Soft and Chewy M&M Cookies Recipe - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Chocolate | Cookies | Dessert

Soft and Chewy M&M Cookies

January 13th, 2022
5 from 11 votes
5 from 11 votes

You are going to adore these Soft and Chewy M&M Cookies! They're big like your favorite bakery cookies with tons of flavor and so easy to make. Plus you can't beat that soft, chewy texture.

Yield: 27 large cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Loaded with sweet, butterscotch flavor combined with that classic M&M flavor that brings you back to being a kid. I had to add some chocolate chips in there too for more goodness!
Texture: Ridiculously soft and chewy with the perfect crunch from the M&Ms. It’s kind of a texture paradox but it is oh so good.
Ease: Very easy. The hardest part is practicing patience to chill the dough which is optional but will make your cookies that much better than they already are.
Appearance: So bright and fun!
Pros: Classic cookies everyone will love.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Yes! I’ve got some balls of dough stashed in the freezer for when the craving hits.

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If you follow Handle the Heat at all, then you likely know I really like cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. Peanut butter cookies. M&M cookies. I love them ALL.

I mean, I did write The Ultimate Cookie Handbook, so I think “cookie obsessed” may be a better description.

cookie dough ready to hit the fridge and chill overnight, before baking

Because of that obsession, I thought I’d revamp my best Soft and Chewy M&M Cookies recipe that was originally published in 2015 with all the tips, techniques, and improvements I’ve learned and made since then.

My goal for this recipe was to truly let the M&M candies shine. I find this is best done with a perfectly balanced cookie dough that I ever so slightly underbake so it’s still super soft in the center. Just the thought of the contrast between that soft center and the crunchy M&Ms is enough to make my mouth water.

These cookies also feel pretty nostalgic to me. From elementary school through high school growing up, the cafeteria always sold M&M cookies for $.25 each. Eating one of those cookies was always a highlight of my day. But I have to say… they’re even better when made from scratch!

lots of soft and chewy M&M cookies with rainbow M&Ms scattered around

a stack of beautiful soft and chewy M&M cookies

How to Make Soft & Chewy M&M Cookies

Ingredients for Soft and Chewy M&M Cookies:

  • All-purpose flour: Be sure to measure your flour the RIGHT way to avoid dense, crumbly, or hockey puck cookies.
  • Cornstarch: A tenderizing ingredient that helps create an ultra soft, chewy cookie.
  • Baking soda: I typically prefer cookies made with baking soda, which you can read all about here in my baking soda vs. baking powder guide (with comparison photos).
  • Salt: Just enough to balance out the sweetness.
  • Butter: Always use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt used. Make sure your butter isn’t too warm (more details below).
  • Granulated sugar: Sweetens but also helps give these cookies softness, a little spread and chewiness.
  • Brown sugar: I love nothing more than that butterscotch flavor and soft texture brown sugar gives cookies!
  • Pure vanilla extract: The aroma tells your taste buds to get ready for something delicious.
  • Eggs: Two large eggs and one egg yolk for extra chewiness, all at room temperature.
  • M&Ms: I used regular-size M&Ms for the perfect crunch in this recipe, but you could also use mini or even peanut M&Ms if you prefer. Of course, feel free to switch out for Christmas M&Ms, Easter M&Ms, 4th of July, Halloween – whatever the season, these cookies will look so cute with seasonal M&Ms mixed in!
  • Chocolate chips: For that gooey texture.

Why Are My Cookies Flat?

Butter temperature is KEY!

If your butter gets too warm at any stage before baking your cookies, you’ll likely end up with flat sad cookies. Start with butter at a cool room temperature, about 67°F. Then keep the dough around that temperature until it hits the oven.

In the image below, both cookies came from the same batch of dough, baked (separately) in the same oven at the same temperature for the same amount of time. The only difference? The cookie on the right came from the last bit of dough that had sat on the counter near a sunny window for about half an hour before baking. In that time, the dough warmed up considerably and the resulting cookies look melted and flattened.

comparison of m&m cookies made with cool room temperature butter vs too butter that's too warm

What a difference, right?! If you’re baking multiple batches of cookies over a period of time, pop the remaining dough in the fridge while they wait to enter the oven.

How Long to Cream Butter and Sugar for M&M Cookies

There are lots of factors that influence the speed at which your butter and sugar will become properly creamed. Temperature, mixer power, paddle size and shape, the amount of butter you’re creaming, etc.

Generally, two to three minutes at whatever your hand or stand mixer’s version of medium-high speed is perfect in my kitchen for cookies. Check out more instructions and tricks on this in my How to Cream Butter & Sugar article.

Why You Should Chill Your Cookie Dough!

Another thing that makes your cookies that much thicker and chewier is chilling your dough! It might be a little annoying to see that I call for chilling the dough for a minimum of 24 hours in this recipe. But believe me, it makes a big difference here. Both the taste and texture improve during this time. Think of it as a marinating time where everything just gets better and better!! This added chill time will make for the best M&M cookies ever, promise.

Check out my full article explaining the magic of chilling your cookie dough HERE.

If you can’t wait, bake off a few cookies to satisfy your craving now, then save the rest for baking after the dough has marinated.

