Cinnamon Sugar Pecans Recipe

SO excited to get to make a batch of these amazing Cinnamon Sugar Pecans for my family’s early Thanksgiving dinner!  They scream, “warm me up on this chilly fall day” and “Christmas is coming!” all at once.

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans Recipe

I make these every year for a couple of reasons:

  1. They are D-licious
  2. My dad LOVES pecans
  3. They make my house smell A-mazing
  4. They make GREAT homemade gifts
  5. And they are D-liciously A-mazing.

The End.  Seriously, they are THAT good.   And super easy.  I made them while texting.

You’ll want to buy your pecans in bulk, if you can.  You’re going to love this recipe so much that you’ll want to make very large batches.  Enough to eat through the winter (as if you were a bear in hibernation?!) and enough to give away as gifts.

Let’s get started!  Texting while cooking isn’t dangerous, but you might set your phone down for a few to follow along.

First off, grab a large ziplock bag and load it up

with sugar

cinnamon

and salt.  Zip the top and shake it all around to combine.

Separate your egg yolks from the whites.

Add the whites to a large bowl

throw in about 2 teaspoons of water

and good vanilla ~ not the imitation, but the pure extract.  No, there is no other way.  Pure vanilla extract is the ONLY way to go.  Trust me on this.

Grab a fork and whisk until frothy.  Go ahead and put your back into it.  You want big gloriously puffy, sparkly egg white bubbles.

Pour in your pecan halves and use your fork to stir and coat each pecan in that beautiful frothy vanilla egg white mixture.

Dump these beauties into your big  bag of cinnamon sugar.

Zip the top and shake, shake, shake!

The pecans will be coated in every granule of sugar and look very wet.  That’s perfect!

Pour out onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 250° for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes with a spatula.

Try to let them cool on the baking sheet a few minutes so you don’t burn your tongue (Joel…I’m talking to you…).  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans Recipe

If you manage not to eat them fresh out of the oven, set out bowls throughout the house at your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner so guests can grab a handful at every turn.  Or, pack them up in mason jars wrapped with a burlap bow for friends and neighbors.  You should print out the recipe card below and attach with a hole punch ~ you will get asked for this recipe, I promise!

Happy Early Thanksgiving!

~pw

5.0 from 21 reviews
Cinnamon Sugar Pecans Recipe
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Easy Cinnamon Sugar Pecans ~ perfect for the Holidays ~ perfect as a homemade gift ~ perfectly delicious!
: Appetizer
Serves: 8-10 snack sized
Ingredients
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1lb pecan halves (1 pound)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ - 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (your preference)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray
  3. Mix sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large ziploc bag
  4. Whisk egg white, water and vanilla in a large bowl until frothy (you can use a fork or electric mixer, either works just fine)
  5. Add pecans to large bowl and stir to combine, coating each pecan in egg white mixture
  6. Pour coated pecans into ziploc bag, seal and shake to fully coat in cinnamon/sugar mixture
  7. Spread out in a single layer onto prepared baking sheet
  8. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

Comments

  1. YUM! I love these and we have a whole ton of pecans that I need to use!

    • Hi Lana! It’s the perfect time of year for these, isn’t it?! Let me know if you put your own super cool spin on them. I know you will come up with something. 🙂

  2. Tracey Wright says:

    They are in the oven and smell DELICIOUS!!! Thanks for the quick and easy treat!

    • Yay! So glad you like them!

      • THANK YOU SOOO MUCH ! These are Delicious and yes… Wow house smells so good. Perfect for those cold days when cinnamon brings a warm and cozy ambiance.
        Thanks for sharing this. Mine are almost done and I’ve been eating every time I turn it over

  3. Heidi Mantei says:

    What is the best way to store these sweet jems? How long do they keep?

    • Hi Heidi ~ I store them in mason jars or in tightly sealed Tupperware. They keep just fine for 2-3 weeks. Maybe longer, but they don’t last long enough at my house to test that theory…my family eats them up pretty quickly!

  4. Could you use peanuts as well? I’d think so but just wondering if anyone ever has.

    • Hi Mary – you probably could use peanuts; I would decrease the roasting time as peanuts are smaller than pecans and they may burn if left in as long.

      Let me know how they turn out if you do use them! 🙂

  5. My family has been making these for years. But I was recently diagnosed with an egg allergy, and this is one food I’m very sad to see go. Do you have any ideas of how I can make these without using egg whites?

