Candied Walnuts Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (2024)

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This candied walnuts recipe is lightly sweetened, easy to make, and so irresistibly delicious. Perfect for snacking, adding to salads, giving as gifts — you name it!

Candied Walnuts Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (1)

Friends, I have a new candied walnuts recipe for us this season!

And I have to say, I’m loving this one because it is refreshinglynot too sweet.

I’ve reduced the amount of sugar in traditional candied nuts by 75% in this recipe. But guess what — they still taste delightfully sweet! And as it turns out, the lighter “candy” coating in this recipe has the added bonus of allowing you to better taste the toasted walnuts themselves, as well as the vanilla, cinnamon and tiny hint of cayenne mixed in there too. It’s the perfect balance of flavors in my opinion, and my husband and I found these walnuts to be 100% irresistible. (Lol, like seriously, our first batch didn’t even last for two days!)

I’m also happy to report that this particular candied walnuts recipe is a breeze to make in the oven (only one stir necessary partway through). And they taste absolutelyamazing sprinkled on salads, stirred into trail mixes, sprinkled on sweet potatoes, or — my favorite — popped plain as a sweet snack. Bonus, they also freeze well and make for great gifts, if you’re looking to give away someDIY treats this holiday season.

Anyway, I’m a big fan. So if you’re in the market for a lighter candied walnuts recipe, bring home some nuts and let’s make a quick batch together!

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Candied Walnuts Ingredients:

To make this candied walnuts recipe, you will need:

  • Walnuts:About 4 cups raw walnut halves (or chopped walnuts).
  • Egg white:To bind the candy coating to the walnuts.
  • Vanilla extract:Just a little for flavor!
  • Brown sugar:I used packed brown sugar, but you could also sub in white (granulated) sugar or coconut sugar instead.
  • Spices:Ground cinnamon plus a hint of cayenne.
  • Fine sea salt:My preferred salt for this recipe. (Note that if you choose to use table salt instead, you will need to use less salt.)

Full ingredient amounts/directions included in the recipe below.

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How To Make Candied Walnuts:

To make this candied walnuts recipe, simply…

  1. Mix together the candy coating. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and cayenne until combined.
  2. Prep the walnuts. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white and vanilla. Then add the walnuts and toss until they are evenly coated. Add the brown sugar mixture and toss again until the walnuts are evenly coated.
  3. Bake. Spread the walnuts out on a parchment-covered baking sheet in a single layer (try to avoid much overlapping) and bake for 40 minutes, removing the baking sheet halfway through to give the walnuts a brief stir. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes or so.
  4. Serve. These candied walnuts are best served fresh while they are perfectly warm and crispy! That said, they can also be stored in a sealed container for up to two weeks, or frozen for up to 2 months.

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Possible Variations:

Want to customize this candied nuts recipe a bit? Feel free to…

  • Adjust the sweetness. If you would like sweeter (more traditional) candied walnuts, you can increase the amount of brown sugar from 1/4 cup up to 1 cup.
  • Use pecans instead. Walnuts and pecans are interchangeable here. So feel free to use pecans instead, or a 50/50 mix!
  • Use different seasonings. Feel free to sub in pumpkin pie spice or chai spice in place of the ground cinnamon.
  • Use different sugar. As mentioned above, feel free to use white granulated sugar or coconut sugar instead of brown sugar if you prefer.
  • Omit (or increase) the cayenne. If you prefer your candied walnuts not to have any extra kick, you’re welcome to omit the cayenne. Or if you would like them to be extra spicy, you can double it (to 1/2 teaspoon total).

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How To Serve Candied Walnuts:

Some of my favorite ways to serve candied walnuts include…

  • Plain: This isadmittedly my favorite way to eatcandied nuts — just popping a few plain as a sweet snack!
  • Salads:These candied walnutswouldbea delicious addition to salads of all kinds.
  • Sweet potatoes:Candied walnuts also taste delicious sprinkled on baked sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, or sweet potato casserole.
  • Snack mix:Stir them into Chex Mix or your favorite trail mixes for an extra a pop of sweetness.

Candied Walnuts Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (6)

Candied Walnuts

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star4.7 from 47 reviews

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
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This candied walnuts recipe is lightly sweetened, easy to make, andsoirresistibly delicious. See notes above for possible ingredient variations.



  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (12 ounces) raw walnut halves


  1. Heat oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sea salt, cinnamon and cayenne until combined.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg white and vanilla until combined. Add the walnuts and toss until they are evenly coated with the egg white mixture. Add the brown sugar mixture and toss until the walnuts are evenly coated.
  4. Spread the walnuts out in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet from the oven, and give the walnuts a brief stir. Return to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately, or store in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.


