Nothing brings a smile to the face of a child, spouse, co-worker, or neighbor like home baked cookies! It brings a smile to my face too. Who doesn’t love cookies from an oven over cookies from a package? I think we’re in agreement. So, why don’t we bake more often? Ha – trick question. I know the answer cause the same answer applies to me. I don’t have time!
Seriously, if you had my life – you wouldn’t have time to bake cookies either. So says all of us! I can’t remember the last time I had a couple of free hours to devote to baking (or a couple of free hours to do anything!) When I find free time, I want to have fun. I want to relax. I don’t want to mess with a bunch of bowls, measuring cups, and utensils. I like baking, I don’t like cleaning up! I know that I can buy pre-made cookie dough (slice and bake type), but that doesn’t do it for me. I don’t consider those homemade. I want “real” cookies. I want cookies that require minimal ingredients, effort, and time. I want a foolproof recipe. I also want the entire baking experience to be over in an hour! I don’t ask for much, do I?
Guess what? There is a cookie recipe that meets all those requirements. This recipe eliminates the time consuming and stressful work of gathering and measuring flour, sugar, spices, and flavors. It uses a magical all-inclusive ingredient: a cake mix. Yeppers, you read that correctly. A box of cake mix. All you need is a cake mix, 2 eggs, and 1/3 cup oil (plus powdered sugar for the topping) to produce delicious, soft & chewy, big cookies. Literally, it takes only minutes to dump these three ingredients in a mixing bowl and, using a spoon combine until smooth – no need to lug out a mixer. Using a medium scoop or tablespoon, scoop the dough and form balls with your hands. If desired, roll balls in powdered sugar.
Place 12 balls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Makes 24 cookies.
There are so many good things about this recipe, it’s very flexible. Any box cake mix flavor will work: Strawberry, chocolate, spice, lemon, confetti, red velvet, white, yellow… In my circle, strawberry is the hands-down favorite. Box cake mix often is on sale or BOGO (buy one, get one free). That’s when I stock up. Any brand will work. I usually stick with Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker. Vegetable oil is recommended, but canola or any light colored oil will work fine. These cookies are delicious, as is. However, if you’re feeling creative, you can easily zhoosh them. Try adding baking chips (semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch, dark chocolate), m&ms, chopped nuts, raisins, crushed hard candy, or mini marshmallows. Use whatever you have in your pantry!
I was worried that the price of a cake mix makes for pricey cookies. It’s true that if you have a well-stocked pantry filled with spices, flavor extracts, flour, and sugar – using a cake mix will be more expensive.
However, if you don’t do a lot of baking, then it’s a different story. You also need to take time & labor into consideration. My time has a dollar value. Think in terms of billable hours. If I’m looking at 2 hours of my day, the price per cookie adds up quickly! Bottom line, for me, the convenience and simplicity of cake mix cookies justify the cost.
I call my cake mix cookies “crinkle cookies”. Strawberry Crinkles, Chocolate Crinkles, Lemon Crinkles. Compliments on the soft and fluffy texture and great taste are always in abundance. I just smile and say, “thank you”. You should do the same! The cake mix short-cut can just be our little secret. K?
- 1 box cake mix (any flavor)*
- 1/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
- 2 eggs
- Optional: Powder sugar for dusted topping
- Pre-heat oven to 350°. Mix together cake mix, oil, and eggs. Stir until smooth. (No need to use an electric mixer)
- Using a medium scoop or tablespoon, scoop the dough and form balls with your hands. If desired, roll balls in powdered sugar.
- Place dough balls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, two inches apart, as the cookies “grow” while baking. 12 cookies per pan are perfect.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 10 -12 minutes (do not overbake!). Let cookies cool in the pan for two minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
*Strawberry is the hands-down favorite!