Coconut No Bake Cookies Recipe

Chocolate No Bake Cookies Recipe

I don’t make desserts often, but when I do, we usually stick to low or no-sugar options like chia seed pudding, but my kids had been asking to help create some new blog recipes (since I try to let them help out in the kitchen as much as possible) and I remembered the no bake cookies I used to make as a child with my mom.

I realized that these would be really simple for my kids to make and that a few substitutions would make them healthier by increasing the protein and fiber and still keep the same texture and flavor as the originals that we used to make. I gave them the basic recipe I used as a kid and the ingredients we were using to substitute and let them take charge of this recipe. They did a great job (especially with the taste testing part) and while I ended up with a few extra dishes, they created this recipe pretty much on their own.

No Bake Cookies: Ingredient Substitutions

The original recipe calls for instant oatmeal, butter, peanut butter, and refined white sugar. These aren’t ingredients we typically use, but they are really easy ingredients to replace with other and more nutritious options.

Coconut flakes make a great substitute for oatmeal. If you have bigger coconut flakes, pulse them in a food processor for a couple of seconds to create the same size and texture as instant oats.

Coconut oil is a great dairy-free substitute for butter in almost any recipe and it doesn’t disappoint in this one. Of course, if you can tolerate dairy and prefer butter, absolutely use it.

Peanut butter is easily replaced with almond butter, pecan butter, or tahini (we love these raw nut butters that are soaked, sprouted and dehydrated before being made into butters).

White sugar can be replaced with maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar, and I’ve found that you can use much less than the regular recipe calls for. Using stevia tincture is another good option to reduce the sweetener even more.

We also experimented with adding chopped nuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chopped dried fruit to the recipe and they all worked really well. As long as you keep the basic proportions of the ingredients, there are endless ways to mix up this recipe. This is our favorite variation:

Chocolate No Bake Cookies Recipe

10 votes


Coconut No Bake Cookies Recipe



Yield 24 +

No bake cookies made with coconut instead of oatmeal for extra protein and fiber. Make them dairy-free by using coconut oil instead of butter and mix them up my adding your favorite nuts.


  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey or coconut sugar- can also use stevia drops to taste)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder or cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond butter or pecan butter or tahini
  • 2-3 cups shredded coconut flakes


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Add sweetener and cocoa powder and bring to a simmer. Simmer 2-3 minutes or until it bubbles, but be careful not to let it burn.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla and almond/pecan butter and stir until smooth.
  4. Add coconut and mix to combine. Start with two cups and add more if needed, as the texture will depend on the size of the coconut flakes and there is a lot of variation among brands and some are drier than others. You want the finished mixture to be thick and somewhat crumbly, but scoopable.
  5. Use a spoon to scoop the mixture onto a parchment paper or silicone sheet lined baking sheet in cookie-sized pieces.
  6. Place cookies sheets in the freezer for 15 minutes until they have hardened. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer until ready to consume to maintain the texture.


If desired, top with chopped or sliced nuts, orange zest (from organic oranges), or a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.

Courses Dessert

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My kids love helping out in the kitchen, and this recipe is an easy way for younger kids to help out with an easy recipe that they will love to eat once finished, especially since they can help choose which ingredients to add!

What desserts did you make as a child? Do you ever still make them?

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Reader Comments

  1. This looks genius. Thanks for sharing.

  2. These sound yummy…will try them. Just a question though; I’m a bit of a natural crunchy peanut butter addict. Is peanut butter not as healthy as other but butters? My peanut butter has no additives…just peanuts.

    • It depends on the individual and how they handle it. It’s technically a legume and not a nut…

  3. Hmmm…didn’t know that. I appreciate the response.

  4. My mom made apple crisp and peanut butter cookies like none other! I have figured out a more healthy work around for both of these and occasionally make the real deal without gluten or white refined sugar!

  5. It sounds yummy. The recipe says to add the oats/coconuts after removing from heat. I am planning on using gluten-free oats because I don’t like coconuts. Shouldn’t oats be cooked before consuming?

  6. Unless you have issues with oatmeal, you could still use oatmeal in this recipe. Rolled oats do not have to be cooked to eat them. I prefer rather fine cut rolled oats for this sort of cookie. I love cut up dates with it too. I also use soaked raisins for sweetener, but I would suppose the cookies might have to then be kept refrigerated. The English do a no bake oatmeal bar which is commonly sold in bakeries, my husband is English so we go there ever so often, I indulge a bit at the pastry shops and have a Cream Tea with an English Scone and that lovely Devon heavy cream!
    Your blogs are among the most interesting and useful that I follow. Thanks Katy.

