Retro Betty Crocker Candy Cane Cookies

How to make delicious Candy Cane Cookies! These cookies have been around forever and are a classic Christmas cookie!

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There is only one recipe for Candy Cane Cookies, and it’s the Betty Crocker one.

When I asked Mike what his favourite Christmas cookie memory was from his childhood, he promptly answered “Candy Cane Cookies” and sent me a beseeching look begging me to make them.

Retro Betty Crocker Candy Cane Cookies

Alas, these cookies are at my sister’s house, so there aren’t any Betty Crocker Candy Cane Cookies for Mike until Christmas Eve, when she brings them down.

Unless of course, she and my nephew eat them all beforehand which is always a possibility.

Retro Betty Crocker Candy Cane Cookies in white plate

I’m pretty sure that these cookies were originally in the Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book many, many years ago. These are the candy cane cookies that all of our moms made for us and it’s the ones that I make for my own children. Whether or not you use almond flavouring or mint is up to you, but the classic flavour is the almond. These plain butter cookies with that cherry flavouring are my favourite, no matter how much I love mint.

cherry and mint flavor Retro Betty Crocker Candy Cane Cookies

There’s something perfect about these twisty, delicious cookies that is perfect.

There’s no crazy chocolate or wild decorations.

There’s nothing really that fancy about them, to be honest and I’ll guarantee that our love for these candy cane cookies lies in their sheer simplicity. It also stems from the fact that most of us can remember twisting and turning these with our Mom or Dad, baking up a storm for Christmas – and these were almost always included on the cookie menu.

close up Retro Betty Crocker Candy Cane Cookies

This Christmas I’m really enjoying going back to the old basic recipes, instead of trying to come up with some newfangled, crazy ideas. Not that those won’t happen this December, but there’s something about the classics that simply warm our hearts more than the new cookies do.

Who remembers making or eating these as a child? Did you like mint or almond flavouring the best?

Happy Baking everyone!

Love you more than Christmas,


Retro Betty Crocker Candy Cane Cookies

How to make delicious Candy Cane Cookies! These cookies have been around forever and are a classic Christmas cookie!
5 from 50 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Total Time
32 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red / green food colouring


  • Stir sugar, butter,milk,vanilla,peppermint extract and egg in large bowl
  • Mix flour, baking powder and salt, mix into butter mixture.
  • Divide dough into half. mix food coloring into one half.
  • Refrigerate for over 4 hours.
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • For each candy cane, shape one rounded teaspoon of dough from each half. Roll each into a 4 inch rope.
  • Place one red and one white rope side by side and press lightly together and twist.
  • Place on a pan lined with parchment paper and curve the top to shape into a cane.
  • Bake 9-12 minutes until lightly brown.
  • Remove froom cookie sheet to cool.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Information

Calories: 173kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 97mg, Potassium: 52mg, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 255IU, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 0.9mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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How to make delicious Candy Cane Cookies! These cookies have been around forever and are a classic Christmas cookie! #christmas #cookies

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Christina Ray says

    In my recipe book, I have candy cookies with powdered sugar and not granulated.. we used to make these every year up until a few years ago (life…ugh, it gets in the way sometimes). Is there a recipe with powdered sugar?? I’m so confused because I can’t find one anywhere. We made these at a friend’s cookie party and oddly enough, she didn’t have any measuring cups or anything so I freehanded it and they… aren’t the worst lol.. but definitely not how I remembered making them. Wondering if I wrote down powdered sugar by mistake. Hmm.. any ideas? Merry Christmas!

