Try not to eat these in one sitting! Whip these Candied Pecans and Almonds up in minutes. Just 7 ingredients, 1 pan, and 10 minutes make for a quick, easy snack
I love making these candied pecans and almonds! A perfect little addition to a trail mix when on the go or a yummy topping to ice cream.
Make during the holiday season and store in mini mason jars for gifts at your work holiday party. These sweet treats will be a huge hit, promise!
Some candied pecan and almond recipes call for egg white and baking them in the oven. While still delicious, I prefer this much faster stove-top candied nut variation.
Important Ingredients with Substitutions
- Raw Pecans - Unroasted and raw nuts are best
- Raw Almonds - Unroasted and raw whole almonds are best here as well. I would say if you have to use salted nuts, omit the salt from this recipe.
- Brown Sugar - Essential for sweetness and crunch. Light brown sugar is used here. I like to mix light brown sugar and dark brown sugar so whichever you have will work fine.
- Ground Cinnamon - Flavor!
- Water - Helps to dissolve the sugar and thin the syrup out.
- Vanilla extract - A pure vanilla extract will provide a more authentic vanilla flavor! I have thought about using Pumpkin Pie extract as well, if you've tried it let me know how it went.
- Salt - As always, to balance the sweetness.
See the recipe below for the full list of ingredients and quantities.
How To Make candied pecans and almonds
Step 1: Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat also known as a Silpat. This will be our landing and cooling station for our nuts.
Step 2: Add the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, water, and salt to a large pan. I prefer a dutch oven for its amazing non-stick abilities.
Step 3: On medium heat, use a rubber spatula to stir constantly until the mixture starts to bubble.
Step 4: Add in the vanilla extract, pecans, and almonds. Mix to combine and continue to mix for 2-3 minutes making sure the nuts are all evenly coated with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Step 5: This will also gently roast the nuts as well. Be careful not to cook these too long as you may burn the nuts.
Step 6: Once combined, pour out onto the prepared baking sheet. Use the rubber spatula to spread pecans and almonds out evenly. Allow nuts to completely cool for at least 30 minutes to about an hour.
Level Up with a Top Tip!
Hint: For sweet and crunchy pecans and almonds, leave the nuts stored uncovered overnight so they can crisp up.
Raw, Roasted, or Salted Nuts?
Raw - For this recipe, raw pecans and almonds are the most ideal. We will be adding our own sweet and salty flavors to them and slightly roasting them in the pan.
Roasted - Using roasted nuts is alright as well. Be aware that stirring the almonds and pecans in the pan will roast them slightly. If your candied nuts taste slightly burnt, it's likely because the nuts were previously roasted.
My suggestion would be to mix the roasted almonds and pecans in the pan with the cinnamon-sugar mixture then pour them out as soon as their covered.
Salted - If you happen to only have salted nuts, that's perfectly okay. This recipe does call for salt, just simply don't add it if that is the case.
Your salted nuts will likely have significantly more salt than needed, shake or rub off what you can.
- Other nuts! - Try a variation of other nuts including whole raw walnuts or whole raw cashews.
- Add to trail mix! - Mix candied nuts with fresh-popped popcorn, pretzels, and chocolate pieces. Mmm!
- Spice it up! - Add ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mixture.
- Use as a topping! - Add these delicious candied pecans and almonds to a salad or to your favorite breakfast waffle or french toast! Add as a topping to ice cream or a baked casserole.
Store candied almonds and pecans in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
Can I freeze candied nuts? Freeze up in an airtight freezer safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw for a few hours before enjoying!
Level Up With Expert Tips & Tricks
I recommend setting your prepared baking sheet pan close by or even right next to the pan you're cooking in. Makes for an easy transfer, and less chance of a mess or an accident.
Wait 30 minutes to an hour to snack on these candied pecans and almonds. This will allow them to cool and the cinnamon sugar coating to harden.
A gift to your neighbors or coworkers. Wrap nuts in clear bags tied with ribbon or give in Mason Jars.
For this recipe, I recommend using only whole raw almonds. Sliced almonds will be far too thin, and likely won't ever obtain that sugary crunch that candied almonds have. Slivered almonds can be used in a pinch, but I still recommend whole almonds.
Yes! Often times you'll open a bag of whole pecans and realize that half of them have already turned into pecan halves. There is still enough mass in half of a pecan to deliver a yummy candied pecans recipe. If all you have are halved pecans, that is okay!
Your candied nuts are likely soft because they haven't cooled long enough
If you're tasting the candied nuts while they're still warm they will be soft. After you've noticed that the cinnamon sugar candy coating has dried or hardened then the nut inside likely has too.
Looking for other fall recipes like this? Try these:
Easy Candied Pecans and Almonds
- ¾ cup Brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 3 tablespoon Water
- 2 cups Pecan halves raw
- 2 cups Almonds raw
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Add brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and water to a large pan or dutch oven..
- On medium-high heat stir the mixture until the brown sugar melts and starts to bubble.
- Carefully pour in pecans and almonds. Stir well to coat all the nuts with the sugar syrup.
- Continue to stir for 2-3 minutes to cook and fully coat the nuts, being careful not to cook too long or burn them.
- Pour coated nuts out onto the prepared baking sheet. Allow nuts to cool completely, approximately 30 minutes. They should be crunchy once fully cooled.
- Once cooled, break apart the stuck-together nuts. Store in an airtight container.
Add to trail mix! - Mix candied nuts with fresh-popped popcorn, pretzels, and chocolate pieces. Mmm!
Spice it up! - Add ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mixture.
Use as a topping! - Add these delicious candied pecans and almonds to a salad or to your favorite breakfast waffle or french toast! Add as a topping to ice cream or a baked casserole.