Baking time:After a few readers reported that the initial cooking time (40 minutes total) resulted in overcooked walnuts, we have retested and reduced the cooing time to 25 minutes total.

Candied Walnuts Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (7)

posted on October 17, 2019 by Ali

Desserts, Snacks, Vegetarian


Candied Walnuts Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (2024)


Why are my candied walnuts sticky? ›

If after they have cooled down, the pecans are still sticky, this means that the sugar mixture never reached a high enough temperature when on the stove. To fix them, place the nuts back into the skillet and cook a bit longer.

How do you keep candied walnuts from sticking together? ›

One trick is to work very fast once the sugar starts melting. Once you mix in the walnuts, the candy syrup cools quickly and the walnuts will stick together. You have 30 seconds or so to separate them before they are forever bonded by glassy, cooked sugar. The other trick is to not burn the walnuts when you toast them.

How do you make candied nuts not sticky? ›

The sugar needs to bake long enough to caramelize and form a brittle coating on the nuts. How do you fix candied nuts that are too soft and sticky? You can place them back into the oven for 5 to 15 minutes or until they dry out more. They will continue to firm and dry out as they cool.

How long do homemade candied nuts last? ›

How Long Do Candied Pecans Last? Store your candied pecans in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week or in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. If you give them as a gift, be sure to include storage instructions.

Why do you soak walnuts in water? ›

Shruti Bharadwaj, Senior Clinical Dietician, Narayana Hrudayalaya says soaking walnuts helps improve their digestibility and also remove phytic acid and tannin. "Soaking can also help prevent indigestion as it helps reduce gas forming compounds. It also reduces polyphenols and increase nutrient availability.

How long to soak walnuts before baking? ›

As a general guideline, most nuts should be soaked for at least 4-8 hours. Some harder nuts, like almonds and hazelnuts, may benefit from soaking overnight or for up to 12 hours. Softer nuts, like cashews, may only need to be soaked for a few hours.

Should I soak walnuts before baking? ›

Astringent, mouth-puckering taste…

By soaking and dehydrating them, this will be greatly reduced. This is because when soaking walnuts, the tannins are rinsed away, leaving behind a softer, more buttery nut. The soak water from nuts and seeds should always be discarded and never used as water in a recipe.

Do candied walnuts go bad? ›

Yes, candied nuts can go bad. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month for best results.

How do you get the bitter taste out of walnuts? ›

Preparation. Bring four to five cups of water to a boil in a wok. Place walnuts in boiling water for five minutes to remove bitter taste.

Why wont my candied fruit harden? ›

If your candied coating isn't hardening, the candying mixture did not reach a high enough temperature. Allow your candying mixture to cook until it bubbles, thickens, and turns a rich golden color, sort of like caramel. Then, quickly turn off the heat so it doesn't burn.

Why are my candied nuts grainy? ›

Recipe Notes

Do not stir the sugar with a spoon before adding the nuts, it will cause the sugar to crystalize and have a gritty unpleasant texture, if needed swirl the pan. Make sure to remove the skillet from the stove as soon as the sugar is golden brown.

What if candied nuts are too soft? ›

If your candied pecans are soft, it is likely because the sugar syrup coating has not completely hardened. The syrup may still be wet, or it may have started to crystalize. If the syrup is still wet, you can try putting the nuts in the oven for a few minutes to help the syrup harden.

What is the best way to store candied nuts? ›

Storage Instructions: Candied nuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for several weeks. Freezing Instructions: They freeze well in an air-tight container for up to two months.

How do you preserve candied nuts? ›

But the first step is to let them cool absolutely completely. Then store in any air-tight container, like a mason jar, or re-usable baggy. Always reseal the container tightly after snacking. You can also freeze candied walnuts, in a tightly sealed container, for up to a few months.

How do you gift candied nuts? ›

Cook on low for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. When there is 20 minutes left, add water – this will help give the candied nuts a glossy finish. Cool nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Package in miniature cellophane bags and gift to your friends!

Why are my glazed pecans sticky? ›

Under-cooking the pecans is the likely cause of stickiness, but the risk is low when they're oven-baked. After the sugar-coated nuts have darkened and turned very fragrant, about 20 minutes in the oven, stir the pecans and separate any pieces that have stuck together. Continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Why are my candied almonds sticky? ›

Why are my candied nuts wet and sticky? They were not baked long enough or they were not baked at the correct heat temperature. Another reason could be that they they were not spread out properly in the tray to allow even baking.

How can you tell if walnuts are rancid? ›

Walnuts go rancid when exposed to warm temperatures for long periods of time. Heat causes the fat in walnuts to change structure, which creates off odors and flavors. Fresh walnuts smell mildly nutty and taste sweet. If your walnuts smell like paint thinner, you know they're rancid.

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