Quick And Easy Candied Walnuts

5 from 11 votes
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Enjoy candied walnuts in just minutes with a super easy recipe (stovetop or oven), perfect for a snack, sprinkling over salads, yogurt, and dessert, and gifting over the holidays!

A bowl with sugared walnuts

With the combined flavors of cinnamon, butter, sugar, and walnuts, these quick candied walnuts (aka praline walnuts) are perfect for the holidays as both a party snack and a holiday gift. And of course, you can enjoy them year-round. , preparing cinnamon-glazed walnuts is so easy you’ll be tossing them into salads, oatmeal, ice cream, yogurt bowls, and more!

Along with the basic cinnamon walnuts recipe, I’ve included several other flavor variations for this sweet treat. Plus, I’ve added methods for stove-top and oven-roasted versions. Both are 100% egg white-free and optionally refined sugar-free. They are sure to make your entire house smell heavenly!

You might also enjoy my sweet and spicy candied pecans with cayenne pepper.

Drying walnuts on parchment paper

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Are Glazed Walnuts Good For You?

Sugar and butter aside, walnuts contain many health benefits and are an excellent addition to your diet. In fact:

  • Walnuts contain higher amounts of antioxidants than other nuts, prevent oxidative damage, and fight harmful free radicals.
  • Contain significantly higher amounts of omega-3 fats than other nuts, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Have anti-inflammatory properties to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, etc.
  • Increase butyrate bacteria, which nourishes and promotes gut health.
  • They may even lower blood pressure levels.

All the above combined means these caramelized walnuts are a great snack to have on hand! But do consume them in moderation.

Candied Walnuts Ingredients

This candied nuts recipe relies on just 5 ingredients for a sweet and salty flavor combination, perfect for enjoying all year.

Ingredients for candied walnuts
  • Walnuts: Use raw or roasted, unsalted, whole walnut halves. However, for this recipe, you can use most nuts – cashews, hazelnuts, pecans (or mixed nuts), and even seeds like pumpkin seeds.
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter, so I can control the sodium levels myself when I candy walnuts.
  • Sugar: You could use one of many types of sugar to caramelize walnuts. I.e caster sugar, coconut sugar, raw cane sugar, white granulated sugar, light brown sugar, etc.

The sugar should be a fine consistency for this sweet toasted walnuts recipe. If you’re using granulated sugar, grind it in a blender or coffee/spice grinder into a finer/powdery consistency.

  • Cinnamon: I love using cinnamon for these basic sweetened walnuts, as it perfectly complements the nuts.
  • Salt: (Optional) To balance and enhance the flavors in the cinnamon sugar walnuts. Reduce the amount (or omit it entirely) if you use salted butter.

How To Make Candied Walnuts

How to make sweet walnuts in just minutes on the stovetop, following 4 simple steps!

First, add the sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt to a large non-stick skillet. Heat over medium heat, constantly stirring, until the sugar melts. About 2 minutes.

Then, add the walnuts and continue to stir for 3-4 minutes. Make sure to coat them well with the sugar mixture.

Steps for making candied walnuts

Transfer the caramelized walnuts to a parchment-lined baking tray and quickly separate them into a single layer, not touching.

Finally, set them aside to cool for at least 10 minutes or until they’ve cooled completely and hardened.

Drying walnuts on parchment paper

Tips to Avoid Sticky Candied Walnuts

Once you transfer the cinnamon walnuts from the hot pan, you have about 30 seconds to spread and separate them before they solidify. Use 2 spatulas or forks to speed up the process.

Can We Candy Walnuts in the Oven

For a more hands-off approach, you can learn how to candy walnuts in the oven.

If you plan to follow this method, use raw walnuts, as they’ll toast in the oven.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Then, prepare the syrupy sauce in the skillet and toss the walnuts into it until well coated.
  3. Transfer the cinnamon walnuts to the parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer, ensuring they aren’t touching too much.
  4. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until the candied nuts are golden brown and slightly crispy. The exact time will depend on your oven.
  5. Then, remove the cinnamon-roasted walnuts from the oven, allow them to cool to room temperature, and enjoy!

Optionally, sprinkle some more cinnamon sugar blend over the nuts right out of the oven for extra crunchy sugar-coated walnuts.

A bowl with candied walnuts

How Can We Use Candied Walnuts

If you don’t inhale the entire batch as soon as they’re cooled, then there are actually plenty of ways to enjoy this candied walnuts recipe.

  • As a baked goods topper: You can use the glazed walnuts to decorate all sorts of baked goodies. Carrot cake, banana bread, brownies, etc.
  • Over ice cream: Like gingerbread, caramel, etc.
  • With a yogurt bowl: or with a yogurt parfait.
  • With oats: Sprinkles over oatmeal or overnight oats.
  • Over salads: I particularly enjoy the candied walnuts for salad recipes with flavors like kale, apple, pear, Brussels sprouts, etc.
  • Over sweet potatoes: Including mashed sweet potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, or a sweet potato casserole.
  • Sprinkled over roasted veg.

You can also serve them as part of a party snack spread, charcuterie board, cheese board, or grazing platter. To gift them, pop them in a mason jar with a cute label and ribbon.

If using glazed walnuts as a topping, add them just before serving. Otherwise, the coating can soften, and they become sticky.

