How to Candy Nuts

Candying nuts is easier than you might think. By using the oven, making these crunchy treats is easy and mess-free – with no sticky skillet or candy thermometer in sight! First you create a quick batter with sugar, spices, a little salt, and a thick liquid, such as egg whites or maple syrup, to help the spices stick to the nuts. Then simply toss the nuts in the coating, spread out on a greased parchment-lined baking sheet, and roast in a medium-low oven. 

This guide provides instructions for three different types of candied nuts: sweet maple cinnamon pecans, savory rosemary parmesan cashews, and smoky spiced almonds.  You can use a variety of nuts depending on what you have on hand. Most raw, shelled nuts will work with these recipes, such as walnuts, macadamias, peanuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios.

The Multiple Uses for Candied Nuts

Candied nuts are an excellent addition to any pantry to elevate salads, cheese boards, and desserts. Candied walnuts are a ubiquitous pairing with fruit and cheese salads, as the sweetness of the nuts cuts through the salty cheese and adds a crunchy bite. 

Candied nuts can also make an appearance at breakfast by including a handful to top your morning granola or muesli. Or sprinkle some on top of fresh fruit with Greek yogurt.

For dessert, candied nuts can add texture and flavor to a simple bowl of vanilla ice cream, they can be chopped and sprinkled on top of milkshakes or desserts, or they can be stirred into cookie or brownie batters. If I haven’t convinced you to make candied nuts already, consider them for an easy and thoughtful gift. Candied nuts make super cute homemade gifts for the holidays wrapped in ribbon-decorated cellophane bags or in Mason jars. 

Why Some Candied Nut Recipes Have Egg Whites

When toasting the nuts in the oven, you need a binder that helps adhere the flavorings and spices to the nuts. Egg whites are viscous in nature, perfect for sticking the sugar, spice, and all things nice onto the nuts (as a bonus the egg whites also give the nuts a shiny glaze). If you would like to make these recipes without egg, you can replace the egg white with a tablespoon or two of maple syrup.

Recipe: Candied Nuts 3 Ways 

To make any of the following recipes in Suvie, follow instructions below, dividing nuts between 2 greased, parchment-lined Suvie pans. Roast at 300°F for 30 minutes.

How to Candy Nuts

Equipment and Tools 

  • Large rimmed baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Whisk 
  • Medium bowl
  • Slotted spoon

Maple-Cinnamon Candied Pecans

Yields about 2 cups

These maple-cinnamon candied pecans are particularly great for the holidays —not only as gifts, but also as toppings for pumpkin pie or sweet potato casserole.

Ingredients 

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups raw pecan halves
  • 1 pinch flaky sea salt (optional)

Directions

1) Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease with olive oil or cooking spray.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together ⅓ cup maple syrup, 2 tbsp dark brown sugar, 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp kosher salt, and ¼ tsp ground black pepper. Add 2 cups raw pecan halves, and toss to thoroughly coat in the mixture.

3) Using a slotted spoon, transfer pecans to the prepared baking sheet (leaving any excess mixture behind). Spread pecans into an even layer, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until toasted and glazed.

4) Remove pecans from oven and immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt (if using).

5) Allow pecans to cool for around 30 minutes. Once hardened, break up any nuts that may have clumped together. 

Honey-Rosemary Parmesan Cashews

Yields about 2 cups


This savory yet sweet nut is perfect to pair with a cocktail (or two!) and can also be added to salads. Due to the butter in the recipe, these nuts need to be tossed a few times during cooking to ensure even caramelization and to prevent burning. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 large egg white
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving 
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 pinch flaky sea salt (optional)

Directions

1) Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease with olive oil or cooking spray.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk 1 egg white until foamy. Add ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 2 tbsp light brown sugar, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp melted butter, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper. Add 2 cups raw cashews and toss to thoroughly coat in the mixture. 

3) Using a slotted spoon, transfer cashews to the prepared baking sheet (leaving any excess mixture behind). Spread out nuts in an even layer and bake for 13 to 16 minutes, until toasted and glazed, stirring nuts two or three times during cooking to ensure even cooking.

Remove cashews from oven and immediately sprinkle with finely chopped rosemary, more freshly grated Parmesan, black pepper, and flaky sea salt (if using).

Allow cashews to cool for around 30 minutes. Once hardened, break up any nuts that may have clumped together. 

Smoky-Spiced Candied Almonds

Yields about 2 cups


Serve these smoky nuts on a cheeseboard, alongside tapas, a Manchego cheese salad, or a mezze plate. If spice isn’t your jam, then reduce or omit the cayenne pepper. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 large egg white
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups whole (skin-on) raw almonds 
  • 1 pinch flaky sea salt or smoked sea salt (optional)


Directions

1) Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease with olive oil or cooking spray.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk 1 egg white until foamy. Add ¼ cup dark brown sugar, 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp kosher salt, and ½  tsp ground black pepper, until thoroughly combined. Add 2 cups raw almonds and stir to thoroughly coat in the mixture.

3) Using a slotted spoon, transfer almonds to the prepared baking sheet (leaving any excess mixture behind). Spread out nuts into an even layer and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until toasted and glazed.

4) Remove almonds from oven and immediately sprinkle with flaky salt (if using).

5) Allow to cool for around 30 minutes. Once hardened, break up any nuts that may have clumped together. 

Recipes to try:

Poached Pears with Greek Yogurt

How to make your own granola

Milkshakes: An American Diner Staple

Tahini Brownies

6 Salad Recipes for the New Year

How to Sous Vide Chocolate Pot de Crème

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Pisto Manchego

FAQs

I can’t eat eggs; what can I use instead? 

You can replace the egg white by using one tablespoon or two of maple syrup. 

What other spices go well with candied nuts?

You can mix and match your spices and add a variety of flavors. Some of our favorite spices include: pumpkin spice, aleppo or sichuan pepper, Old Bay seasoning, dry rub blends, ground allspice, chili powder. 

How long will candied nuts last?

If stored correctly in an airtight container or resealable bag, the sweet candied nuts can last up to two weeks at room temperature, or even up to a month in a dark, cool environment, so it’s worth making a big batch. However, it comes with a warning: they may not last longer than a week, as they make easy snacking! The savory candied nuts  that contain freshly grated Parmesan are best to be eaten the day they are made, as they will get sticky if you store them in the fridge. 

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