No-Bake Cookies to Make When it’s Hot Outside

No backyard bash is complete without something sweet to finish the meal. All too often, this means suffering in front of the oven on an already scorching day. This is no way to enjoy summer, so go for these no-bake treats instead. They have every bit as much flavor as your favorite baked goods and are even easier to pull off. All it takes is a little melting, stirring, and scooping.

1. No-Bake Samoa Cookies

Oatmeal chocolate cookies on wooden table

Chocolate, oatmeal, and coconut cookie bites | iStock.com

For anyone who adores the Girl Scout classic (and who doesn’t?), these no-bake treats from The Recipe Rebel, adapted from Aunt Peg’s Recipe Box, are a home run. The secret ingredient is instant pudding mix, which helps bind the other ingredients and adds tons of flavor. If you’re in a hurry, pop the finished cookies in the freezer for a few minutes to help them set super fast.

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 2½ quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping

  • ¾ sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine

Directions: In a large pot, combine sugar, butter, and milk. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in pudding mix, oats, coconut, and vanilla. Mix well to combine.

Scoop rounded spoonfuls of mixture on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Meanwhile, melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring after each interval, until melted and smooth. Transfer to a zip-top bag, then snip the corner.

Drizzle chocolate evenly over each cookie, then sprinkle toasted coconut over top. Let set.

2. Healthy No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies in a tray

Oatmeal raisin cookie dough | iStock.com

For the health-conscious crowd, these oatmeal treats from Recipe Runner are the perfect dessert. They’re brimming with raisins, oats, and pecans, for a great balance of taste and texture. Because they use coconut oil for the fat and no eggs, they’re also vegan-friendly. If you find yourself with any leftovers, they make a fantastic breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup mashed banana
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • 1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Directions: In a medium saucepan, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, banana, almond milk, and almond butter. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, to combine. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

Stir in vanilla, oats, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Scoop 1½-tablespoon portions onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Transfer to freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to set. Keep stored in an airtight container in the freezer or refrigerator.

3. No-Bake Avalanche Cookies

White Chocolate and Marshmallow Rice in a round tray

Rice cereal and white chocolate treats | iStock.com

When you’re looking for something else to do with rice cereal other than make the usual bar, try these decadent little desserts from Cookies & Cups. With just four ingredients and a speedy method, they might become your favorite easy dessert. Though this version uses white chocolate chips, you can also try it with milk or dark. And feel free to add any of your other favorite cookie mix-ins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice cereal
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 pound white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate

Directions: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine rice cereal and marshmallows in a large bowl.

In a large bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, melt white chocolate and peanut butter until completely smooth. Pour over cereal mixture and stir to combine. Drop rounded portions from a tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Transfer to refrigerator until set.

4. No-Bake Snickerdoodle Cookies

Close up of snickerdoodle cookies

Snickerdoodle cookies | iStock.com

Trying to meet every dietary restriction when making dessert for friends is nearly impossible. Steering clear of gluten, eggs, added sugar, and dairy eliminates almost every baked good from the lineup. Never fear, these no-bake snickerdoodles from Recipe 4 Living meet all the criteria. Just make sure to skip the coating if you are avoiding sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 10 pitted medjool dates
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • Raw sugar (optional)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until mixture forms a cohesive dough. Use your hands to roll into balls, then transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly with moistened fingers. If desired, dip in raw sugar, pressing to adhere. Keep stored in refrigerator.

5. No-Bake Butterscotch Cornflake Cookies

caramel and corn flakes on a wooden table

Corn cereal flake and caramel clusters | iStock.com

Peanut butter and chocolate are never a bad combination, but try the nutty spread with butterscotch for a change that’s just as delicious. We particularly like the combo in this easy dessert recipe from Southern Bite. The flavor is out of this world, but the best part? They’re ready to eat in just 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (11-ounce) package butterscotch chips
  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • 4 cups corn cereal flakes
  • 1 cup peanuts

Directions: Combine cereal and peanuts in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, combine butterscotch chips and peanut butter. Set over low heat and stir until melted and smooth.

Pour butterscotch mixture over cereal mixture, then stir to combine. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of mixture onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Let cool completely before serving.

6. Nutella No-Bake Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread in a bowl with spoon

Bowl filled with chocolate hazelnut spread | iStock.com

We’ll admit we’re guilty of eating the chocolaty spread straight out of the jar, but these no-bake cookies from Foodie Crush might be even more delicious. They’re creamy, crunchy, sweet, and a bit salty all at the same time. If you make these for a potluck, don’t expect any leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup Nutella
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, divided
  • ¼ cup flaked coconut

Directions: In a medium bowl, combine oatmeal, ½ cup hazelnuts, and coconut. Set aside. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, then stir in Nutella, vanilla, and salt. Mix well to combine.

Transfer Nutella mixture to bowl with oats. Stir until completely combined. Scoop 1-inch balls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved hazelnuts. Set aside for 20 minutes to set.

7. S’mores No-Bake Cookies

close up of smores and marshmallows

Ingredients for s’mores | iStock.com

Enjoy the flavors of your favorite summer treat even when you don’t have access to a campfire by making these four-ingredient s’mores cookies from Gimme Some Oven. You can even make them without graham cereal. Just toss some regular graham crackers into a zip-top bag, then give them a few whacks with a rolling pin. They’re also equally good with milk or dark chocolate, so use whichever you prefer.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) bag mini marshmallows
  • 1 (11.5-ounce) bag milk chocolate chips
  • 8 cups graham cereal

Optional topping:

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions: Melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Stir in marshmallows and continue to cook, stirring, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, then stir in cereal. Once fully coated, add 11.5 ounces of chocolate chips. Stir to combine.

Scoop into mounds on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Let cool.

Melt remaining chocolate chips over a double boiler or in the microwave, stopping to stir every 15 to 20 seconds, until melted and smooth. If needed, add a teaspoon or so of vegetable or canola oil to thin. Transfer to a zip-top bag and snip the corner. Drizzle over cookies. Let stand until topping sets.

Follow Christine on Twitter @christineskopec

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