Comparing cookies baked vs chilling dough before baking

Why Use a Cookie Scoop?

How Long to Bake Soft & Chewy M&M Cookies:

Don’t overbake these! I prefer to take these Soft and Chewy M&M Cookies out of the oven just before they look done when the top center still looks a bit ‘wet’, around 11 to 13 minutes in my oven.

The residual heat of the oven and pan will continue to cook the cookies to soft and slightly gooey-in-the-middle perfection.

How to Freeze Cookie Dough:

  1. Make the cookie dough as the recipe directs. Use a large (3-Tablespoon) spring-loaded cookie scoop to portion out balls of dough onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. BONUS TIP: If the recipe calls for chilling or ‘marinating’ the cookie dough (which does WONDERS for your cookies as described above), be sure to allow the dough to marinate before shaping and freezing.
  3. Place the tray of cookie dough balls in the freezer. Freeze until firm and solid.
  4. Remove the balls of cookie dough to a labeled and dated airtight container or ziptop bag.
  5. Cookie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
  6. Find out how to bake frozen cookie dough in this article HERE.

How to Store M&M Cookies:

Soft and Chewy M&M Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will stay soft for up to 3 days. Store cookies with a tortilla, apple wedge, or piece of bread to keep them soft for longer.

in an ocean of rainbow M&Ms, holding one soft and chewy M&M cookie

More Delicious Cookie Recipes You’ll Love:

5 from 11 votes

How to make
Soft & Chewy M&M Cookies

Yield: 27 large cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
You are going to adore these Soft and Chewy M&M Cookies! They're big like your favorite bakery cookies with tons of flavor and so easy to make. Plus you can't beat that soft, chewy texture.


  • 3 cups (380 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (247 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 (12 oz or 340 gram) bag M&M® candies
  • 1/2 cup (85 grams) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. If baking the cookie dough immediately, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric stand or hand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl before adding in the vanilla, eggs, and egg yolk, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the bowl as needed. Slowly beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the M&M candies and chocolate chips with a rubber spatula, reserving about 1/4 cup M&Ms to garnish each cookie dough ball.

  4. For best results if time permits, wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours but no more than 72 hours. This will improve both the flavor and texture of the cookies. Let dough sit at room temperature just until it is soft enough to scoop.
  5. Using a large (3-Tablespoon) spring-loaded cookie scoop, divide the dough into 3-tablespoon sized balls and drop onto prepared baking sheets. Press a few extra m&m candies into the top of each ball of dough.

  6. Bake at 350°F for about 11 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown but still ever so slightly wet looking on top. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : m&m cookies, soft and chewy M&M cookies

This post was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2022 with recipe improvements and new photos. Photos by Joanie Simon.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Micah — August 31, 2023 at 3:17 am

    I forgot to add the vanilla and I subbed the chocolate chips for chopped chocolate. They ended up so good that we ate them hot because we couldn’t wait for the to cool down and set. I will definitely repeat!

  2. #
    Emily Larsen — February 9, 2023 at 4:13 pm

    These are delicious and so easy to make seasonal with different M&M’s! I made these for Valentine’s Day with the ‘Cupid mix’ M&Ms and they turned out great!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — February 10, 2023 at 8:43 am

      Yay! So glad to hear that, Emily! 🙂

  3. #
    Mariah Servin — February 8, 2023 at 8:02 pm

    These cookies are perfect!! I split the recipe in half since it’s just for my family of 4 & still got 17 cookies!
    The cookies came out crispy on the edge & soft & chewy in the middle! Honestly it’s a genuine perfected recipe. Fool proof!

  4. #
    Teresa — October 9, 2022 at 6:44 am

    Many of your recipes suggest browning the butter, which I love. Would that work with these?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 10, 2022 at 9:11 am

      Hi Teresa! Yes, but it will take a little experimenting on your part! When you brown butter, some of the water content in the butter evaporates, leaving less liquid in the browned butter. This can make for a drier cookie, so you’ll need to tinker with the ratios in order to successfully “translate” this cookie to a browned butter cookie. Let us know how it goes! 🙂

  5. #
    jesmine — May 21, 2022 at 7:49 am

    is every type of cookie dough can chill in refrigetor overnight?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 23, 2022 at 8:38 am

      Hi Jesmine! Pretty much any cookie dough can be refrigerated overnight, yes! Unless otherwise stated, you can absolutely refrigerate for 24-72 hours before baking or freezing for later. Just make sure the dough is covered well with plastic wrap, so the fridge doesn’t dry out your dough! We recommend this chilled rest period for a number of reasons, but most importantly, it allows the flavours to develop fully, resulting in a much more delicious cookie! You can read all about the science behind this in Tessa’s article, linked here! Happy baking 🙂

  6. #
    stefanie — April 7, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    These are the perfect M&M cookie. I finally bought a scoop and it made such a difference in getting a perfect bake. I let them chill over 24 hrs. So worth it.

  7. #
    Tracey — February 26, 2022 at 9:29 am

    I’ve avoided making M&M cookies my entire adult life because as a child I knew someone that baked them and they were always dry and hard. Even for a child they were not edible.

