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Easy Crinkly Grinch Cookies Recipe

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These Grinch cookies are festive, cakey cookies that bear a strong resemblance to a certain Christmas Grinch! In 20 minutes they'll be ready to add to your cookie platter alongside chocolate sugar cookie cut-outs and chewy ginger molasses cookies.

A stack of vibrant green Grinch cookies with red heart sprinkles

Linka said: “I asked my brother to review them for quality control purposes, but I couldn’t understand how he felt because he had four cookies in his mouth at the time. 100% would recommend, and I’ll definitely be including these in my Christmas cookie gift tins my neighbors are getting this year! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is probably the Christmas-y Christmas cookie recipe I've ever made – and there's not a Christmas tree, gingerbread man or ornament in sight.

These cookies are the edible embodiment of the Grinch himself, with a heart that's three sizes too… actually, no, it's the perfect size.

If the heart were bigger it would look like the cookie had a dangerous enlargement of the aorta, and that's just alarming.

I'd seen a lot of recipes for Grinch cookies on Pinterest similar to these, but they were all using a boxed cake mix and oil and I didn't want to go that route. I have to make things more complicated, obviously.

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” 
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

How to make Grinch cookies

For my cookies, we're going to make everything from scratch. But it's not hard at all, so don't freak out!

  • It's just a matter of putting a few dry ingredients in one bowl and whisking them together.
  • Then in another bowl, you'll combine butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and mint extract, and top it off with some green food gel paste to give it that essential Grinchy green. I strongly recommend green food gel paste over green food coloring as it's more concentrated, meaning you don't need to use as much.
  • You'll even be using a mixer so your arms won't get tired from mixing the dough by hand. A stand mixer will even relieve you of any and all work!
  • Let them cool for a while on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

See? That's not so hard.

Dry ingredients in a clear bowl with a metal whisk

Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Sugar and butter in a clear mixing bowl

Step 2: In a separate large bowl with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat to combine sugar and butter and light and fluffy.

Egg and butter mixture in a clear mixing bowl

Step 3: Add eggs, vanilla and mint extracts and beat to combine.

Crumbly cookie dough in a clear mixing bowl

Step 4: Add half the flour mixture, mix on low speed to combine, then add the rest and mix until combined. The dough will be crumbly for the first couple minutes, but will start to come together around minute 3 – keep mixing until it does!

Bright green cookie dough in a clear mixing bowl

Step 5: Add 4 drops of gel paste and beat to fully combine and there are no longer white streaks in the dough. Add more food coloring to get to your desired color, keeping in mind that the color will fade *slightly* during baking.

Bright green cookie dough balls on a baking sheet

Step 6: Use a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 tablespoons) to portion dough. Roll each between the palms of your hands to form a ball, then place each ball of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, with no more than 6 on each sheet (they need room to spread while baking).

Green cookie dough ball coated in sugar and topped with a red heart sprinkle
Coated in granulated sugar

This step is optional: Roll each ball of dough in powdered sugar or granulated sugar for a little extra decoration!

Green cookie dough ball coated in powdered sugar and topped with a red heart sprinkle
Coated in powdered sugar

You can place the red heart sprinkle before baking (as pictured here) or after baking, but I find that placing it after baking gives you more control over where it lands once the cookie spreads and cools.

Six bright green cookies with crinkles on top on a baking sheet

Step 7: Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cookies have started to crinkle – they will set and crinkle more as they cool.

Close up of stack of vibrant green Grinch cookies with red heart sprinkles

Step 8: As soon as you remove them from the oven, press a heart sprinkle into the top of each cookie. Let cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, and then move to wire racks to cool completely. 

Have patience with the dough

It will start out crumbly, but after a few minutes of mixing it will start to come together to form a dough that's sort of the consistency of playdough (I know, what an appetizing comparison, hah).

So if it's still forming large crumbs, keep at it – it's going to come together and just needs a little more time!

Roll the dough into balls

You want to roll each portion of dough between the palms of your hands (rather than leaving them the way they plop out of the small cookie scoop). Doing this will give them a more uniform result, and they're spread more and crinkle on top.

