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These Soft M&M Cookies bake up tender and delicious!

Soft M&M Cookies

I’ve been in love with big, Soft M&M Cookies for years. After all, who doesn’t love a sweet sugar cookie so loaded up with M&Ms that you’ll get some of that crunchy chocolate candy in every bite?

I’m going to note right up front that this classic, Soft M&M Cookies recipe is posted in many places online. And while the ingredients list is the same, the level of detail in the baking instructions does seem to vary from recipe to recipe – resulting in many home bakers seeing different (and sometimes disappointing) results.


soft M&M Cookie recipe

After some trial and error with this recipe in our kitchen – we’ve added lots of tips and tricks in the instructions below to ensure that your soft M&M cookies come out perfectly thick and soft.

Soft M&M Cookies

Tips for making the perfect Soft M&M Cookies:

Don’t swap butter for the all-vegetable shorteningDoing so will result in flatter cookies that spread as they bake. This is especially true because of the amount of brown sugar vs granulated sugar used in the batter. If you want a more buttery flavor, use the butter-flavored shortening.

After mixing the batter, thoroughly chill before baking. Taking the time to chill the batter before baking will also ensure that the cookies won’t spread too much as they bake. We typically mix the batter up a day ahead of time and chill overnight, but 2 to 4 hours is sufficient if you have less time.

Use a 4-ounce scoop to portion the cookie dough. Everyone’s idea of a ‘large’ scoop is different. To ensure precise portions that will yield around 18 thick and soft cookies, a 4-ounce scoop is the size to use.

Position your oven rack in the upper third of your oven for baking.  This will help ensure that your cookies don’t spread as they bake from too much direct, bottom heat, nor will the bottoms of the cookies brown too quickly before the center of the cookie is done.

After baking, allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet. The indirect heat from the cookie sheet will allow the centers of the cookies to finish cooking through.


Soft M&M Cookies

We made these Soft M&M Cookies with red, white & blue M&Ms for summertime patriotic holidays, but this recipe can be made all year long with any of your favorite M&Ms colors.

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Soft M&M Cookies

Soft M&M Cookies

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes per batch
  • Total Time: .
  • Yield: 18 soft 3-inch cookies
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


We recommend chilling this dough before baking. Plan accordingly.


2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-vegetable shortening (1 stick of Crisco)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 ½ cups M&Ms candies, plus extra to press into the top of the cookies before baking


In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together shortening and both sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix to combine again.

Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until fully combined. Fold the M&Ms in with a spatula or wooden spoon, making sure that the M&Ms are evenly mixed throughout the cookie batter.

Refrigerate the dough for several hours (or overnight) until completely chilled through.

When ready to bake, position oven rack to be in the upper 1/3rd of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with a piece of parchment paper.

Using a large scoop, portion out your cookie dough into about 18 balls total (we used a scoop similar to this one).  You’ll bake 6 balls of dough per batch (refrigerate the remaining dough that is waiting to be baked.) Take each ball of cookie dough and roll it into smooth balls.  Evenly space the 6 balls of dough per cookie sheet, pressing down slightly to flatten and gently press a few extra M&Ms on the top of each ball if desired.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet after 5 minutes. Once the cookies are lightly golden around the bottom edges (it’s OK if the centers are still slightly soft), remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool on the hot cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely (this extra time on the cookie sheet will allow the centers of the cookies to firm up.)

Keywords: M&M's, cookies


Soft M&M Cookies

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  • Geneen wrote:

    only 6 cookies per pan? Did I read that wrong?
    Can you double recipe BTW?
    Thank You!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Geneen – These are big cookies! Yes – of course you can double the recipe if you’d like. Enjoy!

    • Martha wrote:

      And one more comment Geneen – Feel free to make the cookies smaller if you wish! Just adjust the baking time – if they are smaller, they will bake more quickly. 🙂

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