5 Minute Perfect Caramelized Nuts

Just 4 simple ingredients is all you need to make these delectable candied nuts!

These Candied Nuts take just 5 minutes to make! Use any nuts you’d like — pecans, walnuts, cashews, you name it. Great for holiday gifting!

Showing how to make candied Nuts in a pan with butter.

Easy Candied Nuts Recipe

You may want to double this “recipe” (quotations because I can barely call it a recipe its so easy!) for these 5-Minute Caramelized Nuts because you won’t be able to resist their caramelized crunch as they beg to be eaten sprawled out unprotected on parchment paper as they cool.  

But if they make it past the tantalizing cooling phase, then these caramelized nuts are the cherry on top of salads (like my Tropical Winter Fruit Salad with Caramelized Cashews), vegetables (like my Dijon Maple Green Beans), popcorn, desserts, and even stir fries (like my Skinny Caramelized Cashew Chicken Stir Fry).  They just make everything better.  And better is always better.

I’ve tried many recipes to caramelize nuts and this is by far the easiest and most delicious, which really makes these nuts, well, perfect!

Showing how to make Caramelized Nuts in a pan with butter, sugar and pecans.

Candied Nuts Ingredients

This recipe can be used to make caramelized walnuts, caramelized pecans, caramelized cashews — whatever your heart desires! Here’s what you’ll need to make the candied nuts:

  • Nuts: Use any nuts you like!
  • Granulated sugar: I prefer using granulated sugar because it caramelizes so easily.
  • Cinnamon: Totally optional, but highly recommend.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted will work. Just be sure to use real butter.

How to Make Candied Nuts

  1. Simply add your nuts (chopped or whole — these are chopped because they are for my Dijon Maple Green Beans).
  2. Stir constantly as the butter and sugar melt (so it doesn’t burn).
  3. And you have Perfect Caramelized Nuts with a nice even coating in 5 minutes.  Wasn’t that easy?!
  4. Lastly, transfer your nuts to parchment paper to cool and try to resist eating them all — or don’t because you can have another batch in just 5 minutes.
Showing how to make candied Nuts in a pan with butter with mixing the butter and sugar in a pan.

Tips for Making Candied Nuts

  • If using chopped nuts, don’t chop them up any smaller or else they might burn. Despite the pics, I suggest caramelizing whole nuts and chopping after they have cooled.
  • I’ve only made this recipe using granulated sugar, but I’ve seen other recipes call for brown sugar so you can likely use either.
  • If your nuts don’t harden fully, that means the sugar wasn’t cooked long enough and didn’t caramelize. Cook the nuts longer next time!

Caramelized Nuts Variations to Try

  • Add some heat: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to add a kick of spicy flavor.
  • Add some salt: Sprinkle a little sea salt or kosher salt over the caramelized nuts to make them salty-sweet.
  • Add different spices: This recipe calls for cinnamon, but I’m sure you could add other warming spices (cardamom, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, etc.).

How Long Do Candied Nuts Last?

If stored at room temperature in an airtight container, these candied nuts should last up to 2 weeks.

Demonstrating how to make Caramelized Nuts in a pan mixing with a spatula the nuts.

How to Serve Candied Nuts

Whether you made caramelized pecans, caramelized walnuts, or another kind of candied nut, there are so many ways you can enjoy them! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

More Easy Nut Recipes:

5 Minute Perfect Caramelized Nuts

Total Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole nuts (despite the pics)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  • Add nuts, sugar, and butter to a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly with a rubber heat-proof spatula until the sugar melts into the butter and completely coats the nuts, turning the heat down as needed, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  • Immediately transfer nuts to parchment paper and immediately separate using 2 forks OR let the nuts harden together and break them apart with your fingers once cooled. The nuts and coating will harden in 5-7 minutes. Chop the nuts if desired.

Notes

*If using chopped nuts, don’t chop them too small or they will burn.

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30 Comments

    • Jen says

      Thanks Sophia, it comes in so handy!

    • Jen says

      Sometimes simple and easy is the best! Thanks Serene!

  1. [email protected] says

    This is great and we will be featuring it and your blog tomorrow for our Saturday Selections. Have a great weekend.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Jordan, I really appreciate it!