  7. Boxed brownies and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups were our culprits. Need the best recipe substitutes for them because there are so many!!. And I was going to attempt to ask you a good replacement for oats in recipes like these because I found one using bananas, oats, honey, and almond butter. So, perfect timing with the coconut flakes. I’m gonna try substituting this weekend and try this recipe too!!

  8. So just to clarify…these are actually a frozen dessert?

    • Yes. You can set them out when ready to serve but if left in the heat, etc. they may start to melt.

  9. Why do you recommend maple sugar or honey over ordinary sugar? They all contain pure sugar as their main ingredient. And sugar is much cheaper and easier to use,

    • Regular white sugar is actually not pure sugar; maple syrup and honey truly are natural sources of sugar. They are great substitutes for baking, etc. but also shouldn’t be over-used as a sweetener.

    • Are you kidding me?

  10. The recipe is so simple and easy to follow. Can’t wait to try it.

  11. What are your thoughts on xylitol and erythritol???

  12. I grew up eating chocolate peanut butter nobakes.. they are one of my favorite desserts! Now I make them with coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut sugar… but recently was wanting to have a no-grain option. This is a great idea! Thanks!!

    • Okay I tried your recipe today and they are yummy! My mom’s recipe calls for 1/2 C butter, 1/2 C milk, 2 C sugar, 3 T Cocoa, 1 t vanilla, a big glob of peanut butter, and 3 C oats. I had been reducing the amount of sugar in those down to 1/2 C so yours weren’t too different sweetness-wise.. but ya know what I did this time? I only had 1 C of coconut flakes, so I crushed up all the nuts I had on hand to make 2 more cups! I got to thinking about Lara Bars and how those are always made with nuts… so I crushed up cashews, pecans, and walnuts and put those in with the coconut flakes. And they were pretty good!! And so filling. Having to slow down and chew the nuts and coconut flakes, plus getting fuller on them, definitely helped me eat less of these in one sitting instead of gobbling up wayyy too many of the oats nobakes at once! An unexpected bonus to the no-grain version! 🙂

  13. Chocolate is a migraine trigger for me. Do you think you could just skip the cocoa, or would it need a bit of coconut flour, maybe, instead?

  14. I make something similar and find it is a great way to get my kiddos some healthy fats. I add cacao butter, gluten free oats and chia seeds in mine. I don’t use as much maple syrup, but I sometimes add dark chocolate chips. Honey also works well. Since my recipe has more oil, I keep it in the frig or freeze. It is one of our favorites.

  15. Lankanto is a natural sugar substitute. It is granulated and would be used just like regular sugar but it has no calories and does not affect blood sugar levels.

    • I spelled it wrong – the product is Lakanto and it is made from monk fruit. I used it in a very similar recipe the other day and they were great. No worrying about the effects of sugar either.

  16. I like this recipe and may have to make it soon.
    Hey: could all of you who have “made something like this or similar” please share recipes? I would love to have lots of options since I drive 5 hours a day, and need something that is healthy and mouth-pop-able to eat!

  17. So you mentioned that you sprout your nuts before you make them into butter do you use mostly almonds? And does it take along time? I love all your ideas and recipes what a great mother and teacher you are.thank you for sharing!

    • I was wondering the same thing.

  18. I made these last night – they were awesome and so easy to make! My husband loved them too.

  19. I made these with crunchy almond butter. So good! Thanks for the recipe!

  20. These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them. I make a similar no-bake chocolate oatmeal no-bake cookie that my kids love better than traditional chocolate chip cookies. I typically use peanut butter because it’s a fan favorite at our house, but I want to try making homemade pecan butter and using it here.

  21. Cannot wait to try these – thank you!

  22. I just made these and they were delicious.

  23. I made a no bake cookie last night hoping the texture would be the same as it always is. I subbed a peanut butter that has agave syrup and used coconut sugar. I used the oats and butter and milk. They are much wetter than usual- more like an energy ball I think. I am not experienced using coconut sugar, but this was the only real difference as I am trying to not use cane sugar. Can anybody help me explain why they are so wet?