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These peppermint meltaways literally melt in your mouth with each and every bite. The combination of butter, powdered sugar, and cornstarch creates a fluffy and delicious cookie that everyone will LOVE!

Christmas time is the best time for delicious holiday treats, and these peppermint meltaways are always a hit! I love bringing these cookies to Christmas parties or to cookie exchanges.  My other favorite cookies to bring to cookie exchanges are cream cheese snickerdoodles, Italian Christmas cookies, or these easy no-bake cookies. I promise all of them will be a hit because they’re all so tasty.

Peppermint beltways on a scalloped gray plate. Peppermint candies and ornaments surround the plate.

What Are Peppermint Meltaways

The name says it all! These cookies melt in your mouth. Peppermint meltaways start with classic cookie ingredients of butter and flour, but the powdered sugar is what gives this cookie a fluffy texture. This delicate little cookie tastes like soft tender shortbread. Top them with the peppermint cream cheese frosting and it’s a match made in heaven!

Kids and adults LOVE these cute and delicious cookies and it’s always the first treat to be gone at the dessert table. Make these today for your family, neighbors, or even yourself. Everyone will immediately ask for the recipe! Try more crowd-pleasing festive desserts like my cornflake wreaths, Christmas star bread, or these peppermint lollipops.

These easy peppermint meltaways are deliciously sweet and easy to make!  You will be very familiar with the ingredients and have most of them on hand. The frosting takes these cookies to the next level! Cream cheese frosting with peppermint flavor added to it is what this cookie needs. You won’t be able to stop with one because every bite is like Christmas in your mouth! I’m so excited for you to taste them.

Peppermint Meltaways

  • Unsalted Butter: Softened butter is best when mixing dough.
  • Powdered Sugar: This adds a light and fluffy sweetness!
  • Peppermint Extract: Find this in the baking aisle by the spices.
  • All-purpose Flour: A very common flour for baked goods.
  • Cornstarch: Adds a light and fluffy texture to the cookies.
  • Candy Canes: Crushed candy canes for sprinkling on top because it’s so cute.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream Cheese: One block of cream cheese for this recipe is all you need.
  • Salted Butter: Salted butter is great for baking.
  • Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar is a must for frosting and adds sweetness.
  • Peppermint Extract: More extract flavor is delicious in the cream cheese frosting. You will LOVE it!

Recipe For Peppermint Meltaways

Grab your kiddos and make these fun peppermint meltaways for the holidays or any time of year! This recipe is easy to follow and comes together quickly. The cream cheese peppermint frosting completes the cookies perfectly. Sprinkle with some crushed candy canes and there you have it. Follow my easy instructions below in the recipe card. They will be your new favorite cookie recipe! I can’t wait for you to make them.

Peppermint Meltaways

  1. Combine the Flour and Cornstarch: In a small mixing bowl combine the flour and cornstarch then set aside.
  2. Cream the Butter and Powdered Sugar: In another bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar. 
  3. Add the Peppermint Extract: Mix in the extract because it adds great flavor. 
  4. Add the Dry Ingredients to the Butter Mixture: Slowly add the flour and cornstarch mixture to the butter and powdered sugar mixture. 
  5. Chill: Cover the dough then pop it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the Oven: After the dough has chilled, then preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  7. Shape the Dough: Roll the dough into 1 to 1 ½ inch-sized balls then place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake: Bake for 10-12 minutes in the oven until the edges start to lightly turn brown. Remove from the oven then let them cool completely.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Beat the Cream Cheese and Butter: Mix the cream cheese and butter using a hand mixer. Beat the mixture until creamy.
  2. Add the Extract: Add the extract and mix to combine.
  3. Add the Powdered Sugar:  Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar then mix until creamy and combined.
  4. Frost the Cooled Cookies: Once the cookies have cooled, then frost the cookies using a fun frosting tip. Garnish with crushed candy canes because it adds cuteness on top.
First photo of dry ingredients in a bowl. Second photo of butter and dry ingredients in a bowl. Third photo of the peppermint meltaway dough formed into balls on a baking sheet. Fourth photo of powdered sugar being mixed into the frosting. Fifth photo of the the pink frosting in a bowl. Sixth photo of crushed peppermint candy sprinkled on top of a cookie.