  2. Lisa says

    The recipe was so easy, but the nuts didn’t harden! The coating stayed gooey and soft. Hmmmm, wonder what I did wrong??

    • Jen says

      Hi Lisa, the nuts should definitely harden. It sounds like you need to cook your nuts a little longer – maybe closer to 7 minutes – in order for the sugars to fully caramelize. When the nuts are done, there should still be some liquid like sugar in the pan, but most of it should be gone. Hope this helps!

  3. Jill says

    Hello. I came across this recipe through Pinterest & made them 2 nights ago. Love love love them. I did add another tablespoon of butter while cooking them as the sugar was not blending/melting. Turned out great & now need to make more. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jill, I’m glad your nuts turned out with the addition of more butter! Your pan might have required a little higher heat or more time for them to melt. So glad you enjoyed them!

  4. Ana says

    Can I use brown sugar instead of white? Would it turn out the same?

    • Jen says

      Hi Ana, I haven’t tried it personally myself but have seen recipes using brown sugar so I am sure it would be delicious!

  5. Allie says

    Hi Jen, I will give this a try. I am looking for a glazed walnut. I will compare this recipe with another recipe I have saved using maple syrup and see if I can find what I’m looking for. There is a restaurant here in Redding that does glazed walnuts to perfection…trying to find their secret.

    Thank you for your great recipes!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Allie! I hope you can find what you are looking for!

  6. Taty says

    They taste perfect))) Thank you very much. I have also tried many recepies already which were more complicated.
    I just have one question, how did you, guys separate the nuts from each other. I did it with hands, was no fun at all

    • Jen says

      Hi Taty, I separate mine with my hands after they are already dry but if you work very quickly, then you can separate them immediately after you pour them on the wax paper. If you are going to be breaking them anyway, then I will also use a mallet and then just crush them to break them apart – that is definitely the easiest.

  7. J says

    These are delicious! My son eats them as an after dinner snack. I don’t care to separate them, nor do I mind clumps of caramelized sugar on some of them. That is the beauty of home cooking … we devour them regardless.

    • Jen says

      Awesome! I am so happy they are such a hit and even easier without separating!

  8. Mandy says

    Thank you. This recipe worked out perfectly.
    I just kept striing until the sigar became a liquid.
    Poured out onto cookie tray and cooled.
    First time making caramelized nuts and came out 100%

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Mandy! I’m so pleased your first experience making caramelized nuts was a success!

  9. Christina says

    Hi I have tried this recipe twice now but each time the sugar just makes clumps and does not cover the Brazil nuts. Any idea what I may be doing wrong? Regards Christina

    • Jen says

      Hi Christina, it sounds like you need to cook a littler longer. The sugar clumps first and then it completely melts. Good luck!

  10. Rachel says

    This recipe lives up to the name. Usually when I see caramelized nuts in recipes I skip over it thanks to the hassle of making them, but this was on point. It does require some attention (not a set-it-and-forget-it affair) but not difficult at all. I made a half recipe for the salad I was making as I don’t love a bunch of nuts, but this was very nice. Highly recommend.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Rachel, I’m so pleased you found this recipe easy and delicious. Win-win!

  11. pwwheels says

    I tried the 5 min caramelized pecans. They tasted great, but I measured right but they were more like carmel popcorn, clumped together.

    • Jen says

      To avoid clumping, try and spread the out when you add them to the parchment paper – otherwise they break apart great!

  12. Molly says

    Doubled the recipe like suggested. Used Monk-fruit sweetener to cut down on the calories and glycemic index. I waited until I could almost smell the caramel coming from the sugar. They were quite delicious and I didn’t feel bad about taking them to my mother’s house since she is a diabetic (I was making your green bean recipe).

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for commenting Molly, I’m so pleased it worked with monk-fruit sweetener! I’m sure other readers will find that helpful!

  13. Fahmida says

    Hi Jen. This is Fahmida from India. This is the first time I have tried caramelized nuts. Came out perfect. Thank you. ( I roasted my whole almonds , cashews and pistas for a few minutes and then added them ).

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Fahmida, I’m so pleased these were a winner!

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