Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts.

Once you pop, you can’t stop. These homemade cinnamon sugar candied nuts are addictive, crowd-pleasing, and dangerously simple!

Photos updated October 2014.

Once you pop, you can't stop. These homemade cinnamon sugar candied nuts are addictive, crowd-pleasing, and dangerously simple!

Candied nuts swimming in a thick cinnamon-sugar crusted shell, the sweetly spiced aroma dancing around the house as you make them, and their bite-size addictive crunchiness… I just love everything about today’s treat. This classic is and has always been one of my very favorites around the holidays.

The recipe is from my mom’s dear friend Sharyn. My mom had one taste and has been making them for my family for years. When I went home over Thanksgiving, the first thing I needed… before any turkey or pumpkin pie… was this candied nut recipe.

I had NO IDEA candied nuts were so easy to make. It’s a dangerous, yet amazing thing.

Homemade Candied Nuts - I love this recipe!

Only about 10 minutes of prep work, 30 minutes of wait time, and about 5 minutes to sit on your tush and eat an entire bowl of them. I’m not kidding.  As I sat on the couch watching How I Met Your Mother, a huge bowl of the nuts in hand, I realized that… ooops… I ate them all.  Time to grab more from the batch, don’t mind if I do!

Thank goodness they are typically only made around the holidays. But I don’t think that is going to stop me from making a batch of this notoriously addictive snack in July.

This candied nut recipe will work for any kind of nuts, but I prefer using pecans because  the cinnamon sugar goo gets stuck in the pecan’s little crevices.  All of the pecan’s crinkles are enveloped with a thick layer of the sweet stuff. I also used almonds in today’s batch as well – I wanted a second nut in the batch for a variety of texture. The sugared coating works well on almonds, but a smooth nut does not “catch” as much coating as a pecan. Peanuts, cashews, macadamias – whatever you’d like to use up in your pantry – would also work as the second nut in this recipe, but make sure you use pecans as the primary base.

If you’re anything like me, you want a heavily coated nut and pecans will get ya there.

Candied Nuts

So what’s in this magical candied coating? Glad you asked. An easy 5 ingredient mixture.

First, you’ll beat two egg whites and 2 tablespoons of water to a frothy, fluffy, cloud-like consistency with very stiff peaks. It took me about 4 minutes, beaten on medium-high, to get the egg whites and water to that point. You want this mixture to be as voluminous as possible because the sugar will weigh it down. Next, add the sugar. Two cups of the sweet stuff.  You’re making candied nuts, not diet food.

Finally, mix in cinnamon and salt. I adore cinnamon in my recipes and, more often than not, have quite the heavy hand when pouring it. Cut down to 2 teaspoons at the minimum if you aren’t a cinnamon lover freak like I am. The salt in this mixture cuts down on the sweetness and each bite is partly salty/partly sweet/partly spiced. A plethora of pleasant taste profiles on your itty bitty tastebuds.

Homemade Candied Nuts

Once the sugar coating is ready, toss in the nuts and mix everything up well to cover every last morsel. Trust me, you want every inch of the nuts coated with a heavy blanket of the cinnamon/sugar/egg-whites, so make sure you do a job here.

Line a baking sheet with heavy duty parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  You’ll be thankful you did – I certainly don’t want burnt cinnamon sugar glaze stuck to my baking sheet. Spread the coated nuts over the lined sheet and bake for 45 minutes at 300F, stirring every 15 minutes to avoid burning.  Warning: you’ll be so mesmerized by the glorious scent of the candied nuts roasting away in the kitchen, that you may just forget about anything else important in life.  Like laundry in the dryer or a voicemail from your boss… just be aware of that in advance. (oops)

As the nuts cool, you’ll find little crunchy sugared coating bits that didn’t quite make it onto the nuts scattered around. Those may just be my favorite little bites. I could eat a bowl of just the crispy sugar coating! Package them up in little treat bags for your friends or set them out at a holiday get-together, perhaps along with some sprinkle-loaded chocolate covered pretzels?

Homemade Candied Nuts - I love this recipe!

I have zero self control around these sugar bombs. Hey, egg whites and nuts are good for you, though… right?!


Candied Cinnamon-Sugar Nuts

Yield: 6 cups

That addicting and delicious holiday snack found at the mall can be made at home. And will have your house smelling like the holidays in no time! Makes a wonderful holiday gift.


