Candy Cane Cookie Recipe With Actual Mint Flavor!

Christmas is the best time of year to bake, and I especially love making a large variety of Christmas cookies! I have several favorite Christmas cookie recipes, and this one is definitely earning a spot on the list this year! These have the delicious peppermint flavor of an actual candy cane, and they are a fun option of cookie to bake with kids because shaping them into the candy canes is so much fun. The best part about these candy cane cookies is there are no cookie cutters needed. You can find all of my resources for celebrating Advent and Christmas with your family here. Ok, let’s dive into this candy cane cookie recipe.  

I just love the legend of the candy cane! It’s so meaningful, and I love tying as many Christmas symbols and traditions into the true meaning of the season as possible for my kids. The candy cane can be turned around as “J is for Jesus”, but it can also be right side up as a Bishop’s crozier or as a shepherd’s staff, which is what the crozier is based on. I love the candy cane as a symbol for St. Nicholas, and we always get candy canes in our shoes on St. Nichola’s feast day, which is December 6. This year we wanted to bake some special candy cane cookies for St. Nicholas day! 

For me, if you’re going to bake candy cane cookies, they should absolutely have a mint flavor! I mean, they are candy canes after all. A hint of peppermint extract is just the key to make these cookies as magical and delicious as candy canes themselves. 

And not only are these cookies peppermint flavored, but they are topped with actual candy canes as an ingredient as well. Does it get any better than this?! 

Let’s dive into what ingredients you’re going to need to bake your very own minty candy cane cookies this Christmas season.

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Candy Cane Cookie Dough Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. Peppermint Extract
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 Cup of softened butter
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour

Also Needed For Candy Cane Cookie Recipe

Rolling these cookies into the actual shape of candy canes is a very fun part of baking these, and I am going to help you with some specific tips to make your candy cane shapes come out beautiful!

How To Make Candy Cane Cookies

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar. Then add the egg and the peppermint and vanilla extracts. Mix this with an electric mixer until it’s fully mixed. 

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and powdered sugar.

Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture, and mix well. 

Take your dough out of the bowl and form it into a log. You’re then going to divide your dough log into 2 equal halves like so.

Next, take one side of your dough log and add some red food gel to the dough. I like to use a toothpick to transfer it. Again, y’all, I can’t say it enough… I always prefer food color gel to that liquid stuff! This will produce a real red for you rather than a pink. 

Fold your dough over the food color gel and knead the dough until the it’s a consistent red for you. If the dough needs more coloring, you can add more and knead it again until you get what you’re looking for. 

Now you should have 1/2 of your dough the original white of the recipe, and half of it red. Make both of these into balls, and wrap them in plastic wrap. 

These now need to chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight works as well. 

How To Make Candy Cane Cookies Topping

I think this topping on these cookies really takes them to the next level! Start by crushing your 2 candy canes.

An easy way to do this:

  • unwrap the candy canes
  • put them in a sealed freezer bag
  • set a towel on the counter
  • put the bag on the towel
  • gently crush the candy canes through the bag using a hammer

My kids love doing this part! You could probably use a can of vegetables but my kids loved using the hammer. We’re classy like that.

In a small bowl, mix together your crushed candy canes along with your 2 Tbsp. of sugar.

Set this bowl of the topping aside. You’ll need it soon!

How To Form The Candy Cane Cookies

This part is so fun and I would encourage you to let the kids help, even if it means the candy canes aren’t shaped perfectly! I am going to show you step by step how to make these really beautiful though. I seriously think these are so cute when they’re all finished!

Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350°F. 

Remove your dough from the refrigerator. You’re going to take your teaspoon and scoop one tsp of each color of dough for each cookies. 

Use your fingertips to roll each scoop into a coil. Go ahead and use the word coil with your kids rather than snake or rope lol. These should be approximately 5 inches long each. 

When you have one red and one white, you’re ready to twist them together! Exciting! Once they’re twisted together, shape them like a candy cane and place them on your baking sheet. 

I like to line our cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil before baking for easy clean up. This is especially important for this recipe as the candy cane bits can be a mess! If you use foil, be sure to turn it shiny side down. 

Bake your candy cane cookies for 8-10 minutes.

Adding The Candy Cane Cookie Topping

When you get your candy cane cookies out of the oven, you’ll want to sprinkle them with the topping mixture immediately! Then allow the cookies to sit on the cookie sheet for about 3 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Switch out your parchment paper or foil between batches of the cookies so the candy cane bits don’t melt. 

These delicious and adorable Christmas cookies can be stored in an air tight container and are particularly delicious when served with hot cocoa! 

Be sure to check out my other resources for celebrating St. Nicholas day with your family here.

Even More Christmas Cookie Recipes

Check out my favorite cookie recipe of all time! These things are so delicious and addictive!

For more meaningful cookies, don’t miss these easy to decorate nativity cookies.

nativity cookies

This chocolate cookie recipe with cherries is to die for! I also love the colors of this cookie. 

You can also find my favorite cookie icing recipe here with my easy angel cookies.

You can find all of my resources for celebrating Advent and Christmas with your family here.

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