Grinch Cookies

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Despite their name, these Grinch Cookies are just about as festive and holiday-friendly as can be! These soft and chewy cookies are colored Grinch-green and decorated with milk chocolate candy pieces.

Hi everyone! Sam here again from Sugar Spun Run! Today I have another cookie recipe for you, this one a holiday cookie recipe!

Now, I have a feeling that you’re already familiar with the classic Christmas cookie lineup. I imagine you’re no stranger to sweet frosted Sugar Cookies or cinnamon sugar coated Snickerdoodles, but I’m wondering if you’ve ever had your holiday cookie tray graced by the likes of a GRINCH COOKIE.

These cookies are definitely a little… different looking from the classics. With their Grinch-y green hue and their red and green candy decorations, you’re not going to confuse them with your run-of-the-mill cookies, and you’re definitely not going to forget them.

These cookies are soft and chewy, and with the chocolate M&M pieces throughout they’ll actually probably most remind you of a classic chocolate chip cookie — just without the classic chocolate chip coloring ?

The Grinch-esque coloring comes comes from the addition of a few drops of food coloring. I like to use Americolor gel food coloring — a little bit goes a long way. Make sure to stir it in with your liquid ingredients (before adding your flour) and stir until it’s evenly combined — this will keep your cookies from having a streaky coloring.

While I used both red and green M&Ms to decorate the cookies, I tried to use more red, they reminded me of the Grinch’s two-sizes-too small red heart.

These cookies will need to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to keep them from spreading too thin while they bake in the oven. If needed you can chill them overnight or longer, these are great for making ahead, and the dough freezes well, too (just make sure that you scoop it into balls before freezing!).


Grinch Cookies

4.50 from 10 votes
Brightly colored Grinch Cookies for your holiday cookie tray!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Author Samantha Merritt
Servings: 36 cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 drops bright green food coloring, more if you want it greener
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup red and green M&Ms plus additional ½ cup for topping cookies, if desired


  • Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until well-combined and light and fluffy (about 1 minute).
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Stir in vanilla extract and food coloring, until well-combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Set mixer to low speed and gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Add ingredients and stir until well-incorporated.
  • Fold in M&M candies and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Once dough has finished chilling, preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Drop cookie dough by heaping 1 ½ Tbsp-sized scoops onto prepared cookie sheets, for perfectly round cookies roll dough in your hands into a smooth ball.
  • Bake on 350F for 11-13 minutes. If desired, gently press additional M&Ms into the tops of each cookie for decoration while they are still warm.
  • Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before removing.



Serves: 36

Calories171kcal (9%)Carbohydrates24g (8%)Protein2g (4%)Fat7g (11%)Saturated Fat5g (25%)Cholesterol24mg (8%)Sodium106mg (4%)Potassium28mg (1%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar15g (17%)Vitamin A190IU (4%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium19mg (2%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Samantha Merritt

Sam is the baker behind the website Sugar Spun Run, where she shares sweet, simple, and from-scratch dessert recipes (usually of the chocolate variety!). She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their two dogs, Penny and Leia.

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  1. 5 stars
    Husband LOVED these. Some of the best cookies ever, and I have made a whole lot of cookies over the last 60 years. I don’t know what the cornstarch does for the process, but it must add a little something-something. Great Recipe. Delicious. I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon flat and got 46 cookies.

  2. I messed with the recipe, because that’s just me lol.
    Halved it. Used margarine. Used white chocolate chips, red food coloring, and added 2 tsp of cocoa.
    Red velvet cookies! So good!!!!

  3. 5 stars
    Yum!! These cookies turned out sooo good! I love how thick they are. They were perfect for my daughter’s preschool cookie exchange. I will definitely make these again!

  4. This was very easy to make. I recommend purchasing two bags of Red and Green M&Ms. This way you have extra to make the “Grinch Face” after you take the cookies out of the oven.

  5. I was wondering the same thing and this is what I found … Cornstarch not only thicken sauces and mixtures, but it can be used in baked goods such as cookies or cakes, too. It is said that cornstarch used in combination with flour can “soften” the harsh proteins of flour, making a more tender baked good.

    I can’t wait to make these for Christmas.

  6. 3 stars
    I think the recipe itself is really fun. I love the color and theme, and can’t wait to share them with friends. However, it’s not my favorite cookie recipe. Next time, I think I’ll just use my favorite chocolate chip recipe and dye the batter and swap the m&ms. Personally, I had a hard time getting the dough to come together. Once I did, it was really not a traditional cookie dough texture. It would have been easier to roll these into a log and make slice and bake cookies. Once I baked them, there was virtually no spreading, so they are just these round little flatish cookie balls. I’m not a total novice baker, so I don’t think it’s a skills problem. I wonder if maybe there was a bit too much flour….the flavor of the cookies is still great. Texture coming right out of the oven was delicious, but they are quite a bit drier when left at room temperature.

  7. 5 stars
    Truly, these look so cute and fun. Know the grands will enjoy. May I ask a question? What is the purpose of adding corn starch to the recipe? Don’t think I’ve seen this before. I’m intrigued.

  8. 5 stars
    Loved these! I was a little afraid it would be too much flour, but not the case at all. I baked half the batch the same day I made them and the rest a couple of days later. I also added a cup of chocolate chips. My teens and their friends loved them. Thank you!

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