Recipes using candy canes are the perfect way to use up the leftover Christmas candy even after the festive season ends. From sweet desserts with candy canes to delicious drinks that taste like the festive season.
These leftover candy cane recipes will inspire plenty of fun in the kitchen and peppermint flavoured treats the whole family will love!
If your household is anything like ours, you always end up with a load of extra candy canes leftover after Christmas.
Neither of my kids enjoys eating candy canes on their own.
Which is kind of crazy considering both of them bring home a hefty supply every December with Christmas cards from their friends!
In fact, we made our own really cool novelty candy cane cards using their photos instead of a Christmas card for their classmate gifts a couple of years ago, and they turned out great!
So instead of letting those candy canes go to waste, why not get creative with one of these recipes using candy canes instead?
But first, let’s cover a few candy cane essentials!
How Long Do Candy Canes Last?
As candy canes are made from pure sugar, they can last for 1 to 2 years, if stored correctly.
Individually wrapped candy canes will last longer than unwrapped candy canes unless stored in an airtight container.
In hot temperatures, they can be stored in the refrigerator to prolong their life. Find more candy cane storage tips.
How To Crush Candy Canes
There are 2 easy ways to crush candy canes:
- Using a food processor
- Using a rolling pin or mallet
If using a food processor, simply add your candy canes into the processor and process until they reach the designed consistency.
Be careful not to over-process your candy canes if you want larger chunks for baking and desserts.
Or, the method I prefer, add a couple of candy canes to a zip lock bag, place on a chopping board and smash with a rolling pin or mallet until you have crushed the pieces small enough.
The best part about this method is that there is usually no mess or extra washing up.
How To Melt Candy Canes
Melting candy canes is similar to melting chocolate and you can use either the stovetop or the microwave.
However take care, because the process is quick and you don’t want to burn your candy canes!
Using the stovetop, bring a saucepan of water to boil (half-filled).
Place a heatproof bowl over the boiling water and add broken candy cane pieces. Stir the candy cane pieces until they begin to melt. Remove before they are completely melted, stirring the remaining pieces.
Alternatively, use a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat in 15-second increments, allowing the last pieces to melt by stirring.
Overheating will result in burnt candy that can’t be salvaged so take care not to overheat them.
For more holiday leftover ideas, make sure you check out these leftover ham recipes and ideas for using leftover turkey too!
Recipes Using Candy Canes That Keep The Festivities Going
If you’re wondering what to do with all those leftover candy canes, these dessert recipes and candy cane drinks are the perfect ways to bring sweet peppermint flavours into your cooking after Christmas (or before) for festive treats everyone can enjoy!
Make sure you also check out my reader favourite – simple rum ball recipe and if you want a fun festive treat that looks great when entertaining, try these white chocolate Christmas trees too!
Candy Cane Desserts & Sweet Treat Recipes
These recipes with candy canes are the perfect way to use up leftovers after Christmas or to create a festive treat to share during celebrations. Many of these also make perfect gifts to give as well.
No-Bake Choc Peppermint Balls
These chocolate-coated candy cane truffles are everything you love about rum balls (minus the rum) and loaded with extra chocolate and crushed peppermint.
Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats
These Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats are filled with candy canes and topped with chocolate for a delicious dessert that is also beautiful! A great unique idea for a cookie exchange.
Peppermint Candy Cane Dip
Easy 5 ingredient Christmas dip made with real candy canes. This candy cane peppermint dip will be a festive addition to your holiday party spread.
Sweet and Salty Oreo Peppermint Bark
This Oreo peppermint bark is the BEST mix of sweet and salty! So easy and makes a great holiday food gift.
Red Velvet Cake Roll with Chocolate & Peppermint Butter Cream Frosting
This Red Velvet Cake Roll with Chocolate & Peppermint Butter Cream Frosting features a crushed candy cane topping. No wonder it is one of Santa’s favorite desserts!
Chocolate-Peppermint Ice Cream Cake
Layers of creamy peppermint ice cream, decadent chocolate cookie crumbs and crust, sprinkled with crushed candy canes and drizzled with fudge. This Chocolate-Peppermint Ice Cream Cake is the bomb!
Holiday Peppermint Cake
This holiday peppermint cake is a stunning dessert idea for Christmas or beyond.
