Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

I haven’t made M&Ms cookies in years.

But seeing the pretty Easter and springtime pastel candy in the stores changed all that.

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

Something about springtime candy that’s just so inviting. Pastels are just so much prettier, and therefore tastier, than red-and-green or black-and-orange candy. I was quite miffed when I opened my bag of M&Ms to find like 8 pinks. How dare they.

What better way to put my girlie candy to use than my making homemade M&M cookies. Storebought M&M cookies are usually hard, dry, cakey, or crumbly. Such a shame that perfectly good M&Ms were wasted.

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

I tweaked my favorite all-purpose Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies recipe. Most notably, I switched from a combination of both bread and all-purpose flour, to solely using all-purpose. Bread flour makes things extra chewy, gives a heartier rather than softer structure to cookies, and if you’re not careful, it can dry things out.

For these, I wanted a slightly softer dough base, with no possible issues of dryness, and all-purpose flour was perfect. The interior stayed buttery soft and the edges have just the right amount of chewiness.

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

I also shortcut some of the stopping and starting that’s found in the beginning of the original recipe. There was a lot of beating, stopping, adding one item, more beating, bowl-scraping, repeating.

Now, this is some of the easiest, fastest, and least fussy cookie dough you’ll ever make. Combine 1 stick of butter, 1 egg, sugars, vanilla, and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and mix. Fold in the M&Ms and you’re done. So easy.

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

Cornstarch is the secret ingredient that helps these cookies bake up super soft. Cornstarch is why Pudding Cookies and Cake Mix Cookies bake up so soft, and it’s trick I learned with the Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies.

Since then, I’ve used it in Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil CookiesSoft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies, Thick and Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies.

I also used it in the crust of The Best Lemon Bars so that the crust isn’t your typical dog-biscuit, hard, dry crumbly shortbread. It’s firm, yet lighter, softer and more tender.

It worked like a champ here, keeping the cookies soft and tender, without being cakey.

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

I wasn’t skimpy with the M&Ms, to the point that when you’re forming the dough mounds before baking, it may seem like you have as many M&Ms as dough in your mixing bowl. Just stuff them back into the dough if they’re trying to fall out, and later you’ll savor each and every crunchy candy-coated bite.

After the dough comes together, form two tablespoon-sized mounds. I made these cookies fractionally smaller than in the original recipe by about a half-ounce. Doesn’t sound like much, but I didn’t want those pretty M&Ms in the oven any longer than absolutely necessary for fear they would bleed, run, or crack. I think my fears were mostly unfounded, but used my trusty medium 2-inch cookie scoop to form modest balls of dough, baked for just over 8 minutes, and they emerged perfect and unscathed.

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

Place all the mounds on a large plate, cover it with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days, before baking. If you bake with warm dough, your cookies will spread more and won’t stay as thick and puffy, which is why I always bake with chilled dough.

It’s a blessing and a curse to have plates of cookie dough in the fridge. It makes it very easy to bake up a few fresh, warm cookies for dessert. Or with morning coffee. Or as an afternoon snack. Or as a midnight snack.

Let’s not even talk about the frozen golf balls in Tupperwares in the freezer. Sometimes I’m not quite sure what I’m grabbing, but after 10 minutes at 350F I find out that oh yes, these are the Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies not the Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies. Sometimes surprises are good.

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

Bake the cookies at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes, no more. The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled for two days, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and then baked for 8 1/2 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark. The cookie tops should be set, but barely, and will be pale, glossy and appear underdone, but they firm up as they cool.

Baking any longer than 10 minutes and you run the risk of the bottoms browning too much, the M&Ms cracking, or ending up with hard, dry, rock-like hockey pucks after cooling. Everyone’s ingredients, oven, climate, and personal preferences are different, but they taste best when they’re not over-baked and are softer.

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

They turned out so soft, moist, and tender in the interior with perfectly chewy edges. The dough is buttery, with hints of vanilla.

There’s an abundance of M&Ms in every bite and I love biting into their shells. The dichotomy of smooth, supple dough, generously flanked with candy, and hearing those little shells crack and crunch as I bite down, and feeling the crunchy coating bits between my teeth, like sweet little eggshells, it’s just something I love.

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

They’re the best M&Ms cookies I’ve ever had.

And not just because there’s pink M&M’s baked in, but that doesn’t hurt.

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies

Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies - Soft, melt-in-your mouth buttery cookies stuffed with M&Ms!  (Use pink/red/white M&Ms for Valentine's Day parties!)

