Candied Pecans

Our Easy Candied Pecans have a sweet maple cinnamon flavor that is perfect for the holidays. Make this sweet, no bake treat in about 30 minutes using 5 simple ingredients! 

One of our favorite things to make during the holidays is a batch of sweet candied pecans. They’re perfect for snacking and gifting and take less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish. 

Not only are these candied nuts great around Thanksgiving or Christmas, but we love to use them as salad topper. They taste great on our strawberry spinach salad or sprinkled over desserts like a bowl of cherry vanilla ice cream.

White dish with maple cinnamon pecans.

How To Make Candied Pecans

See the full list of ingredients and instructions below.

  1. Place parchment paper on a large sheet pan that fits all the pecans in one layer. Set aside.
  2. Combine the pecans, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon in a large skillet.
Pecan halves with maple syrup and cinnamon.
  1. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes while stirring continuously.
  2. The pecans are done when the maple syrup thickens, caramelizes, and the pecans are toasted.
Cast iron pan filled with candied pecans.
  1. Remove the pecans from heat, transfer to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, and let cool before serving or storing.
Baking sheet filled with maple pecans.

Kim’s Tips

Tips
  • Keep the ingredients moving. It’s important to stir the pecans, maple syrup, and other ingredients constantly to keep the sugar in the syrup from burning.
  • Ensure the heat is warm enough. Cooking over medium heat for several minutes ensures the maple syrup caramelizes creating a nice candy coating on the nuts.

How To Store Candied Pecans

Countertop Storing: Store leftover pecans in an airtight container or sealed bag for up to 2 weeks. Make sure they’re completely cooled before storing.

Top down view of a bowl of candied pecans.

FAQs

Absolutely! This recipe is versatile and works great with a variety of nuts. Walnuts, almonds, cashews, and even mixed nuts can be used as a substitute for pecans. 

Yes! If cinnamon isn’t to your taste or you’re looking to experiment with different flavors, consider using ground nutmeg, allspice, or cardamom as alternatives. Pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice make good replacements if you’d like to use a spice blend.

For those preferring a savory or spicy twist, consider using smoked paprika, a pinch of cayenne pepper, or a blend of chili powder and cumin.

Candied pecans might turn out soggy due to a few reasons. One common cause is not allowing the maple syrup mixture to fully caramelize, which results in a wet coating rather than a crunchy one. 

Additionally, if the pecans are stored before they’ve completely cooled, trapped moisture can soften them. 

Ensuring the pecans are spread out in a single layer while cooling and using a proper storage method can help maintain their crispiness. 

Also, be sure to cook them over the correct heat to achieve the right caramelization.

The pecans will still be sticky until they cool completely and the coating dries. If the nuts are still sticky once cooled, they can usually be fixed by heating them in the oven for a few minutes. 

Preheat your oven to 300°F and spread the sticky pecans out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 5-10 minutes, keeping a close eye to ensure they don’t burn. 

This additional cooking time helps evaporate any remaining moisture. 

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Close up view of a bowl of candied pecans.

Easy Candied Pecans

4.7 from 3 votes
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Author: Kim
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cool Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 16 Servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups pecan halves
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, combine the pecans, syrup, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring continuously, until the maple syrup begins to caramelize and the pecans are toasted.
    4 cups pecan halves
    ¾ cup pure maple syrup
    ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Transfer the hot pecans to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in an even layer. Allow them to cool completely before serving.
  • See post for storage options, FAQs, and tips.

Suggested Equipment

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ¼ cup of pecans. Actual calories will vary.
*Make sure to cook the pecans long enough; otherwise, the maple syrup won’t cook down and will be sticky and gooey instead of candied.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 212kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 38mgPotassium: 136mgFiber: 2gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 14IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of More Than Meat and Potatoes and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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