How To Crush Candy Canes After Holiday Season?

When the holiday season comes, I always know there will be plenty of candy canes in the house for the kids and food decorated with crushed candy canes.

So, how to crush candy canes without scattering them all over the place? Read more for detailed methods!

How To Crush Candy Canes

Candy Canes

Here are some simple and easy ways I tend to use candy canes. So, how to crush peppermint candy canes?

Preparation is always necessary if you want a mess-free and fun crushed peppermint candy time.

Firstly, it is important to ensure that all the candy canes are hard enough so you can use force to break them. If you have left them throughout the holiday season without proper storing methods, it is likely that your candy canes are slightly melted and soft, making them difficult to be crushed into small candy cane pieces.

Frozen candies are more brittle and less sticky, perfect for crushing candy without any mess or a sticky surface.

Therefore, you can put them all in the freezer for a few hours to prepare them. Then take them out on a solid countertop.

Secondly, I tend to put all the candy canes inside a resealable plastic bag, heavy-duty zip-close bag, or freezer bag to prevent any flying piece of candy while I’m working on the candy.

If there is no resealable bag in your home at the moment, you can also use two sandwich bags with one bag wrapped by the other. You should not let too much air inside the bag as it can easily be popped when you use force on it.

Once we have finished the preparation step, let’s get into the crushing business!

Use A Meat Mallet/Rubber Mallet/Rolling Pin/Hammer

rolling pin

A meat mallet is a great tool for tenderizing meat, but they are also the best way to crush candy canes. This method will help you get your desired size, whether small candy cane pieces or dust-like consistency.

If you want to protect your counter from damages, you can also place the bag inside two towels. They are super helpful in minimizing the damage and noise during the process.

Once you’re ready, take out the best tool you have and use them at the side to smash. With a decent force, you can achieve the crushed candy in just a few minutes.

Use A Pestle And Mortar

Pestle And Mortar

This is another plausible tool to crush candy canes if you only have it at home. However, it is not made for a large batch of candy, so you need to separate them into fewer candy canes at one time to use this method.

Take those frozen candy canes out of the freezer and fill them in the mortar. Then you can use the pestle and smash the candy into small pieces with a weak but consistent force.

Use A Food Processor/Blender

Use A Food Processor/Blender

If you prefer a powder consistency with zero physical force, using a food processor or blender is the best answer for how to crush peppermint candy.

To use this method effectively, the candy must be hard and brittle so it can’t stick to the blade of the food processor.

The last thing you want to do is cleaning a food processor with candy sticking all over the blades.

Therefore, it is best that you have frozen the candy beforehand to strengthen its brittle stage. Usually, I tend to add powdered sugar into the processor for extra carefulness.

Some food processors/blenders might use a weak material like plastic which is not produced for this action. So, if you don’t want your blade to be worn down quicker, you can break the candy canes first into a manageable size.

Once you’re ready, you can use pulse mode to pulverize the candy canes.

If you can’t imagine how this actually works, I’ve found a great video that shows perfectly how a food processor crushes candy canes here:

Video: Food processor 

Use A Coffee Grinder

Coffee Grinder

If you have only used a coffee grinder for grinding coffee, it is time for you to add more tasks to this useful machine. As candy canes are just as hard as coffee beans, you can be certain that crushing candy canes will not damage this machine.

A coffee grinder can not only break the candy canes into small pieces, but it can also turn them into finely ground candy, which you can use to substitute sugar, for example.

Like a food processor, put those frozen canes into the coffee grinder and set up the coarseness you prefer.

How To Use Crushed Candy Cane

You can use crushed candies for different purposes. The most common way is using them as dessert toppings.

Hot cocoa or hot chocolate cups with a minty flavor of candy canes will be a creative way to spice up a classic hot chocolate recipe. The creamy and hot chocolate melts candy pieces into sweet notes lingering on your tongue.

If you love the crunchy sound in your mouth, you can also decorate the cheesecake bars with crushed candy canes. The soft and creamy texture of the cake combined with the crunchy and winter flavor of candy canes will be a fun dessert experience.

Are you a Martini lover? Because your classic Martini is going to be crushed by my candy cane version. Don’t worry; I won’t try to mix them into the Martini absurdly. Make a delicious version of your favorite Martini original recipe, then add the ground candy canes on the rim of the glass for sweet and fresh notes of peppermint flavor.

Lastly, I found it is extremely helpful to use those finely ground candy cane as a substitute for powdered sugar. Sometimes I am a bit lazy to soften those hard granulated sugar blocks, so I just use the candy canes instead. They are easy to blend in dessert recipes and definitely a better version than regular sugar.

How To Store Crushed Candy Cane? 

Candy canes will not stay the same texture if you don’t know how to store them properly. If they are in direct sunlight, the crushed peppermint will melt and become big clumps.

The simplest way to store crushed candy canes pieces is by placing them in a cool and dark area like a kitchen cupboard or in the refrigerator. It is important to keep them in an airtight container like a glass jar, gel, or rice packet.

If you wonder if you can freeze crushed candy cane like storing biscuits, the answer is yes. However, I wouldn’t recommend freezing them as candy cane has a long-life shelf. Furthermore, when you thaw the candy mix, they will lose their old texture and flavor.


1. Can You Melt Candy Cane?

A candy cane is a sweet liquid that is hardened, so you can melt them to make a great frosting for your cakes. The easiest way would be to heat candy cane sugar on a stove.

2. How Long Does Candy Cane Last?

As I have mentioned above, candy canes have a long shelf life, so you can enjoy them for the whole year. If you store them properly, they can even last up to 2-3 years.


Candy canes are one of my favorite childhood treats when it is the holiday season. Now that I have grown out of these candies, they are simply the symbol of the holiday. However, they can still be great ingredients when they are crushed.With my post,

I hope you have learned how to crush candy canes easily with your familiar kitchen appliances. Crushing leftover candy canes is a creative way to utilize the temporary food to form a useful ingredient for your cooking game.

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