Thick and Chewy M&M Cake

LAST UPDATED: Jan 29, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Jan 29, 2021 | By:

This M&M Cake recipe has the ultimate twist – and is thick, chewy, buttery and undeniably delicious! One bite and you’ll never purchase from the store again – it’s a cookie cake that will take you straight back to your childhood! 

Thick and Chewy M&M Cake in a heart shaped dish, topped with Valentine\'s Day M&Ms. A linen napkin is to the side.

I take birthday cakes seriously, but after years of cake tasting during my event planning career, I rarely make a traditional cake.

Our middle kiddo, Ani, always requests and M&M Birthday Cake…when you take a bite, you’ll be requesting it for your birthday, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or the average Saturday just as an excuse!

This is one of my go-to desserts because it’s easy and always such a crowd-pleaser.

We love all kinds of cookie cakes in our house! You can find all of my cookie cake recipes here including classic chocolate chip cookie cake and an incredible sugar cookie cake!

This pretty M&M cake is even sweeter in a heart shaped dish, but you can make on any baking sheet with a lip, pizza pan (without holes), pie dish or tart pan! It’s your choice! However you do it, I can’t wait to hear what you think! Don’t forget to leave a five star review in the comments below.

Thick and Chewy M&M Cake in a heart shaped dish, topped with Valentine\'s Day M&Ms. A linen napkin is to the side.

If you love a cute seasonal dessert, don’t skip this incredible Valentine’s Day Toffee Recipe.

Cookie cake was my top request as a child. In fact, I often prefer it over cookies because of its soft and chewy texture. My mom always made it in a pizza pan for a larger, thinner cake, which is also delicious! The thinner it is, the shorter the baking time.

BUT. This is no ordinary M and M Cake. A secret twist makes it out of this world. I make it with my favorite little baking secret, brown butter. One extra step makes this cake stand above the rest. It takes just a few extra minutes and it puts the cake recipe over the edge.

This is not your average sugar cookie dough! Brown butter adds a caramelized flavor to the dough that makes it irresistible. The additional flavor and texture eliminates the need to add frosting on top, though I’ll never judge if you decide to pipe it or smother it in real milk chocolate buttercream!

The next time you think to go to the store for a cookie cake, you may want to reconsider. There’s no comparison!

Why You’ll Love M&M Cake

  • Beautiful
  • Tastes Amazing
  • Easy to Make
  • Foolproof

This cake comes together so quickly with staple ingredients – there’s no need for a cookie mix!

Originally published February 2019, updated with additional tips January 2021.

M&M Cookie Cake Ingredients

  • Butter – Salted or unsalted, your preference.
  • White Granulated Sugar – Sweetens with a little crunch, also helps aid in the rise when you beat it with butter producing air pockets.
  • Brown Sugar – Brown sugar sweetens while adding a hint of molasses flavor and adding to the golden brown color.
  • Vanilla Extract – Adds a little flavor.
  • Eggs – Bind ingredients.
  • Baking Soda – One of two leavening agents that gives this cookie cake it’s rise.
  • Baking Powder – One of two leavening agents that gives this cookie cake it’s rise.
  • Salt – Reduce or omit if using salted butter.
  • Flour – All purpose flour is the base for this incredible cookie dough.
  • M&Ms – The star of the show. Fold into the dough and press on top for a picture perfect presentation. Use your favorite colors or holiday M&M’s.

You can find my full list of baking substitutions here.

Variations

  • Reese’s Pieces – Calling peanut butter lovers! Fold into the cake and press on top.
  • Chocolate Chips – If you’re a chocolate chip lover, go ahead and blend in a few milk chocolate chips! For us, the milk chocolate in the candy shell is just the perfect mix.

