No Bake Cookie Brownies are made with a homemade fudgy brownie layer that’s topped with chewy oatmeal no-bake cookies! A great after-dinner treat, potluck dessert, or bake sale contribution!
Two Childhood Classics In One Modern Dessert!
These No Bake Cookie Brownies were inspired by my two favorite childhood desserts (read: the only two things my mom could make other than apple crisp with oatmeal – love you, mom 😜).
So I thought, why can’t the two become one?
Why stop at a brownie when you can sink your teeth into these gourmet-style No Bake Cookie Brownies?! Rich, fudgy homemade brownies are topped with a no-bake oatmeal-based cookie, making for a thick treat that’s best paired with an ice-cold glass of milk!
These are simple enough to make when you’re looking to cure a sweet tooth yet are decadent enough to be a hit at a bake sale! Since this recipe yields two dozen squares of delicious brownie goodness, you can even enjoy some now AND freeze some for later!
Ingredients For No Bake Cookie Brownies
- Salted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Canola oil
- Large eggs
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- Whole milk
- Peanut butter
- Quick 1-minute oats
Topping brownies made from scratch with homemade no-bake cookies is a genius kitchen treat, especially since the two are made with similar ingredients. Most of these are pantry staples, making it even easier to whip up this decadent treat without giving it a second thought.
When making the no-bake cookie topping, it’s important to pay close attention to the oats that are used. This recipe uses quick 1-minute oats.
Old-fashioned oats cannot be used as they won’t cook quickly, leaving the cookies hard and dry. You also cannot use instant oatmeal as the cookies would turn out too soft.
Use ALL canola or vegetable oil instead of butter for a higher-rise brownie with crispier and crunchier edges! This simple 1:1 ratio swap will give the brownies an even more cake-like texture that’s incredibly yummy!
No Bake Cookie Brownies Substitutions And Variations
There are a lot of different ways to customize this delicious recipe to make it more your own!
- Salted Butter – If you only have unsalted butter on hand, you can use that instead of salted butter. To make this swap, add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the brownie layer and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the cookie layer.
- Canola Oil – Vegetable oil can be used in place of canola oil.
- Whole Milk – I prefer making the no-bake cookie layer with whole milk since it has a higher fat content. However, you can replace whole milk with your choice of milk, such as almond milk or even skim milk.
- Peanut Butter – Feel free to choose between creamy peanut butter or chunky peanut butter for added crunch! I don’t recommend using natural peanut butter as this no-bake recipe isn’t tailored to fit the extra oils natural peanut butter carries. If you need a nut-free alternative, you can replace peanut butter with sun butter.
- Chocolate Chips – Try swapping out the semi-sweet chocolate chips in the brownie batter for peanut butter chips!
- Nut Variation – For a nutty crunch, add chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds to the brownie batter.
- No Bake Cookie Topping Variation – You can really mix this No Bake Cookie Brownies recipe up by choosing another flavor of no-bake cookie to top them with! Nutella No Bake Cookies, Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies, or even Cookie Butter No Bake Cookies would all be fun cookie toppings on this treat!
Kitchen Tips For Making The Best No Bake Cookie Brownies
- Lining The Pan – The two layers in this dessert make for a decadent-looking treat that we don’t want to ruin when removing them from the pan! Therefore, it works best to first line the baking pan with parchment paper and then lightly spray it with cooking spray. Lining the pan may require two sheets of parchment paper to ensure a good fit, one sheet going in each direction of the pan. Make sure the one that goes across the shorter distance is under the one that goes along the full length of the pan.
- Cooking Ingredients – When making the brownie recipe, make sure to melt the butter and sugar until smooth. Once the butter and sugar have started to emulsify and there’s no butter separated on top of the sugar, you can remove the pan from the heat. Be careful not to overcook this mixture, as it could alter the structure and taste of the brownie!
- Correctly Measured Flour – Learning how to measure flour correctly will positively impact this dessert recipe since it’s easy to add too little or too much accidentally. Both of which can change the taste and texture of this dessert! Therefore, we want just the right amount of flour to deliver the most delicious brownies!
- Cooling The Brownies – Make sure to allow the brownies to cool before spreading the no-bake cookie layer on top. If this step is done while the brownies are still hot, the brownies will tear and fall apart.
- No Bake Cookie Tips – Move quickly when making the no-bake cookie layer. Therefore, you want to prep and measure out all of the ingredients before beginning the recipe. Once the ingredients are on the heat, the next important step is not overcooking the mixture! Set the timer for 60 seconds as soon as the center of the mixture starts to boil. The cookie layer will turn out hard and dry if it is cooked too long.
How To Make No Bake Cookie Brownies
Step 1: Melt the salted butter with granulated sugar over low heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir until the mixture is smooth, and then remove it from the heat. Transfer this melted butter mixture into a large bowl and allow it to cool, stirring often, to release the heat.
Step 2: Beat the canola oil and vanilla extract into the butter and sugar mixture until fully combined. This step is complete when there’s no separation between the ingredients, meaning there’s no oil resting on top.