Print Recipe

Soft and Chewy M&M Cookies

These are the best M&M Cookies I've ever had. They're soft, moist, and tender in the interior with perfectly chewy edges. The dough is buttery, with hints of vanilla. There's an abundance of M&Ms in every bite. I tweaked my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe and added M&Ms.Cornstarch is the secret ingredient that keeps them extra soft.The dough can be made in advance, refrigerated, and baked off as desired, up to 5 days later. A great option to have for fresh, warm cookies without having to mix up dough.

Yield: About 22 medium-sized cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: about 3+ hours, for dough chilling


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate M&Ms (or another variety of M&Ms, or chocolate chips may be substituted)


  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use a hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the M&Ms and fold in by hand.
  4. Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping mounds. Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds very slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray. and place them on the baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart; I bake 8 cookies per sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than ten minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled for two days, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and were baked for 8 1/2 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark. They have chewy edges with soft pillowy centers). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
  6. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Adapted from Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies

Related Recipes

Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies – My favorite recipe for pure, unadulterated, perfect chocolate chip cookies. They’re soft, chewy, tender, moist, stay soft for days, are a snap to make, and have two kinds of chocolate in every bite. If you need a solid, fuss-free, and straightforward recipe for chocolate chip cookies that yields fabulous results on every level, try this one. It’s my gold standard

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peanut Butter Cups and Peanut Butter M&M’s – Made in a whoopie pie pan, so the cookies turn out like little deep dish pizzas. Thick, soft, chewy, and stuffed to the max with candy. A fun way to use up extra Easter or holiday candy

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Jacques Torres) – I stuffed more chocolate than I thought was possible into these cookies. Fresh from the oven, they’re wonderful, and although I don’t consider them my ‘perfect’ cookie many people adore these jumbo bakery-style cookies and the dough would be great for stuffing M&Ms or candy into

Snickers Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies – One of the favorite candy bars stuffed into an easy, basic, chocolate chip cookie recipe

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies – There’s more add-ins than dough in these extremely well-stuffed cookies. If you like eating caramel corn by the handful, baking it into cookies is even better

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – Chocolate Chip Cookies that have a bit of peanut butter and oatmeal added. Soft, moist, with plenty of chewy texture. The recipes uses melted butter so no mixer is required, and they stay soft for a week. If you like a variety of textures and flavors in your cookies, these are perfect

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups – If you’ve ever had a problem with cookies spreading while baking, it’s impossible with these because they’re baked in a muffin pan. Between the nuttiness and richness from the browned butter, and brown sugar used in the dough, there’s great flavor depth. Dense and rich, with the perfect balance of chewy edges, squishy in the middle, and loaded with chocolate

“Egg”-in-a-Nest Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites (No-Bake, Vegan, Gluten-Free) – Chocolate-covered almonds stuffed into no-bake peanut butter cookie dough are fast, easy, and fun. Also an easy one to make with the kids

Do you like M&M Cookies? Candy in cookies?

Tell me about your favorite recipes and favorite candy to bake with.

I also like to make candy. Five-minute homemade Butterfinger Bars (No-Bake, Vegan & GF options) in the microwave and 5-minute homemade Ritz Cracker Stuffed Peanut Butter Cups (No-Bake, Vegan)

Thanks for the Breakfast For Dinner Cookbook Giveaway and Unreal Candy Giveaway entries!


  1. OMG! The m&m cookies rocked my (and my family, and my neighbors) world! They were awesome! I actually threw them in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the cooling time, maybe 15 min – and then baked them, and they turned out great. I am bringing these in for treat day to my work this week! And I can just keep the dough until Tuesday night, so they will be fresh baked for work on Wed. Love it!

    • So glad you love them and they rocked everyone’s world! You can also freeze the unbaked dough for up to about 4-6 months. So I always have a few (ok like a few hundred) frozen dough balls on ice just ready to be baked. Hope your office & coworkers like them! :)

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  5. I felt compelled to comment on these for people like myself. When I stumble upon a recipe from a source that is unknown to me, I rely heavily on reviews before I decide to make said recipe. If you have any doubts, rest assured. These are fantastic!! Made them for easter and they are already gone. Already getting requests for more! So delicious. Followed the recipe exactly. Chilled overnight and baked for 8 minutes. Fantastic. When you pull them out, fight the urge to put them back in. They seem undone, but once cooled completely they are perfect. Thank you for an amazing recipe. Looking forward to trying more :)

    • “When you pull them out, fight the urge to put them back in. They seem undone, but once cooled completely they are perfect.” <--- Thank you for saying that and I totally, totally agree. If you go longer than that in my oven, you don't get the soft, chewy, gooey cookies I prefer the most. And thanks for leaving a great review and for taking the time to do so. I too rely on reviews when deciding if I should make something. So glad you're happy. Please LMK if you make other recipes of mine!

