Candy cane cookies
These festive candy cane cookies are made from twisting together red and white cookie dough and they make for the perfect holiday treat.
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Table of Contents
  1. Easy Candy Cane Christmas Cookies
  2. Ingredients / Shopping List
  3. Additions & Substitutions
  4. How to Make Candy Cane Cookies
  5. Important Tips for Making Candy Cane Cookies
  6. How to Store Candy Cane Cookies
  7. More Holiday Cookie Recipes
  8. Candy Cane Cookies Recipe

These festive candy cane cookies are so cute, and they make for the perfect holiday treat. They are made by twisting together red and white cookie dough to form the shape of a candy cane.

The addition of peppermint flavor in the sugar cookie dough makes these cookies not only look like a candy cane but taste like one, too!

Easy Candy Cane Christmas Cookies

There are never enough Christmas cookie recipes in our house. I love baking, especially when it comes to the holidays.

Whether it’s for our own sweet tooths at home, for a family get together, or for a cookie exchange with my friends. I don’t feel like the Christmas season is really here until I’m knee-deep in cooking supplies in my kitchen.

The recipes I get the most excited about are the ones that make the cutest cookies. That is exactly what these candy cane cookies are: cute. I love the final product, because they are so fun and festive. They are the ultimate cookie to give as a gift or trade at a cookie swap.

Best of all, they are still super easy to make. They also taste just as good as they look. So, we are winning on all accounts with these little guys. Candy cane cookies are the perfect new recipe for your Christmas baking.

Ingredients / Shopping List

  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Cream of tartar
  • Pure peppermint extract
  • Clear vanilla flavoring
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Red squeeze gel color

Additions & Substitutions

Frosting: If you’re looking to add a bit more sweetness, you can add some frosting to your cooled cookies. You can use store-bought or homemade icing.

Decorations: You can leave your cookies plain or decorate them however you like. Feel free to add things like crushed up candy cane pieces, sanding sugar, Powdered sugar, or sprinkles to your frosted or unfrosted cookies.

Gel Color: If you’d like, you can split your dough into three dough balls and add green gel coloring to one of them. That way you can add green to your candy canes as well.

How to Make Candy Cane Cookies

  1. Cream the butter for 1 ½ to 2 minutes in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the sugar and cream of tartar. Add the peppermint extract and vanilla.
  3. Reduce the mixing speed to low and add the egg. Mix until well incorporated.
  4. Slowly add the baking powder and flour (½ cup at a time.) Continue mixing until the flour is well incorporated.
  5. Divide the cookie dough into 2 equal balls. Cover one ball and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
    white and red dough to make candy cane cookies
  6. Add the red gel color to the second ball and mix the red coloring into the dough until it has a uniform color. Place the red dough in a bowl. Then, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Scoop 1/2 tablespoon from each color of the dough ball. Roll each into a tight round ball. Roll the white and red dough balls into 5 inch long ropes. Press the bottoms of the 2 ropes together. Carefully twist the ropes together. 
    roll the dough to make candy cane cookies
  9. Place the twisted rope onto the baking sheet and curve the rope tops into the candy cane crook. 
    twist the dough to shape like candy canes
  10. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  11. Bake cookies for 7 minutes.
    candy cane cookies
  12. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. 

Important Tips for Making Candy Cane Cookies

Tip 1: Adding in the peppermint extract is how the cookies will get their peppermint flavor, seemingly magically! Without it, the cookies will taste like normal sugar cookies. So, if you want to have some cookies that are regular, just leave the extract out of that batch. 

Tip 2: When rolling your dough balls and making the candy canes be sure to cover your counter or a cutting board with a sheet of parchment paper. This will keep from staining the counter or cutting board red. 

Tip 3: When rolling the ropes and creating the candy cane shapes, it is very important that your hands stay cool. You don’t want to roll them if your hands are too warm or they may lose shape.