    • Hi Nina,
      Thanks for stopping by! I’m sorry to hear about your egg allergy, but I did a little research and found a few ideas (courtesy of calorielab.com):

      {1 tsp. baking powder, 1 1/2 tbsp. oil, 1 1/2 tbsp. water}

      Whisk that up and cut the water my recipe calls for in half if you use this as an egg replacement. Please let me know how it turns out if you try that!

      • Thanks! I’ll give that a shot and let you know!

      • I’ve recently read about something new that people have been discarding – the juice from white beans or chickpeas makes a great egg substitute and is also vegan – they call it Aquafaba – just wanted to share – have not used it myself yet but is was interesting to know that there were alternatives.

  6. Hi Nina,
    I’ve used a recipe for cinnamon sugared almonds from something swanky.com there’s just water sugar cinnamon & nuts

    • Thanks for the tip, Joan!

    • I tried the recipe mentioned above by Joan, which calls for water (no egg white or vanilla) twice, just to be certain I wasn’t making mistakes with the recipe, the first time, the coating formed a sticky syrup, and the second time, the mixture flaked off and did not adhere to the pecans. I live in Texas, where packaged sugar, spices and nuts can be drier than those in other states because of our hot, dry climate, which may have been the culprit. However, Phanneth’s recipe works perfectly for me in Texas!

  7. I’ve made these and add a little Grand Marnier. Such a beautiful snack..and toos a few on a salad with Gorgonzola or feta cheese…YUM!

    • OMG….have u tried these pecans in a salad with goat and strawberries??? Simply delish!!! I sometimes add sliced grilled chicken for a easy meal. Enjoy! Tina

  8. Has anyone used walnuts? I have a ton. Any good ideas

    • Hi Dara – I haven’t tried walnuts, but I imagine it would turn out just as good, since you can sub walnuts for pecans in just about any sweet bread. Please try it and let me know!

      • I have done Walnuts and they are just as wonderful as the pecans and almonds are. But my recipe calls for you to add the cinnamon and sugar to the frothy egg. Then put the nuts in and mix thoroughly. I have also found that it can take 15-20 mins longer than the recipe says. But you be the judge, it all depends on your ovens temp and where you live. I also use parchment paper instead of the spray. A lot easier on the clean up.

    • I used walnuts and they turned out great! We had a lot left over from Christmas, and had always wanted to try making spiced nuts since the are 6 bucks for a small package at the farmers market. I never need to buy then now that I know how. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Have you ever tried to do this with walnuts? If so do you know if the recipe or time changes? thank you

    • Hi Emma ~ I would sub the walnuts for the pecans and not change a thing in the recipe or timing. I sub walnuts for pecans (and vice-versa) in sweet breads all the time without issue. 🙂

  10. So unbelievably good and easy! Have made this recipe twice in 4 days and have given the link to this website for the recipe many times as everyone is raving about these. Yummy!!

    • Thank you for the comment, Alexis! And thanks for the share! Love that you found it as easy to throw together as I did. 🙂

  11. I am no cook. I just did this and have my second batch in the oven. OMG!!!! Really easy for the “I’m definetly not Betty Crocker” kind of person.

    • Happy to hear that it was super easy for you, Carla! Way-to-go trying out a new recipe!! Thank you for stopping by ~ 🙂

  12. Didn’t have any pecans, but just couldn’t wait to try making these so I substituted almonds and they were scrumptious! Super easy. Gonna make a big batch to give as gifts for the holidays using both pecans and almonds. Thanks!

  13. I am looking forward to making these to give as gifts this year. Anything I need to know when doubling the recipe? Or is it better to make in separate batches?

    • Hi Stacey ~ thanks for stopping by!

      You just have to have the capacity for double the recipe on your baking sheets, bowl and zip-top bag. Make sure to split it up onto two baking sheets (or more). You want them in a single layer on the sheet so they don’t clump together as they bake.

  14. Delicious!! Better than the fair and way cheaper 😊

  15. Hi!
    These sound delish – can’t wait to try these
    and the almond versions!
    One question: in your “play by play” with the photos, you note using
    a tablespoon of water, but the ingredients list 2 teaspoons.
    Which is the more accurate amount?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Gretchen – thanks for catching that! The recipe card is right = 2 teaspoons of water + 2 teaspoons of vanilla. I’ve updated the post! 🙂

      • Thank you! Trying these this weekend 🙂

      • Hello again! Just wanted to let you know that I made pecans and almonds – both a big hit!! I just made another batch of pecans, almonds and I’m trying peanuts too! I plan to mix them all and sit them out when we have family over for Christmas Eve 🙂
        Thank you for sharing and Merry Christmas!

