Candy Cane Reindeer Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 30 min. + standing
These edible candy cane reindeer are a fun holiday activity to do with kids. They’re also fantastic for dressing up a festive Christmas dessert table!

Updated: May 10, 2024

These whimsical candy cane reindeer are adorable Christmas treats. Each candy cane reindeer is a work of art with its candy cane body, pretzel antlers and edible candy eyes and nose. They’re easy to make, kid-friendly and made of all edible ingredients. If you’re looking for Christmas recipes for kids or need to dress up your holiday table, this candy cane reindeer craft will do the trick.

Ingredients for Candy Cane Reindeer

Ingredients For Candy Cane Reindeer Tohcom 19196 Ef 10 17 23 1bTMB STUDIO

  • White candy coating: White candy coating glues the snack pieces to the candy canes.
  • Candy canes: Candy canes act as the body and head for the reindeer.
  • Miniature pretzels: Miniature pretzels act as the brown reindeer antlers.
  • Red Hots or M&M’S: Red Hots or M&M’S resemble the perfect little reindeer nose.
  • Candy eyes: Use store-bought candy eyes, or make your own pair of spooky candy eyes, to give each reindeer their own personality. Black sugar pearls or mini semisweet chocolate chips work well here, too.


Step 1: Melt the white candy coating

In a microwave, melt the candy coating in short intervals to avoid burning. Stir until smooth. Keep warm.

Step 2: Make the body

Make The Body Tohcom 19196 Ef 10 17 23 2b Ss EditTMB STUDIO

Working with one candy cane at a time, hold the curved end of the cane. Using a spoon, drizzle the melted coating around the straight part of the candy cane. Let the excess candy coating drip off. Place the candy cane on waxed paper to dry. Repeat with remaining candy canes.

Step 3: Design the face

Candy Cane Reindeer close up on face with other supplies in the backgroundTMB Studio

Break the pretzels in half to resemble antlers, and set aside 24 pretzel pieces. Using the melted candy coating as a glue, attach 1 Red Hot to the tip of the curved portion of each candy cane to make noses. Hold for 10 seconds to adhere. Using the candy coating, attach candy eyes just above the noses, and pretzel antlers above the eyes, holding each piece as needed to help adhere.

Step 4: Allow to set

Candy Cane Reindeer on blue backgroundTMB Studio

Place the finished candy cane reindeer in mugs or drinking glasses. Let them dry for about one hour.

Candy Cane Reindeer Variations

  • Try a different candy cane flavor: Peppermint is classic, but there are so many other delicious candy cane flavors like fruit or mint chocolate chip. If you’re extra daring, try one of these weird candy cane flavors.
  • Use chocolate candy coating: Chocolate candy coating instead of white candy coating will resemble the dark coloring of a reindeer more closely.

How to Store Candy Cane Reindeer

Store candy cane reindeer in an upright container such as a mug or drinking glass. For an extra-festive look, fill the drinking glass with Christmas sprinkles. They help the candy cane reindeer stand upright without leaning on the glass.

Candy Cane Reindeer

Prep Time 30 min
Yield 1 dozen.


  • 8 ounces white candy coating, coarsely chopped
  • 12 candy canes (6 inches)
  • 12 miniature pretzels
  • 12 Red Hots or milk chocolate M&M's
  • 12 double candy eyes or 24 single candy eyes, black sugar pearls or miniature semisweet chocolate chips


  1. In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Keep warm. Holding the curved end of a candy cane, use a spoon to drizzle coating over the straight part of candy; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper to dry. Repeat with remaining candy canes. Break pretzels in half to resemble antlers; set aside 24 pieces.
  2. Attach Red Hots candy noses to the curved portion of each candy cane with melted candy coating, holding for about 10 seconds to help adhere. Use candy coating to attach candy eyes just above noses and pretzel antlers above eyes, holding each piece as needed to help adhere. Place in mugs or drinking glasses; let dry for about 1 hour.

Nutrition Facts

1 candy cane: 201 calories, 6g fat (5g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 124mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

We had a blast creating these adorable candy cane stocking stuffers! Rudolph and his friends never looked sweeter than they do with pretzel antlers, chocolate eyes, and candy noses made with Red Hots. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen