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.
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.
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!
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. If you don’t have time to chill the dough, I recommend making these soft baked M&M cookie bars instead.
After chilling, roll the cookie dough into balls and bake:
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
Soft-Baked M&M Cookies
- 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
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.
- 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons (265g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted 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)
- Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- 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.
- Keep Dough Cold: It’s best to keep unused cookie dough in the refrigerator as the batches are baking.
- 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.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Stand Mixer or Handheld Mixer | Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper | Cooling Rack
- 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 Comments & Reviews
Hi i had a question, can we add a very small amount of salt? or would that ruin the taste. Because I hvae to make some sort of enhancement to the recipie.
Hi Alex, the recipe does call for 1/2 teaspoon salt. We fear much more would result in a salty cookie, but you can certainly experiment if you wish.
Can you use arrowroot or xanthan or other substitute for cornstarch?
Hi Melissa, we haven’t tried these substitutions, but if you do, let us know how they turn out! You can omit the cornstarch if needed. It helps make the cookies extra soft and chewy, but they will still be delicious. Hope you’ll give them a try!
I followed the recipe. I used a kitchen scale to measure everything. I triple checked and used baking soda. They fell flat as soon as a took them out of the oven. What’s wrong?? They taste amazing though!!!!
Hi Katie, we’re happy to help troubleshoot. It sounds like your butter may have been a bit too warm, which caused the cookies to over spread (room temperature butter may be cooler than you think!). This post on how to prevent cookies from spreading may also be helpful to review. We’re glad you still enjoyed the cookies!
I skipped using parchment & extra 2Tbsp M&Ms & cut the white sugar to 1/3 cup. Did 2 sheets at a time at 350 deg. convection bake. Turned out fine & not excessively sweet. Thanks.
Hi Sally, Love every recipe of yours and hope to see many more. I am making your M&M
Cookies but only have large M&M’s. Is it ok to use these or is there another recipe?
Thanks so much!
Hi Laura, you can use the same amount of regular sized M&Ms, and you may want to chop them up a bit (but not necessary). Or you may enjoy these soft M&M cookie bars instead!
Another great recipe! I noticed you told someone not to swap the margarine in the for the butter. I swap it out on all my recipes except those that use cream cheese. I jave never had a problem. With butter being $5 for 4 stciks/2 cups I wouldn’t be able to bake as many cookies and treats as I do for the holidays.
Just made these cookies for Christmas (with red and green regular-size M&Ms), and they turned out great! I was nervous since my cookies usually end up flat and hard, but these turned out perfect! They got rave reviews from my boyfriend and family. I’ll definitely be making these again!
We made these a few years ago, when there was an ice cream sandwich recipe. I can’t find it on your site, but I know these were the cookies with it. The cookies were amazing and everyone loved making the ice cream. Help! What is the ice cream recipe? The children are begging to make them again
I need a little help, please! I made these cookies just how recipe said. I ended up with a flat cookie. I measured ingredients with scale. I made sure butter was at 65 degrees. I chilled dough for 2 hours. I rolled dough into upright logs. I put logs into freezer for 10 minutes prior to baking. I still ended up with a flat cookie. They look nothing like yours. What could I have done wrong?
Hi Tammy! Here’s our helpful post about ways to prevent cookies from over-spreading. You’ll find #7 most helpful about adding another 2 Tbsp flour.
I was so excited for this recipe but it fell flat, literally, for me. I even weighed the flour because that’s how I’ve had the best luck with getting recipes to turn out right. And I refrigerated for the full 2 hours. They looked slightly thicker in the over but immediately flattened as they cooled.
Any thoughts on why that would happen?
Hi Michelle, there are quite a few different factors that can go into flat cookies. For troubleshooting flat cookies you can take a look at 10 Guaranteed Tips to Prevent Cookies from Spreading. Hope this helps!
Can I freeze the dough and make them a week later? Will it affect the taste? Thank you Gina
Hi Gina, absolutely. See recipe Notes for freezing options and directions. Same great taste!
I loved this recipe so much. I’m so glad that you have shared it with everyone who loves to bake.
This recipe is my go to for m and m cookies! Nice and chewy and crunchy outside. The only changes I made was I use salted butter (sometimes I melt it instead of room temp.) my kids and family love it! thank you for sharing!!
These are the absolute best tasting M&M cookies I have ever made at home! I followed the recipe exactly as written (appreciate the flour tip), but made them slightly larger to yield less cookies. My family loves them. I only wish I had known of this recipe for the last 50 years!
I’ve tried many m&m cookie recipes and this one by far takes the cake. It is EXACTLY the flavor of dough I’m looking for, plus the texture I crave in a cookie. Slightly crunchy outside, soft and chewy inside. This recipe is being printed off and locked in the recipe bank! Recommend to all cookie & m&m lovers.
So glad you loved them, Chelsea!
Just needed some clarification… The recipe says to refrigerate for atleast two hours and keep dough in fridge while baking. But then the mak-ahead directions says to let get to room temp. I’m a little confused… should I bake the cookies cold or let them sit out get to room temp first?
Hi Liz, after the dough has chilled for more than several hours, it will be very very solid. And that’s why, in the make ahead instructions, I encourage readers to bring the dough to room temperature because it was refrigerated for so long. If chilling for only 2 hours, you can roll and bake as directed.
one of the first ever things i have baked (addicted teenager) was your sugar cookies with the royal icing they were soo good and my family
I doubled the recipe but I forgot to double the egg should I still bake these?
Hi Jess, the cookies will likely be a bit more dry and crumbly without the doubled egg, but you can certainly try baking them.
I love this recipe.. Due to costs.. I am wondering about substituting margarine for butter, or even 1/2 butter & 1/2 margarine.. Also, what about butter flavor Crisco? I need to make 100 cookies as a donation.
Hi Wendy, Margarine and Crisco do not have the same baking properties (or flavor!) as butter. We don’t recommend either swap.
I’m so sorry for the confusion, but is it one whole egg total or one whole egg and an additional egg yolk so I need two eggs total?
Hi Olivia! One egg plus one eggg yolk (you’ll need two eggs). Happy baking!
ugh, not sure what I did! I did chill my rolled up balls for several hours before baking. they were flat, had no body to them and very doughy. I am an experienced baker and have successfully used some of your other recipes. Is 256 g of AP flour correct?
Hi Stephanie! The gram measurement for the flour is correct. Did you start with proper room temperature butter (not too warm)? Here’s more tips for keeping cookies from spreading!
Hi Sally, I tried this recipe and my cookies came out looking and feeling like small cakes. Can you explain what I did wrong?
Hi Lilli, were you sure to use baking soda instead of accidentally using baking powder? Also, do you think you perhaps over-measured the flour? Be sure to spoon and level the flour when measuring or weigh it.
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!
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?
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!
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
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!
Hi Sally! I only have PB M&Ms on hand. Can I use these instead?
Hi Cheyenne, you can use whatever M&Ms you prefer, though larger M&Ms will make your cookies extra chunky!
Got it, thank you so much!
Love love love this recipe! The cookies were super soft and my family ate them up in three days!
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.
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.
Thank you! I’ve learned so much from you guys 🙂
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!
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!
I made a double batch of these for Christmas gifts (along with the soft molasses cookies) and they were eaten up so quickly that not everyone got to try them. I’m bow currently baking another double batch. This will definitely be a new favorite.
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.
Hi Bianca, thank you so much for trying this recipe. We are so glad you loved the cookies. Happy baking!