12 Ways to Use Up Candy Canes

published Dec 28, 2014
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(Image credit: Tessa Huff)

They appear just once each year, but what to do when you’re stuck with more candy canes than you know what to do with? Rather than tossing these festive sweet treats, transform them into baked goods and even cocktails and use up every last (even broken) piece! Read on for some creative uses for your leftover candy canes this holiday season.

Baked Goods

Perfect for even the broken leftovers, crushed candy canes make tasty and cute garnishes for holiday treats.

Tip: For the easiest mess-free crushing, unwrap candy canes and seal in a heavy-duty plastic bag. Then use a frying pan or any heavy object to crush them up!




(Image credit: Stephanie Barlow)


Candy canes can also up the level of your drinks for weeks to come!

Boozy Infusions

Steeping candy canes in vodka for a few days infuses the spirit with peppermint flavor (minus the sweet taste, we’re told) and creates the perfect base for a holiday cocktail.

(Image credit: Kathryn Hill)

Hot Chocolate

Use candy canes as a garnish for a traditional cup of hot cocoa, or go full holiday and make a batch of peppermint hot chocolate to match!

(Image credit: Elizabeth Passarella)

Ice Cream

This brings back childhood memories of peppermint ice cream. Why not whip up a batch to go along with your Christmas cookies and hot chocolate this year?


As with any leftover candy, making a batch of chocolate bark helps bring even the broken pieces together into a sweet treat.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Save Them for Valentine’s Day

If all else fails and you’re left with some extra candy canes well into 2015, two candy canes just happen to form a heart when put together — perfect for Valentine’s day!

  • Make Valentines Out of Leftover Candy Canes