If you don't roll them, they'll stay puffier, be more uneven, and have a different texture in the end.

Adding a red heart sprinkle

Quite frankly, the hardest part is going to be placing the little heart sprinkle on top of each cookie when it comes out of the oven. You have to do it quickly before the cookies set, so have them at the ready!

You'll gently press them in enough so they stick, but not so hard that it looks like the cookie is consuming its own heart. That's pretty dark, even for me.

You could press the hearts into the tops of the cookies before baking to avoid having the mini rush when they come out of the oven, but they just come out looking a little bit different and not as clean looking.

Plus, when the cookies bake and spread, the heart might not end up where you thought it would be!

Grinch crinkle cookie topped with powdered sugar and a red heart sprinkle on a baking sheet

Don't like mint?

Simply omit it! I know some people think mint just reminds them of toothpaste, so if you're one of those people just leave it out – no harm, no foul.

  • You could also swap the mint extract for peppermint extract – but as that has a strong flavor, I'd start with 1/2 teaspoon and increase it if you like a stronger peppermint flavor.
  • You could also do a 1:1 swap of another flavor extract if you'd like to mix things up!

Try rolling in sugar for added decoration and flavor

You can roll each ball of dough in granulated sugar or powdered sugar (confectioners sugar) for a little added somethin' somethin'.

The granulated sugar makes them a little sparkly, but the powdered sugar kinda looks like snow!

What you'll end up with is this batch of completely adorable Grinch crinkle cookies that are absolute perfection for your holiday cookie exchanges. Not only will they be cute and tasty, they're a great little conversation starter.

Kids and adults alike will be clamoring to get their hands on one – and lord knows they're totally Instagram-worthy. 

Pop on a Christmas movie, snack on these, and relish the festiveness of it all!

Bright green crinkly cookies stacked on a red plate with red heart sprinkles on top

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Easy Crinkly Grinch Cookies

5 from 26 votes
These Grinch cookies are festive, cakey cookies that bear a strong resemblance to a certain Christmas Grinch! In 20 minutes they'll be ready to add to your cookie platter alongside chocolate sugar cookie cut-outs and chewy ginger molasses cookies.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 18 to 24 cookies

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and position the baking rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with nonstick silicon mats or parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
    2 1/2 cups (312 ½ g) all-purpose flour
    1 Tablespoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon (½ teaspoon) salt
  • In a separate large bowl with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat to combine sugar and butter and light and fluffy.
    1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
    1/3 cup (75 ⅔ g) unsalted butter
  • Add eggs, vanilla and mint extracts and beat to combine.
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon mint extract
    1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Add half the flour mixture, mix on low speed to combine, then add the rest and mix until combined. The dough will be crumbly for the first couple minutes, but will start to come together around minute 3 – keep mixing until it does!
  • Add 4 drops of gel paste and beat to fully combine and there are no longer white streaks in the dough. Add more food coloring to get to your desired color, keeping in mind that the color will fade *slightly* during baking.
    Green gel food coloring paste
  • Use a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 tablespoons) to portion dough. Roll each between the palms of your hands to form a ball, then place each ball of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, with no more than 6 on each sheet (they need room to spread while baking). Press down on the top of each slightly.
  • This step is optional: Roll each ball of dough in powdered sugar or granulated sugar for a little extra decoration!
  • Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cookies have started to crinkle – they will set and crinkle more as they cool.
  • As soon as you remove them from the oven, carefully and gently press a heart sprinkle into the top of each cookie. Let cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, and then move to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!
    Heart-shaped sprinkles

Video

Notes

  • Moisture: The size of the eggs you use can make a difference! If they're smaller in size, you may lose a little of the needed moisture. If you find your mixture too dry, you can add a little melted butter or oil. Keep in mind, the dough will start out crumbly but will come together after about 3 minutes of mixing.
  • Placing the hearts: If you'd like, you can place the heart sprinkles on top before baking – you just won't be guaranteed they'll be placed exactly where you wanted once they bake and spread.
  • Don't like mint? Simply omit it! I know some people think mint just reminds them of toothpaste :) You could also swap the mint extract for peppermint – but as that has a strong flavor, I'd start with 1/2 teaspoon and increase it if you like a stronger peppermint flavor.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 210IU | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

The provided nutrition information is generated by an automatic API and does not take variations across specific brands into account. This information is provided as a general guideline and should not be treated as official calculations. Learn more here.

