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Candied pecans combine sweetness with crunch, along with that distinctive nutty flavor. There are plenty of ways to use them including as a topping for yogurt, an ice cream sundae or even sweet potatoes. They can be found in salads during the warmer months or added to breakfast oatmeal or charcuterie boards any time of the year.

Homemade candied pecans in a bowl.

Rather than buying crunchy candied pecans, why not make your own using a handful of crisp, fresh pecans and this simple recipe? Making candied pecans is easy and they are sure to come out perfect!

These candied pecans are the perfect sweet and crunchy topping for so many desserts! Try adding them to pumpkin pie popsicles, a scoop of no churn pumpkin spice latte ice cream or even a decadent double chocolate cherry brownies for an extra rich treat. And these reindeer cupcakes are adorable.

Candied pecans in a christmas gift tin.

Why You’ll Love Them

Simple:   You only need a few different ingredients to make easy candied pecans, and the recipe itself is very straightforward. Just mix the ingredients together for the candy coating, add the nuts, and let them cool.
Delicious: Nothing offers the wonderful nutty crunch of homemade candied pecans, and these really are hard to stop munching. There’s no way you can stop at just one or two!
Versatile: Use different kinds of nuts, use an extract other than vanilla, add cinnamon sugar, or consider different spices to really make these praline pecans your own.

A spoonful of candied pecans from a tray.

Ingredients for Candied Pecans

Along with the pecan halves, you’re going to need egg whites, vanilla, white sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.

All of the ingredients for candied pecans on a white table.

How to Make Candied Nuts

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Make the cinnamon sugar:  Mix together the white sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Make the candy mixture: Whisk the egg whites with the vanilla extract and some water.
Add the nuts: Stir the pecan halves into the egg white mixture, the stir in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Cook the candied pecans: Spread the pecan mixture on to a greased prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for about an hour, stirring periodically, then let them cool completely before serving or storing.

Mixing up the ingredients for candied pecans.

Substitutions and Variations

Walnuts or almonds would work in place of the pecans, or you could try hazelnuts or even mixed nuts. Peanuts are good candied too. If you prefer the taste of brown sugar to white, you can sub some or all of the white sugar for brown sugar, or try coconut sugar in its place.

Candied pecans in a white bowl on a wood table.

Swap the vanilla for coconut extract or orange extract, or the cinnamon for allspice, ginger or nutmeg. You could even add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the sugar mixture if you want to add a kick of spice!

Candied pecans in a white bowl on a checkered table cloth.

How to Serve Candied Nuts

These are great on salads, sundaes, desserts, cheesecakes, yogurt, ice cream, and even sweet potatoes. You can also just snack on them as they are.

Candied pecans in a holiday gift tin with a cinnamon stick.

Put candied pecans in little tins or cellophane treat bags as holiday gifts, or add a few to your oatmeal in the morning. Candied pecans are wonderful with festive dishes such as sweet potatoes or roasted Brussels sprouts.

A pan of pecans.

How to Store Candy Coated Pecans

Store: Keep these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Freeze: These will freeze in an airtight container or freezer safe Ziploc bag for up to 2 months and can be thawed overnight on the countertop.

Candied pecans in a Christmas tin for a holiday gift.

Candied Pecans FAQs

How can you coat the candied pecans in the cinnamon sugar mixture without making a mess?

The simplest, cleanest way to do this is to put the cinnamon sugar in a Ziploc bag and then add the coated pecans and shake well. Then just pour them on to your prepared baking sheet.

What’s the best way to keep these super-crunchy?

You should let the candied pecans cool completely before storing them. If not, they will lose some of their crunchiness. The coating sets as they cool, so don’t rush this step or else the coating might not stick properly and the candied pecans will be somewhat soggy rather than crisp.

candied pecans in a white bowl.

Candied Pecans Recipe

5 from 36 votes

Candied Pecans

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Candied pecans combine sweetness with crunch, along with that distinctive nutty flavor. They are easy to make with a variety of uses!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • 2 Pounds pecans, halves
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Teaspoons water
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, and salt until thoroughly combined.
  • In a large bowl whisk together egg whites, water, and vanilla until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds.
  • Add pecans to egg mixture, gently stir to ensure all pecans are coated with egg mixture.
  • Add sugar mixture and gently stir until all pecans are coated with sugar coating.
  • Spread pecans into an even layer on prepared cookie sheet, two sheets could be used in place of one large one.
  • Bake pecans for 1 hour, stirring 2 to 3 times during baking.
  • Remove pecans from oven, allowing to cool completely before storing.

Notes

  • Its important to let pecans cool completely before storing, they will continue to dry, allowing coating to set, while cooling. 
  • For an easier clean up, line cookie sheets with parchment paper. 
  • This recipe makes enough candied pecans for a crowd, half recipe if fewer pecans are needed. 
  • Sugar cinnamon mixture can be placed in a large Ziploc bag.  Coat pecans as directed with egg white mixture then place pecans in Ziploc bag, seal and toss to thoroughly coat nuts in sugar.  Pour entire contents of bag on prepared baking sheet. 
  • Use this recipe to make candied almonds or walnuts. 
  • Add a dash of nutmeg, ginger, or cloves for extra warming spice flavor. 

Nutrition

Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 31g | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 324mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

You’re going to love these delicious candied pecans with cinnamon and vanilla. They’re sweet, crunchy, nutty, and really versatile. You can even make extra and keep them in the freezer to add to anything from sweet potatoes to pilafs, sundaes and yogurts, cheesecakes, cupcakes, or anything else you want to jazz up.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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