Bake a Difference: Soft-Baked M&M’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

by alexandra

Soft-Baked M&M's Chocolate Chip Cookies  - Super-soft, chewy cookies filled with colorful M&M's and chunks of chocolate. From @brighteyedbaker |

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I like cookies – a lot. And by cookies, I mean thick, soft, chocolate-laden cookies, with an emphasis on CHOCOLATE.   So basically, I’m in love with these:

Soft-Baked M&M's Chocolate Chip Cookies  - Super-soft, chewy cookies filled with colorful M&M's and chunks of chocolate. From @brighteyedbaker |

Soft-Baked M&M’s Chocolate Chip Cookies… they’re thick, soft, chewy, and not only chocolate-laden, but M&M’s-laden. *Sigh*

But today’s cookies have a cause (other than feeding my chocolate addiction, that is). The amazing people from OXO are holding their annual Bake a Difference campaign benefiting the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer organization. They’ve committed to donating up to $100,000 to the organization in 2013 through specially-stickered baking product sales, bake sale matches, and other fundraising efforts. So, I wanted to help! For every blog post written in September dedicated to this campaign, OXO is donating $100 to help fight pediatric cancer; I just find it incredible that I can do something as simple as write about cookies here on this blog and help contribute to such a worthy cause. And guess what? You can help too!

OXO is contributing 25 cents for the sale of baking products  specially-marked with this sticker:

Bake a Difference with OXO

Essentially, you can help by going shopping and loading up on kitchen essentials! It’s a win-win. ;) There are also other ways you can get involved, and the OXO Good Cookies website has all the details.

In dedication to the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer cause, I wanted to make cookies that really are for kids. I decided that super-soft M&M’s cookies were only appropriate. :)

Soft-Baked M&M's Chocolate Chip Cookies  - Super-soft, chewy cookies filled with colorful M&M's and chunks of chocolate. From @brighteyedbaker |

Surely you have memories of soft-baked cookies and M&M’s, right? When I was young, my sister and I used to always get the free cookies they gave out at the grocery store, and sometimes if we were lucky, we’d get to choose the type of cookie they were giving out. I thought those cookies were perfection. I’m sure that these taste a million times better those store cookies, but there’s something about them –  the softness, the chewiness, and all the colorful M&M’s – that make me feel like I’m that kid eating a free cookie again. Of course, since I’m more sophisticated than that now, I make them with dark chocolate M&M’s and bittersweet chocolate chunks (because that’s what grown-ups do, you know), but that doesn’t take away from them being a total kid-classic.

Soft-Baked M&M's Chocolate Chip Cookies  - Super-soft, chewy cookies filled with colorful M&M's and chunks of chocolate. From @brighteyedbaker |

I’m officially a proud M&M-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Lover again.

Soft-Baked M&M's Chocolate Chip Cookies  - Super-soft, chewy cookies filled with colorful M&M's and chunks of chocolate. From @brighteyedbaker |

One last thing: once you scroll down to the recipe, you’re going to notice something interesting about this one: cream cheese. Wait, what? YES! If you’ve never tried putting cream cheese in your cookies before, you might think I’m crazy, but it makes the most amazing soft, thick, and chewy cookies. You have to try it, right here, right now; these are some of my new favorites!

Soft-Baked M&M's Chocolate Chip Cookies - Super-soft, chewy cookies filled with colorful M&M's and chunks of chocolate. From @bright-eyedbaker |

Soft Baked M&M’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 18-20 cookies


These soft and chewy cookies are loaded with M&M’s and chunks of chocolate in every bite. It’s a classic kid favorite at it’s best!


