This recipe for easy Candied Pecans shows you how to make a crunchy, sweet batch of candied pecans made with simple ingredients. Make this sweet treat during the holidays to give as a gift or use them to add a nutty crunch to sweet and savory dishes like salads and more!
When we’re craving a snack, we usually grab one of three things – nuts, fruit, or chocolate. We love the crunchiness of nuts, the refreshing taste of fruit, and the sweet flavor of chocolate.
Candied pecans are one of our favorite snacks because they are sweet and crunchy. Pecans are a delight to cook with because they have a nutty flavor that has a slight caramel taste. This makes them the perfect snack as you only need a few to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Make these pecans candied with egg whites, sugar, and other seasonings. The pecans get tossed with the mixture until coated and then baked in the oven until a crunchy sweet shell forms on the surface in just one hour.
Enjoy this candied pecans recipe for topping salads, for snacking, or for giving as an edible gift during the holidays!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This delicious recipe takes only 5 simple ingredients (not including water) you can find anywhere.
- You only need 10 minutes of prep time before baking.
- Glazed pecans make a great gift when packaged up for the holidays.
- You can eat them as a sweet snack or add them to salads and other savory dishes.
- They make a great topping for desserts like ice cream, or breakfast dishes like oats, pancakes, or waffles.
- They are naturally gluten-free.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Pecan Halves – These nuts have a caramel-like flavor and taste great when toasted with cinnamon and sugar.
- Sugar – Gives the pecans their classic candy-sweet flavor. You can use coconut sugar instead of white sugar to make these paleo friendly. Light brown sugar works but it may alter the flavor.
- Ground Cinnamon – Adds a warming flavor that pairs well with the natural flavor of pecans.
- Salt – Helps balance and contrast the sweetness.
- Egg Whites – Gives the sugar a base to coat the pecans and hardens when baked.
- Water – Helps thin out the sugar and water mixture to coat the pecans evenly.
- Vanilla Extract – Adds a light vanilla flavor to the pecans.
How To Make Candied Pecans
- Prepare for baking: Preheat your oven to 250 Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Mix the dry ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl, add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine the ingredients evenly.
- Assemble the candy coating: In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg whites, water, and vanilla until evenly coated. Pour the cinnamon sugar mixture into the wet and stir until mixed fully.
- Candy coat the pecans: Add the pecans to the sugar and egg white mixture and stir until all of the pecans are fully coated on all sides.
- Bake candied pecans: Spread the coated pecans on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for one hour and toss every 15 minutes with a spatula. Remove from oven and allow them to cool to room temperature before storing or serving.
Store the candied pecans in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- Use pecan halves. When choosing pecans, make sure you purchase pecan halves and not pieces. They should smell nutty and not dried out.
- Cool pecans completely. Before serving or storing, make sure the candied pecans are COMPLETELY cooled. This will help harden the outside and keep any moisture from forming in the container.
- Do not overmix the egg whites as this could add too much air making bubbles form on the pecans. Just stir until everything is combined.
- Spread pecans in an even layer on baking sheet. The coated pecans should be in an even layer on the baking sheet to make sure they roast properly in the oven.
- Make spicy candied pecans. Give the pecans a bit of heat by sprinkling a tiny bit of cayenne pepper into the dry mix to use for savory dishes.
- Use a mixture of nuts. Mix the pecans with walnut halves for a candied nut mixture.
- To make these paleo, replace the white sugar with coconut sugar.
- Use homemade Pumpkin Spice instead of cinnamon for a warming fall flavor.
Can candied pecans be frozen? Yes. To freeze, add cooked and cooled sugared pecans to an airtight container or sealed freezer-safe bag. Remove as much air as possible and store for up to 4 months. Spread them out on a sheet pan to thaw completely.
You can use candied nuts in a variety of different ways. They are a great idea for an edible holiday gift.
- Snack on them when you’re craving something sweet.
- Add them to salad for a sweet nutty crunch.
- Use them as a topping for sweet potato toast.
- Use them in place of regular pecans in recipes to add sweetness.
- Bake your favorite cake and then garnish it with chopped candied pecans.
Did you make this easy candied pecans recipe? Leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound pecan halves
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir to mix.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites, water, and vanilla. Add pecans and toss evenly to coat. Pour sugar mixture over pecans and stir to coat. Spread pecans on baking sheet and cook for one hour, stirring them every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
More Edible Holiday Gifts
This post originally published in December 2013. It was updated with new process photos and expert tips in October 2021.