Step 3: Mix in the large eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated using a spatula or a fork.
Step 4: Sift the all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt into the butter and sugar mixture, stirring gently and minimally.
Step 5: Fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips by hand using a rubber spatula.
Step 6: Pour the brownie batter into the parchment paper-lined baking pan. Then transfer it into the oven to bake.
Step 7: Remove the pan from the oven and allow the brownies to cool completely before adding the no-bake cookie layer.
Step 8: Prepare the no-bake cookie layer by heating the granulated sugar, salted butter, whole milk, and unsweetened cocoa powder in a large nonstick pot over medium heat. Be sure to stir the mixture constantly as it is heating!
Step 9: Once the mixture begins to boil in the center, set a timer and continue stirring the mixture at a rolling boil.
Step 10: Remove the pot from the heat and immediately stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until fully combined.
Step 11: Stir in the quick 1-minute oats and then immediately spread the mixture over the top of the cooled brownies.
Step 12: Allow the no bake cookie layer to set completely before removing the brownies from the pan. Then, slice them with a large sharp knife into squares.
How To Store No Bake Cookie Brownies
Store these No Bake Cookie Brownies in an airtight container at room temperature to enjoy for 3 to 4 days. If your storage container is deep, you’ll want to add parchment paper between the layers to protect the brownies from sticking together.
You can also freeze these brownies to enjoy later! This is perfect to get ahead of holiday baking, classroom parties, or to prep for an upcoming bake sale.
To freeze, once the no-bake cookie topping has completely set, slice the brownies into squares. Then, wrap each individual brownie square with plastic wrap and then again with aluminum foil. Afterward, transfer the double-wrapped brownies into an airtight container that’s freezer-safe.
Store the brownies in the freezer to enjoy for up to 2 months.
No Bake Cookie Brownies FAQs
Why Won’t My No-Bake Cookies Harden?
If your no bake cookie layer won’t harden, the issue could be humidity and rain. If that’s the case, you may want to cook the mixture for an additional 5 to 10 seconds since the moisture in the air might make it hard for the cookies to set.
You can also try sliding the pan of brownies into the fridge to help set up the cookie layer.
Why Are My No Bake Cookies Grainy?
Grainy no bake cookies are caused by the mixture not cooking long enough on the stovetop to incorporate the granulated sugar fully. Be sure to set the timer for 60 seconds to prevent grainy no bakes.
Can I Make This No Bake Cookie Brownies Recipe Using A Boxed Brownie Mix?
The homemade brownie layer sure does give this treat its delicious texture and fudgy taste. I’ve also found that it has the best structure to support the cookie topping.
However, if you’d like, you can use boxed brownie mix to make this recipe. To do so, use three boxes for a 9X13-inch pan. This will create the right brownie-to-cookie ratio.
Be sure to check out how to make box mix brownies even better!
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No Bake Cookie Brownies
- 1 9×13-inch metal cake pan
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring spoons
- 3 rubber spatulas
- 1 Medium saucepan
- 2 small bowls
- 1 Sifter
- 1 Large mixing bowl
- 1 large saucepan
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a metal 9×13-inch cake pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Make sure some of the parchment is over the edge of the pan for easy removal. This may require two sheets, one going in each direction of the pan – make sure the one that goes across the shorter distance is under the one that goes along the full length of the pan.
- Melt 1 cup salted butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Add in 2¼ cups granulated sugar and stir until smooth and the butter and sugar have started to emulsify and no butter is separated on top of the sugar. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl, and let the mixture cool for 5 minutes, stirring often to release heat.
- Add 2 tablespoons canola oil and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract to the butter and sugar and beat them in with a rubber spatula until fully combined and there's no separation between the ingredients (no oil resting on top).
- Mix in 5 large eggs one at a time, beating with the spatula or a fork after each one. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Sift the ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, and ¾ teaspoon salt into the butter and sugar mixture, stirring gently and minimally, until almost all the dry streaks are gone.
- Fold in the ½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow the brownies to cool completely before adding the next layers. Allowing the brownie to cool prevents the hot fudge sauce from tearing up the top of the brownie when spreading it.
- Once the brownies have cooled, prepare the no bake cookie topping by adding 2 cups granulated sugar, ½ cup salted butter, ½ cup whole milk, and ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder in a large nonstick pot over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- As soon as the mixture begins to boil in the center, set a timer for 1 minute and continue to stir the mixture at a rolling boil
- Remove from heat and stir in the ⅔ cup peanut butter and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract until fully combined.
- Quickly stir in 3 cups quick 1-minute oats then immediately spread the mixture out over the top of the brownies.
- Let the top layer set completely before removing the brownies from the pan and slicing them with a large sharp knife into squares. We like using these plastic knives because they yield clean slices!
- If you don’t have butter on hand or are looking for a higher-rise brownie with crispier/crunchier edges – try using all canola or vegetable. It’s a 1:1 ratio!