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!
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 is 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 appears 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.
- 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 Nuts need to be refrigerated?
Nope! You don’t need to refrigerate these. Store them in the pantry or the freezer.
Do candied Nuts 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 These 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’d love to hear about the creative ways you use candied nuts. I’m always looking for new ideas.
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.
- 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.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
For immediate help troubleshooting a recipe, please email me using the form on my contact page. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! For all general questions, please leave a comment here :)
I know it is preference but 350 degrees for 20 minutes seems to be a bit too much for me. I like to cook them at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Either way, they are delicious!
Jennifer Farley says
Totally valid! I think it often depends on the oven. It’s hard to gage the accuracy of the temperature, and I believe all ovens vary a bit (one day my dream is to have recipe testers, especially for gas vs electric burners).
These look fabulous! Candied pecans are my favorite snack or topping on all salads!
Kelly Anthony says
Candied pecans are one of my favorite Christmastime treats! I LOVE them on their own and on top of a salad. I never thought to add them on baked brie though. Going to try these STAT in that exact fashion ;) YUM!
I am obsessed with candied pecans! They go so well with pretty much anything!
Leisa Russell says
Can you use something else besides the pure maple syrup?