25 Easy Cookie Recipes for Kids That Are as Fun to Make as They Are to Eat

·7 min read

Your kid’s only seven, but she considers herself an Ina-Garten-in-the-making. And if her enthusiasm is giving you nightmares about flour covering every square inch of your kitchen, well, you’ve come to the right place. Why not set her up for success with one of these easy cookie recipes for kids? From no-bake options (like s’mores haystacks) to one-bowl wonders (oatmeal cookies, anyone?), Livi can roll up her sleeves and you can keep your cool. They’re all straightforward with little adult supervision required and, most importantly, they taste delicious.

24 Easy Baking Recipes for Kids (That Won’t Leave Your Kitchen Covered in Flour)

Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

1. Heart Thumbprint Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

If you ask us, sugar cookies with hearts beat out finger paint any day. These ten-ingredient bites are simple enough to make, but if you want to tackle them with kids, adults can prep them right up to the thumbprint step to avoid a floury mess.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

2. Glazed Doughnut Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Heating up a vat of oil is out of your toddler’s wheelhouse, but decorating these cuties is definitely not. Set up a station with baked cookies, glaze and an assortment of sprinkles and let them go wild. (FYI, most of the time commitment is chilling the dough.)

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Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

3. Giant Brown-sugar Snickerdoodle Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

You man the stand mixer; they can roll the dough balls in cinnamon sugar. Voilà, soft and chewy treats in less than half an hour.

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Photo: Matt Dutile/Styling: Erin McDowell

4. Rocky Road Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

A childhood-favorite flavor wrapped up in a 30-minute cookie? Be still our heart. Pro tip: Lay the marshmallows out on a baking sheet to dry for 24 hours before mixing up the cookies. They’ll keep their shape better in the oven.

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Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

5. Lemon Meringue Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

Your kid will get a kick out of swooping and swirling the fluffy meringue. Will it look as good as the picture? Well, beauty is in the eye of the 5-year-old. These masterpieces can be made in less than an hour, as an added perk.

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Yumna Jawad/Feel Good Foodie

6. 3-ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

It turns out that three ingredients, 20 minutes and only one bowl make a pretty delicious cookie. (Bonus: No flour means significantly less mess in your kitchen.)

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

7. 4-ingredient Lemon Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

Since these quick and easy cookies start with (shhh) boxed cake mix and frozen whipped topping, there’s no need for measuring cups or spoons (or hours of cleanup, for that matter).

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

8. Coconut Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

Drop cookies are ideal for first-time bakers, since they don’t require chilling, rolling, cutting or glazing. These are like a cross between a sugar cookie and a macaroon, and you can have a whole batch made in all of 30 minutes.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

9. Caramel-stuffed Chocolate-chip Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

Stuffing caramel candies into balls of cookie dough is not only ingenious, but also a lot more fun than stuffing Legos into playdough. Fact.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

10. Triple Cookie Skillet Pie

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

Who needs a dozen cookies when you can have a giant molten one that encompasses three different flavors? Let the kids press the dough into the skillet while you handle the baking and this dessert will be ready in no time.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

11. Snack-safe Chocolate-chip Cookie Dough

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

If you’re not relinquishing control of the oven just yet, try this flourless, eggless, edible cookie dough recipe instead. It’s so easy to make and even better than sneaking bites out of the mixing bowl.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

12. Cut-out Sugar Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes

The beauty of this simple recipe is that the kids can choose whatever shape they like. Once the cookies are baked, bring out the icing, sprinkles and edible glitter (if you dare). They require an hour of chilling, so you could make the dough ahead of time too.

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Spoon Fork Bacon

13. Kitchen Sink Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 24 minutes

Let your kids raid the pantry for their favorite snacks: potato chips, sugar cereal, pretzels—seriously, anything goes. You’ll start with a simple cookie base, then scoop and chill, so these guys are as easy to make as they are tasty.

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What’s Gaby Cooking

14. Giant M&m Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

It’s hard to beat candy inside of a cookie. These simple, 20-minute sweets are best served with a tall glass sippy cup of milk.

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I Am a Food Blog

15. Lucky Charms Snickerdoodles

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

If the marshmallow-studded cereal isn’t forbidden in your house (just our childhood?), mix it into your next batch of cookies for a heart, star and rainbow treat. We give the lightning-fast ten-minute prep time five stars, too.

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Cookie and Kate

16. Monster Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

The peanut butter, oat and chocolate combo is ideal for your little (loveable) monsters. Since they’re on the bigger side, they’re easier for small fingers to scoop.

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Minimalist Baker

17. 5-ingredient No-bake Peanut Butter Thumbprints

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

Another ovenless recipe, these bites can be customized with any flavor of jelly. Substitute in another nut or seed butter if anyone has a food allergy.

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Sally’s Baking Addiction

18. Cookies And Cream Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 35 minutes

This is what sugar rushes (and crashes) are made of. Instead of chopping the Oreo mix-ins, place them in a resealable bag and let your kid crush them by hand. Don’t be scared by the two-plus-hour time commitment, since most of it is inactive chilling.

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Two Peas and Their Pod

19. Classic No-bake Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

You made ’em when you were a preschooler, now show your own preschooler how it’s done. They only take about 15 minutes to assemble, and the rest of the time is spent waiting for them to cool.

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Averie Cooks

20. One-bowl, No-mixer, No-chill Oatmeal Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

You basically toss everything into a bowl and stir, which is great when you’re baking with a less-than-patient kid. Baking has never been more beginner-friendly.

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Sally’s Baking Addiction

21. Drop Sugar Cookies With Sprinkles

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 45 minutes

You’ll have them hooked at the mention of rainbow sprinkles, but you’ll love that they require just eight ingredients and 15 minutes of active prep.

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Show Me the Yummy

22. Cake Mix Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

The flavor possibilities are endless—just check out the boxed cake mix aisle at the grocery store for inspo. When you’re ready to bake, it’s as foolproof as stirring and scooping.

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Half Baked Harvest

23. 6-ingredient No-bake Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

Psst: These 20-minute cookies are kind of healthy and contain no refined sugar, but no one will complain.

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The Mom 100

24. No-bake S’mores Haystack Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

No campfire, oven or scooping skills required—easy-peasy. The mini marshmallows and tiny graham cracker pieces take them over the top.

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Dinner at the Zoo

25. Peanut Butter Blossoms

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

Few things are more satisfying than pressing a Hershey’s Kiss into a puffy, soft peanut butter cookie. (OK, eating them definitely wins.)

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25 Easy, No-Bake Dessert Recipes for Kids

Katherine Gillen is a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she's an avid home cook and fanatic baker.