  • 10 5/8 ounces (2 1/2 cups, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 7 1/2 ounces (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 9 1/4 ounces (1 1/4 cups) M&M’s (I used the dark chocolate kind)
  • 4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (use semisweet if you prefer)
  • extra m&m’s and chopped chocolate for tops of cookies


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt until well-combined.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until smoothly combined, wiping down the bowl and beater as needed. Add the whole egg and egg yolk one at a time, beating each in until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract until incorporated.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix in on lowest speed just until partially combined, with the dough not yet even in texture. Add the M&M’s and chopped chocolate and fold in with a flexible rubber spatula just until evenly dispersed into the dough, with no more streaks of dry ingredients still visible.
  4. Transfer the dough to an airtight container and chill for at least 4 hours before baking (the cookie dough will keep in the refrigerator for at least one week).
  5. To bake, preheat oven to 350ºF with an oven rack in the center position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop the cookie dough by 2 1/4 ounce (about 1/4 cup) portions and roll into balls. Roll each ball between the palms of your hand to elongate into a tall cylinder-like mound, flattening the base to rest firmly on the lined baking tray. Space the mounds of cookie dough apart on the tray, with no more than 6 – 9 cookies on the tray at once. Press a few extra M&M’s and pieces of chopped chocolate into the tops and sides of the cookies.
  7. Bake cookies in the preheated oven for 11-13 minutes, or just until the cookies are puffed up and the tops no longer appear wet, rotating the tray halfway through the baking time. Don’t overbake! Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Do you guys have favorite cookies memories from when you were kids?

Disclosure: OXO provided me with a set of cookie-baking products to help me prepare this post. I was not compensated for writing this post in any way and all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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Consuelo @ Honey & Figs September 21, 2013

I’m a huge soft cookies lover, so I’m definitely trying your recipe soon ;-) Pinned! x
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alexandra September 21, 2013

Thank you Consuelo!!

Julia | September 22, 2013

Such gorgeous cookies! I love baking with M&Ms: they make everything so colorful! Pinned!
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alexandra September 29, 2013

Thanks Julia!

Erika September 23, 2013

Um you are amazing. I have like half a stick of cream cheese leftover from making this frosting (and I almost never use cream cheese) so these would be AWESOME for using up my leftovers!! So excited–I LOVEEE M&M cookies!!
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alexandra September 29, 2013

Haha the cookies are amazing!!! Make them!

Ashley September 23, 2013

I used to LOVE the soft-baked M&M cookies my mom would sometimes let us get at the mall! These look awesome! So soft and thick!
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alexandra September 29, 2013

They are!! I’m SO picky about cookies – these check every box though!

Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet September 23, 2013

Love the cookies! Love the photo! Love the cause! Pinned!
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alexandra September 29, 2013

Thanks Anna!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) September 24, 2013

I love soft cookies and what a wonderful cause!
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Rebecca September 25, 2013

Love soft cookies, could you use homemade vegan cream cheese (made with cashews)? And could you skip the M&Ms and just use chocolate chips? Also, do you have a receipe for soft sugar cookies and soft oatmeal cookies? Thank you

alexandra September 29, 2013

Hi Rebecca,
I can’t really advise you about the use of homemade cream cheese since I’ve never had it or worked with it myself. You can just use chocolate chips though, if you want to skip the M&M’s. I don’t have a recipe for regular soft sugar cookies on the blog yet, but I do have soft Pumpkin Brown Sugar Cookies and these soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies! I have some other cookie recipes in the works too; so check back!

Samina | The Cupcake Confession September 27, 2013

OMG!!!!! Cream cheese?? I TOTALLLLY have to try that!!! These cookies loook lovely!!!!!!!!!!!!! M & Ms and cookies are just the perfect combination ever! And the fact that you are doing it for such a great cause makes these cookies all the more special!!! :)
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alexandra September 29, 2013

Yes! Honestly, cream cheese makes perfect cookies!!

