookies. I use coconut milk from the can for the richest flavor. But you can also use coconut milk or almond milk from the carton as well as regular milk.
  • Vanilla – just rounds out the caramel flavor and enhances the whole cookie!
  • Big flake coconut – Both coconuts used in this recipe are unsweetened. This is important since we’re folding the coconut flakes into caramel. Sweetened coconut would be way too sweet! I use a bit of big flake coconut to add a nice texture to these cookies, but you can use just fine shred as well.
  • Fine shred coconut – unsweetened finely shredded coconut is what makes up the bulk of these cookies. It takes the place of oats from the classic recipe, and it’s what makes these cookies grain-free and paleo. However, feel free to use the optional oats instead. Or you can use a mixture of both if you’d like!
  • Oats – if you don’t use the coconut flakes for grain-free cookies, use rolled oats, and be sure to look for a gluten-free label if you’re gluten-free. We love Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats for these cookies.
  • Chocolate chunks – for the chocolate chunks you can roughly chop up a chocolate bar. Or I’ve been using the chocolate chunks from Enjoy Life and it’s what you see pictured below. Be sure to check the labels on whatever you choose to use for chocolate if you have dietary concerns. Not all chocolate is dairy-free, nut-free, or vegan.
  • Nut butter or chopped nuts – These are entirely optional, and honestly most times I leave them out. But once in a while we really enjoy adding a few chopped roasted pecans, walnuts, or cashews. Also, any kind of nut butter is delicious in these cookies, but my favorites are cashew butter followed by almond butter. I have tried peanut butter in these, but the flavor overwhelms the caramel in my opinion. That’s why we choose to go nut-free with these cookies most of the time – more caramel flavor!

questions & substitutions

  1. What can I use if I’m allergic to coconut? You can make this recipe just like a classic no-bake cookie recipe using the milk of your choice, butter, and brown sugar. Then use the oats listed as an option in the recipe in place of the coconut flakes. That way there’s no coconut at all!
  2. Can I use a different kind of milk? Yes for sure, I know that regular milk and almond milk work.
  3. What if I don’t like coconut? I would follow the instructions for how to make this if you’re allergic to coconut, (see above). But I would recommend using coconut sugar if you’re not allergic because it gives the best caramel flavor to these cookies. These do taste like coconut as written. So if you’re not a fan, I would recommend using the milk of your choice, coconut sugar, butter subbed in for the coconut oil, and oats in place of the coconut flakes.

Let’s make this recipe step by step

The caramel simmered down in the pan with the coconut and chocolate chunks near the white pan.

Steps 1 & 2: We’re going to start by measuring out all the ingredients.

Next, we’ll boil the sugar, coconut oil, and coconut milk together to form a caramel base.

The coconut mixed into the caramel mixture with the chocolate chunks sitting on top.

Steps 3 & 4: Once the caramel mixture has boiled for 2 minutes, add the coconut flakes or rolled oats. Mix to combine over low heat and allow the caramel to absorb.

Finally, add the chocolate chunks and mix just to combine. You don’t want to over mix or the chocolate chunks won’t remain separate. Then portion the cookies out onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and allow them to set up for 3-4 hours.

Ways to serve these Caramel No Bake Cookies

Storing leftovers

  • To store – place any leftover no-bake cookies into an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 1 week. The cookies will get progressively drier over time, especially if you use oats rather than coconut flakes.
  • Make ahead – these cookies keep perfectly for at least 1 day, sometimes 2 days. You can also freeze these ahead of time and defrost before serving.
  • To freeze – place the cookies into an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Defrost on the counter or in the fridge before serving.

Tips & Notes

  • These cookies take longer to set up than the classic no-bakes at around 3-4 hours. But you don’t have to wait, dive right in while they’re warm and gooey.
  • These cookies are made with healthier ingredients and coconut sugar as a natural sweetener. But I just want to clarify that doesn’t make them ‘healthy’, they’re still a very sweet treat. So if you’re looking for something with less sugar I would recommend my Chunky Monkey Nice Cream which is made from fruit with no added sugar.

And I sure hope you enjoy these Caramel No Bake Cookies. If you do get a chance to make them, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here!

Caramel No Bake Cookies

5 from 7 votes
Author: Kari Peters
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield: 15 cookies
Course: Dessert


  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk - (from the can)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut - or omit the coconut and use 3 cups rolled oats (GF)
  • 1 cup unsweetened big flake coconut
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chunks - or chocolate chips, I use Enjoy Life
  • Optional: 1/2 cup almond or cashew butter


  • In a large saucepan, combine the coconut sugar, coconut oil, and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes until the caramel thickens. Stir occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking.
  • Remove the caramel from the heat and add the vanilla, sea salt, and coconut or oats. Stir to combine. If you're using the almond or cashew butter, mix it in thoroughly.
  • Finally, add the chocolate chunks and combine, stirring as little as possible to keep the chunks intact.
  • Portion the cookies on a parchment-lined or non-stick baking sheet and let cool.
  • This version of no-bakes takes a full 3-4 hours to fully set up, but you don't have to wait that long because they're really good warm, and gooey. If you use oats in place of the coconut they will set up faster like classic no bake cookies.
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To keep this recipe 100% dairy-free, vegan, and allergy-friendly check the label on your choice of chocolate. 
The nutrition facts were calculated using the grain-free coconut flake version. There are fewer calories and less fat if you use the rolled oats which you can see reflected in my Healthy No Bake Cookie recipe.
Category: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Coconut Sugar No Bake Cookies, No Bake Caramel Cookies

nutrition facts

Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0.1mg | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @get.inspired.everyday on Instagram or hashtag #getinspiredeveryday

This post was originally published on October 25, 2013 and was updated in 2021 with more information, nutritional facts, and new photos.