Tip 4: Be sure to keep the ropes rounded and do not flatten them out when creating the candy cane shapes.

candy cane cookie dipped into milk

How to Store Candy Cane Cookies

Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. They will last for up to 2 weeks. For longer storage, you can place the cookies in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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3.70 from 10 votes
Candy cane cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

Serves — 30
These festive candy cane cookies are made from twisting together red and white cookie dough and they make for the perfect holiday treat.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Chill 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 37 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure peppermint extract
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons clear vanilla flavoring
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon red squeeze gel color

Instructions
 

  • Using a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer and a large mixing bowl, on medium-high speed, cream the unsalted butter for 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
  • Reduce the mixing speed to low, and add the granulated sugar, cream of tartar. Increase the mixing speed to medium and continue to mix for 2 to 3 minutes or until the butter mixture is fluffy.
  • Reduce the mixing speed to low and add the egg. Mix until well incorporated.
  • Add the peppermint extract and clear vanilla flavoring.
  • Keeping the mixer speed low, slowly add the baking powder and all-purpose flour a ½ cup at a time. Continue mixing just until the flour is well incorporated and no visible streaks of flour are showing.
  • Divide the cookie dough into 2 equal dough balls. Return 1 dough ball to the mixing bowl to be colored red. Cover the dough ball that is to be the white part of the candy cane cookie and place it in the refrigerator.
  • Add the ½ teaspoons red gel color to the dough that is left in the mixing bowl. Using the mixer on low speed, add the red coloring into the dough until it has a uniform color and no white streaks are visible. Place the red dough in a medium-size bowl and cover the red dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Just before removing the dough from the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Using a ½ tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop out the white and red dough balls. Roll each into a tight round ball, to make sure the dough rope holds its shape.
  • Cover your counter or a cutting board with a sheet of parchment paper. (This is to keep from staining the counter or cutting board red) Use your hand to roll the white and red dough balls into 5 inch long ropes. It is very important that your hands stay cool while you are rolling the ropes.
  • Lightly press the bottoms of the 2 ropes together. Carefully and with light pressure, twist the ropes together. Be sure to keep the ropes rounded and do not flatten them out.
  • Place the twisted rope onto the prepared baking sheet and curve the rope tops into the candy cane crook. Repeat the dough ball and twisting process with the remaining dough. Place the cookies 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 7 minutes.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

Jenn’s Notes

Tip 1: Adding in the peppermint extract is how the cookies will get their peppermint flavor, seemingly magically! Without it, the cookies will taste like normal sugar cookies. So, if you want to have some cookies that are regular, just leave the extract out of that batch. 
Tip 2: When rolling your dough balls and making the candy canes be sure to cover your counter or a cutting board with a sheet of parchment paper. This will keep from staining the counter or cutting board red. 
Tip 3: When rolling the ropes and creating the candy cane shapes, it is very important that your hands stay cool. You don’t want to roll them if your hands are too warm or they may lose shape.
Tip 4: Be sure to keep the ropes rounded and do not flatten them out when creating the candy cane shapes.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 197IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

These candy cane cookies are so fun. They are the perfect cookie for the holidays. Whether you make them for your own home to enjoy or bring them to a gathering or cookie exchange, they are sure to be a delicious hit, that will be loved by all!

Christmas Cookbook promo photo
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank You FOR Sharing 👍🏼♥️SO 🥰 SWEET ❗️WOULD Be GREAT FOR decorating 👏🏼👏🏼👍🏼And Thank You FOR Recipe Revision 😊G-d♥️Bless

  2. 1 star
    I added an egg but this dough is incredibly crumbly and dry. I’m so disappointed that I wasted my time and money on this lousy recipe.

    1. Same here. Dry as can be. And right before Christmas too. Glad I’m not the only one with this outcome. I was beginning to take the crumbly, dryness personally😔 seems this recipe needs more than an egg to correct it.

  3. 2 stars
    This dough turned out very dry. I had to add more butter. I’d suggest Betty Crockers classic recipe and substitute the almond for peppermint. The lack of detail in the instructions is also a little amiss.

  4. 5 stars
    This was my all time favorite cookie to eat. I usually put almond flavoring in the regular dough and peppermint in the pink dough. It’s a good basic recipe for small balls of dough pressed and baked as they fit nicely in the mouth for a quick bite “on the run”.

  5. Am I crazy or do the instructions just end at chilling? Like others have said, the dough is incredibly dry and there are no cooking instructions on the recipe card. My dough is in the fridge now, so I guess I’ll figure it out. This site is so full of ads and pop-up videos that it’s really hard to scroll through the SEO blather to get to baking directions (if they’re even there).

    1. I am so sorry for all of your troubles. For some reason the end of the recipe got cut off. I just added it back in. Again sorry for the inconvenience.