Candied Walnuts Recipe – How to Make it in 7 Simple Steps

This is a bowl of candied or caramelized pecans.

Whether you need an appetizer for a party, a gift for your co-workers, or you just need a midafternoon snack, this recipe for candied walnuts is the perfect choice. Featuring the natural goodness of walnuts, this recipe balances the crunchiness of the nuts and the sweetness of the candy coating.

Do you need an appetizer for a dinner party you are hosting? You can make these candied walnuts a day or two in advance, and you will just have to pour them out into a pretty serving dish. You won’t have to scramble at the last minute to prepare things that are hot or arrange things that require assembly or a fancy presentation. While the preparation is simple, your guests will rave at the flavor and texture of these nuts.

This is a bowl of candied or caramelized pecans.

Candied Walnuts Recipe

April Freeman
Whether you need a holiday treat for a party or just want something to snack on when the munchies hit in the afternoon, our recipe for candied walnuts may be exactly what you need. These nuts are crunchy and sweet, and you will find yourself returning to the serving dish again and again. Even if you eat them all, the recipe is easy enough that you can make a fresh batch in no time flat.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings


  • Baking Sheet
  • Medium-Sized Saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Wooden Spoon


  • 2 cups Shelled Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tbsp Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread the walnuts on the parchment paper and bake them in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the walnuts from the oven and set them aside.
    The walnuts are baked on a sheet.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, milk, and vanilla. Stir this mixture constantly until it starts to boil a bit around the edges.
    The ingredients are being cooked in a saucepan.
  • Use the parchment paper as a funnel to lift and pour the nuts into the saucepan of the sugar mixture. Return the parchment to the baking sheet because you will use it again.
  • Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to stir the nuts until they are coated in the sugar mixture. Once the nuts are coated, pour them back onto the parchment paper. Separate the nuts from one another with your spoon or spatula because once they are cool, it will be more difficult to break them apart.
  • Allow the nuts to cool for 30 to 60 minutes. Let the nuts air dry for about two hours.
    A batch of candied walnuts.
  • Once the nuts are mostly dry you can put them in an airtight container or a zip-top storage bag. Put the storage bag in the refrigerator to allow the nuts to chill. Once the nuts are completely cool, you can break apart any that have started to stick together. Keep these candied walnuts in the refrigerator for up to a month.


Another great way to use these candied walnuts is to use them for toppings on other foods. Salads are a great way to use them. Whether you are making a lovely tossed salad from fresh greens or a batch of chicken salad to put on some lovely croissants, these walnuts add a delightful crunch to whatever you are eating.
Do you need a gift for your co-workers or your kids’ teachers? This recipe is an excellent way to give food items to others that they can consume over a few weeks, rather than having to eat a batch of cookies before they go stale.
You can buy some pretty cellophane bags and fancy ribbon to dress up their presentation or you can simply put them in half-pint mason jars. Tie a bit of kitchen twine or ribbon around the lid of the jar and add a gift tag to make a lovely gift.
Walnuts are powerhouses of nutrition and are recommended almost universally by nutritionists as snacks for pretty much everyone. While they are almost 65 percent fat, making them a high energy food, the fats in walnuts are the good kinds, those with cancer-fighting omega fatty acids.
The fats in walnuts are the kinds that fight inflammation and improve cholesterol levels in the blood. These tree nuts also fight cancer and improve brain function. Studies have shown that those who eat nuts as a part of their regular diets have better cardiovascular health and lower rates of heart disease.
The fat level in walnuts will help people lose weight because they increase satiety and help people feel less hungry in between meals. In fact, studies show eating walnuts will not increase obesity when eaten in replacement for other fattening foods, despite their high fat and calorie content. One study compared people on diets with large amounts of walnuts with those eating lower fat and lower calories. Interestingly, those who ate lots of walnuts did not gain weight in those trials.
This recipe for candied walnuts does have a downside, however. Because there are fewer healthy ingredients like sugar in this recipe, this isn’t one that you want to overdo. Yes, walnuts are healthy, but keep in mind that sugar isn’t very healthy. But, as an occasional snack or treat, this is a great recipe to have on hand for special occasions.
Keyword Candied Walnuts, Recipe, Snack
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Walnuts History

Walnuts were probably the first nuts that humans ever ate. Yeah, they’re a pretty big deal. Humans have been enjoying walnuts since at least 7,000 B.C.E. Romans called them Jupiter’s royal acorns. In ancient Persia, only royalty could consume walnuts. The nuts were carried along the ancient Silk Road, an important trading road. From here, walnuts eventually traveled around the entire ancient world.