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  8. JUST made these and inhaled two of them within minutes of taking them out of the oven and they are delicious! I almost ate most of the dough last night but I am so glad I didn’t! My boyfriend loves them as well. The best part is that they’re soft and chewy and yet they still stand up to being dunked in milk! The perfect combination :)

    • Glad you love them, and the boyf, too! And that you ended up baking them rather than just eating dough :) I am so guilty of that! LOL Glad they pass the dunk test, too!

  9. Made these tonight with pumpkin spice m&ms and they were perfect! Thanks!

  10. Did recipe exactly as written. My cookies are as flat as pancakes! So disappointed! I was making them for banquet tonight and spent $30 on specially colored m&ms. Oh well, the search continues!

  11. This is a copy of Sallys baking addiction cookie Recipe.

  12. Hi Averie, I made these cookies tonight, and they turned out wonderful! I have been looking for years for cookie recipes that don’t spread out too much and come out just like these did. I am so happy to have found your blog. All of your tips have helped immensly. Thank you so much!

  13. Do these freeze as well as your other Cookies? I was planning to freeze them before cookies them. Your blog is my go to for all baked goods! Thank you!

    • I think they freeze the same as my others, yes. I always make the dough balls, and freeze the dough, THEN make the cookies fresh for the event. But you can make the cookies and freeze them if you’d like.

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  15. I see where you said you let the refrigerated chilled cookies set out for 15 minutes before cooking. How long do you let them sit out before cooking if they are frozen???

    • I always let my dough (chilled or frozen) sit out about 10 minutes, give or take. Just as long as it takes my oven to preheat. Even frozen dough only takes an extra 1 minute or so (maybe) in the oven to bake. Just watch it and bake til they’re done to your liking.

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  20. Made these yesterday and they turned out PERFECTLY. I used dark chocolate M&Ms and only used 1 cup of them in the batter, but there were still M&Ms in every bite. Even ate a couple of the cookies for breakfast this morning. Thank you so much for this easy to follow and delicious recipe!! I will be making your Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies next :)

  21. Michelle Sauch Reply

    I followed this recipe exactly but my cookies didn’t turn out like the picture :( they spread a lot even though I had then cool in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Is there anything I should do to fix it?

  22. Made these for my son for his birthday, but we used Reese’s pieces instead of M&Ms because his name is Reese.  They were perfect.  Soft & chewy like promised!  Thanks for the recipe.

  23. I made these last night and swapped the milk chocolate for white chocolate M&Ms. They turned out amazing!! Thanks for the great recipe :) 

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  29. I made these yesterday and refrigerated the dough balls.  I went to bake them and at 8 min they were still in balls.  I set the timer for 2 more min and they still looked a little raw but I took them out cause it said to not over do it and resist putting them back in.  After cooling on the tray they are pretty raw.  Did you leave them on the counter when you take them out of the fridge?  Mine were out for 5 min or so just enough time for the oven to heat up. I also used a 2″ ice cream scoop.  Is there a way you can tell when to take them out?  What should I be looking for?  Thank you.

    • A 2-inch scoop sounds pretty big. All scoops vary and the way they’re labeled vary but that sounds pretty big. You may want to flatten the balls slightly before baking too.

      All ovens, climates, doughs, scoops, etc vary and with baking there is no exact science for when something is ‘done’. You have to use your judgment and practice makes perfect. In this situation, sounds like they could have used another 3-4 minutes, maybe more. Make a test batch – bake 2. See what happens and how long they need until you find the sweet spot on the timing!

    • I make these cookies a lot and I have found that it is better to either refrigerate the dough before you make the balls, or don’t refrigerate the balls as long

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  32. Made them. Delicious!! Delicious!! Thank you!

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  34. Amazing recipes and tips I have never seen before ! Thank you for sharing all this game-changing knowledge that WAS NOT in my Mom’s 70’s era Betty Crocker Cookbook I learned from or the Better Homes and Gardens I referenced as an adult. So excited for so many new recipes to try and blow away the bake sale

  35. Do I chill the dough then scoop then bake? Or is it scoop, chill, bake?

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