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These 4th of July M&M Cookies are my favorite sugar cookie recipe FULL of patriotic M&Ms! These are great for a 4th of July party and everyone loves my simple chewy sugar cookies with M&Ms.


stack of M&M sugar cookies

Maybe I should start a Crazy for the 4th of July blog? I mean, I can’t stop posting red, white and blue recipes. #cantstopwontstop #sorrynotsorry

(Or maybe I should just buy stock in Patriotic M&Ms?)

Want to know a horribly kept secret? Sugar Cookies are my favorite. Seriously, I love Chocolate Chip (and I know you all do too) but sugar cookies are the ones I will always go for first. I love them with frosting, plain, with sprinkles, or with M&Ms…I’ve never met a sugar cookie I didn’t like.

If you love sugar cookies too but want a hint of chocolate, may I suggest adding M&Ms to your cookies? These are the perfect marriage of two of my favorite things: sugar cookies and the 4th of July!

stack of M&M sugar cookies

These easy sugar cookies are soft and chewy with the perfect amount of puffiness. They’re the BEST sugar cookie, IMO.

It’s all about a few simple ingredients and tricks I’ve learned over the years.

  • One egg and one egg YOLK are the best way I’ve found to take a soft sugar cookie to a soft and chewy sugar cookie. The yolk adds a bit more fat and protein resulting in a chewier cookie.
  • Cream of Tartar is in all of my sugar cookie recipes. I use baking soda, as most cookies do, but adding some cream of tartar keeps them soft.

What is Cream of Tartar and why do I need it?

Cream of Tartar is an acidic leavening agent that’s found in baking powder. It’s often used in recipes using egg whites to help them foam and rise, but in baking it’s used to activate the compounds in baking soda.

Baking soda is great for spread in cookies and helps with the chewiness as well. But when you add extra acid to a baked good using baking soda it activates the baking soda even more causing it to rise and create a tender puffy baked good. (That’s why often cakes that uses baking soda call for an acid, like vinegar or buttermilk. The acid in those – as well as lemon juice – cause the cakes to be tender.)

So why not just use baking powder since baking powder contains both baking soda and cream of tartar? Well, baking powder will make your cookies more cake-like. So for a soft and chewy but puffy texture, you want to use a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda.

Substitutions for cream of tartar

If you don’t have cream of tartar and use a substitute it may affect the outcome of the recipe, but you can do it in a pinch.

For every 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar called for in a recipe, use 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar as a substitute.

stack of 4th of July M&M cookies

One of the things I love about this M&M Cookie Recipe is that it does NOT need chilling. The ratio of sugar to butter is just right, ensuring they won’t spread too much. Just mix and bake and eat!

If you want your cookies to be pretty like mine, use this tip: add more M&Ms on top after they bake.

Simply scoop and bake and as soon as they come out of the oven add 5-6 more M&Ms on top. One, this will make it so they don’t crack in the oven, but also will make them look prettier for serving.

Storing and Freezing M&M Cookies

Store cookies in an airtight container for up to three days. You can also freeze these before or after baking.

Freezing before baking: scoop the balls of dough and lay on a cookie sheet. Cover and freeze the dough. Once frozen, place in a plastic sealable bag and store in the freezer.

Freezing after baking: place in single layers between layers of paper towels and freeze in an airtight container.

These are the PERFECT cookies for any 4th of July party. Everyone loves M&M Cookies!

stack of M&M sugar cookies

They’re also fantastic with any other color M&M…or use chocolate chips!

Other 4th of July Cookies:

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stack of M&M sugar cookies

4th of July M&M Cookies

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These 4th of July M&M Cookies are my favorite sugar cookie recipe FULL of patriotic M&Ms! These are great for a 4th of July party and everyone loves my simple chewy sugar cookies with M&Ms.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 17 cookies (depending on size)
Serving Size 1 cookie


For the Cookies

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups patriotic M&Ms or any color


Make the Cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheet with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer). Cream until the mixture is fluffy, about one minute.
  • Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix until smooth, then mix in baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Add flour and mix until cookie dough forms. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of M&Ms.
  • Scoop 2 tablespoon sized balls 2-inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 11-15 minutes, or until the bottoms are just starting get golden and the top is no longer glossy. Press a few more M&Ms on the top of each of the cookie as soon as they come out of the oven. Cool at least 10 minutes on cookie sheet before removing. Cool completely before frosting.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 335IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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stack of M&M sugar cookies

Last Updated on May 4, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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