Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cookies have a brownie-like texture, are filled with chocolate chips, crunchy candy cane pieces, and are completely addicting! The ultimate holiday cookie and made in 1 bowl.

chocolate peppermint cookies, one bit into, with candy cane pieces

The combination of chocolate + peppermint is simply irresistible, especially around the holidays. These Chocolate Peppermint Cookies are the perfect addition to your Christmas cookie tray, along with Snowball Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies, Sugar Cookies and Raspberry Almond Thumbprints!

I adapted this recipe from my Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cookies, adding a little peppermint extract and crushed candy cane pieces, with a few other minor changes. What we have here is a cookie that tastes like a brownie, with melted chocolate throughout as well as crunchy, sweet candy cane pieces.

The total package and easy to make in 1 bowl!

chocolate cookies with candy canes cooling on a rack

How to make Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

(This is simply an overview with photos, see below for the full, printable recipe.)

Melt the vegan butter, then add it to a large bowl – I usually just microwave the butter in the same bowl I use for the rest of the ingredients.

Add the sugar and whisk it together with the vegan butter, then add the vanilla, peppermint extract, cornstarch and soy milk. Whisk until smooth. Now add the dry ingredients in this order: flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine; the dough will be thick.

Add the chocolate chips and crushed candy cane pieces and use your hands, or a spoon, to incorporate them into the dough.

chocolate cookie dough in a bowl with candy cane pieces

Roll into large bowls (2 tablespoons each), then flatten slightly on the pan (they will flatten a bit more in the oven). Bake for 10-12 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

uncooked peppermint cookies on baking tray

Tips & Substitutions

  • Use dark cocoa powder, if possible – It makes the cookies dark in color and very fudgy. Natural cocoa powder is fine to use if you have it, just know your cookies will be much lighter in color.
  • Don’t over bake the cookies – The cookies will be very soft out of the oven, but will firm up as they cool. Over baking will cause the candy canes to melt too much and the cookies will become too hard.
  • Gluten free – Try a gluten free mix, I like King Arthur Flour.
  • What to use instead of cornstarch – Tapioca starch/flour, arrowroot and even ground flaxseeds will work in place or cornstarch.
  • Alternative to vegan butter – They might work with melted coconut oil or another oil, but I haven’t tested it to know for sure.

Are candy canes vegan?

Many candy canes are vegan, but if you are concerned, check the ingredients and do a little research. Wholesome definitely are as well as YumEarth brand. I believe even Brachs are, but I’m not 100% sure.

cookies cooling on a rack

Check out my Vegan Cookies index for more holiday baking ideas!

chocolate peppermint cookies, one bit into, with candy cane pieces
4.79 stars (33 ratings)

Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cookies have a brownie-like texture, are filled with chocolate chips, crunchy candy cane pieces, and are completely addicting! The ultimate holiday cookie and made in 1 bowl.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 14 cookies



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt the vegan butter, then add it to a large bowl with the sugar and whisk well. Now whisk in the vanilla, peppermint extract, cornstarch and soy milk until well combined.
  • Over the bowl with the wet ingredients, sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. The dough will be quite thick, use your hands if needed. Now fold in the chocolate chips and candy cane pieces, leaving some to place on top of the cookies for decoration if you want. Again, you may need to use your hands to really get the chocolate chips/candy cane pieces incorporated.
  • Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the dough at a time, roll into a ball, then flatten a bit on the baking sheet. They will spread out more as they bake. Decorate with a few more chocolate chips and/or candy cane pieces on top, if desired.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they look cooked on top. They will seem too soft, but will firm up as they cool. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
  • Store leftover cookies in a covered container for 3-4 days. They also freeze well.


  1. Melted coconut oil or another oil would likely work in place of the vegan butter, but I haven't tried it.
  2. Tapioca starch is fine to substitute cornstarch with, or arrowroot. Ground flaxseeds work as well, just use 1 tablespoon, no need to make a flax egg here.
  3. Use any non-dairy milk you like, I used unsweetened soy, which is my go-to milk for baking.
  4. You can use natural cocoa powder, but I prefer dutch processed, because it makes the cookies very striking, and somehow gives them a better fudgy flavor. 
  5. Many candy canes are vegan, but some are not so make sure to check. You can either purchase crushed candy cane pieces or crush your own using a food processor.