  • 5 cups pecan halves, unsalted
  • 1 cup whole almonds, unsalted
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray; or use a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

Mix pecans and almonds in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and water on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt, gently folding until combined.

Pour/spoon sugar mixture over nuts and stir to coat completely. Spread nuts over the baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15. Allow to cool completely and enjoy. Store nuts at room temperature for a few weeks, covered.

Additional Notes:

*Recipe can easily be halved to keep around the house or doubled to feed a large crowd.

This recipe comes from Sharyn, my mom's wonderful friend. Thank you Sharyn!

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.



What are your favorite sweet snacky foods? Try these next.

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101 Responses to “Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts.”

  1. #
    Kathryn Cothernposted December 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Sally, I made a huge amount of candied nuts using your recipe as a base and then tweaking it some to achieve what I had in mind. These were a HUGE hit at my church council’s Christmas luncheon. Folks couldn’t stay away from the bowl! I encouraged folks to take some home since it would be too dangerous to have these in my pantry, and they were so excited to do so!!

    I am making another huge batch today for teachers Christmas gifts. I like to give unique and homemade items.

    Thanks again for getting me started!!! :)

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! Oh yes, your first Christmas as a married lady! :)


    • Sallyreplied on December 15th, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Wonderful! Happy to hear it. I love these nuts!


  2. #
    Kimposted December 18, 2014 at 9:34 am

    This recipe looks amazing and I am making it today!! My question is how well do they keep? Do you need to be refigerated or can they keep in a sealed container ?


    • Sallyreplied on December 18th, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Hi Kim– Store nuts at room temperature for a few weeks, covered.


  3. #
    Darlaposted December 20, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    I didn’t see exactly how much salt is supposed to be in this recipe. Could you help me with that?


    • Sallyreplied on December 21st, 2014 at 8:10 am

      Hi Darla, it is the last ingredient listed– 2 teaspoons salt


  4. #
    Lexposted December 22, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Sally! Im making christmas boxes with a bunch of baked goods in them and i thought that these would go nicely in them, but can i use walnuts instead of almonds? thanks
    -lex xo


    • Sallyreplied on December 22nd, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Walnut should be just fine! Enjoy.


  5. #
    Claireposted December 29, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Sally, I’m here in Scotland eating a batch of sweet nuts from my local supermarket and they’re delicious but not cheap!
    They are:
    Cinnamon coated almonds
    Honey coated hazelnuts
    Maple coated pecans
    I went online to see how easy it would be to make them and youve definitely inspired me to try ☺️


  6. #
    Pamposted December 29, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I made these for a Christmas Open House the they were a huge hit. I had some left and took them to work and they disappeared. We are fortunate that a friend gives us halved pecans every Christmas so today I am making my second batch. I have never made candied nuts before and these are really easy and absolutely delicious. I will be making these more often for sure! Thank you and by the way, I have never seen that spelling of Sharyn except for my eldest sister, whose name is also Sharyn!


  7. #
    Pennyposted January 16, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Made these to go along with my Christmas cookies (ok, so I’m a little behind in adding a comment, don’t judge – lol)…anyway, they are ABSURDLY delicious! I coudn’t stop eating them.. Definetely be making them again & agian. Thanks for a great recipe!


  8. #
    Emilyposted February 17, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Hi there,
    thank you for the glorious recipe, these are in the oven right now and the smell is heavenly!! One question, when I stirred them after the first 15 min it kind of broke up the cool looking coating process it had going on, it was all smooth and golden and then when I stirred it it lost all smoothness and now the nuts are not completely covered – is that supposed to happen or did I do something weird when beating the egg whites?
    thanks so much, I know the’ll taste delicious anyway :)


    • Sallyreplied on February 17th, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      Hi Emily. The coating melts down a little in the oven. But as the nuts cool, they should look how they do in the photos you see here.


  9. #
    Maggieposted March 3, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Looks so yummy! Have salted pistachio that needs to be used so wondering if using salted nuts instead of unsalted nuts would also work for this recipe? Thank you!


    • Sallyreplied on March 3rd, 2015 at 8:32 am

      Absolutely. Especially if you love salty/sweet! Maybe cut back ever so slightly on the salt in the coating.


      • Maggiereplied on March 4th, 2015 at 10:27 pm

        That’s great! Thank you! I’ll have to definitely make this!

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