How to Harden No-Bake Cookies

No-bake cookies have become incredibly popular and for a few good reasons. Number one, they’re delicious. Number two, you can make them without using your oven. Hello, who wants to crank up the heat when it’s 94F outside?

But if you struggle to get your no-bakes to harden, you won’t enjoy your treat anytime soon. How can you harden them ASAP?

The best way to harden no-bake cookies is to add more dry ingredients, tablespoon by tablespoon. You can also utilize the refrigerator. If that still doesn’t work, consider re-boiling the mixture and ensuring there’s enough fat present in the “no bakies.”

Hi! My name is Michelle. I’m a baker with over ten years of experience. Along my journey, I’ve made all types of cookies, from my family’s favorite peanut butter cookies to no-bake options like these yummy coconutty delights. Of course, I’ve run into trouble along the way, including no-bake cookies that wouldn’t harden. Luckily, I’ve discovered how to remedy the situation.

Find out how to harden no-bake cookies below!

4 Ways to Make No-Bake Cookies Hard

No-bake cookies that won’t harden are an easy way to devastate your taste buds. But don’t panic. You don’t have to settle for no-bakes that don’t satisfy the texture department.

Here are the top four ways to get your no-bakes to harden – and fast.

1. Add More Dry Ingredients

Every no-bake cookie is different, but they all have one thing in common – a mixture of wet and dry ingredients.

And, just like in other dessert recipes, if you miscalculate the ingredients, you might end up with a lackluster finish. In this case, the result may be cookies that just won’t set.

Solution: Go ahead and toss in some more dry ingredients, whether it’s flour, oats, or another element. Go tablespoons by tablespoons so you don’t accidentally overdo it, which will lead to other issues. I also recommend getting some good measuring cups and spoons for your next no-bake cookie adventure

2. Stick Them in the Refrigerator

Some no-bake recipes have “place in the refrigerator” as one of the directions for success.

Again, not all no-bakes are created equal, so yours might not. Some simply say to leave them at room temperature to harden up.

Solution: If your cookies simply don’t harden at room temperature, you can always place them in the refrigerator. It shouldn’t take longer than an hour for your cookies to set. 

3. Boil the Mixture

Ladies and gentlemen, please pay close attention. I’m about to let you in on a big secret about no-bake cookies: boiling may be the most crucial part.

If you boil too long, your cookies won’t set. If you don’t boil them long enough, they won’t stick together and, therefore, won’t harden.

Needless to say, you have to be very strategic with your boils.

Solution: If you think you didn’t boil your mixture long enough, toss it back into the pan and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, set your timer for a minute and thirty seconds. At this point, your mixture should be 235F to 240F (check using a thermometer). If it’s not, continue boiling for an additional 30 seconds. 

4. Make Sure There’s Enough Fat

There are countless no-bake cookie recipes out there that utilize peanut butter. However, some use other ingredients, like butter or margarine. What do these ingredients have in common? They’re all fats.

In no-bake cookies, fats are responsible for two things: creating delectable flavors and combining ingredients.

If you don’t use the right amount of fat called for in the recipe, you’ll notice that your no-bakes don’t come together as they’re supposed to. As a result, your cookies won’t set.

Solution: Make sure you’re using the right amount of fat. If you need to, add a little more of the recommended fat.

5. Bonus: Wait Longer

Now, if you’re dealing with no-bake cookies that won’t set, you likely waited the recommended amount of time for your cookies to set.

But in case you didn’t, I had to add it to my list. 

Solution: Wait the allotted time specified by your recipe for the “no bakies” to set. Typically, this is around 30 minutes. Always allow your cookies to cool on a cooling rack


No-bake cookies are meant to be stable and easy to eat, like a regular cookie. If yours aren’t setting like they’re supposed to, you now have the tools to fix the problem. Here are a couple of more frequently asked questions relating to this topic.

Why are my no-bake cookies too sticky?

The leading cause for sticky no-bakes is not boiling for long enough. If you have sticky “no bakies” on your hands, consider boiling the no-bakes again. Heat until it comes to a boil, then boil for up to two minutes.

How long does it take for no bakes to set up?

No bakes shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes to set up. So, give it the full 30 minutes before you decide whether or not they’re unable to harden. Tip: Use a cooling rack. This will help your no-bakes to set correctly with no mushy or soft areas.

Why do no-bake cookies crumble?

If you’re struggling with crumbly no-bakes, you likely overcooked the mixture. You may have also added too many dry ingredients. This is why boiling is the most critical part of making cookies. One slip-up can result in crumbling, difficulty setting, stickiness, and other issues.

No-Bake Cookies Are the Latest Trend and Can Set With Simple Solutions!

If your no-bake cookies just don’t set, there are many easy ways to fix the problem. Adding more flour is the simplest solution. You can also stick your “no bakies” in the fridge for up to an hour. You may need to re-boil the mixture until it reaches the correct temperature.

Are you a fan of no-bake cookies? How do you harden your no-bakes? Share below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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