You only need 3 ingredients to make this sweet candy cane bark recipe. Infused with peppermint flavor, break off a big bite and enjoy this festive treat.
This easy peppermint candy cane bark recipe needs only 3 ingredients: candy canes, almond bark, and peppermint oil. You can also enhance the color by adding red food coloring, but that’s totally optional. The instructions are so easy. All you need to do is melt the chocolate, add the peppermint, and pour this onto waxed paper. Sprinkle crushed candy cane pieces on top before repeating the process to make double-layered candy cane bark.
Once it’s set, it’s time to break it into pieces for a festive season snack or give them away as a scrumptious holiday gift. By the way, this is another good recipe to make with your kids because they get to do the fun part: crushing the candy canes! Another treat I like to make with them is candy cane cookies.
Keep scrolling for step-by-step instructions and tips to make this homemade peppermint bark recipe work year-round, depending on the season.
- White almond bark
- Candy canes
- Red paste food coloring (I wouldn’t use liquid food coloring as it doesn’t turn out very well. And if you are concerned about chemicals in food coloring gel/paste this can be left out completely)
- Peppermint oil
How to Make Candy Cane Bark
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. I am using two bricks of almond bark and a 13×15-inch pan here.
Unwrap a mess of candy canes.
“Mess” is a term referring to a number of items that you might not find outside of the Southeastern united states. “We had us a whole mess of greens!” “She made a big old mess of cookies for the party!”.
In this case, I would estimate a “mess” to be somewhat equivalent to 10 or so… but it is up to you.
Place them in a bag and hand the bag to a kid. Give the kid a blunt object which they are not very likely to kill themselves with. My son’s weapon of choice varies. For this particular exercise, he chose a soup can.
Stop them in between “finely crushed” and “clouds of peppermint powder descending upon the entire house”.
Place one package of almond bark in a microwave-safe bowl. Get a spoon or spatula handy. Make sure everything that touches your chocolate is dry with no water droplets on anything at all.
Now you can melt this in a double broiler but that seems an awful lot like work to me so we’re gonna use the microwave. Put this on for about 45 seconds and then stir.
Repeat, stirring every 45 seconds until it is melted and smooth.
Don’t cook for more than 45 seconds at a time. We just want it melted and it can actually burn.
Smooth and creamy!
Now I add just a bit of peppermint oil. Normally you would add anywhere from one to two drops. I just put a few drops in a cap and poured it in. Be very sparing with this stuff because it is extremely strong.
Put a dab or two behind your ears and I bet reindeer come a-running!
Now, add a bit of food coloring. This is the first option for how to use the coloring. The second option is below.
Stir that up just a wee bit (not too much because you want a swirl here, rather than pink).
Pour onto the prepared pan (on top of the waxed paper)…
And spread it out like so.
Have kidders sprinkle crushed candy canes over the top.
Now we’re going to melt our second batch of almond bark and spread that over the first layer.
This time I took out a cup of almond bark and dyed it really well on its own.
This is a second option to use the coloring but this can be left out completely.
Then I dolloped it onto the top layer…
And gave it a good swirl with a butter knife.
Then let the kidders finish it off by sprinkling the rest of the crushed candy canes over the top.
Let the peppermint bark cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
Once hardened, break it into bite-sized pieces.
Look at those layers and the bark’s thickness. Why stop at single-layer bark when you can make double-layer candy cane bark?
- Store leftover peppermint bark in an airtight container in the fridge or in a cool dry place at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
- You can also freeze leftovers for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge before serving.
- Feel free to substitute the peppermint oil for peppermint extract (1 teaspoon will do just fine). Peppermint oil is sometimes difficult to find. You do not HAVE to have it for this recipe so don’t fret over it if you can’t find it.
- Likewise with the paste food coloring. Don’t use regular liquid food coloring because that will mess up your “chocolate”. The food coloring I am using is made by Wilton and can be found at any arts and crafts store as well as most Walmarts in the craft department. If you can’t find the paste coloring though, just omit that too and you’ll be fine. The candy canes will give it enough color so don’t sweat it.
- You can use crushed candy canes or crushed peppermint candies.
- I wouldn’t use liquid food coloring as it doesn’t turn out very well. And if you are concerned about chemicals in food coloring gel/paste this can be left out completely
- Here are some peppermint bark variations:
- Add holiday sprinkles or sanding sugar alongside your crushed candy canes (you might want to reduce the amount).
- Substitute the candy cane pieces for classic, mint, or holiday-themed M&Ms.
- Use crushed Oreo cookie crumbs to make peppermint Oreo bark.
- Add mini marshmallows instead or candy canes.
- Instead of peppermint, add vanilla extract or almond extract.
- For the ultimate almond bark, use crushed almonds and almond extract.
- Use crushed pistachios and dried cranberries for a different festive touch.
- Use both red and green food coloring for Christmas bark.
What is peppermint bark made of?
Peppermint bark is a holiday treat made famous by Williams-Sonoma. It’s made by combining chocolate with chopped candy canes.
Why is it called candy bark?
The term “bark” comes from the fact it’s thin like tree bark and has a similar cracked surface.
Should peppermint bark be refrigerated?
You don’t have to refrigerate peppermint bark. If you store it in a cool place (out of direct sunlight) at room temperature, it will be just fine. However, if you live somewhere with a warmer climate, you may find it preferable to store it in the fridge.
Can I use chocolate instead of almond bark?
Absolutely! If you want to make classic peppermint bark, do a layer of semi-sweet, dark, or milk chocolate, and then add a layer of white chocolate on top. Let the dark chocolate set for 30 minutes before adding the white chocolate layer. Otherwise, you can also just use milk chocolate or white chocolate.
You’ll need 48 ounces in total, whether that’s milk chocolate chips or white chocolate chips. The instructions remain the same. For smoother melted chocolate, add a drop of vegetable, canola, or coconut oil to the bowl before microwaving.
Can I halve this peppermint bark recipe?
Yes, if you don’t want to make double-layered candy cane bark, you can easily just half the ingredients and just do one layer of bark.
What is the easiest way to crush candy canes?
The easiest ways to crush candy canes include breaking them into pieces and putting them in a food processor. Otherwise, put them in the bag as described and use a meat mallet.
Looking for more minty treats?
- 2 packages almond bark
- 1-2 drops peppermint oil
- 1 box standard-sized candy canes
- food coloring paste/gel optional or beet root powder mixed into a paste
- Place almond bark in a large mixing bowl and microwave for 45 seconds then stir. Repeat until completely melted, then add peppermint oil (remember this is strong so just 1-2 drops). If using, add coloring next and stir.2 packages almond bark, 1-2 drops peppermint oil
- Pour onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet or countertop and spread out until approximately ¼-inch thick.
- Place candy canes in a zipper seal bag and let kids crush them. Sprinkle over the top and allow the bark to cool.1 box standard-sized candy canes
- Break the bark into small pieces and store it in an airtight container or place it in gift bags.