Homemade Candied Pecans are a quick, easy and delicious recipe.
These oven baked brown sugar spiced pecans are perfect on salads or sweet potatoes too! Just a few simple ingredients you probably already have on hand come together to make these perfectly sweet and crunchy candied nuts.
Why this recipe works:
Homemade Candied Pecans are a real treat, easy to make, and are perfect as a holiday appetizer, snack on the go, or on top of salads, oatmeal, or yogurt.
- They are fantastic as a sweet protein filled snack on their own.
- Candied pecans can easily be combined into other recipes for a sweet added crunch.
- The candied nuts are baked in the oven over melted butter until they are crispy on the outside.
- The sweet buttery coating sticks to every nut.
- You can easily use other kinds of raw nuts in place of the pecans.
Ingredients used to make this recipe:
- Butter: I prefer to use unsalted because you can always add salt later.
- Egg white: This helps the sugar mixture stick to the nuts.
- Granulated sugar and golden brown sugar: I find that an equal amount of both creates the best results.
- Vanilla extract: I make my own!
- Ground cinnamon: pure Ceylon cinnamon is best but I almost always use a pumpkin pie spice blend instead of cinnamon.
- Raw pecans: I like whole pecan halves but you can use pieces if you wish, just note cooking time may be reduced with smaller nut pieces.
- Flaked sea salt: you can sprinkle this on top of the warm candied pecans if you love that perfect combination of sweet and salty.
How to make candied pecans:
There are various ways to make candied pecans including recipes that are made on the stove top, but I prefer to bake mine in the oven.
- Combine: Egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Whisk: Mix ingredients together until combined.
- Coat: Add the pecan halves and toss to coat.
- Add: Melted butter to your baking sheet.
- Spread: Coated pecans are added to the melted butter and spread into a single layer.
- Bake: Cook candied pecans in preheated oven, tossing every 5 minutes or so to evenly cook and prevent burning.
They will smell like heaven when they cook!
Recipe tips for perfect results:
- Avoid burning: I've always made them at 350°F, but some people say they burn at that hot temperature. Mine have never burned because I use a baking stone. If using a metal baking sheet, they will cook faster and are more likely to burn if left unattended.
- Trust your nose: While they cook, I stir them every few minutes and have a very trustworthy nose so I know exactly when to take them out.
- Storage: Homemade candied pecans will last for a couple weeks when stored in an air tight container at room temperature. Just be sure they have completely cooled before storing to avoid trapping any moisture.
Best uses for candied pecans:
- Candied pecans for salad: They add a sweet crunch that perfectly offsets the bitterness of greens and the salty sour of a vinaigrette. Try them on a Shredded Beet and Kale Salad, Fresh Broccoli Salad, or a Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.
- With breakfast: I throw these candied pecans onto my oatmeal in the morning. I also add them to my yogurt because yogurt can always use a bit of crunchy texture.
- On baked brie: I even use homemade candied pecans with my caramelized onion baked brie.
- With sweet potatoes: Instead of adding raw pecans, mix some candied pecans into your sweet potato casserole.
- Spicy candied pecans: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the egg mixture for a spicy kick!
- Candied nuts: Use other nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, or a combination. This candied pecans recipe can be used universally for other nuts.
- Maple candied pecans: Replace the brown sugar with pure maple sugar for this variation.
Candied Pecan recipe video below!
If you’ve made this or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out. I love hearing from my readers!
HOMEMADE CANDIED PECANS
RECIPE VIDEO WILL AUTOPLAY
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 large egg white
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (pure ceylon cinnamon is best, can also use pumpkin pie spice)
- 8 ounces raw pecan halves (about 2 cups )
- flaked sea salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F if using a baking stone, otherwise preheat the oven to 300°F if using a metal baking sheet. If using a metal baking sheet, you can line with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up, if desired. Pour the butter onto the baking stone or baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the pecans and toss until they are fully coated. Spread the coated pecans onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake in preheated for up to 30 minutes, stirring the pecans every 5 minutes and checking on them to ensure they don't over cook. I let mine cook the full 30 minutes because they are much less likely to burn on a baking stone compared to a metal baking sheet. Keep in mind that oven temperatures vary and yours may be done MUCH sooner. Trust your nose. If using sea salt, sprinkle small amounts on the hot nuts before they cool.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes and be sure to stir a couple times as they cool so they don't stick together. Store in airtight container once they are fully cooled.
This post was originally created in December 2014 and has been updated with more information and helpful tips. Don't worry - I didn't change the recipe.