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Classic Candy Cane Cookies

Perhaps, the festive look of classic Christmas candy cane cookies is what you need to bring on the holiday cheer. Have you made these cookies? Add them to your holiday cookie boxes for a splash of color and peppermint flavor.

Baked cookies stacked on a white plate.



  • All-purpose flour
  • Corn starch
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Peppermint Extract
  • Coarse Sanding Sugar (optional, use granulated sugar instead)
  • Vanilla Sugar – I love using vanilla sugar, it contributes to even more flavorful cookie profile, ( optional but recommended)
Bowls with cookie dough ingredients.


Prepare cookie dough and divide it in half (steps 1-8).

Teal mixing bowl with cookie dough.


Color one half with gel red food coloring. You’ll need about 1/2 teaspoon of coloring (steps 1-6).

Mixing bowl with a red cookie dough.


With a cookie scoop (1 1/2 inch measure) measure soft cookie dough into equal portions. Cover well with a food wrap and chill for 1 to 2 hours, until firm (steps 1-4).

A cookie scoop filled with cookie dough.
Red and vanilla cookie dough balls on a parchment paper.


Shape each chilled piece of cookie dough into a snake, about 6-8 inches long. Brush a small amount of egg white or water just on the inside of one of the cookie snakes. This ensures cookie dough will stick together. Gently press snakes together, care not to press too hard you don’t want to misshape the logs (steps 1-4).

Slowly twist the cookie logs and shape each intertwined log into a striped candy cane cookie (steps 5-8).

Hand twisting two cookie snakes into a candy cane shape.


Carefully place shaped candy cane cookies onto a baking sheet, lined with parchment, silicone baking mat or perforated mat (steps 1-2). Brush the top with a well-whisked egg white, and sprinkle with a generous amount of coarse sanding sugar mixed with Vanilla sugar.

Steps on how to shape cookies.
Shaped cookies on a baking sheet.
Shaped cookies sprinkled with coarse sugar.

Bake cookies at 350F (180C) for 10-11 minutes, just until the edges start turning golden.

Baking sheet with cookie in the oven.

Allow baked cookies to cool on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Baked cookies on a baking sheet lined with perforated mat.

Underneath the sugary crunchy top hides soft interior. Nibble on candy cane cookies with a hot cup of cocoa.

A cookie on top of a hot cocoa mug.

Candy Cane Cookies

Recipe for classic Candy Cane Cookies. Recipe yields about 20 medium size candy cane cookies
1 serving: 2 cookies.
Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword candy cane cookies, classic candy cane cookies, peppermint candy cane cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling 1 hour
Servings 10 servings
Author Hani


Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup room temperature unsalted butter (2 sticks,226 grams)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar (175-200 grams)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp Peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • cup all-purpose flour ( (375 grams)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp red gel food coloring


  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp coarse sanding sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar


Cookie Dough

  • Into a mixing bowl sift all-purpose flour (2½ cups, 375 grams)), cornstarch (1/4 cup), baking powder (3/4 teaspoon), and salt (1/2 teaspoon).
    On medium-high speed, beat room temperature butter (1 cup, 226 grams) with granulated sugar (3/4 cup to 1 cup, 175 grams to 200 grams) until fluffy and pale in color, about 3-5 minutes.
    Beat in one whole large egg and mix for about 30 seconds. Then beat in peppermint extract (1 teaspoon) and vanilla extract (1 teaspoon).
    On low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture. Cookie dough is soft and somewhat sticky.

Color Cookie Dough

  • Divide cookie dough in half and color one half with red gel food coloring.
    With a 1½ tablespoon measure cookie scoop divide red and vanilla cookie dough into small cookie balls. Cover and chill until firm, about 1-2 hours.

Shape Candy Canes

  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
    Dust your work surface with a little bit of flour, don't use too much. Shape red and white pieces of dough into snakes about 6-8 inches long. Brush the inside of one of the snakes with a little bit of egg white wash. Gently press snakes together. Carefully twist two snakes together to create a classic candy cane pattern.
    Place the red-white snakes onto a baking sheet and shape each snake into a candy cane.


  • Lightly brush each cookie with a well-whisked egg white, don't pool it around the cookies. Generously sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar mixed with vanilla sugar. If you don't have vanilla sugar, skip it.
    Bake cookies in the preheated oven at 350F (180C) for 10-11 minutes until just lightly golden around the edges. Let cool before handling. Store in an airtight container.

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