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Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies – just like the Sugar Butter Cookies from the mall! Soft, chewy, and loaded with colorful M&Ms to suit any occasion. They’re made with simple baking staples and a secret ingredient, making these the best, chewiest, most decadent sugar cookies you’ve ever had!

plate of M&M sugar cookies.

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies with M&Ms

These ultra-chewy M&M sugar cookies are soft and buttery and simply melt in your mouth. The addition of crunchy candy-coated chocolate gives each bite the perfect combination of a soft center, chewy edges, and bits of sweet crunch throughout.

Once the cookies are out of the oven, I’ll add a few M&Ms to the tops just for presentation. The sugar crystals on the outside are the signature of any good sugar cookie, and we love using them in this recipe too!

While I usually opt for chocolate, there’s something about a sugar cookie. When I was younger at the mall, I always used to stop at Mrs. Fields and get a sugar butter M&M cookie. These remind me a lot of those!

Why you’ll love M&M Sugar Cookies

Perfect for any occasion – Swap the color of the M&Ms depending on the occasion. Red and green for Christmas, red and pink for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s Day, or use Easter M&Ms for Easter (or do a fun twist using mini eggs instead). They’re also a really good cookie to serve for dinner guests, pack in a lunch box, or enjoy when you’re craving a cookie!

Easy to make – Make a batch of 40 cookies in just 20 minutes. No chilling, cutting, shaping, or heavy mixing is needed!

Simple ingredients – These M&M sugar cookies are made with simple baking staples and cream cheese. The mixture of cream cheese and butter gives the entire batch extra buttery softness and a slight tangy element.

plate of M&M sugar cookies.

Equipment you’ll need


Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.

  • All-Purpose Flour – For best results, measure the flour using a kitchen scale or the spoon and level method so you don’t end up adding too much to the dough.
  • Leavening Agents – We’re using both baking powder and baking soda. The baking powder keeps them nice and soft while the baking powder gives them height so they don’t fall too flat.
  • Salt – Enhances all the other flavors.
  • Sugar – You’ll need some for the cookies and some for rolling.
  • Cream Cheese – Cut into cubes. Bring it to room temperature before you begin.
  • Unsalted butter – Melt it and use it while it’s still warm.
  • Vegetable Oil – This is a fat that doesn’t solidify at room temperature so it helps to keep the cookies moist.
  • Large Egg – Bring the egg out to room temperature when you bring out the cream cheese.
  • Milk – Any kind you want. I use 2%.
  • Vanilla Extract – For extra flavor.
  • M&Ms – You’ll need enough for the cookie dough and a few for the top. Use whatever color you want.
overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make M&M sugar cookies.

How to make M&M Sugar Cookies

This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

  1. Step One: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt together. Set it aside.
  2. Step Two: In a large bowl, combine sugar and cream cheese. Pour the warm butter overtop the mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in the oil, egg, milk, and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  3. Step Three: Use a spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once partially incorporated, add M&Ms to the dough. Continue mixing until the soft dough comes together.
glass mixing bowl filled with M&M sugar cookie dough.
  1. Step Four: Grab a cookie scoop and scoop out the dough, rolling each with your hands and coating it in the reserved sugar. Place each one on a prepared baking sheet.
ball of dough in a small dish of granulated sugar.
  1. Step Five: Bake for 8-10 minutes in a preheated oven until until the edges are set. Remove from the oven and immediately press the extra M&Ms into the tops of each one. They’ll be puffy and slightly cracked. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
overhead shot of m&M sugar cookies on a wire cooling rack.

Tips & Suggestions

  • Room temperature ingredients. Having everything start at the same temperature ensures it gets mixed properly and bakes evenly. Cold cream cheese would be hard to blend and would leave behind chunks.
  • Avoid overmixing the dough. Do this by adding the M&Ms to the dough before it’s completely blended. That way, by the time they’re folded in, the dough will be mixed.
  • Add candies after baking. Pressing extra candy into the dough balls before baking causes them to crack, so I like to press them straight out of the oven to minimize this.
  • For larger cookies use a larger scoop. As written, this recipe uses a small scoop and makes 40 cookies.

How to store M&M Sugar Cookies

How to store leftovers

Keep them stored at room temperature for up to 1 week. Ensure there’s always a lid on them or they’ll dry out. If you do find they’re losing moisture, I’ve heard adding a slice of bread into the container helps. Let me know if you try that!

