These gooey, chewy, delicious cookie bars call for only six ingredients, and no one will know they started with a box of cake mix. And even better, you can fill them with just about anything you want – chocolate chips, M&Ms or chopped Hershey bars. You can even use chopped-up Snickers, Reese’s, Twix and more. Let your imagination run wild. I’m looking at you, leftover Halloween candy.
Seriously, though, these things are crazy delicious. And ridiculously easy. If you can dump ingredients in a bowl and stir, you can make these cookie bars.
I remember quite a few afternoons, coming home from school to find the house smelling of vanilla and chocolate and knowing these cookie bars were waiting on the stove for me. Mom has been making them for as long as I can remember.
Yeah, I guess the added benefit to this deliciousness is that they do a pretty amazing job of making your house smell like a bakery.
As I mentioned, the options are relatively endless when it comes to deciding what to add to these. Mom traditionally made them with chocolate chips, but you can be creative – peanut butter chips, toffee bits, caramel chunks, etc.
I made the ones pictured here with the new classic M&M mix that includes regular, peanut and peanut butter M&Ms. They were perfect.
You’ll want to make sure you have about 1 cup of mix-ins and you’ll want them to be chopped up to about the size of a peanut M&M.
You can experiment with different flavor cake mixes and pudding mixes if you’re feeling adventurous.
As far as the process goes, it is really as simple as mixing all the ingredients together, spreading them into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and baking at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. I like to save about one-quarter of the mix-ins to sprinkle on the top of the batter before it goes into the oven to make it look nice. But it’s totally up to you.
When it comes to testing the doneness, it’s really more about sight than anything else. They should be just golden brown but still a little jiggly. The toothpick test won’t really work on these since they’re so gooey. Once you take them out of the oven, expect that they will fall some. It’s totally normal.
If you want your cookie bars a little more firm, you can cook them a little longer. But for me, the gooier the better. Y’all enjoy.
Easy Cake Mix Cookie Bars
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 (15.25-ounce) yellow or butter-flavored cake mix
- 1 (3.4-ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup chocolate candy*
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, vegetable oil and water until smooth.
- Add in the candy, reserving about 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top.
- Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared dish and sprinkle the reserved candy over the top.
- Bake about 25 minutes until just barely golden brown.
- The mixture may seem jiggly or not completely set, but it will firm up as it cools.
- Wait until completely cooled, then slice and serve.
You can use chocolate chips, any variety of M&Ms or other chopped chocolate candy like Hershey’s, Snickers, Twix and Reese’s.