Grinch Cookies – easy recipe from a box cake mix! Kids friendly, delicious bright green soft crinkle cookies. Includes VIDEO!

toddler hand holding cookie with bite taken out of it

The Grinch. Cuddly as a cactus. . .charming as an eel whose heart was two sizes too small. That classic movie deserves its own fun, tasty cookie while you watch. This simple recipe is it.

Time the kitchen with your favorite little people will leave your heart (and stomach) full.

Overhead view of white plate with bright green cookies and single heart candy

what are grinch cookies?

Grinch Cookies are the ideal snack for watching The Grinch or pretty much any holiday movie. The bright green color makes them Grinch-like and they couldn’t be any easier to make – even for toddlers – watch the video!

They’re soft with lightly crispy bottoms and sugar cookie flavor with festive colors and it all starts with a box cake mix!

white plate with green cookies with red heart

Grinch Cookies Ingredients:

  • white or vanilla box cake mix 
  • butter softened to room temp
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs
  • green gel food coloring 
  • confectioners/powdered sugar
  • cornstarch
  • candy hearts (or sub red cinnamon candies)
  • parchment paper for easier cleanup

To “glue” the hearts:

  • confectioners sugar
  • milk
  • piping bag or sandwich size baggie

How to make Grinch Cookies:

Preheat the oven to 375° then add the dry cake mix, room temp butter, eggs and oil to a medium size mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to combine.

grinch cookies ~ photos of steps 1-4 of baking instructions

Stir in green food coloring gel until it reaches your ideal shade of green then refrigerate the dough 15 minutes for easier handling. 

After 15 minutes combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.

Roll the chilled dough into about 1 – 1 1/2” balls (use a scooper if you have one) then coat the balls in the powdered sugar mixture.

Place the cookie balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (do not flatten the balls) and bake 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly brown on the bottom.

Remove from the oven and leave the cookies on the sheet for 2 minutes (this gives you lightly crispy bottoms and soft insides) then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Can I use liquid food coloring instead of gel?

I don’t recommend liquid because it will make the batter looser. Plus gel food coloring gives a more intense color. Perfect for these cookies!

how to decorate grinch cookies:

The only decoration these tasty cookies need is a little red heart. 

To ‘glue’ the hearts on, in a small bowl blend the “glue” ingredients (confectioners sugar/milk) then add it to a sandwich baggie or piping bag. Clip a small corner of the baggie then pipe a dot of ‘glue’ onto the top of the cookie. Gently press the heart in place and let it set a couple of minutes to dry.

Do grinch cookies freeze well?

Yes – these cookies freeze really well!

For best results, after baking and completely cooling the cookies store them in a single layer in a freezer/air tight container. If you’re stacking the cookies, layer with wax paper between.

To freeze raw dough, roll into balls before freezing and freeze on a baking sheet. Once they’re solid transfer to an air tight container. When you’re ready to bake, thaw on the counter about 30 minutes then roll in the powder sugar/corn starch mixture and bake according to the recipe

Looking for other holiday cookie recipes?

Snowball Christmas Cookies – buttery, nutty, rolled in powdered sugar. A melt-in-your-mouth holiday must!

Cake Mix Sprinkle Cookies – just 4 ingredients! Easy to customize for any holiday. 

Enjoy!

pinterest pin bright green crinkle cookies with red candy hearts.

If you tried this Grinch Cookie recipe or any other on the blog then I’d love to hear from you with a comment or a bunch of stars below! 

