These Healthy No Bake Cookies come together in 10 minutes or less and are just like the childhood classic that many of us grew up with. They’re easy to make with a reduced amount of natural sweetener. They’re also gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, and I’ll show you how to make them paleo as well. These cookies also keep really well at room temperature and even better in the freezer.
I’ve been eating no-bake cookies all my life, and I love them! They’re so easy to make, and I never get tired of this childhood favorite. Our family recipe for No Bake Cookies probably isn’t the healthiest, so I came up with this healthier version to satisfy my sweet tooth.
The original cookie is awesome just as it is, but once you mix the almond butter in, they become insanely good (don’t say I didn’t warn you!). It has the perfect trio going on: chocolate, coconut, and almonds!
Also, these are fantastic with peanut butter or cashew butter too. You can’t go wrong with any nut butter you would choose to add.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Old-fashioned rolled oats – if you need these to be gluten-free, be sure to check the label to make sure your oats are certified gluten-free. Bob’s Red Mill has gluten-free oats that work well. If you don’t have any allergies you don’t need to worry about this.
- Coconut sugar – is the natural sweetener I like to use in place of regular cane sugar and it gives these cookies a bit of a caramel flavor as well.
- Milk – the classic recipe my mom made called for milk, but canned coconut milk works really well as a dairy-free and vegan option.
- Coconut oil – ghee or butter all work here, use whatever works best for you. Coconut oil does give these cookies a slight coconut flavor, but it’s really yummy.
- Cocoa powder – regular unsweetened cocoa powder works here, you don’t want hot chocolate mix as it already has sugar and dairy in it.
- Nut butter – is optional in no-bake cookies. You can use peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or even sunflower butter for nut free. Or you can also leave it out to have a deeper chocolate flavor.
- Salt – a pinch or more to taste is necessary to bring out the flavor of these cookies if you use coconut oil. If you use the classic salted butter, you don’t really need any extra salt.
Make these Healthy No Bake Cookies recipe step by step
Step 1: The first step is to mix together the coconut sugar, coconut milk, coconut oil, and cocoa powder. When a lumpy mixture forms, start bringing it to a boil while stirring frequently.
Step 2: After the chocolate mixture comes to a boil, it will turn thicker like in the picture above. Once it thickens, remove it from the heat and mix in the coconut or oats, and any add-ons that you might want.
Tip: Sometimes it’s nice to have more that one kind of cookie, so I spoon out half the batch and then add almond butter or walnuts to the other half.
Ways to serve this
- Our family’s favorite way to eat these is to spoon the still-warm cookie right out of the pan and pile it like hot fudge over scoops of Best Vanilla Ice Cream or Homemade Coconut Ice Cream.
- These are also great served with coffee or tea anytime you have company over.
- These cookies are perfect with anything creamy like dunked-in milk, or with whipped cream or ice cream of any flavor you like paired with chocolate. Raspberry Ice Cream or my Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream would be good options.
- To store – store any leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week. The cookies will get drier as time passes, so I like to freeze mine.
- Make ahead – these cookies are the best the 1st day, but you can make them in the morning to serve after dinner, or even the next day.
- To freeze – place your leftover cookies into an airtight container and freeze for 1 month.
Tips & Tricks
- No bake cookies without peanut butter – simply leave out the peanut butter and go for a chocolate cookie. If you want the nut butter flavor and richness, add almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter for nut free.
- No bake cookies with peanut butter – use peanut butter that is unsalted and unsweetened. These cookies are very sweet, so unsweetened peanut butter is a must.
- Be sure to boil the chocolate mixture for the time listed. If you boil it too long the cookies are more crumbly and if the mixture isn’t boiled enough the cookies will be very soft. If either happens, don’t worry the cookies will still taste good.
Dietary Options & Substitutions
- Dairy-free – these cookies are dairy free made with coconut milk and coconut oil. I sometimes use butter but I haven’t tried dairy-free butter.
- Paleo – be sure to use the coconut oil, and coconut milk, and use the coconut flake option in the recipe.
- Vegan or Vegetarian – use coconut oil and coconut milk to make sure these are vegan.
More Cookie Recipe Inspiration
- Gluten-Free Monster Cookies
- Chocolate Chunk Salted Caramel No-Bake Cookies
- Glazed Paleo ‘Sugar’ Cookies
- Gluten-Free Molasses Ginger Cookies
- Double Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies
I sure hope you get a chance to make these Healthy No Bake Cookies soon, and if you do, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here in the comments.
Healthy No Bake Cookies
- 1/2 cup coconut milk - or regular milk
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder - unsweetened
- 1/2 cup coconut oil - ghee, or butter
- 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar - see notes
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch sea salt - add to taste when using coconut oil
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats - omit the coconut below
Paleo version – use in place of the oats:
- 2 cups finely shredded coconut - unsweetened
- 1 cup big flake coconut - unsweetened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter - unsalted, unsweetened or almond butter, or 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- Combine the coconut milk, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and coconut sugar in a larger saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil, then boil this mixture for 2 minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, whisk in the vanilla and sea salt. Then add either the coconut flakes or the rolled oats depending on which kind of cookie you're making.
- From here, you can spoon the cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool, or you can either the peanut butter or chopped nuts.
- These keep at room temperature in a sealed container for 4-5 days. They also freeze perfectly in a well sealed container for at least 1 month.
This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated in 2020 & 2023 with new photos, more information and tips.
42 thoughts on “Healthy No-Bake Cookies”
Hi! Can I use no coconut or oats & just use almond & coconut flour instead? Will they be flat? Or should it be OK?
I don’t think almond flour and coconut flour will work because no bake cookies are all about the texture which comes from either coconut or oats. If you did use coconut or almond flour it would be more like a cookie dough. I hope this helps, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions!
These are amazing!! I cut back on the coconut sugar, used oats and also sprinkled in some PB2!!!
I love these with a little peanut butter, and I’m so glad you enjoyed them!
I’m not a big fan of coconut and glad to see that oats can be used instead. But I was just wondering, does the cookie taste more like coconut than chocolate if using all the coconut ingredients?
I think the cookies definitely taste more like chocolate than coconut, but there is a coconut flavor, so if you’re not a big fan you might like the version with oats more. I hope you enjoy the cookies, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions!
So you could use oats instead of the coconut? Why type of oats would work best? I can’t stand coconut especially the texture.
You can definitely use oats in place of coconut (I’ve heard when you hate coconut, you really hate it!). Just regular rolled oats work great (not instant), and that’s how my mom’s original recipe was written so you shouldn’t have any problems with the substitution. The only thing I’ve noticed about oats vs. coconut is that the oat based cookies dry out a little sooner, where the coconut version will keep moist for several days. You can freeze extra cookies in an airtight container to extend their shelf life (if you happen to have any leftover). 🙂