Recipe created by Leslie Kiszka

Note: My original recipe from 2015 called for two different forms of butter – one softened, and another melted. To make the recipe easier, in December 2021 I have tweaked it a bit to use only softened butter (slightly more than the original recipe) and a slightly different method of combining the cookie dough. While I love the original recipe, I want it to be easy to follow! The resulting cookies are almost exactly the same – enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

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Recipe Rating




39 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These were fantastic! I made them with my kids, who are 3yr and 5yr, so we left out the mint, and they turned out great! We also rolled them in powdered sugar because that’s part of the fun. I tried a cake mix cookie last year and these were far superior–definitely using this recipe from here on out! Thank you for sharing!

    1. tried making these with my kids. followed the instructions to the T. exact measurements and it came out so runny. :( what did we do wrong?

  2. 5 stars
    I made these cookies this morning, on a whim, because i needed a break from work and it’s cold outside … and i mean, really … mint cookies … why wouldn’t you?! My eggs were a bit too large, i think, so the dough was initially a little wet, but that was an issue with my ingredients, not the recipe! i tweaked the dry ingredients just a little to get the perfect consistancy to make up for my massive eggs, rolled them in powdered sugar, and popped them in the oven. Perfection. I asked my brother to review them for quality control purposes, but i couldn’t understand how he felt because he had four cookies in his mouth at the time. 100% would recommend, and i’ll definitely be including these in my christmas cookie gift tins my neighbours are getting this year!

  3. 5 stars
    What a fun treat! I made the recipe exactly as written, with the exception of the amount of green food coloring, and my cookies came out perfectly. I used more than four drops of food coloring to get the cookies the shade of green I wanted, but other than that, the ingredient amounts were perfect. I also omitted the mint flavoring. I used a hand mixture and rolled the dough in powdered sugar before baking. I added the hearts when the cookies came out of the oven. They were a hit!

  4. 5 stars
    I don’t get what the complaints are about. I made them exactly as written and they were so cute ! I preferred to put the heart sprinkle on them before they went in the oven because it was easyer, but agree they look cuter if you put them on after. Next time I’m going to try a different color food coloring to make these for Easter

  5. I owe you an apology, Jenn! I got some help moving recipes to a new site and new recipe card, and I didn’t catch that this recipe had an ingredient and step left out after the migration – that’s 100% my miss. There *is* supposed to be 1/4 cup softened butter that it also cut in (now listed in the updated recipe card ingredients and instructions). I’m very sorry for this mistake on my part, and apologize that I didn’t catch this mistake sooner.

  6. Terrible. Is 2.5 cups of flour accurate? I bake all the time and I’ve never had an issue, but this was total crumbs. I followed it exactly but there was not enough liquid at all. And the green food gel coloring never colored anything. Probably because it was crumbs. What a waste.

    1. I’m so, so sorry Anna. I got some help moving recipes to a new site and new recipe card, and I didn’t catch that this recipe had an ingredient and step left out after the migration – that’s 100% my miss. There is supposed to be 1/4 cup softened butter that it also cut in (now listed in the updated recipe card). I’m very sorry for this mistake on my part.

      I’d like to encourage you to be kind in your feedback to online creators – we’re all human, and we all make mistakes. We’re all doing our best, but my mistake was certainly not the experience I wanted you to have.

  7. I followed the recipe to a T but they were SO crumbly! I do ALOT of baking so make sure to always measure accurately. I used 1/3 cup oil and the 2 eggs (it didn’t seem like enough liquid in my opinion but followed it!) so sad as they looked like they would be cute!

    1. I’m really sorry to hear that, as I’ve never had that issue myself. If your eggs were on the smaller side, that could have been enough to make a difference, but I wouldn’t think to the degree you’re saying.

