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A baking tray with multiple candy cane cookies.

Candy Cane Cookies

Soft but with a crisp exterior, these Candy Cane cookies are a classic holiday cookies. Flavored with peppermint, these cookies will remind you of the candies!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 32 servings
Calories 126kcal


  • Mixer
  • Baking Sheet


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (360g)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened (227g)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 3 tablespoons crushed peppermint candies


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and peppermint, stopping to scrape down the bowl once. With the mixer on low speed, add in the flour mixture. Beat just until the flour is combined. (If a little bit remains at the bottom of the bowl, remove the bowl and knead by hand a few times until incorporated.)
  • Remove half of the dough from the bowl. Add red food coloring and mix until well combined. (If using liquid, add about 1 teaspoon. If using gel, add a few drops. Add more if the color isn’t rich enough.) Wrap each dough separately in plastic wrap and press into a 1-inch thick disk. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm to the touch. (Dough can be chilled at this stage for up to 3 days.)
  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Cut dough into 1-inch cubes. Roll each cube into a ball. Lightly flour the surface and gently roll the dough balls into a 5-inch-long rope by rolling the ball up and down on the counter with your palm. Place the ropes side by side and carefully twist them together. Curve one end down an inch or so to create the handle of the candy cane. Place on the prepared baking sheets 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies appear dry. Immediately sprinkle the cookies with crushed peppermint. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Room temperature butter and egg will mix more evenly into each other. Place your egg into a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes. Doing so will quickly bring it to room temperature if you have forgotten to take it out of your fridge beforehand.
  • Use pure vanilla extract and not artificial extract for these candy cane peppermint cookies for the best flavor.
  • Make sure the baking powder is not expired.
  • Adding too much flour will lead to the candy cane shaped cookies being dense. The best and easiest way to measure the flour is by using a kitchen scale. If you don’t have one, then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it.
  • Don’t let the cookie dough sit out for too long before rolling out. Keep it covered in some plastic wrap, so it doesn’t dry out. The cookie dough is easier to roll when chilled and makes it easier to shape it into candy canes without cracking.
  • Twist together one cookie at a time instead of rolling all the white and red dough out first. The cookie dough will be dry by the time the doughs are all rolled and ready to be twisted.
  • If the cookie dough starts to crack as you roll it, put it back in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes so the dough firms up more.


Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg