These Candied Pecans are tossed in a cinnamon sugar coating and then baked until golden brown and crunchy. They are the best snack, salad topping or homemade gift idea!
The Best Candied Pecans Recipe
I always look forward to making candied pecans at the holidays. They make a fun hostess gift, and they’re perfect for including in a charcuterie board or other snack spread at a holiday gathering. Besides eating them by the handful, my favorite way to enjoy candied pecans is to add them to a green salad.
My candied pecans recipe includes a generous amount of cinnamon, a touch of vanilla, and a bit of salt for the perfect balance of sweet and salty flavors. An egg white binds the sugar coating to the pecans and ensures that your candied nuts have plenty of crunch.
You’ll be surprised at how quick and easy this candied pecans recipe is. And when the pecans come out of the oven? Let’s just say that they have a tendency to disappear quickly! We couldn’t stop snacking on these – they’re deliciously addicting!
- Pecans: You’ll need raw pecan halves for this recipe. If your pecans are frozen, let them thaw at room temperature before beginning the recipe.
- Brown Sugar & Granulated Sugar: A combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar makes the best candied pecans. The brown sugar adds a delicious caramel flavor, while the white sugar brings pure sweetness.
- Cinnamon: A generous amount of cinnamon makes these candied pecans extra delicious.
- Salt: Salt is essential for that sweet salty flavor combo that makes these pecans so irresistible. I use coarse Kosher salt, but sea salt would also work well.
- Vanilla Extract: For a touch of warm vanilla flavor.
- Egg White: A beaten egg white helps the cinnamon sugar coating to stick to the pecans. It’s essential for making sweet, crunchy glazed pecans!
Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
How to Make Candied Pecans
- Whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the egg white until foamy.
- Whisk the vanilla into the egg white.
- Add the pecans and stir to coat them with the egg white.
- Pour the sugar mixture over the pecans. Stir to evenly coat the nuts.
- Spread them out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 275° F for about 40 minutes, tossing/flipping the pecans halfway through the baking time. Pecans are done when they are fragrant and lightly toasted.
- Let them cool completely on the baking sheet. The sugar coating will harden as the toasted pecans cool.
- Add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper to the sugar mixture for a spicy kick.
- Replace half or all of the ground cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice for pumpkin spiced pecans.
- For a lower sugar recipe, reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup. I tested the recipe with 1/4 cup less granulated sugar and the pecans were good, but definitely less sweet than the full sugar version.
Ways to Use Candied Pecans
There are so many ways to enjoy these sweet salty pecans! I like to snack on them when I’m craving something sweet, but they’re also a perfect topping for some of our favorite recipes.
- Add them to salads. They’re especially delicious with this Spinach Salad with Quinoa and this Butternut Squash Salad.
- They make Pumpkin Pancakes and French Toast extra special.
- Sprinkle them on Roasted Butternut Squash or Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
- They’re the perfect salty sweet ice cream topping.
- Candied pecans are a fun homemade gift idea.
Store candied pecans in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can also store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months.
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups raw pecan halves, 16 ounces
- Preheat oven to 275° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the egg white until foamy. Add the vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Add the pecans and stir to coat with the egg white.
- Pour the sugar mixture over the pecans and stir until evenly coated.
- Spread pecans in an even layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and then use a spatula to toss and flip the pecans. Spread in an even layer again and continue baking for 17-20 more minutes, until pecans are fragrant and lightly toasted.
- Let cool completely on the baking sheet. The sugar coating will harden as the pecans cool.
- Pecans may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months.