Nora @ Buttercream Fanatic September 30, 2013

I am always on the lookout for a great new chocolate chip cookie recipe and these most definitely fit the bill. I’ll have to give them a try. This is such a great cause too!

alexandra October 2, 2013

Let me know if you try them Nora! :)

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious September 30, 2013

I love soft cookies! And the M&M’s? It’s perfection. I’m sure I could eat about a dozen of these for breakfast right now.

alexandra October 2, 2013

Haha cookies for breakfast would be fan-tastic :D

Tieghan September 30, 2013

Soft cookies are the best and with M&M’s too? Heck yes!! Love the cause too!!

alexandra October 2, 2013

Agreed! Thanks Tieghan. :)

Jamieanne October 3, 2013

It’s school holidays here in Sydney, Australia and while the weather has been so nice we’ve spent a lot of time outside, but yesterday it was rainy and chilly. I searched my FoodGawker favorites and saw these cookies – they were the perfect rainy day activity! We had a lot of fun making them and eating them! Personally, I preferred them when they were a day old rather than fresh, but not sure why! We used up remainders of what we had left of regular size M&M’s, mini M&M’s and dark chocolate chips. Very delicious! Thanks for keeping us occupied on a rainy day with your recipe! :)

alexandra October 5, 2013

How sweet! Sounds like the perfect way to spend a rainy day afternoon. :) The first time I made these cookies, I liked them better on day two, but the second time, I changed my mind and decided they were just as good on day one. The only change I made was using a different brand of cream cheese. Don’t know if that had anything to do with it, but either way, cookies that get better on day two are good with me! I’m glad you liked them. :)

CakeMOM November 9, 2013

ahem…* Sorry to be the elephant in the room* but I really dislike cream cheese, but I lOVEEEEE soft cookies…can you taste the cream cheese?!

These look amazing btw!

alexandra November 10, 2013

Hah no worries, you can’t taste the cream cheese at all! It’s just there to make these super-soft. :) I hope you try them!!

Cookie lover November 19, 2013

I think this is my new go to cookie recipe. Made them exactly as written. With many recipies, even if you chill, they still don’t hold shape. These did beautifully. The perfect thickness, great chewiness with a little bit of crisp on the outside. Great tast of course! Sent them in a care package to a couple kids that need a lot of love right now. I think this is a great recipe to stay delicious in transit. Perhaps with some red and green or mint m&ms they will also be a great Christmas cookie tray addition!

alexandra November 20, 2013

Yay, I’m so glad to hear that! I used to always struggle with getting thick cookies, even after chilling my dough, so I’ve really had to test all kinds of methods to see what works for me. Because of that, I’m extra thorough about testing all my new cookie recipes before posting them to make sure they live up to expectations. :)
The Christmas cookie idea sounds spot-on!

Tracy November 21, 2013

Thank you for a great recipe. After making the m&m cookies, I used the same recipe to make chocolate chip and they were just as delicious. I have searched and searched for a soft cookie that doesn’t use a box of pudding. My husband is the judge and he said they are the best he has ever eaten. I love how they are a little crunchy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. I will definitely be trying more of your recipes!!!!!

alexandra November 21, 2013

I’m so happy to hear that! I’ve never been a fan of using pudding mixes in baked goods; I feel like there should be a way to get the same results without it! I’m really so glad your family likes the cookies!
They’re also good with nuts and raisins, if chocolate isn’t a must. ;)

Kari November 26, 2013

These sound wonderful! Quick question though- what is the significance of using using 1 egg plus 1 yolk versus just using 2 eggs?

alexandra November 26, 2013

They are SO yummy! Using just a yolk rather than a second egg helps keeps the cookies softer and more moist. Whites can dry out baked goods, but yolks add richness and tenderness.

Sophia December 17, 2013

Im so excited to make these to share with friends and family during the holidays.however I failed to note that I needed to chill these prior to baking! Do you think it’ll be okay if I didnt chill them? Thanks!!! :)

alexandra December 17, 2013

Usually I would say to never skip chilling your dough, but in this particularly recipe I think you’ll be fine. The cream cheese really helps keep the cookies thick because it doesn’t melt to a liquid state like butter. Let me know how it goes!

