m&m snowflake cookies

I love to bake from scratch — there’s something so satisfying about doing it all yourself. But. But. I really dislike the snobbery that can accompany the culture of from-scratch baking. C’mon, you know what I’m talking about. The if-any-ingredients-come-premixed-it’s-not-real-baking mentality. Can I confess something? I used to be oh so guilty of that snobbery. And still catch myself at it, sometimes.

And fear not, my former baking snobbery was equally directed at others and at myself. I felt ashamed that Dear Boyfriend’s birthday cake this year was from a Pillsbury mix — And on top of that I felt silly for being ashamed of this fact.

Point is, I’m continually working to eschew the from-scratch snobbery. Cakes are cakes are cakes are cakes. Whether they’re store bought, out-of-a-box and topped with canned frosting, or homemade from scratch masterpieces crafted lovingly with farm-to-table ingredients.

The key is that word lovingly. No matter how it was prepared, giving a cake to someone on their birthday or presenting Christmas cookies at a party is done out of a spirit of love. I’m a firm believer that it’s the intention that matters, so in that spirit how the cake is baked shouldn’t matter to how special it is.

On that note, I present to you…

… drumroll, please …

Charlotte bakes entirely not-from-scratch Christmas cookies from a recipe found in a grocery store circular!!!

Hmm, bit of a lengthy title.

How about just m&m snowflake cookies.

That’ll do. 🙂

Right then, if you fancy making these festive little gems, here’s the easy to follow recipe.

First, your ingredients*:

  • 1 package Pillsbury Funfetti Holiday Cake Mix
  • 2 1/4 c. thawed Cool Whip
  • 1 package Holiday M&M’s
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 6 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 large egg

*I lived in the UK for a few years, and yet I’m still not adjusted to reading recipes written in metric measurements, so out of the Christmas spirit, I think I’m translating the ingredient measurements correctly below. Plus, to my recollection, Pillsbury isn’t sold in the UK outside of the odd import shop. But Betty Crocker is definitely sold there, however according to her UK website, Ms. Crocker does not offer a funfetti mix in the Mother Land. Alas. For my British readers, hope this ingredient list isn’t too hilariously disastrous. Or at least let it just be hilarious. You’re welcome.

  • 1 package Pillsbury Funfetti Holiday Cake Mix
  • 2 1/4 c. thawed Cool Whip
    • Approx. 250g of the following, plus a tad more, of the following concoction:
    • Dream Whip (whatever that is)
    • Allegedly must be mixed with milk
    • Also allegedly add vanilla and a smidge of icing sugar
    • Please do not trust me on this one. There is apparently no identical equivalent to Cool Whip in the UK, and I don’t really like the stuff so I never looked for a substitute when I lived there.
  • 1 package Holiday M&M’s
    • 1 package Smarties
    • but good God not the American Smarties, that’d be revolting
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
    • Approx. 170g icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp. butter, melted
    • 3/4 of a stick of butter melted
  • 1 large egg
    • 1 large egg (it was bothering my OCD not to see the same pattern with this bullet point)


  1. Heat oven to 350F (180C, gas mark 4). Blend cake mix, whipped topping, butter, and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until blended.
  2. Place powdered sugar in small shallow bowl. Drop batter by teaspoonfuls into powdered sugar to coat. Place on parchment paper on top of baking sheet.
  3. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and tops are crackled. Remove immediately to wire rack, cool, and decorate warm cookies with m&m’s.

A few things to note: I only needed about 2/3 of the powdered sugar specified, I made my cookies larger by using a tablespoon rather than a teaspoon, and they required baking for a good 20 minutes. Oh, and gets those m&m’s on STAT. Once the cookies begin to cool even a minute it’s tough to stick the candies in.

Without further ado, some photos!

Recipe flier
Cake mix, Cool Whip, egg, and melted butter
And now we mix.
Ready to roll in powdered sugar and drop!
I probably should have spaced them farther apart and used two sheets.
Using heaping tablespoons yielded 26 cookies.

Let me know if anyone out there in Blog Land makes these! I hope they turn out just as delicious as ours did!


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