Nothing makes my mouth water like the smell of street vendors making candied nuts… One whiff and my stomach starts growling even if I’m not hungry! And if the nuts are still hot, it’s like a little piece of heaven on earth!
This Candied Nut Recipe works with any combination of nuts! AND if you have a nut allergy (like one of my kiddos), you can also use this recipe with Seeds, Roasted Chickpeas, or Coconut! PLUS, it is Egg Free, Dairy Free & Gluten Free! Unlike other candy recipes, this recipe is made with only 4 whole food ingredients (no corn syrup here!) and does NOT require baking in the oven.
I’m not a big sweets person, so simple candy recipes like this are my favorite. Christmas always gives me a good excuse to whip up some for gifts… Or, you can whip up 25 pounds of it for a fundraiser like I did this weekend!! It’s SO EASY and tastes exactly like the warm treats you’ll find at Disneyland, or your favorite candy vendor.
I’ve even made a FREE Printable Label for you guys… with 8 Different Nut & Seed choices! Feel free to download them over HERE & use them for gifts! =)
Here are the tools and ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
The BEST Candied Nuts Recipe
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: Approx. 8-10 Cups
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Gluten Free
This Candied Nuts Recipe is SO EASY & Delicious! You can us ANY Nuts or Seeds… Plus there’s NO Baking! It’s Egg Free, Gluten Free & Dairy Free! Perfect for Snacks, Parties, Fundraisers, Gifts and Holiday Treats!
- 3 Cups Sugar (I use Evaporated Cane Juice)
- 3 Tablespoons Cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/2 Cups Water
- 7 Cups of any Nuts/Seeds/Coconut (approx 1.75 pounds, measured & set-aside)
- Line a Cookie Sheet with Wax or Parchment Paper and set-aside. Keep you oven-mitts handy too.
- Measure out your Nuts or Seeds in a Medium Bowl and set-aside.
- Place your pot on your stovetop over Medium heat. (I use this Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Cast Iron is wonderful for candy making & all types of cooking since it evenly distributes heat over the whole pan – even in the oven!)
- With a Silicone spatula, mix together the Sugar, Cinnamon, Salt & Water in your pot – stirring occasionally during the first 5 minutes. Between 5-10 minutes, your mixture should start to bubble & foam.
- Continue stirring regularly as the mixture continues to heat up for the next 10 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides of the pot as you go.
- Stir constantly during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. Your mixture should start to thicken up and turn darker in color. This is when I use my Candy Thermometer to monitor the temperature of the candy mixture… You want it to reach ‘Soft Ball’ stage which is 238 degrees F.
IMPORTANT: Be sure the mixture is truly at 238 degrees! If you add the nuts too early, or if the temp is not accurate, you will end up with a ‘stringy’ candy result (which can still be saved – see note section below). I sometimes hold the temp for an extra minute or so until I can see the mixture pull away from the bottom of the pan when I scrape it with a rubber spatula. It is crucial to any candy recipe that your candy thermometer is accurate – I test/calibrate mine regularly against boiling water which boils at 212 degrees F.
- Once you reach the Soft Ball temperature, then work quickly to add your Nuts or Seeds to the mixture – using your spatula to continuously combine everything together – coating each Nut evenly. The coating will go from a shiny, stringy glaze to a dull, sugary coating in less than a minute. The coolness of the Nuts/Seeds will begin to crystalize the candy quickly. There should be no wet glaze leftover – it should have all crystalized.
- Using your oven mitts to handle the pot, remove from heat & carefully dump out the candied nuts/seeds onto your prepared cookie sheet & set-aside to cool completely. Break apart any large pieces. I place my cookie sheet on a cooling rack to avoid any moisture during the cooling process.
- Once the candy is cooled, you can store it in an airtight container or package it up for gift giving.
- The whole process from start to finish takes approximately 25-30 minutes.
- You can use any raw or roasted nut – even some seasoned nuts… Just keep in mind that raw nuts may turn out a little bit softer. To avoid this, you can dry roast your nuts in the oven prior to making this recipe so that they stay crispy longer.
- These Candied Nuts are best when fresh… so keep that in mind when gift giving. You can store it for longer periods of time in airtight containers or with a food sealer.
- If the nuts or candy coating seem ‘stringy’ or too soft after cooling, just pop them onto your cookie sheet & place them in the oven at 325 degrees (f), stirring gently until they crisp up.
- To warm these nuts up before serving, you can simply follow the oven instructions above or toss in a warm pan for a few minutes. But be careful when eating, they may be hot!
- Speaking of hot, my husband likes things spicy! So, you can kick these up a notch with a pinch of cayenne powder, chili powder or any spice of choice… just be sure to warn your tasters! =)
- Serving Size: 1 Piece
- Calories: 14
Gather all of your tools and ingredients to make Candied Nuts or Seeds.Whisk the Sugar, Cinnamon & Salt with Water in your Pot… Don’t mind my messy pot & spatula – this was batch #9 and everything was candy coated by this point. =)
With your pot over Medium Heat, your mixture should start to bubble and foam after approx. 5 min.Continue to stir Candy mixture regularly during then next 10 minutes – Mixture will turn darker as it cooks.Stir mixture continually during the last 5-10 Minutes. Mixture will thicken and bubble. Now is the time to use your thermometer.When the mixture reaches a temp of 238 degrees (soft ball stage), add in your prepared nuts/seed to the pot.Work quickly to coat all pieces evenly. Continue to stir & toss everything until mixture begins to set. This takes about 30-60 seconds.When the coating begins to dull, continue tossing for a few more seconds, then remove promptly from pot… Do not let them burn!Spread Candied Nuts or Seeds onto a lined cookie sheet to cool. Be sure to break up any large pieces right away. Try to resist eating all of them warm right off the tray – but definitely eat a few! =)Store Candied Nuts/Seeds in an airtight container, or package them using the free printable I made for you over HERE! I used these bags & twist ties for packaging.
