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

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.

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

Recipe Notes:

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

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© 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.



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  1. I made these today and they are SO good! And the fact that they were easy to make was a plus! Love your site and I am looking forward to trying many other things especially the funfetti cupcakes 😀

  2. I burned them slightly 🙁 but still ate them. I could still taste what they might have been! I stirred every 15 min, but left them in the oven and stirred with a long spoon. Maybe this had something to do with it and I should have taken them out. I also made half a recipe, and used a TEENY bit less sugar. Next time (there has to be a next time I really want to get these right!) I will follow the recipe exactly, and maybe turn my oven down a few degrees…

    • Hey Carrie! So happy you tried these candied nuts. One of my favorite holiday treats – no questions asked. All ovens are different and I definitely suggest lowering your temperature down. Thanks for reporting back!

  3. These look great! Gonna have a holiday party this weekend and gonna make them! How long do they store on the counters for (even though they prolly wont last long lol)

  4. I’m going to make these nuts for Christmas gifts. In the instructions you mention spraying the parchment paper with cooking spray. Is that necessary.

  5. In the instructions you mention lining the baking sheet with parchment paper. Then it says to spray the parchment with cooking spray. Is spraying the parchment paper necessary?

  6. Thanks Sally, I have enjoyed reading your recipes and tried some of them, they are all very thoroughly refined recipes which helps a lot for busy people like me. This recipe is like a Gem ! I am going to make it for this Christmas !

    • So glad you enjoy my blog, Doria. Hope you enjoy these candied nuts! They are a treasured recipe any time of year for us.

  7. Just made these today and they turned out perfectly! The only change I made was to bake them at 275 degrees for one hour instead of 300 degrees for 45 minutes, since I have burnt pecans in the past. Also did add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, which gave just a hint of heat. I have tried candied pecans before, without much success. This was going to be the last time I tried–if they weren’t good, I was going to give up! But they are so good, I highly recommend your recipe.

    • Pat, that’s fantastic. I’m so glad this recipe is a winner for you. I actually plan to make a batch this week. And I’m thinking of adding cayenne. Thanks so much!

  8. I had never made candied nuts before and thought I needed to try your recipe. These are SIMPLY AMAZING! I was a little scared, when is first saw the goopy mess on my cookie sheets, but as they cooked and I stirred them, they separated and cooked up ‘just like yours’ …I was soooo proud of myself! Thank you for keeping your recipes simple and amazing 🙂

    Side note…my father is diabetic, but loves nuts. So, I decided to try your recipe with salt, pepper and garlic powder for him….they weren’t quite as ‘coated’ with the mixture, but turned out great! Thanks again!

    • Sonja, love the salt & pepper version you made! My fiancé would love them that way. I am very proud the cinnamon sugar version came out just as planned and like my photos. It will definitely be a big mess on your cookie sheets. That’s normal. Thanks for reporting back – I’ll be trying that savory version next!

  9. These are so addictive and delish!! I have made over batches this season alone, I always thought it would be way more difficult to make candied nuts until you posted this recipe 🙂 Thank you Sally!!

  10. These nuts are so addicting! I made them last year as part of my Christmas gifts for family & friends, and I’ve been getting requests for them again this year! Thanks, Sally 🙂

  11. I’ve made these several times using different recipes, but this one is the best! It definitely coated the nuts (I used only almonds) better than any other recipe. The only change I made was to add a little vanilla to the egg white mixture. They turned out amazing! I just wish I had used your parchment paper trick on the spiced nuts I made earlier. My pan is ruined! Thanks for another winner, Sally!

  12. Hi Sally

    Can i use the brown sugar instead of white sugar when i am making this Candied cinnamon Sugar Nuts? Can i add 1 table spoon of butter too?

    Thank you

  13. Hello Sally-my-baking-hero!! So I make everything you post lol and I did these because they are my absolute favorites ever and I too run to the nearest stand at any event and buy several….so anyway my question…I made thrm….very good..but were more like meringue coated nut (very good just not what I was expecting) did I just over beat my white? (Also…they are white not a hint of brown and cooked for 45 min?)thanks! !

    • Sounds like you overheat the egg white. Which is easily fixable! I’m glad you’re still enjoying them. A little less time for the egg white beating. Enjoy, Rebekah!

  14. I did not see the amount of nuts to add either.

  15. Hi Sally, First off, let me say that reading your instructions and commentary for this recipe was very entertaining. You have an amazing sense of humor (re: the great ‘How I Met Your Mother’ nut incident, haha) as well as humility and you should write a gathering of recipes with your humorous twists. I know I’d buy several – Of course one for me, and then several for gifts, etc 🙂
    The recipe is the best I have found AND tasted so it will be a Party/Holiday staple. And I dedicate my first 10 pounds of added weight from these sweet gems, to you 🙂 hahaaa… Thanks for sharing and ‘keep on keepin’ on’ 🙂

    • Pam, thanks for the sweet comment! And thank you for crediting me for your future additional 10 lbs haha. Have a great holiday season!