    • Sheri Parker says

      These fancy holiday gift cookies look won-derful, taste even better. And they re simple to make, easy to shape. Just follow this recipe and be sure you use dependable Gold Medal – America’s favorite flour.
      Preheat oven to 375° (quick moderate).
      Mix together thoroughly …
      1 cup soft shortening (half butter)
      I cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
      1 egg
      11/2 tsp. almond extract
      I tep, vanilla
      Sift together and stir in …
      21/2 cups sifted GOLD MEDAL Flour
      *1 tsp. salt lough into halves. o one half…
      ad food coloring

      Roll 1 tsp. each color dough into a strip about 4-in. long. Place strips side by side, press lightly together and twist like rope.
      Place on ungreased cooky sheet. Curve top down to form handle of cane. Bake about 9 minutes (or until lightly browned) in quick moderate oven (375°). Remove with spatula from cooky sheet while warm and sprinkle with a mixture of 1/2 cup crushed pep-permins candy and 1/2 cup sugar. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
      SUCCESS TIPS: (1) Smooth rolls can be made by rolling small strips back and forth on lightly floured, cloth-covered board

      This is my grandma’s recipe from the 50’s that we use every year. I hope you get this and it was what you were looking for.

      • Debbie C. says

        Sheri – Glad to see you posted the ORIGINAL Betty Crocker Candy Cane Cookies recipe. My family has been baking these since 1964. There is quite a difference in the original one and this one. That’s not to say this one isn’t good, mind you. It’s just that if somebody is looking for the original, and they remember that specific taste and texture from back then, they might be disappointed after putting the effort into a “newer” recipe. Merry Christmas!

  2. Anne Jehn says

    I made these exactly as written and they are great! Easy to work with and shape for the candy canes. I prefer to roll the swirled ropes together so they look a bit more like a candy cane with stripes rather than two ropes.
    My family growing up made very similar cookie dough and then swirled long 1-inch-thick ropes of each color together, re-chilled, and then cut off circles, so you get little tri-color cookies. I used half the dough for this and they also turned out great.

    Next time, I would use more peppermint, because while the dough smelled (and tasted =P) amazing, much of the peppermint flavor cooks off so it’s just subtle in the cookies.5 stars

    • Anne Jehn says

      Yes, you can always leave out extract in a recipe, or sub in a different type of extract.

  3. Nancy Sharp says

    for the almond flavored cookies how much almond extract do you put in? Is it the same amount as the peppermint?

    • N. Doyle says

      Use half as much almond flavoring as you use vanilla. That was the original recipe that came in the mail in the 70’s. The cards from Betty Crocker we meant to be stored in a recipe box as part of subscription.

  4. Margaret Gibbs says

    Is storing in tin can on counter okay for the CC Cookies?
    What is their shelf life? (A week or two .. or a month?)

  5. Kathy pitcher says

    We made these all the time as a kid and we make them now in our family. We did the original almond flavor. They are delicious. I still have the recipe card from the Betty Crocker recipe card files dated 1971. My mom got recipes in the mail from Betty Crocker. And you collected them and organized them in a recipe card file box. Hers was olive green. There were some amazing recipes in that box!

    • Maddie says

      Would it be possible for you to send me a pic of that original recipe card???!? We used to have it and I have no idea what happened to it. I’m dying for an original copy. My email is maddie thecopy editor

      Thanks so much!

  6. Michelle says

    Wondering about the cherry flavoring you mentioned??? I remember cherry and almond flavored ones but I can’t find cherry flavoring/extract etc. Excited to try it regardless!

  7. Dawn says

    This is a fun recipe BUT the yumminess comes from taking actual candy canes and throw them in a good processor and add it to the dough. No mint or any other flavor needed. Wish I could tell you the actual measurements but unfortunately that’s not how I love to cook! They are addicting!

  8. Marjorie says

    I love these. I want to put another twist on them. A chocolate, and mint, therefore the green and brown. Of course the green part I will add the mint flavoring, but when it comes to the chocolate, how much cocoa do you think I should add? Without drying them out, add more liquid? Your help will be greatly appreciated!5 stars

    • Tiffany says

      If it were me, I would divide the recipe in half to make 2 separate doughs. Then I would replace 1/4-1/3 cup of flour with cocoa powder for the chocolate dough. Just a thought.

  9. Eleina says

    I used to make these with crushed candy canes on top of them but these are easy and taste great, brings back my childhood memories making cookies with my sister.

