Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts — The smell of candied nuts is one of the best parts of holiday shopping! Munch on a these shopping mall-style candied nuts at home, year-round. 

glass jar filled with candied nuts

Homemade Candied Nuts Recipe

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.

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.

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.

These homemade Christmas 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

What’s in Candied Nuts? 

To make this mixture of candied pecans, candied walnuts, and candied almonds, you’ll need: 

  • Nuts
  • Egg white
  • Water
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • Cayenne pepper

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

How to Make Candied Nuts

Making candied Christmas nuts couldn’t be simpler! Place nuts in a large bowl. Whisk the egg white and water until frothy in another bowl. 

Pour the egg white mixture over the nuts, then pour in the remaining ingredients. Toss evenly to coat. 

Spread the nuts over a parchment paper-lined baking tray, then bake until the coating is crisped, dried and candied. 

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

How Long Do Candied Nuts Last? 

If stored in an airtight container at room temperature, these candied nuts will last up to a month. 

What Type of Nuts Should I Use? 

You can use any type of nuts you’d like in this candied nuts recipe. Just note that I used raw, unsalted nuts in this recipe. 

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

Can I Omit the Cayenne Pepper?

Yes, but I recommend adding it in. It’s highly addictive!

Can I Add Other Spices?

Yes, you’re welcome to spice these candied nuts however you see fit. Cinnamon is a must in my book, though.  

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

Can I Omit the Egg White? 

Not really, no. The egg white acts as the glue in this recipe and prevents the candied coating from sliding off the nuts. 

Can I Omit Part of the Sugar? 

I don’t think so, no. Without the sugar, you can’t make candied nuts. 

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

Tips for Making Candied Nuts

Don’t skip the kosher salt in this recipe. You need a bit of salt to balance out the sweetness of the candy coating and bring out the flavor of the nuts themselves. 

Be sure to stir the candied nuts halfway through the bake time. If you don’t stir them, some of the nuts may burn. 

Lastly, you need to let these candied Christmas nuts cool completely before eating them. They crisp up as they cool and develop a crunchy exterior. 

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

Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts

Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts

The smell of candied nuts is one of the best parts of holiday shopping! Munch on a these shopping mall-style candied nuts at home, year-round.

Yield: 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.
    7. Lift the parchment paper with the nuts on it off the baking tray, set it on the counter, and allow nuts to cool. 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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 402 Total Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 22g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 411mg Carbohydrates: 35g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 26g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 11g

More Easy Holiday Treats:

Reindeer Chow — A holiday twist on classic Muddy Buddies that’s EASY, ready in 15 minutes, and perfect for hostess gifts or cookie exchanges!!

Fudgy Boubon Balls — These bourbon balls only take 15 minutes of prep and you can make them days (or weeks) in advance, and just one appliance is dirtied! 

The Easiest Foolproof Fudge — Look no further than this recipe for the EASIEST and most FOOLPROOF fudge that takes less than 3 minutes to make!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Stacks — If you need a ridiculously easy, no-bake dessert for a party, holiday cookie exchange, or just have a spur of the moment craving for chocolate and peanut butter, these Ritz cookies are perfect!

White Chocolate-Dipped Oreo Cookie Balls — This Oreo balls recipe uses just 4 simple ingredients! If you’re looking for an easy no-bake dessert for cookie swaps or gift exchanges, this is it!

Crock Pot Maple Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix — This Crock-Pot Chex Mix is LOADED with pumpkin spice flavor! It’s so easy to make and can easily be adapted to suit the ingredients you have on hand.

Loaded Christmas Bark — This loaded up holiday bark is a ridiculously easy no-bake treat with Oreos, pretzels, peanuts, M&Ms, white chocolate chips, and holiday sprinkles all embedded into dark chocolate.

93 comments on “Sweet with Heat Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts”

  1. My dad likes nuts too. Of course I love nuts, but maybe its a guy thing that is somehow related to sitting at a pub and having that little bowl of mixed nuts? Anywho, I really like this recipe and also the name. Egg whites, interesting, I never would have thought of using those but I bet it really does wonders to hold everything together. I think these blow cinnamon hearts out of the park.

