Candied Walnuts

12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Candied Walnuts are great for holiday baking or to munch on as a snack! They’re crunchy and addicting with brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon coating! Try adding these walnuts to classic Dessert Recipes like Walnut Brownies and Chocolate Walnut Fudge for some extra sugary flavor. The cinnamon taste makes these walnuts especially perfect for the holiday season, and you’ll want to mix them into everything you make!
Candied Walnuts in a jar
Candied Nuts are a great recipe to make at the beginning of the holiday entertaining season and have on hand to use in baking or to top other desserts. Sugared Walnuts can make any baked goods a little more special with the sweet, caramelized sugar and the crunch they add. They also make a great topping to put over servings of Vanilla Ice Cream or for a Candied Walnut Salad like the recipe you’ll find below in this post. These sweet, crunchy walnuts are even delicious to munch on by themselves. For such a sugary treat, this Candied Walnut recipe is a surprisingly healthy snack. They’re gluten-free, filling, and exceptionally nutritious. It’s an easy recipe for a go-to snack that you can enjoy the next time you’re craving anything sweet. Sugared Walnuts are made with simple ingredients that come together to make any day feel like a special occasion. The uses for these sugar coated walnuts are endless! Chop them and mix into Cream Cheese Frosting to add amazing flavor and crunch to Carrot Cake. Candied Walnuts also make a delicious addition to any holiday Cheese Board.
Candied Walnuts collage

How to Make Easy Candied Walnuts

  • Prep: Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees. Then line a cookie sheet with tin foil or parchment paper so the sugar doesn’t stick to the pan.
  • Coating: Mix together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, quickly whisk your egg white until frothy.
  • Walnuts: Toss the nuts with the egg white until they’re all coated. Remove the walnuts with a slotted wooden spoon and put them in the sugar mixture.
  • Bake: Spread the sugar-coated nuts out evenly over the parchment-lined sheet and bake for 60 minutes. Stir the nuts every 10 minutes so they get toasted evenly. Continue to cook until they’re caramelized and no longer sticky. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the stovetop.

Recipes You can Use with Candied Walnuts

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I package Candied Walnuts for gifting?

If you’re looking for a classic and easy gift to give out this holiday season, consider making a big batch of Candied Nuts. Once they’ve cooled you can scoop the nuts into see-through gift bags and tie the top with a bow. They’re excellent as party favors or to give as a present to neighbors.

Can I use different sugar alternatives for Candied Walnuts?

Absolutely! Replace the white sugar or brown sugar with maple syrup, coconut sugar, powdered sugar, honey, or a sugar free alternative such as stevia, monkfruit sweetener, or splenda.

What kind of walnuts should I use for making Candied Walnuts?

Look for raw walnut halves that look plump and pale, and do not have any brown spots or shriveled appearance. Avoid roasted or salted walnuts sot that the flavors don’t overpower the candy coating.

Candied Walnuts coated in sugar mixture in bowl

Key Ingredients in Candied Walnuts

  • Walnuts: Use raw walnut halves that are already shelled. Look for larger pieces that are not broken if you wish to package the walnuts as gifts.
  • Sugar: A mixture of brown sugar and granulated sugar gives these sweet treats a caramelized molasses flavor along with a crisp, crunchy texture.
  • Egg Whites: Frothy egg whites are the secret to coating the walnuts with the brown sugar mixture. By using egg whites as a binder, the sugar and spices will stick onto the whole walnut and give it an extra crunch.
  • Flavorings: A pinch of salt, some vanilla extract, and cinnamon will enhance the flavor of your Sugared Walnuts. The cinnamon and vanilla gives these Candied Walnuts a balanced warmth, while the salt balances the sugars just right.

Variations on Candied Walnuts

  • Nuts: You can use this same candied coating to make other candied nuts. Some good options are pecans, almonds, or peanuts. You could also do a mixture of walnuts, pecans, and other nuts.
  • Sweetener: If you’d rather you can use maple syrup, honey, or your favorite sweetener alternative instead of brown sugar in the Candied Walnut recipe.
  • Spices: Try adding in other flavors to the coating along with the cinnamon. Ginger or cayenne pepper are both great ingredients to add a little bit of a spicy taste.
  • Salted Walnuts: If you want to add a little more salty flavor to balance out the sugar in the Candied Walnuts, sprinkle some sea salt over the top of the almonds before baking them.

More Holiday Snack Recipes

Candied Walnut Salad

  • Start by prepping your Candied Walnuts as usual. You want them to be completely toasted and cooled down before you add them to the salad.
  • Toss the Candied Walnuts in a large bowl with 3 cups of mixed greens, and ½ cup of dried cranberries.
  • To make a delicious homemade balsamic vinaigrette, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar, ½ teaspoon honey, ½ teaspoon dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the dressing over the Walnut Salad and toss again.
  • Top with crumbled blue cheese, gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese.
Candied Walnuts in a jar tipped over on cutting board

How to Store Candied Walnuts

  • Serve: You can keep Candied Walnuts at room temperature for 1-2 weeks. Keep them in an airtight container so they stay fresh. You’ll want to keep them fairly cool so the sugary ingredients don’t start to get sticky
  • Store: You can keep Toasted Walnuts in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 months.
  • Freeze: To keep candied nuts for a long time you can store them in the freezer for up to a year.

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

Candied Walnuts

Candied Walnuts are great for holiday baking or to munch on as a snack! They're crunchy and addicting with brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon coating!
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 pound walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
  • In a large bowl whisk together sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract.
  • Whisk the egg white until frothy, about 1 minute.
  • Toss walnuts in egg white, then remove with a slotted spoon and add to the sugar mixture.
  • Spread walnuts over a single layer in your baking sheet.
  • Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the nuts are dried and no longer sticky.


Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg
Candied Walnuts collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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