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Red, White, and Blue Cake Mix Cookies

These Red, White, and Blue Cake Mix Cookies are a fantastic shortcut recipe for a last-minute 4th of July dessert. Use a white cake mix and a few basic baking staples to whip these up quickly. This recipe is adapted from Karli’s Tie Dye Cookies from Cookies for Days. For another fun cookie recipe for the 4th of July, try my Patriotic Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Red, white, and blue cookies with one split in half.

I love discovering new baking blogs and one of my favorites is Cooking with Karli. She’s got so many creative recipes and her Instagram is a ton of fun too.

When I saw her pretty tie-dye cookies, I almost immediately envisioned them with a red, white, and blue theme. And bonus, the the recipe uses a cake mix so it’s a great shortcut.

Because we want to keep the white portion of the cookies a nice bright white (not yellow), it’s crucial to skip egg yolks in this recipe. Egg whites only are used instead.

Another ingredient you will want to skip is regular vanilla extract. The deep brown color will affect the final color of the white portion of the cookies.

I opted to use an extract that is usually clear (I’ve never seen one that isn’t actually): almond extract. The almond extract gives a yummy bakery flavor to these cookies.

If you don’t like almond extract, I would suggest using a clear vanilla extract.

Headshot photo of woman smiling and wearing a white dress and gold necklace.

Recipes by a Real Person in a Real Kitchen

In the age of AI-generated content, I like to share how I’ve created and tested my recipes. My recipes have been imagined, hypothesized, taste-tested, and refined by a real human (me!). I only publish recipes I think are awesome.

This recipe is a modified version of a cookie recipe from Cookies for Days–linked above and in the recipe card!

Great Things About This Recipe

  • It starts with a cake mix–so easy!
  • The cookies are extra-soft.
  • The red, white, and blue colors are perfect for patriotic holidays.
  • It’s easy to double for a crowd–just buy two cake mixes.

Ingredients in Red, White, and Blue Cookies

A few notes on some of the ingredients used in the cookies:

Unsalted Butter – I always use unsalted American butter in my recipes.

Granulated Sugar – We are going to add a few extra ingredients to the cake mix, including a little extra sugar.

Egg Whites – You will only want to use egg whites for the cookies to get a light color cookie dough. Save the yolks to use in scrambled eggs, an egg bake, or another baking recipe.

Almond Extract – Use a clear extract to flavor the cookies. You can use whichever you prefer, almond, clear vanilla, or another option. I like almond for that yummy bakery flavor!

White Boxed Cake Mix – I used a white cake mix from Aldi. It weighed 15.25 ounces. Mixes that weigh 15.5 ounces will also work. Remember, just ignore the instructions on the back of the mix!

All-Purpose Flour – I use all-purpose flour in my baking. It’s important to measure your flour correctly. Never pack flour into a measuring cup. I love using a scale for best results.

Red and Blue Food Coloring – I suggest using a gel food coloring so the coloring does not change the moisture of the dough. Liquid coloring will work in a pinch, but the dough could turn out a bit stickier.

How to Make Red, White, and Blue Cookies

Read through these tips to create the cutest cookies! While I was testing these, I figured out a few little tips that help create the best-looking cookies.

Remember! Ignore the instructions on the back of the cake mix box. We’re using the mix as the base of our cookie recipe.

Tips for Coloring the Dough

Okay, so to get a good rich blue and red color I needed a LOT of food dye. I was kind of surprised by how much actually!

For this reason, I suggest you use gel food coloring if possible. The gel colors do not affect the final texture of the cookie dough, whereas a liquid coloring will start to make the dough wetter, stickier, and harder to work with.

You also want to choose gel colors that are exactly the final shade you want. Don’t try to get a red color by using a pink food dye for instance.

For the red, I like using a no-taste red. Red coloring has a strong flavor and you can start to taste it in the final baked good if you aren’t working with a “no-taste” red.

For the blue, use a deep and dark blue. I was stuck with a lighter blue that required adding a lot. Save time and frustration and start with a deep blue!

Add enough coloring right away so you don’t need to overmix the dough adding more color over and over again.

Red, white, and blue cookies on a crinkled page of parchment.

Tips for Shaping the Cookies

These cookies look best if they have a lot of the white portion and just enough blue and red to get the idea across. You don’t want tons of blue and red because they start bleeding together and it looks unappetizing.

For the recipe I have you divide the dough in half, reserve half to be plain white, and then use the remaining half (divided in half again) for the red color and blue color.

While I used a scoop for these cookies, you can also just roll them by hand (this is great for avoiding muddying the colors). Pinch off a small piece of red, white, and blue dough and roll into a ball. Place on cookie sheets.

If you do opt to use a scoop, I suggest lining the doughs up so you can scoop across all three. Release the scoop, choose the most attractive side of the cookie and place face-up (gently re-rolling if necessary) on the cookie sheet.

Clean scoop after every 4-5 cookies to avoid muddied colors.

A stack of patriotic red, white, and blue cookies.

How to Store or Make Ahead

Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

How to Freeze

Wrap cooled cookies in plastic wrap, package in freezer bags or containers, and store in the freezer for 1-2 months.

Don’t Forget to Pin It for Later!

Swirled red, white, and blue cookies with the words, "Red, White, and Blue Cookies".

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Red, white, and blue cookies on a crinkled page of parchment.

Red, White, and Blue Cake Mix Cookies

These Red, White, and Blue Cake Mix Cookies are made with a white boxed cake mix and baking staples. They are soft, chewy, and perfect for a 4th of July party! This recipe is adapted from Karli's Tie Dye Cookies recipe from Cookies for Days.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 26 servings
Calories 131 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 3.5 ounces
  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (or use a clear vanilla extract)
  • 1 white boxed cake mix (15.25 ounces per box)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour 2.5 ounces
  • red and blue food coloring gel style is preferred

Instructions
 

  • Soften butter in the microwave until it is easily mashed with a fork, but not melted. Cream together with the sugar. Add in the egg whites one at a time, mixing until combined each time. Mix in almond extract.
  • Use a spatula to fold in the cake mix and flour into the bowl of wet ingredients. Divide dough in half and reserve half for the white portion of the cookies.
    Split the other half into two pieces and mix one half with red gel coloring and one half with blue gel coloring. Add enough coloring right away so you don't end up overmixing the dough adding more color.
  • Chill all three sections of dough for 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Shape dough into three cylinder shapes and line up in this order: red, white, blue. Use a 1.5 tablespoon (#40) or 2 tablespoon scoop to scoop cookies. Use your scoop to intentionally grab all three colors in each cookie.
    Place cookies 2” apart on pan. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until puffed in the middle, lightly crackled, and set on the edges. Cookies will set flat as they cool.

Notes

How to Get Pretty Cookies
While I used a scoop for these cookies, you can also just roll them by hand (this is great for avoiding muddying the colors). Pinch off a small piece of red, white, and blue dough and roll into a ball. Place on cookie sheets.
If you do opt to use a scoop, I suggest lining the doughs up so you can drag the scoop across all three colors. Scoop, release the scoop, choose the most attractive side of the cookie and place face-up (gently re-rolling if necessary) on the cookie sheet.
Clean scoop after every 4-5 cookies to avoid muddied colors.
How to Store or Make Ahead
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
How to Freeze
Wrap cooled cookies in plastic wrap, package in freezer bags or containers, and store in the freezer for 1-2 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 131kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 144mgPotassium: 22mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 109IUCalcium: 45mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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