Our Peppermint Cocoa ice cream is one of the easiest recipes you can make during the holidays. Here's our recipe for the homemade candy canes that get crushed and folded into every scoop. For the ice cream base, use the Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook.

Making candy is hot and dangerous work. If you prefer, crushed up candy canes (we like Seely Farms) are just as good in the ice cream.

This recipe makes 1 pint of candy which is more than you’ll need for the ice cream, but it’s difficult to make any less. Extra candy is perfect for decorating cupcakes, folding into cookie batter or garnishing hot cocoa! 

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

2 Tbsp water

6 drops pure peppermint oil (we like Seely Farms)

8 drops natural red or green food coloring (optional)


Small saucepan with lid (1-2 quart volume) 

Candy thermometer

Large silicone baking mat 

2-3 pairs disposable gloves

  1. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a small pot. Thoroughly mix together, making sure that there are no clumps of dry sugar left.
  2. Cover pot and heat on medium-high heat.
  3. Cook until syrup comes to a boil and all the sugar is dissolved. 
  4. Remove lid and continue to boil until syrup reaches 290F. Don’t stir!
  5. Once syrup reaches 290F, carefully pour into a pool in the center of the silicone mat (make sure that the mat is on a level surface). Sprinkle drops of peppermint oil and food coloring over surface of syrup. Let sit for a few minutes. 
  6. Put on your gloves (wear multiple pairs if using disposable). Fold the mat in half horizontally with the syrup in the center. Open mat and then fold vertically. Keep folding the mat until the syrup starts to form a blob of candy and is shiny and just cool enough to touch with your gloved hands (it will still be quite hot).
  7. Pull the candy into thin ropes, then twist the ropes back together and pull again. Repeat until candy starts to harden and crack when pulled. Pull out into thin sticks and let cool to room temp.
  8. Once candy has cooled, place sticks in ziplock bag. Use a rolling pint to crack sticks into small bits (about ¼ inch or smaller). Toss with a small spoonful of cornstarch to prevent sticking and store in a dry container with tight lid.