Merry Grinchmas Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling
Grinch cookies add unexpected fun and holiday cheer to your dessert table.

Updated: Jul. 08, 2024

Nothing says the holidays like a batch of freshly baked Grinch cookies. Inspired by the beloved children’s storybook (turned into hit movie), these Christmas cookies are delightfully green with a bright red heart, just like the Grinch himself. Kiddos love helping make Grinch cookies, turning this into a fun, festive activity for the whole family. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to refrigerate the dough for at least an hour as part of the baking process so that it becomes firm enough to shape.

Ingredients for Grinch Cookies

  • Butter: Use unsalted butter so you can better control the overall flavor of these cookies.
  • Cream cheese: Cream cheese adds a wonderful richness to Grinch cookies.
  • Sugar: Sugar doesn’t just add sweetness; it provides a moist texture.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract is a true flavor enhancer, amplifying all the flavors of these cookies.
  • Green food coloring: You’ve gotta add some food coloring to get that Grinch green.
  • Eggs: Use room temperature eggs so they’ll blend with the other ingredients.
  • All-purpose flour: Flour helps give these cookies structure and shape; just make sure you measure it correctly.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder promotes leavening, which gives these cookies their airy, light texture.
  • Salt: Cookies without salt will taste flat; salt does a great job of balancing and enhancing flavors.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: Rolling the dough in confectioners’ sugar when you’re ready to bake these cookies adds a welcome dash of sweetness.
  • Heart-shaped gumdrops: Any heart-shaped candy will do.


Step 1: Combine ingredients

In a large bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the vanilla, food coloring and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 2: Whisk in other ingredients and refrigerate

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into the creamed mixture. Refrigerate, covered, for one hour or until the dough is firm enough to shape.

Step 3: Shape the dough

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Shape the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place two inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Step 4: Bake

Bake until the tops are cracked and the edges are set (about 12 to 15 minutes). Immediately press a heart gumdrop into each cookie. Cool the cookies for five minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.

Grinch Cookie Variations

  • Use different candies: Use heart-shaped sprinkles or red hots in place of the gumdrops if you’d prefer.
  • Change with the seasons: These cookies also make adorable Valentine’s Day treats. Just tint the cookie dough pink instead of green.

How to Store Grinch Cookies

Our favorite airtight storage containers can help you store cookies at room temperature, between sheets of waxed paper.

How long will Grinch cookies last?

These cookies will last at least four to five days when stored properly.

Grinch Cookie Tips

My cookies won’t crackle. What’s going on?

If the cookies won’t crackle, ensure your oven is fully preheated. That initial blast of heat creates a crust that cracks as the cookies rise.

I’m having a hard time finding heart-shaped gummies. What else can I use?

Heart-shaped gummies are typically available at candy stores. But if you have a hard time finding them, try cutting shapes from Fruit Roll-Ups or fruit leather with a small heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Can I make a vegan version of these Grinch cookies?

We wouldn’t recommend trying to alter the Grinch cookie recipe to make it vegan, as there are too many dairy products. Instead, go with another vegan cookie recipe.

Watch how to Make Grinch Cookies

Merry Grinchmas Cookies

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 15 min
Yield about 4 dozen


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon green food coloring
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 48 heart-shaped gumdrops


  1. In a large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla, food coloring and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour or until firm enough to shape.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Shape dough into 1-1/2-in. balls; roll in confectioners' sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake until tops are cracked and edges are set, 12-15 minutes. Immediately press a gumdrop into each cookie. Cool cookies 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 112 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 18mg cholesterol, 67mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

Baking cookies around the holidays is a big deal in our house. Some are a must every year and we also come up with new recipes. This one is simple, delicious and fun to make with the kids!—Angela Lemoine, Howell, New Jersey
Recipe Creator