  16. WOW! This is a discovery for me because I never eating candied pecans ,I make candied almonds which also addictive hahaha. This will definitely try. Great idea as a cute little gift for the upcoming Christmas. It troubles me one thing and that is salt, my question is whether the amount of salt can be reduced. Of course in the egg whites are always adds a certain amount of salt but two teaspoons seems somehow much salt … or maybe I’m wrong…Thanks for simply and magnificent recipe!

  17. Oh my lands! HOLY GRAIL!!! Just made these for my bunco holiday treat exchange! THE BOMB! Thank you for this pure awesome recipe Sally! 🙂

  18. Just made these for a party I’m having tonight. They are delicious and I can’t stop eating them! I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe.

  19. Wow. I have these in the oven right now> The house smells AMAZING!!

  20. I want to make these and put in mason jars as gifts this year. How long before i give the gift can i make them & them still be fresh enough for them to enjoy for a week or so?

  21. 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! 🙂

  22. 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 ?

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

  24. 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

  25. 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 ☺️

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 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 🙂

    • 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.

  29. 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!

  30. My husband and I visit a tea and spice shop in Lemoyne, PA called Kauffman’s. It’s owned and run by a dear, sweet woman in her 80s named Betty. A friend of Betty’s makes candied nuts that are sold in the shop – delicious, salty, sweet gems of pure “I’ve died and gone to heaven.” The recipe is a guarded secret which I’ve not been able to get; no matter how many times I ask. Now I can stop asking (and bugging poor Betty). Sally, these are nearly identical and even… better! Thank you!!!

  31. Would Splenda work in place of regular sugar? 

  32. Hi, I am looking forward to making these soon for the fast approaching Silly Season. Just wondering if the nuts should be raw and still have their skins on- I guess blanched almonds wouldn’t hold the coating very well?

  33. I made these nuts last year as gifts.  I had to be careful to not ear to many because they are so delicious.  I am now getting ready to make this years batch.  Thank you for the recipe.

  34. Hi Sally, these look LUSH and I will be making them for teacher gifts this year!  How do you think they would be dipped in chocolate?  Would the chocolate make the coating icky?  Or do you think it would hold up and remain crunchy?  Thinking of doing a little experiment 🙂  thanks for a brilliant recipe.  Pamela

  35. Hi Sally – I came across this recipe and was so excited to try it. I read all the wonderful comments and, since I wanted to make these to go with some Christmas gifts I was giving, I doubled the recipe. I followed the recipe and put the pans into a 300 degree oven, set the timer for 15 minutes so I would remember to stir them, but they burned within a few minutes. I removed the pans from the oven and picked out the burned ones and tried again. Again they burned within a few minutes. I turned the oven to 200 degrees and still they burned. I didn’t see in the comments that anyone else really had this problem. I’d like to try them again but can’t afford to waste 11 cups of nuts. Do you have any suggestions for me. ps – I ate some of the burnt ones and they were delicious so I can only imagine how awesome these must taste when baked correctly. Thanks!!

    • Grace, I have no clue how they could burn in only 10 minutes in the oven set at such a low temp. It’s an oven issue for sure. You are setting it to Fahrenheit, correct?

      • Hi again Sally – I tried these again and this time they turned out perfect!! I have a really good quality oven so I’m not sure what happened. Could the fact I doubled the recipe and perhaps overcrowded the baking sheets had an impact? Oh well, thanks for a fabulous recipe, and like others have said, these are very dangerous for one’s
        waistline!! 🙂

  36. These look exactly like the ones my dear sweet Mom used to make, and I’ve lost her recipe, so am excited to find this and try them. I’ve noticed other recipes use vanilla and she did too…how much should be substituted? 1 tsp? (half of the water?). Also, would it be best to make 3 separate batches to get the right consistency rather than doubling or tripling the recipe? Thanks! Will be looking at your other recipes too!

    • I would make 2 or 3 separate batches rather than doubling or tripling. Safest bet that way! Don’t leave out any water. You can add 1/2 tsp of vanilla though.

      • Thanks so much for your quick response! I bought everything yesterday and have it all out on the counter to bake right now. I appreciate the details about using the same amount of water and simply add the vanilla to it. I likely would have substituted half the water with vanilla, which is why I look to foodies like you and follow recipes instead of going off on my own! Also appreciate the tip to bake in single batches for best outcome. I purchased 2/3 halved pecans and 1/3 halved walnuts. Can’t wait to try them in an hour or so!

  37. Could I use a substitute sugar instead of regular sugar ? And I did but they are sticky.  They didn’t get crunchy and crystalized.  What can I do? 

  38. Awesome candied nuts. I did reduce the temperature to 275 and cook for 1 hour. Nice and crispy like our family enjoys. Thanks for this very enjoyable recipe!!

  39. I make this recipe, but put the egg whites on the nuts, mix all dry ingredients together and sprinkle and mix. Cook at 250 for 1 hour stir every 15 minutes. I also add a little nutmeg.

    The comment about the diabetic in family I make the sauce from the check mix and put this on nuts and bake the same way.

  40. Did 3 cups of mixed nuts. 1 cup of dried crans. Substituted cane for brown cut the sugar 1/2 tossed the done nuts in 3 sheets of finely blended gram cracker before they cooled in a large container. Shake it like maraca. Cane gives you that fine white powdered look. Rocomend that for Christmas. Summer strawberry salad use brown. Looks healthier. Looks.

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