Fantastic Sugared Walnuts With Some Spice

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These addictive sugared walnuts are sweet and salty and have just a touch of heat from cayenne pepper. Serve them as a nibble at your next cocktail party, or give them as a hostess gift, wrapped in a pretty bowl.

Recipe card & instructions updated 3/21/22.

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Regarding nuts there are two camps –one group just loves nuts and all things nutty and one group not so much. I guess that I fall somewhere in the middle. In my opinion, nuts make a good snack on their own. I make them often enough when we are entertaining to munch on with our cocktails. I like them in salads or sprinkled on my veggies, but I am not a huge fan of nuts in sweet treats.

That being said, I am crazy for sugared nuts! I love honey roasted peanuts to be sure, but my hands-down favorite are sugared spiced walnuts or pecans. I love them on my caramel apples and in my oatmeal, in my winter salads and just right out of the bowl. And nuts are good for me, right? Practically a health food, I think!

In Cape Cod there is a woman who makes these amazing sugared walnuts called Wicked WalnutsThey are outrageously delicious and addictive and the recipe is obviously a closely guarded secret. Even though I do have a slight walnut sensitivity, that is a small price to pay for eating them! So since I am not currently on the Cape, a few years ago, I successfully recreated the recipe myself….and it’s close enough to tide me over until our next visit.

We give often them to neighbors and friends in lieu of holiday cookies. And as a bonus, these make a lovely, last minute hostess gift. I can’t think of  a more beautiful, festive (and delicious) gift than these sugared, spiced walnuts.

sugared walnuts
sugared walnuts

Love these sugared walnuts? Here are some great recipes to accompany them for the holidays:

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and star rating below (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) and post a picture and tag us on Instagram using the hashtags #agirldefloured #deflouredrecipes! Thank you!

sugar walnuts

Sugar & Spice Walnuts

Alison Needham
These addictive walnuts are sweet and salty and have just a touch of heat from cayenne pepper. Serve them as a nibble at your next cocktail party, or give them as a hostess gift, wrapped in a pretty bowl.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1 pound
Calories 3856 kcal




  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Beat the egg white in a large bowl until it’s quite foamy. Toss walnuts with egg white so they are thoroughly coated.
  • Place sugar, salt, and spices into a large zip top bag. Remove walnuts from egg white with a slotted spoon, letting any excess egg drip out. Place nuts in the sugar bag and shake vigorously to coat.
  • Pour out onto greased cookie sheet and separate nuts. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until dry and toasted.
  • Mix sugar topping in a large bowl. Gently break apart walnuts with a fork or spatula. Place in the bowl with the sugar and toss to coat. Place back on the cookie sheet to cool. When cool, toss with the cranberries and seal in air-tight containers.


Calories: 3856kcalCarbohydrates: 300gProtein: 72gFat: 297gSaturated Fat: 28gPolyunsaturated Fat: 214gMonounsaturated Fat: 41gSodium: 2534mgPotassium: 2260mgFiber: 35gSugar: 241gVitamin A: 306IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 512mgIron: 23mg
Keyword candied nuts, nuts, quick
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  1. What a great holiday recipe for noshing, Ali! Thank you for sharing! MERRY CHRISTMAS! xo

  2. Hello!

    We have a walnut tree – we have an overabundance of walnuts. I would like to give some of them away as gifts. Do you know how long these remain fresh in the jars? Any tips on keeping them?


    1. Hi Jennifer! You can freeze them BEFORE tossing them in sugar (and cranberries) the second time. To serve, thaw, warm slightly in the oven, and toss with the second coating of sugar. Add the cranberries at that time. 🙂

  3. I like to make gluten free snacks and treats for my brother, who was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, for Christmas and I’m getting started searching for recipes to try – I’m so glad to have found this one! Already pinned and printed, thanks so much!

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