If offered a plate full of chewy Rainbow Cake Mix Cookies, which color would you reach for first? Though the cookies all have the same creamy, white chocolate taste, favorite colors guide our choice. As the name suggests, these cookies are a snap to prepare using a cake mix. Adding instant pudding mix keeps Rainbow Cake Mix Cookies soft and chewy for at least 10 days! Bright and colorful, these cookies fit the theme for my next military care package.
Most military care packages are, of course, sent by family and friends of deployed military. An internet search for military care package themes, brings up dozens of creative ideas from artistically talented people. However, many of the ideas assume knowledge of the person receiving the box. Some of the themes are rather personal. As a Soldier’s Angel, I send out monthly care packages to men and women I have never met and in most cases know almost nothing about.
The theme for this care package is Getting to Know You: “Let’s Play 20 Questions”. Do kids still play “20 Questions”? I played the game as a child and my children played it too, especially on road trips. One player thinks of a person, place, or thing, and the other player gets 20 yes/no questions to figure out the answer. In this care package game, I wrote 20 questions on index cards and attached each card to an item in the box, symbolic of that question. The questions were designed to give me some insight into my new soldier’s interests and favorites so that I can “customize” the packages I will be sending to him over the next 7 months of his deployment.
You can see my list of questions here. I tried to include items in the care package that went with each question. For example, the question taped to the bag of Rainbow Cake Mix Cookies read, “What is your favorite color?” The question on the bag of Yin Yang Slice-and-Bake Cookies read, “Do you like chocolate or vanilla?” I included pens and an envelope addressed back to me. My hope is that my new soldier will answer the 20 questions on the note cards and then pop the note cards into the envelope for mailing.
Part 1 Care Package Contents: After gluing colored paper onto the box flaps, I relied on computer clip art for the question marks and printed out “Let’s Play 20 questions” labels.
The box is filled with goodies symbolic of the questions: puzzle books, sports magazines, candy, cookies, microwave popcorn, freezer pops, playing cards, stationary notes, tooth paste and tooth brush, coffee, tea, pretzels, and canned hot cheese dip.
Part 2 Circle Sugar Cookies: Rainbow Cake Mix Cookies are by far the easiest circle cookies I have included in a military care package. Using prepared mixes these cookies whip up in minutes and the preservatives in the mixes keeps these cookies fresh upon arrival! For extra bling (I have previously admitted a sprinkle addiction) sparkle sugar makes Rainbow Cake Mix Cookies stand out. Did you know that Bob’s Red Mill makes sparkle sugar? I stumbled upon it in the baking aisle of my supermarket and have used those sparkling sugar crystals to turn ordinary cookies into gems ever since. It makes great homemade colored sparkle sugar too!
Part 3 New Recipe: Yin Yang Slice-and-Bake Cookies are the new recipe included in this care package. They are my favorite desert safe cookie recipe so far. I was amazed at the richness of both flavors in this cookie. Yin Yang Slice-and-Bake Cookies are crunchy cookies that are simultaneously very vanilla and intensely chocolate.
Part 4 Other Recipe Ideas: Other Monday Box recipes that would be great in a “Getting to Know You” care package include these travel worthy treats.
Chewy White Chocolate Lemon Bars
You can read more about desert safe ingredients and find an index of all of the desert safe recipes on The Monday Box by clicking here.
Rainbow Cake Mix Cookies for Military Care Package #23
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1 box instant vanilla or white chocolate pudding
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup butter flavored vegetable shortening melted
- Gel food coloring
- ¼ cup Sparkling sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Microwave the shortening to melt. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cake mix and instant pudding powder. Add the eggs and melted shortening , mixing until combined and a smooth dough forms.
- This recipe makes enough dough for 3 cookies in 6 colors (plus 2 extra). Use a small 1 tablespoon scoop to place three balls of dough in each of 6 small bowls. Add 2 drops of gel food coloring to each bowl. Mix the coloring into the dough with a spoon or with your hands until each section of dough is evenly colored.
- Use the small scoop to portion the dough, then roll the dough in your palm to form a ball.
- Gently press the top of each dough ball into sparkling sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet at least 2” apart. The cookies will spread and flatten while baking.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Lighter colors make get areas of golden brown on top.
- Cool for about 10 minutes (until firm) before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for at least 10 days.
I will let you know if my care package idea works. Hopefully I will learn a little about Soldier L. and can fill his future care packages with whatever he needs and enjoys!
I was wanting to make these for Christmas, one batch all red with white choc chips and one batch green with white choc chips, how much gel food coloring should I use for each batch considering I’m doing the whole batch one color? And should I follow these same instructions and just add my choc chips before rolling into balls? Thank you in advance
Hi Kimbi! I would add the food coloring gel just a few drops at a time, mixing them in until you got the depth of color you want. Red will probably take more coloring to get a deeper shade. Sorry I can't give an exact number but it will probably take up to 6 drops depending on the brand. The chips get mixed in last, after the dough is formed. If you want the chips to show, i would stick a few onto the top of the dough ball before baking. 🙂 Have fun! I hope you will let me know how your Christmas cookies turn out!
i was also thinking that you could use a cherry or red velvet cake mix for your red cookies and then would have to add very little additional color, if at all!
What a very special box of cookies, filled with so much love, not to mention fabulous cookies! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
Oh goodness reading your list of questions made me tear up a little by the time I got to the last one. I'm not sure why - maybe a combo of how thoughtful you are or thinking of these soldiers so far away without the comforts of home. You have to be making a big difference in their lives. I would go right for the blue cookies - these are so pretty and I bet they're delicious too.
My kids would love these cookies. I will have to make them soon. Thanks for sharing.
The Monday Box
Thank you, Charlene! These cookies are so easy to make, your kids can make them themselves (with supervision)! Enjoy!
Made these cookies today and they are yummy. I used pumpkin spice jello pudding and they turned out wonderful. I was making these for the Kairos, which is a prison ministry, I hope they get a blessing...
The Monday Box
How wonderful, Maratha, that you are sharing your home-baked love with the prison ministry! I am delighted that you made the cookies and thought they tasted good. I love the chewiness that the pudding mix gives the cookies. Pumpkin spice pudding sounds great!
I think I would go for the orange cookies first. That list of questions would also be great for a round of speed dating !!
The Monday Box
Blue food is weird, but it is my favorite color, so I would probably go for blue. I thought of the questions as kind of speed dating between a soldier and a care package! 😉
Lokness @ The Missing Lokness
Never ever thought of adding pudding into cake mix. Love that the pudding helps to keep the cookies chewy. These cookies are so colorful and they will sure cheer up Soldier L. 20 questions sound like a great way to get to know your soldier, hopefully you will get a reply soon! 😉
The Monday Box
Thanks, Lokness! Some cake mixes advertise that they contain pudding for moistness. Adding extra to the cookies keeps them chewy a long time. I haven't heard from Soldier L yet, but I have my fingers crossed! 🙂
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
Beautiful cookies Wendy. What a fun way to get to know your new soldier. The colors really are lovely!
The Monday Box
Thanks, Tricia! I don't know if the 20 questions game will receive any answers, but it was fun to put together and hopefully was fun to receive. 🙂