Peppermint White Chocolate Sweet Rolls
These delicious Homemade Peppermint White Chocolate Sweet Rolls are packed with candy canes and a perfect holiday breakfast or dessert!
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies
These Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies bake up soft, thick and taste just like hot chocolate. The tops are frosted with dark chocolate and then topped with crushed candy canes. These cookies are perfect to enjoy all season long!
White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake (Instant Pot or Oven)
This cheesecake is creamy and festive, loaded with white chocolate and the flavour of the season, peppermint all nestled into a chocolate cookie crust.
Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
Homemade marshmallows decorated in chocolate and candy cane pieces. What a beautiful gift idea!
Peppermint Mocha Brownies Recipe
If you love the taste of a Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha latte, then you’ll really enjoy this Christmas treat!
Candy Cane Hearts Pops
These candy cane hearts a fun way to repurpose candy canes for Valentine's Day if you've still got a few come February!
White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzels » Homemade Heather
White chocolate coated pretzels with a peppermint twist. Easy to make treat idea!
Peppermint Mocha Overnight Oats
An overnight oats recipe with a festive twist. What a perfect breakfast idea for Christmas morning!
Cookie Tree Using Madeleines
Cookie trees work so well as dessert table centerpieces! While you can make them with any kind of cookies, I find that madeleines look particularly beautiful - especially when coated with or made of crushed candy canes.
Grain-Free Vegan Peppermint Brownies
Grain-free vegan peppermint brownies are the ultimate indulgent treat!
Easy Peppermint Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Delicious treats for the holidays! These easy peppermint dark chocolate chip cookies are made with whole-wheat flour and are perfectly festive for a holiday cookie swap!
White meringues with flecks of candy cane make these beautiful for gifting or simply for enjoying as a treat at home.
Double Chocolate Mint Cookies
Rich & chewy Double Chocolate Mint Cookies are not only filled with mint chocolate chips but dipped in chocolate too then sprinkled with crunchy peppermint pieces. A perfect Christmas treat!
Candy Cane Ice Cream
Bright and minty, Candy Cane Ice Cream is one cool Christmas treat you won’t want to miss!
Chocolate Peppermint Mini Bundt Cakes
These chocolate peppermint mini bundt cakes are super easy to make! They use a combination of cake mix, frosting and crushed peppermint on top.
Peppermint Macaroons (Gluten free and Paleo-Friendly)
These are the perfect one-size-fits-all cookie for Christmas and Hanukkah. They're decadent and wintery, but naturally free of gluten, grains, and dairy!
Dairy Free Peppermint Bark
Dairy Free Peppermint Bark is one of the easiest desserts of the season! Just 5 simple ingredients, and a few minutes from start to finish!
Candy Cane Whoopie Pies
These Candy Cane Whoopie Pies are soft and fluffy, with candy cane icing that’s a little minty and a little sweet… perfect for a tasty winter treat!
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark Recipe
This Peppermint Bark Recipe is one of the quickest and most delicious holiday treats you can make! Dark Chocolate, candy and white chocolate infused with peppermint is the perfect dessert combination. You’ll love this candy!
Peppermint Roulade - Peppermint Stripe Cake Roll
Peppermint Roulade is a candy cane cake roll. A red & white striped sponge-cake-roll is filled with white chocolate-peppermint cream and chunks of crushed candy canes.
Christmas Reindeer Brownies
These cute-as-a-button and Christmas Reindeer Brownies are sure to be a hit at class Christmas parties and end of year celebrations!
Candy Cane Fudge
Our Candy Cane Fudge recipe is the perfect holiday dessert for gift-giving and serving! A rich chocolate layer is topped with candy cane studded white chocolate making Candy Cane Fudge an easy to make dessert and the perfect Christmas fudge gift to give!
3-Ingredient Vegan Peppermint Fudge
This vegan peppermint fudge is so delicious and easy to make! Just 3 ingredients and topped with crushed candy canes for a delicious and festive flavor!
Candy Cane Amish Sugar Cookies
These Candy cane Amish sugar cookies are crispy on the edges and soft in the middle. Crushed candy canes are the perfect holiday topping for these delicate peppermint sugar cookies.