The nuts were brought to California by missionaries in the 1700s. California’s warm climate is perfect for walnut trees. The crop thrived here and by the late 1800s, the walnut business was well-established in California.

Walnut trees are grown all around the world. Not only are the nuts a tasty treat, but the wood of the trees is also highly prized. Walnut wood is strong and beautiful and sells very well commercially. Walnut trees grow well in temperate climates, which means these trees can grow in many areas around the globe.

Walnuts Nutrition Info

This is an infographic depicting the health benefits of eating walnuts.

One-fourth a cup of walnuts is about 190 calories. This amount of nuts will also give you four grams of protein, four grams of carbohydrates, and 18 grams of fat. However, only one and a half grams of this is saturated fat. Walnuts are a good source of fiber and they’re chock full of several vitamins and minerals. Walnuts are a good source of folic acid, copper, phosphorus, and manganese. It’s also a good source of Vitamins B6 and E.

By themselves, walnuts are a pretty healthy treat, though they are high in calories even in the nut family. Adding sugar to make a candied walnuts recipe will increase the calorie count and make the walnuts much less healthy. However, they’re a fine treat in moderation and candied walnuts are still far healthier than most other candies.

Walnuts Health Benefits

Walnuts are a healthy nut that is actually good for you. They’ve been found to reduce your risk of heart disease and even improve brain functions. Not bad for something that falls off a tree, yeah? Walnuts can actually lower your bad cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and improve your blood vessel functions. They reduce the risk of plaque buildup in your arteries.

These nuts may also help to prevent cancer because they’re rich in minerals and they’re a good source of beneficial plant compounds that keep your body healthier. They have antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and beneficial acids. studies indicate that walnuts may suppress cancer growth in the breast, prostate, kidneys, and colon.

However, some people have potentially life-threatening nut allergies. Walnuts are no safer than any other nut for those who are allergic. Anyone who has a nut allergy should absolutely avoid walnuts, no matter how good they are for other people.

Walnuts are also high in phytic acid, something common to all seeds. This acid actually impedes the absorption of minerals into the body. If you consume a lot of phytic acids, this can actually keep your body from absorbing needed minerals, such as iron and zinc.

Walnuts are really great for you but in moderation. They are high in calories and they do contain phytic acid, which can be harmful if you consume a lot of it.

Serving Candied Walnuts

This is a close look at a bowl of appetizing candied walnuts.

A bowl of candied walnuts makes a great party snack or a sitting on the couch alone snack. They can also be tossed in with other treats, like popcorn. Candied walnuts can be added to baked goods recipes to add another layer of crunch and sweetness.

They’re incredibly versatile and because they’re also easy to make, candied walnuts are an amazing go-to for parties and gatherings of all kinds. It’s something homemade but also something really simple that others will love. They don’t have to know that you didn’t spend a lot of time and energy making your candied walnuts!

Candied walnuts aren’t the healthiest snack you can eat because they are made with white sugar and melted butter, in many recipes. About 10 average-size pieces of candied walnuts is around 65 calories, five grams of fat, and almost five grams of carbohydrates. It’s also a little more than one gram of protein.

Other Walnut Recipes

Candied walnuts are a simple treat to make that’s always tasty. You can always find an easy candied walnut recipe to experiment with and create a great treat. It’s fun to play around with different candied walnuts recipes but you can actually cook with these nuts in a lot of different recipes.

This is a close look at walnuts coated in candy and starch grape molasses.

As long as you’ve got a baking sheet, you can make crunchy candied walnuts in all sorts of different flavors using all kinds of different spices and ingredients. Walnuts can be a savory or sweet ingredient, depending on what you’re making.

In fact, walnuts can actually be used as a meat substitute in some recipes. You can use walnuts to make meatballs that don’t actually contain meat that is still high in protein, highly filling, and have a bit of a “meaty” flavor. Walnuts have a strong flavor that makes them a favorite nut for baked goods like candies and pies.

They’re a crunchy, tasty addition to salads and a great addition to soups. There are all kinds of ways to integrate walnuts into your meals. Start playing around with ways to prepare and eat this nut and you’ll come up with all kinds of different recipes to use to enjoy walnuts.

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