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Santa’s Favorite Cookies are soft brown sugar pudding cookies, stuffed with Christmas colored M&M’s and festive sprinkles. I mean, I can only assume these are Santa’s Favorite Cookies. They sure as heck are some of mine!


Santas Favorite Cookies - they must be because they're so good! And easy pudding cookie recipe filled with brown sugar and Christmas candy!

Okay, so I gotta say. I’m kind of in the mood for Christmas now. Even as recent as a few days ago I was completely bah humbug, but now…now I’m excited for the lights and the music, the family and the parties, and the shopping.

(And the cookies…don’t ever forget the cookies!)

I think my shift in thinking really started a few days before Thanksgiving. Kohls started their online Black Friday sale early and I bought a bunch of stuff for $100. Something about buying all the expensive things and realizing they only cost you about $10 a piece really got me in the mood for the holidays.

I know, shopping got me in the Christmas spirit; somewhere in the North Pole Santa is rolling his eyes.

Speaking of Santa, I happen to know that these are his favorite cookies. I mean, why wouldn’t they be? They’re brown sugar pudding cookies filled with bright firecracker Christmas sprinkles and holiday M&Ms.

Santa’s favorite cookies – well, they are my favorite cookies…why shouldn’t they be his?

Santa's Favorite Cookies - an easy pudding cookie recipe.

This cookie recipe is such an easy one, and it’s totally foolproof. I am so in love with pudding cookies, obviously. You can make so many flavor combinations: chocolate, butterscotch, coconut, lemon. If they make a pudding mix for that flavor, you can make that flavor cookie.

For this pudding cookie recipe, I used all brown sugar, which is the same as the one I made for the 4th of July. I knew I had to replicate that cookie for Christmas because second to red, white, and blue, red and green is my favorite color combo.

(Besides teal and teal, that is.)

The cookie dough mixes together easily, with butter and brown sugar and vanilla pudding mix. Brown sugar and pudding mix by themselves yield super soft and pillowy cookies, but when used together? It’s like a soft cookie to the extreme. And they stay soft for days – no stale cookies here!

(Santa’s favorite cookies would NOT be stale cookies!)

Leave these on a plate with a tall glass of milk or eggnog and Santa will be sure to stop and stay awhile. (If the cookies last that long, that is!)

Santas Favorite Cookies - they must be because they're so good! And easy pudding cookie recipe filled with brown sugar and Christmas candy!

What are your favorite Christmas cookies??

A few notes about the recipe for Santa’s Favorite Cookies:

  • The dough requires chilling, so be sure to plan for that.
  • Be sure to use instant pudding mix, not cook-n-serve. You just need one of the small boxes, which is about 3.4 ounces, depending on the brand.
  • Get creative – use any flavor pudding mix. Have a craving for butterscotch? Use butterscotch pudding mix. Or coconut. Or chocolate. Or banana…you get my drift.
  • Beware: these go down easily. If you want to save them for Santa, be sure to hide some in the freezer. 🙂


Santa's Favorite Cookies on a red plate

Santa's Favorite Cookies

4.76 from 29 votes
What are Santa's Favorite Cookies? These easy brown sugar pudding cookies, of course! Soft and pillowy, these cookies are filled with brown sugar and Christmas candy!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 24 cookies
Serving Size 1 cookie


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3.4 ounces box Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (not sugar free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup red and green sprinkles or any colors
  • 3/4 cup Christmas M&Ms or any color of M&M


  • Note: This dough requires chilling.
  • Cream butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can also use a hand mixer.) Mix in egg and vanilla until smooth. Add pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined. Mix in flour, then stir in sprinkles and M&Ms.
  • Scoop 2 tablespoon balls of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment or a silpat baking mat. There’s no need to space them out, you’re going to chill them. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mats. Place chilled cookie dough balls 2” apart on cookie sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes or until the edges just start to turn brown. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to one month.

Recipe Video

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 18mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Click here to see more of my Christmas cookie recipes!

More pudding cookie recipes to love:

Triple Dark Chocolate Pudding Cookies

Triple Dark Chocolate Pudding Cookies (11 of 11)

Butterscotch Molasses Pudding Cookies

Butterscotch Molasses Pudding Cookies by #cookies #Christmas

White Chocolate Peppermint Blossom Pudding Cookies

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Last Updated on May 20, 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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Recipe Rating


  1. My family loves this cookie recipe. It has become my absolute favorite as well. I use M&M minis and it is perfect.
    I have made this recipe using gluten free flour and they still turn out delicious. My family couldn’t even tell the difference.
    I make these anytime I want cookies, it is my go to recipe.

  2. Literally the best cookie recipe ever. I’ve made these so many times for different holidays and occasions.
    So chewy and delicious every single time.
    I prefer and underbaked cookie, but my sister prefers a crunchy cookie. This recipe can accommodate both versions by simply adjusting the bake time and both ways turn out perfectly.

  3. I made the recipe twice and they did not turn out. I chilled them for 40 min and they still flattened out bad. Not sure what I did wrong. The first batch I threw away because they were ugly. They’re so tasty, I really want them to work

    1. Yes! If they are chilled overnight, I recommend pressing them just a bit with the palm of your hand before baking to help them start to flatten

  4. This is such an amazing holiday treat for everyone! I made them for a Christmas party and it was such a big hit. Such an easy cookie recipe, will definitely be making these again!

  5. These cookies were horrible! I made these with my grandson for him to leave for santa. The 1st batch we made we could not even use because it was just so dry it didn’t even mix well. I was sure that the butter was softened properly And I followed all of the directions but the mixture would not meld together. We mix to 2nd batch, using chocolate pudding this time, and it was very hard to mix but we finally got everything together and chilled the dough. The dough was too hard and translated to hard cookies at the end. I followed all of the directions exactly as written and I too can hammer nails with these cookies. It’s a good thing we have another day to make a different kind of cookie for santa. Very disappointing!

    1. What kind of pudding did you use? I’ve had that happen if I accidentally use sugar-free or cook ‘n serve pudding. Regular instant pudding will work just fine (I’ve made the same cookies about 100 times and they’re always soft).