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grinch cookies with cake mix ~ overhead photo of green crinkle cookies with a red heart and toddler hand reaching for a cookie

Grinch Cookies Recipe

A Gouda Life
Grinch Cookies boxed cake mix. fun, tasty holiday treat for kids of all ages. 
3.60 from 42 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories

Ingredients
  

  • 15.25 ounce box cake mix white or yellow
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened to room temp
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • green food coloring gel type recommended
  • cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • cup cornstarch
  • Candy hearts may substitute red cinnamon candies
  • Parchment paper optional
  • “Glue” for hearts:
  • ¼ cup confectioners/powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • Sandwich size baggie

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375° then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the dry cake mix, room temp butter, eggs and oil to a medium size mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to combine.
  • Blend in green food color gel until it reaches your preferred shade of green then refrigerate the dough 15 minutes for easier handling. 
  • Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  • Roll the dough into about 1” balls (use a scooper if you have one) then coat the balls in the powdered sugar mixture.
  • Place the cookie balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (do not flatten the balls) and bake 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly brown on the bottom.
  • Remove from the oven and leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Decorating the Grinch Cookies:

  • In a small bowl blend the “glue” ingredients then add to a sandwich baggie. Clip a small corner of the baggie then pipe a dot of glue onto the top of the cookie. Press a red heart in place then allow to set couple of minutes to dry.
Keyword grinch cookies, grinch recipes, holiday cookies,
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Reply

31 Comments

    1. Hi Nancy – thanks so much! The cornstarch blended with the powdered sugar gives the cookies that ‘crinkle’ look but you won’t taste the cornstarch at all. Good question ~ I hope you enjoy them. They’re really fun for kids to make too.

    1. Hi Shira – yes they do freeze well! Thanks for asking – I’ll answer you here but I’m also going to update the post for others that may wonder – it’s a great question 🙂 For best results, after baking and completely cooling the cookies store them in a single layer in a freezer safe/air tight container or stacked with waxed paper between the layers. If you’re wondering about storing the dough: before freezing roll the cookies into balls and freeze on a baking sheet. Once they’re solid, transfer to an freezer safe/air tight container. When you want to bake them thaw them on the counter for about 30 minutes then just roll in the powder sugar/corn starch mixture and bake per the recipe. I hope you enjoy and have as fun making them as we did! 🙂

  1. How many cookies does one batch make? While these are really cute and I want to try them, we make 15 dozen or more of each cookie recipe that we choose for our baking day and I am not sure they will be cost effective if we are only getting 10 cookies per batch.

  2. I tried to make these and mine turned out hard I never have a problem with any cookies but these turned out very hard. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you

    1. Hi Carrie – I’m sorry to hear the cookies were hard. I’ve never had that experience and asked some other bloggers who make similar cookies and they haven’t had that experience either. That said, they may have baked too long. They are generally a soft, moist cookie – even for several days in an airtight container on the counter.

    1. I just took the last batch of cookies out of the oven. They were so easy to make and look absolutely adorable! I can’t think of a better Christmas cookie tradition to start with little ones than making Grinch cookies! I made them exactly as the recipe stated and they turned out great. I’m not a huge fan of soft cookies but the novelty of these particular soft cookies makes them perfect in my book. If like me, you love the Grinch, make these cookies. They’ll leave you smiling every time you see them. Thank you so much for sharing your Griinchy recipe with us! My heart just grew a little bigger today!

      1. Hi Maggie – I’m so glad you enjoyed these cookies as much as we do! I can’t tell you how much your thoughtful comment warms my heart. THIS is what cooking and baking is all about. Family time – sharing – creating traditions. Thank you so much for making the Grinch Cookies and taking the time to reach out. Best wishes to you for a happy, healthy holiday season ~ Bernie

    1. Hi Kadence – thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed the cookies as much as we do! Also – I appreciate you letting me know about using regular food coloring – good info for the future 🙂 ~ Bernie

    1. No – it’s just a tablespoon of oil – however – if you use a larger box of cake mix (some are 18 ounces) you can add 1 more tablespoon of oil. For the video I poured the oil into a measuring cup so my granddaughter could hold it easier (she was only 2 at the time). I can see where it may be confusing. Thank you for your interest in the recipe. We just made them again yesterday 🙂

    1. Ah Ricky – when it comes to cookies – especially Grinch Cookies – I don’t count calories but I appreciate the info 🙂 Too bad if there’s a problem with your oven – I’ve been there and it can be frustrating.

  3. The cookies were so easy to make and really taste great (and I’m not a big peppermint fan). I plan on making them often as both my husband and I love them!