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Chocolate Chip Cookies all dressed up for the holiday season! The classic chocolate chip cookie recipe get an upgrade with red and green m&m candies and a secret ingredient to make them extra soft and thick. 

pile of chocolate chip cookies with red & green M&Ms for christmas.

Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adding M&Ms to cookies is an easy way to add color and decoration to your holiday treats depending on the occasion. 

I’ve used pink and red in these red velvet cake mix cookies for Valentine’s Day and brown M&Ms for these double chocolate M&M cookies because, well, it’s double chocolate. 

This time, not only am I adding fun and festive Christmas M&Ms, but I’m turning classic chocolate chip cookies into the softest, chewiest Christmas cookies you’ll ever try. Lean in and listen closely, because I’m about to share with you a secret…

I use instant vanilla pudding mix in the cookie dough! I kid you not, these are probably some of the best chewy chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had! 

The green and red M&M’s add a festive flare and a pop of color and once baked, the melty gooey chocolate chips are a heavenly contrast to the crunch of the candy-coated chocolate!

Why you’ll love Chocolate Chip Christmas Cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies – This is a great cookie recipe for anyone looking to bake for the holidays but wants to keep it simple. 

Simple Ingredients – Nothing fancy here! They’re the kind of freshly baked cookies that your neighbors can smell from your kitchen. Talk about spreading Christmas cheer!

Versatile – A simple swap of the color of M&Ms and they go from Christmas cookies to a cookie perfect for any occasion!

closeup of christmas chocolate chip cookies on a baking sheet.

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.

  • Butter – Use room-temperature unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt you use in your cookie dough. If you’ve only got salted butter on hand, use it, but omit any added salt.
  • Sugars – Both white granulated and brown sugar are used in these cookies. The extra moisture from the brown sugar is a welcome addition as is the depth of flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract – Brings out the flavors and enhances the overall taste with a warm vanilla flavor.
  • Egg – Binds the ingredients together. Bring it out of the fridge when you bring out your butter that way all of your ingredients will be at the same temperature.
  • All-Purpose Flour Measure the flour correctly to avoid dry, dense cookies. Use a scale or the spoon and level method for just the right amount.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding – The secret to ultra-soft chocolate chip Christmas cookies! DO NOT make the pudding, just add the mix into the dough.
  • Baking Soda – Gives these cookies a rise so they’re nice and thick.
  • Salt – A savory flavor enhancer that brings everything together.
  • Chocolate Chips – There wouldn’t be chocolate chip cookies without them! I personally like dark chocolate but semisweet chocolate chips are a popular choice or even white chocolate chips like in my Christmas cookie bars.
  • Red & Green M&Ms – Save some for adding on top when the cookies come out of the oven.
overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make christmas chocolate chip cookies.

How to make Chocolate Chip Christmas 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: Cream the butter and sugars together in a medium mixing bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed.
  2. Step Two: Add the egg and vanilla and continue mixing. Then, add the dry ingredients and mix on low until fully combined.
  3. Step Three: Fold in the chocolate chips and half of the M&Ms until evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
chocolate chip cookie dough in a glass mixing bowl.
  1. Step Four: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. You can leave it overnight if you are making the dough in advance.
  2. Step Five: Use a medium cookie scoop to portion the dough and add them to two prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are golden. Once out of the oven press remaining M&Ms on top for presentation.
cookie dough balls on a baking sheet.

Tips & Suggestions

  • Using parchment paper or a silicone baking mat overtop the cookie sheets will help prevent too much spreading. This is how we keep our cookies nice and thick.
  • Look for the instant pudding mix in powder form. It’s not the cook-and-serve. Also, as mentioned above, do not follow the instructions on the pudding mix. Just add it in like you would any other dry ingredient.
  • Switch up the kind of chocolate chips you use. Feel free to swap the semi-sweet for milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate, white chocolate chips, or even peanut butter chips if you prefer.

What to serve with them

If you need more holiday cookies to serve on a Christmas cookie plate or for a cookie exchange party, I recommend pairing these chocolate chip Christmas cookies with other classics like:

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Snowball Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Shortbread Cookies dipped in chocolate

Need more ideas…30+ Classic Christmas cookie recipes

plate of cookies with a bite taken out of the top cookie.

How to reheat and store Chocolate Chip Christmas Cookies

How to store leftovers

These cookies will stay soft and moist when covered in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

How long will they last in the fridge?

The baked cookies do not need to be refrigerated, however, if you’re not ready to bake them yet, the prepared dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days as long as it’s covered.

Can I freeze them?

Yes! You can also freeze the dough for a few months, so if you don’t need to bake 2 dozen cookies, save the rest of the dough for later on.

I recommend scooping the dough onto a baking sheet, flash freezing, then moving the frozen cookie dough balls to a freezer bag. You can bake from frozen, just add a minute or two to the bake time.

hand holding an M&M cookie with a bite missing.


What is a substitute for instant pudding in cookies?

Using a vanilla instant pudding mix for this recipe is part of what makes this Chocolate Chip Christmas cookie recipe so unique. And easy! I don’t recommend substituting it, but technically a combination of 1 part cornstarch, 2 parts fine sugar, and 1 part vanilla could be used in its place.

Can I use a different flavor of pudding mix?

For sure! While vanilla is the classic choice, you can definitely switch it up by using butterscotch or chocolate pudding instead.

What other mix-ins can I use?

If you want to load up your cookie and make it even chunkier, you could add in some chopped nuts or holiday sprinkles.

Gingerbread Cookies

White Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

Reindeer Cookies

Click here for my entire collection of cookie recipes.

pile of M&M christmas cookies on a white plate.
pile of chocolate chip cookies with red & green M&Ms for christmas.
5 from 2 votes

Soft & chewy Chocolate Chip Christmas Cookies

Servings: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Chocolate Chip Cookies all dressed up for the holiday season! The classic chocolate chip cookie recipe get an upgrade with red and green m&m candies and a secret ingredient to make them extra soft and thick. 


  • ¾ cup butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups red and green m&ms divided


  • To a medium mixing bowl, add the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Cream together with a hand mixer on medium speed until fully combined and fluffy.
  • Add in the egg and vanilla and continue mixing.
  • Add in the flour, instant pudding, baking soda, and salt and mix on low until fully combined.
  • Add in the chocolate chips and half of the M&Ms. Fold together with a spatula until evenly distributed.
  • Cover the bowl the refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to overnight.
  • Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • Use a medium cookie scoop (#40; 1.5 TB) to portion out the dough and roll into balls, placing 12 per sheet.
  • Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until edges are just golden.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately press additional M&Ms and chocolate chips into the cookies before they cool.


  • Do not prepare the pudding per the box, you add the dry pudding mix to the dough.
  • Switch up the kind of chocolate chips you use. Feel free to swap the semi-sweet for milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate, white chocolate chips, or even peanut butter chips if you prefer.
  • Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • Dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

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