Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

4.73 from 11 votes

Ring in the holidays with these simple, six-ingredient peppermint crinkle cookies! These red-and-white cookies will be a hit at your holiday parties.

peppermint cookies in a stack on a cooling rack.

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Peppermint Crinkle Cookies recipe

Sometimes when I'm working on a recipe, I can visualize the recipe before I even know what it is.

That's precisely what happened when I started thinking about my cookie recipe for this year's Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange hosted by two of my blogging besties, Erin from The Speckled Palate and Susannah from Feast + West.

I imagined cookies covered in powdered sugar with cracks revealing an interior of a pretty red color (or pink, rather — red is pretty impossible in baking unless we're talking red velvet cake).

I later realized these were pretty traditional "crinkle" cookies that I was imagining, but I realized I hadn't seen any red peppermint ones before. After doing a quick search, I found chocolate peppermint crinkles, but sure enough, no peppermint crinkle cookies were to be found!

So I brainstormed and thought to use some peppermint schnapps we had in the cabinet, and it resulted in the most delicious cookies!

Why you'll love this recipe

These festive peppermint cookies are going to be your new favorite holiday cookie! Here's why they'd make a great addition to your Christmas cookie plates:

  • These minty cookies are so easy to make and fun to make with kids.
  • They only require SIX ingredients and is made in ONE bowl! You don't even need a rolling pin.
  • Pink pops of color will make your holiday cookie trays shine. It's an easy recipe to double for more fun.
  • It's the perfect cookie for people who like peppermint but don't like chocolate!

I love bringing these out for a holiday cookie plate to give to friends and teachers or to serve at Christmas parties. I've heard that they are a big hit with Santa Claus, too!

But they can be enjoyed anytime, too. Beyond the holiday season, these pink cookies would even be fun for Valentine's Day parties or baby showers.

Check out these other Christmas cookies with few ingredients!

ingredients for peppermint crinkles.

Ingredients

You only need SIX simple ingredients for these easy holiday cookies. Here's what to grab at the grocery store:

  • white cake mix
  • vegetable oil (any neutral-tasting oil like coconut oil or olive oil will work)
  • eggs
  • peppermint schnapps or peppermint extract
  • food coloring
  • powdered sugar

Cake mix cookies are so great because you don't need to haul out the all-purpose flour and baking soda. Everything is already in the mix!

However, I don't recommend using yellow cake mix instead of white cake mix, as it can turn your cookies more orange in color. Add more red food coloring to combat this if you have to use the yellow cake mix, but for best results, stick with the white cake mix.

If you'd prefer to make this recipe without cake mix, you could follow this recipe for lemon crinkle cookies.

I've not tried it, but here's what I would do: Skip the lemon zest and replace the lemon extract with peppermint extract. Instead of lemon juice, use peppermint schnapps. And use red food coloring instead of yellow, of course!

Close up of peppermint schnapps shot with candy cane and tin of biscuits in the backgrouns

Peppermint Schnapps vs. Peppermint Extract

Peppermint schnapps is a liqueur made from peppermint and grain alcohol and it tastes like a candy cane!

Peppermint extract is used for baking as a flavoring. It turns everything from brownies to ice cream into peppermint bliss.

I've always kept peppermint schnapps on hand, especially when coming home from a trip — I get motion sickness so it's helpful to have around.

Mint is good for stomach aches and it cures my motion sickness right up! So now, we keep a bottle on hand for when we have upset stomachs that just won't go away.

You can use either peppermint extract or peppermint schnapps for this delicious cookie recipe, but instead, I used the peppermint schnapps from the liquor cabinet.

Peppermint Schnapps Substitute

If you don't have peppermint schnapps, you can use 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract instead.

You could also substitute white crème de menthe (which is clear in color) or peppermint vodka.

Pair these cookies with a Peppermint Mocha Martini for a completely festive experience!

How to make Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

These Christmas cookies are so easy to make, you guys. They do take a little time because you have to hand-roll each one and coat it with powdered sugar, but it's not difficult and these cookies are totally worth it.

Once you get going with this easy cookie recipe, it's quick to make a few dozen of these cookies and the best part is there are so few ingredients.

Here's how to make these easy peppermint cookies:

eggs and dry ingredients.
dry and wet ingredients have formed a dough.

Grab a large bowl and mix together the cake mix, vegetable oil and eggs.

You can use a rubber spatula or you can use an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium speed.

red food color is added.
red food color pools on top of a bowl of cookie dough.

Add in the peppermint schnapps (or extract) and food coloring and mix again, just until food coloring mixes in.

The dough will be a pretty pink color, but you may want to add more if you want your cookies to be more red.

the food color is worked into the dough.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. This will help each cookie to be nice and fluffy, and also helps to get that perfect crackle on the edges of the cookie.

Heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place powdered sugar in a bowl and set aside.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Using your index finger and thumb or a cookie scoop, grab a pinch of dough at a time (about a golf ball size) and shape dough in your hands to create a ball.

