Learn how to make candied nuts with simple ingredients. Use this easy recipe to make 3 different flavor variations. Great as snack or homemade gift!
This recipe is perfect for the holidays because it makes the house smell heavenly and really gets you into the holiday spirit. Better yet, these can be packed into a mason jar with a cute printable and you have a wonderful homemade gift for your family and friends. You also must try my Candied Orange Peel and Slices as well as these Candied Cranberries.
Table of contents
What are candied nuts made of? (Key ingredients)
- Pecans- Be sure you get the pecan halves, because they are just the right size.
- Almonds- These are whole almonds. You don't want the slivered kind or else it will be too crispy.
- Walnuts- One of my favorites and be sure to use chopped, not whole.
- Granulated sugar- This is your typical white sugar used in most baked desserts and gives that sweet taste we love.
- Brown sugar- I prefer to use light as opposed to dark brown sugar.
- Egg white- Be sure to use a large egg and separate the yolk and white efficiently.
- Cinnamon- Adds a great flavor and aroma.
- Salt- Even in sweet dishes, the addition of salt is a must-just not too much!
- Vanilla extract- This brings in the warm, classic flavor.
How to make easy candied nuts recipe from scratch in oven?
- Mix together- All the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Spread- The nuts on a cookie tray.
- Bake- Until lightly crisp and not too sticky.
Variations for best sugar coated nuts
Use different nuts- You can use a mixture of different nuts or just pick one type.
- Macadamia nuts
Various ways to cook
- Slow Cooker/Crockpot- Cook on low heat low for 2.5-3 hours, stirring every hour or so. Cool on baking sheet.
- Stovetop- Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until sugars dissolve.
- Instant pot- Saute' ingredients in the pot, add 1 C. water and turn to high pressure for 10 minutes, then bake in the oven at 375 for 5-10 minutes.
- Oven (My favorite method)- Bake at 300 degrees F for 40-45 minutes. Make sure to toss everything with a spoon every 15 minutes.
- Microwave- On high for 5-8 minutes until sugars are dissolved, checking every so often to stir and coat nuts.
Try different flavors
- Coffee- Omit cinnamon powder and use 1½ tablespoon espresso powder and ½ tablespoon cocoa powder.
- Coconut- Omit vanilla extract and cinnamon powder and use 1 tablespoon coconut extract and 2-3 tablespoon unsweetened desiccated coconut.
- Spicy- Keep everything as is and also add 1 tablespoon paprika and 1 tablespoon chili powder (add more or less depending on your preference).
- Orange Citrus- Omit cinnamon powder, vanilla extract and add 1 tablespoon orange zest and use 1 teaspoon orange extract.
Use as a topping
- Salads- Candied pecans in salads are amazing!
- Ice cream- If you like add-ins mixed with your favorite ice cream, this is a great option to give a good crunch.
- Casseroles- Especially around Thanksgiving when you have various sweet yam casseroles.
- Pie- This pairs especially well with Pumpkin Pie.
- Cheese plates- These nuts are a great addition to any charcuterie board.
- Cakes- I especially like them with this Coconut Cranberry Cake.
Alternative sweeteners- Keep in mind that these don't give quite the same flavor and often have an after-taste.
- Coconut sugar
- Maple syrup
- Artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, Truvia, and Stevia
- Corn syrup
Tips and techniques
Bake long enough- If your nuts didn't harden fully, that means the nuts weren't baked long enough for the sugar to caramelize properly and they need to be baked longer.
Don't chop nuts- Because they burn easily during baking.
Line baking tray- With high quality parchment paper or heavy duty aluminum foil that's been heavily greased in oil.
Spread nuts- Evenly on the baking sheet so that they don't stick together.
Toss nuts- Every 10-15 minutes during baking to prevent them from clumping together and to allow them to become crispy and crunchy.
Use egg whites- Or else your nuts might get soft after a few days. To bring them back to a crispy texture, just spread them on a cookie tray and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. However, if you use this recipe correctly, this won't be necessary.
Gift them- You can pack the nuts in a box, jars, or plastic treat bags for gifts. Check out my Food and Cookie Packaging Ideas.
My tip is to use egg whites! Making this recipe with egg whites will always result in crispy crunchy nuts and they won't become soggy and soft after a few days either.
They were not baked long enough or they were not baked at the correct heat temperature. Another reason could be that they they were not spread out properly in the tray to allow even baking.
Toss the nuts with a spoon every 10-15 minutes during baking. Also, use a large baking tray and space the nuts out as evenly as you can to prevent overlapping.
Storage of homemade glazed nuts
Room temperature- Once the nuts have cooled down to room temperature, store them in an air tight container for 1 month. After that, they taste a little stale.
Fridge- Place cooled nuts in bags, releasing all air and moisture. Store for up to 2 months.
Freezer- Place cooled nuts in freezer bags and put in freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure that no moisture gets into the bag or else they will be soggy when you take them out of the freezer.
More easy candy recipes
- Easy Caramel Fudge
- Condensed Milk Fudge (Cranberry and Pistachio)
- Christmas Fudge (Candy Cane Fudge)
Easy Candied Nuts (Glazed Nuts)
- Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt and mix everything together until just combined,
- Add all the nuts and mix everything with a spatula until they are properly coated.
- Spread the nuts on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are properly spread out and not sticking together.
- Bake at 300 degrees F for 40-45 minutes. Make sure to toss everything with a spoon every 15 minutes. This is very important to allow even baking and prevent the nuts from sticking together.
- Read all my tips above.
- Once the nuts have cooled to room temperature, pack them in a covered container and store at room temperature. Use within 1 month.