        • Yay! Thanks for sharing your successes and variations with this recipe ~ so glad you are loving it and having fun with it! 🙂

  16. Carrie Crawford says:

    Can you substitute granulated stevia for the sugar for those of us who are eating sugar free?

    • Hi Carrie ~ I have not tried stevia in this recipe, so I can’t say for sure.

      I can say that the white sugar lends to the crystallized coating which is part of the pecan’s flavor in this recipe…you could sub the stevia per stevia recommended conversion to get the right sweetness, but I don’t think you would get the crystallization. Sorry!

  17. Thanks to Pinterest I came across this recipe. Thanks a lot. I made my first batch tonight using almonds and they’re lovely. Not too sweet and just a little hint of everything else. The recipe is also ridiculously simple, and having the pictures to compare to is great. 🙂
    I’m giving them as Christmas gifts to my co-workers this year. I hope they like them.

  18. Super easy – made these exactly as posted for a party & they were gone the first half hour!!!! Thankfully I saved some to give as hostess gifts! Everyone wanted the recipe. Thx!!!

  19. I made these last night! Super easy to make and are amazing! Thanks for the easy recipe! I will be making them this way from now on!!

  20. Wow, I just came across this recipe and decided since I had everything on hand to go ahead and make them. I made my first ever Pumpkin Cheesecake this evening and decided that instead of serving the cheesecake plain, I will circle them around the top of the cheesecake with a drizzle maple syrup to stick them in place. Can’t wait to give this to my boss tomorrow for his birthday, he requested a cheesecake about 3 months ago, he loves my baking, I panicked a bit as I had never made one, but it was so easy and looks amazing, and with these pecans I think it will be a hit. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.

  21. I only have chopped pecans. Could I use them as well?

    • Hi Paula ~ I recommend the whole pecans, but that’s not to say chopped wouldn’t work.
      You would just have smaller pecan pieces and a higher sugar coating-to-pecan ratio. I would decrease the cook time by about 20 minutes and stir more frequently since smaller pieces could burn if left too long.

  22. I have just finished making these Wonderful I also did the spicy ones Same directions but using kosher salt, chili powder, cinnamon and Cayen.ne pepper. Different but very good. A must each Christmas.

    • I love your modifications, Nancy! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

    • How much chili powder. I missed the recipe that said add the chili powder. My daughter adds this to some batches. Nice for those that like a little heat.

      • It will depend on how much of a kick you want! If using chili powder I think 1/2 teaspoon would work. If cayenne I would start with 1/4 teaspoon. It depends on your tastebuds and how potent your spice is! But both are great options. Good luck!

  23. I shelled my own pecans, so appropriately how many cups of pecans equal a pound? I don’t have a kitchen scale.

  24. I’m baking up a batch of loveliness right now:) I mixed pecans almonds and walnuts because I had a few of each on hand. Can’t wait to try them. Thanks for sharing this simple recipe. The one I’ve used in the past calls for cooking the coating ingredients prior to mixing in nuts and baking them in the oven. Pain in the rear! Love that this is something my daughter can do mostly by herself with just a little direction. Merry Christmas and Happy Baking.

  25. I made these last night and they still haven’t dried. They’re still sticky and gooey. I put them in the freezer for a bit but took them out and still gooey. Any suggestions? I want to bring to our xmas eve dinner tomorrow night. They taste amazing though!

    • Oh no, Sandra! I’m sorry to hear these aren’t turning out for you. Try putting them back in the oven but turn up the temperature a few degrees (to 275 degrees Fahrenheit) and let them bake another 20-30 minutes?

  26. Hi! I made these with my granddaughter and they are delicious. I think we’ll have to add these to our annual baking. Thanks for a great recipe!

  27. I made these and I used 1/2 c regular sugar and 1/2 c brown sugar instead of all regular sugar and OMG they were awesome!

  28. These are Delicious!!! I just pulled them out of the oven. The house smells wonderful too! These will not last long — I keep going back to the stove to snatch another. At first, I felt like there was an odd after taste…but after eating several more it seems to have gone away. It’s probably just me. Ha!! I will definitely be making these again. Super easy!

