The Legend of the Candy Cane and Recipe

by | Dec 5, 2007 | Advent and Christmas, Christmas Baking, Holidays, Recipes, St. Nicholas | 5 comments

This year, for the feast of St. Nicholas, I am planning on making a Candy Cane Coffee Cake and St. Nicholas Hot Cocoa for Breakfast. I thought I would take a second and share the recipes with you all.

Like the Advent wreath, the candy cane is also packed with symbolism as well:

“According to legend there was a candy maker who wanted to invent a candy that was a witness to Christ.

First of all, he used a hard candy because Christ is the rock of ages. This hard candy was shaped so that it would resemble a “J” for Jesus or, turned upside down, a shepherd’s staff. He made it white to represent the purity of Christ.
Finally a red stripe was added to represent the blood Christ shed for the sins of the world, and three thinner red stripes for the stripes He received on our behalf when the Roman soldiers whipped Him. Sometimes a green stripe is added as a reminder that Jesus is a gift from God.

The flavor of the cane is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop. Hyssop is in the mint family and was used in the Old Testament for purification and sacrifice. Jesus is the pure Lamb of God, come to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world.

So, every time you see a candy cane, remember the message of the candy maker: Jesus is the Christ!”

I just requested the book The Legend of the Candy Cane from the library. It sounds great, and I am looking forward to reading it to the kids… Here is a link to a Candy Cane Acrostic page as well. It would be fun to try and create one with the symbolism of the “Candy Cane”.

Now, on to the recipes!

Candy Cane Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake

1 16-ounce package of Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
3/4 cup very warm Milk
1/4 cup Butter or Margarine, softened
1/2 cup Pecans, chopped
3/4 cup dried Cranberries or Cherries
1/2 cup Cherry Preserves
1 tablespoon Water


3/4 cup powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 375°F. For coffee cake, combine hot roll mix, yeast packet and granulated sugar in a bowl. Separate 1 egg white from yolk; reserve white. Add milk, butter, whole egg and egg yolk to a bowl. Stir until mixture forms a ball.

Turn dough out onto well-floured surface. With floured hands, knead dough 5 minutes. Sprinkle additional flour over surface as needed to reduce stickiness. Cover; let dough rest 5 minutes.

Chop pecans; combine with the dried fruit in a bowl. Place dough in center of lightly floured rectangle stone; roll into 12 x 15-inch. Spread preserves in 6-inch strip lengthwise down center of dough to within 1/4 inch of each end; sprinkle fruit mixture evenly over preserves.

Cut 1-inch-wide strips on each side of fruit filling to within 1/2 inch of filling. Lift strips of dough across filling to meet in center, twisting each strip one turn; pinch together in center to seal. Tuck ends up to seal. Lift and stretch one end of shaped dough using spatula; curve to form cane. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 minutes.

Lightly beat reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon water; brush over dough using a Pastry Brush. Bake 20-23 minutes or until deep golden brown.

For glaze, mix powdered sugar and milk until smooth; drizzle over warm coffee cake. Cool 15 minutes. Cut into 1-inch slices.

Yield: 15 servings (This is a modified Pampered Chef Recipe)

For the Hot Cocoa, we will just add Torani Peppermint Syrup to our favorite Ghirardelli Hot Cocoa. In the past I have made jars of the recipe found in this post as gifts, and it was delicious! The kids will also each get a candy cane to stir their cocoa with for extra fun!

O good holy Nicholas,
you who brought joy to children,
put in my heart the spirit of childhood
about which the Gospel speaks.
Teach me how to sow
happiness around me. Amen.

—Prayer to St. Nicholas


  1. Sweetness and Light

    Ooh, thank you for the yummy recipes, I needed something new for this year 🙂 Love,

  2. Shalon

    I know this post is from years ago but what is "hot roll mix"?

  3. Jessica Gordon

    Hi Shalon! It is made by Pillsbury and can be found near the muffin mixes at most grocery stores. I updated the post to include a link to it on Amazon so you can see what the box looks like. I just picked up a couple boxes at Walmart the other day.

  4. Shalon

    Thanks, Jessica. This looks fabulous. I am just starting this year to implement some of your ideas for living the liturgical year in my home with my little ones. You are such an inspiration! I will be praying for you in the upcoming weeks!!!

  5. Anonymous

    Jessica, thank you so much for this recipe. We make coffee cake every Sunday so I just had to try it. We have 5 children 8 and under and they devoured it. In fact my oldest said "this is a keeper." God Bless you. Heather 🙂


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