Easy Homemade Candied Pecans
Candied Pecans are easy to make and require less than 10 ingredients! Make a batch and use as a topping on salads, eat them by the handful as a snack, and give them away as holiday gifts! These crunchy candied nuts are totally customizable and giftable in a mason jar!
Can I just say that my house smells amazing?
Honestly, I thought I was just making candied pecans. But here I am basking in the after smells of cinnamon and sugar roasting in the oven for 40 minutes. And there’s not much better than setting out to make a boxful of candied pecan halves as gifts and ending up with free house smells in the process. It’s like a little piece of heaven!
Candied pecans are perfect to make during the holidays because they make wonderful gifts for loved ones. They are dairy and gluten-free, making it a perfect for gift giving. As an added bonus you get aromatherapy out of them for at least a week! Step aside simmer pot, we’ve got cinnamon and sugar entering the chat.
These candied nuts make a lovely addition to salads – try my pear and pomegranate salad and swap the walnuts for these candied pecans. They would be UNREAL on a pear salad.
Other ways to serve candied pecans? Toss on a candied sweet potato casserole for a little added crunch or do what I do, eat them by the fistful 😉
Ingredients for Candied Pecans
Let’s talk ingredients for these candied pecans. You need a total of 8 ingredients. And a lot of these are pantry staples.
- Pecan Halves: You’ll want to use 3 heaping cups of pecans halves, which is in the ballpark of 12 ounces total.
- Large egg: Separate the egg white from the yolk. Keep the yolk for something else and beat just the egg white for this recipe. A quick tip, separate the egg while it’s cold from the fridge. The egg white separates much more easily when it’s cold!
- Granulated Sugar: You’ll need equal parts granulated and light brown sugar for this recipe.
- Light Brown Sugar: We’ll use equal parts granulated sugar or cane sugar and brown sugar. Make sure to use a ⅓ of a cup of packed brown sugar.
- Vanilla Extract: A splash of vanilla gives these the most delicious scent.
- Cinnamon: I like to use 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon for this recipe. Feel free to use a bit more if you’d. like.
- Ground Nutmeg: A pinch of nutmeg adds a delicious aroma. You can swap this for a number of other spices, see below for the full list of substitutions.
- Kosher Salt: or use fine sea salt or table salt. Make sure to use a bit less as table salt will pack a bigger sodium filled punch! I use ½ teaspoon salt if it’s kosher or flaked sea salt.
Variations for Candied Pecans recipe:
- Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to make them savory and sweet
- Add some chopped rosemary to give it a more earthy flavor
- Swap the nutmeg for cardamom
- Add a sprinkle of espresso powder to the cinnamon sugar mixture for a jolt of caffeine
- Add ¼-½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice instead of the nutmeg
How to Make Candied Pecans
- Start the prep. It’s going to take less than 5 minutes to mix these ingredients up. Start by preheating the oven and lining a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the dry ingredients. Add the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg to a bowl and whisk using a fork. I like to do this in a small bowl so the cinnamon and nutmeg mix in evenly with the sugar. Tossing them in separately could leave you with clumps of spices!
- Whisk the egg white. Using a fork, whisk the egg white and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract together. I like to do this because it allows for the vanilla to mix in with all the ingredients evenly.
- Combine. Add the pecans to a large bowl. Pour the egg white over the pecans and toss to combine. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top and then continue to toss until all the pecans are coated in the sugar mixture.
- Bake them. Toss these babies onto a silicone mat or prepared baking sheet once you’ve combined everything together and bake. Remove them from the oven and stir them around the halfway mark. You’ll notice they’re bubbling and are still tacky. Toss them with a spatula. Bake them again until the candied pecans are crunchy and golden.
FAQs about this recipe:
Candied nuts typically last about 1-2 months if kept at room temperature.
Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature so that they remain fresh.
You could try this recipe with raw almonds if you’d like. Though I haven’t tried this myself, I do think it could work.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Host a Hot Chocolate Bar Party
- Saltine Toffee Bark
- Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fudge
- Parmesan Garlic Ranch Seasoned Pretzels
- Honey Almond Granola
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg (less than 1/8 teaspoon)
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups pecan halves
- PREP: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 300ºF.
- MIX: Combine the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, salt, and ground nutmeg in a bowl, set aside.
- WHISK: In a small bowl whisk the vanilla extract with the egg white until just foamy and well beaten.
- TOSS: In medium bowl, add the pecans and toss in the egg white mixture. Mix until the pecans are evenly coated. Add the cinnamon sugar mixture, toss until all the nuts are coated.
- BAKE: Spread pecan mixture out onto a single layer on parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, removing the nuts and stir.
- RETURN TO OVEN: Bake for another 20 minutes. They are done when the sugar coating starts to turn white and the house smells like cinnamon. Remove from the oven and allow the pecans to cool to room temperature. The sugar will harden more as the pecans come to room temperature.
- STORE: in an airtight container until ready to use.
- Recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. Remember, if you're baking sheet is small, use two baking sheets but make sure the pecans are in a single layer.
- If you do not want the candied nuts to have a vanilla flavor, it can be omitted. See post of other flavor ideas!