Candied Pecans come together in just 10 minutes with just 4 simple ingredients! They’re the perfect balance of sweet and salty, with a beautifully crunchy texture. Use these on cheeseboards, to fill cakes, to top pancakes with, or for a delicious snack to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Why you’ll love these Quick Candied Pecans:
- Easy Recipe – This simple treat comes together with about 10 minutes of hands-on time and is ready to enjoy as soon as the nuts cool! It doesn’t even require egg whites, corn syrup, or a candy thermometer, making it an absolute breeze.
- So Many Uses – Add these candied nuts to cheese boards, use to fill cake layers, or amp up brunch at home by topping your pancakes, waffles, or french toast with these.
- Homemade Gift – Pack up a mason jar of candied nuts and add a ribbon for the easiest homemade gift! This is a great recipe for gifting to neighbors, teachers, and friends during the holiday season.
As always, the full recipe with measurements & directions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Pecans – When you purchase pecans at the grocery store, they’re usually labeled “pecan halves” – these are the standard pecans. They’re “whole” pecans – whole in the sense of what we’re used to seeing. They haven’t been pre chopped.
- Pepitas – Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are found near the other seeds and nuts in most grocery stores. They’re small and green, but you can also use the larger white pumpkin seeds if you’ve roasted some and have them on hand.
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar adds sweetness and more depth of flavor than white sugar.
- Water – Water combines with the sugar and cinnamon to make a sort of sugar syrup that will coat the nuts, then harden when cooled to make our candied snack.
- Cinnamon – Add a little bit of cinnamon for flavor.
- Kosher Salt – A pinch of salt balances the sweetness from the sugars. It’s essential in every baking recipe for just the right amount of sweetness, and more depth of flavor.
- Gluten-free – This recipe is naturally gluten-free!
- Dairy-free – This recipe is naturally dairy-free and vegan!
- Nuts – If you’re allergic to nuts, you could use all pumpkin seeds in this recipe to make a nut-free candied snack.
- Cinnamon – Feel free to use 1 and 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice in place of the ground cinnamon for pumpkin pie spiced pecans.
How to Make this Easy Candied Pecans Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Prep. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set out all your ingredients.
Step 2: Make Candied Pecans. Add the brown sugar, water, vanilla extract, and cinnamon to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, until bubbly. Stir in the pecans and pepitas, making sure they’re well-coated, then continue stirring and cooking for 2-3 minutes.
Step 3: Cool. Place the nuts on your prepared baking sheet in a single layer to cool and set up.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Once the nuts have cooled completely and the sugar has hardened, break up the clumps as much as you like, and enjoy! These can be served as a snack, on a cheese board, or used as a filling in cakes like my Ultimate Pumpkin Cake and Caramel Apple Cake. Store cooled nuts in an airtight container or jar at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.
Expert Success Tips:
- Whole Pecans – I like my candied pecans whole, but you can chop them roughly first if that’s how you prefer your pecans.
Yes! I think this recipe would be delicious with walnuts, cashews, or almonds as well. You could even do a mix of a few types to make mixed candied nuts.
Pepitas are a type of pumpkin seed, but they’re only found in specific varieties of pumpkins or squash, like one called Lady Godiva.
Yes, you can double or halve it! Just be sure to use a large enough skillet if you double it, so you can stir things in really well without things spilling out.
I used to make candied pecans with egg white but I found it more tedious and possibly wasteful with the leftover egg yolks. This method works just as well, is even more delicious, and reduces the level of effort involved! No need to coat the nuts in egg white and then toss in a cinnamon sugar mixture. The water, sugar, and cinnamon are all cooked together for just a minute or so before stirring in the nuts, and that’s it!
- Nuts – Feel free to try this with any kind of nut. See FAQ above.
- Pepitas – Feel free to omit the pepitas (or pumpkin seeds) if desired. Although, they are delicious and pair perfectly with the pecans.
- Maple Syrup – Feel free to add 1 tbsp of maple syrup to the mixture for a little extra flaor!
- Skillet – I use this skillet to make my candied pecans in. I’ve had it for ages, and it’s still in great condition.
- Sheet Pan – I use a large sheet pan (or cookie sheet) lined with parchment paper to let the nuts cool on.
Recipes to use Candied Pecans in:
- Use these as filling between the layers of my Ultimate Pumpkin Cake or Caramel Apple Cake
- These are the perfect topping for my Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes
- Add a bowl of these to my Fall Harvest Charcuterie Board
- Sprinkle on top of Ice Cream for a sweet snack! It’s like a little bowl of pecan pie without the hassle.
- Use them as a salad topper in one of my never-boring salads!
More Easy Holiday Recipes to Love:
These all make great last-minute gifts! Add any of these treats to a pretty jar or holiday tin for easy, great gifts.
- Black Forest Chocolate Truffles
- Peppermint Bark
- 10-Minute Salted Caramel Sauce
- Homemade Chocolate Bark
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Quick Candied Pecans & Pepitas
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp light brown sugar, packed Dark brown sugar works, too!
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp water
- 1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans Usually called "pecan halves" on the bag – no need to chop them, unless you want to
- 1 cup pepitas These are small, green ,roasted pumpkin seeds (see more info in blog post above)
- Prep: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Get out all your ingredients.
- Make the Candied Nuts: Add the brown sugar, water, vanilla extract, and cinnamon to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, until bubbling. Stir in vanilla, then stir in the pecans and pepitas to coat. Then continue stirring and cooking for 2-3 minutes.
- Cool: Spread nuts into an even layer on your prepared pan and allow to cool.
- Serve & Store: Once the nuts have cooled, break up a bit and enjoy! Store leftover nuts in an airtight container or jar at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.