    • I’ve tried a million different coatings/tricks and the egg white is the best for cling. The coating truly sticks, rather than just falling off. And glad you like the title :)

  2. LOVE “Sweet Heat” in the recipe title, Averie! I just adore sugared and spiced nuts. Add some heat, and I love them even more! Great idea for summer BBQs, too, like you suggested. Fabulous photography as always! Pinning! xo

  3. I love this recipe–and no doubt these are addictive! Those same nuts I smell in the malls are also popping up during our summer festivals now. I like the use of egg white on these–it gives them that thick, clingy coating but isn’t potentially tooth fracturing like a Jordan almond. I made some curried cashews for a co-worker a couple of weeks ago….I’m sure if I took these to the office they’d be gone in a flash!

    • Ahhh, tooth fracturing. Yes, there are some nuts that seriously I wonder if I’ll lose a tooth! These aren’t like that. Crunchy but not tooth fracturing. Summer festivals…you’re right, they do tend to have these at things like that. The crazy thing is that fall festivals start in August even thought it’s still hot out and I know for sure they have them at that type of thing.

      Yes to the clingy coating. I’ve tried a million different coatings/tricks and this is the best for cling!

  4. I love candied nuts, but have never made them before. I didn’t realize how easy they are to put together! These sound very good! :-)

  5. Definitely did a great job with the photography – not to worry!

    Really love the look of this; and I’m sure I’d adore the flavour – nicely done!

  6. Treats like this are so dangerous! I would love to try a small handful of these….but could I stop after that? Probably not :)

  7. The first time I ever had candied nuts was at a showing of the Christmas Carol in Manhattan during a massive blizzard it was awesome and candied nuts bring me back to that day everytime…can’t wait to make these.

  8. My favorite snack used to be a bunch of nuts, not chopped, tossed with maple syrup and vanilla and salt then baked. Then mixed with raisins to cool. Best snack ever, just a little expensive and calorie dense :-) These nuts look great, I’ll definitely be making them soon!

  9. Ohh, these sound addictive! Nuts have been one of my pregnancy cravings, so I feel like I must make these ASAP!!

  10. Candied nuts – especially almonds are impossible to pass up for me. TJ’s has some honey sesame that I love. Probably a good thing we don’t have a TJs. I’ve tried to make some habanero pecans but didn’t get it just right. We have a friend whose dad makes them from his homemade habanero jelly. They are amazing, addicting and amazing. And these? look so good. Thanks for sharing!

    • I know the TJs honey sesame ones VERY well. They are super good. But these if I do say so, are even better :)

      And if your friend is selling homemade habanero jelly, I’m buying!! WOW. I lovvvve hot pepper jelly and that would be my dream jelly!

  11. The brown sugar coating sounds incredible!! These sound additive and I know my dad would go crazy for them, as would I!! Love these, Averie!

  12. We had a jar of these sent to us from Colleen of Souffle Bombay a couple months ago, and my husband hoarded (and devoured) the entire thing! Must be something about guys and sweet/spicy nuts! Love the kick of cayenne in these!

  13. These remind me of the holidays! My mom does this every year… SO GOOD!

  14. They look divine! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  15. These nuts would be perfect in our household.

  16. My husband always gives me the “I don’t know” and “I don’t care” answers as well. This is a great idea though! I can’t almost smell them!

  17. Candied nuts are sooo good, but SO addicting. I can never get myself to stop popping them in my mouth!

  18. You are soooo right-they are a totally addicting snack! These look amazing!

  19. YUM! I just bought a pound of pecans to spice up. These look SO delicious. I love sweet and spicy.

  20. I’m not a fan of nuts in baking either but I can finish off a bag in no time! These look perfect for snacking on….although I probably won’t share them!

  21. These look like the perfect homemade guys gift! Or girl, I would love these things.

  22. My husband and in-laws would absolutely love these! They’re always chomping on nuts in their house, and I like that this contains a “hidden” heat that kicks up at the end.

  23. Nuts are one of my favorite snacks and I’m always looking for new ways to change them up. I love the sweet with the heat… great combo, thanks!

  24. These look great, I love the creeper heat!

  25. I have a recipe for sweet and salty nuts, but your looks SO much better. I’vee never tried the egg white wash before . . . Oh, you are dead on about addictive! Sweet and spicy nuts are delicious and my downfall. Your description of creeper heat made me smile, but is truth! Cinnamon, sugar, and cayenne is in my future! Hopefully, I can make them today. I’ll let you know how they turn out:)

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