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No Bake Birds Nest Cookies (Healthier Version)

These No Bake Birds Nest Cookies are a healthier and holiday version of the classic treat. Your friends and family will love munching on these fun Easter nest desserts decorated with candy eggs!

Three birds nest cookies on speckled plate surrounded by pastel coated chocolate eggs.

I first made these cookies years ago when I wanted to make a fun treat for Easter with my kids, but didn’t have time to run to the store.

I bet you have most of the ingredients sitting in your pantry and fridge right now too!

This recipe works because it’s:

  • Fun and festive! Who can resist an cookie that looks like a cute birds nest?? I know I can’t!
  • No bake. This recipe is great for kids to help with, because there is no oven involved. They’ll do a great job mixing the oats and forming the cookies.
  • A great use of food storage. I’m always looking for ways to use up the oats in my food storage, and these nest cookies are one of the yummiest options.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Bowls of ingredients for birds nest cookies including oats, honey, and peanut butter.

Add 1 cup of creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup of honey, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup of butter to a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir well until combined.

Wooden spoon with melted peanut butter resting over saucepan full of peanut butter mixture.

Add 2½ cups of oats, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder to a large mixing bowl. Pour the peanut butter mixture in and mix well.

Cocoa, oats, and melted peanut butter in large white mixing bowl.

Using a large spoon, drop tablespoon-size balls on a parchment-lined sheet pan.

Twelve piles of no bake cookie mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet with spoon resting nearby.

Spray a rounded handle with non-stick spray and make a well in the center, pressing the edges all around to form a circle.

Several no bake cookies with indents in the middle on parchment paper.

Place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes until cool. Add 3 coated candy eggs to each nest before serving.

Recipe Tips and Substitutions

Several no bake nest cookies filled with chocolate eggs on crumpled parchment paper.

You can use any kind of nut or seed butter you’d like in this recipe, including almond, cashew, or hazelnut butter. You could even try a favorite protein butter for a more satisfying cookie!

This version of the traditional no bake cookie uses honey instead of sugar. Many like the texture better because it’s not gritty, but it’s definitely not as sweet. If you’d like to make these the traditional way, you would reduce the peanut butter to 1/2 cup and use 2 cups granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of milk instead of the honey.

I made 16 large cookies with the batter, but you could make them smaller if you want more cookies.

Don’t worry if the cookies are loose and crumbly when you’re placing them on the parchment paper. When you make the well in the center, you will press the mixture together so it holds its shape.

I have a cheese grater with a handle that’s perfect for pressing down the centers, so grab anything in your kitchen with a rounded handle. Or use your fingers if you need to!

You want the cookies to have a rustic look to them so they appear as actual birds nests, so don’t be too precise when you’re shaping them.

Make sure you keep any leftovers refrigerated because these cookies will go soft if they’re left at room temperature for too long.

Some recipes will specify that you need to use quick oats when making these birds nest cookies, but I say use whatever you have on hand! Old fashioned oats will taste just as good.

These Easter nest cookies can also double as place card holders!

You can also melt the peanut butter mixture in the microwave. Add the butter to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time on high heat until almost melted. Add the peanut butter, honey, and salt and continue to microwave for 30 seconds at a time until the mixture is smooth.

If you’re out of certain ingredients, try these:

More Like This

Three Easter nest cookies on speckled plate with loose pastel coated chocolate eggs sprinkled around.

Looking for more delicious Easter treats? You’ll love these!

FAQs

Several no bake birds nest cookies on crumpled parchment paper.
Can I freeze these cookies?


Yes! You can freeze these cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

I don’t have/don’t like oats. Is there something else I can use?


Instead of oats try Rice Crispy cereal or crispy chow mein noodles.

I hope your family loves these birds nest cookies! If you make them, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram with @ashcroftfamilytable and use the hashtag #ashcroftfamilytable!

 

And if you’d like to get a 4-week meal plan featuring my recipes, just enter your email in the form above and you’ll get it straight to your inbox!

Three birds nest cookies on speckled plate surrounded by pastel coated chocolate eggs.

No Bake Birds Nest Cookies

The Ashcroft Family Table
These No Bake Birds Nest Cookies are a healthier and holiday version of the classic treat. Your friends and family will love munching on these fun Easter nest desserts decorated with candy eggs!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Cooling Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 16 cookies
Calories 285 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup butter, 1 stick
  • cups oats, quick or old-fashioned
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 48 coated candy eggs, Cadbury mini eggs are my favorite

Instructions
 

  • Add peanut butter, honey, salt, and butter to a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir well until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • Add oats, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder to a large mixing bowl. Pour the peanut butter mixture in and mix everything together until combined.
  • Using a large spoon, drop tablespoon-size balls on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Spray a rounded handle with non-stick spray and make a well in the center, pressing the edges all around to form a circle.
  • Place the cookies in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes until cool. Add 3 coated candy eggs to each nest before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 285kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 6gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 119mgPotassium: 164mgFiber: 3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 185IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg
Keyword birds nest cookies, easter nest cookies, no bake birds nest cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Pinterest graphic with text and photos of Easter birds nest cookies.

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