How to Bend Candy Canes

Bend and Shape Candy Canes!

How to Bend Candy Canes

Did you know that you can bend and shape candy canes?


The candy cane, usually so hard and brittle, becomes soft and bendable after just a few minutes in the oven.

Maia and her friend Ava played around with this idea after school yesterday and had so much fun with it.

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They started out by taking the plastic wrapper off the candy canes and placing them on a parchment-paper covered cookie sheet.

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Then I popped them in a 250F oven fro 10 minutes. They should look like this (above)—slightly puffy but still holding their shape (although that very top one has been bent already).

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If you forget about the candy canes in the oven while a child is being picked up and you’re chatting with a parent, your candy canes will look like this. Interesting, but a little more tricky to manipulate for bendy purposes.

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At first, Maia and Ava were unsure about the candy cane project.

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But they quickly got into it. Maia bent them with her hands (they weren’t that hot)…

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While Ava used chopsticks to shape her candy cane.

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They made hearts, wreaths, twists…

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…and spirals.

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This is seriously addictive! We’re already planning to do it again with a variety of candy canes—small ones, big ones, even different colors.

Bend Your Candy Canes! This is so easy and so fun -- definitely give it a try. Kids LOVE it!

I highly recommend giving this a try and bending some candy canes with your kids! It’s so easy and quick, yet super satisfying.

Besides, what else are you going to do with all those candy canes?

Update: Check out this awesome candy cane garland that Laurie from Frosting and a Smile made for her tree using this method. Thanks to Meg for sharing the link!

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  • Reply
    December 12, 2013 at 9:16 am

    I just tried this with some candy canes from the dollar store (hubby bought cheapies that taste awful, so I thought this idea was perfect!) They didn’t make it 6 minutes in the oven before turning into goo. I guess we’ll try our “good” ones next :)

  • Reply
    December 12, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Cute idea! My daughter’s name is Maia! I haven’t come across many others with that name<3 She is only 2, so we may have to wait until next year to try this out, but I bet she would love it!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    My friend posted a great blog about this and even made Christmas tree garlands with them!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I want to make a candy cane chain now!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Aww thanks for the shout out! =) I just thought you might find them fun! ;)

  • Reply
    December 13, 2013 at 9:51 am

    How long do they stay “bendable”?

  • Reply
    December 13, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Thank you so much for the link. I love what your kids did with their shapes.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    December 13, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Yes! Definitely try the “good” ones. But that’s interesting that the cheaper ones turned to goo so quickly. I wouldn’t have expected that. I just bought a few different kinds, including the tiny ones. We’ll see what happens!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    December 13, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I haven’t come across many others with that spelling, either!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    December 13, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Ooh! I’ll go check it out! Thanks, Meg!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    December 13, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Wow, Meg — super cool! I’m going to update my post with a link to her candy cane chain. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    karen blackburn
    December 13, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    just did this! so fun. 8 minutes for us. we have hearts and circles to decorate our gingerbread houses! thank you! xo.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    December 13, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Me, too. :)

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    December 13, 2013 at 6:24 pm


  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    December 13, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Not too long. I’d heat up a few at a time.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    December 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks! And thanks for your fun garland idea!

  • Reply
    December 14, 2013 at 9:50 am

    What a great idea! I would do this with left over ones and use them for Valentines. Then again making lollipops with them for treats for the children. Or I might decorate a whole tree in candy canes, red, and white. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    December 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Do you leave them on the pan while sculpting? Mine went brittle after only a minute or two off of the cookie sheet. Maybe I didn’t bake them long enough.

  • Reply
    JDaniel4's Mom
    December 16, 2013 at 6:39 am

    I found this on the Red Ted Art Facebook page and had to stop by to share how much I love this activity.

  • Reply
    Rockabye Butterfly
    December 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Brilliant idea! Would be great to manipulate and shape them just the way you want it to decorate gingerbread houses!

  • Reply
    December 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    had to post that i love your ideas! my 11 year old is going to love to do this!

  • Reply
    Beth Marie
    December 21, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    So cool! I’m totally doing a test trial on these tomorrow so I’ll be ready to share with the fam on Wednesday!

  • Reply
    lyndsay // coco cake land
    December 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    that is so cool! found you via handmade charlotte. can’t wait to try this in the future! (my little one is only 16 months… maybe next year!!) :)

  • Reply
    December 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    That is so cool! Your kids came up with some pretty neat shapes too!

  • Reply
    December 23, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    I tried dollar store candy canes as well…Six minutes and they were flattened. Retried with with a Brach’s candy cane from Walmart for .96 and 5 minutes later – perfect for shaping. Retried with another dollar store candy cane. Approximately four minutes later it started to ooze red liquid, so I pulled it out of the oven. It did’t bend, just came apart. Suggest that everyone watch their oven at about the 5 minute mark. Love this!!

  • Reply
    Sherry Davis
    December 29, 2013 at 11:05 am

    My donkey and goats all love candy canes and peppermints, so I can play around with these and use them for treats. Always stalk up when I find them super cheap on sale after Christmas!

  • Reply
    Kara Wren
    October 24, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Michaels sells the cutest little glass xmas tree that looks like it is made of small candy canes. I am going to try making one with real candy canes.

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