    We made this this week, omg so good. The only part of the recipe i would question is “Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days”. Who doesn’t eat these up in three days?!! When the kids went to bed last night I ate the few left.

    • #
      Emily — February 28, 2022 at 10:46 am

      haha YAY!! So happy you give this recipe a try, especially with your past experience!

  8. #
    Bevin — February 9, 2022 at 4:14 am

    Should the extra M&Ms be placed on top before freezing the dough balls? When I baked from frozen the last time, the M&Ms bled from the condensation. Still tasted incredible though!

    • #
      Emily — February 9, 2022 at 10:54 am

      Hi Bevin! I’d recommend placing the extra M&Ms prior to baking. You can also try placing the M&Ms on top of the cookies halfway through baking, or even placing them as soon as they come out of the oven. I hope that helps!

  9. #
    Reyna — February 7, 2022 at 5:47 pm

    These cookies were soft and chewy! The perfect cookies!

  10. #
    Reyna — January 23, 2022 at 11:33 am

    These look amazing! If I wanted to make chocolate cookies can I add cocoa powder to the recipe? If so, how much?
    Thank you!

    • #
      Emily — January 24, 2022 at 3:38 pm

      We haven’t tried that, so I can’t say for sure!

  11. #
    Belinda Bazan-Lara — January 21, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    I baked these cookies for the holidays and made a Gluten Free version as well. I substituted King Arthur’s Measure for Measure flour for the all purpose flour. As the name indicates, you use the same weight/ measurement listed in the recipe. No other adjustments required. The cookie tastes just as delicious as the original recipe!!!!!

    • #
      Emily — January 24, 2022 at 2:20 pm

      That’s awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your substitutions, glad it worked perfectly!

  12. #
    Gwen — January 17, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    BEST. COOKIES. EVER. I have been scouring the world in search of a cookie that is perfectly chewy in the middle and crispy on the edge—this is that cookie. And it has m&ms, which I am definitely going to be using instead of plain choco chips from now on

    • #
      Emily — January 18, 2022 at 11:55 am

      Wonderful! So happy you loved this recipe!

  13. #
    Mary Kelly — January 16, 2022 at 7:52 am

    I made these cookies for my family and while we all agreed they were good, they weren’t great, and not sure I will be making them again. They did bake up soft, as promised, but were really nothing special. I have to admit, I have been doing a lot of whole grain baking lately. I decided to try this recipe as an indulgence. Maybe our palates having gotten used to the flavors of whole grains and less sugars, or maybe we would have been better off with a different recipe.

    • #
      Emily — January 18, 2022 at 11:31 am

      Sorry to hear this wasn’t a favorite. Thanks for the feedback!

  14. #
    Cynthia Carbajal — October 19, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    I’m getting ready to make the M&M cookies but noticed that the recipe calls for cornstarch but when preparing it does not say to mix it anywhere. So do I include it in the flour mixture or leave it out?


    • #
      Emily — October 20, 2021 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Cynthia, so sorry about that! You would add the cornstarch with the flour, baking soda/powder, and salt. I just added that to the directions! Thanks so much for bringing that to our attention, enjoy your cookies! 🙂

  15. #
    Cathy — April 21, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    I hate to leave a bad review. But these cookies were awful. Followed the recipe exactly as written. They were very, very greasy once baked. Took them to my In-Laws today for our Easter Celebration. Was so embarrassed when people started throwing them out. And then avoiding them all together. Very disappointing, especially after reading all the glowing reviews (which is why I made them to begin with). Would not recommend making this recipe. Definitely find a different one. Sorry.

  16. #
    Connie — April 15, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    Great recipe! It made big, soft & chewy cookies! I didn’t have time to chill for 24 hours but next time I definitely will. Some of them spread and some didn’t. Either way, I’m definitely making them again! Fir those asking, add the cornstarch to the dry ingredients.

  17. #
    Maria — December 19, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I made this cookie last night and I follow all the steps.omg!! The result was so amazing!!! I love love love it!! Thank you for the recipe!

  18. #
    Jenny — March 30, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    I would like to make these cookies however as one comment mentioned the cornstarch, its not stated in the method and I am not sure if to add or not add the cornstarch into the cookie mix. Please can you let me know.

  19. #
    Kelly — July 8, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    This is my new go-to recipe for cookies. M&Ms worked beautifully and today I’m subbing chocolate chips. Thanks Tessa! These are such a hit when I bring them into work 🙂

  20. #
    Laura — July 17, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I will be making these cookies soon! I’m confused as to when to add the cornstarch? 2 tsp. cornstarch are listed in the ingredients, but NO where is that particular ingredient mentioned in the instructions. Am I missing something? Please clarify. I need to make these soon for an event so need to know. THANKS!

  21. #
    Jessica @ Sweetest Menu — May 11, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    One of my all-time favourite treats! These look amazing!

  22. #
    Joanne — March 29, 2015 at 6:52 am

    While at the store yesterday, I bought a large bag of m&m’s to bake cookies.
    Your recipe looks perfect!

  23. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — March 27, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    m&m cookies are one of my favorites! these look perfect!!

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