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This M&M sugar cookie recipe is the best alternative for the mall cookies. This cookie is tastier, less expensive, freshly homemade, and has a dairy-free option for everyone to enjoy!
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BEST M&M Sugar Cookies
What I love most about this M&M sugar cookie is the fluffy texture and that it is extra easy to make. With the option to color customize the M&Ms to suit any themed occasion and can be enjoyed dairy-free, making this sugar cookie recipe is a favorite for all!
I added a dairy-free version of this M&M sugar cookie that doesn’t compromise on any flavor. This dairy-free option is just as tasty as the original recipe and only has two simple substitutions.
When you combine all of these factors, you get a soft and delicious M&M sugar cookie! Adding the M&Ms really brighten up the look of this sugar cookie, making this a festive and fun treat!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- They 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.
- Perfectly sweet, soft, and chewy. Basically, a sugar cookie dream!
- An M&M sugar cookie recipe but without brown sugar. Using all granulated sugar gives you that same flavor that the mall version has!
- Get the pillowy, soft cookie texture by adding cream of tartar. Combined with baking soda, cream of tartar (a type of acid) is an additional leavening source to help the cookies rise.
Ingredients in Sugar Cookies with M&Ms
- Unsalted Butter: may sub Earth’s Balance Vegan Butter Stick for a dairy-free cookie
- Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the cookie without brown sugar!
- Eggs: 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk gives these a nice chew
- Vanilla: Always use pure vanilla extract!
- Baking Soda: Traditional for cookie recipes
- Cream of Tartar: Keeps the cookies soft
- Salt: Needed since we used unsalted butter
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour and be sure to measure it correctly.
- M&Ms: We’re adding them inside the cookie and on top!
This dairy-free M&M sugar cookie alternative is just as good as the original recipe. With only two easy substitutions, you can enjoy a delicious treat without the guilt.
- I replace the butter with Earth’s Balance Vegan Butter Sticks. They perform much like butter in this recipe – you can 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.
How to make M&M Sugar Cookies
- 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 tablespoons 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 for 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheets. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- 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, the M&Ms will hide inside, let’s let them shine!
- For all year round fun, you can switch up this M&Ms sugar cookie recipe by decorating the cookie with different color M&Ms. I love to use red and green ones to make Christmas M&M sugar cookies or orange, green and purple for Halloween or even make 4th of July Cookies!
- Easily freezable – the M&M cookie I usually make in big batches, pop them in the freezer, and then it’s easy to pull one out whenever we want to treat ourselves. Quick and easy, just like that!
As many as you like! A little trick to making the M&Ms stand out of the cookie, is to press a few M&Ms on top of the cookie dough balls before they go in the oven. This way when your cookies are finished baking, you’ll see a colorfully decorated M&M cookie!
Yes, you can! If you’re feeling festive, feel free to grab some holiday colored inspired M&Ms for extra fun. M&M minis are also fun to add to this sugar cookie recipe as well!
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.
They have the right amount of leavening. Baking soda is the usual leavening I use in most of my cookies and 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.
In an airtight container at room temp for up to 3 days.
Yes, you can! Be sure they are stored in an airtight container. You can freeze these M&M cookies for up to one month.
Have you made this recipe
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M&M Sugar Cookies Recipe
- ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter , softened
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (248g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup plain M&Ms , divided
- 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 ¾ 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.
- 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.
M&Ms Cookies are a soft sugar cookie with M&Ms on top – these are the perfect easy cookie recipe – use any kind of candies you want.
Last Updated on February 27, 2023
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.
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.
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.
THESE AREN’T DAIRY FREE IF THEY HAVE M&M’S IN THEM!!! THEY ARE MADE WITH “MILK” CHOCOLATE…I.E. DAIRY!
Is 1 tablespoon vanilla a typographic error? I don’t recall ever using that much vanilla in a cookie recipe.
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