How to: Caramelize Nuts

CATEGORIES: Candy, How To...

Caramelizing may sound scary, but it’s pretty darn easy, and once you get the technique down, you can caramelize any nut to your heart’s content. They’re great on salads, on top of desserts, or just to snack on!

There are several different methods of caramelizing nuts, but this is my favorite because I think it’s the easiest. You make sort of a caramel coating and toast the nuts in it as it cooks as opposed to just melting plain sugar which can sometimes end in disaster. 

In these pictures I’m using macadamia nuts, for the Steak and Mango Salad, but you could do pecans, walnuts, whatever. And let me just say that these are g o o d. I made these ones for my dinner, and instead I ate the entire pan plain!

Caramelized Nuts
recipe by Our Best Bites

2 T brown sugar
1/2 T light corn syrup
1/2 T butter
1/2  C nuts
Optional: 1/8 tsp cinnamon (SO good)

Place brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter (and cinnamon if you’re using) in a non-stick skillet on the stove top. Set heat to medium or medium-high. Stir the mixture as it comes together until it bubbles like this:

Add nuts and stir to coat


Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly until nuts turn golden brown in color and smell toasted.

OR, after nuts are coated in sugar mixture, transfer from skillet to a parchment lined baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven. Stir occasionally (every 1-2 minutes) until golden brown and toasted.  It happens quick, so keep an eye on them! 

Transfer to foil (lightly sprayed with non-stick spray) or parchment and cool completely.

Break them apart with your fingers and enjoy!

Macadamia Nuts:






  1. I made these last night and I LOVE them! I will defiantly make them again. But I wanted to eat the whole plate too!

    I love your blog and check it religiously!
    You inspired me to start my own blog. I just started it yesterday but I am already loving the world of blogging. I would love it if you would check out my blog. I recreate clothing that I already own.

  2. Laura- the terms "candied" and "caramelized" are kind of used interchangeably when it comes to nuts. The sugar/butter method is just a bit lighter than this one. These aren't "goopy" since the candy part is crunchy- but it's more like a nut covered in a thin toffee coating, with a little bit more of a richer flavor from the brown sugar.

  3. Dumb question: Do carmelized nuts taste the same as candied nuts? Your pics look a little more "goopy" than when I have done it with just sugar and a dallop of butter. But I think goopy is great. 🙂

  4. If you are using pecans and cooking them on the stove, they won't be crunchy. If you want crunchy pecans they will have to be done in the oven. Very yummy!!!

  5. Ingrid, we don’t have a printing feature- but we’re working on it! If you’d like to just print the text, just highlight the text and on your printing window select “Print Selection.”

  6. Hi, I recently found your blog though Honey B and have been playing catch up. I was wondering if you have a printable version of this recipe? My children absolutely love carmelized nuts and would like to use your recipe to make them some.

    Btw, you have a wonderful blog and will be back!

  7. I loved this salad! I’ve got my mango that I won and I bought some flank steak so some time this week I’ll be making it. I’m excited for Ned to try it!

  8. Mmmmm I LOVE carmelized nuts!!! I always do pecans and the best way to tell if they’re done baking is a taste test! (And yes I have burned my tongue more than once with my impatience) I can’t wait to try it with macadamia nuts!

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