Tap here to get 5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners

Candied Walnuts

5 from 7 votes

posted: 12/09/20

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Candied Walnuts is the perfect recipe for snacking, gifting, and adding to salads. This recipe is quick to make and is so good it will become a family treasure.

I can’t get enough of this recipe!

side view of candied walnuts in a white bowl

I can’t tell you how much I love this recipe. It came from my grandmother’s church cookbook. As with a lot of recipes in there, I had to make a few tweaks to perfect it. Now, it is the only thing I want to snack on for the rest of my long happy life.

This recipe comes together with just a few simple steps. You will be surprised by how easy and low maintenance this recipe is. Once you make a batch for yourself, make another for gifting. This is a great recipe to give around the holidays.

My very favorite way to eat this candied walnuts recipe is on a salad. I have a great salad recipe coming next week that I know you will love.

candied walnuts wrapped in checked paper made into a cone

How to Make Candied Walnuts

Make a huge batch of this candied walnuts recipe and use them for dozens of recipes, or just for snacking! Be sure to check out the recipe card for exact measurements, but here’s all you need to do:

  1. Make Sugar Mixture: Whisk together sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
  2. Beat Egg Whites: Whisk together egg whites and water until it’s nice and foamy and until it doubles in volume.
  3. Mix in Walnuts: Toss walnuts in the egg whites to coat evenly and then sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top.
  4. Bake: Make the walnuts for 30 minutes, then cool, break apart and enjoy!
overhead view of sugar cinnamon mixture to use on candied walnuts

Candied Walnuts Seasoning

The flavor from this recipe comes from the sugar mixture that the nuts get tossed in right before baking. It is made of:

  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • nutmeg
  • cloves

If you are averse to cloves, just leave it out. The taste will be different but you will still love this recipe.

overhead view of walnuts in beaten egg whites

How to Beat Egg Whites

A really important step in this recipe is beating the egg whites until they are nice and foamy. To accomplish this you are going to add a little water to them, and then beat them until they are foamy and soft peaks form. You can see what they should look like in the photo above.

You want to make sure that you beat the eggs until they are past the point of just being foamy and liquidy. This is the point when soft gentle peaks form. You can pull up the whisk and the eggs will hold their shape.

However, you want to stop beating the eggs before they become a deep white glossy color and stiff peaks form. If you have hit this point, you want to start over with some fresh egg whites.

Using a Hand Whisk

If you don’t have a mixer you can still make this recipe using a whisk. You will just need to really work those eggs to get them the correct consistency.

a spoon dishing up candied walnuts recipe from a baking sheet

What Type of Walnuts to Buy

This recipe works best with raw walnut halves. They don’t need to be pre roasted.

That being said, if you are only able to find walnut pieces, go ahead and get those. Those smaller pieces will be perfect for salads. (Did I mention how obsessed I am?)

Other Nuts

If you aren’t a fan of walnuts or only happen to have pecans on hand, go ahead and use those for this recipe. You could also use cashews. Or, if you want to make a mix you could use a little of all three.

candied walnuts in a mason jar tied with a ribbon


Do candied walnuts have gluten?

Nope! This snack is completely gluten-free.

How long do candied walnuts last?

Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to a week.

Can you freeze candied walnuts?

You bet! Keep them in a Ziploc baggie or a freezer-safe container for up to three months. They’re so delicious frozen!

overhead view of candied walnuts in a big white bowl on a tray
overhead view of candied walnuts in a big white bowl on a tray
5 from 7 votes

Candied Walnuts

Serves: 4 cups
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Candied Walnuts is the perfect recipe for snacking, gifting, and adding to salads. This recipe is quick to make and is so good it will become a family treasure.


  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 cups walnuts
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl beat the egg white and water together until faomy and it doubles in volume.
  • Mix in the walnuts and toss them to coat completely. Now add the sugar mixture. Mix throughly. Spread onto the prepared pan in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. Once nuts cool, break apart and enjoy! Store in an air tight container for up to a week.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Snack
overhead view of candied walnuts in a big white bowl on a tray

did you make this

Candied Walnuts

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. SuiteT says

    5 stars
    This recipe came out great. I switched out the sugar for an artificial sweetener, as I am diabetic. Wife and I loved the sweet, crunchy, nutty flavor. Making a big batch tomorrow on Christmas. Since we are. All doing basically porch pickup gift exchanges, I’ll throw in a decorative bottle of walnuts to each family. Try it!

  2. Becca says

    Can I add honey? If I did should it replace something?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Becca! I haven’t tested these with honey. The sugar works really well and caramelizes perfectly in the oven, I’m worried that honey would turn them into a bit of a sticky mess.

  3. Paula Denton says

    can I sub cloves I really don’t like them

    • Lisa Longley says

      You can just leave them out all together!

  4. Dee Morley says

    5 stars
    Can I use almonds? Will the texture work the same?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t tried this with almonds, but I don’t see why it won’t work.

  5. Michelle says

    I love the sweet/spicy combo. Is there a spicy element you would recommend trying?

    • Lisa Longley says

      You could add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

  6. Rosie Kober says

    The recipe calls for cloves but it does not mention them in the instructions, were they meant to be optional ?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so sorry, they go in with the other spices.

Broccoli Pasta"Omg! I didn’t think anything so simple could be so good!"
overhead of skillet of Cajun Shrimp Pasta ingredients on a cooling rack with toasted bread sitting beside
Cajun Shrimp Pasta"My family absolutely loved this recipe. Even my finicky eaters."
overhead photo of a gray skillet filled with beef and broccoli recipe, garnished with sliced green onions
Beef and Broccoli Recipe"I have made this a couple or more times. It’s easy & quick to prepare. I like this for a quick meal. It will be my go to recipe."

5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners