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. I always do M&Ms cookies because everyone loves them, it’s always such a hit. I want to try your recipe though because they look so chewy (mine aren’t that much)!

  2. I didn’t use to eat M&Ms when I was a kid, but I developed a sweet tooth in my old age. :) My favorite candy to bake with is Heath Bars actually. There’s a recipe that I tore out of a magazine when I was in high school, that is my absolute favorite go to cookie recipe for company.

    • If it’s that good, do tell! (okay but only if it’s really soft and chewy…Lol) Heath bar cookies have a tendency to turn really hard. I have a few recipes with Heath bars from ages ago but that’s a good idea…to make something new with them. I LOVE Heath Bars, too!

  3. There’s an M&M store in Chicago that has EVERY color under the rainbow. It’s amazing. And sorta fun. :) Personally, for my cookies, I prefer big chunks of dark chocolate. Simple and delicious. But no matter what, chewy is key!!

  4. I always think seasonal M&Ms taste better than regular…not sure why. But that must mean these cookies are extra delicious! They certainly are pretty in their pastels!

  5. It’s funny I only buy seasonal M&M’s for baking. I never buy the regular ones….. Easter colors are just so much more fun! These cookies look great, and perfect kid treat for Easter.

  6. I am not sure if I’ve ever baked an M&M’s cookie…though I find myself grabbing them when I have the option! Smarties cookies are pretty popular too here in Canada.

  7. Beautiful as always. Will you be putting out a Cookie Cookbook for all your delicious and mouthwateringly photographed creations?

  8. Those just look so pretty. Plain and simple…pretty. Perfect for an Easter celebration or even a baby shower. Thankfully most of my friends are done with those!

  9. Silly M & M’s, why didn’t they give you more pink one?? I have never tried cornstarch in my cookies, but I think it’s time to give it a try. Lovely spring cookies!

  10. M&Ms are my favorite candy to snack on. They are perfect in a batch of cookies, and I love that you didn’t skimp on them!

  11. I went into the M&M store in Vegas the last time I was there–several floors of chocolate and all sorts of things to put them in. Such a colorful place! I think I love just about any kind of candy in cookies–and M&M’s are a favorite. I heard about a new flavor–white chocolate carrot cake. I think they are only sold off the shelves at Wal-Mart and are out for a limited time. I like some of the other flavors so I’m very curious about these! I also wanted to let you know I tried the Ghiardelli Cabernet matinee and it is excellent. I have been on the look out for it (can’t remember when you wrote that post) and was excited to finally find one!

    • white chocolate carrot cake M&Ms sound dangerously good! And glad you tried that Ghira cabernet bar – also good! I swear I need to make a trip to Walmart just for those M&Ms and some Hershey’s Special Dark – the only place in my area I’ve heard that carries it anymore!

  12. These look perfect! I still need to try the cornstarch cookie!

    • Cassie it’s one of those blogger-phenomenon that I never would have known about otherwise, like bread flour in cookies (which I didn’t do with these but almost always! do the past 6 mos) that you’re just going to LOVE the results!

  13. Such happy looking cookies! M&M cookies are one of my favorites, and seasonal M&Ms make it even better! These look sooo soft I just wanna reach through the computer screen and grab one!

  14. Agreed, the pastel candies are so much prettier than christmas or halloween! These look perfectly moist. My son just peeked over my shoulder and asked if we could make them!

  15. Bring on Easter! I love M&M’s in cookies. I swear I’m going to try using cornstarch in my cookies very soon. I love how thick and puffy yours look!

  16. I LOVE M&M cookies! It has been way too long. I need to work on that.

  17. only 8 pink M&Ms??? I’m going to write a letter. I bet Skylar was not happy about that! You know I love M&Ms in my cookies and they taste so wonderful in this super soft cookie dough. And I love that you completely overloaded the dough with them! They look wonderful Averie. Before this past year, I always had M&Ms cracking in my cookies. I’m glad I realized that… duh!… it’s due to baking them for too long. :) FACT: pink M&Ms taste better than any other color.

    • I was so worried those pretty, pastel, delicate-looking M&Ms were going to crack, and made sure not to overbake and to keep the dough mounds at a modest size so they didn’t! And yes, it was like opening a bag of suckers only discover like 3 reds and 19 greens (ick)…with the 8 picks situation! haha!

  18. These look so fabulous! And the colours are so spring-y!

  19. I had M&M cookies on my mind recently. These look so adorable! Love the pastel colors! I assume the pink ones were special :)

  20. Those look absolutely delicious!!!

  21. These are the prettiest cookies, I love the pastel M&Ms!

  22. These look delicious – I just bought some Easter coloured M&M’s too and wondering what to make with them – may have just decided! :)

  23. I am having an intense love affair with these cookies! They look so soft and chewy.

  24. “Soft and chewy” is my favorite description for cookies! Yours looks terrific! I never put M&M’s in cookies until I tried the monster cookie recipe from Baked and was shocked by how good they are that way! : ) I love that there are M&M’s for every season/holiday so there’s always a good reason/excuse to make some!