Can I freeze homemade sugar cookies?

Sure you can! Transfer them to a freezer bag and store them for up to 1 month. Bring them out to the counter to thaw before you grab one!

You can also freeze the dough balls if you want to save them for baking later. Either flash freeze them until solid so they don’t freeze stuck together, or wrap than individually in plastic wrap.

Freeze the dough balls for up to 3 months.

You can bake them straight from frozen if you’d like, just tack on a couple of extra baking minutes. If not, thaw them first.

overhead shot of a platter of M&M sugar cookies


Do I have to roll the cookies in the extra sugar?

No, that’s completely optional. You don’t even need to add the extra candies if you don’t want to.

Do M&Ms melt while baking?

The neat thing is the candy coating protects the chocolate so it doesn’t melt like chocolate chips do. They do become warm, however, so they are a bit softer and the coloring may bleed slightly.

What makes chewy sugar cookies chewy?

It’s all thanks to the beautiful combination of butter, eggs, and in this case cream cheese! Not overbaking is also crucial.

Red Velvet M&M Cake Mix Cookies

Chewy Brownie M&M Cookies

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Double Chocolate M&M Cookies

Click here for my entire collection of cookie recipes.

sugar butter M&M cookie with a bite missing.
plate of M&M sugar cookies.
4.66 from 38 votes

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies

Servings: 40 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies – just like the Sugar Butter Cookies from the mall! Soft, chewy, and loaded with colorful M&Ms to suit any occasion. They're made with simple baking staples and a secret ingredient, making these the best, chewiest, most decadent sugar cookies you've ever had!


  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar plus 1/3 cup for rolling
  • 2 ounces cream cheese cut into 8 pieces, at room temp
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and still warm
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg at room temp
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup M&M’s


  • Preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    2 ¼ cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and cream cheese to a large bowl.
    1 ½ cups sugar, 2 ounces cream cheese
  • Pour the warm butter over the cream cheese mixture and whisk to combine – the mixture won’t be completely smooth yet, but that’s ok. Whisk in the oil then the egg, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
    6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, ⅓ cup vegetable oil, 1 large egg, 1 Tablespoon milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Use a spatula to start folding the dry ingredients into the wet. When the dry ingredients are partially incorporated, add 3/4 cup of the M&M’s to the dough. Continue mixing until a soft dough comes together. (Don’t wait to add the M&M’s until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated – you’ll end up overmixing.)
    1 cup M&M’s
  • Put the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  • Use a cookie scoop (#60/2 teaspoons) to make balls of dough. Roll the dough into a ball with your hands then roll in the reserved sugar. You should fit 12 per baking sheet.
  • Optional: Use the bottom of a glass to flatten the dough balls into discs that are about 2″ in diameter.
  • Bake the cookies for 8-10, or until the edges are set.
  • Remove from oven and press additional M&Ms on top of each cookie. The tops of the cookies will be puffy and slightly cracked. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then transfer them to the rack to cool completely.


  • If you press M&Ms into the cookies before baking, they will crack, so I prefer to press additional candies into the cookies when they come out of the oven.
  • Rolling in additional sugar and flattening are optional steps. They turn out just fine if you skip these steps.
  • Using a small (#60/2 tsp) cookie scoop made 40 cookies. You can use a larger scoop if you prefer large cookies.
  • Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to a week.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 91IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!

Did You Make This?

If you made this recipe, I’d love to know how it went in the comments section below.

You can also tag me on Instagram – @melissa_pplates or share a pic in the Persnickety Plates Community Facebook group. I love seeing what you’ve tried!

Originally published October 8, 2012; photos and recipe updated February 13, 2024

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies | Persnickety Plates
Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies | Persnickety Plates
Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies | Persnickety Plates

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  1. Hello! I found your blog at the Online BlogCon’s facebook page. I’m also a Michigan blogger…I’m over in Zeeland (25 minutes from GR). I’m a new follower 🙂

  2. The cookies look delicious!!

    You will love your new Canon T3. I just upgraded but it was such a great little camera. Have fun with it!

  3. 5 stars
    My family and I love this recipe! These cookies are so much better than just adding M&Ms to chocolate chip cookies, which is what I used to do before finding this recipe.