How to Make Cookies From Cake Mix
These cookies taste like they're made from scratch, but they have a secret: they only took 10 minutes.
By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen
Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.
Making cookies out of cake mix is as easy as pie - oops, cake. It's a way to get fresh-baked cookies with that made-from-scratch taste, minus the stress of measuring ingredients. Even the most-baking-challenged among us can't screw up this treat.
All of the dry ingredients are already in the cake mix; your only chore is to add a few additional ingredients: eggs, oil and water. Three ingredients, 5 minutes of prep time, and 10 minutes in the oven. How easy is that? Before you know it, you'll be eating warm, delicious cookies with a big smile on your face.
You can change up your cookie flavor by reaching for different types of cake mix - chocolate, vanilla, red velvet - whatever strikes your fancy. Think of the cake mix as a blank slate that you can add flavors to by mixing in goodies or frosting them with canned icing. You don't even have to bake them as individual cookies: you can turn them into a bar if you'd like. The fun thing about cake mix cookies is you have more time to let your creativity run wild when you're not spending energy measuring out all the ingredients.
Ingredients You Need for Cake Mix Cookies
For simple, un-embellished cake mix cookies, all you need are:
- A box of cake mix
- Oil (a neutral oil like canola oil, or butter, which will bring more flavor)
Some recipes you'll see call for baking powder, baking soda, flour, vanilla and other common baking ingredients. They’re the recipes that use 1 cup of cake mix, not the entire box. We think that defeats the purpose of a cake mix cookie because the point is that you don’t have to measure nine ingredients and do a bunch of mixing. The recipes we feature here use the entire box of mix, and sometimes dress themselves up with a few special add-ins like chocolate chips or sprinkles.
Cake Mix Cookie Add-Ins
The sky's the limit for how you can fancy up your cake mix cookies, but here are some ideas.
- Extracts: vanilla, mint, lemon, almond or orange
- Chocolate chips
- Dried fruits
- Freeze-dried berries
- Chopped candy
- Crispy breakfast cereal
- Chopped pretzels
- Chopped store-bought cookies
- Mini marshmallows
- Canned frosting
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Crystal sugar
Cake Mix Cookie Flavor Combinations
Here are a few combinations of cake mix and add-ins we like; after you’ve tried one or two, you’ll probably have your own ideas for some awesome blends.
- Chocolate cake mix + pecans + shredded coconut
- Lemon cake mix + white chocolate chips + shredded coconut
- Strawberry cake mix + freeze dried strawberries + mini chocolate chips
- Vanilla cake mix + shredded coconut + diced dried pineapple
- Devil’s Food cake mix + white chocolate + semisweet chocolate chips + walnuts
Tools You Need for Cake Mix Cookies
Measuring cups and spoons: There are two kinds of measuring cups, wet and dry. Wet are clear and have a spout and markings up the side. Dry measuring cups are metal or plastic and nest inside each other. You’ll get a more exact measurement when you use wet for liquids and dry for flour, sugar, etc. Measuring spoons come in a cute set, usually held together with a ring.
Mixing bowl: A 5-quart bowl is the best size; you’ll be able to use it for any baking recipe.
Wooden spoon or rubber spatula: This is all you need to mix the batter, no hand mixer necessary.
Cookie sheet: this can be a flat or very shallow-sided cookie sheet: if it has shallow sides, it will be a great multitasker for roasting vegetables or making sheet-pan dinners. Parchment paper: always a good idea for cookies: it allows you to pull an entire sheet of baked cookies off in one easy sweep. Don’t toss it after just one use: you can use it multiple times.
Cookie Scoops (optional): Yes, you can use a spoon to drop the dough on the cookie sheet, but if you use a small spring-loaded scoop, every cookie will be the same size and will baking evenly.
Spatula: Our favorites are silicon because they’re super flexible (meaning they bend and slide under cookies without breaking them), can go in the dishwasher and can be used against a hot surface without melting.
How to Make Cake Mix Cookies
- Preheat your oven. 350 degrees F is the magic number.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using two cookie sheets will make the process go faster than using one because you can't drop cookies on a hot sheet (they'll spread).
- Mix together the ingredients. Add the box of cake mix, 2 large (whisked) eggs, 5 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1/4 cup water to your mixing bowl. Mix well with your wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the batter is smooth and combined. If you're sticking with the original cake mix flavor, that's all there is to it.
- Add mix-ins. Add up to 2 1/4 cups of your favorite mix-ins and gently stir/fold them into the batter with your spoon or spatula.
- Drop the cookies onto the baking sheet. Using your cookie scoop, a tablespoon measure or your hands, drop cookies that are about 1 tablespoon large onto the cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies. Bake, rotating and switching the positions of the baking sheets halfway through, until the cookies start to turn golden brown on top, 8 to 10 minutes Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
- Store the cookies. When the cookies are completely cool, put them in a container with a tight lid, sliding parchment paper between cookie layers. Store them at room temperature for 3 days. Or freeze for up to 2 months.
Cake Mix Cookie Recipes
Chocolate and mint always play well together, and these easy cake mix cookies are no exception. No mint fans at your house? You can leave it out.
When we say loaded, we mean loaded: sprinkles, chocolate chunks, pretzels and cornflakes all get mixed in.
Tender cookies are topped with fluffy cream cheese frosting. Pipe the frosting, and they’ll really look like 2-bite cupcakes. Pick sprinkles that match your holiday.
The brilliant color makes these cookies stand out in any cookie collection; top them with sanding sugar, small white nonpareils or finely chopped pistachios.
We will always stand by the declaration, “bars are cookies”. The cake mix in these apple bars pulls its weight in both the bar and crumble topping. And yes, you can add nuts to the topping if you want to.