by | Sep 15, 2021 | Holidays, Z

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2021 @ 4:37 pm.

What are the best candy canes? To find out, we did a blind taste test with candy cane enthusiasts. Which candy canes had the most peppermint flavor? What about the best mini candy canes? Here are the winners.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!


A Brief History of Candy Canes—And A Recipe For Candy Cane Cocoa!

How can you not love a candy as adorable as the humble candy cane?

Candy canes date back to the 1600’s when, legend has it, a choirmaster in Cologne, Germany handed out sugar sticks to keep young choir singers happy. Sugar sticks were quite the fad in the 1600’s, as confectioners across Europe experimented with various colors and shapes.

To fit in with the Living Creche ceremony, the choirmaster bent the candies into shepherd’s crooks. Hence, the candy cane was born.

Trivia note: candy canes originally were all white. Red and white candy canes didn’t appear until the early 1900’s. 

Creamy Candy Cane Cocoa Recipe

Servings size: 4 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup of boiling water
  • 3 1/2 cups of milk
  • 3/4 tsp of vanilla extract

Topping

Whipped cream or marshmallows

4 candy canes

Directions

  1. Stir together cocoa, sugar and salt in saucepan
  2. Add in boiling water
  3. Bring this mixture to slight boil while stirring for about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in milk, increasing heat slightly.
  5. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  6. Pour into four mugs.
  7. Stir with your favorite flavored candy cane and top with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Recipe and photo credit: Brach’s

Here are the best candy canes, as judged by our taste tests!

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Best Tried & True Brand

Great for decorating
These candy canes were delicious, with just right amount of peppermint flavor. Also nice: individually wrapped. Critics note these candies contain corn syrup.
$12.06 ($0.67 / Ounce)

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Best Budget-Friendly

Individually wrapped
If you need a large number of candy canes to decorate, this would be our choice. The taste is excellent—very pepperminty!
$3.46 ($0.82 / Ounce)

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Best Mini Candy Canes

Brightly colored
These were our favorite mini candy canes—very tasty, with the right amount of peppermint flavor. Great for parties or stocking stuffers. Nicely packed with no broken canes in the box we sampled.
$14.99 ($0.15 / Count)

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Best Organic

Great in cookies
Yes, these candy canes are USDA organic and we loved the taste. Made in Canada, these canes are a bit pricey but have natural peppermint flavor and organic cane sugar.
$6.99 ($0.70 / Count)

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Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability. When we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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