    • Tina says

      I would use 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. One tsp was to strong. Threw the dough away

  10. Rosemary Parker says

    I used to make these all the time when I was a kid, such great memories!5 stars

    • Alelia Shively says

      Listen, I have already tried someone else’s Candy Cane recipe, and it came out so dry I couldn’t even roll the canes out before they crumbled.
      I am now trying “your” recipe for the first time. I have it sitting in my fridge just now. Is it “supposed” to b that doughy and sticky??!!! I really hope your recipe works! If Not, It, Too, goes on my crap list of who’s recipe NOT to use.

  11. Cherie Lynn says

    What I’m really looking for is the old butter flavoured crisco gingerbread cookie recipe. If you could find it I would be most grateful

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      I have lots of old cookbooks, will keep an eye out!

  12. Tania McDonald says

    MY FAVORITE… well after the whipped shortbread with maraschino cherries shoved in the middle!!!!

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      Oh yes always whipped shortbread first!!

  13. Mary P Hoffman says

    The kids would probably want to make more colors than just red & green and make creative color combos!

  14. Rosemary Burrows says

    I love these. Mine have never been so beautifully rounded.

    • Nancy Clarkson says

      I’ve made these too but mine don’t look this good ,

      • Alelia Shively says

        I am the idgit that got on here and complained about someone else’s CC recipe and furthered it with, “I hope yours works because I would have to add it to my crap list of who’s recipe NOT to use!” Well, I am here in tears, But Happy one’s to apologies profusely to you. Your recipe actually “worked ??❤️” Thank you a bazillion times over for sharing it here ❤️. I “had” my Grandmother’s recipe for a long time and made her Candy Cane Cookies using her recipe and they came out beautifully each time ❤️. But somewhere along the way, I lost it, and couldn’t trust any one else’s recipe. Up until last night when I tried that others “failure” of a recipe, which, by the way, ended up in the garbage. I came across your recipe, and panicked. Only to find, I had absolutely nothing to panic over Thanks to your and your awesome recipe ??. Like my Grandmother’s recipe, Your Candy Cane recipe for your CC Cookies also turned out beautifully. I will be using it every year now ??❤️.
        So, Once again, My apologies for being rude. And Thank you for sharing your recipe so I could find it and use it.

        • A.Santa says

          Wow, next time try to have some self control before being so negative.

  15. Jen Sims says

    Tanis S. Coulson you used to make these! Maybe I can convince Kareena Sims to do it this year!

  16. Mary P Hoffman says

    They’re pretty. My mother used to make them every year when we were little. We loved them!

  17. Heather Nestmann says

    Totally forgot about these cookies! Going to make them this year the kids will love them

  18. Sarah Hodge says

    Oh my goodness, my mom and I were just discussing these the other night (myself with nostalgia, and her remembering how much work they were!!)

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      Hahaha yes ! The twisting and the pinching! A labour of love!

      • Marjorie says

        I love these. I want to put another twist on them. A chocolate, and mint, therefore the green and brown. Of course the green part I will add the mint flavoring, but when it comes to the chocolate, how much cocoa do you think I should add? Without drying them out, add more liquid? Your help will be greatly appreciated!

  19. Sonya Coenen says

    Been making these since I was a kid! We use almond extract though but love the peppermint addition!

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      My nephew has nut allergies so mint is a tasty alternative!

    • BLK says

      Taste was great, but mine spread alllll over. I refrigerated the dough for the prescribed time, baked them shortly out of the fridge, and this still happened – anyone else have this issue? Any suggestions?

  20. Rose-Mary Hall says

    My mom made these every year. I just found the recipe yesterday and plan to make them this year.

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      I’m whipping up two batches this week.

  21. Judith Hilborn Ball says

    Oh my goodness , I made these for my kids as they were growing up ,they were very much apart of my Christmas baking ,the kids loved them as well as the adults. I must make them again this year even though there is just my hubby and I. Memories you got love them. Merry Christmas

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      Have a very Merry Christmas and have fun baking!!

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