How to Make an M&M Cake

  1. Prep – Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease baking dish.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients – In a medium mixing bowl, combine baking soda, salt and flour.
  3. Brown Butter (Optional) – For added flavor, brown butter. Warm butter caramelizes sugar giving it a rich, amazing flavor. Allow butter to cool for 5 minutes to prevent scrambling the egg.
  4. Combine Sugars – Meanwhile, combine sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer.
  5. Beat Butter and Sugars – Blend butter in, followed by eggs.
  6. Combine – Gradually add the flour mixture incorporate into the wet mixture.
  7. Fill – Scoop dough into dish just over halfway careful to compensate for rise. For a smooth appearance, cover with wax paper and smooth your hands or a spatula. Press a few M&M’s on top for added measure. It makes the prettiest M&M Birthday Cake! For a fully baked cookie cake, avoid pressing dough all the way to edges. Dough will spread. This will ensure a smooth, even rise without leaving the center under baked or edges over baked.
  8. Bake – Bake in preheated oven for 15+ minutes (depending on the depth of your pan).
Thick and Chewy M&M Cake in a heart shaped dish, topped with Valentine\'s Day M&Ms.

Serving Suggestions

Tips

  • Don’t over-mix! That’s how you achieve the out of this world texture and thickness!
  • Allow the brown butter to cool a few minutes to prevent frying the egg.
  • Adjust bake time as needed based on your baking dish.
  • If you’re using a larger dish, don’t press dough in to the edges, it will spread and prevent the edges from over baking.

Scaling up, down or substituting? You’ll love this printable Measurement Conversion Chart!

Shortcuts

  • Use store-bought cookie dough.
  • Skip browning the butter.

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – Cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container up to 3 days at room temperature. Add a piece of bread to the container to soften, if needed.
  • Refrigerate – Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 7 days.
  • Freeze – Freeze in an airtight container and covered in plastic wrap to prevent odors from seeping in, up to 3 months.

Dietary Considerations

  • Nut Free
Thick and Chewy M&M Cake in a heart shaped dish, topped with Valentine\'s Day M&Ms. A linen napkin is to the side.

Of course you can add frosting on top of M and M Cake for extra credit, but it’s not needed. It’s simply amazing as is! You could also let it cool completely, but I dare you to try it 10 minutes out of the oven! It makes one crazy good, crazy thick cake layer. If you prefer, divide into two smaller dishes.

I hope you love this M&M Birthday Cake, holiday cake or just because you deserve it cake as much as we do!

This recipe was adapted from my popular M&M Cookies! You’ll also love this printable measurement conversion chart that makes your baking so easy.

Hungry for more easy recipes? Sign up for my free recipe club and have amazing recipes delivered directly to your inbox each week!

Thick and Chewy M&M Cake in a heart shaped dish, topped with Valentine\'s Day M&Ms. A linen napkin is to the side.
heart shaped m&m cake

M&M Cake

Author: Julie Blanner
This M&M Cake has the ultimate twist – and is thick, chewy, buttery and undeniably delicious! M and M Cake is fun for every occasion including birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and so much more!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24
Calories 255 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup M&Ms

Topping

  • sea salt cracked
  • ½ cup M&Ms

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking dish.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Swirl until brown in color and it has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Gradually blend in cooled brown butter.
  • Gently blend in eggs, careful not to over mix, until just combined.
  • Sprinkle baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour over mixture and fold until combined.
  • Allow batter to cool slightly and fold in M&Ms. 
  • Scoop dough into greased baking dish or pan until just over half full. (You can freeze excess dough).
  • Press M&M’s into the top of the cake and bake 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown, depending how thick your cake is.

Notes

Tips

  • Don’t over-mix.
  • Allow butter to cool.
  • To prevent edges from over baking, don’t press dough all the way to the edges. Allow 1/2″ perimeter. Bring it to It will spread. 
  • For perfect M&M’s you can press them in IMMEDIATELY after baking, I put them in before, but don’t mind a few cracks.

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – Cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container up to 3 days at room temperature. Add a piece of bread to the container to soften, if needed.
  • Refrigerate – Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 7 days.
  • Freeze – Freeze in an airtight container and covered in plastic wrap to prevent odors from seeping in, up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories:255kcalCarbohydrates:36gProtein:2gFat:11gSaturated Fat:6gCholesterol:35mgSodium:161mgPotassium:46mgSugar:23gVitamin A:285IUVitamin C:0.1mgCalcium:34mgIron:1mg
5 from 6 votes
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
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Disclosure

mini loaves of bread gift wrapped