clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
candy cane cookies on wire rack (1)

Candy Cane Cookies Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Mimi
  • Total Time: 2 hours 33 minutes
  • Yield: 36 cookies (approx.)


Make these fun and festive candy cane shaped cookies this holiday season. These buttery treats taste like a mixture between Danish cookies and shortbread, with the same melt-in-your-mouth goodness that we know and love!


  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon and level)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • red liquid or gel food coloring (* see notes)


  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer fitted with the beater attachment or with a wooden spoon by hand, cream together the butter and sugar until well combined and slightly pale in color. It should take about 2 minutes on medium speed with a mixer or 5 minutes by hand.
  3. Add the egg, and peppermint and vanilla extracts to the butter mixture. Mix together until combined. Add in your dry ingredients and mix until your dough starts to stick together.
  4. Portion out half of the dough, and wrap in plastic wrap. Set aside. Dye the remaining half of dough red (start with about 1/4 a teaspoon of gel food coloring or 1 teaspoon liquid, and gradually add more if needed, until you reach a bright and vibrant shade of red). Wrap the red dough in plastic wrap as well. Chill both halves of the dough in your fridge for 2 hours, or until firmed up.
    Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
  5. Take your 2 doughs out of the fridge, and unwrap. Pinch off a piece of white dough and a piece of red dough (about 1 tablespoon each). Roll each color dough into a 5 inch rope. Twist the two colored ropes of dough to create a spiral, and curve the top to create a hook. (See above for photos)
  6. Transfer the shaped candy cane cookies to your parchment lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining dough. Make sure to leave about 1 inch of space between each cookie to allow for expansion in the oven.
    You'll need to bake these cookies in 2 or 3 batches (depending on the size of your baking sheet), so keep any unused dough stored in the fridge. If baking your batches on the same baking sheet, then allow the pan to cool completely to room temperature before adding your next round of cookies onto it.
  7. Bake your cookies in the center of a preheated 350°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned along the edges and bottoms. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.


* Gel food coloring is much stronger than liquid food coloring. So you would need less food coloring if using gel and more if using liquid. It's best to just eyeball it, but I usually end up needing about a 1/4 teaspoon when using gel or 1 teaspoon when using liquid. But that can change depending on the quality of the food coloring.

The color doesn't change much after baking, so the vibrancy you see in the raw dough is what you'll get after the cookies are baked. 

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Bake Time: 10 minutes