Serving: 1of 14 cookies | Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. These cookies are so delicious! I followed the recipe exactly for the first tray. They came out pretty flat and all of the candy cane chunks on top were melted. The second time, I reduced the amount of dough (I used around 27 grams/ball), didn’t press them down at all (left them as balls) and didn’t put on the candy cane topping until immediately after they came out of the oven. That worked better for me and my oven. Thank you for a fantastic recipe!

  2. Delicious! Let batter sit in fridge for a couple of hours like other suggested. No issues with flattening. Might sprinkle candy canes on top instead of incorporating next time as it felt like a lot within the cookie. We will definitely be making again. Thanks for yet another great recipe!

  3. These look lovely! I see that there is cornstarch in most of your cookie recipes. Do you have thoughts on what would be a suitable substitute for someone who can’t have corn?

  4. The best Christmas cookies ever! I make bags of Christmas cookies for friends and family every year (all of which are Nora Cooks recipes) and these are hands down the cookies that receive the most positive feedback and are requested every year. They turn out perfectly every time (note I omit the peppermint extract and only use some crushed candy canes in the dough for peppermint flavor and sprinkle a few on top).

    1. Hi Olivia. How fun! Thanks for sharing your tips and positive review on the cookies! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season of baking!

  5. OMG the best cookie ever! I over crushed the peppermint sticks so more like pulverized LOL but still worked. I also pressed the cookies down a little but do not think this is necessary. However it did make a thinner, crispy around the edges, and chewy in the middle cookie which is my favorite texture. Thank you for reposting this recipe. Definitely a winner!

    1. Hey Sherie. It sounds like your cookies turned out delicious! I’m so glad that you love them! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback! Happy cooking!

  6. Mine turned out flat but I’m thinking my baking soda wasn’t fresh. They sure taste great. Wondering if I could make them smaller using 1 tablespoon per ball like the crinkle cookies?

    1. Yes, you could try that. If you’re still worried about them spreading, try chilling the cookie dough in the fridge for an hour or two before rolling the cookie dough balls and baking.

      1. I made these and they also turned out flat. Tried again with dough that had been chilled overnight and had the same result. Tasted fantastic, however!

  7. OMG so good!!! Made a double batch to bring some to work for a cookie swap and still have extras for home… After taste testing though, I may tell my husband “they were bad so I had to bring them all to work” and tell work “they were bad so I had to leave them at home”…..and then eat them all myself. 🤣

    1. Hi Kate. Sounds like you have a plan figured out! I’m glad you love the cookies! Thanks for sharing your great feedback and review!

    2. Can I make the dough for this one and the lofthouse cookie a few days in advance and place in fridge till ready to bake? Which recipes can you think of that I can do that with? Any help appreciates. Thanks.

      1. Yes, you can do that with nearly any cookie recipe I can think of. But you will need to let the dough warm a bit at room temperature before rolling, or the dough will just crumble and be too hard to work with. Hope that helps!

    1. Awesome that your cookies turned out great! It’s good to know they did well in high altitude! Thank you for sharing your amazing feedback!

  8. Our Elf on the Shelf made a batch of these cookies, 1/8 tsp. They’re so good. My 9yo loved them so these will be an annual cookie now. Next to try…your shortbread!

  9. I had a problem with them spreading out too much and it seemed like the candy cane was melting/causing it. Has anyone else had this issue?

    1. I made 2 batches. The first was perfect, and they didn’t flatten. I also barely pushed them down, because Nora’s notes said they’d flatten more in the oven. Batch #2 I cooked a but more, and they flattened. So they were crispy and chewy. Either one was fine by me.

    2. Yes, me too. I made two batches. The first ones really fattened out and were impossible to get off of the parchment. The second, I made them smaller and kept them perfectly round. This helped a little but they still flattened out. I did refrigerated the dough for an hour before the second batch. Also, crushing the peppermints in the food processor led to either really big pieces or powder. Maybe this is what causes the flattening? Next time I would crush the peppermint in a zip lock bag wrapped in a kitchen towel (with a hammer).

  10. These are delicious! Made them for our vegan son for Christmas and even our non-vegan family members loved them. Will become a yearly Christmas cookie favorite in our family!

  11. These cookies are perfection! I’ve been asked for this recipe every single time I make them. They are such a hit!

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