These slice-and-bake Candy Cane Swirl Cookies feature a fun red and white swirl pattern and a hint of minty flavor, perfect for the holidays.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! That's right, it's Christmas baking season again!
I love baking at any time of the year, but I especially love the festive goodies that make the Holidays just a little extra special. And these fun Candy Cane Swirl Cookies are no exception.
I was inspired to make these cookies recently while I was thinking about the candy cane cookies that my mom would occasionally make when I was a kid.
They were made of a basic sugar cookie type dough, flavored with peppermint. The dough was split into two, with one colored red, twisted together to make actual candy cane shapes.
My mom only made them a few times, because twisting each cookie into a candy cane shape took a lot of time.
I decided to make cookies that were a similar dough, and the same minty flavor, but with a slightly easier technique that saves some time.
How do you make Candy Cane Swirl Cookies?
The key to festive success with these cookies is getting the red and white swirl pattern right. Otherwise, you might end up with cookies that look less like a festive swirl, and more like a colorful mess.
To get that fun swirl pattern, the dough will need to be split into two, with red food coloring added to half the dough (Wilton's No Taste Color Gel is my red food coloring of choice).
Roll each half of the dough into a rough rectangle shape between two sheets of parchment, aiming to have both pieces roughly the same size and shape.
Now lay one rectangle on top of the other, and roll again gently so that they stick together (make sure not to roll too aggressively to avoid the colors blending together).
Roll the edge of the dough closest to you away from you into a log shape (pretend you're making cinnamon buns). Wrap the log in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or more.
Slice the log ½ inch thick, and you'll see the red and white swirl pattern appear.
Candy Cane Swirl Cookies Ingredients:
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Large egg
- Vanilla extract
- Peppermint extract
- Red food coloring
- Clear or colored sanding sugar, or crushed candy canes (optional)
Want more Christmas Cookie recipes?
Candy Cane Swirl Cookies Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition information in the recipe below doesn't include the optional crushed candy cane or sanding swirl garnish.
Like most cookies, these are high in fat and sugar and low in vitamins and minerals. Enjoy in moderation.
Candy Cane Swirl Cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- red food coloring (a few drops, or as desired)
- Clear or colored sanding sugar, or crushed candy canes Optional
- Whisk together 2 cups (240 g) all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder, and ½ teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Add the 2 sticks (8 oz) (225 g) unsalted butter, ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar, and ½ cup (110 g) packed light brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1 large egg and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 more mintues. Add the 1 teaspoon (4 g) vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon (2 g) peppermint extract and mix until fully incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Add the flour mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix on low speed until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Remove half of the dough from the bowl and set aside.
- Add a few drops of red food coloring to the remaining dough in the stand mixer and mix on low speed until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add additional food coloring as needed until you get the color you want.
- Place the half of the dough without the food coloring between two sheets of parchment paper and roll into a rectangle. Repeat with the second half of the dough, rolling into a rectangle roughly the same size and shape as the first.
- Lay one piece of dough on top of the second, and roll the pieces together to make one rectangle (make sure not to roll too aggressively so that the colors mix together). Roll the rectangle away from yourself into a tight log (as if you were making cinnamon buns). Wrap the dough log tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 2 weeks.
- Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Roll the cookie dough log in crushed candy canes or sanding sugar if desired . Slice the log into ½" (1cm) slices. Place the slices on the prepared baking sheets 1 inch apart. Bake until just beginning to brown, about 13-15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container or zipper bag at room temperature for up to two days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.