There is nothing that makes my kitchen smell more delicious than these Candied Cinnamon Sugar Walnuts. They are crunchy, sweet, aromatic, and EXTREMELY addictive. You can’t say I didn’t warn you!
You will not believe how simple they are to make. Plus, this 5-ingredient dessert recipe comes together in just 35 minutes. They are truly the definition of more-ish.
A lot of delicious recipes call for just the egg yolks, like the Hollandaise Sauce in this Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, and these Margarita Cookies with Tequila Lime Glaze.
As an environmental scientist, I always try to avoid food waste at all costs, so I created this recipe for those times you are left with just the egg white.
Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? It’s always best to avoid food waste as much as you can!
Candied Walnuts with Cinnamon and Sugar Ingredients
Here’s everything you need:
- Shelled walnuts. This recipe also works with other nuts, too. I’ve tested it with almonds, cashews, and pecans as well.
- Egg whites. The best way to adhere the cinnamon sugar mixture to the nuts and get the best texture on your nuts in the shortest amount of time.
- Granulated sugar & dark brown sugar. The combination of the two brings the most flavor and crispy caramelized texture to these nuts.
- Cinnamon. For tons of flavor and aroma.
Cinnamon Sugar Walnuts Tips and Tricks
How to Make the Best Cinnamon Sugar Mixture for Candied Nuts
For the best candied walnuts, you’ll want to use a combination of both granulated white sugar and light brown sugar plus a healthy dose of ground cinnamon.
The brown sugar adds undertones of a caramel and vanilla flavor, but using all brown sugar adds too much moisture and does not allow your nuts to get crispy.
That’s where the granulated sugar comes in. The cinnamon adds a deep aroma and tons of flavor and subtle spice.
How to Separate the Yolk from the Egg White
To separate the egg white from the yolk, crack your eggshell in half over a bowl and transfer the egg yolk back and forth between either half of the shell, allowing the egg white to fall into the bowl.
Alternatively, you can buy a carton of just egg whites. One large egg is usually about 2 tablespoons of liquid.
Green tip: Look for pasture-raised eggs (over free-range or cage-free) to support agriculture that is less reliant on chemicals and fossil fuels.
Toss the Walnuts in Egg Whites
Add your shelled walnuts to a small mixing bowl and pour the egg whites on top. Use a fork to toss the nuts in the egg whites, ensuring they are completely coated.
The egg whites can sometimes get a little globby (is that a word? I truly feel it’s the only way to describe this sensation!), so make sure to continue to toss until you’re confident the nuts are as evenly coated as possible.
Green tip: Did you know you can compost egg shells? Check out this article on best practices for composting egg shells to learn more.
Line Your Baking Sheet
Once your delightful sugar and cinnamon mixture starts baking and melting down into your finger-lickin’ coating, it gets pretty sticky.
It’s important to line your baking sheet so you can easily remove your ooey-gooey goodness and allow it to get that perfect crunch. Parchment paper or a reusable baking mat is best!
Green tip: I recommend lining your baking sheet with a reusable silicone baking mat for easy cleanup. They’re perfectly nonstick and better for the environment!
Add Your Cinnamon Sugar and Toss Again
Add Your pre-mixed cinnamon sugar dust to the egg white-coated walnuts. Use your fork to toss again until you are confident the walnuts have an even coating of cinnamon sugar.
Spread Your Cinnamon Sugar Nuts on a Baking Sheet
Use a large 18 x 26-inch baking sheet to make sure the nuts can be spread out in an even layer. It’s best not to overcrowd them, you want any moisture to be released to retain the crunchy texture of your walnuts.
Your candied nuts will bake for 30 minutes total at 250°F. For the most even cook, best texture on both sides, and to ensure the nuts aren’t sticking, it’s best to toss the nuts halfway through the baking process.
After 15 minutes, remove them from the oven and use a spatula to toss them. Then, place them back in the oven for the final 15 minutes.
Storing & Serving Candied Cinnamon Sugar Walnuts
Store leftover candied walnuts in an airtight container. They will stay delicious for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
These candied nuts are the perfect pop-in-your-mouth snack and can be enjoyed on their own but are also a great addition to elevate a number of different dishes—both savory and sweet!
I love to sprinkle them on top of this Carrot Mug Cake, these Bananas Foster Pancakes, or even add them to this Crisp Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad.
Candied Walnuts Frequently Asked Questions
What are candied walnuts made up of?
Candied walnuts only require a few simple ingredients. Walnuts, of course, a cinnamon sugar spice blend, and egg whites to adhere the mixture onto the nuts.
This Candied Cinnamon Sugar Walnuts recipe uses a mixture of both dark brown sugar and granulated sugar plus aromatic cinnamon to coat the walnuts in.
How long will candied walnuts last?
Candied walnuts will last at room temperature for about 2 weeks in an airtight container or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Why You Should Make these Candied Cinnamon Sugar Walnuts
- They’re the perfect snack. Pop ’em in your mouth for the perfect cinnamon sugar treat.
- The SMELL. It will waft from your oven, through your kitchen, and all throughout your house. Don’t be surprised if your family comes running, wondering what is producing that fragrant perfection!
- They’ll last a couple of weeks. That is if you don’t eat them all.
- They make a great gift! Nothing says “I love you” like a homemade treat.
If you ate these Candied Cinnamon Sugar Walnuts in under 5 minutes like I always do, and need more delicious snacks, check out these Coconut Covered Energy Balls or these Peanut Butter Biscuits.
Candied Cinnamon Sugar WalnutsPRINT PIN RATE
- Reusable Baking Mat (optional)
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, tightly packed
- 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg white (1 large egg white usually = 2 tbsp)
- 16 ounces walnuts. shelled
- Preheat your oven to 250°F and prep a large cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a reusable baking mat.
- Whisk together both sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Add your walnuts to a large mixing bowl. Separate your egg yolk from your egg white and set egg yolk aside (see notes below for uses for the egg yolk). Add egg white to walnuts and mix until walnuts are coated.
- Pour sugar and cinnamon mixture over egg white-coated walnuts and stir until nuts are evenly coated.
- Spread your nuts out evenly onto your cookie sheet, making sure not to stack them on top of one another. Bake for 15 minutes, remove and toss, and then back for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before enjoying them at room temperature.
- Make sure to toss the walnuts halfway through to ensure they bake evenly.
- Your walnuts will not be crispy and crunchy until they cool. Let them cool completely before enjoying.
- Don’t waste the egg yolk! It can be used in the Hollandaise sauce on these Eggs Benedict, or in these Margarita Cookies, Candy Cookies or Rosemary Shortbread Cookies.
The Inspiration Behind These Cinnamon Sugar Walnuts
The first place that my husband and I lived together was a high rise in downtown Orlando, just steps away from a cute little farmer’s market. It quickly became a Sunday tradition to bring the dog (we only had one at the time!) to take in all the sights and smells of the farmer’s market.
And even with all the vendors and endless options, the entire park was always overtaken by the sweet smell of cinnamon sugar from the candied nut stand. To this day it’s one of my favorite treats. It brings me back to that sunny farmer’s market every time I bake these in my oven.
I hope the fragrant smell of sweet cinnamon and sugar in your house creates a new aroma-inducing memory for you and your family, too.