Lazy Cookie Bars

Lazy Cookie Bars are chewy, sweet and SIMPLE!

Sometimes you just need a simple, candy loaded sweet treat. And since today happens to be the day after the top candy holiday of the year I’d say timing is perfect!

I actually had a sick little guy on Halloween this year which for him was really a life-disaster. No costume, no candy, no running around in the dark with flashlights with his friends…

And I have to say, while I enjoyed the extra snuggle time, one less kid trick or treating meant one less bag of candy to raid. With less reserves those peanut butter cups are carefully tracked.

BUT if you are in a house with an overflowing candy dish I have the recipe for you…

And we’re calling them lazy bars because they couldn’t take less effort.

lazy bars image

Yes, I used M&M’s, but you can absolutely use any candy you would like. All you need are 2 cups of [chopped] candies. Obviously don’t chop the M&M’s, though. Only chop if you’re dealing with larger pieces.

In other words, use your brains.

lazy bars picture

No mixer required here. All I did was mix a box of cake mix, 2 eggs and 1/2 cup melted butter…

lazy bars pic

Next stir in your candies…

lazy bars mixing picture

Spread it all in a 9×13…

lazy bars batter picture

And bake it up. You don’t even have to bake this for very long…just 15-20 minutes.

lazy bars baked picture

Simple bars that are chewy, soft and loaded with candy! WIN!

lazy cookie bars picture

You can mix and match this recipe all over the place. Chocolate cake mix + peanut butter cups. Spice cake mix + Pumpkin Spice M&M’s.

Use your imagination!


Lazy Cookie Bars

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Yield: 24 bars 1x


  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups M&M’s (or any chopped candy you prefer)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C
  2. Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the cake mix, eggs and butter. Stir until smooth.
  4. Stir in the M&M’s and spread the batter into the pan.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden at the edges. The center might seem slightly underdone, this is ok.
  6. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into squares.


Store at room temperature for up to 5 days

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Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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51 Responses
  1. Heather

    I’m not going to lie…I was skeptical about this recipe but, boy, was I wrong!! I followed as written and the bars came out fantastic! Incredibly easy and delicious! Will absolutely make again and will try some of the combos from other reviews! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love this recipe i always have a cake mix on hand and do several different combinations, example: Butter cake mix with dark chocolate chips, devil’s food cake mix with peanut butter chips, strawberry cake mix with white chocolate chips or semi sweet chocolate chips, the combinations are endless. Thank you again for sharing I rate this recipe PLus 5 stars…

  3. Stefanie

    I’ve made this twice now – once with a mix of m&ms and reeces piec es and once with just m&ms. They are so easy and a perfect recipe for a toddler to help make. I love hearing other variations from the comments and freezing caramel candies is genius for gooey results.
    The second time I made them on a whim and was able to recall what I needed from memory while at grocery so I know I can do that again too!

  4. Thanks for the simple recipe! Everyone loves a delicious cookie bar & these all looked amazing, so why not give it a try. I decided to try & make them they look fantastic. I made these along with some of my own cookie bars. I can not wait to put these in little baggies & share them with the less fortunate, I am sure they will be a hit. I will definitely be letting you know the outcome 🙂 Once again thanks for sharing ..
    #the Lord

  5. Julia

    I found this recipe a couple of years ago and love it for the simplicity. I love the way the M&M’s look when it’s finished baking. And so easy to co-ordinate with!

    My son asked me to make these with Oreo’s for his birthday. Do you think they’d turn out okay with just the regular oreos, or should I get the fudge dipped ones so there’s something to melt?

  6. Andrea

    Do you think this recipe would work using rolos? Would you cut them or leave them whole? I’m trying to make a cookie for a cookie exchange. Thank you.

    1. Shelly

      Yes! My trick with Rolo candies is freezing them before I throw them into the mix and then they stay gooier! I would coarse chop them before freezing 🙂

  7. Molly Elizabeth

    Thank you! I can’t wait to experiment with this recipe. I will try it first with my favorite: butterscotch chips. This type of recipe is the best. I am new to your blog but looks like I need to explore. What are you favorite desserts???

  8. Cynthia

    I know these are supposed to be lazy but I don’t like using boxed cake mix. Could you give a recipe to make a cake mix from scratch that would go with these please?

  9. Roxanne Hunsicker

    This review is WELL overdue. I found it a couple of years ago when I needed a snack for the kids’ choir at church (I am the director) and this had the exact right amount of ingredients (meaning that I had them all on hand) and the right amount of complexity (none). Ever since, my choir kids beg for “Ooey Gooeys” and are rewarded at the end of the year with the recipe. I cannot thank you enough!!

  10. These look sooooo good and sooooo easy. I imagine it would work with any flavor mix and any candy combination. Can’t wait to give it a try! Thanks!

  11. KBeth

    Very yummy recipe. The bars turn out great! My oven ALWAYS takes longer than the max time on recipes, so I accounted for that. When the outside edge got a little bit of golden color, I took them out. I was a little worried about the soft center, but after they completely cooled, they were fine! Thanks for this gem!

  12. Garet

    I actually made this for former co-workers this morning. I was up late last night making an egg nog bundt cake and chocolate crinkle cookies. I wanted something else, but at 6am this morning, I didn’t have the energy for anything super fancy. I used a carrot cake mix and white chocolate chips since it seemed like a good Holiday-time combo. Everyone loved it so this is a good fit! 🙂

  13. Michelle Nelson

    I just made these and they turned out perfectly! I thought the recipe may be dry also, but no, it came out just as you mentioned. I also used the Pillsbury 15.25 moist supreme cake mix. When I put my batter in the pan I was unsure if it would all fit and if it would rise. And it did! They’re great! Thank you for an easy goodie!!?

  14. I have no eaten them because I’m making them for other people, but when I cut them into squares they still seem a little too gooey. Is that just normal? I’ve never had cookie bars before.

  15. anonymous

    This recipe turned out horrible!! When I mixed the cake mix, eggs, and melted butter together, the mix was so dry that I had to add water! Actual bake time for mine was 25 mins! Horrible recipe. I ended up throwing them out.

    1. Shelly

      I’m sorry these didn’t turn out for you… Can I ask what size boxed cake mix you used? The dough is thick on these for sure, and if you added water that would explain the longer bake time.

      1. Anonymous

        It was a box of Pillsbury Traditional Yellow Cake mix, a 15.25 size box. There’s no way you can mix cake mix, two eggs, and melted butter and except it to mix up smooth. No way.

        1. Shelly

          I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this 🙂 Like I said, the dough is thick, like cookie dough. One stick of melted butter and 2 eggs combined with the cake mix has been my go-to “cheat” cookie bar for ages. Again, sorry it didn’t work out as you had expected.

  16. ShaNae

    I’m sorry your little guy was sick. 🙁 My kiddo has pneumonia, and of course I did not let him go trick or treating in the cold, and he too thought life was over. He’s 10 and his friends came to our door and brought him some candy, 2 big bags of M&M’s and Hershey chocolate bars, which was really cool of them to do.
    These cookies are so much fun and versatile. I think I will steal some of his M&M’s and make them. 🙂
    Hope everyone is well now in your house!

  17. These bars look so yummy! Been following your blog for years and I have to say I’m a huge fan! Congratulations on the cookbook and thank you for all of the wonderful recipes/ideas for making treats with my boys. Have a great monday!:)

  18. Growing up my mom would always make a few mnm cookies when she made chocolate chip cookies and those were always my faves so I know I’d love these!!! They looks so incredibly chewy!

Leave a Reply

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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