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Leftover candy canes? Make Salted Peppermint Fudge Sauce!

(I know, this is a weird time to publish a recipe involving candy canes. But I’ve been going through some old posts that were filed in a weird spot on my blog and fixing them up, adding recipe cards as needed, and this is one such post. You can pin it for next Christmas. Or use starlight mints and make it now!)

Salted Peppermint Fudge Sauce Recipe

For some people, a peppermint/chocolate combo is reminiscent of eating toothpaste with their chocolate.

(I know. That is a disgusting thought.)

But for me, mint and chocolate is an endlessly appealing flavor combo.

crushed candy canes

I originally found this on a now-defunct section of the Yahoo site, but I believe that the original original was from Smitten Kitchen.

When I first made this, I had just gotten my adorable new All-Clad pot and I have to say, that’s part of the reason I chose the recipe. 😉

all clad 2 quart saucepan

gratuitous new pot photo

I haven’t dabbled in fudge-sauce-making a whole lot, but this is SO good and so easy.

As it turns out, if you can operate a spoon, you can make decadent fudge sauce.

My favorite part: once you pour it on the ice cream, if you let it sit for just a few minutes, it hardens into a firmer, fudgy consistency, which is perfect with slightly melty ice cream.

what to do with leftover candy canes

If you have some leftover candy canes from Christmas, they make a beautiful and tasty topping, but you can skip that bit if you’d like.

Or if it’s not Christmas-time and you want to make this, you can certainly crush regular round peppermint candies instead.


You’ll need to chop up 6 ounces of chocolate first.   I normally eat 85% dark chocolate, but since I wasn’t planning to eat the sauce all by myself, I used a mixture of 70% and 60% dark chocolate.

chopped chocolate for fudge sauce

You could use milk chocolate, I suppose, but the sauce does have a lot of other sweetness added so I feel like milk chocolate would make a sickeningly sweet fudge sauce.

But this is coming from a fan of 85% dark chocolate, so take that with a grain of salt.

Combine half the chocolate with cream, brown sugar, light corn syrup, and Dutched cocoa powder (Hershey’s sells this as dark cocoa powder).


You’ll need a 2 quart saucepan for this.

<Kristen does a happy dance and pulls out her new pot.>

Over medium heat, cook and stir until it all melts together, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate, the peppermint extract, butter, and salt.


I love salt with chocolate.

And that’s it!   Fudge sauce is complete.

smitten kitchen peppermint fudge sauce

Let the sauce cool for a bit before you pour it over the ice cream, or your ice cream will get awfully melty.

Once the sauce is slightly cooled, pour it atop some ice cream, and then sprinkle with chopped candy canes.

make fudge sauce with leftover candy canes

As I said, the candy cane step is optional, but I really liked the bit of extra crunch the candy cane bits provided.

One quick note before the printable: If you hate peppermint, just turn this into a salted fudge sauce by omitting the peppermint extract and the candy topping.

Salted Peppermint Fudge Sauce

Salted Peppermint Fudge Sauce

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This easy fudge sauce is made from pantry ingredients and requires little more than stirring.


  • 2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ideally Dutch-processed
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or level 1/4 teaspoon table salt (I used sea salt)
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or, about 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips), divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, or to taste
  • Crushed candy canes, for serving (optional)


1. In a 1 1/2 to 2-quart heavy saucepan, combine cream, syrup, sugar, cocoa, and half the chocolate and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove pan from burner and stir in remaining chocolate, butter, peppermint extract, and salt.   Stir until smooth.   Cool sauce before pouring over ice cream.

3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.


If you don't have candy canes, use crushed round mint candies instead.

If you don't like peppermint, omit the peppermint extract and the crushed candy topping, and you'll have salted fudge sauce.

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Sunday 14th of June 2020

Thank you for posting! Perfect timing for my son's birthday. I'm sure he and his friends will love it!

Diane C

Monday 20th of April 2020

Does anyone have any tips for crushing candy canes? I've tried a food processor (hard on the blade, won't do that twice), and a heavy recycled cereal bag and marble rolling pin still made holes in the bag. What's a girl to do? I wonder if freezing the candy canes first would make them more brittle? Ideas welcome!

Dia M

Saturday 18th of April 2020

Thanks for this recipe. Can this be stored and gifted as well? Does this have a poury consistancy if you store it or does this thicken up that it can't be poured if stored in a bottle?


Saturday 18th of April 2020

I wouldn't store it in a bottle; it gets pretty firm in the fridge, and it would be hard to remove from the bottle unless you heated it up. A jar with a bigger opening like the one in my photo would work a lot better.

I wouldn't store this very long before gifting; it needs to be refrigerated since it's not heat canned. So, I'd make it shortly before you are ready to give it as a gift.


Wednesday 31st of December 2014

Thanks for this one! We love ice-cream in the winter. I am going to make it for this weekend. My son is turning 3 this weekend and he asked for "banilla" ice cream. I think the grandparents would love some toppings with theirs. Thanks!!!!

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