Smooth salted caramel, crunchy toffee chips, and chocolate wrapped up in super easy No Bake Caramel Cookies! I can’t think of a thing not to love about these cookies!
Caramel no bake cookies are a salty-sweet no bake cookie recipe that’s made with butterscotch pudding mix. These easy caramel cookies are made in about 10 minutes using oats/oatmeal. They’re a fun no bake oatmeal drop cookie that’s made without peanut butter.
This recipe was first published in 2016. I updated the post to include step-by-step images and a few tips to make sure they turn out perfectly.
Although thousands of readers have successfully made these cookies, a few readers, which is too many, had a hard time getting the cookies to set up. I did extra testing and kept the ingredients the same, but added a few tips!
I love no-bake cookies, and I love caramel! Who doesn’t, right? One day I needed to make a quick and easy dessert to take to the guys in the field and that’s when I created no bake caramel cookies!
They’re everything you love about traditional no-bake cookies, but are made without peanut butter or cocoa! Caramel no-bake cookies could easily be called no-bake butterscotch cookies because they get their flavor from the butterscotch pudding mix!
And, if you need another easy caramel recipe be sure to try my microwave caramels! They’re perfect in every way!
Table of contents
Why This Recipe Works
First of all, I’ve made this recipe so many times I think I could make it in my sleep! This recipe has been pinned thousands of times on Pinterest!
It’s a quick and easy recipe and only takes about 10 minutes to make no bake cookies with pudding from scratch. It really is such an easy caramel cookie recipe compared to the ones you have to mix and bake.
This is the perfect no-bake cookie recipe for people that are allergic to peanut butter.
Classic no bake oatmeal drop cookies are made using simple ingredients, and this caramel no-bake cookie recipe is the same EXCEPT you’ll need a pudding mix too.
Scroll to the recipe at the bottom for a complete list of ingredients and instructions.
Oats: Any kind of oatmeal will work. I like quick oats because they are ground a little finer and aren’t as chewy as old-fashioned or steel-cut oats would be. Quick oats, rolled oats, and old-fashioned oats will soak up some of the butter/milk mixture helping the caramel cookies to set up better.
Butter: Use real butter! It has the best flavor. Salted or unsalted will work in this recipe. I always use salted because I love the salty-sweet combo!
Evaporated milk: This is NOT the same thing as sweetened condensed milk. Evaporated milk has gone through a cooking process to remove some of the water making it a bit thicker and having a nuttier flavor than whole milk. Either can be used for this recipe, but evaporated milk will make the cookies a bit creamier and thicker.
Pudding Mix: This recipe calls for a 3.4-ounce instant pudding mix. Either butterscotch or caramel pudding will work, which means you could call these cookies no bake butterscotch cookies! You don’t need to make the pudding according to the package instructions. You just need the dry mix. I tested making this cook-and-serve pudding and it worked just fine (see full recipe and instructions below to see how to substitute). Apparently, instant butterscotch pudding mix is hard to find in some areas, but you can buy six 3.4-ounce boxes of instant butterscotch pudding on Amazon.
- Freezing the chocolate chips before adding them to the cookie mixture helps keep them from melting.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
How to Make No Bake Cookies
It’s important to bring the cookie mixture to a full rolling boil. If the mixture doesn’t come to a full rolling boil the cookies will be soft and won’t set up. A full rolling boil is a vigorous, bubbling boil that doesn’t stop when stirred. The bubbles should be across the whole surface of the pot or pan.
Step 1: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Set aside. Measure oats and add to a large mixing bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Set aside. Set chocolate chips in the freezer.
Step 2: Add butter, sugar, salt, and evaporated milk to a medium saucepan. Stirring frequently, bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat. Boil at a full rolling boil for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
Step 3: Pour over oats and dry pudding mix. Stir until incorporated. Let cool for a couple of minutes before adding the chocolate chips. If you add the chocolate chips right away they’ll all melt. It will still be delicious, but not as pretty! Using frozen chocolate chips helps.
Step 4: Add the chocolate chips and toffee chips to the oat mixture. Quickly and gently stir.
Step 5: Working quickly, scoop and drop cookies onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with additional sea salt, if desired.
Step 6: Let cool for at least 15-30 minutes.
FAQs and Tips
It’s different for every no-bake cookie recipe. For this recipe, all you really need to do is bring the mixture to a FULL rolling boil, which means it’s vigorously bubbling across the top and doesn’t stop when being stirred. Since too many readers were having a hard time getting the cookies to set up, I added 30 seconds to the boiling time just to make sure they’d set up.
The butter and sugar mixture in no-bake cookies needs to come to a full rolling boil for the amount of time listed in the recipe. Using quick oats instead of steel but oats will absorb some of the liquid helping them to set up.
Although, I’ve never tried freezing no-bake cookies I’ve heard they freeze really well. Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Other Easy No Bake Cookies Recipes
I’m a fan of all easy dessert recipes! No bake desserts happen to be my favorite because they can be made in minutes without ever having to turn the oven on! Be sure to try these tried and true winners!
- No Bake Pumpkin Cookies
- Apple Oatmeal Cookies
- S’mores Bites
- No Bake Chex Cookies
- Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies
Grab a glass of milk and enjoy! Don’t get me wrong…I love classic no bake cookies! But no bake cookies with pudding is a fun twist on a good ol’ classic! I love them! Really, I do!
No Bake Caramel Cookies
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 3.4 ounces instant butterscotch pudding mix
- 3 1/2 cups quick oats
- dash salt to taste
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup toffee chips
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Measure the oats. Set aside. Put the chocolate chips in the freezer.
- Add sugar, butter, a dash of salt, and evaporated milk to a medium sauce pan. Stirring frequently bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat. Boil for 30 seconds. A full rolling boil is a vigorous bubbling boil that doesn't stop when stirred.
- Remove from heat and add oats and dry pudding. Stir. Let sit for a few minutes until it cools a little bit.
- Add chocolate chips and toffee chips to the cookie mixture. Gently and quickly stir, do not over stir or else the chocolate chips will be completely melted.
- Scoop cookies and drop them onto parchment paper. Sprinkle a little bit of the sea salt over the cookies before they cool. I like using coarse sea salt.
- Let sit for at least 15-30 minutes.
- This recipe originally called for a 5.1-ounce package of butterscotch pudding. Apparently, that size is really hard to find. I’ve tested this recipe using a 3.4-ounce package and it works great.
- Since I created this recipe Jell-O created Caramel pudding! That flavor works great also!
- I’ve tested this recipe using cook-and-serve pudding and it worked great. Add cook and serve pudding mixture with the butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in Step 2.
- You need to bring butter, sugar and evaporated milk to a full rolling boil over MEDIUM heat.
- A full rolling boil is when the mixture keeps boiling even when it’s being stirred.
- It’s important to bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. If you cook it too fast the cookies will most likely be runny or sticky. If you cook the mixture too long the cookies will be hard and dry.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
- Cookies will last for up to 3-5 days.
- I’ve never tried freezing these cookies, although I do know no-bake cookies typically freeze well.