Spiced Cocoa Roasted Almonds

December 1, 2010 by Ali

Brief disclaimer: These nuts are 100% irresistible.

Oh my word. I made them for the first time with my parents on Thanksgiving, thinking they might be a nice snack to keep out for the holiday weekend. But….I’m pretty sure they disappeared by the end of the day. Even with everyone’s stomachs full from our Thanksgiving meal — they were still irresistible!!

Like making most spiced nuts, these are also a breeze to pull together. Just whip the spices and vanilla (I used extract, since we didn’t have vanilla bean paste on hand) together with an egg white, mix in the almonds (or whatever nuts you’d prefer), and voila — within 45 minutes, your house will smell amazing and a sweet and savory batch of almonds will be yours to enjoy!

Also, if you don’t have whole almonds on hand, this recipe would also be great with walnuts or cashews. Just keep an eye on the cooking time for nuts of different size/density to be sure that they don’t burn.

Spiced Cocoa Roasted Almonds

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 3 cups almonds


  • 3 cups whole almonds
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
  • Few drops of water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder (I prefer dark cocoa powder, but whatever works!)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (**see tip below**)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or with parchment paper. Set aside.

Whisk together the egg white, vanilla bean paste, and a few drops of water in a mixing bowl. Beat mixture until it is light and frothy. Add the almonds and toss to evenly coat with the egg white mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugars, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Whisk together very well, being sure to remove any lumps. Add the almonds, and toss to coat. Spread the coated almonds out on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Keep a close watch on the almonds because they will burn quickly.

Once the almonds are done, spread them out on a large piece of parchment or waxed paper until they have cooled completely. Store in an airtight container.

Ali’s Tip:

Feel free to also control how spicy you would like them to be. I added the full teaspoon of cayenne, and they definitely had a little kick. So if you’re not a fan of spicy, I’d just add the 1/2 teaspoon.

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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13 thoughts on “Spiced Cocoa Roasted Almonds

  1. So what is the conversion for vanilla bean paste to extract. It can’t be 1 to 1.

    - mark

  2. Yum! *Just* made these with cashews for a NYE event. Added a little more cayenne, which might be a little too much, but tasty for those of us who like it extra spicy. Yum!

    - Jen

  3. YUM! I made these (and the vanilla chai cupcakes) for a Christmas party and they were such a hit!! Thank you so much for sharing these recipes, they were a blast to make and even more fun to eat. You are the best!

    - Wendy

  4. Any idea how long these nuts would last not in the refrigerator? I would like to send something like this to my brother serving in Afghanistan.


    - Stephanie

  5. Great Snack! Do I use regular Almonds / Raw / or Blanched? bima

    - bima

  6. Just made the almonds and took them to a brig-a-plate party, they where gone in seconds! Love them! Also did some walnuts, beautiful! Just remember to cut the walnuts into pieces, so they are an easier snack!

    - Ellen Sofie

  7. I love this kind of snack when I can satisfy the sweet and salty cravings all at once. They look delicious.

    - Michelle

  8. hmm, those look delicious!

    - Joyti

  9. Ali, if you decide to use vanilla extract instead of the paste, do you use the same amount?

    - Erica

  10. So glad you enjoyed the almonds… They are one of my favorites!

    In response to Christina’s comment, the vanilla bean paste is available at Williams-Sonoma or online at Amazon.com.

    - Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

  11. I just bookmarked this! I am looking to make all homemade goodie gifts this year, and these will be a perfect addition :-)

    - CaSaundra

  12. Love this, but any advice on where to find the vanilla bean paste?

    - Cristina Garcia