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Learn how to candy nuts at home in the oven. Use this quick and easy candied nuts recipe to make candied pecans, almonds, walnuts, or your choice of nuts.
You don’t need any fancy equipment or ingredients. Just follow these straightforward steps, and you’ll have a batch of irresistible candied nuts ready in no time. They’re perfect for snacking, gifting, or adding a sweet touch to your gatherings.
Whether you’re looking for a sweet snack treat or a thoughtful homemade gift, these easy candied pecans and almonds are sure to impress!
The best part? The simple ingredients are probably already in your pantry, making this recipe not only delicious but convenient too.
So, let’s get started and turn those ordinary nuts into an extraordinary sweet, crunchy snack!
Why you’ll love this candied nuts recipe
- easy recipe with simple steps
- great for snacking, gifting, or adding a sweet touch to your gatherings.
- perfect for the holiday season or as a sweet treat any time of the year.
- makes the house smell great as they bake.
This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- Nuts – We used a mix of pecans and almonds, but feel free to use any raw nuts you prefer.
- Egg White – Helps to bind the sugar and spices to the nuts.
- Vanilla Extract – Adds a subtle, sweet aroma and flavor to the nuts.
- Dark Brown Sugar – Gives a deep, caramel-like sweetness. Light brown sugar can be substituted if preferred.
- Granulated Sugar – Provides a classic sweetness and helps create a crisp coating.
- Cinnamon – Offers a warm, spicy flavor. An essential for that classic candied taste.
- Nutmeg – Adds a hint of warm, nutty spice. If unavailable, you can substitute with extra cinnamon.
- Large rimmed baking sheet
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Electric mixer (hand mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment)
- Silicone spatula
- Turner spatula (flipper spatula)
How to Candy Nuts in the Oven
This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F and lightly spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray. I do not recommend using parchment paper or aluminum foil for this recipe.
Step 2: Add the pecan halves and whole almonds to a large bowl.
Step 3: Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the egg whites and vanilla in a small bowl until thick and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.
Step 4: Pour the egg white mixture over the mixed nuts and gently fold until all nuts are well coated.
Step 5: Whisk together the dark brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a separate bowl until combined.
Step 6: Pour the cinnamon sugar mixture over the nuts and then mix gently until all nuts are well coated.
Step 7: Spread the nuts into an even layer on the prepared baking sheet and then bake for 30-45 minutes, turning every 10 to 15 minutes, or until the nuts are dry and the sugar is crystallized.
Step 8: Remove from the oven and let nuts cool completely before serving or storing.
Room temperature: Candied nuts can be kept at room temperature for up to 1-2 weeks for optimal freshness. Ensure they are kept in an airtight container to prevent moisture from getting in, which can cause the nuts to become sticky.
Freezer: Freeze fully cooled nuts in an airtight container or freezer bag, removing as much air as possible. Thaw at room temperature when you are ready to enjoy. Keep in mind that freezing might slightly alter their texture, but they’ll still be delicious!
Delicious ways to enjoy your candied nuts
- Cheese Plate: Add a handful of candied nuts alongside a variety of cheeses for a delightful mix of sweet and savory flavors.
- Salad Topper: Sprinkle chopped candied nuts on top of salads for a delightful crunch. They’re particularly delicious atop mixed green salads with vinaigrette dressing.
- Yogurt or Oatmeal Mix-in: Stir a little bit into your morning yogurt or oatmeal for added texture and a sweet flavor boost.
- Dessert Garnish: Use them as a crunchy topping for ice cream, puddings, or even on frosted cakes for an extra touch of elegance and taste.
- Snack Mix Addition: Mix them with dried fruits, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, and/or pretzels for a homemade snack mix that’s both tasty and satisfying.
Tips for the Best Candies Nuts
- Even Coating: Toss nuts thoroughly to ensure an even coating for the perfect crunch.
- Consistent Layering: Spread nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet to promote even cooking and prevent clumping.
- Regular Stirring: Stir the nuts every 10-15 minutes while baking for uniform caramelization and to avoid burning.
- Cool Completely: Let the hot nuts cool completely on the baking sheet to harden and develop a crisp texture before storing.
- Freshness Matters: Use fresh, unsalted nuts for the best flavor and texture.
Additions and variations
- Spicy Kick: Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the sugar mixture for a sweet and spicy flavor.
- Maple Glaze: Replace 1/4 cup of granulated sugar with pure maple syrup for a rich, autumnal twist.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: Swap the cinnamon and nutmeg for pumpkin pie spice for a more complex flavor.
- Sea Salt Finish: After baking, while still warm, sprinkle lightly with sea salt or kosher salt for a delightful sweet-salty balance.
Candied Nuts FAQ
Absolutely! While this recipe uses pecans and almonds, feel free to experiment with another kind of nut such as walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, or a mixture of different nuts.
Definitely! You can reduce the amount of granulated sugar if you prefer a less sweet snack. Adjust to your taste preference.
Candied almonds and pecans can turn out soggy if they’re not baked long enough or at a high enough temperature to properly crystallize the sugar. Also, ensure they cool completely at room temperature to harden the sugar coating before storing. Moisture from storage can also make them soggy, so store them in an airtight container.
More Candy Recipes
- 3 cups pecan halves unsalted
- 1 cup whole almonds unsalted
- 1 large egg white room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 275°F and spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray.
- Place pecan halves and whole almonds in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, beat egg whites and vanilla with a mixer until thick (about 2-3 minutes). Fold the egg white mixture into the nuts until evenly coated.
- In another bowl, mix dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add this sugar mixture to the nuts, stirring gently for an even coat.
- Spread nuts in one layer on the baking sheet; bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until nuts are dry and sugar crystallizes.
- Let the nuts cool completely before serving or storing.
- Feel free to use all almonds, all pecans, or a different type of raw, unsalted nut.
- I do not recommend using parchment paper or aluminum foil for this recipe.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.