Candied Walnuts

Walnuts + Sugar = Candied Walnuts! These crunchy caramelized nuts make a great party snack. You can also serve them in a salad or sprinkled over ice cream.

How to make caramelized walnuts
Alison Conklin

Walnuts. Sugar. That's pretty much all you need to make candied walnuts! A dash of salt helps too.

These are very easy to make.

How to Candy Walnuts - separate the walnuts
Alison Conklin

Tricks to Making Candied Walnuts

One trick is to work very fast once the sugar starts melting. Once you mix in the walnuts, the candy syrup cools quickly and the walnuts will stick together.

You have 30 seconds or so to separate them before they are forever bonded by glassy, cooked sugar.

The other trick is to not burn the walnuts when you toast them. (Yes, we've done that before...)

How to candy nuts
Alison Conklin

Ways to Use Candied Walnuts

Around the holidays, candied walnuts make a great party snack. You can make them a day or two ahead, and then just set them out in small bowls or serve them alongside a cheese plate for people to snack on.

You can even add a sprinkle of minced rosemary or a dash of cinnamon when you stir in the walnuts for some extra holiday flavor.

Other times of year, candied walnuts are a delightful addition to lunch salads, mixed into bowls of yogurt, or sprinkled over ice cream. They also make a convenient snack to have in your bag when traveling.

Candied walnuts in a bowl
Alison Conklin

Mix It Up!

Don't like walnuts? Use pecans, almonds, or any other nut instead.

You can also double this batch if needed, though your sugar will take a little longer to caramelize. If you need to make more candied nuts, make them in separate batches rather than trying to make them all at once; it's more difficult to quickly separate larger batches before the caramelized sugar starts to harden.

how to make candied walnuts
Alison Conklin

How to Store Candied Walnuts

Let your walnuts cool completely, then store them in an airtight container, like glass canning jar, at room temperature. As long as it's not too humid where you live (Moisture will cause the walnuts to become sticky!), they should stay crunchy for at least a week.

Looking for More Nutty Ideas?

How to Clean Up When You’re Done 

Add water to the saucepan, bring to a boil, then boil until the sugar dissolves. Faster than soaking!

How to Make Sure the Glazed Walnuts Don’t Stick

  • Use a silicone baking mat such as a Silpat.
  • Or line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • It may help to spray your mat or paper with some cooking spray to help from sticking even more.
  • Don’t have parchment or a Silpat? Butter your baking sheet and pour out your nuts on that.
  • We don't recommend wax paper, since the hot sugar will melt the wax, making everything even more sticky.

Try This Brilliant Storage Hack!

Save the packets of silica gel that come in boxes of crackers and cookies. Slip one into the jar or container you keep the candied nuts in. The packet will help absorb moisture from humidity, keeping your nuts from getting sticky.

Salads to Top With Your Candied Walnuts

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Candied Walnuts

Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 12 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F:

    Preheat oven to 350°F and place rack in the middle of the oven.

  2. Toast the walnuts:

    Lay walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes, until slightly darker in color and fragrant.

    If not quite toasted enough, toast for 1 or 2 more minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from the oven and let cool in pan on a rack.

    Make candied walnuts - toast the walnuts
    Alison Conklin
  3. Get everything ready:

    You'll need to work quickly once the caramelized sugar is ready. So, be sure to have everything prepped and ready to go.

    Place the cooled walnuts in a bowl near the stove. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper and place near the stove. Have two forks ready.

  4. Caramelize the sugar:

    Pour sugar into a medium saucepan with a thick bottom and place over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as the sugar begins to melt.

    Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and the color is a medium amber, Five to 10 minutes (exact timing will depend on your stove top).

    how to candy walnuts - add the sugar to the pan
    Alison Conklin
    Candied walnuts - melt the sugar
    Alison Conklin
    candied nuts - cook the sugar until golden
    Alison Conklin
  5. Coat the walnuts in caramelized sugar:

    As soon as sugar has melted and the color is a medium amber, add the walnuts to the pan. Stir quickly and make sure each piece is coated with the liquid sugar.

    As soon as the walnuts are coated with the sugar mixture, spread them out on the prepared baking sheet. Use two forks to separate the walnuts from each other, working very quickly. Sprinkle the nuts with the salt.

    how to make candied walnuts - add the walnuts to the caramelized sugar
    Alison Conklin
    How to Candy Walnuts - separate the walnuts
    Alison Conklin
  6. Cool and store:

    Let the walnuts cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container and store for up to a week at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
117 Calories
8g Fat
10g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 21mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 58mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.