These fun and festive Christmas gumdrop cookies combine a delightfully tender sugar cookie with fruity gummy-candies to create an irresistible Christmas treat that is sure to become a family tradition! These picture-perfect cookies are so easy to make the whole family can enjoy baking them together!
Festive gumdrop cookies are the perfect fun and tasty treat to gift for the holidays!
My favorite thing about these cookies is that they shout “Christmas” without even having to decorate them! Bright red and green gumdrops melt slightly in the oven creating fruity little morsels in every bite.
Another great reason to love these cookies is that they only take 20 minutes to make! Unlike other more time-consuming Christmas cookie recipes, these gumdrop cookies are a simple drop cookie.
They can be made in a jiff which makes them perfect for gifting because you can easily make multiple batches!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
Super Easy! This recipe is for a simple (but delicious) sugar cookie dough, then you just fold in the candies! No decorating necessary!
So Tasty! The sugar cookie is delicious all on its own, but the chewy gumdrops really bring this cookie to another level!
It's Adaptable! Use the red and green gumdrops during the holidays or use a variety of colors to celebrate any time of year!
With just a few standard baking ingredients and a box of candy you can make these delightful Christmas gumdrop cookies! If you do need to buy any ingredients, you can easily use them again later for other holiday baking (or just make an extra batch of these cookies!)
- 1 large Egg - A single large egg is the key to holding your cookies together as they bake! Make sure your egg is room-temperature for the most accurate baking results.
- ¾ cup Butter (or a Butter/Shortening blend- see note) - I tend to use salted butter, but unsalted will work as well. Although butter will make delicious cookies, I find that a shortening/butter blend produces cookies that are even more fluffy and tender.
- 1 ¾ cups All-Purpose Flour - The most common type of flour and what most people keep stocked in their pantry.
- ½ teaspoon Almond Extract (or Vanilla Extract-see note) - Almond extract is the secret to getting that distinct “cookie” flavor you get from your favorite bakery!
- ¼ teaspoon Salt - Just a tiny bit to help balance the sweetness.
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda - A standard leavening agent used in baking.
- 1 cup Christmas Gumdrops - Gumdrops are fruity-flavored gummy candies that you can usually pick up at your local grocery store or gas station for about a dollar per box! For Christmas, you want to use the red and green colored gumdrops.
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
Kitchen shears are the easiest way to “chop” gumdrops (a good job for any older kids helping in the kitchen). Pour a thin layer of sugar onto a small plate and drop the chopped gumdrop pieces onto the plate, making sure to coat the sticky side.
This will help keep your gumdrops from clumping together!
Make the Cookie Dough
- Prep. Preheat your oven to 350℉ (175℃). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Mix sugar and butter. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl to your stand mixer, cream together ¾ cup of butter (or blend of ½ cup butter and ¼ cup shortening) and 1 cup of granulated sugar until light and fluffy (usually about 1 minute). Next, beat in the large room-temperature egg and ½ teaspoon of almond extract until combined then mix in ½ teaspoon of baking soda and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
- Add the flour and gumdrops. Slowly mix in the 1 ¾ cups of flour until the dough is smooth, then fold in the 1 cup of chopped gumdrops until they are evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
Bake the Gumdrop Cookies
- Portion out cookies. Drop the cookies onto your lined baking sheet 1 tablespoon at a time, making sure to leave 2 inches of space between each ball of dough.
- Bake. Bake at 350℉ (175℃) for 10-14 minutes, just until the bottoms of the cookies begin to turn a light golden color.
- Cool. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for 2-3 minutes before moving them to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
This recipe will make 24 cookies. Gift cookies by arranging them on a festive holiday plate and wrapping it with plastic wrap or colored cellophane and tying it with a bow.
Homemade cookies make great gifts for co-workers, neighbors, or teachers and you can always make as many batches as you need! Enjoy!
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- The almond extract can be substituted with vanilla extract, but I do recommend giving the almond a try. Almond extract has a stronger flavor than vanilla and creates that distinct “cookie” flavor that tends to outshine the flour and sugar a bit more than vanilla.
- If you prefer to use vanilla extract, or simply have it on hand, you will still end up with a delicious cookie. Be sure to use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to replace the ½ teaspoon of almond extract.
- If using other colors of gumdrops, be sure to omit the black gumdrops because they tend to give the cookie dough an unsavory grey color.
- Dip your kitchen shears in hot water to make chopping gumdrops even easier! This really helps if baking multiple batches.
- I have tried these cookies as drop cookies, but I find I like them best when using 1 heaping tablespoon of dough and rolling it into a 1-inch ball before flattening it slightly.
Make the dough in advance
- If you want to prepare ahead of time, the dough can be refrigerated before baking. Chilled cookie dough also tends to spread less on the baking sheet which leads to rounder cookies.
- Form one large ball with the cookie dough, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. This is preferable to covering a bowl of dough because the surface of the dough is more tightly covered which helps to prevent the dough from drying out.
- The unbaked dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours. I recommend cooking it within this time to ensure the freshest cookies.
These Christmas gumdrop cookies can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week! I usually keep mine on the counter so we can grab them for easy snacking and they never last that long.
A ¼ slice of bread (per dozen cookies) will help to keep packaged cookies fresh when stored at room temperature. Be sure to use white bread so that no flavoring is passed on to your cookies.
Freezing Gumdrop Cookies
You can freeze these cookies as well. Freeze bundles of these gumdrop cookies by wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap and placing them in a freezer bag or airtight container.
When stored like this, they can be kept frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, allow them to thaw on the counter. This cookie recipe is perfect if you are looking to get some of your Christmas baking done ahead of time!
🎄 More Christmas Cookies
I love the holidays and have a ton of Christmas cookies here on Bake It With Love!
I prefer to use the Dots brand of gumdrops for this recipe, but any red and green fruity gumdrop candy should be fine. Just make sure they are not spice-flavored gummies. You can usually tell the difference because the spiced gumdrops tend to be coated with sugar. However, if you enjoy the unique flavor of spice drops (spice gum drops, or spicettes) they would bake fine in substitution.
Shortening has a higher melting point than butter does. If you use a blend, you still get the flavor from the butter (most shortening has no flavor) but the flour and eggs have more time to set before the shortening melts. This makes for a “taller” and fluffier cookie!
Christmas Gumdrop Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer cream together the butter (or butter/shortening blend) with granulated sugar until light and fluffy, usually about 1 minute. Beat in the egg and almond extract until combined, then mix in the baking soda and salt.¾ cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 large egg, ½ teaspoon almond extract, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Gradually mix the flour in until the dough is smooth, then fold in the chopped Christmas gumdrops until they are evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup Christmas gumdrops
- Drop the cookies onto your prepared baking sheet in tablespoon portions, leaving 2-inches of spacing between the cookies.
- Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 10-14 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are just beginning to turn a light golden color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store gumdrop cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
- A ¼ slice of bread (per dozen cookies) will help to keep packaged cookies fresh when stored at room temperature. Be sure to use white bread so that no flavoring is passed on to your cookies.
- Wrap bundles of the gumdrop cookies in plastic cling film then store in an airtight container or freezer storage bag to freeze for up to 3 months.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!