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
The easiest festive cookies that you can make in under 30 minutes! These chocolate peppermint cookies are soft, chewy, and the chocolate chip peppermint combo is amazing!
Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
Creamy dreamy hot chocolate made in the slow cooker! Ditch store-bought dry powder hot chocolate mix, and make the best ever hot chocolate at home topped with your favorite toppings!
Peppermint Sugar Cookie Whoopie Pies
Peppermint Sugar Cookie Whoopie Pies are a simple, sweet, festive dessert made with frosting between two sugar cookies and rolled in crushed candy cane.
Chocolate Shortbread Sandwich Cookies | BAKED
A rich buttery refrigerator cookie to fill with your favourite frosting! These easy chocolate shortbread cookies are filled with a decadent vanilla mint frosting and rolled in candy canes for festive flair.
Candy Cane Peppermint Cookie Recipe - Christmas Cookies
Made w crushed candy canes and white chocolate chips stirred into an easy cookie recipe, with crisp edges and chewy centres.
No-Bake Sugar Cookie Truffles [V, GF, Nut-Free]
These festive No-Bake Sugar Cookie Truffles are perfect for the holiday season! Decorate them with your favourite holiday toppings such as crushed candy canes and sprinkles.
Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
The classic combination of chocolate and peppermint make these Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies the perfect treat for the holidays!
Chocolate Peppermint Cake
A fun holiday treat, this chocolate peppermint cake is topped with a homemade chocolate ganache and lots of crushed peppermint candy.
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies Three Ways
Make these easy white chocolate dipped shortbread cookies and sprinkle the tops with crushed candy canes for a fun & quick holiday dessert!
Candy Cane Cookies Recipe
Candy Cane Cupcakes
Candy cane cupcakes are the perfect Christmas cupcakes! With an easy vanilla base and a delicious peppermint whipped cream frosting with real candy canes, they're delicious yet simple to make.
DRINK RECIPES USING LEFTOVER CANDY CANES
These delicious drink recipes are a fun way to use leftover candy canes, with beverage recipes for adults only plus plenty of sweet minty drink recipes for the whole family.
Peppermint Mocha Spiked Hot Chocolate Recipe
This alcoholic Peppermint Mocha Spiked Hot Chocolate takes traditional hot chocolate to the next level with the addition of the flavours of mocha, peppermint, and the optional splash of Irish cream.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate (Video)
This homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate recipe is made with 6 ingredients in 6 minutes! It has two kinds of chocolate so it’s ultra-rich and creamy and it’s flavoured with candy canes instead of expensive extracts.
Baileys Candy Cane Cocktail
Baileys Candy Cane Cocktail is sure to get you in the festive mood! Creamy Baileys is shaken with creme de menthe and creme de cacao for a mint chocolate taste explosion. And don’t forget that candy cane and dark chocolate rim!
Christmas Candy Cane Eggnog
Eggnog is a Christmas time favourite! Adding delicious candy canes brings a unique and delicious twist to a classic!
4 Ingredient Peppermint Martini
A festive 4-ingredient peppermint martini made with peppermint and vanilla vodkas. This brisk, refreshing drink is sure to be a hit with friends and family.
5-Minute Chocolate Peppermint Martini
This chocolate peppermint martini so so delicious and the candy cane rim makes it so cute and tasty!
45-Minute Candy Cane Vodka
This DIY Candy Cane Vodka makes a fabulous Christmas gift and it's ready in less than an hour! Perfect for sipping or to spike a hot chocolate or coffee!
Christmas Hot Chocolate - Christmas
This Candy Cane Hot Chocolate is the best warm drink recipe this winter! Sip in front of the fire on Christmas Eve or all through winter - with whipped cream made from real candy canes and hot chocolate made from only cocoa powder, sugar and milk it's a deliciously simple peppermint treat for kids and adults alike.
After this collection of leftover candy cane recipes and beverages, you may end up rushing to the stores for some post-Christmas sale candy canes just so you can try them all! It’s tempting, right?
Don’t forget to you plan your Christmas breakfast with these make-ahead recipe ideas.
Try some of these recipes for your New Years Eve celebrations, along with these simple appetisers for entertaining!
Want more festive leftover ideas?
For more leftover recipe ideas: