Rainbow M&M Cookies

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!


All About These Rainbow M&M Cookies

  • 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

Rainbow 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

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

Rainbow M&M Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies
  • 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

  • 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. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing 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

103 Comments

  1. Eileen Moore says:

    These cookies are fabulous!

    1. Sally, can I use reg. size M&M’s? I have no luck finding the mini size where I live. Thanks

      1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Vicki, absolutely. You can roughly chop them if you’d like — or simply leave them whole. Enjoy!

  2. I just made these today with Easter M&Ms and they are the best M&M cookies I have ever tried! I followed the recipe exactly, except I used 1 cup of regular size M&Ms and a 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips. (I think you might have updated this recipe because this one calls for unsalted butter, salt & no cornstarch). I will definitely be making these again! Perfection!

  3. Oh my goodness!!!! These were AMAZING!!!!! I made them exactly as written and my family and I can’t stop eating them! They melt in your mouth and are the BEST M&M cookies I’ve ever had! Thank you, Sally!!!

  4. I’ve made this recipe several times and it’s always great.

  5. This recipe is just perfect. The egg yolk (in addition to the egg) adds the perfect amount of richness. I upped the salt slightly but that’s just to appease my palate. They are just right at barely browned at the edges.

  6. Best chocolate chip cookie ever, this will be my go to recipe from now on. I used 1/2 cup mini m&m, 1/4 regular chocolate chips and 1/4 mini chocolate chips. They disappeared overnight.

  7. Quite possibly the best M&M cookie I’ve ever tasted (and they’re my favorite). Definitely top 10 cookies I’ve ever had. Wow! This will be my go-to for chocolate chips from now on. I want to try a variety of “chips” in these!!

  8. Hi Sally, can i substitute self raising flour for cookies?

  9. The cookies were amazing but every cookie recipe keeps spreading so thin in me. I’m using the silicone mats. The dough is cold. No matter if it’s cold or warm they spread so thin. I roll them into tall balls Like you said. I live in GA, so could it be the humidity? Butter too warm when mixing them?
    I’m such a cookie lover and I want to learn how to make them. Any suggestions?
    I just ordered a scale to make sure my flour measurements are correct.
    Help??

    1. Hi Amanda, thank you so much for trying these cookies and I’m thrilled you enjoyed them! I’m glad to help with the over-spreading. It’s certainly frustrating. The humidity could play a part in this, but it’s most likely the butter. Room temperature butter is actually much cooler to the touch than most think. And if it’s especially humid or hot, the butter will come to room temperature much quicker. Review this post on proper room temperature butter. Likewise, it could be as simple as needing a touch more flour in the dough– such as 2-3 extra Tablespoons to help soak up the liquid and prevent excess spreading. I think you’ll find my in-depth post on How to Prevent Cookies from Overspreading helpful!

    2. Hello Amanda,
      Another trick that I have learned over the years to stop spreading cookies is cornstarch. When you want a thick cookie you can add about a teaspoon (sometimes 2 or even 3) of cornstarch and continue following the recipe. This will always result in thicker cookies and even works for scones!

  10. Hello Sally, just wondering if scooping the dough and then put them in the frig would be a possible option? Would it have the same outcome? BTW, I have your Cookie Addiction book and with the second wave of Covid coming, I’m going to make a cookie a week from the book and do some doorway drop offs for my grandkids and friends. I need something to keep me busy and your cookies are my inspiration! Thanks for all your hard work.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Barbie, You can try but they likely won’t hold their shape without being refrigerated at all. You can refrigerate them for a shorter amount of time, roll them, and then place them back in the refrigerator to continue chilling. We are so happy that you have the book and what a great weekly project!

  11. I just got done baking these. They aren’t terrible, but they are not the best. The dough is kind of bland and dry. They don’t really brown up much so even though they don’t look quite done, they are. I learned this on my last round in the oven, and reduced time, which still didn’t help much to keep the cookie softer. I followed the directions completely, too. Bummer.

  12. This recipe is excellent! I followed the recipe exactly, and the cookies came out perfectly crispy on the outside but chewy and soft on the inside – just like a cookie should be.

    1. Also to add: I chilled my dough for about 3 hours prior to baking. Highly recommend chilling for at least 2 hours.

  13. I made M&M cookies over the weekend from Cooks Country and was disappointed. They were just blah, nothing special. I’m excited to try your recipe because I know they will be delicious!

