Christmas Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies!

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These Candy Cane Cookies are a favorite Christmas cookie recipe!

A soft sugar cookie dough is flavored with peppermint extract twisted into a festive candy cane shape.

Perfect for holiday gatherings, these cookies are sure to bring smiles and spread cheer!

scattered baked candy cane cookies on a white plate

Candy Cane Cookies are a Christmas tradition, one I remember making with my grandma, and they’re fun to make, too! We think of them like snowflakes, with each cooking having its own pretty shape and design.

  • They’re peppermint flavor, but you can use other extracts like almond or leave them vanilla flavored.
  • For a fun twist – dip the end in melted white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
a glass bowl with butter, sugar and egg
steps for making candy cany cookies on a cutting board

How to Make Candy Cane Cookies

  1. Prepare the dough as directed in the recipe below. Divide the dough into two and color half of it with red food coloring.
  2. Roll a teaspoon of each color into a rope and combine and twist 2 ropes to make the candy canes.
  3. Bake and enjoy!

Fun Variations

  • You can also color some of the dough green and add it to the candy canes.
  • Color the whole batch green and form them into wreaths.
  • You can swap the peppermint extract or even add a little bit of orange or lemon zest into the dough.
unbaked candy cane cookies on a parchment paper lined pan
Baked candy cane cookies on a parchment paper lined pan
Baked candy cane cookies on a cooling rack

More Favorite Christmas Cookies

scattered baked candy cane cookies on a white plate

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Candy Cane Cookies

Traditional candy cane shaped sugar cookies are the perfect addition to your holiday baking.

Prep Time 1 hour

Cook Time 11 minutes

Chilling Time 2 hours

Total Time 3 hours 11 minutes

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon red food coloring
  • In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, peppermint extract and vanilla. Add in the flour and salt and mix well.

  • Divide the dough in half and add red food coloring to half the dough; knead to combine. Shape both colors of dough into a 6-inch disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large cookie sheet with silicone cookie mats or parchment paper.

  • To shape the dough, roll 1 teaspoon of white dough on the counter to form a 4-inch rope, and repeat with 1 teaspoon of red dough. If the ropes are really soft, they can be refrigerated for about 10 minutes while rolling out more ropes.

  • Place the red and white ropes side by side and gently roll together to form one rope. Gently twist the dough and continue twisting and rolling to form a 5-inch rope. If the rope is longer, gently nudge it back to 5-inches long without squishing the dough.

  • Place the rope on the prepared baking sheet and curve the end to form a candy cane shape. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing the cookies about 1-inch apart.

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 11 to 13 minutes or until cookies just barely begin to brown on the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack.

If using gel coloring, you will need less than liquid food coloring.

The dough is soft and may feel delicate, if it becomes too soft to handle, refrigerate the dough.

I find the best method for preparing these cookies is to roll out the white ropes and then the red ropes and finally roll them all together.

If desired, the peppermint extract can be left out of this recipe or it can be replaced with almond extract.

Store these cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days on the counter or freeze them for up to 4 months.

Calories: 83 | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 149IU | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cookies, Dessert

Cuisine American

© Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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