Tip: If the dough is too wet to handle, add a light coating of flour onto your hands and as a layer on top of the dough.

Coat the dough balls in the separate bowl of powdered sugar. Place on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the cookies bounce back (not sink) when lightly touched. After 1 minute, move them to a wire cooling rack to cool to room temperature.

a plate with a stack of peppermint crinkle cookies.

Tips for Success

Store in an airtight container for up to one week. Layer them with wax paper so they don't stick together. Store away from other cookies so the peppermint flavor doesn't creep in.

One other thing: You can use natural food coloring or regular, but whatever you use, keep in mind some of the color will bake out. Make your dough brighter than you think you'd like it.

More Cookies for Christmas

Be sure to check out all of the recipes that are a part of The Sweetest Season this year! Last year I made these M&M Cookie Bars for The Sweetest Season and they are still some of my absolute favorite Christmas treats to make!

Be sure to check out some of my other favorite cookies for this time of year!

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

a plate with a stack of peppermint crinkle cookies.

Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

Ring in the holidays with these simple six ingredient peppermint crinkle cookies! These red and white cookies will be a hit at your holiday parties.
4.73 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 24 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: Madison | A Joyfully Mad Kitchen

Instructions

  • Mix together cake mix, vegetable oil and eggs.
  • Add in peppermint and food coloring and mix again, just until food coloring mixes in.
  • Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour. Chilling is mandatory!
  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Remove dough from fridge. If dough is too wet to handle, add a light coating of flour onto your hands and as a layer on top of the dough.
  • Using your index finger and thumb, grab a pinch of dough at a time (about a golf ball size) and roll in your hands to create a ball. You can also use a cookie scoop for this.
  • Coat the ball of dough in a bowl of powdered sugar.
  • Bake for 7-9 minutes or until cookies bounce back (not sink) when lightly touched.
  • Cool & enjoy!

Notes

Add a light coating of flour if dough is too wet to work with after chilling.
Store separately from other cookies so the peppermint flavor doesn't seep into cookies of other flavors.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 65kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 27mg | Sugar: 9g
4.73 from 11 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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29 Comments

    1. You can! The texture is best room temperature, but storing them in the fridge is fine. So glad you enjoyed them!

  1. These cookies were so cute! the powdered sugar coating formed an enticing crinkle pattern on top just like the photos on the recipe I felt like a pro. The cookies were so tender on the inside, providing a delightful contrast to the slightly crisp exterior.

  2. I recently made these peppermint crinkle cookies for my kids, and they actually loved them. It was easy and fun to make, plus I love how there were only six ingredients! I would definitely be making this recipe again!

  3. The mint flavor in these peppermint crinkle cookies is outrageously delicious! I love that you use peppermint Schnapps! I've had a bottle in my bar cabinet for ever and finally had something to use it for. Will make these again all holiday season long.

  4. These cookies were gorgeous and delicious! I can't wait to make them as a Christmas treat for the girls at work! Thanks for the great recipe.

  5. I love peppermint desserts so of course I already had the extract on hand for this. I omitted the food coloring since that's my style. Loved them! So easy with the cake mix.

  6. I doubled the recipe....I haven't baked them off yet but the dough is a very odd consistency....almost marshmallowy pillow like....is this normal??

  7. Disappointed in these cookies. Actually chilled dough overnight and the cookies spread horribly. Not attractive. Won?t make again

    1. Colleen, I'm so sorry you were disappointed in these. I've never had any issues with them spreading, but perhaps it was because the dough was chilled too long?

      1. I'm confused. Followed this recipe to a T. The dough is like sand. It does not stick together in the slightest. The only thing I can think of is that other recipes that call for the box cake mix just use the dry ingredients, no butter. So that's what I did. Any ideas?

        1. This recipe doesn't call for butter, it uses oil. If you didn't include the oil, that's probably what went wrong!

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  10. These were nice and easy,we do a cousin and sister bake day, the kids loved making them. I used peppermint scnapps, 2 tbsp and though they are delish, there is NO peppermint flavor! They are very good and easy, will make again but may use peppermint extract instead.

    1. I'm so glad that they were easy and tasted good! If you want more peppermint flavor, that's a great idea for next time 🙂

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    1. Yay!! That's great to hear. I figured peppermint extract would work just the same! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  14. Oh my WORD, Madison! I freaking LOVE these cookies that you envisioned and then made. And I never knew that about peppermint schnapps! I should keep some around for that reason... and for these cookies, too. Crinkles are so good this time of year, and I have no doubt that my family is gonna LOVE these when I bake them!

    Thanks so much for participating in this year?s Sweetest Season! I?m so lucky to consider you a blogging bestie and am so happy you're into these fun food adventures as much as I am!

    1. Thank you! And yes, it's the best! Now we have some in the house for those occasions when your stomach just will not settle.