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
My son really prefers the big M&Ms in cookies. Would the measurement differ from the minis?
Hi Donna, 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!
Hi Sally, I’ve been following your recipes for few years and learn a lot! You are amazing!
So I bought those very cheap chocolate pieces looking exactly like M&Ms because the real M&Ms are so expensive here in Egypt, and now I am afraid that they might melt or let go of their color into the cookie batter.
Did that ever happen to you with cheap replacements?
Thank you very much 🙂
Hi Sasha, we haven’t experienced any bleeding from the cookies into the dough. We hope you love these cookies, and thank you for making and trusting our recipes!
Can I substitute gluten free 1:1 flour into this recipe? If so, do I need to make any changes to the recipe?
Hi Margaret, we haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free flour so we’re unsure of the results. Although some readers report using an all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free flour in many of our recipes with success, you should expect slightly different results anytime you substitute ingredients. Let us know if you give it a try!
I have been meaning to try this recipe for the longest time, and I finally did. My girls all loved them, and the neighbors raved! Thanks for always being so consistently excellent. I’m truly never disappointed when I use your recipes.
I followed this recipe exactly and my cookies turned out flat and greasy. What do I need to do next time?
Hi Joan! Did you use proper room temperature butter? It’s cooler than you may think. Here’s more tips for preventing cookies from spreading for your next batch.
They were kinda dry…
Easily one of the BEST cookies I’ve ever made! Kids and neighbors agree. I followed exact recipe. Thank you
SOOOO GOOD. honeslty wordsa cant even decribes!!
Incredible cookies! I made them last week and they were perfect! Going to make them again this weekend for a Super Bowl party!
For some reason I’m unable to comment on your Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe. So I’m writing in here for the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. I followed the recipe and all of my cookies turned out burnt from baking to 13 minutes! Also I tried to bake them for 10 minutes and they were not done! Why would that happen?
Side note: The cookies are tasty but have the burnt look to them. Are they suppose to have a burnt look?
Hi Kristina, do you have an oven thermometer? It sounds like your oven may run a bit hotter than it’s reading. Keep in mind that every oven is a bit different, so it’s okay if your cookies take less time to bake (sounds like between 10-13 minutes would be about right for your oven). You can also try turning down the temperature a bit or moving the cookies away from the heating element to prevent burning. Hope this helps for next time!
True, if your using a thermometer, you could have a science experiment to make sure that isn’t burnt. As of what Lexi just said, you can just remove the cookies from intersecting each other; or either you can bake for (9-11 minutes, or 13-10 minutes if you suggest). The option you should choose is to separate the cookies 2 inches apart. However, you can’t overbake….. But it’s your decision! So try and use that strategy that Lexi suggested for you.
Made for my husbands birthday! Everyone loved them. I was in a time crunch so I put the dough in the freezer for ~30-45 mins. Worked great
Made these for coworkers and they gobbled them up! I used regular sized M&Ms b/c that’s what I had. They still turned out fantastic! Slightly crispy on the edges and soft in the center. Sally never disappoints!
This recipe makes picture perfect round and tall cookies, “puffy”.
question! i have seen some bakers say that where recipes require you to cream your butter and sugar, you need to cream the two together for atleast 5 minutes to make your cookies softer and not as flat. basically creaming them together until they are pale in color and the mixture is soft and fluffy in texture before adding in your dry ingredients. is this step something i should follow in every recipe? how come it is not mentioned here?
Hi Kristina, that is certainly solid advice and I do that a lot when I’m making cakes and other confections meant to have a soft, light texture. I usually don’t cream as long for cookies, though you certainly can.
Tasted good but came out very thin/spread a lot. I weighed my flour, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and followed the recipe so I’m not sure why.
I see your freezing instructions indicate to freeze dough as a whole rather than rolling them into balls first. I try to read all your info posts on procedural stuff like freezing, but it’s lost on me why I can’t freeze in ball form here. I was just hoping to save myself some time by pre-rolling them out, but I don’t want to ruin them by doing that. Thoughts?
Hi Janel, Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.
I made this recipe for our first week back to work for 2023 and everyone LOVED them. I used dark brown sugar and my leftover full size Christmas M&Ms!
Thank you for this recipe
I made these for my family and they said they were the worst cookie’s I’ve ever made 🙁 The dough was tough and they came out very thick.
Hi Laine, thank you for giving this recipe a try. 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.
I enjoy A lot of the recipes on this site. These cookies are so good they turn out just fantastic. I will for sure be keeping this recipe for future times when i need m&m cookies. So soft on the inside and perfect crunch on the edges! I’m glad I found this recipe. If you’re trying to find a good m&m cookie recipe search no more!