Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts

A couple weeks ago I wanted to make my husband something for Father’s Day he’d really enjoy.

Nothing was coming to mind but finally a lightbulb went off. Nuts!

Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Over the years of living with me and in SoCal in the land of kombucha and chocolate kale chips, he’s become much more adventurous.

He even jumped at the chance to do a 3-Day Juice Cleanse with me and thrived.

Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts - Recipe at averiecooks.com

The problem is that when I ask him what he’d like me to make, I’m met with idunno’s, whateveryouwant’s, and idontcare’s.

If someone was cooking for me and asked me what I wanted, I could tell them right down to the gram how big to make a wad of cookie dough so it bakes into perfect cookies. My husband, well, not so much.

Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts - Recipe at averiecooks.com

But he likes nuts, especially candied nuts. They’re salty-and-sweet, crunchy, and highly addictive. Most people can’t say no. Although I don’t like nuts baked into desserts, on their own, I can go to town on them.

The smell of candied nuts wafting through the shopping malls before Christmas is positively intoxicating. Something so good shouldn’t be confined to just a month or two of the year.

These shopping mall-style candied nuts are fast and easy to make and ready in a half hour. The aroma that wafts through your house while they bake is so intoxicating that you’ll wish you could bottle it.

Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts - Recipe at averiecooks.com

For this mix, I used 1 cup each of pecans, walnuts, and almonds. Pecans are great here because their nooks and crannies trap the coating mixture especially well.

In the coating mixture, I used one tablespoon of cinnamon and one-half teaspoon of cayenne pepper. The nuts aren’t intense firebombs where you’ll need to immediately guzzle water. Rather, it’s a creeper heat. The kind that sneaks up on you.

Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts - Recipe at averiecooks.com

After a handful, your sinuses will be wide open, but you’ll reach for another handful. Food with heat is addictive. The more you have, the more you want.

If you’re not into heat, either reduce or eliminate the cayenne. Still tasty, minus the open sinuses.

Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts - Recipe at averiecooks.com

The sweet-with-heat, caramelized, crispy, brown sugary coating is so good.

The stray bits of it that fall off are even better than the nuts themselves for me. I love finding bonus chunks of it laying loose in the jar. It’s the streusel topping principle. I love to pick at any sort of brown sugary crumbs.

Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts - Recipe at averiecooks.com

The nuts make great last-minute gifts and anything homemade in under a half hour is a winner. Don’t wait for Christmas. Bring some to a summer bbq, a pool party, or a neighborhood cookout. You’ll be the hit of the party as people stand around crunching and munching.

We’ve been doing our share of crunching and munching alright.

Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts - Make shopping mall-style candied nuts any time you want! Just 30 minutes and these crunchy and very addictive nuts are all yours! Makes a great gift! Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

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Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts

The smell of candied nuts wafting through the air at shopping malls before Christmas is one of the best parts of holiday shopping. Munch on a these shopping mall-style candied nuts at home, year-round. Although there's some heat from the cayenne, they're not overly hot or spicy. If you're not a fan of heat or are making these for others who aren't, reduce or omit it. The nuts make great gifts, but they may not last long enough to give away. They're addictively crunchy and once you grab a handful, you'll need at least five more.

Yield: about 4 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


3 cups nuts (pecans work very well to absorb the coating; I used 1 cup each of pecans, walnuts, and almonds. All were raw and unsalted)
1 egg white, whisked to frothy
1 tablespoon water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed (light or dark is fine)
2+ teaspoons cinnamon (I used 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (reduce to 1/4 teaspoon for milder heat)


  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the nuts; set aside. I used 1 cup each of pecans, walnuts, and almonds. All were raw and unsalted.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water until frothy, foamy, and bubbly, about 2 minutes by hand. Pour mixture over nuts and toss to coat evenly; set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 5 ingredients. Dump over the nuts and toss to coat evenly.
  5. Turn nuts out onto to prepared baking tray, spreading them in an even flat layer.
  6. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until coasting is crisped, dried and candied. Stir nuts once midway through cooking. Lift the parchment paper with the nuts on it off the baking tray, set it on the counter, and allow nuts to cool.
  7.  When nuts are cool enough to handle, if desired, break apart large clusters.
  8. Transfer nuts to airtight containers or jars. Nuts will keep airtight at room temperature for at least 1 month.

Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

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Do you like candied nuts? Favorite recipe?

Spicy food fan? A little bit of heat or call the fire trucks?


91 Responses to “Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts”

  1. Lisa Jennings — January 29, 2014 at 9:15 pm (#

    Any idea how these would turn out without the egg white? Our oldest cannot have anything with egg.

    • Averie Sunshine — January 30, 2014 at 2:10 am (#

      Probably like the other almonds (rosemary chipotle) I linked in the ‘Related Recipes’ section of the post. The coating won’t stick as well without the egg. You can try it, but just know that about half (or more) just won’t stick. The egg white is like glue but if there’s an allergy, there’s nothing you can do!

  2. Shannon — November 18, 2014 at 11:17 am (#

    These. Nuts. I made them last night and I cannot stop eating them!! Thank you for the recipe. You have become my new go to for to die for recipes!

    • Averie Sunshine — November 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm (#

      Glad I’m your new go-to and yes, these nuts. I know. I cannot even make them very often….way too addictive, yes! :) Glad you can relate!

  3. Ivy Grelewicz — November 18, 2014 at 6:22 pm (#

    Hi. Can I use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper? I made these last year and they were fantastic. I want to make again now. But I don’t have parchment paper. Thank-you.

    • Averie Sunshine — November 18, 2014 at 6:51 pm (#

      I’ve only used parchment, but I think foil will be fine.

  4. Sarah — December 14, 2014 at 8:06 am (#

    These are delicious. I added a touch of vanilla paste and made with solely cashew nuts. I’m from the UK so I doubled the recipe which meant I used 750g of nuts on the dot. Omitted the spice as that’s not for us, kept the cinnamon though. Baked for 35 minutes and they were spot on. I’ve now got three jars of nuts to give away for xmas + one for me and the boyfriend for munching on. Thanks Averie!

    • Averie Sunshine — December 14, 2014 at 10:42 am (#

      You have lucky friends and family who are going to get these as gifts! I’m sure the vanilla paste is lovely and glad you’re happy!

  5. Bronte Couling — January 5, 2015 at 4:56 am (#

    Did you take these photos of these nuts in the jar? I would like to know as I am doing Photography GCSE and I need to know a lot of different photographers.

    Thank you

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