26 Ways To Use Leftover Candy Canes, Because No Candy Should Be Left Behind

Now that the holidays have come and gone, it's time to get back to real life. For many of us, that involves dealing with a ton of leftover candy canes. It's a basic part of the post-holiday clean up. You know… along with stowing away the wrapping paper, sending a bunch of thank you cards, and getting back into work mode.

It's a little crazy how fast the holidays fly by us. Everyone gets super pumped for the end of the year. Then poof — it's all gone. That's why I couldn't help but scour the web for some delicious recipes featuring those leftover candy canes. It's one of the greatest ways to savor what’s left of last year’s holiday spirit.

Besides, minty flavors are perfect for the entire winter season. Instead of settling for just another plain candy cane, try taking on one of these mouthwatering dessert recipes. Each one offers a fun way to use up that stash of candy canes. 

Not the baking type? Don't worry; this list features many ridiculously easy recipes. Some only require mixing, scooping, and calling it a day. Not a bad way to start 2016, if you ask me. Let's get started!

1. Pink Peppermint Bark Macarons 

There's something so charming and dainty about macarons. Why not start off the year by learning how to make these pink lovelies? Visit How Sweet It Is for the tutorial. 

2. Peppermint Candy Cane Ice Cream

It might be winter, but that doesn't mean you can't indulge in a bowl of decadent ice cream. I mean, it's a pretty good excuse to get the fireplace going. This particular recipe from Lick My Spoon uses cream cheese as a base... cream cheese. I'm already drooling.

3. Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

Why settle for plain old marshmallows when you can take them for a minty spin? Thanks to this tutorial by Dakota Chic, you can do just that. The recipe even shows you how to make the marshmallows from scratch. So cool.

4. Candy Cane Hearts

Transform Christmas candy into Valentine's Day treats by making these candy cane hearts from One Little Project. It's a super clever way to re-purpose those sweets from one holiday to the next. To add a festive touch, add heart-shaped sprinkles to the chocolate. 

5. Peppermint Candy Cane Crunch Buttercream Frosting

Turn every baked good into a minty dessert with this peppermint buttercream frosting by Picky Palate. The bits of candy cane will add a crunch to every bite — yum! 

6. Peppermint Bark

Thanks to A Mitten Full of Savings, you can whip up this easy peasy peppermint bark. All you need are four ingredients and an afternoon. Done and done. 

7. Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bark

Looking for something a little fancier? Try this sugar cookie version by My Baking Addiction. This treat features a layer of bark on top of a sugar cookie layer. It's like two desserts in one.  

8. Candy Cane Crunch Milkshake

Milkshakes are right up there with ice cream; they aren't just for summer! This refreshing milkshake recipe by I Wash...You Dry will keep those holiday feels alive.

9. Peppermint Mocha Cookies

Here's one for all you coffee lovers out there. This cookie recipe, created by My Baking Addiction, incorporates espresso powder and crushed candy canes for an awesome medley of flavors. Bet you can't eat just one. 

10. Candy Cane Chocolate Swirl Fudge 

Made with just five ingredients, this fudge recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction will take you all of 10 minutes. This one combines two kinds of chocolate for a burst of sugary goodness. Your sweet tooth is going to love you.

11. Chocolate Candy Cane Truffles 

There's something about truffles that seems so fancy and posh. Luckily, making them requires skills that are anything but fancy. All you have to do is mix and scoop... literally. Learn how to make them with Your Cup of Cake

12. Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow 

If your taste buds love the salty-sweet combo, you're going to love this recipe. This snack, created by Sally's Baking Addiction, requires basically zero effort. Eating it will be just as easy as making it.

13. Candy Cane Brownie Trifle

I love trifles for the same reason that I love lasagnas. It's all about the layers of deliciousness, all piled into one place. This brownie trifle by The Food Charlatan is an excellent example. It also features a peppermint chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Swoon. 

14. Spiked White Hot Chocolate with Crushed Candy Canes

Drinking spiked hot chocolate is one of the best ways to warm up during the winter months. For a minty version, try this white chocolate drink by Brown Eyed Baker. The candy cane topping will create an amazing combination of hot-and-cold flavors. 

15. Candy Cane Rice Krispies Treats 

When I was growing up, kids were all about Rice Krispies treats. These days, it turns out that adults feel the same exact way. Check out Essentially Eclectic's recipe for a fresh spin on this childhood favorite.

16. Red Velvet Layer Cake with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Ooh, red velvet. You get me every single time. This cake by Baked by Rachel totally made my heart skip a beat. That glorious cream cheese frosting doesn't hurt, either. 

17. Oatmeal Peppermint Cookies

For an easy way to transform the traditional oatmeal cookie, follow this tutorial by Baked By Rachel. Clearly, chocolate and crushed candy canes are serious game changers. 

18. White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

I love it when cakes are transformed into bars. They're a wonderful solution for those sneaky cravings. I'm especially adoring this one by Baked by Rachel; the crust is made out of crushed Oreos. So much yes. 

19. Peppermint Oreo Cookie Balls

While we're on the topic of Oreos, let's just take a look at these babies by My Baking Addiction. This is another mix-and-scoop recipe that's ideal for gift giving or parties. 

20. Peppermint Kahlua Oreo Cookie Balls

Looking to take things to the next level? Try bringing in some liqueur. My Baking Addiction knows what's up. 

21. Marbled Peppermint Crunch Cake

This isn't just any cake, guys. It's a marbled cake. The Crepes of Wrath is brilliant.

22. Candy Cane Milano Cookies

Apparently, cookies are 10 times better when they're dipped in chocolate and topped off with candy canes. Take a tip from Bake Love Give, and use Milano cookies the next time your sweet tooth acts up. 

23. Chocolate Peppermint Pretzels

Here's another one for all you salty-sweet lovers out there. This time, it's all about chocolate-covered pretzels.These guys are addicting as it is; imagine how good they'll be with crushed candy canes? Head to Bake Love Give for the low-down.

24. Peppermint Bark Oreos

Take Oreo-goodness to another level, thanks to Bake Love Give. BRB, drooling. 

25. Candy Cane Popcorn

Thanks to Pastry Affair, you can create the easiest snack for post-holiday parties. Be prepared; you'll probably have to make a second batch. 

26. Peppermint Candy Cane Bundt Cake

Take your cake game to another level with this peppermint bundt cake recipe by Betsy Life. Thanks to the red interior, you can even swing this as a Valentine's Day dish.

For more foodie inspiration, check out Bustle on YouTube.

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