M&M Cookie Bars

Thick and chewy M&M cookie bars loaded with colorful candies. These classic blondies are a family favorite!

M&M cookie bars cut into squares with one missing. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

The other day our 5 year old wrote out a grocery list for me. He sat there and spelled out each word. It took about 30 minutes but it was pretty adorable. He kept asking, “what else do we need?” Then he added a few extras that he knew how to spell without asking. One of them was M&M’s. ? He requested we make cookies with them.

While he was at school my 3 year old little girl helped me whip up these bars. And if I’m being honest, she did 90% of the work. So you know they’re simple and practically fool-proof. You do NOT need a cake mix for these bars. I’m still not sure why that’s a thing? These are made from scratch. ?

A pile of chewy M&M cookie bars. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

These M&M cookie bars have three things going for them:

  1. They’re easy to make (no dough chilling or special ingredients).
  2. They have the perfect texture and bake up nice and flat.
  3. The M&M’s can be swapped for just about anything!

This is a recipe you’re going to make over and over again! We love it!

A bowl of colorful chocolate filled candies for M&M cookie bars. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

First things first, grab some M&M’s. You can use whatever color combo you like. We picked out the brown ones for another treat I have planned.

Also, this is a great way to use up leftover holiday candy. I’m all about getting rid of those odds & ends that sit in the pantry for longer than I care to admit. You can toss in other bits candy or toasted nuts too.

Mixing the bowl full of cookie dough for the M&M cookie bars. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Make the dough by melting the butter, them mixing everything else in. This recipe can be made in one bowl, with a spatula or mixer. It should look like the picture above. ?Soft, almost the consistency of peanut butter. Think thick(ish) brownie batter not cookie dough.

A pan of freshly baked M&M cookie bars. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Fold the M&M’s in, then press the dough into the bottom of a parchment lined 9×13-inch pan. I always prefer to use metal pans when I bake desserts because they conduct heat and distribute it more evenly. Glass will work, but if you have a metal pan, grab that.

M&M cookie bars cut into squares and ready to be served. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Bake the bars at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. The top should be golden brown and the center should be set. Just give it a gentle touch at the 25 minute mark to check.

Let the bars cool at room temperature for a good 40 minutes before cutting them if you want nice clean, crisp edges. If that’s not your thing, cut them after 20 minutes and dig in!!

A tall stack of M&M cookie bars. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Make sure to have a glass of milk nearby, because you’re going to need it! These colorful M&M cookie bars are such a fun and delicious treat. The entire family loves them!

Do you prefer making individual cookies or do you bake bars? Let me know in the comments below!

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M&M cookie bars. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

M&M Cookie Bars Recipe

Thick and chewy M&M cookie bars loaded with colorful candies. These classic blondies are a family favorite!
4.71 from 62 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Brownies & Bars
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 16
Calories: 388kcal
Author: Natalie Dicks
Print Recipe


  • 12 tbsp. 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 c. M&M's - divided


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 9x13-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a microwave safe mixing bowl, add the butter. Melt on half powder for 1-2 minutes or until almost melted. Whisk to completely melt.
  • Add sugars, egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract. Beat mixture by hand for 30 seconds. Let the batter rest for 30 seconds then beat again for 30 seconds.
  • Add flour, salt, and baking soda. Using a rubber spatula, mix until combined. Fold in 1 cup of M&M's.
  • Transfer dough into the prepared baking pan. Using the spatula, spread the dough into an even layer. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup of M&M's on top.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cookie bars are set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.


- You can swap out the M&M's for whatever candy or nuts you like.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 349IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg

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    1. I’m sorry it was! It’s so hard to know. It is a little thick, but you should definitely be able to spread it without any difficulties.

    1. Thank you! It just depends on how big you cut them. You can get like 15 smaller size ones or 12 bigger ones. It totally depends.

  1. 5 stars
    These are one of my favorite cookies. I make them with holiday m&ms for holidays and regular m&ms for in between 😂