4.88 from 70 votes

Candied Walnuts

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Candied Walnuts with Cinnamon and sugar are a delicious recipe to snack on all holiday long. Incredibly impressive, each crunchy bite will make you feel more and more addicted.

Do not be surprised if you make these for a crowd and finish them yourself!

These glazed walnuts (also often referred to as candied walnuts or caramelized walnuts) have a delicious crunchy coating that goes great alone, on ice cream, a summer salad, or as a nutty topping for recipes like baked oats.

walnuts in a bowl.

Why you will love making Easy Candied Walnuts.

Every time I make a candied nut or spicy nut, I remember how addicting they are and how I have to put a personal ban on more for a bit.

So easy to eat, so easy to make, this small batch recipe is just one of many ways to oven bake, stovetop, or slow cook your way to candied nuts.

The possibilities of how sugared walnuts can be used are endless!

The crunch of the sugar and walnut is just so satisfying that while this recipe is 4 cups of nuts, it won’t seem enough. Keep candied walnuts on the counter to snack on the pre-holiday meal, and once cool, add in a few chocolate chips to create a satisfying handful of goodness!

These candied walnuts with a light sugary cinnamon flavor take about 15-20 minutes to make, plus cooling time. I’d maybe allow an hour to cool to be safe, but it all depends on your climate.

Ingredients

  • Shelled raw walnuts– I recommend keeping walnuts whole for this recipe. If they are cut down too small, they can burn.
  • White granulated sugar– I use regular granulated sugar (White sugar) in this recipe, but there are suggestions below on using other sugars like brown sugar.
  • Flavor– ground cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract.

How to make Candied Walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350, lay raw walnuts on a prepared baking sheet with parchment paper, and bake walnuts for 8 minutes.
  2. Remove nuts from the oven and set the rimmed sheet pan aside.
  3. Add white sugar, ground cinnamon, salt, milk, and vanilla extract into a saucepan.
  4. Heat cinnamon sugar mixture over medium heat, constantly stirring until edges bubble/boil in the pan.As you make this sugar syrup, remember it’s a very HOT sugar. Be careful!
stovetop candied walnuts.
  1. Reduce heat to low, continue to heat, and constantly stir for 6-8 minutes. The sugar must be cooked long enough, so make sure to go low and slow.
  2. Add baked crunchy walnuts directly to the saucepan and mix well to coat all sides of the nuts evenly.
  3. Pour coated walnuts onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (my go-to for everything) to cool.
  4. Depending on the humidity in your home, candy coating drying could take as little as a half-hour or a few hours for this salty snack to set. Once walnuts are primarily dry, please put them in a zip lock bag and place them in the fridge to finish hardening.
  5. Once cool, gently break apart large pieces of caramelized walnuts into more bite-sized pieces.
  6. Store in an airtight container (I store them in the fridge in a zip lock bag) to keep the walnuts fresh.

Delicious inspiration for Candied Walnut Recipes

Appetizers – Glazed walnuts are delicious as an appetizer to sit in a bowl, especially at parties and holidays. It keeps people off your case while you finish the rest of the food and is a perfect snack!

As an alternative idea, crush and use around a cheeseball recipe or on top of blueberry brie.

walnuts on a sheet pan.

Salad Topping – Candied nuts are AMAZING on salad, and low key makes the whole thing better. Feels like a restaurant. Make sure you set aside some topping for strawberry salad or even this dessert salad recipe before you eat them all!

Snacks – Caramelized walnuts make a great after-school fun snack on their own or in a snack mix like homemade puppy chow. My daughter loves to eat them while doing homework. They also look great on a cheese plate, cheese board, or charcuterie board.

Food Gift – Pack up in a mason jar, tie it with some twine, and voila, food gift! Are you feeling extra nice? Add some candied bacon, too, to your holiday gifts!

Dessert – Walnuts go great on ice cream, brownies, or pie pieces. They also make excellent add-on decoration pieces for cakes and cupcakes.

Can you candy other nuts instead of walnuts?

Yes! Feel free to try this walnut recipe with pecans, almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts, or even something fun like Brazil nuts! They are just so great to snack on, add to a medium bowl and give as a festive treat.

  • Candied Almonds– These Slow cooked Cinnamon Sugar Almonds are just so good! Mix up toasty roasted almonds with brown sugar and cinnamon coating and let slow cook for 4 hours for a snack that stores all week.
  • Crockpot Candied Pecans– These addicting and delicious little bites are fantastic for the holiday season, make great gifts (think mason jars!), and are the perfect topping for salads to desserts.

adding walnuts to sugar saucepan.

Can I use Maple or Honey for Candy Walnuts?

Theoretically, you could use maple syrup honey or a brown sugar mixture for candied walnuts.

Unfortunately, I haven’t tested these theories out yet, so I do not know how it alters the recipe in timing, and at this time, I would not be able to tell you exactly how it’s done.

If you are up for a challenge, instead of mixing milk and sugar, replace refined sugar with honey and spices and monitor the walnuts recipe.

I have plans to test this out in the future, but I have not at the time of this article. If you happen to give it the old college try and want to update me, please share in the comments, and I will edit the post.

