Easy Grinch Cookies Recipe (Made with Cake Mix)

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Adorable Grinch Cookies are my favorite cookies to bake for the holiday season. Inspired by one of the best holiday movies, these chewy sugar cookies are perfect for a cookie exchange, holiday parties, or even to enjoy during a Grinch movie night.

green crinkle grinch cookies on white and red plate

Just like how Grinch stole Christmas, these Grinch Christmas Cookies will steal the hearts (and tastebuds) of nearly anyone who tries them.

I personally love to bake cookies during the holidays and these are so easy to make, it’s practically my go-to cookie recipe when I want to get into the holiday spirit and make a tasty cookie.

This truly is the perfect holiday cookie recipe as it makes Grinch green crinkle cookies that are soft, chewy and totally cute.

grinch cookies on pink table

Want more Christmas cookie recipes? Try our Grinch Meringue Cookies, Old Fashioned Gingersnap Cookies, and Eggnog Cookies. And if you want something to wash it all down with, try our Easy Grinch Punch recipe.

upclose of grinch cookies on a white plate

Ingredients Need to Make Grinch Cookies

  • Vanilla Cake Mix – These are cake mix cookies and if you’ve never made them, trust the process.
  • Unsalted Butter, softened
  • Canola Oil
  • 2 Eggs, Room Temperature
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Corn Starch
  • Green Gel Food Coloring – The gel food coloring is important as it gives it a better overall color. Regular green food coloring doesn’t work as well.
  • Red Heart Sprinkles – These may be hard to find in-store so I have linked them for you. You may even have some leftover heart sprinkles from Valentine’s Day recipes.

Equipment Needed:

  • Parchment Paper
  • Large bowl
  • Stand mixer (or hand mixer)
  • Baking Sheet
  • Wire rack (for cooling the cookies)
  • Small cookie scoop (optional but helps keep all the cookies the same size)
  • Measuring cups
grinch cookie ingredients on pink table

How to Make Grinch Cookies

This is such an easy cookie recipe. You will simply throw all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and make the dough.

Once the dough is made, you’ll roll cookie dough balls into the powdered sugar to give it that crinkle cookie look.

You’ll bake the cookies and once they are done, while the cookies are still warm, you will gently push in the heart sprinkle.

collage with steps on how to make grinch cookies

Serve and enjoy!

grinch cookies on cookie sheet

You can serve and enjoy these Grinch green cookies right away or store in an airtight container for future consumption!

You can even put these inside a cute cookie tin and give them away as gifts for the holidays!

grinch cookies on plate with christmas decorations around it

Want More Grinch Recipes? Check out:

Plus, we have a ton more Grinch Ideas here.

grinch cookies stacked on white cookie tray

Grinch Cookies

4.57 from 138 votes
These Grinch Cookies are the ultimate holiday cookie. They have a soft, gooey texture, are colored to the perfect shade of Grinch-green and topped with powdered sugar and a tiny red heart sprinkle. They are so perfect, you'll never need another Christmas cookie recipe again!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 24


  • 1 box Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter softened
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 2 Eggs Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup Corn Starch
  • Green Gel Food Coloring
  • Red Heart Sprinkles


  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Add powdered sugar and corn starch together in a loaf pan.  Mix well.
  • Mix the butter, cake mix, oil and eggs together (the batter will be thick).
  • Stir green food coloring to get the perfect Grinch green color (I used about 3 drops).
  • Using a small ice cream scoop get a chunk of dough then roll it into the powdered sugar/corn starch mixture.
  • Pick up the dough and roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet.
  • Place the cookie balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until they puff up.
  • Cool on the cookie sheet for several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
  • Once the cookies have cooled, mix a tablespoon of powdered sugar and a teaspoon or so of water, to make a tiny bowl of sugar glue to stick the heart sprinkles onto the top. You can also gently push the heart onto the dough before it gets baked.
  • You can serve and enjoy right away or store in an airtight container for future consumption!


