Candied Pecans

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My favorite classic candied pecans recipe is easy to make with 7 ingredients.  Perfect for gifting or sprinkling on everything from salads to yogurt, casseroles, ice cream and more!

Candied Pecans in Mason Jar

Raise your hand if you love candied pecans as much as I do! ♡

These sweet treats have always been a favorite of mine, especially around the holidays, and this is is the old-fashioned candied pecans recipe that I fell in love with years ago and have made since more times than I can count.  By contrast to my recipe for naturally-sweetened maple candied pecans, this retro recipe unapologetically features a thick and crunchy cinnamon sugar coating made with two kinds of sugar, plus the perfect hint of sea salt and cayenne to balance out the sweetness.  And when baked up until perfectly toasty and crunchy in the oven, I’m telling you, these candied pecans are absolutely irresistible.

I always love baking up a few batches at the end of the year to pass out as fun holiday gifts.  But they taste great anytime of the year as a sweet snack, or sprinkled on everything from salads to yogurt, casseroles, baked sweet potatoes, ice cream and more.  They are also incredibly easy to make with just 7 simple ingredients, the recipe is naturally gluten-free, and these candied pecans have the added bonus of making your home smell absolutely heavenly as they bake in the oven.

I’m warning you now — one you start snacking on these little guys, it’s hard to stop. ♡  You’re going to love them!

Candied Pecans Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Prepping candied pecans for baking

Candied Pecans Ingredients:

Before we get to the full recipe below, here is the list of ingredients that you will need to make these easy candied pecans:

  • Pecans: Candied pecans are traditionally made with raw pecan halves, but you could also sub in coarsely-chopped pecans if you prefer.
  • Sugars: A combination of both granulated (white) sugar and light brown sugar.
  • Spices: A simple mix of ground cinnamon and ground cayenne.
  • Salt: I originally wrote this recipe using one teaspoon of table salt.  But if you are using fine sea salt instead, I recommend using a heaping teaspoon.
  • Egg white: And finally, we will use a whisked egg white to bind the cinnamon sugar mixture to the pecans.

Candied Pecans on Baking Sheet

How To Make Candied Pecans:

Full instructions how to candy pecans are detailed in the recipe below, but in a nutshell (sorry, I couldn’t resist)…here is the process for how to make candied pecans:

  1. Mix the cinnamon sugar mixture. First, we will whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, salt and cayenne until combined.
  2. Toss the pecans. Then in a separate bowl, we will toss the the pecans and whisked egg white until the pecans are evenly coated.  And then add in the cinnamon sugar mixture, and toss once more.
  3. Bake. When baking candied nuts, it’s important that they be spread out in an even layer on the baking sheet.  (So if your sheet isn’t large enough, you may need to do this in two batches.)  Bake the pecans for 40 minutes, stirring briefly at the halfway point, until they are fragrant and the sugar coating is cooked.
  4. Cool. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire cooling rack and use all of your willpower to wait until the pecans have cooled to room temperature.  (They will continue to dry and harden as they cool.)  Then serve and enjoy!!

Candied Pecans in Mason Jar for Gifting with Kraft Label

Possible Recipe Variations:

Want to customize this candied pecans recipe?  Feel free to…

  • Use different nuts: If pecans aren’t your favorite, you could also use this recipe to make candied walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, or whatever other candied nuts sound good.  Just be sure to always begin with raw nuts and adjust the cooking time as needed depending on the size/type of nuts.
  • Use maple syrup: To make more naturally-sweetened candied pecans, check out my maple candied pecans recipe.
  • Use less sugar: If you would like to reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe, feel free to use 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup packed brown sugar.
  • Add more heat: I almost always double the amount of cayenne in this recipe to make slightly more spicy candied pecans, which I recommend if you would like the nuts to have a more noticeable kick!
  • Add different herbs or spices: Feel free to also add any other warming spices (such as cardamom, ginger, nutmeg or cloves) or some pumpkin pie spice if you would like.  Or some finely chopped fresh rosemary or sage would also be delicious in there too!

Candied pecans recipe close-up

Ways To Serve Candied Pecans:

Looking for ways to put a big batch of candied pecans to use?  Here are some of our favorite ways that we like to enjoy this recipe in our home:

  • On their own: Serve them up in on their own as a sweet treat, or combine them with some of your other favorite snack-y ingredients to make a sweet and savory snack mix.
  • In salads: These candied pecans also make an amazing sweet and crunchy addition to salads.
  • In yogurt or ice cream: We also love sprinkling them on yogurt for breakfast and ice cream for dessert.
  • Sprinkled on potatoes or casseroles: They also make a great topping for baked sweet potatoes or retro sweet potato casserole.
  • As a gift: Wrap these candied pecans up in mason jars or treat boxes with some cute kraft gift tags if you would like to give them as gifts!
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Candied Pecans on Baking Sheet

Candied Pecans

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x

Description

My favorite classic candied pecans recipe — easy to make with 7 ingredients and always irresistibly delicious!


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Prep oven and baking sheet. Heat oven to 300°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the cinnamon sugar mixture. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, salt and cayenne to a small mixing bowl and whisk until evenly combined.
  3. Toss the pecans. In a separate large mixing bowl, add the pecans and whisked egg white and gently toss until the pecans are evenly coated. Add in the sugar mixture and gently toss until the pecans are evenly coated.
  4. Bake. Spread the pecans out in a single even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, then remove the nuts and give them a brief stir.  Bake for 20 minutes more or until the pecans are fragrant and the sugar coating is cooked. (Note that the sugar coating will continue to harden and dry once the pecans are out of the oven.)
  5. Cool. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire cooling rack and let the pecans cool to room temperature.  Serve and enjoy immediately, or transfer the pecans to a sealed container to store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.


