Candied Spiced Pecans are a quick and easy recipe to get you into the festive spirit! Using a simple combination of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon sugar, we cook the pecans on the stove top. Cinnamon sugar pecans are seriously addictive and so crunchy and delicious at the same time.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the candied pecans recipe in the points below:
- Super quick!
- Super easy!!
- Versatile: you might like to make these nuts to add them as a salad filler or wrap and give as gifts, use as a simple snack idea or pop them on Olive Platter for a extra little something sweet.
- Simple ingredients: you will be able to get everything you need to make the recipe from your local grocery store. They are year round available ingredients that will be easy to get your hands on.
- Egg free: when I made the Sugar Coated Peanuts I developed a recipe which does use egg whites to make those nuts. For these spiced pecans, I wanted to give you an egg free option.
- Holiday baking: it can be a very fun and enjoyable way to spend some time when you head to the kitchen with sweet, festive treats in mind. These candied nuts really get you into the spirit of the holiday season.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the cinnamon sugar pecans recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Butter: we use the butter and sugar to cook the pecans which form a syrup like mix that caramelizes and coats the nuts.
- Cinnamon sugar: sweet and aromatic this ingredient practically brings joy when it is baking!
- Brown sugar: soft and sweet, this melts on the stove when combined with the butter and caramelises leaving a lovely sticky (it dries) coating on the nuts.
- Pecans: these flat wide nuts are versatile and hold their own in the kitchen.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by adding the ingredients to a large non stick frying pan.
- Add the pecans, butter, sugar and cinnamon sugar (Photo 1)
👩🍳 How to Make Candied Spiced Pecans
To make the candied spiced pecans, start by placing a large non stick frying pan onto the stove top and turn the heat to high.
Add the pecans, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon sugar to the pan as shown in the photo above.
- Stir as the butter melts (Photo 2)
You will notice that the butter starts to melt and the sugar soften.
During this time you want to use a wooden spoon to consistently stir the mixture.
- Continue to stir until the sugar caramelizes (Step 3)
You will see that the butter and sugar have melted and combined by now and started to caramelize. This is when the sugar is no longer grainy but looks more like a liquid caramel.
Once done (5- 8 minutes) you can use the wooden spoon to transfer the candied nuts out of the frying pan onto a silicon baking mat.
- Let the nuts cool (Photo 4)
Then let the nuts cool. They will firm up during this time. Once cool, you can break apart and clumps or chop them into smaller pieces if you wish too.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
If you are the type of person who loves to bake during the holiday season then this recipe will be right up your alley.
They are perfect to use in salads, for an ice cream topping, on the Microwave Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding, a cheesecake topping, crumbled on baked goods and so much more 😉👍.
You can use clear gift bags to present the nuts and offer them to family and friends for a sweet treat.
The little sugary hard bits that break off in the bag...are the absolute best 😉👌.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store the nuts in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge. They will last for 7 days. They can also be wrapped in gift bags with a wire twine or ribbon at the top.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- If you want to use plain cinnamon powder in place of the cinnamon sugar you can.
- Or if you want to use white sugar in place of the brown sugar you can.
- For a sweet and salty flavor combination, you can also sprinkle some sea salt over the nuts once they are off the stove top.
- You can use this method to make other spiced nuts. Some good choices are walnuts, cashews or macadamia nuts.
- For a spicy flavored nut, you can add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- It is best to cook the nuts whole (not chopped). Smaller pieces of nuts burnt more quickly so they are not recommended. You can however, break or chop the cooked nuts when they have cooled.
- A non stick pan works best to make the nuts.
- You need to stir the nuts constantly when they are cooking so that they don't burn and so that they get caramelized effectively.
- The nuts firm and become hard as they cool. So don't be too suprised if you taste one hot from the pan and it softer than you expect. They will firm up.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
Are candied pecans unhealthy?
Yes, candied pecans would be considered unhealthy. They have a high amount of butter and sugar so they are best eaten in small amounts.
Why do you soak pecans before roasting?
No. For this super quick and easy recipe, we do not want to soak the pecans before roasting them.
Do you chop pecans before roasting?
No, it is best not to chop pecans before roasting. This is because the smaller pieces of chopped nuts tend to burn more quickly that roasting hole nuts till the caramelization happens.
😍 More Easy Sweet Recipes
Curb your sweet cravings but making fun, treats in the last few months of the year to get you feeling festive. Here are some more recipes to try:
- Chocolate Caramel Slice
- Marshmallow Chocolates
- Coconut Bark
- Mint Aero Fudge
- Candy Cane Fudge
- Coco Pop Crackles
- Marie Biscuit Fudge
- White Chocolate Crackles
Candied Spiced Pecans
- 3 cups pecan nuts raw, unroasted or salted, Note 1
- ¾ cup brown sugar Note 2
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon sugar Note 3
- 60 grams/1/2 stick butter Note 4
- Combine: place a large non stick frying pan onto the stove top, turn the heat to high, add the pecans, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon sugar. Stir continuously as the butter melts and the sugar beings to caramelize. They will take 5-8 minutes.
- Baking mat: once the nuts have cooked, transfer them to a silicon baking mat and let cool.
- To serve: once the nuts have cooled, use a wooden spoon or your hands to break up an clumps of nuts. Then portion into gift bags and sealed with twine or ribbon.
- Note 1 - Pecans: the pecans need to be raw, unroasted or salted nuts. You can use this method to make other spiced nuts. Some good choices are walnuts, cashews or macadamia nuts.
- Note 2 - Brown sugar: or if you want to use white sugar in place of the brown sugar you can (equivalent amount).
- Note 3 - Cinnamon sugar: if you want to use plain cinnamon powder in place of the cinnamon sugar you can.
- Note 4 - Butter: use a creamy French, unsalted butter. In Australia the packets have markings so you know where to cut, ie 20 grams, 40 grams, 60 grams. For an American stick of butter which is 113 grams, you will need just over half a stick. You can also use kitchen scales if you want to be 100 % precise.