  25. Oooo. these look amazing Averie. My little ones will love making these for Easter.. :)

  26. I love that you took one of your best, classic cookie recipes and made it even easier! Easy, delicious, soft, chewy cookies are my all time favorite. This recipe is a wonderful blank canvass for any and every holiday or celebration. You could toss in just about any candy, nut, dried fruit, or food dye and have them be perfect! :)

    • Blank canvas is exactly right! It’s a great, solid, awesome dough base. Especially for baking chips (choc, white, butterscotch) or chunky things like pretzels or marshmallows. If I want a more delicate dough base, I have another I use – I used it for Cranberry White Choc cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cookies, and it’s derived from my Sugar Doodles. But yes, this one is foolproof and easy!

  27. Aren’t cookies the best? Especially when you can add such fun things like these gorgeous spring m&ms! Thank you so much for sharing with us, Averie. Delicious and beautiful as always!

  28. Milk and Cookies, my all time favorite:) I think I need to buy a bag or 2 of pastel m& m’s~ Have a great week:) Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

  29. You, my dear, are killing me! Every single recipe I see on your site I want to make! I did make the Marshmallow Caramel Oreo Cookie S’Mores Bars this weekend, so that is one more checked off my list. I could easily quit my job and do nothing but attempt to recreate your delicious treats. Of course I would regret that once I grew to the size these desserts would support. But back on point – I love your ideas and combinations. Everything looks wonderful and I’ve had great fun with the ones I’ve tried. I will have to do this one soon because I honestly think the Easter m&m’s taste different and better than other m&m’s. I remember making cookies with them years ago and thought they were the best. The cookie was like this one but I also added butterscotch chips. YUM. Thanks for all your baking knowledge.

    • Thanks, Deb, for the awesome comment! So glad to hear you’ve been making things and enjoying them! The Marshmallow Caramel Oreo Cookie S’Mores Bars were fun – I loved that crust. Normally I’m not into crust but crushed Oreos + melted butter = my kinda crust!

      These cookies would be great with butterscotch or white choc chips in them too; really, it’s such a versatile dough base and can’t go wrong but the M&Ms are fun this time of year! Please come back and tell me if you make anything else! :)

  30. The pastel M&Ms have always been my favorite…and in these cookies?!? SO gorgeous, Averie! They’re just like a pop of spring that needs to find their way to my mouth.

  31. Awwww, so cute! I could eat these all year long. And soft and chewy is definitely the way I like my cookies!

  32. Averie, what lovely spring-y, easter-y cookies – perfect for a baby shower too!!!…soft, chewy, m&ms…heaven!!!

  33. I have a weakness for the easter m&ms. These cookies sound perfect!

  34. How festive and cute! I’ve made monster cookies, but never just plain ole M&M cookies. I will definitely give these a try. You could eat them year-round by changing out the M&M colors.

  35. I’ve been a fiend for m&ms all my life, and it’s so hard to resist when they keep coming out with new colors and types. You’ve really made the most of these spring colors, they practically glow. And, on another subject, how do you keep your silpats so clean?

    • The new colors always just tempt me! The Silpats, well, I wash them every time I use them with a sponge and SCRUB them. They say you don’t have to really wash them and can ‘wipe’ them but I don’t treat them like they’re a piece of cast iron; accumulating grease and oil and not ever really scrubbing. I actually go to town on them :) The last thing I want is my peanut butter cookies smelling like mint smelling like rosemary potatoes!

  36. I love M&M cookies SO much. And yes, pastels make everything prettier. And taste better. AND happier!

  37. I seriously LOVE the color scheme on the spring M&M’s! So dainty and feminine. And your cookies always lool addicting, Averie!

  38. Ok, first off, I LOVE m&m’s in my cookies and you’re totally right that the store bought (even the ones made in house at the store) are always dry and disappointing. You know what’s funny? I have never made cookies with m&m’s before, seriously. They’re the cookie that I always gravitate to at school bake sales, but I don’t know why I have never made them before. Anyway, I think it’s abut time I gave it at try! I love the pastel colors in these as well as how easy they are to make. Perfect for a last minute dessert idea! xoxo, Jackie

    • I had made M&M cookies before but not traditional ones like these. Always something cutesy or ‘creative’ (life of a blogger) and decided to just keep it simple and was so happy with the results!

  39. I love these little happy Easter looking cookies! So much fun to bite into a mouthful of m & m’s in a soft doughy cookie! Your cookies are always amazing! I just want to make all of them!

    On a different note, made the caramel brownies. Half the pan had caramels and the other half didn’t because one of my boys doesn’t care for them. Anyway, almost the whole pan gone already and the muffins from yesterday? Ancient history! :-)

  40. Well, I’m off to the Easter candy isle! So much prettier than those OTHER colors!

  41. These look luscious. I will have to bake them for my kids. Oh darn. My kids don’t live here anymore…

  42. Yay for pastel candy! These cookies look so soft and chewy. Yum!

  43. Oh I miss m&ms so much! I need to order some fake ones so I can bake with colorful candies again.

  44. These cookies are too pretty! You’re so right, pastels are so much more appealing than primary colours (when it comes to food!).

    p.s. What is up with those store bought M & M cookies?! :D

  45. They’re so pretty!! I need to find these pretty colored M&M’s ASAP! I’m going to be doing a lot of baking when I’m home next week, and these definitely need to be on that list. Pinned!

  46. Lol I love that you’ve got this cookie baking down to an absolute science. No cracking or bleeding M&Ms?! Recipe bookmarked!

  47. These cookies are adorable! I love the use of easter m &ms, they look like little eggs. While I definitely appreciate a good ol’ m &m studded cookie, I have a feeling the pretty colors make these even tastier ;)

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