These easy coconut no bake cookies without peanut butter are a fast oven-free treat that you can whip up in a flash!
No bake cookies were a staple of my childhood, so making a paleo version with coconut and without oatmeal was a huge win for my nostalgia!
Made entirely on the stovetop in less than 10 minutes, no bake cookies provide a super-fast fix for chocolate cravings.
Without oatmeal, this version is gluten free, paleo, dairy free, and keto-friendly.
Ingredients for paleo no bake cookies without peanut butter
The classic I grew up with called for oatmeal, cane sugar, and margarine. Today, that’s just not happening for me!
Fortunately, coconut makes a good stand-in for oatmeal. As a matter of fact, the original recipe my mom wrote down actually called for a mix of oatmeal and coconut!
My original intention for this coconut no bake cookie recipe was to make a paleo version, meaning no dairy, grains, or sugar.
That means this version is made without milk, without peanut butter, and without oatmeal. Plus, I needed to substitute out milk, butter, and sugar.
Here's the main ingredients needed:
— Coconut milk: I use full-fat coconut milk for these no bake cookies to keep them dairy free. If you would rather make these with milk, feel free to use milk (or whipping cream).
— Ghee/Coconut oil: Again, ghee or coconut oil is used to keep these cookies dairy free! You can make your own ghee or buy store-bought. You can use butter if you'd like.
— Coconut Sugar: My original goal for these no bake cookies without peanut butter was to make a paleo-friendly version of the classic, meaning no dairy, grains, or sugar. Coconut sugar takes the place of cane sugar here!
— Maple syrup: A touch of maple syrup helps to bind these cookies together without becoming too dry or crumbly!
— Cocoa powder: Cocoa or cacao powder give the chocolate flavor to no bake cookies.
— Coconut flakes: No oats here! These no bake cookies are made without oatmeal, so UNSWEETENED coconut flakes take their place. Props if you toast the coconut flakes beforehand!
— Pecans: Since coconut flakes can be somewhat chewy, adding some chopped pecans add crunch and added flavor to coconut no bake cookies.
How to make no bake cookies without peanut butter or oatmeal
Although I made changes to the ingredients of my mom's original recipe, the instructions are pretty much the same!
Combine syrup ingredients: Combine the coconut milk, ghee, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and cocoa/cacao powder in a pot.
Boil the syrup: Watching carefully, bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. DO NOT OVER-BOIL.
Add the rest of the ingredients: Remove from heat and immediately add the coconut shreds/flakes, vanilla extract, and sea salt.
At this point, you could skip the next step like my mom, sister, and I often did and just eat the mixture straight out of the pot. Perfect for sudden chocolate cravings!
Make cookies: Or you can drop spoonfuls onto a wax or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and let them set for at least 30 minutes.
How long does it take no bake cookies to set?
You’ll have to wait for them to set longer than it takes to boil the syrup! I usually let them set for at least 30 minutes.
They will set at room temperature - no reason to pop ‘em into the fridge to speed up the process.
Why are my coconut no bake cookies dry and crumbly?
You may have over-cooked the syrup.
The "no bake" part of this recipe involves boiling some of the ingredients on the stove, essentially making candy — and if left boiling for too long, the set syrup will end up being too hard and dry.
Why won't my no bake cookies set?
If following the recipe as written (no substitutes), my best guess would be that the syrup was under-cooked!
Just as over-cooked syrup will lead to dry, too hard cookies, under-cooked syrup will lead to cookies that won't set, since the sugars were not broken down enough to harden.
Make sure you're letting the syrup BOIL for 3 minutes. Don't include the time it takes to heat the mixture up to boiling - JUST the time it's boiling.
Give the cookies at least 30 minutes to set. As long as you're cooking the syrup long enough, you'll be good to go!
If your no bake cookies failed/won't set...
Just eat it as-is!
As kids, we used to do this ALL the time - often we'd make no bake cookies when one of us was craving chocolate, but we never wanted to wait around for the cookies to set.
So my mom would whip up a small batch, grab 3 spoons, and split the pot between me and my sister!
Do you have to refrigerate no bake cookies without peanut butter?
Nope! I never have, unless I intend to keep them for longer than a couple days… which doesn’t happen often.
Store these cookies in a sealed container on the countertop.
This recipe is quick and easy enough that you can whip up a batch whenever a craving strikes!
Can I make these cookies with peanut butter or another nut butter?
Absolutely! Just stir 2 tablespoons of your chosen nut butter into the syrup after boiling but before adding the other ingredients.
Ways to customize this recipe
Besides swapping out the oatmeal for coconut, you can customize no bake cookies in a number of ways:
- Add crunch: Add ½ cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
- Get toasty: Toast the coconut/nuts before making the cookies
- Add nut butter: Stir 2 tablespoons peanut butter, almond butter, or other nut butter into the syrup mixture after boiling
More paleo and gluten free cookie recipes to try
Did you try this recipe? I'd love to hear what you think! Comment below or tag me on Instagram.Print
- Add coconut milk, ghee, coconut sugar, maple syrup, cacao, and vanilla to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, then remove from heat. Immediately add coconut flakes and pecans, and salt, stirring until completely coated in the chocolate mixture.
- Drop by large spoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and let cool for at least 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container or freeze.
- For crunchier cookies, toast the coconut flakes first. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread coconut flakes and pecans out on a baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes until the coconut flakes have browned slightly.
Keywords: No bake cookies, paleo no bake cookies, no bake cookies without peanut butter, coconut no bake cookies