These Grinch cookies are soft and chewy cake mix cookies, rolled in sugar and topped with a red heart. A super easy Christmas cookie recipe that’s always a hit with kids!

When the winter holidays arrive, I celebrate with lots of festive dessert recipes including stained glass cookies, cream cheese spritz cookies, eggnog cake and these adorable Grinch cookies.

A plate of Grinch cookies with heart sprinkles on top of them.

Whenever I think Christmas, the Grinch comes to mind! This movie is a classic holiday tale for good reason. These Grinch cookies are green like the character, with a red heart to signify the day his heart grew three sizes. This treat is great for class parties and gift giving.

Grinch Cookies Ingredients

Ingredients including cake mix, oil, eggs, vanilla and food coloring.

To make these cookies, you will need a box of white cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, neon green food coloring, granulated sugar and red heart sprinkles.

How Do You Make Grinch Cookies?

Place the cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and food coloring in a large bowl. Stir until a dough forms. Chill the mixture until it firms up. Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls. Take each cookie dough ball and coat it in sugar. Bake until the cookies are set. As soon as the warm cookies come out of the oven, immediately press a red heart sprinkle onto each cookie. Cool on a wire rack, then serve.

A bowl of cookie dough being made, rolled into balls and dipped in sugar.

Tips For The Perfect Cookies

  • I use a neon green gel food coloring for the most intense color. It’s the perfect shade of Grinch green! Liquid food coloring will also work, but you might need to use more of it. You can add as little or as much as you like. Look for the neon green color online or at a craft store in the cake decorating area.
  • I use jumbo heart sprinkles which are sold in the cake decorating aisle of craft stores, or you can purchase them online.
  • Grinch cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Use a cookie scoop to make sure all the cookies come out the same size.
  • If your sprinkles don’t stick well to your cookies, you can attach them with a dab of melted white chocolate.

Quick Tip

It’s important to use a 15 1/4 ounce box of vanilla cake mix, so read the labels carefully at the store to make sure you have the right size.

A hand placing a heart sprinkle on top of a cookie.

Recipe FAQs

Can you use butter in cake mix cookies?

You can substitute 1/2 cup of softened butter for oil in this cake mix cookie recipe, but the cookies may have a slightly different texture.

Can you freeze Grinch cookies?

Grinch cookies will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months. Store them in a freezer bag or an airtight container for the best results.


A stack of Grinch cookies with a bite taken out of one.

Flavor Variations

While these cookies are delicious as-is, you can customize the flavors to your tastes.

  • Heart: If you can’t find the heart sprinkles, use another red candy instead such as a red hot cinnamon candy or a red M&M candy.
  • Coating: You can also roll your cookies in green sanding sugar, or 1/4 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
  • Flavorings: Feel free to add extra flavor to your cookies by adding 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract or almond extract.

You simply can’t go wrong with Grinch Christmas cookies. They’re quick to make, and always get rave reviews!

More Great Christmas Cookies

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Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 28 votes

Grinch Cookies

AuthorSara Welch
A plate of Grinch cookies with heart sprinkles on top of them.
These Grinch cookies are soft and chewy cake mix cookies, rolled in sugar and topped with a red heart. A super easy Christmas cookie recipe that's always a hit with kids!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Chilling Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Serves 24


  • 15 1/4 ounce box white cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • neon green food coloring
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 24 red heart sprinkles


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the white cake mix, eggs, oil, vanilla extract and 8-10 drops of neon green food coloring. Stir to combine.
  • Cover the bowl of dough and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls.
  • Pour the granulated sugar onto a plate. Roll the balls of dough around in the sugar to coat.
  • Place the balls of dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. You will need to work in batches.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned. When the cookies come out of the oven, immediately press a red heart sprinkle into each cookie while they are still hot.
  • Cool, then remove from the baking sheet and repeat the baking process with the remaining dough. Serve immediately, or store in an air tight container for up to 3 days.


  1. Make sure you have a 15 1/4 oz. box of cake mix. Some cake mix boxes are smaller and will not work well for this recipe.
  2. You can make your cookies larger or smaller than what the recipe calls for; just adjust the bake time accordingly.
  3. Use a cookie scoop or measuring spoon to make all of your balls of dough the same size.


Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 18mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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5 from 28 votes (24 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Love how easy these were to make thanks to the cake mix shortcut! My kids had a holiday party at their school this week and I brought these cookies and all the kids gobbled them up!

  2. The festive appearance and the delicious taste make them the perfect holiday cookie. I’ll be making these for all my holiday gatherings!

  3. 5 stars
    They are so fun and festive with their vibrant green color and adorable Grinch face decorations. Plus, they taste absolutely delicious – a perfect combination of sweet and chewy. I can’t get enough of these delightful treats!

  4. 5 stars
    I was looking for a recipe like this for Christmas party , thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to try it soon!