Candied Pecans

Candied pecans are crunchy, sweet, and totally addictive, with just a few simple ingredients! They’re perfect on salads, soups or served with your favorite cheese (especially melted brie). They go well with a charcuterie platter. You can also add a bit of cayenne if you like some spice! The possibilities are truly endless. If you’re looking for a candied pecans recipe, I’ve got you covered! 

Candied pecans in a small blue and white bowl on a wood backdrop.

In my opinion, candied nuts are one of those truly multipurpose kitchen staples, and everyone should have a solid, go-to recipe for them. They instantly add crunch, subtle sweetness, and extra flavor to many dishes. Also, they’re inexpensive to prepare at home compared with what you’ll pay at the grocery store.

This candied pecans recipe a well-loved treat that I’ve used countless times over the past several years. They first showed up on the blog years ago in my Cream of Winter Squash Soup with Spicy Candied Pecans.

The recipe also appear twice in my cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen. A modified version appears in my Cardamom Ice Cream with Spiced Candied Pistachios. Yes, it works with other nuts!

However, pecans are without a doubt my favorite choice for candying due to their size and texture. The shiny coating looks especially beautiful on them.

Candied nuts in a bowl.

Tips for Perfect Candied Pecans

  • Either light or dark brown sugar will work in this recipe; there’s no reason to make an extra trip to the store. Use what you have. I’ve been enjoying using dark brown sugar in general recently, as I think it adds an extra touch of richness and depth. However, I’ve made these candied pecans many times using both, and you’ll be happy either way.
  • I love when a dish is both sweet and spicy, so I often add ground cayenne pepper to the mix. It’s entirely optional. If you want to experiment but have a lower tolerance for heat, start with 1/4 teaspoon (maybe even 1/8 teaspoon). I’ve taken it up to 3/4 teaspoon and in my opinion, the heat level still isn’t overpowering.
  • Use pure maple syrup. I used Grade A Amber (what you’ll find at most grocery stores), but Grade A Dark will also work.

Do candied pecans need to be refrigerated?

Nope! You don’t need to refrigerate these. Store them in the pantry or the freezer.

Do candied pecans go bad?

Yes, all nuts go rancid after a certain amount of time, including candied pecans (or any candied nuts). Store in an airtight container in the pantry, and they should keep for at least 1 month, possibly 2 months. You can freeze them to extend their shelf life.

Can candied pecans be frozen?

Yes, these freeze very well and it’s a great way to extend their shelf life. Use an airtight container or a resealable freezer bag and store for up to 6 months.

Enjoy! I’ve love to hear about the creative ways you use candied nuts. I’m always looking for new ideas.

A close up photo of candied pecans.

More Pecan Recipes

If you love these candied pecans, you may also enjoy my Pecan Pie Bars and Butternut Squash Galette with Goat Cheese and Sage! I also love these Maple Pecan Tarts from Taste of Home.

How to make candied pecans
Print Pin Recipe

Candied Pecans

5 from 8 votes
Candied pecans are easy and addictive! They’re great on salads, soups or served with your favorite cheese (especially melted brie). For a bit of heat, add some cayenne pepper.
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword candied pecans
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings (2 cups total)
Calories 211


  • 2 cups raw pecans (whole, pieces or halves will work)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (dark or light will work, see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Optional: 1/4-3/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
  • Place the pecans on the sheet pan and toast in the oven until fragrant, approximately 10 minutes. Gently flip every 3 to 4 minutes to toast evenly on both sides.
  • While the pecans are toasting, prepare the candy coating. Microwave the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl until melted, about 20 seconds. Stir in the maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne, if using.
  • Remove the pecans from the oven and pour them into the mixture. Be careful as it might splutter. Stir until the pecans are evenly coated, then pour back onto the sheet pan and spread in an even layer.
  • Bake for additional 10 minutes, stirring after every 3-4 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and firm up on the sheet pan.
  • Once cool, break the nuts apart. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. They're best enjoyed within 1-2 weeks (the spices will be most pronounced), but will keep in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 1 month. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 6 months using an airtight container or resealable freezer bag.


You can use either light or dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar results in a deeper flavor, but both taste great. 


Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 437mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1.2% | Vitamin C: 0.3% | Calcium: 2.5% | Iron: 3.7%

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About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

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