This recipe will make exactly 2 dozen cookies using a 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop


Serving: 1 | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 166mg | Sugar: 14g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate only; actual values will vary based on the exact ingredients used and amount of recipe prepared.

Keyword christmas cookies, crinkle cookies, grinch cookies, grinch crinkle cookies
Course Grinch Ideas
Cuisine American
Did you try this recipe?Mention @simplisticallyliving or tag #simplisticallyliving!
4.57 from 138 votes (137 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. The bottoms of mine turned a weird color lol is that okay? They look good from the top lol

    1. Yes that is totally fine. Sometimes green can be a little funny and it can also be the type of spray/oil you used on the pan (if any) but if they look good from the top, no worries. 🙂

  2. Hi,,I don’t see the actual amounts of all the ingredients, just how to make the recipe. I know I used this before. Please help!

    1. Hi Susie, the amounts are listed at the very bottom in the recipe card. Hope this helps! 🙂

  3. Natalie Slawnyk says:

    Has anyone put the cookies in the freezer before? I have an event in a couple days I need them for. It would be easier to make them ahead of time and freeze them.

  4. 1 cup of corn starch? Seems like a lot. Thanks.

  5. Fran Corpuz says:

    WOW! I made these yesterday and they were a Hit! I will be making another batch for Christmas morning for the grandkid. The only think I did a little different was I put the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 min to firm the dough a little. Thank you for this recipe.

    1. Oh yay! I am so glad you love them! Thank you for sharing! Happy Holidays to you!

  6. Jamie Bradley says:

    Please help! I’d love to make these but there’s no measurements. For example, it just says Canola oil. How much? On a previous post you said there’s a recipe widget, but there’s not… 🙁 very sad, I’d love to make these…

    1. Jamie I am so sorry! I had recently updated this post and it deleted the recipe. It should be there now! So sorry for the confusion! You’ll have to let me know how you like them 🙂

  7. Lindsey Robey says:

    I made these yesterday for the first time and they turned out great! They were super easy and will be perfect for my son’s Christmas party! I followed the cookie recipe and they turned out just as they were supposed to. I did not have the food coloring gel so just used the liquid. They are not as dark, but still good enough for Christmas. After reading the comments I did reduce the baking temperature to make sure they did not get too brown around the edges and they baked up beautifully!

    1. How many did this recipe make?

      1. I got 39 cookies with a small ice cream scoop. 🙂

  8. Is there anyway to make it without the eggs? Something I could use instead?

    1. I am not entirely sure as I’ve never made it without eggs. You could always look up an egg substitute and give it a try. I would think it may not have the same consistency but if you do try it, come back and let us know how they turned out 🙂

    2. Lknavarro says:

      Substitute 1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 3 tablespoons water for each egg called for in recipe.

      This substitute works but it tends to be slightly on the grainy side. It’s worth trying if you really don’t want to use eggs.

    3. Whisk together 2.5 tsp flax meal and 3 T water until gelatinous to substitute for one egg.

  9. as someone who is always actively seeking new and fun recipes….i found yours too be quite the challenge. Maybe this was only through pinterest, but the ingredients measurements were only present on pinterest. On your website there wasn’t any clear measurements next to each ingredient…like canola oil…how much?

    1. Hi Lexi! If you scroll down to the bottom of the post there is a recipe widget with the exact measurements 🙂

  10. I was just wondering. With the candy hearts, do you put them on the cookie before you bake them or after?

    1. You can do either. I like to put mine on after when the cookies are a little bit gooey before they cool.

  11. I was looking for a Christmas cookie recipes for my jobs Christmas party bake off and came across this recipe! These grinch cookies look simple to make and very delicious! Thanks for posting this recipe! Looking forward to making these for the party!

  12. Do they need to be kept in the fridge after baking

  13. How much butter do you use? It says 1 stick? How much exactly is that?

    1. A stick of butter says on the wrapper but it is equivalent to 1/2 cup 🙂

      1. Jessica Maxwell says:

        How many does cookies does this recipe produce?

