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.
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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.
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)
- 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!
Peppermint Schnapps vs. Peppermint Extract
Peppermint schnapps is a liqueur made from peppermint and grain alcohol and it tastes like a candy cane!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
Be sure to check out some of my other favorite cookies for this time of year!
- M&M Christmas Cookie Bars
- Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
- No Bake Buckeye Bars
- Cinnamon Cookies
- White Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
- Stained Glass Cookies with Marshmallows
- Sour Cream Cookies
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.
- 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.
- Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes or until cookies bounce back (not sink) when lightly touched.
- Cool & enjoy!
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.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 27mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g