Homemade Candied Nuts

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

candied nuts on a baking sheet lined with a silpat baking mat with a serving spoon

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.

overhead image of 2 bowls of candied nuts

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.

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.

2 images of egg whites with peaks in a pink bowl with one hand mixer beater

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.

pecans with cinnamon sugar coating in a red bowl with a spatula

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?

candied nuts with a serving spoon

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

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candied nuts with a serving spoon

Candied Cinnamon-Sugar Nuts

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray; or use a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Mix pecans and almonds in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Store nuts at room temperature for a few weeks, covered.


  1. Larger Batch: Recipe can easily be halved to keep around the house or doubled to feed a large crowd.
  2. This recipe comes from Sharyn, my mom’s wonderful friend. Thank you Sharyn!

Keywords: candied nuts


Comments are closed.

  1. Dorothy LeCompte says:

    Are these easy to bite ? I dont mind alittle crunch. I have bought candied almonds and that were like little rocks. 

    1. They’re a little crunchy, yes. Not rock hard!

  2. Angela Weigand says:

    Could these be frozen?

    1. I’m not sure how well they would freeze but you can store nuts at room temperature for a few weeks, covered.

  3. These look and sound delicious, Sally!  I’d like to make a batch to give away as holiday treats for neighbors. I’m wondering if brown sugar would work as well here. I love dark brown sugar and try to incorporate it into any baked goods I can, but sometimes the chemistry falls flat. But here, I think it might be a good match with the cinnamon. What do you think?

  4. Made these. Rave reviews! Will be making these a lot!

  5. Hey! Can these be used in granola bars? N replace white sugar with brown?

    1. Hi Sara! Brown sugar has a little too much moisture and the nuts may easily burn, but you can give it a try. You can chop up the candied nuts to use in granola bars or any baking.

  6. I’ve made these several times and they’ve always been a big hit.
    This morning I decided to try a crock pot version of cinnamon sugar pecans, big mistake! They are edible but don’t even compare to your recipe. Lesson learned i will never again sway away from this one.

    1. It’s always good to try new things – you never know! But I’m glad you have this one to come back to 🙂

  7. Sally, these are so delicious! I made them to give out as Christmas gifts but was thrilled to have a mason jar full leftover for myself! Not too sweet, perfectly crunchy, these are a must make!!

  8. hi sally, when adding sugar, cinnamon etc, can it be mixed on low in mixer or does it have to be folded in by hand? thanks 😉

    1. Hi Sonny! Do that step by hand. You don’t want to deflate the beaten egg whites.

  9. I love ALL your recipes! Every year at Christmas, I like to bake candied nuts, but I want to give them a little twist. I once had a batch of Amaretto pecans that was delicious but I cannot find a recipe for them ANYWHERE! Can I replace the water with Amaretto and a bit of almond extract to give them a different flavor? Or will that mess with the chemistry of the egg whites?

    1. Hi Rhetta! I’m actually unsure about the addition of amaretto, but I know the almond extract won’t be an issue. I’ve done it before– add 1 teaspoon almond extract. Delicious!

    2. Excellent! And yes, hard to stop eating!! A former coworkers husband used to make these every year…but she would not give out the recipe…I have found it!! Had been craving these nuts for past 10 years lol…I plan to add this recipe to my holiday baking list! I can always count on your recipes and have made several..you are the best!!

  10. Sally, I have made these as per your recipe. For a great kick throw in some Cayenne pepper to taste

    1. I’ve wanted to add a little spice to this. How much cayenne did you add?

  11. Good morning! I have made these nuts every year since you posted this recipe and my family and coworkers look forward to this every year. They are so good and so addicting! YUM!!!! Thank you for sharing such a yummy treat. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  12. I really enjoy your recipes. They are straight forward and delicious. Ok back on point… I found a ‘Holiday Spiced nut’ recipe. It sounds amazing, but the nuts ended up sort of gloppy and didn’t crisp up (the sludge type nuts tasted eh- nothing spectacular.) SOoooo
    Here is what I purpose: instead of just using cinnamon, what if you used ground up mulling spices instead and used a Tablespoon of orange juice instead of water? Hmmmm…. Gonna try it cuz ALL of YOUR recipes turn out SNARFY!

  13. Sally, I’m definitely going to make these around the holidays. Thanks for sharing this recipe and all the others. I haven’t even gone through all of them yet. Have a great weekend.

  14. These are amazing! Thank you for sharing! Can the pecans be made in advance and froze? Do you think they will store in the freezer for a month?
    10 stars (out of 5)

    1. Hi Jack, you can freeze and thaw these– but they taste best when they haven’t been frozen/thawed. They keep nicely for a couple weeks at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

  15. Hi Sally:
    I have some walnuts that need to be used. Can I use walnuts in this recipe instead of pecans and almonds?
    Thanks and Happy Holidays to you and your family

    1. Yes you sure can. Enjoy, Bessie!

  16. Hi I made these like 5 years ago for co-workers. Bought little Christmas wine glasses at the dollar store, filled with nuts, and put on each desk. Huge hit! Everyone LOVED them. I thought I lost the recipe and was so sad but found I had pinned it! I used a T vanilla and T water and am using the roasting pan for easier stir. I wish I could share the smell in my kitchen it is amazing! I hope they turn out delicious as last time :-).

  17. Just made these. I halved the recipe since it’s my first time to make any sort of candied nuts. I used almonds and cashews and this is THE BEST snack ever! I will be making more for the holidays. What a perfect gift and economical as well.

  18. I’m looking to make some candied nuts as a strawberry spinach salad topping. Can these nuts be chopped up after baking or will all the cinnamon-y goodness crack off? Should I maybe chop the nuts before mixing into the egg whites, or will that ruin the balance of the nut surface area to sugar coating?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      That sounds delicious, Steff! You can roughly chop the nuts before coating them if you wish. Enjoy!

  19. Is it possible to halve this recipe. Almonds are quite expensive up here and if so what are the appropriate measurements.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes, you can simply cut the amount of each ingredient in half. Enjoy!

  20. Burnt 6 cups of nuts in the trash..about 37 minutes into the baking…beyond bummed

  21. Can you use Splenda instead of sugar?

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