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My Favorite Spiced Nuts (Naturally Sweetened!)

My Favorite Spiced Nuts – These naturally sweetened candied nuts have just the right hint of spice. They’re perfect for parties, appetizers, treats, and gifting! 

Overhead view of a bowl of paleo spiced candied nuts.

As soon as Thanksgiving hit, I found myself taken over by a state of holiday “nesting.” I wanted the house to feel cozy and snug, so we finished setting up our decorations, lit our citrus and spruce candle, and busted out a holiday baking project or two. It totally did the trick.

We’re all feeling holly jolly, very merry, comfy cozy indeed. It’s officially the season for holiday baking, parties, and gifts, and these delicious spiced nuts are perfect for all three (though, I guess *technically* they’re a no-bake treat). Made on the stovetop in 10 minutes or less, these naturally sweetened candied nuts are sure to be a hit at your house, too! (They also make a fantastic gift…)

Here’s what makes them so wonderful…

Front view of spiced candied nuts cooling on a baking sheet. Front view of a bowl of spiced candied nuts with red and white striped dishtowel in the background.

What Makes These Spiced Candied Nuts Amazing:

This nut mix is naturally sweetened. Maple candied nuts are SO easy and delicious. With pure maple syrup, they’re plenty sweet without giving you a toothache. (This also means they’re paleo + vegan friendly!)

You can use any nuts you like! For the video and photos, I used a combination of almonds, cashews, and pecans for my spiced nut mix. You can totally do this with ALL one kind of nuts (pecans and almonds are great), or you can swap in your favorite nuts. (Hazelnuts are delicious! Peanuts can be nice, too.)

Just enough spice. Most of the time, I spice my candied nuts with cinnamon, but I’ve got 3 other variations you might like, too. (See the next section for ideas!)

A secret ingredient. A tiny pinch of salt wakes up ALL the flavors going on here and gives it a tiny bit of oomph to your spiced nut mix. I notice when I forget to add it, so don’t leave it out!

Close up Overhead view of a bowl of vegan spiced candied nuts.

Spice it Up! 3 Ways to Change Up The Spices:

Switch out the cinnamon for chai spice. This is my favorite chai spice mix. The warm blend of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and cardamom is FANTASTIC this time of year and so good paired with these candied nuts. It’ll keep in a jar for a few months and makes just about anything taste better. I put it on oatmeal, in smoothies, pancakes, and so much more.

Or, go with pumpkin spice. Love pumpkin spice All The Things? Awesome! This is the perfect way to use it. Instead of cinnamon, substitute your favorite pumpkin spice blend. Your house will smell like pie and happiness!

Add a tiny pinch of 5-spice powder with your cinnamon. The anise comes through and adds such an interesting flavor to candied nuts. (It’s very pungent, so only get a tiny pinch!)

Front view of a bowl of spiced candied nuts with red and white striped dishtowel in the background.

Tips + Tricks for Perfect Spiced Nuts:

Keep your heat on medium-low. If you BLAST these spiced nuts with heat, they can scorch, or boil too quickly. Shoot for a simmer. As soon as there’s no more syrup to scoop up with your spatula, you know you’ve cooked them long enough!

Please keep stirring. Similarly, keep on stirring. It really only takes about 5-7 minutes for the syrup to evaporate, and stirring regularly will help them caramelize/candy and toast evenly.

Let them cool before storing. Make sure you give the spiced nuts plenty of time to cool before storing. If you don’t, they can sort of “steam” in their container or bag, which means they won’t crisp up as nicely as if they’re given a chance to cool.

How to store these spiced nuts. First, make sure they’re totally cool (see above), then transfer to an airtight container or bag for best results. These make a great gift, wrapped up in a treat bag and tied with a ribbon. Or, you can put them in a jar with a ribbon tied around the top. Basically: add ribbon and you’ll be in good shape!

Where to get the best prices. For nuts and maple syrup, I find my best prices at Costco. It’s tough to beat their prices for nuts and syrup, especially this time of year!

Love These Spiced Nuts? You Might Also Like: 

Overhead view of a bowl of paleo spiced candied nuts.

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Overhead view of a bowl of paleo spiced candied nuts.

My Favorite Spiced Nuts (Naturally Sweetened!)


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 heaping cups nuts 1x

Description

My Favorite Spiced Nuts – These naturally sweetened candied nuts have just the right hint of spice. They’re perfect for parties, appetizers, treats, and gifting! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups raw nuts (I do 2/3 cup almonds, 2/3 cup cashews, and 2/3 cup pecans)* See notes!
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice OR chai spice (pick 1)
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Add nuts, spice, and syrup to a medium saucepan. Stir to combine.
  3. Bring the syrup to a simmer over medium-low heat, and continue to stir until maple syrup evaporates and coats the nuts well. (This will take 5-7 minutes)
  4. Immediately, transfer the candied spiced nuts to your prepared baking sheet and spread out in a single layer.
  5. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and allow to cool completely before storing or eating.
  6. To store, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for best results. Nuts will keep up to 1 week in the refrigerator, or 2-3 days at room temperature.

Notes

You can use any nuts you like! I typically use 3 kinds of nuts when I make this. You can use as many as you like, you just need 2 cups of RAW nuts. For the video and photos, I used a combination of almonds, cashews, and pecans for my spiced nut mix. You can totally do this with ALL one kind of nuts (pecans and almonds are great), or you can swap in your favorite nuts. (Hazelnuts are delicious! Peanuts can be nice, too.)

  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Category: Dessert, appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: spiced nuts, spiced candied nuts, candied nuts, naturally sweetened candied nuts, paleo candied nuts, vegan candied nuts, spiced nut mix

Overhead view of a bowl of paleo spiced candied nuts with text that reads "Paleo & Vegan Spiced Candied Nuts"

6 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness! I just made these this morning and they were absolutely delicious! I love the little bit of sweetness with a hint of salt and cinnamon, none of which are overpowering, which happens with candied nuts. They usually have way too much sugar (which I’m trying to avoid, anyway) and I feel like it’s rotting my teeth eating them. These are are a hit! Thank you so much for sharing this. I love that it’s made with wholesome ingredients.

  2. Hello! I tried the candied recipe and nuts are sticking together once cooled & in a bag. Why do you think they are sticking? I put the timer on for 5-7 minutes to stir. Thanks for your help!

    1. Kim – it sounds like maybe your syrup didn’t evaporate quite all the way. There can be some variation in cooking time (since I’m not sure how hot your stove runs + what type of pan you used, etc.), but you want the syrup to be completely evaporated, and the nuts to be almost starting to turn powdery. You can try drying them out in the oven at 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes or so, or let them continue to dry out on the counter for a while before bagging them up (as they’ll continue to dry/set with time). I hope that helps!

    2. Hello! These sound delicious and perfect for the homemade gifts I’m making! I’m just wondering how long they will last in an airtight container/bag?
      Thank you!

      1. Hi Simonne! If they’re tightly packed (and you’ve let them fully dry and cool) they’ll keep about a week. I wouldn’t make them much further in advance than that if you plan to keep them at room temperature. I have had some luck freezing them to prolong their shelf life!

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