Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans are candied pecans with a crunchy, sweet, warmly spiced coating, perfect for snacking, dressing up a salad, or holiday gift giving!

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans with text overlay.

If you enjoy pecans, you'll also love The BEST Pecan Pie, Pecan Pie Bars, and Pecan Praline Bread!

I've never met a nut I didn't like. But in Texas, pecans reign supreme, so that's typically what I end up sprinkling over salads, incorporating into baked goods, or eating by the handful. And while they're perfectly tasty plain and exceptionally excellent toasted, I do have a favorite way to eat pecans.

Yup. You're looking at it.

Aerial view of Cinnamon Sugar Pecans overflowing bowl.

These Cinnamon Sugar Pecans are indescribably good, y'all. They're crispy and crunchy. They're sweet and salty. They have a nice kick of cinnamon. But there is one small problem...I CAN. NOT. STOP. EATING THEM.

Seriously.

We recently received a generous bag of fresh pecans as an oh-so-thoughtful Christmas gift, and before packaging them up for freezer storage, I decided to set aside a few cups and do something special with them. Enter these bites of joy.

Unfortunately, in less than 48 hours, I managed to deplete a whole batch of Cinnamon Sugar Pecans almost entirely by myself, and that was with me actually exhibiting (some) restraint. Of course, it also didn't take long for the 15-month-old to figure out that I was intermittently crunching on something yummy, all day long. Every time she saw me reaching for the bowl, she learned to run over with her mouth wide open and loudly say, "AHHHH!"

White bowl of Cinnamon Sugar Pecans.

Ideas for Enjoying

So aside from obsessively devouring them, what else are these Cinnamon Sugar Pecans good for?

Well, they would clearly elevate a salad to the next level. You know how salads always taste so much better at fancy restaurants than they do when you make them at home? That would be because at a nice restaurant, salads are embellished with delectable garnishes like candied pecans. And now you have the power to make fancy-schmancy salads in your very own home...yippee!

Another great use for these nuts would be gift giving. I am telling you, fill a jar with these candied pecans, tie on a ribbon, and slap on a tag. After the first bite, your lucky gift recipient will think you've hung the moon. And/or ruined his diet, but he won't even care.

Close-up of nuts.

FAQ

Could you substitute other nuts for pecans in this recipe?

Of course! Pecans are particularly amenable to capturing extra cinnamon sugar goodness in their little cracks and crevices, but walnuts would do the same. And I feel sure that almonds would be delicious with this treatment as well. Just keep in mind that smaller nuts may cook more quickly and adjust the cooking time as necessary.

Other recipes out there don't require beating the egg whites until stiff. Is this step really necessary?

There are a lot of variations of egg white-based candied nut recipes. Some direct you to whisk the egg whites until frothy while some have you beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

This recipe falls into the latter category. I find that by folding the nuts into stiffly beaten egg whites, they end up with a thick, crunchy-but-delicate, almost meringue-like coating. It simultaneously pops and dissolves in your mouth. I have no doubt that the other recipes churn out delicious candied nuts as well, but this is my favorite way to make them. And while the beaten egg whites mixed with the pecans seems kind of weird and goopy to spread in the pan at first, everything dries up as it bakes to become toasty and crunchy.

Bowl with lid containing Cinnamon Sugar Pecans, plus more spilled on table.

So what are you waiting for? Go forth and create candied pecans! Whether you give them as gifts to friends and neighbors, serve them at a party, share them with your family, or hide in the pantry and eat all of them yourself, they will be most appreciated by whomever devours them. (Even if that "whomever" happens to be you. Ahem.)

More Holiday Food Gifts

White bowl of Cinnamon Sugar Pecans.

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans are candied pecans with a crunchy, sweet, warmly spiced coating, perfect for snacking, dressing up a salad, or holiday gift giving!
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 20 servings (makes 5 cups)
Calories: 251kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted
  • 2 egg whites, preferably at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups pecan halves

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a 13- by 18-inch sheet pan (that has sides) with heavy duty aluminum foil. Pour on melted butter and spread out so that pan is evenly coated.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites and water until stiff peaks just start to form. Blend in sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Fold in pecan halves and spread mixture in a single layer onto prepared pan.
  • Bake for approximately 40 minutes, stirring and flipping pecans every 10 minutes. Watch nuts very closely during the last 10 minutes of cooking time, removing them from oven sooner if they are getting too dark. Nuts are done when they are mostly dry and golden brown.
  • Allow pecans to cool on pan until they are completely dry and crunchy, stirring occasionally to break them up. Store in an airtight container for two to three weeks (though they will never last that long!).

Notes

  • The pecan and egg white mixture will be very wet and goopy at first. Just do your best to flip the pecans and spread them back out into a single layer the first few times that you stir them. I find it helpful to clean my spatula between flipping them.
  • Feel free to add a pinch of cayenne for sweet and spicy nuts!

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made these today and they were less finicky to fool with than I thought they might be. Turned out great, I'll have to give some away immediately! Just a note, my oven is generally about 10 degrees hot at the temps I most use for baking/roasting. But at 300 it was actually only about 250, so I adjusted it until it hit 300. I bet I'm not the only one with wonky oven temps, so probably a good idea to check, especially at these lower temps!

  2. Sooooo good and so easy! I was a little worried about the stiff peaks of the egg whites because I had never done that before, but I didn't need to be. I have no idea if I did it exactly right, but they came out delicious! I snacked on them, used them on a Christmas Eve dinner salad, and am making more to give away. THANK YOU!

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Samantha. I made these Candied Pecans today to take on to our family on Thanksgiving Day. They turned out perfectly and just delicious. I used two 9 x 13 pans and sprinkled a touch of course salt on hot pecans after removing from oven. Everyone will love these!:) Thankful for your recipe and Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Thank you, Mandy! I pretty much did finish the whole bag... 😉 Thanks also for hosting the y'all's great link party series...I'm happy to hear that it's going to continue on a monthly basis. 🙂 I really appreciate you stopping by!

    1. Thank you, Blair...I think you'll enjoy them! I made them again last night for my son's teachers and it took immense willpower not to eat them all myself! 😉

  4. 5 stars
    This is great, as I have been looking for a candied nut recipes, and this one is wonderful. I like the texture of the coating. I have an ice cream making obsession, and want to add chopped candied nuts to ice cream. I think it would be fun to vary both the type of nut and the spice, and add to interesting ice cream flavors.

    1. Oh my goodness, Janet...I think these would be so good in ice cream! I have a caramel sauce recipe on the site as well that -- along with these pecans -- would complement ice cream perfectly. I'm going to have to remember your suggestion the next time I break out my ice cream maker! 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. These look great, Samantha! I've never made candied nuts but always love that wonderful scent that wafts through the malls this time of year from the nut booths. Thanks for sharing. Pinned.

    1. Thanks so much, Jelli! These nuts do remind me of the ones at the mall. But I was probably safer when they were only found at the mall...they disappear too quickly now that I have the ability to make them at home! 😉 I'm so glad you stopped by...have a great weekend!

  6. These look awesome, Samantha! I don't think I could hold myself back from eating most/all of them! Pinning this to my gift board and hoping to make them soon!

    1. I am telling you, Carrie...they are way too addictive. The next time I make them, I am going to have to give 3/4 of them away immediately! 😉 Thanks for the pin...hope you enjoy these! 🙂