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These rainbow M&M cookies are soft-baked style with extra chewy edges. We recommend mini M&Ms so you can pack more into each cookie. Chilling the cookie dough for 2 hours is an imperative step, so make sure you set aside enough time.

overhead photo of 16 M&M cookies

This was one of the first recipes ever published on my website. It’s always been a favorite, but I recently began adding a little extra baking soda and flour so the cookies hold shape better. (You’ll see 1 teaspoon of baking soda and an extra 2 Tablespoons of flour listed in the written recipe below.) I figured you’d want a reminder about these cookies or, if you’re new to my website, a little encouragement to try them!

Here’s What to Expect:

  • Texture: Think about a soft-baked chocolate chip cookie. Truly, does anything compare? These M&M cookies have the same tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. They’re extra chewy with dozens of mini M&Ms packed in each cookie. Do you crave even more texture? You’ll enjoy my oatmeal M&M cookies.
  • Flavor: I use extra brown sugar in this cookie dough, so you’ll taste that warm and classic flavor in each bite. Pair that with plenty of butter and oodles of chocolate candies.
  • Ease: We have a pretty straightforward cookie dough here. After chilling the dough, roll into balls, then bake. A beginner could easily master this recipe.
  • Time: Set aside enough time to chill this cookie dough. It’s a fairly sticky dough and without time in the refrigerator, your cookies will melt all over the baking sheet.
close-up photo of m&m cookies on a cooling rack with one broken in half

Video Tutorial: How to Make M&M Cookies

Soft-Baked M&M Cookies – Key Ingredients

A few ingredients add to their signature flavor and texture. Here’s how:

  • Flour: I used to prepare this cookie dough with 2 cups of flour, but started adding another 2 Tablespoons. This helps soak up more liquid (butter, egg) so the cookies stay thicker.
  • Cornstarch: A touch of cornstarch helps create a softer, thicker cookie. I add it to many of my cookie recipes, including these super soft chocolate chip cookies. By the way, that cookie dough is pretty similar to this one. Here we’re using a little more flour, sugar, and an extra egg yolk. (And thus yields more cookies.)
  • Butter: Room temperature butter is the base of this cookie recipe.
  • Granulated Brown Sugar: Sugar does more than sweeten the cookies. The granulated sugar helps them spread and the brown sugar keeps them soft. For extra soft and tender cookies, we use more brown sugar than white granulated sugar here.
  • 1 Egg + 1 Extra Egg Yolk: Have you ever baked my chewy chocolate chip cookies before? They’re the most popular cookie recipe on this website. I swear by using 1 extra egg yolk in that dough because it helps bind the ingredients and maintains a moist, chewy cookie. We’re doing the same thing here.
  • Mini M&Ms: You can use any M&Ms, but I recommend mini so there’s more in each bite. If the M&Ms are larger, such as peanut M&Ms or peanut butter M&Ms, roughly chop them first. If desired, grab an extra 2 Tablespoons of M&Ms and press a few into the top of each cookie when they’re warm from the oven. This is purely for looks!
two side-by-side photos of m&m cookie dough

Success Tip: Chill The Dough!

The cookie dough is pretty soft, so make sure you take the time to chill it in the refrigerator. The cookies will spread into puddles otherwise.

After chilling, roll the cookie dough into balls and bake:

M&M cookie dough balls arranged on a lined baking sheet
M&M cookies on a pink polka dot plate

Small, Medium, & Large

Do you have a copy of Sally’s Cookie Addiction cookbook? If so, you’ll see Giant M&M Cookies on page 31. My cookbook recipe yields massive cookies, but today’s are regular/medium size. Do you like teeny tiny treats? Try these mini M&M cookies instead. They’re bite-size cookies and the dough doesn’t require chilling in the refrigerator. All 3 recipes pretty much use the same exact ingredients, just in different quantities and ratios. You can’t go wrong with any, especially if you love M&M cookies!