        1. About 12-15 but it all depends on how big you make your cookies.

    2. Barbara Ann says:

      @Brittanie, here in Canada butter comes in a 1lb block and that equals 2 cups. Cut brick in 4 sticks or 4 equal pieces and you have your 1/2 lb of course, if you are used to the European method of measuring with a scale that’s an option too.

  14. Will they still bake correctly if I freeze the cookie dough pre-made in balls

    1. I haven’t tried to freeze the dough ahead of time so I wouldn’t be able to say for sure. If you do end up trying it, please come back and let us know if it worked 🙂

    2. Hi Mary I was wondering if you tried freezing the dough and how it turned out if you did? Thank you.

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  16. Hi, I put the dough in the fridge for an hour and they flattened out so much that it literally filled the cookie sheet like a crust. Do you know why?

    1. I do not. It could be the amount of moisture in your fridge or lack of, it’s hard to pin point why one recipe will work someone and not another.

  17. I was able to make a gluten free version. I used a box of the gluten free funfetti cake mix.

  18. Can I use a yellow butter recipe cake mix if I’m in a pinch?

      1. Can I just put the icing hearts right on the cookies instead of letting them harden on the waxed paper?

        1. You can but I don’t think they will harden right. It’s always worth a shot though!

        2. Marla Ruiz says:

          I was thinking of doing the same thing but I’m not sure if it will work out.

  19. I found that chilling the dough and only mixing 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 Tbs corn starch (1 cup is waaaay to much) helped immensely with the outer coating disappearing when baking. I also used way more than a few drops of green gel coloring to achieve the deep coloring.

    1. Does chilling the dough help a lot? My dough is still really…goopy I guess. Difficult to manipulate into balls

      1. I tbles dough into 13X9 pan & shook in the powder sugar mixture , then picked up & rolled , was quicker , thought it was an easy recipe ,, hope to do it again w/ the grandbabies !

        1. Every year I’m bummed that I barely got to make Christmas cookies – not enough time, but this year I thought would start making one batch each weekend. Today was my first batch and it was the Grinch cookie I tried. They. Are. Awesome!! Turned out exactly like your photo! I used the Wilton heart sprinkles only because I don’t have patience in the kitchen – I actually doubled the recipe (so glad I did!). While I was making them, I thought it would be fun to do these cookies for other seasons – just change up the food coloring and sprinkle! Thanks for sharing – I’m so excited!

          1. Candice Verner says:

            I also used the Wilton hearts and you do need half of the corn starch and powdered surgar..i dropped my cookie straight on there and rolled it

  20. I couldn’t get the color to turn dark green no matter how much gel food coloring I added. What exact food coloring did you use?

    1. Are you using green writing gel from the grocery store? If you are, this is not the same as food coloring gel. You should go to a bakery supply store or a craft store like jo-ann’s or a.c. Moore and get a jar of food coloring gel. Personally, I like the brand wilton. Hope this helps.

      1. Vickie Parks says:

        The food coloring gels you need for this recipe are available at Wal-Mart and Michael’s craft stores. At Wal-Mart, don’t get the food coloring liquid you find in the cooking area that you’d use to color Easter eggs. Instead, you need to look in the craft section, in the cake decorating aisle, and you’ll find the food color gels in small jars (about 1 1/2 inches tall). They’re $2 to $3 each and you don’t need very much to achieve the right color (I dip a toothpick or fork tine into the gel, and it’s usually enough to right color a full batch of frosting). And the jars last a long time, a few years or so, so it’s a good investment.

  21. Can this dough be portioned and frozen?

    1. I believe it can. I haven’t tried it personally, but never hurts to try 🙂

  22. Pingback: Grinch Punch
  23. Constance says:

    hello i’m just wondering how many cookies it makes trying to figure out what to make for a cookie exchange so i need to know how many cookies it doesn’t show anywhere thank you. 😀

    1. It isn’t listed since it depends on how big you make the cookies. However, you can count on this recipe to make about 12 cookies 🙂

      1. Only 1 dozen out of a whole box of cake mix? That ratio doesn’t seem right. Has anyone else had a different outcome? Making these for a cookie swap and I need 6 dozen.