How to Store Candied Walnuts

Store the cooled, hardened candied walnuts in an airtight container.

How Long Do Candied Walnuts Last

Keep them for 7-10 days on the counter or 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

Homemade candied walnuts

FAQs

Should walnuts be roasted?

You can use raw or roasted nut for the quick skillet version. But use raw nuts for the oven version, as they’ll toast in the oven.

Why are my candied walnuts sticky?

Candied nuts will remain slightly sticky until cooled. At that point, they should no longer be tacky. If they are, you’ve likely not cooked them for long enough.
Stovetop caramel must reach a specific temperature – about 300-310ºF – to dry hard. Returning them to the stove/oven should help. If they’re only slightly tacky, place them in the oven at a low temperature (or in a dehydrator) to dry them gently.

Why are my candied walnuts soft?

If the candied walnuts are soft, they are likely not cooked enough – just like when being sticky. Returning them to the stove/oven should help.

Can I make honey or maple syrup glazed walnuts?

To use a liquid sweetener for the candied walnuts recipe, use ¼ cup liquid sweetener with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter per one cup of walnuts. Coat them in the syrupy sauce. Then transfer them (in a single layer, not touching) to a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes at 375ºF/190ºC.

Can I reduce the amount of sugar used?

Yes, but less sugar per portion means thinner coating per nut.

More Walnut Recipes

If you try this glazed walnuts recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Quick And Easy Candied Walnuts

5 from 11 votes
By: Samira
Enjoy candied walnuts in just minutes with a super easy recipe (stovetop or oven), perfect for a snack, sprinkling over salads, yogurt, and dessert, and gifting over the holidays!
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 
 

  • 6.3 oz walnut 2 cups halves
  • 2.3 oz sugar 1/3 cup fine granulated sugar (raw cane sugar, coconut sugar, white sugar, etc.); grind it in a blender/coffee/spice grinder if needed
  • 1.1 oz butter 2 Tbsp; unsalted
  • 1/8 tsp salt adjust amount to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions 

Candied Walnuts On the Stove

  • Add the sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt to a large frying pan and heat over medium, constantly stirring until the sugar melts (about 2 minutes).
  • Add the walnuts and continue cooking and stirring for 3-4 minutes. Make sure to coat them well with the sugar mixture
  • Transfer the caramelized walnuts to a parchment-lined baking tray and quickly separate them into a single layer, not touching.
    Do this quickly (you have about 30 seconds) to separate the nuts before the candy coating begins to solidify. Using two spatulas at once will make this easier.
  • Set them aside to cool for at least 10 minutes or until they've cooled and hardened.

For Roasted Walnuts

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
    Make sure to use raw walnuts for this method, as they'll toast in the oven.
  • Prepare the syrupy sauce in the skillet and toss the walnuts into it until well coated.
  • Transfer the walnuts to the prepared tray in a single layer, ensuring they aren't touching too much.
  • Bake for 12-16 minutes or until the candied nuts are golden brown and slightly crispy. The exact time will depend on your oven.
  • Remove the walnuts from the oven, allow them to cool (to harden) – and enjoy!
    Optionally, sprinkle some more cinnamon sugar blend over the nuts right out of the oven for extra crunchy sugar-coated walnuts.

Storage Instructions

  • Store: Store the cooled, hardened cinnamon candied walnuts in an airtight container for 7-10 days on the counter or 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
    If you live somewhere humid, this will cause the nuts to become sticky sooner, but an airtight container should help. Alternatively, you could re-purpose a silica gel pack found in another food item and pop it into the container to absorb moisture.
    Freeze: Store the cooled caramelized walnuts in a freezer-safe, airtight container for up to 2 months. Allow them to thaw for a few minutes at room temperature before enjoying them.

Notes

  • Use even-sized pieces: It’s OK if a few smaller nut pieces are in the mix. However, they’ll toast more evenly if they’re all a similar size. If you specifically want smaller pieces, chop the nuts before candying them so they’re still evenly coated.
  • Monitor the caramel: Otherwise, the sugar may burn and ruin the entire batch.
  • Work quickly: Once you transfer the cinnamon walnuts from the hot pan, you have about 30 seconds to spread and separate them before they solidify. Use 2 spatulas or forks to speed up the process.
  • Cool completely before storing: Otherwise, they’ll steam and remain sticky.
  • When serving: If using glazed walnuts as a topping, add them just before serving. Otherwise, the coating can soften, and they become sticky.
To add more flavor to glazed walnuts:
  • Vanilla extract:Add a teaspoon. Only add it at the end of the cooking process so the flavor doesn’t cook off.
  • Nutmeg: For subtle added depth, add a small pinch of nutmeg.
  • Cayenne pepper: To add a subtle spicy kick to the canded walnut recipe.
  • Other spices: Instead of cinnamon, use a spice blend like pumpkin pie spice, gingerbread spice, or chai spice.
  • Herbs: Use 1 ½-2 Tbsp of fresh chopped herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage.
  • Orange Zest: Add 1-2 teaspoons of the zest to the sugar mixture for a citrus flavor to the sugared walnuts.
 
Check the blog post for serving recommendations and answers to top FAQs!
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Freezer friendly: 2 Months
Shelf life: 7-10 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 206kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 62mg, Potassium: 100mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 102IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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