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These M&M Sugar Cookies have the best texture and are easy to make! They really are the perfect sugar cookie that you can easily customize with different color M&Ms.

I’m also sharing how to make them dairy-free without compromising on the flavor and texture!

close up of stack of cookies with M&Ms

Remember those M&M sugar cookies you used to get at the mall? The ones you’d beg your mom to buy you? These are exactly that but made at home so they taste better, are less expensive and you can make them dairy-free.

I blame those trips to mall as a kid for my M&M cookies obsession. I still can’t get enough of them although I have to admit it’s been years since I’ve had the mall version. My homemade version is just like the original – chewy but crunchy with the best flavor with lots of colorful M&Ms. It really is the perfect sugar cookie.

Table of Contents
  1. The Best M&M Sugar Cookie Recipe!
  2. How to Make Dairy-Free Cookies
  3. A Few More Tips for the Best M&M Sugar Cookies
  4. M&M Sugar Cookies {dairy-free option} Recipe

A lot of thought went into recreating this childhood favorite of mine and there are many reasons these are the best:

  • The have the perfect ratio of sugar to fat. Unlike chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies (which have more sugar than fat), my sugar cookies have about equal amounts so you don’t have to chill the dough and they don’t spread much when they bake. It also means they are perfectly sweet, soft and chewy. Basically, a sugar cookie dream.
  • This is an M&M cookie recipe without brown sugar. Using all granulated sugar gives you that same flavor that the mall version has!
  • They have the right amount of leavening.  Baking soda is the usual leavening I use in most of my cookies, and it also contributes to spreading. Bake the same exact cookie recipe twice, once with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and once with ½ teaspoon and you’ll see what I mean. Using less baking soda gives less spread, which means you don’t have to chill the dough but you still get a soft cookie that doesn’t spread too thin.
  • I also add cream of tartar. Combined with baking soda, cream of tartar (a type of acid) is an additional leavening source to help the cookies rise and it also contributes to the pillowy soft cookie texture.

When you combine all of these factors you get the best sugar cookies. Add some M&Ms to take them over the top!

close up of stack of cookies with M&Ms

How to Make Dairy-Free Cookies

My daughter has a few friends who can’t have dairy so I’ve converted this recipe to be dairy-free. It’s a great option for events, too – I hate for people to miss out on a sweet treat!

The best news is that these dairy free M&M cookies taste just as good as the original recipe.

There are only two substitutions you need to make: the butter and the M&Ms:

  • I replace the butter with Earth’s Balance Vegan Butter Sticks. They perform much like butter in this recipe – you can’t hardly tell they are not made with real butter.
  • M&Ms are not dairy-free so I sub them for vegan candy or chocolate chips. I like to use Chocolate ChocoNoNos or UNREAL Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems because they are vegan and allergy approved.
close up of stack of M&M cookies

A Few More Tips for the Best M&M Sugar Cookies

This recipe is basically my best sugar cookie recipe with M&Ms added in. You can mix the cookie dough in one bowl and then just scoop and bake!

The secret for the cutest cookies is to reserve some of the M&Ms and press them onto the top of the cookie dough balls before they go in the oven. That way, you end up with colorful candies on top of the baked cookies. If you skip this step, they’ll be hidden inside – I love seeing them on top!

M&Ms come in so many flavors and colors now you can easily switch them up. I love to use red and green ones to make Christmas M&M sugar cookies. There are options for pretty much all of the other holidays, too.

The cookies are perfect for freezing! I usually make them in big batches, pop them in the freezer, and then it’s easy to pull one out whenever we want to treat ourselves. No trip to the mall required!

Whether you were obsessed with these as a kid like me or just want an excuse to treat yourself to a fun, colorful cookie you need to give these a try! Everyone loves these easy M&M cookies.

Other Sugar Cookie Recipes

Have you made this recipe?

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close up of stack of cookies with M&Ms

M&M Sugar Cookies {dairy-free option}

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M&M Sugar Cookies are an easy M&M Cookie recipe! These copycat cookies are soft and chewy and full of candy, and the recipe comes with a dairy free option!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 24 cookies
Serving Size 1 cookie


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened (may sub Earth’s Balance Vegan Butter Stick for a dairy-free cookie)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup + 1/2 cup plain M&Ms see note


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with silpat liners or parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Mix in baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly mix in flour. Stir in 2/3 cup M&Ms.
  • Scoop 2 tablespoon balls of dough (use a cookie scoop if you have one) onto cookie sheets. Top each cookie with 4-5 additional M&Ms.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes (10 for slightly underdone, 11-12 for more done). Cool 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheets. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Dairy Free Options:
  • You can sub equal amounts of Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks for the unsalted butter, but omit the salt. This makes them dairy-free.
  • Use ChocoNONOs or UNREAL vegan candy instead of the M&Ms for a dairy free cookie.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 189IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Dorothy Kern
Keyword cookie

M&M Sugar Cookies are an easy M&M Cookie recipe! These copycat cookies are soft and chewy and full of candy, and the recipe comes with a dairy free option!

Last Updated on October 4, 2020

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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  1. M&Ms are not dairy free. I understand the recipe gives a dairy free option, however it does come up when you search for dairy free cookies, and it’s a bit misleading.

  2. Ah, I just read  the previous comments. You are being bombarded. But I think justifiably. I suggest you remove this recipe from your site or change the name to something else, and say, for those who are not milk intolerant, M&M’s is another option. You are, if unintentionally, misleading your readers, some of whom are desperately trying to find options for their kids. Like me. Thanks, and good luck with your site.

  3. M&M’s have milk in them….skim milk is about the 3rd ingredient. Where did you find milk-free M&Ms…

    I haven’t made this yet, but if you know where to find milk-free M&M’s please send me an email. I’m curious.



  5. Is 1 tablespoon vanilla a typographic error? I don’t recall ever using that much vanilla in a cookie recipe.

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