Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Today Christy’s mama shares her recipe for Candy Cane Cookies!

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

A Memorable Way to Crush The Candy Canes!

These are the cookies that Christy remembers us making from her childhood.  I think what she remembers most is the way that I crushed the peppermint candy cane.  Usually I bought one of the large peppermint sticks, put it into a double layered plastic bag, went out in the driveway, and ran over it with the car.  I still remember them all standing on the porch watching to let me know if I had hit it or not.  Each time I would run over it backwards and forwards and then get out to check it.  If it needed a little more crushing, I’d keep doing that until it was a fine powder.  Now I realize that I could have just hit it with a hammer but the kids enjoyed it more with the car method.

Now let’s make these cookies. This is a classic recipe that has stood the test of time and you may be surprised to find that these cookies are a special favorite of Santa’s elves! See the bottom of my post for proof :).

ingredients for candy cane cookies

The ingredients for these Cookies are:


  • Shortening or Coconut Oil (Refined has very little coconut flavor, but if you like coconut, get unrefined as it has lots of coconut flavor)
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla
  • Peppermint Extract
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Candy Canes
  • Red Food Coloring or a healthier option Beet Root powder

How To Make Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Cream butter, shortening and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Add egg, vanilla and peppermint extract.  Mix.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Stir flour and salt into batter mixture and combine well.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Divide in dough in half into two bowls.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Stir red food coloring or beet root powder into dough in one of the bowls.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Scoop dough into one teaspoon portions.

Instructions on Making Candy Cane Shapes

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

  • Roll dough into ropes about 4 inches long. 
  • Place two ropes side by side, press lightly together and twist into candy cane shape with curved top.
  • Place onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until very lightly browned. 
  • While still warm, sprinkle with crushed candy cane and sugar mixture.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)


Elves LOVE These Cookies

If you have any elves in your house this holiday season, you’ll probably notice these cookies disappearing faster than you had expected. I bake countless varieties of cookies all year around but especially during the Christmas season. I’ve never known any cookies to be as irresistible to elves as these are. I can make a batch of these, each of us only have one or two, and wake to find the jar empty the next day with my elves bellies looking slightly plumper than the night before.

Just to prove it, I posed this little guy here for a picture and when I turned my back for one second… 

candy cane cookie stealer

Clearly, these are a favorite among Santa’s helpers, and Santa, too!

Candy Cane Cookies

This recipe for Candy Cane Cookies has stood the test of time. And the kids love making And eating them. Enjoy these holiday favorites.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies
Servings: 4
Calories: 82kcal


  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening or Coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon red food coloring or beet root powder
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy cane


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening, and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add egg, vanilla and peppermint extract.
  • Stir flour and salt into butter mixture and beat until well combined.
  • Divide dough in half.
  • Stir red food coloring/beet root powder into one half of dough until well blended.
  • Roll 1 teaspoonful of each color dough into four inch rope.
  • Place 2 ropes side by side, press lightly together and twist.
  • Place on ungreased cookie sheets and curve top for the handle of the candy cane.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • While cookies are baking, crush candy canes to equal 1/2 cup mixture and add 1/2 cup sugar.
  • While still warm, sprinkle with topping mixture. The warm cookie will cause the topping to slightly melt enough to adhere to candy cane.
  • Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


Calories: 82kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

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“Gratitude turns what you have into enough.”



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  1. It’s funny that you just posted these cookies. My mom used to make these cookies when I was a kid. Well now that I’m the grown up, I searched through all my cook books looking for this stupid mystery candy cane cookie…like it was a magic cookie or something, ok at Christmas for me…they were..I can’t explain it, I loved them. Come on candy canes and cookies…mmm, mmm. So a few weeks ago, I asked my mom about the recipe, and she just laughed at me and said it’s just the sugar cookie recipe with food coloring and peppermint, and I rolled them in crushed candy canes when they were done. Well, you could of hit me with a feather, this made my mom hystical, because she always tells everyone that I’m the cook in the family, not her…mind you this has been driving me crazy for years…I mean years, but I was determined to figure it out on my own…yeah…that didn’t happen. LOL! Silly me… She did tell me sometimes she would get lazy and leave out the peppermint and just roll them in crushed candy canes and they were just as good Well, lesson learned, now I know. At least I gave her a good laugh and she knows that I tjought her cookies were special and she thought they were just silly little cookies she tossed together and were no big deal.

    So if anyone doesn’t think that kids don’t remember little things, trust me they do…I still remember those silly little cookies and how they tasted. I have no idea what I got for Christmas…any of those years…but I remember the cookies!

  2. Great idea. I used to make these for my children when they were small. I think I’ll make them for my grandkids. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. My daughter just started the Elf on the Shelf with her 4 year old. She’s working today so I’m making a batch for her to pick up on the way home. She’ll put them out tonight with ‘Buttons’. Thanks for the recipe and idea!

    1. Boy wouldn’t we have fun! I just love to cook. I was telling my hubby I was go glad that he always made sure I had a great kitchen since I loved to cook so much. He has remodeled two of our kitchens. He said he had an ulterior motive. He loved to eat as much as I loved to cook. Have a wonderful holiday! Make some great memories. Mama

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