Christmas Candy Canes Cookies Recipe

This Christmas Candy Canes Cookies Recipe is a delightful and fun classic treat. It’s made with simple ingredients and a basic cookie dough flavored with vanilla and peppermint. The dough is colored, twisted into candy cane shapes, and baked. Festive cookies that are perfect for a cookie platter.

Tis the season to indulge in delightful treats and festive flavors, and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season than with this charming and nostalgic  Christmas Candy Canes Cookies Recipe. So grab your apron and a cup of hot cocoa and uncover the delightful secrets behind these iconic treats.

This is the time of year when these red and white cookies make their appearance in kitchens around the world, and after the first bite, they will leave you craving more of this timeless holiday classic. Making cookies is a holiday tradition and a chance to share the season’s joys with loved ones. Young and old can join in the kitchen, make memories, and enjoy the holiday season together.

Peppermint always shows up during the holiday season. For another easy peppermint treat, try my White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge. It’s fast and easy and so delish.

Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies on a baking sheet with text overlay.

Why This Recipe Is Fabulous

Candy Cane Cookies are fabulous because they combine creativity, delight, taste, and tradition, bringing a touch of magic to the holiday season. These are a must to have on your holiday baking list and are nothing short of amazing.

Timeless Tradition: For generations, Candy Cane Cookies have been loved during the holidays. It is a cherished tradition that has stood the test of time and is a beautiful way to embrace the season. Leave a few out on Christmas Eve for Santa.

Perfect Balance of Flavors: These candy cane cookies offer the perfect balance of vanilla and peppermint and make a unique and tasty treat.

Fun to Make: Twisted candy canes is a fun activity involving the kids in baking—a great way to get the kids in the holiday spirit.

Great for Gifting:  Christmas candy cane cookies make a great gift. Package them in a holiday cookie tin or clear cellophane bags with a festive ribbon and a gift tag. 

Nostalgic: Candy Cane Cookies evoke a sense of nostalgia during the holiday season and bring back memories of my childhood days. These cookies were always on our baking list and so much fun to make and eat. You’ll always find them on Christmas cookie platters around the kitchen.

Ingredients Needed

This is a simple cookie dough, and these ingredients result in delicious Candy Cane Cookies with an iconic appearance and festive flavor. See the printable recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients and amounts.

These ingredients are straightforward and can be found in most grocery stores. 

Candy Cane Cookies ingredients needed with text overlay.

Salted Butter – Salted butter adds richness and flavor to the cookies. Make sure it is at room temperature before mixing.

Powdered Sugar – This is also known as confectioners’  or icing sugar. This gives the dough sweetness and makes a delicate texture.

Egg – Egg is used as a binder. I prefer to use room-temperature eggs when I bake.

Vanilla Extract– Vanilla adds a delightful flavoring to the cookies.

Peppermint Extract – Peppermint extract gives these cookies their distinctive peppermint flavor.

All Purpose Flour – Flour provides structure to the cookie dough and ensures it holds its shape while baking.

Red Food Coloring or Gel Food Coloring – This gives the cookies their iconic color. The red coloring is used to achieve the signature red and white striped appearance. Use as much as you need to achieve the desired color you like. Use a little and add to it as needed.

Crushed Candy Canes – These are optional but popular additions used as a decorative topping. Add to the top of the cookies as soon as you remove them from the oven.

Granulated Sugar – This is optional but can be added as a topping to the cookies once you remove them from the oven. The sugar adds a nice texture.

How To Make This Christmas Candy Cane Cookies Recipe

For complete step-by-step instructions, see the printable recipe card below. This easy candy cane cookie recipe is perfect for beginner bakers, makes festive cookies, and is a great recipe overall.

  1. Mix the Dough.
  2. Chill the Dough.
  3. Roll out the dough and twist it into shape.
  4. Bake and decorate.

 These are the best Christmas cookies and always satisfy that sweet spot with the first bite. 

Steps for making candy cane cookies with text overlay.

A Great Activity To Do With Kids

Baking Candy Cane Cookies is a wonderful activity to do with kids and get them involved with the holiday season. Introduce them to tradition and allow them to get as creative as they like with their candy cane sugar cookies. If desired, they can mix red and green dough instead of the iconic red and white dough. But, most importantly, this is a beautiful way to spend quality time as a family and make lasting memories. The candy canes do not have to be perfect, and no two are the same. Make this a tradition and part of your holiday parties, and use this recipe for Christmas cookie exchanges. It’s a great way to celebrate the Christmas season.