JustJ December 18, 2013

PERFECT! I am so glad I found your site. These were easy to make and turned out just perfect! For the holidays, I used the red and green M&Ms and added some semi-sweet chocolate chips and some white chocolate chips. I think topping it with a few more M&M’s and chips made them look especially good. They don’t look like “just” cookies but look extra special.
This is a keeper for sure! Thanks!

alexandra December 23, 2013

Fantastic! That makes me so happy to hear you say that! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. :)
The red and greed M&M’s sound like the perfect touch for Christmas!

Jenny December 22, 2013

I’m making these right now! (very yummy) But are you sure that the conversion for the scoop size (1/4 cup) is correct? That makes them HUGE…There is no way i can get 18 to 20 cookies out of a batch if i make them that big!

alexandra December 28, 2013

Yes; it does come out to about 1/4 cup and the cookies should be as pictured. You should get about 18 at least. I’m not sure why it wouldn’t have seemed that way for you, but that is correct!
You can always make them smaller if you’d like, but reduce the baking time as needed so you don’t overbake them.
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Britlover272 March 17, 2014

This is the first recipe I ever tried from this blog. They turned out amazing! I LOVE these cookies! They are tasty and really pretty!!! The cream cheese gives them a nice light and chewy flavor. MAKE THEM!!!

alexandra March 19, 2014

I LOVE these cookies too so I’m so glad you liked them. :) I definitely hope you keep trying out new recipes!

Jen March 29, 2014

My son turns 4 on Tuesday (how is that possible?!?) and has requested m&m cookies to take to school for his snack. That means I’ll be tripling the recipe- anything I need to look out for? Dos or don’ts that you would recommend when doing so? I’m really excited to try this recipe as I’ve been on a quest for soft choc chip cookies and have struck out a lot. Thanks for any suggestions you can offer! :)

alexandra March 31, 2014

Hi Jen,
I hope I’m getting back to you in time! I always try to write my recipes as thoroughly as possible, so the best thing you can really do is follow the recipe to a T – and weigh your ingredients if you have a kitchen scale. Definitely soften all your butter and cream cheese ahead of time (cut it into smaller pieces to help it soften faster), chill your dough, and don’t overbake. This is one of my favorite recipes so I really hope your son and his friends love it. Let me know! :)

Jen April 16, 2014

Thanks- you did get back with plenty of time :) I tripled the recipe and the cookies were a hit at school! I liked them a lot too (and oh boy the dough was delicious!) I will definitely make them again!

alexandra April 22, 2014

Good! And I’m so glad you all loved the cookies! I actually just made these again the other weekend… I think I had forgotten just how good they are!

Justin Pierce February 19, 2015

so it’s almost 3 AM EST And I’m just now letting these bad boys cool down on the kitchen counter. I have made this recipe well over a dozen times since i discovered it in early 2014. It has become my go to recipe and I cannot fully express how happy I am with them each and every time. I make them as often as my budget allows and send them to my significant other in college. Its the closest thing I can get to giving her a hug when she’s stressed out. Thanks a lot for sharing this outstanding recipe.

alexandra February 20, 2015

You have NO idea how happy it made me to read your comment this morning! Your SO is one lucky girl for sure. ;) Thanks for taking the time to tell me how much you’ve enjoyed the recipe!

Paul June 1, 2015

Very good, made them for my kids…and my daughter is a children’s cancer survivor!

alexandra June 2, 2015

Aww, I’m so happy you shared that with me, and so happy to hear that your daughter got through that! Very glad you all liked the cookies!

Justin Pierce December 17, 2015

Another batch successfully complete! I know I said it not too long ago, but thank you so much! This year has been difficult for me financially and I don’t think I could have done anything for my wonderful girlfriend if it hadn’t been for this recipe. Some hand written love notes and a batch of your cookies should do the trick I hope.
Happy holidays :)

alexandra December 22, 2015

That’s so sweet! Glad the cookies were able to help you out :)

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