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Cake Mix Christmas Cookies


‘Tis the season to bake up some Christmas magic, and these Vanilla Cake Mix Cookies are the perfect way to infuse your kitchen with holiday cheer! Packed with semi-sweet chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, crunchy pretzel pieces, festive Christmas M&Ms, and sprinkles, these cookies are a delightful twist on the classic Christmas cookie.

Pile of cake mix Christmas cookies.

These Christmas Cake Mix Cookies are not only incredibly delicious but also incredibly easy to make. With the help of a simple cake mix base, you’ll have these festive treats ready in no time. The combination of rich chocolate chips, colorful Christmas M&Ms, gooey marshmallows, satisfyingly crunchy pretzel pieces, and a burst of Christmas sprinkles ensures that every bite is a delightful explosion of flavor and texture. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a holiday novice, these cookies are a surefire way to impress your friends and family this Christmas season.

Stack of cake mix Christmas cookies with a bite missing from the top cookie.

Ingredients for Cake Mix Christmas Cookies

  • Vanilla cake mix – For the base of the cookie. I used Betty Crocker.
  • Eggs – Bind the ingredients together and add moisture for a chewy texture. Use large eggs.
  • Oil – To add moisture to the cookies.
  • Christmas M&Ms – Adds fun Christmas colors to the cookies. You can pick out the green and red from a regular bag of M&Ms if you cannot find the Christmas mix.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – Adds gooey pockets of melted chocolate to contrast the sweetness.
  • Mini marshmallows – Creates pockets of gooey, toasted marshmallow goodness.
  • Pretzels – Provides a salty and crunchy element, balancing the sweetness of the other ingredients.
  • Christmas sprinkles – Adds a vibrant, festive touch.
Ingredients displayed on counter.

Making the Cake Mix Christmas Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the cake mix, eggs, and oil in a large bowl until well combined.
  3. Fold in the M&Ms, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, crushed pretzels, and sprinkles.
Collage showing four steps to make the cookie dough.
  1. Scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets using a large cookie scoop. Leave at least two inches between each cookie, as they will spread while baking. Top the cookies with extra M&Ms and chocolate chips.
  2. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are set. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Cookie dough balls on parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Variations and substitutions

Flavor variations – This cake mix cookie will work with a variety of different flavors. Try Devil’s Food for a rich chocolate cookie, red velvet to keep things extra festive, or even a basic yellow cake mix for a simple delightful cookie.

Change the chocolate – I like to use semi-sweet chocolate chips in my cookies however, milk chocolate or white chocolate chips would both work as a replacement.

Go nuts – Replace the crushed pretzels with chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts for added texture and nutty flavor. I always recommend toasting your nuts before adding them to cookies. Toasting nuts enhances their nutty flavor.

Minty fresh – Replace the pretzels with crushed candy canes or peppermint candies.

Make smaller cookies – This recipe calls for using a large cookie scoop to make delicious large cookies. You can use a medium cookie scoop and make smaller cookies instead. If you do make smaller cookies, you will need to reduce the back time by 2-3 minutes.

Baked cookies on tray with one being lifted by spatula.

Tips for success

  • Don’t over-bake the cookiesKeep a close eye on the cookies, especially if you make smaller ones. They should be slightly golden around the edges but still soft in the middle. They will continue to cook as they cool on the baking sheet, so it’s important to transfer them to a wire rack after a few minutes.
  • Use parchment – Lining your baking sheets with parchment paper is helpful for a few reasons. Firstly, it stops the cookies from sticking to the baking sheets, which can be an issue when the marshmallows in the cookies melt. For this reason, using parchment paper also makes clean-up easier. According to Reynolds, using parchment paper also helps cookies bake more evenly. Be sure you are using parchment paper and NOT wax paper.
  • ‘Stud’ your cookie dough – Gently press additional chocolate chips and M&Ms onto the top of your dough balls before baking for an extra pop of color and visual appeal. This simple step not only enhances the taste but also creates a beautiful, textured surface that makes your cookies look as good as they taste.
  • Reshape the cookies as needed – As the cookies bake, the marshmallows will melt, potentially causing them to spread and misshape the cookies. When scooping the dough, aim to keep the marshmallows nestled within the center of the dough ball to prevent this. If any misshaping occurs, you can gently use a large cookie cutter to reshape the cookies into a round shape immediately after taking them out of the oven.
Pile of cake mix Christmas cookies.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

The cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw the cookies at room temperature before enjoying them.

Christmas Cake Mix Cookies FAQs

What’s the best way to chop the pretzels for the cookies?

The easiest way to crush the pretzels is to place them in a resealable bag and hit them a few times with a rolling pin. You could also pulse them a couple of times in the food processor, but I’m not a fan of having to wash unnecessary dishes.

Can I substitute butter for oil in this recipe?

Yes, however the texture will be different. I prefer the texture of cake mix cookies made with oil but melted butter works just as well. Cake mix cookies made with butter have a more fluffy, cake-like consistency. Cake mix cookies made with oil are denser and flatter.

Love Cake Mix Cookies?

Check out these great recipes.

Pile of loaded cake mix Christmas cookies.

Cake Mix Christmas Cookies

Author: Mandy
Festive and irresistible Christmas Cake Mix Cookies with vanilla cake mix, chocolate chips, M&Ms, marshmallows, pretzels, and sprinkles. Easy, flavorful, and perfect for holiday celebrations!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15 Large Cookies
Calories

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box of vanilla cake mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup Christmas M&Ms red and green
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup mini marshmallows
  • ½ cup crushed pretzels
  • ¼ cup red and green sprinkle mix
  • Additional M&Ms and chocolate chips for topping cookies optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Mix the cake mix, eggs, and oil in a large bowl until well combined.
  • Fold in the M&Ms, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, crushed pretzels, and sprinkles.
  • Scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets using a large cookie scoop. Leave at least two inches between each cookie, as they will spread while baking. Top the cookies with extra M&Ms and chocolate chips if using.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are set. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.
  • The cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw the cookies at room temperature before enjoying them.

Disclaimer: Nutrition information is estimated based on automated calculations and should be considered as an approximation. These estimates are provided as a courtesy. Please use your own brand’s nutritional values to verify accuracy.

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Donna

Monday 25th of December 2023

What size box of cake mix was this developed for? The boxes keep shrinking.

Semihomemadekitchen

Monday 25th of December 2023

Hi Donna. This recipe was developed for a 15.25 ounce box of cake mix. If you are using a 13.25 ounce box add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour.

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