Grinch Cookies

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4.60 from 102 votes
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Grinch Cake Mix Cookies! These cookies made with vanilla cake mix give a fluffy cake-like texture to your delicious chewy cookies.

Snuggle up on the couch with your favorite version of The Grinch on your TV and get some of these cookies fresh out of the oven. Don’t forget the sweet crunch of the Grinch’s heart!

Grinch Cake Mix Cookies decorated with red heart candy in center on white serving plate with christmas decor around it

The holidays are coming up, and my favorite part about Christmas, besides the extra sweets, is all the phenomenal movies I watch during this time of the year. One of our family favorites is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There’s something special about snuggling up on the couch and watching Christmas movies. 

Green grinch cookies with red hearts stacked on top of one another with two cookies on tabletop in front of them. Glass of milk with straw and christmas decor in background.

One thing my house loves to do is have family movie nights and theme nights. When we settle down to watch The Grinch during the holiday season, we like to make our favorite green snacks.

We also make Grinch Rice Krispie Treats and Grinch Pretzel Bites so we can have a variety of Grinch Christmas treats to munch on while we watch the classic movie!

Grinch Heart Cookies on white plate

Why You’ll Love This Grinch Cake Mix Cookie Recipe

  • Cake mix cookies are the perfect mix of your favorite two desserts. They have the flavor of a fluffy vanilla cake and the soft chewiness of a cookie. You can also use this recipe with other cake mix flavors to make different yummy cookies year-round. 
  • It’s a fun and easy cookie. The easy cake mix cookie recipe is not complicated, but it turns out to be a fun-themed Christmas cookie. My family loves getting into the holiday spirit, and it’s an added bonus when we get into a movie theme!
  • It can be made with kids. It’s a great recipe to use if you want to let your children help in the baking process. They will love being able to use food coloring, and decorating these cute Grinch cookies is such a sinch!
  • It’s a fabulous gift idea! If you like to gift baked goods, this is a cute grinch-themed cookie to make, and it’s different from the traditional shortbread cookies since it uses cake mix.

Ingredients For Your Grinch Decorated Cookies

This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

vanilla cake mix, 2 eggs, green gel food coloring, vanilla extract, corn starch, confectioners sugar, vegetable oil, and candy hearts
  • Vanilla cake mix – I used Betty Crocker Super Moist Vanilla Cake Mix but any brand box of cake mix is fine to use. You will only use the dry mix, not the ingredients called for on the back.
  • Eggs – remove your eggs from the refrigerator 30 minutes before beginning so that they can come to room temperature.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vanilla – Use 100% pure vanilla extract for the best taste.
  • Green food coloring – Just a few drops of green gel food coloring will give you the perfect Grinch color.
  • Confectioners sugar – for rolling
  • Cornstarch – helps keep the powdered sugar from melting into the cookie while baking, to give them that white crinkle cookie look.
  • Red Heart Candies / Sprinkles – A large red heart sprinkle like these or these are perfect for this recipe. However, if you can’t get your hands on any heart sprinkles you can try using red decorating gel to draw a heart on the top of the cookies after baking. Even a red M&Ms would work in a pinch!

Equipment Needed To Make Grinch Cookies with Cake Mix

How To Make Grinch Christmas Cookies

This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below. 

Step 1: Combine cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the green food coloring and mix well to incorporate it evenly. 

Two image collage. On left, cake mix, eggs, oil, and vanilla in mixing bowl with green food coloring tube, spatula, and lined baking sheet next to it. On right, green mixed cookie batter.

Step 2: Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven as directed in the recipe card below and stir to combine the confectioners sugar and cornstarch in a shallow bowl. 

Step 3: Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Use your hands to form dough into 1 – 1 ½ inch balls, then roll in the confectioners sugar mixture until completely coated, and place on lined cookie sheets 2 inches apart. 

Step 4: Lightly press down with the bottom of a glass to make the balls have a flatter surface. (Do not press too hard though). 

glass flattening green cookies on baking sheet

Step 5: Add a red heart to the top of each dough ball. 

Parchment lined baking sheet with unbaked grinch cookies topped with red hearts

Step 6: Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just set. Do not overbake. 

Grinch Cake Mix Cookies on baking sheet

Step 7: Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Grinch Cookies on cooling rack


Store your adorable Grinch cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Grinch Cake Mix Cookies FAQs

Do I have to chill this cookie dough?

Chilling your grinch cookie dough prevents it from getting too warm and/or sticky while you are rolling them or cutting them. Also, by chilling the dough, your cookies are more likely to keep their shape! Warm cookie dough can cause your cookies to spread out more than they should when baking. 

What can I do if my dough is still sticky while working with it after refrigerating?

If you are still having issues with the stickiness of your cake mix cookie dough, first try to put it back in the fridge for another 20 minutes to see if that helps. If that doesn’t work, there is probably too much liquid in the batter. Add a tablespoon of flour in, and that should help. 

Grinch Cake Mix Cookies decorated with red hearts

What to Pair with your Grinch Heart Cookies 

I like to make these as part of a Grinch theme night with pretzel bites and rice Krispies treats.

I also have a great Grinch Jello Shots recipe if you want to add an adults-only treat to your movie night! I remember as a child feeling left out when the adults got to have the spiked eggnog or the holiday punches, so I always serve a special non-alcoholic drink for the kids too. For our Grinch-themed night, I make this easy grinch punch recipe.

More Holiday Cookie Recipes

Grinch Cake Mix Cookies decorated with red heart candy in center
4.60 from 102 votes

Grinch Heart Cake Mix Cookies

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Chill Time 20 minutes
Total: 43 minutes
These grinch themed cake mix cookies are the perfect way to show kids how his heart grew three times that day! 


  • 15.25 ounces vanilla cake mix (1 box)
  • 2 large eggs
  • cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • green gel food coloring
  • ¾ cup confectioners sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 24 candy hearts or large heart sprinkles


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • Combine the cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the green food coloring and mix well to incorporate it evenly. 
  • Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the confectioners sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. 
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Scoop dough into 1 inch balls, roll in the confectioners sugar mixture until completely coated, and place on baking sheet 2 inches apart. 
  • Lightly press down with the bottom of a glass to make the balls have a flatter surface. (Do not press too hard though).
  • Add the candy heart to the top of the dough ball, gently pressing it down into the dough a litte bit.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. 
  • Cool on cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.


Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.


Serving: 1 cookie | Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Grinch Cake Mix Cookies decorated with red heart candy in center

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4.60 from 102 votes (102 ratings without comment)

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  1. disregard flatten with a spoon. I ended up w 4in flat cookies. Tasted great though. maybe the cake mix should have been adjusted to high altitude?

    1. Unfortunately I am not experienced with high altitude baking so I can’t speak to recipe adjustments… but it does sound like your over-flattened your cookie dough. The top of the dough balls should be lightly pressed down with a glass just enough so that the heart has a flat surface to go on (as seen in the photos in the post). They shouldn’t be flattened with a spoon as it sound like you may have done.

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