Recipe Tips and Variations 

Creating the best peppermint candy cane cookies is a delight and part of our holiday baking season. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you have the best holiday cookies.

Recipe Tips: 

  • Use quality ingredients: Quality ingredients will make a difference in the taste and texture of your cookies.
  • Chill the Dough: Chill the dough after preparing it. Chill for at least an hour or overnight. This will make the dough easier to handle and help the cookies hold their shape.  This is an important step and should not be skipped.
  • Divide the Dough Evenly: Try to divide the dough evenly when separating into two portions. This will ensure you have enough of each color when making cookies.
  • Food Coloring: Use enough food coloring or food gel to achieve a vibrant color. Use until you are satisfied with the desired color and red dough. A little food gel goes a long way.
  • Rolling the Dough: Roll out each color into about 5-inch ropes, then twist the ropes together, gently rolling the two colors as one, and bend the top to make a candy cane shape. Pinch the ends together to keep them from unraveling. 
  • Avoid Overbaking: Remove the cookies from the oven when they turn light brown. Cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Adding Crushed Candy Canes: Adding crushed canes and sugar to the top of the candy canes is optional. Add the peppermint candies if you like the extra peppermint taste and crunch. If not, omit that step.

Recipe Variations: 

These variations remind you to have fun and let your creativity shine. If you decide to vary from the original recipe, I’m sure you’ll create a delicious and visually appealing cookie that’s sure to be a hit for your holiday table.

  • Colored Sugar of Sprinkles: Add some colored sugar or festive sprinkles to the top of the cookies after removing them from the oven.
  • More Peppermint Flavor: Feel free to add more peppermint flavor to the recipe for a more minty taste.
  • Add some Nuts: Add crushed pecans into the dough before chilling and rolling into ropes.
Candy Cane Cookies on a wire baking rack with text overlay.

Recipe FAQs

Can I Make This Dough Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can make this dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. 

How Do I Prevent My Dough From Spreading Too Much?

Chilling the dough is essential to prevent the excessive spreading of your cookies. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour or longer before rolling and shaping into cookies.

What Can I Do With Leftover Cookies?

If you find yourself with too many leftover cookies, you can use them as crumbs over ice cream or add them to the top of yogurt. Leftover cookies are great with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate any time of the day.

Candy Cane Cookies on a baking sheet with text overlay.

More Delicious Cookies

M&M Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

More Holiday Dessert Recipes

White Chocolate Christmas Crack

Oreo Balls

Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge

Peanut Butter Balls

Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies

Christmas Candy Canes Cookie Recipe

Gina Abernathy
Christmas Candy Canes Cookies Recipe is a delightful and fun classic treat. Festive cookies that are perfect for a cookie platter.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 20 cookies


  • 2 sticks salted butter (1 cup), softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring or small amount of red food gel
  • 3 candy canes crushed, optional
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar optional


  • Place softened butter and sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed and beat until light and fluffy 2-3 minutes.
  • Add egg, vanilla, peppermint extract and mix well to combine.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add flour slowly, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Remove half of the dough from the bowl. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
  • Place the red food coloring or food gel in the bowl with the remaining dough. Mix on low and incorporate into the dough fully. Add food coloring or gel until you get the desired red dough.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
  • In a small bowl, combine crushed peppermint and sugar. Set aside.
  • Line 2 cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and pinch off about 1 tablespoon of each color. Keep the colors separate. Roll each color into a dough ball in the palm of your hand. Roll each dough ball on a clean surface, making a long snake about 5 inches long. Then, place a white piece and a red piece side by side and twist, gently rolling the two colors as one, pinching the tops, and forming into a candy cane.
  • Continue to roll and gently twist to use all of the dough and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the white begins to turn light brown.
  • Remove from the oven, and if using crushed candy canes and sugar, sprinkle over the top immediately as they come out of the oven.
  • Cool completely on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack.
    Store in an airtight container or zip top bag in a single layer. Separate the layers with parchment paper if desired.
    Store at room temperature for up to a week.
Keyword Christmas Candy Canes Cookies Recipe

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