  29. Do you think you could use parchment paper instead of greasing the baking sheet?

  30. Devo Kessin says:

    I just made these with almonds for Passover and they were HUGE hit! Thanks!

  31. Ida Dohoney says:

    I have seen several receipes like this but for sure this is one I remember ooooh many years ago that my mother made.

  32. Claudia says:

    I made them with beown sugar (less calories) and they are soooo yummy!!!! And still brigth!!!

  33. these are great on a salad with sliced strawberries and balsamic dressing. Yum!

  34. Might be a silly question but are the nuts unsalted?

  35. LaToya Jamea says:

    I wanted to know instead of using pecans can you use almonds with this recipe.

    • Hi LaToya ~ yes, you can use almonds, but decrease the amount of liquid (use a bit less water or less vanilla).

  36. LaToya Jamea says:

    Also one more question, do I bake them for the same amount of time as the pecans.

    • Yes, bake the same amount of time! Decrease the liquids by half on everything, but still use 1 egg white. 🙂

  37. This looks delicious and easy to make. I am very excited to make it for Christmas snack

  38. Kimberly S says:

    You mentioned cayenne pepper as an extra: I’d like to try a little spicy ….how much cayenne and or chili powder? Any special instructions for this addition? I have made a similar recipe, but havent tried the spice.

    • Hi Kimberly ~ I would consider adding about 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne for a little teaser of spice. If you like things spicier, you can always increase amount from there!

  39. I need to go buy more pecans….a lot more pecans! I made these for my teacher niece who is having a bake sale to raise money for her students to travel abroad. I don’t think any of them will make to the bake sale. These are the yummiest thing ever!

  40. Fabian Rodriguez says:

    Hey do you have to use vanilla will it still tatse good if I don’t use vanilla

    • Hi Fabian ~ I’ve never NOT used vanilla. It gives a depth of flavor to the recipe but I imagine it would be fine without it. Just increase the water to make up for the missing liquid/vanilla. I bet it will still turn out delicious!

  41. It doesn’t actually say how many pecans you are using, does it? Do you recommend a pound?

  42. Hey there, I wanted to know what is the difference between using pure vanilla extract and the imitation one?

    • Hi Nathaly ~ the difference comes down to artificial versus natural. Pure vanilla extract uses a real vanilla bean to create the flavor (natural) but the flavor in imitation extract is artificially or synthetically made.

      Some folks don’t have a preference and some studies show some can’t tell the difference in flavor.

      With that, you’re welcome to use whichever you prefer! But I will say when we switched to pure vanilla years ago, we’ve never gone back to immitation (even though it is more expensive!).

  43. I make these every Christmas adding a little Cheyenne Pepper…..the in-laws fight over them 🙂

  44. We love them! Thanks

  45. I made this for my team so good. The only thing I did different was I added Cayenne Pepper for spice.

  46. I’m super excited about making this recipe but we have someone in the house who cannot eat anything that is cooked with Pam. Is there an all natural alternative to PAM. Would parchment paper work? Maybe some butter?

  47. I make them every year…sometimes I use almonds. YUM,

  48. I just took these out of the even and they are DELICIOUS!!!!!! I had no eggs in the house, so I used 2 TBSP of eggbeaters (as listed 2 tbsp eggbeaters = 1 egg white). Worked perfectly. My house smells so good, too! Cant wait to try on almonds!

  49. Fozia Rasul says:

    I think I know the answer to this but will ask anyway to confirm.
    When you say ‘oven at 250’ you mean Fahrenheit, right? In the UK we have Celsius and I’m thinking at 250 C for 1 hr, I’m sure I’ll have nothing left!

  50. Delicious! I made these and gave them out as a Christmas treat to people in my office. The recipe was super easy and the product was even better than the nuts you get at the fair or from a street vendor. I highly recommend this recipe.

  51. Rachel in Texas says:

    Omgosh! These are THE BEST!!! I also added almonds to my pecans. A gourmet shop could NOT be better than these! I made my dad some for Christmas. My whole family raved over these! The almonds were good but the pecans were amazing!! These were easy to make. I will be making these over and over again! Thank you for sharing!!!

  52. Well, it’s not the holiday season, but I stumbled on this recipe today. I just took these out of the oven and oh my goodness they are to die for! I cannot wait for my husband to try these. His favorite nut is a pecan. I hope there’s some left for him.

