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 orange or leave them vanilla flavored.
  • Kids love the festive look of these cookies. They are as fun to make as they are to eat!
  • A cookie tray just isn’t the same without these nostalgic Candy Cane Cookies!

How to Make Candy Cane Cookies

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

Fun Variations

  • Color some of the dough green and add it to the candy canes.
  • Color the whole batch green and form them into wreaths.
  • For a fun twist, dip the end in melted white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes!
  • Mix chocolate chips into the cookie dough for a delightful chocolatey twist.
  • Add ground cinnamon to the dough for a warm and cozy flavor.

More Favorite Christmas Cookies

Did your guests love these Candy Cane Cookies? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

scattered baked candy cane cookies on a white plate
5 from 19 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Candy Cane Cookies

Traditional candy cane shaped sugar cookies with a hint of peppermint are the perfect addition to your holiday baking!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings 40 cookies


  • 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 teaspoons red food coloring or red gel, see note


  • In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and powdered 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 them 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.
5 from 19 votes

Nutrition Information

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
twisted peppermint Candy Cane Cookies on a plate with a title
Candy Cane Cookies treats on a plate with writing
peppermint Candy Cane Cookies on a plate with writing
Candy Cane Cookies on a cooling rack and plated with a title


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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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Recipe Rating


  1. Absolutely Love ❤️ Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies Recipe From Holly!!! Looks Absolutely Delicious To Eat For Dessert After Dinner!!! Red Or Green Food Coloring & Holly Shows You How Make These Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies!!! Most Definitely Going Make These Cookies For Christmas & Any Day Of The Year!!! Thank.You Holly For Dinner & Dessert Recipes They All Look Absolutely Awesome & Delicious To Eat Any Day Of The Week!!!5 stars

  2. These are delicious and so beautiful, but I haven’t made them in years simply because they are so fragile
    I wish I could find a recipe that yields a sturdier candy cane cookie.

    1. I haven’t tried it and this may change the consistency of the cookie. Let us know how it works out for you!

  3. These turned out really cute. I ended up being too impatient to make the entire batch into candy canes but it made some cute pinwheel cookies as well!5 stars

  4. My candy canes did not look quite as professional as the pictures, but the cookies are so yummy! I love that the peppermint isn’t too overpowering.5 stars