58 thoughts on “Caramel No Bake Cookies”

  1. I’m not completely inept in the kitchen, but for some reason when I combined all the ingredients at the end, it was very dry. I hesitated adding all of the coconut, in fact. I’ve gone ahead and tried to make compressed cookies, but I fear even after they have set they will crumble. Did I cook the caramel sauce too long? I did stir until it reached a medium color (5 min) because up until then, it looked too thin. Thanks for any advice you can give b/c I really, really want these to work for me! : ))

    • I think you might have cooked the caramel sauce for too long because I’ve never had these come out dry before, in fact they’re the softest no-bakes I make taking up to 4 hours to set up. I would try simmering the caramel for just 2-3 minutes, (I put a timer on to keep from forgetting it) and I’m sure they will turn out. I don’t know if you still have the dry batch, but you could try melting a bit of coconut milk in a pan and stirring in the dry cookies to rehydrate. I don’t know if it would totally fix the dry texture, but at least they’d be moist (nothing worse than dry cookies). I hope this helps and that you give these another try because they are unbelievable! Be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions.

  2. Hi Kari,

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m planning to make these caramel delights for a Christmas party. However, I’m having trouble finding coconut sugar in Canada…when I search for it online, all I get is ‘coconut palm sugar’ – is that the same thing or different?

    Thanks for your help! 🙂

    • Coconut sugar and palm sugar are technically 2 different kinds of sugar, but there’s often a lot of mislabeling on packages. My coconut sugar says coconut palm sugar on the package, so I’m guessing that whatever you’ve found is probably the same thing, but I’ll leave you a link with the exact brand that I use just in case there’s some kind of difference. I hope you enjoy these, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions! 🙂

    • I’m sorry but I don’t know which types of sugar are better for diabetics. I hope you get to enjoy the recipe, and hopefully if you have anymore questions I’ll be able to answer them!

  3. Can i substitute whote sugar for the coconut sugar? I boughtallthe i grediants but missed that it was coconut sugar. Making them with some kids tomorrow at a bible camp. Thx

    • You can substitute regular sugar for the coconut sugar but it won’t have the deep caramel flavor. You could try making my Healthier No Bake Cookies which are similar but rely on cocoa powder more for flavor, that way you wouldn’t miss the caramel flavor from the coconut sugar. I’ll include a link, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions! 🙂

  4. Hi Karl
    I want to make these for company. Can I find the coconut sugar at Walmart, local grocery store, or must I go to a health food store? The recipe sounds great! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for posting it.

    • I don’t know if you can find coconut sugar at Walmart, but I know Super 1 Foods carries it and so does Natural Grocers. I’m not sure if you have either of these grocery stores in your area, but most health food stores do carry it these days if your grocery store doesn’t. Let me know how you like the cookies! 🙂

    • There’s no caramel in the ingredient list. I use coconut sugar which creates a caramel flavored base for the cookies. When you bring the coconut sugar, coconut oil, and coconut milk to a boil is creates a caramel sauce, and then the rest of the ingredients are added in to create cookies! Hope this helps to clarify, but be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I made these not only because of the obvious, but for the amazing reviews! And they were a hit….SO much, in fact, that it was hard to keep a two year old’s fast fingers out of them! So for a ‘quick-off-the-counter’ cooling option I put them in a 9×13 pan (double batch) and turned them into bars. Not as beautiful as your pics but the same greatness 🙂 Thanks Kari.

    • I’m definitely trying your bars idea next time, Tyler’s been wanting these for awhile now so I think I’d better make some soon! So glad you enjoyed them, and if you try the original version (Healthier No-Bake Cookies) try the variation with the added almond butter (or peanut butter) because I think they’d be right up your alley! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    These are amazing!!! Made for the first time to perfection!!!! Your recipe easy to follow with your great directions!I added lightly toasted chopped pecans and my husband and friends devoured them all within minutes! Love your recipe!!

    • I’m going to have to make these again soon to try your pecan addition – sounds amazing! I have the same problem with these cookies disappearing the moment I make them! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    My husband and I are new to the Paleo lifestyle and the hardest part for me hasn’t been keeping the carbs in check, its been trying to subdue my sweet tooth-these little treats are just the amount of sweet to keep me from a full on chocolate fest and the recipe was so easy to follow! Thanks for sharing these yummy delights!

    • This is probably my sweetest treat, but I find it really curbs my cravings too! 🙂 Sometimes a piece or two of really good chocolate keeps me from getting in too much trouble as well!

  8. Wow Kari, I tried these last night….and my husband kept sneaking back for more. My son really liked them too, as did I. This is a WINNER recipe. I can’t wait for my daughter to try them today (she was away at Choir Retreat). It makes me so excited to try your other recipes. Originally I found your blog while looking for a coconut ice cream recipe, but uncovered these gems and went with that…..I’ll have to pace myself or everyone in the family is going to get much fatter!


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