  8. Hi! I made these today but they didn’t turn out green at all. I used a whole bottle (38ml) of liquid food colouring rather than gel, would that be the problem? Also, I don’t have a stand mixer only hand held one. I did notice sugar was still visible in the dough, thinking it’s because it wasn’t mixed properly? Of course hand held mixer means the stuff goes all over my kitchen haha.
    I’m in the uk and don’t understand how much a cup of flour or sugar is. Can you please let me know in grams.
    Absolutely desperate to make them for Xmas.
    Thanks for your help

    1. Hi Kamila! I’m going to try to address all your questions in this response, but let me know if I’m missing anything:

      1) I always use a gel food coloring because it provides a much more vibrant color without needing to use as much – once you’ve added too much liquid (as you noted), it’s going to affect the texture as well as the flavor of your cookies.
      2) There’s definitely a difference in quality amongst different kinds of food colorings, but I find it really strange that they didn’t turn out green at all!
      3) Using a hand mixer isn’t an issue at all, you’d get the same results as using a stand mixer – aside from your experience of being covered in the ingredients, apparently haha :)
      4) Seeing the sugar in the dough doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t mixed in properly, but it certainly could.
      5) You can always Google conversions if you’re ever unsure of the amount in the measurement you’re most familiar with, but you always want to make sure you’re looking for the conversion with the name of the ingredient because it makes a difference. But in this case, it would be 120 grams = 1 cup of all purpose flour, and 227 grams = 1 cup granulated sugar. Take a look at this post I have about volume conversions, and why it differs by different kinds of ingredients, I think it will be helpful!: https://stressbaking.com/volume-conversions-for-baking-recipe-ingredients/

      I hope all of this is helpful!

  9. Hi Leslie, these are adorable. My cookies didn’t crinkle at all but puffed up. Could that be because I had too much air in my dough? I’m trying to figure out what I did wrong. Thank you! They tasted absolutely amazing though!

      1. You can, but just know that it may require much more to get the same color as you see in my photos/video with the gel paste (since it’s more concentrated). That might affect the texture as well – so just be aware, and good luck!

  10. My cookies were waaaaaay do floury like it was literally mostly flour. I had to use like six eggs and a full cup of oil to get it to be workable you get one star.

    1. It sounds like the proportions that you used are not what were listed because it couldn’t have been “mostly flour” with all the other ingredients – I always recommend following the recipe measurements as indicated.

  11. I look forward to making these this week, and will be back with a review BUT I have a couple questions:
    1. I’ll have royal icing made up, do you think I can just pipe a heart on the cookies after they cool? I don’t think it would have any problems sticking, right?
    2. on hand I only have peppermint extract, can I just replace that for the mint?

    1. 1. Absolutely! It might be a little bumpy because of the crinkle tops, but totally doable.
      2. That’s up to you… they’re quite different flavors, but if you like peppermint go for it!

  12. 5 stars
    Ok, I have to say Leslie is right! Her recipe is much better than the boxed cake recipes out there. I followed it to a tee and they came out perfect. Texture, taste, color, It’s all there. The only thing I added was Grinch fur (green candy shred) as soon as they came out of the oven. Wish I could attach a picture to show you the very cute plate I created to put the cookies on!

    1. I’m so happy to hear you liked them – thank you so much for coming back to comment and leave a rating! Please email me some pictures, I would LOVE to see them! (leslie@stressbaking.com)

      1. 5 stars
        Hi Leslie! I’m back and making these again for Monday’s Dr, Seuss Reading Across America Day. There will be for my granddaughter’s Kinder class. Do you think they would taste OK if I left the mint out? I think I would like to substitute cherry flavor for the mint. What do you think?!

      2. I’m not sure of the taste without the mint, but you could always substitute it for pure vanilla or almond extract, or your idea for cherry – that sounds yummy! I’ve honestly never used cherry extract before so I don’t have much advice to offer there.

    1. The recipe card at the bottom of the post lists out all the ingredients you’ll need with their quantities – it’s 2 eggs, room temperature for this recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      My daughter made them for a Christmas breakfast at school, and she came home talking about how everyone loved them.