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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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Recipe Rating


  1. Can the cookies be frozen ? Or how long do they stay fresh ? I would like to make a week before Christmas but I’m afraid they will lose some of their deliciousness

    1. They will last about a week stored at room temperature! You can also freeze them in an airtight container. Just thaw them overnight before serving.

  2. 5 stars
    So tasty!
    I’m not sure I’ve ever made a more crumbly cookie. Maybe there should have been an altitude adjustment IDK. Pretty easy to follow the recipe and execute the icing. Taste great, not dry, but oddly crumbly.

    1. Oh no! Try adding in 1-2 T of liquid (milk or water) to the dough. That might help them hold together better!

  3. 5 stars
    I like all your recipes and will post some of them on my blog and link to your website because it’s worth it. Keep it up, you’re great!

  4. I made these Amazing melt in your mouth Treats & it was a Success !! I believe it was a success due to the awesome Recipe and Recommended Comments .. Thank You All !!

    Thought I’d share what I learned and Used:
    – Unsalted butter for cookie dough (used recommended LandOLakes)
    – Salted butter for frosting
    – left butter out of frig overnight to soften
    – used Argo cornstarch
    – used mixer to stir ingredients
    – refrigerated dough for exactly 1 hr
    – used measuring spoon to scoop exact amount of dough
    – used crushed soft peppermint puffs instead of candy canes for topping

  5. This recipe is missing something to hold the cookie together!!! It does taste great, but when I followed the step by step instructions for the cookie…… They crumbled like a dried out sandcastle when you tried to pick them up. I had doubled the recipe and had only used half of the dough, so I added one egg to the remaining half of the dough and viola, no more crumbling cookie!!! I proceeded to make several more batches and found that one egg added does the trick! Also, the frosting needs way more powdered sugar for all of that cream cheese and butter!!!!! Good luck fellow cookie makers:) hope this helps!

  6. To all who cookies crumble, after years of making shortbread and meltaways, I have concluded that rolling the prepared dough into a log and wrapping them in plastic wrap to chill then slicing them before baking does help them stay together. Kist don’t move them until they are cooled.

  7. I loved the basic recipe, but I’m not wild about mint. I made these as almond meltaways, just substituting almond extract for peppermint in the cookies (and icing) and garnished with sliced almonds. Delicious! Huge hit at home and work.