Candied Walnuts

Favorite FallCandyWalnut

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.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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. The trick is to work very fast once the sugar starts melting, because once it gets on the walnuts it 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…)

Candied Walnuts Recipe



  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt


1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Use middle rack in oven. Lay walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes. Test for doneness. If not quite toasted enough, toast for 1 or 2 more minutes. Be careful not to burn. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a rack.

2 Pour sugar into a medium saucepan with a thick bottom. Have walnuts nearby, ready to quickly add to the pan at the right time. Cook sugar on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon as soon as the sugar begins to melt. Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and the color is a medium amber. As soon as sugar is melted and the color is a medium amber, add the walnuts to the pan, quickly stirring and coating each piece with the sugar mixture.

3 As soon as the walnuts are coated with the sugar mixture, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet, lined either with a Silpat non-stick mat, or parchment paper. Use two forks to separate the walnuts from each other, working very quickly. Sprinkle the nuts with the salt. Let cool completely.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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54 Comments / Reviews

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  • June

    Great tasting simple recipe! We followed the recipe and then we sprinkled cinnamon on top to add extra flavor. It was gone in minutes.

  • Deb

    I made candied walnuts many years ago but the recipe was so complicated and the oil started to burn and smoked up the whole house. This looks way too easy…love it! So tonight we are having roasted beet salad with candied walnuts and goat cheese. I’m thinking of using brown sugar rather than white sugar. No idea how I’m going to cook the chicken, yet!

  • Michelle

    Just tried this for the first time, to put into a salad with cranberries and apples I am making for a NYE party. I can mess anything up but these seemed to have turned out OK! I used my toaster oven and toasted the walnuts in batches, just in case. This only became problematic because I forgot to reduce the sugar for fewer walnuts, so the first batch came out very sugary! But so yummy. The second batch was better. The only problem I found is that the sugar tends to harden on the wooden spoon so I would recommend using a plastic spatula which seemed easier to get the hardened sugar off of, and also when left over residual sugar hardened in the pan, that was a bit of a pain to get off. But all in all these are so good and I’m so glad I know how to make candied walnuts now! The hardest part is not eating them all before putting them into the salad!

    I definitely do not recommend a plastic spatula, which will most likely melt at the very high temperatures of the melted sugar. To get the sugar off of the wooden spoon, just soak it in water for 10 minutes. ~Elise

  • Kim

    Yummy – tastey walnuts, however, Mine have sat on the pan all night and are very sticky. They won’t dry…what should I do. We are supposed to package them today. Please help.

    I would try reheating them in the pan, and removing them from the pan as soon as you can loosen them. ~Elise

  • Jacqueline

    Yesterday, I gathered a huge bowl of walnuts from our tree. Today, we shelled the nuts and made the recipe. Worked perfectly. YUM!!!

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Candied Walnuts