  53. Has anyone tried this with Splenda?

  54. Please! Can u telll me if C* or F*??

  55. I just love this recipe! For years, I have tried others recipes, but no others come close! Thank you for posting this great recipe!

  56. I just made these and used pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon and WOW!

  57. Hi:
    Can you tell me what you could add to give them a little kick spicy kick? Can’t wait to try these!

    Thanks,

    • Hi Nancy ~ cayenne powder would do the trick! Try 1/4 teaspoon or increase from there depending how spicy you like things.

  58. Sandy Nelson says:

    Hi, I live at high altitude, would there be any change in oven temp or time for baking ? Thanks , can’t wait to try these.

    • No change for altitude! I’m about 5,000 feet elevation. You may have to bake longer or shorter depending on humidity or volume of egg white (or lack of humidity if you’re much higher up). 🙂

  59. I made these adding some cocoa and chili powder to the cinnamon sugar mix. They were perfect with my Tex-Mex get together.

  60. Oh wow…I just came across this recipe by accident and have to do this right now….a friend sends a ton of them up to me from Tennessee and I freeze them and use throughout the year…do I need to thaw them before I do this recipe??? I am so hoping you see this today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hi Karen ~ I’ve never used frozen pecans for this recipe before, so I can’t say for sure…if they release any moisture as they thaw you might want to thaw first so the extra water from the defrost process doesn’t leave TOO much liquid in the baking process.

      • Have you ever tried using pumpkin pie spice ?

        • Hi Judi, I have not used pumpkin pie spice before but that sounds like a great idea! Let me know how it turns out. 🙂

          • Karen Smith says:

            I was wondering how to store these; how long can they be stored ; and if they can be kept in freezer after making?

          • Hi Karen, I’ve kept them stored in a sealed container or baggies for a few months in the pantry. I’ve never frozen them so I can’t say how they taste defrosted. I also couldn’t say that they wouldn’t last longer stored when sealed tightly because my family eats thru them pretty quickly!

  61. Karen Smith says:

    Hi I was wondering how to store them; how long they last; and if they can be kept in the freezer.

  62. Anna Heslep says:

    There is a company in SC that makes these….Delish!!!! Now I’ve got the recipe & plan to make a lot of it!!!!

  63. Kristen Tate says:

    I made these at least 10 times last winter! My family LOVES them. These are the best!

  64. Hi,
    I just made these and they’re wonderful! I was wondering if you have any recommendations about reheating them? Thanks!

    • Hi Stefanie ~ good question! I’ve never actually reheated them; we eat them “room temp” and they’re still delicious. I think you could put them back in the oven super low (225 degrees f) for 15-20 minutes or zap them in a microwave for about a minute. Just make sure they cool again slightly before eating so you don’t burn your tongue! Enjoy!

  65. I buy my nuts in the large bags at Sam’s Club and keep them in the freezer. Do I need to let them set out before I make these or will they be okay to use right out of the freezer? Oh…and I would like to make them TODAY LOL!!!!

    • Hi Karen ~ I would think you could use them right out of the freezer same as you would if using to bake with. Nuts don’t take long to defrost. Enjoy!

  66. I did use them right out of the freezer…couldn’t wait…LOL! They didn’t turn out as I expected but they taste awesome. I used half brown sugar (maybe I shouldn’t have packed it) and the pumpkin pie spice as per two other comments! I’m going to try another batch! Iwould post a pic but I don’t see anywhere to do that!

  67. Hello! I was so excited to try this recipe… when I did the wort thing happened… they burnt within the first 10mins of being in the oven. I have a gas oven and set it for 225 degrees (25 less than the recipe calls for) in hopes of preventing this from happening. I would love to try this again. Any tips?

    • Oh no! I’m so bummed the gas stove was too hot! I would try 200 degrees f and open the door for 2 minutes before putting the pecans in to let that initial burst of heat out. I would think gas / electric would be the same, but everyone’s oven is different!

  68. Greetings from Germany! Delicious

  69. Baljithayer says:

    Hi is there anything I can use instead of egg white Thankks

  70. Gina Signorello says:

    I gave these nuts out as gifts last year to coworkers and they were a huge hit! Seriously, I cannot recommend these nuts highly enough. The recipe was simple and easy and the results were phenomenal.

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