Candy Canes are a sweet staple every holiday season. But what do you do with all of your leftovers? We searched the internet (for hours!) to compile a list of some of the easiest and most delicious ways to enjoy them. So if you don't want to simply eat a candy cane, check out these 8 unique and totally un-boring ways to use leftover candy canes:
Lightly Crush Them
One of the most popular thing to do with leftover candy canes is crush them into smaller pieces, then use them in a variety of recipes.
Here’s the easiest way to crush them:
- Unwrap candy canes and place them in a large, sealed, bag.
- Place bag on a flat surface, like your counter.
- Use a hammer or mallet to break the candy canes into small pieces
You can mix the pieces into your next batch of brownie batter, cookie dough, or other recipe.
You can also use them like sprinkles and put on top of your bowl of ice cream.
Check out this article on how to make a show-stopping trifle, using candy canes and chocolate brownies.
Make Candy Cane Simple Syrup
A simple syrup is made simply by heating up equal parts water and sugar, until the sugar completely dissolves. So for Candy Cane Simple Syrup you can cut back some of the sugar and add candy canes to the water.
Here’s a recipe from In Katrina’s Kitchen:
- 1 cup water
- 12 standard size candy canes (5 1/2 inches)
- Unwrap candy canes and place in a pot with 1 cup water.
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and continue stirring until candy is dissolved completely.
- Let cool and store refrigerated for up to 1 week. Best if chilled overnight but can be used immediately.
Make Candy Cane Vodka
Homemade Candy Cane Vodka may seem intimidating, but it’s actually pretty simple. And it only takes two ingredients: vodka and candy canes.
Here’s a recipe from Rachel Ray every day:
- 12 full-sized candy canes
- 1 750 ml bottle of vodka
- Using mini food processor or coffee grinder, pulse candy canes to fine powder, about 30 seconds.
- Using a funnel, pour candy cane powder into bottle of vodka.
- Screw on lid and shake to mix.
- Let vodka sit, shaking occasionally, until candy dissolves and vodka turns red, about 30 minutes.
- Serve over ice, or use to spike eggnog or hot chocolate.
Decorate with them
You can definitely use candy canes to step up your DIY decorations. The candy canes are super versatile, and they come in so many different varieties that you can color coordinate.
We found lots of different ways to use the candy canes to decorate but these were some of our favorites.
You can upgrade your table setting by gluing a few small candy canes together, then using them as a holder for your labels.
Once you build the wreath, you can add on extras to your liking. The possibilities are endless, whether you want to add a pretty ribbon, garland, glitter or other fun props.
You can take almost any ordinary container and transform it into a Candy Cane Vase. This is a super cute, and low cost, way to add some Christmas spirit to your floral arrangements.
Ground them into sugar
There are so many things you can use candy cane sugar for. You can stir it into your next cup of hot chocolate, roll your cookie dough in it before baking, or substitute it for white sugar in your next recipe.
You can even be your own bartender and use it to rim your glass. (We think some of that Candy Cane Vodka from above would go great in whatever rimmed glass you choose!_
Here’s instructions on how to make ‘Candy Cane Dust’ on Mama Loves Food:
- Candy Canes
- Put candy canes in food processor (or magic bullet) and pulverize!
- Enjoy on EVERYTHING!
Make Candy Cane Coffee Creamer
- 1/2 cup powdered non-dairy coffee creamer
- 1/4 cup finely crushed candy canes
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Combine the non-dairy creamer, candy canes and sugar in a jar with a lid or a sealable plastic container.
- Put on the lid and shake well to combine.
- Store in an airtight container.
- To use, stir into hot coffee or hot cocoa.
Cook with them
There are so many candy cane inspired recipes on the internet. You can find anything from cheesecake to brownies to milkshakes to cookies to meringues and beyond.
Here are some easy-to-make recipes with Candy Canes:
Chocolate and candy canes are a great match! You can make these Chocolate Spoons with peppermint chunks and stir it into your next cup of hot chocolate.
These delicious Christmas inspired cookie sandwich is taken to a whole new level with the addition of candy canes. And they’re also so pretty to look at!
These adorable Snowmen are super simple to make so this would be a great activity to do with your kiddos.
Use them to stir
If you don’t feel like manipulating or transforming the candy cane from it’s original shape, that’s okay! You can use it whole, and in it’s original form.
You can use the candy canes to stir your hot chocolate, coffee, tea, cocktails and more. The candy cane will begin to dissolve into your drink, infusing it with it’s sweet peppermint flavor.