Stovetop Candied Pecans Recipe

Have you ever gone to a fair or festival, and smelled spiced, roasted nuts in the air? They're always a delicious alternative to other carnival foodslike funnel cakes and other deep-fried confections. That being said, candied nuts are actually easy to make at home. In fact, recipe developer Jennine Rye describes the stovetop method of making these candied pecans as "really quick and easy," and says that the nuts themselves are "a great snack you'll keep coming back to."

It's okay if you aren't a cinnamon fan. As Rye explains, "The cinnamon could be omitted from this recipe, or swapped for other flavorings." You could go for gingered nuts, instead, or try a sweet-spicy combination with some cayenne pepper, or even pumpkin pie spice nuts if you can't get enough of fall's favorite flavor. You can eat these candied nuts on their own, of course, although Rye also suggests topping them on ice cream or fruit salad. She says they can also be used for savory applications, such as "add[ing] sweetness and flavor to ordinary salads," and notes that "They taste great with various cheeses."

Assemble the ingredients for these candied pecans

This candied pecans recipe doesn't require too many ingredients. Of course, you need pecans, but you'll also need some granulated sugar, as well as some cinnamon and vanilla for flavoring, a pinch of salt, and some water to help liquefy the sugar and spice. If pecans aren't your favorite nuts, Rye says that "This technique ... can be used for various other types of nuts," such as walnuts or almonds.

Candy the pecans

Mix the sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and water in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar dissolves.

Once the syrup mixture is bubbling, stir in the pecans, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Rye notes that you should "Mak[e] sure that the pecans are coated in the mixture," since you don't want any bare, un-candied patches.

Let the candied pecans cool and harden

Spread the candied nuts out on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan, and allow them to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Once the nuts are hardened and cooled, you may store them in an airtight container.

While the candied pecans don't need to be refrigerated, Rye cautions that they will only last for about 1 week, but you can always cut the recipe in half. You could always freeze them, although Rye notes that "The texture of the pecans will be altered slightly by the freezing process." 

Stovetop Candied Pecans Recipe
5 from 58 ratings
You can make these easy, carnival-style candied pecans at home on the stovetop in around 30 minutes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
candied pecans in brass teacup
Total time: 35 minutes
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1½ cups pecans
  1. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and water, and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Once the syrup is bubbling, mix the pecans into the syrup and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Spread the nuts over a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Allow the nuts to cool completely, about 20 minutes, before you store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Calories per Serving 269
Total Fat 17.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 28.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Total Sugars 26.0 g
Sodium 97.5 mg
Protein 2.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe