Valentine’s Day is over. Maybe your Valentine got you a box of chocolates. Perhaps you splurged on some fancy candy from the local chocolatier. Or maybe you just snagged the discount pink and red M&Ms at 12:01 a.m. on February 15. However you acquired your tasty treats, it’s likely you’ve got a little surplus. Candy is candy… and who says a seasonal wrapper is a faux pas? Those tasty little morsels don’t deserve to be thrown out, so give them a new life! Here are a few ways to repurpose Valentine’s Day candy (or any holiday-specific treats). 

Bake It In

Bringing candy into your baking is a traditional and easy way to repurpose it. Chop up chocolate bars and heart-shaped candies to use as toppings for cakes or mix-ins for cookies. Crush up hard candies and use them to top a scoop of ice cream or sorbet to serve with your cake (bonus points for using that same candy to make the cake).

Try out these decadent Candy Bar Brownies from Love from the Oven. 

Repurpose Valentine's Day candy: Chocolate Trail Mix
Source: NY Times Cooking

Create Unique Gifts

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to create unique, yummy gifts for friends, family, hosts, or colleagues, your leftover Valentine’s Day candy can add that perfect touch. Melt down chocolates to create a drizzle for granola bars. Unwrap a variety of mini-items, open a pack of M&Ms, and toss them together into jars to make your own little candy mix. Or, melt down candies (like a Hershey Chocolate Bar or a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup) and toss with your favorite snack mix recipe. 

Try this chocolate trail mix recipe from NY Times Cooking. 

Elevate Your Coffee (and Hot Chocolate)

Your morning coffee just got even more delicious. Replace your sweetener with a piece of chocolate. Drop the chocolate in while the coffee is still hot and stir until it’s melted. You can also melt down chocolates and make homemade hot chocolate on the stovetop. There is something so decadent and luxurious about hot chocolate made with actual candy.

Try this homemade hot chocolate recipe from Live Well, Bake Often. 

Use it for the Next Holiday

Easter is right around the corner, so why not use some of your candy then? You can create desserts, fill Easter baskets, and even use it for arts and crafts projects. Melt some chocolate into molds, like a rabbit or an egg, to make your own chocolate characters. These make great gifts, too! 

Here is a rabbit candy mold to get you started.

Use It For Educational Purposes With the Kids

M&Ms and Skittles for counting and sorting (and then eating). Heart-shaped candies for decorating. And Conversation Hearts for a Science Project? Yes! Coffee Cups and Crayons recommends using a variety of ingredients to alter the state of your conversation hearts. 

Learn how to conduct the Conversation Hearts experiment

Repurpose Valentine's Day candy by infusing vodka
Source: Mix That Drink

Create a Candy-Based Cocktail or Mocktail

For the adults, transform your sweets into interesting drinks. Chocolates and fruity candies can be dissolved or muddled into cocktails and mocktails. Consider dropping some Starburst, Skittles, or Jolly Ranchers into a mason jar and pour in your favorite mid-range vodka. Or make a homemade chocolate liqueur to add to martinis or spike your coffee with. And, of course, crush up your candies to add to the rims of your drinkware to spice up the look and taste of your favorite drinks.

Check out this tutorial on how to infuse your vodka with your favorite fruity candy.

Donate It

If you simply can’t (or don’t want to) repurpose your supply, consider donating it to a local shelter, foodbank, community center, or school. Make sure that whatever you donate is unopened and, of course, ask ahead of time if it’s appropriate to donate at a particular location.  

Here are a few organizations that may accept your donation.


Repurposing Valentine’s Day treats is an act of creativity, sustainability, and kindness. Whether you’re baking, crafting, or donating, there is a unique way to extend the life of your sweet treats. So, before you consider tossing out that leftover candy, remember these ideas that not only reduce waste but also add a touch of sweetness to everyday life.

Kadi McDonald is a freelance writer, marketing strategist, and proud Cleveland sports fan.