Glazed Walnut FAQ’s

Alternative baking idea: I have an oven-baked candied pecan recipe here containing egg whites and sugar. You can easily candy your walnuts this way, which is oven-baked, following the exact instructions and just changing out the nuts.

How long do candied walnuts last? Judging by all my Pinterest feedback, about one day because you eat them all! However, these delicious snacks generally last up to 2 weeks if they are sealed from moisture.

Can you use halved walnuts over whole ones? Sure! It’s OK to use walnut halves if you prefer. I like the bag of walnuts whole and then used as is straight from the pack.

How to clean sugar-covered saucepan – Add water to the pan and bring it back to a boil. The sugar should dissolve quickly.

candied walnuts in a white dish.

Are they any side effects of eating walnuts? If they are candied like these walnuts are, your waistline will suffer if they were a daily occurrence. In general, nuts are nutritious and shouldn’t be considered harmful.

Can a dog eat a walnut? I get this question a lot, mainly because your best friend is often begging for food. It’s best to stay with dog-safe food like doggy blueberry muffins than randomly feeding them everything.

Walnuts can be toxic in many situations and are not a food that dogs can digest. Do not feed your dog sugar or nuts.

Looking for more appetizer recipes that everyone can munch on?

Serve walnuts on our TikTok Cinnamon Roll recipe or this two ingredient TikTok Pumpkin Roll Casserole. Other great finger foods to enjoy are: 

candied walnuts for snacks.
4.88 from 70 votes

Candied Walnuts (Cinnamon Sugared)


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Candied Walnuts are addicting with a light sugary texture and perfect cinnamon flavor. Keep this candied walnut recipe ready for snacks and pre-meal appetizers all holiday long. Crispy, Crunchy, and coated just right, chances are there won't be much left for anyone else. Better double the recipe *wink*

Ingredients
 

  • 4 cups shelled walnuts
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 and lay walnuts on a baking sheet (with parchment paper) and bake for 8 minutes. Remove walnuts from the oven and set rimmed sheetpan aside.
  • In a saucepan, add granulated white sugar, ground cinnamon, salt, milk and vanilla extract. Heat mixture over medium heat stirring constantly until edges begin to bubble/boil in the saucepan.
  • Reduce heat to low and continue to heat and stir constantly for 6-8 minutes. Sugar must be fully heated low and slow. Be careful as sugar can be REALLY hot.
  • Carefully fold parchment paper like a funnel (see video) and slowly add walnuts to saucepan and mix well (spatula works great) to evenly coat nuts.
  • Pour candied walnuts onto a parchment covered baking sheet to cool.
  • Depending on the humidity in your home, cooling could take as little as a half hour or a few hours.
  • Once Candied walnuts are mostly dry, put them in a zip lock bag and put in the fridge to finish cooling and drying.
  • Before eating, gently break walnuts apart once cool.

Video

Notes

  • See full recipe for notes on how to take your cinnamon candied walnuts to spicy candied walnuts!
  • Store candied walnuts in an airtight container. (I store in the fridge in a zip lock bag)
How long do candied walnuts last? These delicious snacks generally last up to 2 weeks as long as they are sealed from moisture. 
Can you use halved walnuts over whole? Sure! It’s OK to use walnut halves if you prefer. I like the bag of walnuts whole and then use as is straight from the pack. 
How to clean sugar-covered saucepan – Add water to the pan and bring back to a boil. The sugar should dissolve quickly. 
Can a dog eat a walnut? I get this question a lot, especially because your best friend is often begging for food. Walnuts can be toxic in many situations and are not a food that dogs can digest. Do not feed your dog sugar or nuts.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 72mg | Sugar: 25g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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4.88 from 70 votes

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11 Comments

  1. These turned out great! I put the walnuts in a large pot after they were baked and poured the sugar mixture over them and made it easy to mix. Then transferred on parchment to dry. Delicious!

  2. I made these to top a salad. They came out perfectly. They are so good and addictive.

  3. Can you use Splenda in place of sugar?

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      I would not recommend this change without a test.

    2. Jeannette says:

      I made these today and they are delicious. I followed the recipe as written, simple and quick. I’m planning to make more next week.

    3. Grandma of 2 says:

      I just tried making this recipe with Swerve sweetener instead of regular sugar and almond milk instead of milk to make it dairy free. Turned out great

  4. This is a great & easy recipe! The only addition I would make is to put them back in the oven after coating them in the mix. I roasted them for 20 minutes at the end and it gave them the great “crunchy” coating. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  5. Coach Mandy says:

    We recently moved and I had to substitute a couple of ingredients. Instead of Cinnamon, I used Pumpkin Pie Spice; to replace the Vanilla Extract I took a shot and tried (50/50) Vodka + 100% Vermont Maple Syrup. The batch came out absolutely incredible! Thank you. These Candied Walnuts may well be my go to party favor next Holiday Season!

  6. Connie Wetzel says:

    Love this recipe for cinnamon walnuts. So good and very easy. Everyone loves them in my home.

  7. Made a batch will try it out on our 3 International Students and maybe with a Spinach Salad like next week.

  8. Made these with the 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper. YUMM! Easy recipe to follow. Milk made them creamy.

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