Print
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overhead photo of 16 M&M cookies

Soft-Baked M&M Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These rainbow M&M cookies are soft-baked style with extra chewy edges. I recommend mini M&Ms so you can pack more into each cookie. Chilling the cookie dough for 2 hours is an imperative step, so make sure you set aside enough time.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons (265gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini M&Ms (plus 2 Tablespoons for topping, optional)

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed until creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar, then beat on medium-high speed until creamy and combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Pour in 1 cup M&Ms and beat on low speed for 20 seconds or until combined. Once completely combined, cover cookie dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to 5 days.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  4. Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and arrange 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look soft.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. While the cookies are still warm, press the remaining 2 Tablespoons of M&Ms into the tops of the cookies. This is optional and just for looks. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Allow to come to room temperature and continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Keep Dough Cold: It’s best to keep unused cookie dough in the refrigerator as the batches are baking.
  3. Add Chocolate Chips: You can easily add chocolate chips to this cookie dough. I recommend reducing the amount of M&Ms to 3/4 cup and adding 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Stick with about 1 – 1.5 cups total add-ins.
  4. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: m&m cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I am a young (teenage) baking-adict, and every now and then I look for some inspiration for my own recipes on your website. This is, by far, the absolute best cookie recipe, whether you want to make them with M&Ms (as exemplified) or with chocolate chips, nuts, oats, etc. If you are looking for a cookie right out of a stock photo, but also which tastes like heaven, and has the perfect bakery-bought texture, these are the only way to go!! There is not much more to say except this recipe seems to be highly under-rated.

    1. Hi Bianca, thank you so much for trying this recipe. We are so glad you loved the cookies. Happy baking!

  2. Hi Sally & team! I have been using the chewy chocolate chip recipe and adding mini M&Ms in some batcheS (as in multiple. I’m close to having the recipe memoraized.) I’m wondering why there is a difference with this recipe – specifically the room temp butter vs melted. Thank you and have a wonderful summer!

    1. Hi Christine! The recipes are pretty similar, but we use melted butter in the chewy chocolate chip cookies to create an extra chewy cookie. Using creamed butter like we do here yields a softer cookie, like our soft chocolate chip cookies. The soft chocolate chip cookies are pretty similar, but here we’re using a little more flour, sugar, and an extra egg yolk, which also gives us more cookies. They’re essentially a wonderful balance of both soft & chewy cookies!

  3. I may need some suggestions for the next time I make these cookies.
    I followed the instructions ( or so I thought) and the cookies came out hard. As a matter of fact, they stayed in the ball shape in the oven and never spread out. Any ideas?
    I’ve tried many of your other recipes and they have all turned out great.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Mary Ann! When cookies aren’t spreading, it usually means that there’s too much dry ingredient (flour) soaking up all the liquid. How did you measure the flour? Make sure to spoon and level (instead of scooping) to avoid packing in too much flour into your measuring cups – or use a kitchen scale. You can read more about properly measuring baking ingredients in this post.

  4. Love love love this recipe! The cookies were super soft and my family ate them up in three days!

    1. Hi Cheyenne, you can use whatever M&Ms you prefer, though larger M&Ms will make your cookies extra chunky!

  5. Hi Sally, I tried this recipe but it didn’t yeild 30 cookies. Moreover the cookies didn’t spread flat like yours. Any tips and tricks for future troubleshooting?

    Much appreciated x

    1. Hi Annie, it’s possible your dough balls may have been slightly bigger giving you a smaller yield — it can vary a bit from baker to baker. When cookies don’t spread, it usually means there is a bit too much flour soaking up the wet ingredients. See this post on 5 cookie baking tips (“What if my cookies AREN’T spreading?”) for more info. Thank you for giving these a try!

  6. Hi, is it possible to roll out the dough and use cookie cutters? My son is into alphabets so I was thinking of using those..,would the cookies spread too much or would they hold shape?

    1. Hi Rachna, this dough is much too soft for cut out cookies and they won’t hold their shape. You could use our sugar cookie dough and press a few M&Ms into the top before baking!

  7. This recipe does not disappoint! Delicious! Even with my goofs (I only had “salted” butter, & eggs were not room temperature… they still turned out fabulous! Thanks!

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