Say hello to your new favourite sugar and spice treat! Traditionally made around the holidays, candied walnuts are a terrific way to satisfy sweet cravings. They're golden and crunchy, with a perfect balance of sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
We love them sprinkled on sourdough pancakes, as a topping for chocolate cake, or as a finishing touch on ice cream. You can also make candied walnuts ahead of time. Simply bake, freeze, and package in jars for pretty and tasty last minute holiday gifts.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Walnuts: use any nuts you like. Almonds, cashews, or a mix of the two with walnuts, are delicious.
- Cinnamon: add other spices like cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves if you'd like spicier nuts.
- Brown sugar: dark brown sugar, sometimes called old-fashioned, is best for this recipe but any type of brown sugar can be used.
Step 1: mix the sugars and spices in a bowl.
Step 2: coat the nuts in egg white, then add the sugar mixture and combine.
Step 3: spread the nuts onto a baking sheet.
Step 3: bake until golden and crisp.
- Double it: this recipe doubles well, so if you have lots of walnuts, make extra and freeze for later.
- Bake them long enough: be sure to bake the nuts until they are crisp and dry. If they're still wet, they won't keep for as long and the texture will become soggy.
- Use fresh walnuts: old dried out walnuts that have been in the cupboard for two years aren't the best for this recipe - use a new package for the best results.
How To Store Candied Walnuts
Storage: cool completely and store in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Stored this way, completely dried through, the nuts will keep for up to two weeks on the counter.
Freezing: you can freeze candied walnuts! Once the nuts are completely cool, store them in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Press out all of the air before sealing. Candied nuts will keep in the freezer for up to one month.
How do you make candied walnuts spicy?
We love adding a hint of cayenne powder to the cinnamon mixture or even mixing some madras curry paste into the egg white before stirring with the nuts. The amount is dependent on your preference and heat level tolerance.
Why are my candied nuts sticky?
The nuts absolutely must be baked until they are completely dry and crisp. Afterwards, let them cool completely on a wire rack before storing. Moisture is the enemy of candied nuts!
How long will candied nuts stay fresh?
Stored in a glass container with a tight lid, candied nuts should keep at room temperature for up to two weeks.
More Holiday Favourites
If you make these Candied Nuts or any other holiday recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Candied Walnuts With Cinnamon & Brown Sugar
- baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- 2 Mixing bowls
- Wire rack
- Wooden spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups walnuts
- 1 egg white
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF (150ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together the sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
- In a second larger bowl, stir together the nuts and egg white until the nuts are well coated.
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the nuts and stir everything together until the nuts are covered in the sugar mixture.
- Spread the nuts into a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Place the sheet in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring the nuts every 10 minutes, until the sugar coating is glossy and dark golden. Remove the nuts from the oven.
- Cool them completely on the baking sheet set on a wire rack before serving or storing in containers with airtight lids.