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229 comments on “Candied Pecans”

  1. 5 stars
    They turned out perfect, thankyou so much for posting, Sharon Dodd, from Alabama

  2. 5 stars
    Wonderful. I changed cayenne pepper to 1/4 tsp and also added 1/8 tsp of powdered cloves. This was my second batch. Never could taste cayenne pepper which is why I added a little more pepper. Giving as Christmas treats. Love this recipe.

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  4. 5 stars
    Thank you I love pecans❤

  5. I have made these for Christmas time every year for the past 4 or 5 years. They have a wonderful crunch and are a delicious addition to our cookie tins. Thank you for a recipe that I pass along to family and friends every year.

  6. 5 stars
    just took a batch out of the oven…the house smells as terrific as this treats taste

  7. 4 stars
    I made these roasted pecans tonight and they were delicious. The recipe was easy and the Cayenne pepper added tremendous flavor for such a small amount. My husband and I had to put the roasted pecans into a tin to keep from eating all of them at once. So good!!

  8. 5 stars
    These are wonderful. They have just enough zing from the cayenne pepper. I had friends asking for the recipe after trying them. I actually have a batch in the oven now. They smell yummy!

  9. 5 stars
    I have tried other spiced pecan recipes & there was always something I didn’t like!
    These are perfect! Made them this AM; took about an hour, counting baking time!
    House smells like Thanksgiving or Christmas Day!
    The final product is DELICIOUS! Cannot wait to share them! 👍🎈🎉🎄🎅🏻

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  11. 5 stars
    I and my husband love it,it was so easy. Thank you and have a blessed Christmas 🎄🎁⛄️

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  13. 4 stars
    Third batch in the oven now….delicious.

  14. 5 stars
    Omg! Easy and awesome!

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  16. 5 stars
    So good, they’re addictive!

  17. 3 stars
    We tried this recipe with whole almond and add some all purpose flour. This recipe is very easy to make and it make a good snack.
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe…
    Here’s what we did
    500gm whole almond
    1 whole egg white
    Dry ingredients-
    50 gm castor sugar
    50 gm brown sugar
    10 gm all purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt

  18. 5 stars
    I made this recipe minus the cayenne, but the pecans came out so delicious!!!!! Will make again, it was so easy!

    Thanks for the amazing recipe

  19. I make these for Christmas every year. They are delicious and so easy to make.

  20. 5 stars
    I just love these!
    I’d love to ad this, keep your nuts in the freezer. Keeps your nuts fresh longer and helps the egg white adhere to them. And that helps all your sweetness attached to your nuts. Yum!

  21. 4 stars
    These are amazing! I used the recipe with almonds too.

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  23. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe! Thank you! I was looking for a recipe that did not use butter and you provided. Very hard to keep my hands out of the container. Love these in a salad with fresh fruit!

  24. 5 stars
    Delicious!

  25. 5 stars
    Fabulous! Just what I was looking for! Thanks!

  26. 5 stars
    I make these for the men in our family for Christmas and they love them. I place them in decorative jars and tell them refills are guaranteed just return the jars. 🙂 So simple to make and delicious. Recently made them for my niece’s wedding , she had a candy bar, perfect!

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  29. 5 stars
    This is a great and easy recipe. I cut the amount of cayenne in half and next time will use the full amount. Thank you!

  30. 5 stars
    They came out so crunchy and sweet! We’ve made them twice in one week.

  31. 5 stars
    Glad I chose the recipe, The cayenne made the brown sugar and cinnamon come alive. What a wonderful treat for snacking, adding to ice creams or other desserts.

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  33. 5 stars
    Great recipe! It’s my go to!

  34. 5 stars
    These are the most yummiest Candied Pecans ever!!! I use the same recipe for almonds and walnuts, just as delicious!Thank you!!!

  35. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! And so does everyone else. Recently made for Vegan friend by substituting egg white with 2 TBS of water from can of chick peas.

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  39. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe. I’ve tried other similar recipes, but yours specified the correct baking time so that the results were crackling crunchy good.
    I added a scant teaspoon of ground cumin to your list of ingredients. It played nicely with the cinnamon and cayenne and lent an elusive exotic taste.

  40. Pingback: Candied Pecans | All Food Board

  41. 5 stars
    Made this recipe for my co-workers and everyone loved it!

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  43. 5 stars
    These are simple and delicious! Thanks for sharing

  44. 5 stars
    I am a little confused on the egg whites. It mentions “egg whites” in the section of only needing seven ingredients. In the ingredients list, it says “1 egg white”. In the directions it refers to “egg whites.” This leads me to believe the number of egg whites has changed at some point, and not everything was updated. Can you put all egg white references in the same quantity?
    I used two egg whites, cooked for about 30 minutes. I forgot the cinnamon, but sprinkled it on top within minutes of taking out of the oven. Very good. I also used a combination of pecans and walnuts. I think next time, I will use slightly less sugar.

  45. 5 stars
    I only cooked about half the time it says. The first batch was burned when I left in oven 40 minutes. They were turned half way through.

  46. 5 stars
    These turned out AMAZING. Everybody’s been asking (more like begging) me for the recipe!

    Even my son, who is allergic to pecans, was lamenting he couldn’t have any, since everyone else was raving about them. So I grabbed a can of cashews (he can tolerate those and almonds) and made this recipe with them. They needed less time since they’re smaller, but he LOVES them!

  47. 5 stars
    This recipe makes the perfect candied pecan, so says everyone I have made it for. Thanks for sharing!

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  49. Pingback: Candied Pecans - bestgiftsideas

  50. 5 stars
    This recipe is fabulous. I tried them right out of the oven and I thought they were decent. Then cooled them and put them in a ziplock bag. My husband and I tried them later that evening and WOW! So light and buttery tasting.