Cake Mix Grinch Cookies – Just a Taste

Celebrate the season with a festive recipe for Cake Mix Grinch Cookies that are soft, chewy and studded with red M&M’s!

A tall stack of Cake Mix Grinch Cookies on a plate in front of two glasses of milk with straws

Christmas cookies of nearly every shape, size, flavor and level of festive-ness have made their appearance on Just a Taste, but it was time to tackle the green-est (meanest!) of them all: Cake Mix Grinch Cookies.

How to Make Grinch Cookies with Cake Mix

Cake mix is my secret to the softest, chewiest Grinch Cookies studded with red M&M’s. Using cake mix not only yields a fantastic taste and texture, but it also cuts down on measuring (read: prep time) since all of your dry ingredients are already conveniently combined.

All that’s left to do is add eggs, oil, food coloring and red candies to complete these soon-to-be classic sweets.

A glass bowl containing cake mix cookie batter with red chocolate-covered candies and a spatula

How Long to Refrigerate Cookie Dough

The key to using cake mix to make cookies is that you must refrigerate the dough after mixing it together. The cake mix leads to a much softer dough, so chilling it will ensure your cookies don’t spread too much and get too flat.

The great news is you only need to refrigerate the cookie dough for 30 minutes to get the ideal texture for scooping and baking.

Scoops of unbaked green-colored cookie dough with red M&Ms on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet

The Best Food Coloring for Cookies

I always prefer gel food coloring, rather than classic water-based food coloring. You need much less of it to achieve a very vibrant color, and it leads to a much richer color as well. My favorite brands are AmeriColor and Wilton.

A top-down view of Cake Mix Grinch Cookies atop a parchment paper-lined baking sheet

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  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil and your desired amount of green food coloring. 

  • Stir in the cake mix until combined then fold in the M&Ms.

  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  • Remove the dough from the fridge and using an ice cream scoop (or two spoons) portion out about 2 tablespoons of the dough into mounds on the baking sheets, spacing the mounds at least 2 inches apart.

  • Bake the cookies until they are just set in the center, 12 to 15 minutes.

  • Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately press the remaining ¼ cup M&Ms into the tops of the cookies. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Kelly’s Notes:

  • It’s important to whisk the food coloring in with the eggs and vegetable oil prior to adding the cake mix so that your cookies are uniform green in color and not streaked. 

  • I prefer gel-based food coloring, as a little bit goes a long way. 

  • Any brand of cake mix will work for this recipe, as long as it’s either 15.25 or 16.25 ounces. I prefer the ones with pudding in the mix because the resulting cookies are extra moist. 

  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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