Variations and Addins

Peppermint meltaways are just one variation of these popular cookies. There are many different variations that are delicious. Make them for a baby shower or bridal shower. It’s easy to change the flavors and frosting to fit your theme. Here are some of my favorite substitutions to make for these yummy cookies. You will love all of the possibilities!

  • Change the Extract Flavors: The easiest way to change the flavor is to change the extract! Experiment with your favorite flavors because you really can’t go wrong. Vanilla, almond, and orange extract flavors are my favorite, but you choose yours.
  • Add Zest: The zest of citrus is a great way to pack in flavor! I love adding zest in the spring and summertime. Lemon, lime, and orange zest are all delicious. Zest adds so much flavor!
  • Frosting: Any flavor of frosting would be delicious on these meltaway cookies. Buttercream or chocolate would be my first pick. It’s fun to change the color of the frosting. Use food coloring to match the theme of your party!
  • Add Nuts: Add chopped nuts to the dough or on top of the frosting. Pistachios and pecans would be yummy! I definitely want to add those to my cookies next time. In fact, pistachio-flavored frosting with chopped pistachios…I can’t wait!
Close up view of peppermint meltaways with frosting and sprinkled peppermint candy on top.

Storing Leftover Cookies

These peppermint meltaways are so fun and delicious. You’ll want to enjoy them all throughout the holiday season! If you have some leftovers, then here’s how to keep them tasting fresh and tasty for the rest of the week! You’re going to love having them around to take to parties because they are sure to be a hit. They also freeze and thaw perfectly for making in advance.

  • At Room Temperature: Place cooled meltaways in an airtight container then store them at room temperature for up to 1 week. 
  • In the Freezer: Once the cookies are baked and cooled, they will store perfectly in the freezer. Use a piece of parchment paper between layers. This prevents the frosting from sticking to other cookies.
Close up view of peppermint meltaways with frosting and sprinkled peppermint candy on top. A bite is taken out of one of the cookies

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Peppermint Meltaways

5 from 2 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
These peppermint meltaways literally melt in your mouth with each and every bite. The combination of butter, powdered sugar, and cornstarch creates a fluffy and delicious cookie that everyone will LOVE!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 16 Meltaways


Peppermint Meltaways

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting:


  • In a small mixing bowl combine flour and cornstarch then set aside.
  • In another small mixing bowl cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add peppermint extract. Slowly add the flour and cornstarch mixture to the butter and powdered sugar mixture. Combine well and refrigerate for an hour.
  • After the dough has chilled preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll the dough into 1 to 1-1/2-inch-sized balls and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes in the oven until the edges start to lightly turn brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.


  • To make the peppermint cream cheese frosting, cream together cream cheese and butter.
  • Add peppermint extract and slowly add the sifted powdered sugar.
  • Frost the cookies with the frosting and garnish with crushed peppermint candy canes.



Originally posted on December 08, 2013
Updated December 11, 2022


Calories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 2gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 98mgPotassium: 33mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 722IUCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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    1. Yes, I always use butter, unsalted.
      I’m always baking cookies of all kinds and I really don’t get why these don’t turn out the way they’re supposed to, I’ve tried everything 🙁

    1. Nope, I always use unsalted butter for all the recipes, I’m not a newbie at baking but I just can’t get these to come out right 🙁

  1. I just made these this morning for an office party…and YUMMY! These are the perfect holiday cookie…melt in your mouth butter cookie with creamy icing with a peppermint twist! The only thing I did differently was use salted butter for the cookie and the taste is still marvelous. Highly recommend – and thanks for posting! 🙂

  2. When cooking these or any other cookie of the recipe calls for softened butter it needs to be about the consistency of play dough otherwise you will end up with flat cookies. Also make sure not to over mix the butter and powdered sugar as this causes too much air to get into the mix and this will also make your cookies flat and fragile. Baking cookies really is a science 🙂

    1. Yep, I know, I’m always baking cookies of all kinds, and they never turn out flat or crumbly… But these are my nemesis, I just can’t make them turn out right, I’ve followed the instructions and even changed things with every batch, but nothing seems to work 🙁 And I really love the flavor

  3. Was wondering how you put the frosting on, was it put in a bag and tip on end? I don’t do much of this kind baking..thank you!!

  4. Are you sure your frosting recipe is correct? Most cream cheese and buttercream frosting recipes have 3 cups of powdered sugar. That much butter and cream cheese needs more sugar.

