leftover holiday candy canes

Here’s What to Do with All Those Extra Candy Canes

It’s officially candy cane season! Whether you love or hate these signature holiday treats, it’s a basic requirement this time of year to hang them on the tree, snack on one or two during a break, or at least politely thank your office Secret Santa when you find a few included in your gift bag.

But there’s so much more you can do with candy canes. And that’s a good thing, because you’ll probably end up with a ton of them when it comes time to take down the Christmas tree. From candy cane decorations and DIY gifts to peppermint baked goods and beverages, we’ve put together a list of fun, creative, and often edible activities to help you use up all those leftover candy canes.

Candy Cane Craft Ideas for the Holiday Season

1. Make candy cane crafts.

Yes, it’s quite alright to just hang that jumbo box of 100 candy canes all over your Christmas tree. But if you want to get a little more creative, there are tons of unique candy cane craft ideas that will keep you busy all throughout December.

Whether you want to make a thoughtful gift for a friend who loves peppermint, decorate the house for the holidays, or keep the kids busy during winter break, check out the candy cane crafts below.

Gingerbread House

Who doesn’t love a good gingerbread house this time of year? Of course, the best part is turning candy into architectural flourishes, from doors and windows to roof shingles and more. Whether you pick up a store-bought kit or go it on your own with a DIY design, there are plenty of ways to use candy canes in your gingerbread house.

Candy Cane Reindeer

The curved shape of candy canes makes them perfect to use as the antlers or heads of edible “reindeer.” Plus, this popular craft is so easy and fun for the kiddos, whether at home or in a classroom, that there are endless variations for unique candy cane reindeer.

Check out some of the most adorable methods here, and prepare for some sweet edible crafts!

Candy Cane Sled

Ah, the candy cane sled. An easy, quick, and super cute candy cane craft than anyone can make (and enjoy). All you need is ribbon, candy canes, and maybe some glue. Oh, and your favorite chocolate bars, of course! The best part about candy cane sleds is that they’re piled with other kinds of candy!

Learn how to make candy cane sleds from one of many great tutorials.

2. Make candy cane treats.

Of course, no one’s saying you can’t eat your candy cane crafts once you’ve made and enjoyed them. But there’s a whole universe of holiday desserts, baked goods, and even beverages out there just waiting to be spruced up with some candy canes. Check out some of our favorites below!

Candy Cane Popcorn

Remember those big tins of popcorn with three sections for three different varieties, perfect for snuggling up by the fire on cold winter nights? If the sweet caramel variety was always your favorite, you’ll absolutely love this candy cane popcorn. Coated in white chocolate and crushed candy canes, this holiday treat will get you and your sweet tooth through all your favorite holiday movies.

Learn how to make this super easy candy cane treat from The Spruce Eats.

Candy Cane Crack Candy

Join the crack candy craze with this holiday-themed peppermint variety. The crunchy, red-and-white minty goodness is the perfect topping for this sweet, salty treat. Just choose your favorite crack candy recipe (here’s our ultimate guide), then top with crushed candy canes, and voila! You might be making more pretty soon.

Fudgy Peppermint Cookies

Sometimes you just need a classic cookie – and using fudgy chocolate cake mix for the batter doesn’t hurt. Just follow this simple cookie recipe, top with crushed candy canes, and your friends and neighbors will be asking for seconds, stat.

Candy Cane Toppings

Not a big baker? No worries – you can just spruce up your normal faves with crushed candy canes. It helps to have access to a food processor, but if you get creative, you can crush the candy manually if necessary. Some great candidates for crushed candy cane toppings include:

  • Belgian waffles
  • Pancakes
  • Hot cocoa (don’t forget the whipped cream!)
  • Ice cream sundaes
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Trail mix
  • …and more!

Check out more ideas on how to use leftover candy canes in the kitchen. The possibilities are truly endless! And for more candy decorations (you know you want them, gingerbread house enthusiasts!), check out Candy Club’s holiday line. They make perfect gifts, too – if you can avoid eating them all yourself!