Erika these sound like a delicious snack. Can’t wait to try. I will be making these for my Thanksgiving gathering! I think my grandkids will like and their mom will approve :)
Hi Pam!!! Thanks for leaving a comment… I miss your sweet family! I made 25 pounds of this stuff for a fundraiser & I might have been our best customer! LOL! Hopefully your family will enjoy it too. A big hug & much love to all of you!! xo ~Erika
On doing a Google search, I found so many different recipes, I almost gave up. But this recipe looked simple enough so I decided to give it a go. I tried a half recipe to see how it comes out. I began by cooking the sugar and cinnamon mix and suddenly realised I didn’t have a sugar thermometer! Improvised by testing the soft ball stage in a glass of cold water, and added the nuts in, mixed vigorously and voila.. It came out perfect!! Thanks for sharing this winning recipe! (Oh.. And I roasted the nuts first) A very close cousin to the squirrel nuts,I must say!!👏👏
I just found your website while looking for a Gluten Free Pie Crust to make my GF hubby Homemade Pasties. I also love, love, love Cinnamon Almonds and am excited to try your candied nuts recipe. Perfect timing too,, right before the Holidays.
Also, your boys are Adorable! Thanks for a great website.
Can these be made with any other types of sweeteners?? I can’t eat white, brown or cane sugar….I can eat coconut palm sugar, Xylitol, honey, maple syrup. Would any of those work?? Thanks!
Hi Alix! Yes, candied nuts can be made with Maple Syrup, but it behaves a bit differently than a sugar-based recipe. My suggestion would be to google how to candy Maple Syrup and adjust this recipe accordingly. But be careful… if you have any allergies to eggs or dairy, many recipes use egg whites or butter as a base ingredient. Now you have me wanting to make a batch of maple candy! =) If I make some, I’ll be sure to post my modifications here. God Bless! ~Erika
I have been looking for a simple candied nut recipe and I think yours fits the bill! I want to make some for my sister-in-law as a gift, but she can’t have gluten or cane sugar. I am goiong to try your recipe using coconut sugar. The labels are super cute too! Thank you for making my gift-giving easy :)
Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for the sweet comment… Not sure how the coconut sugar will work since it has a different type of crystallization, but let me know how it goes! If that doesn’t work, you might also try maple syrup. Enjoy & God Bless! ~Erika
Just made these! Delicious! When it was cooking it smelled like it had too much cinnamon, but it tastes perfect. Thanks!
Thanks for the comment Cate, I’m so glad they turned out well for you! =) Enjoy & God Bless! ~Erika
Absolutely perfect!!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, and the precise directions!
Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe… it’s a family favorite of ours too! =) God Bless! ~Erika
This recipe was a great-Easy to do find:) I was a little nervous since I hadn’t “candied” anyting before.
I used Coconut Sugar a splash of Maple syrup and a little Vanilla along w/ the Cinnamon and a Creole Seasoning salt that gave it a deep smoky little kick but not ‘spicy’ and I think Im going to have to make another batch to give away because I am having trouble backing away from them!! Salty/Sweet Heaven.
Thank you for sharing this great/very easy to follow step by step recipe.
Thanks Sheri! I’m so glad the recipe worked well for you… You’re modifications sound delish, I’d have a hard time staying away from them too!! =) Enjoy & God Bless! ~Erika
Hi Erika, I enjoy your candied nuts recipe! However, I’ve had a 50% success rate with the sugars crystallizing.
In the last batch I made, the sugars were crystallizing just fine and I was almost done, so I turned down the heat a little bit. In a matter of minutes, the whole batch turned into a gooey mess. I attempted to save it by throwing it in the oven at 300 for about 30 minutes, but to no avail. I took them out because I was unsure how long the nuts and cinnamon could be cooked. I used a mixture of pecans and almonds. Would you be able to give me insight as to why the crystallized sugar turned back into a liquid state? I’ve narrowed it down to:
1) turning the heat down a little bit,
2) fans blowing cool air outside in from a window across the kitchen,
3) almonds and pecans were not cool enough to aid sugar crystallization.
Do we turn the heat off before adding the nuts?
Made two batches in just one week for friends and family! So easy and so good! Thank you for sharing:)
I have bookmarked this recipe. I will be making a batch for myself and for gifts. Wish I see this recipe earlier. 🎄🎄🎄
This is a very good article. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to publishing more such works. There are not many such articles in this field.
Hi Erika, do you reduce your sugar cane juice or use it freshly crushed? I am so keen to make these but don’t want a flop
I know they are rare but please share any knowledge you have of oysternuts/ telfairia pedata. I have a couple thousand seeds and I am ready for a culinary adventure.
I followed the recipe exactly and took the mixture to exactly 238 degrees making sure the thermometer wasn’t touching the pan. Immediately added the nuts and nothing stuck to the nuts. It did make a crunchy flaky non coating.
I’m looking to make a batch of halvah coated nuts -might you have tried anything like that?