These gooey, chewy, decently delicious cookie bars only call for 6 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&M’s, or chopped Hershey bars. You can even use chopped up Snickers, Reeses, 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’m serious!
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 also do a pretty amazing job at making your house smell like a bakery!
As I mentioned before, 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’ve made them with M&M’s (Jack’s favorite), chopped up candy bars like Snickers, Reeses, Twix, etc. And they’re perfect for using up that leftover Halloween candy hanging around.
I made these pictured with the new classic M&M’s mix that includes regular, peanut, and peanut butter M&M’s. They were perfect!
You’ll just 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 also experiment with different flavor cake mixes and pudding mixes if you’re feeling adventurous.
As far as the process goes, it’s really as simple as mixing all the ingredients together, spreading it into a 9×13-inch baking dish, and baking at 350°F for about 25 minutes. I like to save about 1/4 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
- 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°F and lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. 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 the top. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared dish and sprinkle the reserved candy over the top.
- Bake about 25 minutes to until just barely golden brown. The mixture may seem jiggly or not completely set, but it will firm up as it cools. Cool completely, then slice and serve.