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As I began the slow process of taking down our Christmas tree and putting away all of our holiday decorations, I had one thought: What am I going to do with all of these leftover candy canes? (I don’t think one of our many houseguests over a three week period and three different parties ate one.) We have fruit flavored candy canes. We have Oreo flavored candy canes. We have cherry candy canes and, of course, the peppermint candy canes.

So, what to do with candy canes after Christmas?

14 Ways to Reuse Candy Canes

Candy Cane Recipes (and Other Ways to Use Leftover Candy Canes)

1. Freeze leftover candy canes.

Did you know you can freeze hard candy? (Really.) Place them in a freezer bag and freeze them until you need them for a recipe or a science experiment.

2. Make peppermint whipped cream with candy canes.

This yummy peppermint whipped cream recipe pairs well with hot chocolate or chocolate cake!

3. Reuse candy canes for Valentine’s Day. 

You can actually make really cute Valentine’s Heart candy with your leftover candy canes. Wrap them in individual bags with a pink or red ribbon and you have sweet treats for your meet-ups and friends!

4. Make a candy cane ice cream cake or regular cake.

Know someone who loves both peppermint and ice cream? Check this out.


5. Medicate yourself using candy canes.

Peppermint candy can act as a throat lozenge, especially for those dry, hacking coughs. Break the candy canes up into bigger pieces and wrap in cling wrap or put in a plastic baggie. Keep them in your purse, pocket, or car for easy use.

6. Make a Peppermint-Mocha Coffee with leftover candy canes.

I’m a sucker for mochas, and this recipe for Peppermint Mocha Coffee from Kraft sounds just delightful.

7. Create a Valentine’s Day card with leftover candy canes.

Check out this really creative way to incorporate candy cane hearts into Valentine’s Day. What a fun family or homeschooling craft!

8. Make homemade peppermint marshmallows.

Making marshmallows is fun because they’re great for hot chocolate or just snacking. Use those leftover candy canes with this peppermint marshmallows recipe.

9. Make a candy cane Valentine card.

Candy canes make the perfect hearts for Valentines when you put two of them together! Use this as inspiration!

10. Make dancing candy canes.

What’s more fun than using candy canes in science? Check out how to make candy canes dance for your next science project!

11. Make candy cane cake pops.

This candy cane cake pop recipe shows peppermint candy canes, but you can easily use the fruit candy canes (or the Oreo ones like we have leftover!).

12. Play candy cane pickup.

Check out this post on how to play a fun game with candy canes.

13. Melt candy canes.

Melting candy canes can be used for a predictive science experiment or just the plain fun of playing around with them and bending candy canes.

14. Donate leftover candy canes.

Did you know that shelters, nursing homes, and other places would be happy to have your leftover candy canes? Give them a call!

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Jacqueline Wilson is a writer, mom, wife, homeschool super freak and #1 Bestselling Author of It's Homeschooling, Not Solitary Confinement. She has been featured at Huffington Post, Parenting Magazine, Redbook, Kiwi Magazine, Fox News, and more. She is a discriminating sock monkey enthusiast and has a small collection of rescued pets. One more and she gets a free set of steak knives.

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