  14. I’m so happy you posted this! Thank you! For me, the original recipe tends to yield cookies that are on the flatter side, every time. I’m sure your improvements will do the trick. Plus, I really think the mini M & Ms matter like you said. Cutting the large ones up probably contributes to the flatness because it is tough to chop those slippery chocolate guys up. Totally going to try again this week.

  15. Hi Sally,
    I am so glad to see an updated version for this cookie. I haven’t tried it yet, but I have tried the former version of it two or three times… each time it has failed for me. I followed the directions exactly and even used a digital scale to measure all ingredients exactly… chilled the dough and everything etc. They always came out very flat and greasy. I had thought that maybe it needed more flour or something, but didn’t know exactly how much and what else to tweak. I will have to try this improved recipe! Thanks for sharing it!

  16. I know it’s a “chocolate chip” cookie but can I substitute nuts in this recipe?

    1. Hi Deb, you can replace all or some of the M&Ms with chopped nuts.

  17. I can’t eat butter or margarine Is there a substitute?

    1. Hi Chris, I recommend solid room temperature coconut oil instead of margarine.

  18. I am a fan of crisp crunchy cookie, (even eat them out of the frig). Hoping one day you will add them to your list of wonderful recipes! Thanks, Janet

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Janet! Have you tried these Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies yet? They would be perfect with M&Ms instead of chocolate chips as well.

  19. Marie Cuddihee says:

    Well for all of the endless cookies I have made in my baking years, these are now on THE LIST of favorites! Delicious as always and I’m cookie pick…LOL. You are really an expert Sally!

  20. Cookies were amazing! I got about 36 cookies out of the dough. My husband ate them all in two days. Im making more this weekend per a family members request. Your desserts never disappoint!

  21. I made these cookies today and they are amazing! I followed the recipe exact and weighed all the measurements they are perfect. This is one cookie recipe that I will be making again

  22. Mini M&M’s are hard to find here in Belgium, so I substituted them with mini Smarties and they turned out great! Best cookies I have ever made. Thank you Sally for this delicious recipe

  23. Love these cookies! Made the batter and rolled them and baked them the next morning for work. These are a big hit! Followed the recipe as stated. You can’t mess this up. Delicious as all of your recipes are!

  24. Dangerously good!! Hard to stop eating them! I made them with 3/4 cup mini M&M’s and 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips. Thanks for another great recipe!

  25. Terrific recipe! We are on your webpage frequently and find all of your recipes are easy to make and super delicious!

  26. I need to make a lot of cookies for a church community dinner (take out these days!). Can I simply double the recipe? Do any ingredient quantities have to be adjusted?

    1. Hi Margot, you can double this recipe. No special changes or adjustments– simply double all of the ingredients.

  27. Hi!!! Do you use regular all purpose flour or unbleached ? Thank you!!!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Johanna, we usually try to use unbleached flour when we can.

  28. Adalyn Heller says:

    Great love it had to use it for a school project involving fractions best recipe ever love it 🙂

    1. They are delicious but I found them greasy. Could be the high butter content? Any way to cut that back?

      1. Hi Elsa, you can certainly try. I recommend reducing down to 10 Tbsp (instead of 12). Don’t forget the extra 2 Tbsp of flour that the recipe calls for– that helps soak some liquid up.

  29. My 5-yr old nephew asked for rainbow cookies and I showed him these beauties. He was so excited to make them to sell to his classmates for a market day event. I’m writing this before the sale but everyone in the family tested our joint efforts and they are 5 star worthy. It was also the perfect easy to follow recipe for first time 5 and 7 yr old boy bakers.

    1. Could you use Crisco butter sticks instead of the butter? Would it make a difference in the cookie texture at all?

      1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Sheri, we wouldn’t recommend it as we fear it may cause the cookies to spread too much. Best to stick with butter here!

      2. I didn’t see that you replied stating not to use crisco butter sticks. I ended up making them with the butter crisco sticks vs butter. I never had luck when I use butter when baking cookies. The cookies turned out so good and fluffy. They didn’t go flat they stayed thick. Crispy on outside and chewy in middle. I will definitely be making again. Thanks again

  30. Erica Jackaon says:

    These are the perfect m&m cookies! I followed the recipe exactly as written and they were perfect. My family LOVED them! If you’ve been looking for a good recipe, don’t look any further. This is the only one you’ll ever need. Thanks for an amazing recipe, Sally!

    1. I love to make cookies and I also love eating cookies too.

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