  5. Please heeeelp! 🙁
    I found this recipe and I decided to make it because it looked delicious and pretty easy.
    I made the dough following all the instructions, refrigerated it overnight, but when I baked them they came out flat, like super super flat and so fragile that when they cooled and tried to take them out of the tray, they just fell apart :'(
    I mean, the crumbles are delicious, but I wanted cookies 🙁

    I want to try and make them again, does anyone know or have a theory of what happened? Please help me

    1. I made these last night and they turned out great. I am thinking you wither miss measured or you should only chill them for an hour.

    2. I have the same issue! Mine is so crumbly I can hardly make the balls hold together to get them in the oven! I too would apprciate any suggestions!

    3. A couple things could cause a cookie to go flat. 1. Over beating the butter and sugar. 2. Using butter that is too warm–you should be able to press a knife into the butter to make an imprint, but it shouldn’t be mushy. As for the crumbly cookie, make sure the cookie is completely cool before moving. I slide the parchment paper (with the cookies on it) onto a cooling rack.

      1. Thanks Lynn
        Yeah, I’m not such a newbie, but I just can’t get these to turn out right, I’ve tried several times
        I didn’t over beat the butter, when it calls for softed butter I always use it at room temperature and not melted, just soft enough, plus, I chill the dough overnight, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
        And yeah, of course I move the cookies when they are cold enough, but they are so flat and so thin that they break easily, even if I let them get a little bit crispy, so that they are harder.
        I wish I could post a pic here

    4. The same thing happened to me. You can’t pick one up and break a piece off, hey just crumble. Dies anyone have ny ideas what happened.

      1. I let them get crispy, a little bit brown on the edges and at least you can pick them up, but they still look like a tortilla

    5. Did you use margarine or real butter? I always use butter when I bake because margarine sometimes contains water. That can cause cookies to be flat.

    6. I had the same experience. They were out this world delicious. BUT how in the world to get them to look like this picture???? I tried making bigger balls that didn’t work either. Leaving them on the pan till they cooled helped me to be able to get them off the pan but they still broke when we picked them up to eat them.

      They are essentially shortbread drop cookies I guess we should go research shortbread cookie making. Anyone have any suggestions would be helpful. This is my new favorite flavor of cookie.

    7. YES!!! I thought I was the only one!!
      The same thing happens to me, I’ve tried to make them SEVERAL times and changed stuff, I added more flour, cornstarch, sugar, tried refrigerating the dough overnight, freezing it, turning up the temperature (so that they baked faster and didn’t have a chance to melt so much, or that was my idea but they just got crispy, but still super flat)… I’ve tried a different thing every time, and they always turn out SUPER flat, so flat that you can’t pick them up, they break , they melt so much that even if they are far from each other, they end up all together, it’s like a big flat cookie.
      The only time they barely melted was when I added god knows how much sugar until the dough didn’t stick to the bowl, and they turned out like meringues… They weren’t bad, but I used too much sugar.

      Can you please help us, Alyssa?

      Ps. I also noticed today that on the recipe that’s on Pinterest it says 1 1/2 cup of sugar and here it says 1/2 cup, sooo… Which is the right one?

    8. Maybe the brand of butter? I have found Land o Lakes to be my favorite. When I have used store brands in the past, I have been disappointed…
      My only other thought is flour? Again, sometimes brand can matter. I stick with King Arthur because it seems more consistent in weight than other brands.

  6. These look really yummy! Do they have to be refridgerated because of the creamcheese frosting? let me know. Happy Holidays!

    1. They tastes so much better from the fridge. 🙂 It adds that coolness with the peppermint and the creamcheese icing just tastes the best when it’s cool. I tried these yesterday and they are phenomenal – I’ve never had a favorite cookie until now! The soft peppermint puff candies are best to use and really enhance the flavor! I doubled the peppermint extract in the icing because it originally tasted so buttery and we loved it even more!

  7. I make this cookie every Christmas (got it from and it’s the perfect cookie for holiday trays – they’re just as good a few days later as they are the day you make them. I normally just make a peppermint buttercream frosting but think I’ll try the peppermint cream cheese frosting this time. Sounds amazing! Thanks!!

  8. These cookies look so pretty Alyssa! I can never get enough of peppermint during this time of year especially in soft cookies 🙂