        1. It depends on how big you make the cookies. Nobody will have the exact same amount. If you make smaller cookies you will get more out of the box.

    2. 1 batch made about 24 cookies for me. Dough balls were about 1.5 inches in diameter and cookies ended up about 2 or so inches in diameter. A good size for a cookie exchange.

  24. I was wondering if I have to make the box cake mix before adding it to the other ingredients, like mix the dry cake flour with the ingredients listed on the box (i.e. eggs, oil, water)? Or should I just combine the dry cake mix with the ingredients. Sorry this must sound like a silly question, I hope it makes sense

    1. In reading the directions, (2)the corn starch and powdered sugar are mixed together and set aside. (3)then in another bowl, the rest are mixed together; cake mix, eggs, oil, butter, add (4)the food color last per instructions.
      Hope this helps. I will be trying this for Christmas.

  25. What were the measurements for the powdered sugar and corn starch to roll the cookies in?

    1. I was wondering the same thing. I looked all over but cannot find it.

      1. So sorry that wasn’t in there before! This was a recipe made by another contributor. I’ve updated it but it’s just 1 cup of each mixed together. 🙂

  26. Cookieworm says:

    So where is the recipe for the cookies? Why do I have to hunt for it when that is what you are showing.

      1. I think the confusion is that the link on Pinterest takes you straight to these comments, not to the top of your blog. I couldnt find it either until I realized I had to scroll all the way to the top.

        1. Aw thank you Melissa. It must have been a pin that someone pinned that went viral and did that. So sorry for the confusion!

    1. Patricia Dunn says:

      @Brittanie, i was wintif. I could use Vegetable oil instead of canola oil??

  27. I am definitely using this recipe this Christmas! I will try the imperial cinnamon hearts instead of making my own I think… Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I’m thinking the same thing with the hearts.

    2. Did the cinnamon hearts work out? I’m wanting to try this as well.

      Or, was thinking of trying to make a little ‘well’ somehow and baking them and then adding the heart at the end with some royal icing to stick it.

    3. There are large heart sprinkles for Valentine’s Day .. I use these.

  28. I love anything Grinchy, so these cookie AND the punch are perfect!!!! Thanks for sharing these, perhaps we’ll make these over our vacation!

    1. I would like the punch receipe please?
      Thank u!?

  29. These are freaking adorable!! Definitely pinning these!

    PS I’m having a cookie link-up through the end of the year on my blog if you’re interested and I would LOVE to have you! 🙂

    1. Ginger Cavazos says:

      I would be very interested in the Link for your cookies and baking recipes.
      These cookies will be a hit this holiday.

      1. Hi Ginger, you are actually right on this page so you should be able to see the recipe above! Thanks!

        1. Do you think I can just use premade red icing in a tube to make the hearts on grinch cookies?

          1. I believe you can I just don’t know if it would dry out as well as the homemade royal icing. It never hurts to try though!

        2. OMG I am part of a cookie exchange and chose these because they are ADORABLE but made DOZENS and cannot get them right!! I’ve made them small enough that they should be able to bake without the edges going golden but they are NOT baked in the centre until the edges ARE golden brown. Which takes away from the whole look!!! I took some out earlier to see if they’d finish baking that little bit more when pulled from oven (as they say cookies do) but not enough … so green with mushy centers or baked properly with brown edges … any tips?!?! Thanks!!

          1. Bake them at 350 degrees. That solved the problem for me.

        3. Hello! I made these for Christmas and they were a big hit but you can no longer see the recipe. Was wondering if you could provide the measurements for everything again. Thank you so much!

  30. These are adorable! My daughter would love these! What a great party idea for Christmas! Thanks for sharing.

  31. Too cute Brittanie! I’m sharing this on the Fun Home Things FB page:-)

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