These pumpkin spice candied walnuts are addictively delicious. Sweet and spiced walnuts are an easy addition to a fall charcuterie board, or you can simply eat them by the handful!

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: this easy fall snack idea takes delicious candied walnuts to a whole new level with the addition of pumpkin spice.

How long it takes: just 15 minutes

Equipment you’ll need: a skillet and a baking sheet.

Servings: 6

A bowl of pumpkin spice candied walnuts on a table with orange pumpkins in the background.
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Irresistible Pumpkin Spice Candied Walnuts

These pumpkin spice candied walnuts are the perfect snack to devour by the handful. I’m partnering with California Walnuts to bring you a year of nutty and delicious walnut recipes, and we’re jumping right into fall with this recipe for crunchy, sweet, toasted walnuts prepared with seasonal ingredients.

Pumpkin spice candied walnuts are pure and simple fall perfection. You’re going to LOVE these flavorful toasted walnuts coated in melted sugar and cozy pumpkin pie spice.

Why You’ll Love This Candied Walnuts Recipe

  • Fall flavor. These walnuts are flavored with a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, lots of sugar, and a generous touch of salt. The salt gives them a salty-sweet intrigue that will keep you coming back for more … and more … and more.
  • Healthy. Walnuts are good for you, too. Did you know that they contain protein and good-for-you omega-3 fat? They are chock-full of vitamins and minerals (Healthline).
  • Versatile. These crave-worthy candied walnuts make a great addition to charcuterie boards, snack tables, and desserts during the holiday season. Don’t forget to scroll for more ideas!
A bowl of pumpkin spice candied walnuts on a table with orange pumpkins in the background.

What You’ll Need

The ingredients list for pumpkin spice candied walnuts is short and sweet! For complete instructions and nutrition information, look for the printable recipe card located near the end of the post.

  • Walnuts: Look for fresh walnuts, either halves or large pieces. If the walnuts smell off at all, don’t use them. They can become rancid (have a strong odor) fairly quickly, so store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Sugar: Use regular white granulated sugar. Brown sugar also works for a deeper, more caramelized flavor.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: I use my homemade pumpkin pie spice, It’s easy to make your own or you can buy a pre-mixed blend at the grocery store.
  • Sea Salt: Use a salt that’s fairly coarse. If you prefer less sodium, omit the salt or use less.

How To Make Pumpkin Spice Candied Walnuts

Before you get started, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. It doesn’t have to be really large, just big enough to spread the walnuts out. You won’t be baking these walnuts so there’s no need to turn on the oven.

  • Toast the walnuts. In a good-sized dry skillet, toast the walnuts over medium heat, stirring frequently. When they are beginning to brown and smell really good, take them off the heat and spread them in the prepared pan to cool.
  • Prepare the candy coating. Next, combine the sugar, spice, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan (large enough to hold the walnuts). Over medium heat, cook the mixture on the stove until the sugar melts and doesn’t look grainy.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the toasted walnuts. You’ll need to move fast, as the sugar hardens quickly. Once combined, immediately spread the candied walnuts back onto the baking sheet to cool, using two forks to separate them into an even layer.
  • Serve or store. Once the walnuts are completely cool, serve them right away or store them in a tightly covered container. See below for detailed storage instructions.
A bowl of pumpkin spice candied walnuts on a table with orange pumpkins in the background.

Recipe Tips and Variations

Here are some tips to keep in mind when making homemade candied walnuts, along with some possible variations to try:

  • Take the walnuts off the heat. Don’t be tempted to leave your toasted walnuts in the skillet while you prepare the candy coating. The walnuts will continue to toast in the hot pan and will taste burnt.
  • Don’t worry about small clumps when spreading out your candied nuts. You’ll be able to break them apart when the walnuts are completely cool.
  • Try another candy coating. Make a version of my sweet and spicy candied bourbon pecans with walnuts instead.
  • Use a different nut. You can apply this pumpkin spice candy coating to all your favorite nuts and seeds! Try toasted pecans or toasted almonds.

FAQs

How long does it take to toast walnuts?

When toasting the walnuts for this recipe, you can expect them to take about 5-7 minutes in a skillet on the stovetop. See my post on how to toast walnuts for details.

Why are my candied walnuts sticky?

This is most likely because the sugar wasn’t cooked long enough to get to the candy stage. Make sure that the sugar is dissolved completely. It should not look grainy. Secondly, if there’s too much moisture (i.e. a humid kitchen) or if the nuts were not cooled entirely before storing, they can become sticky.

Do walnuts go rancid quickly?

If walnuts aren’t stored properly, or if they’re stored in warm conditions, they’re more likely to go rancid. Walnuts that have gone off will taste bitter and sour. See the section later on for tips on how to store these candied walnuts properly.

A bowl of pumpkin spice candied walnuts on a table with orange pumpkins in the background.

Ways to Serve Pumpkin Spice Candied Walnuts

Crunchy pumpkin spice candied walnuts are a festive snack to serve as an appetizer at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Or, add them to your charcuterie boards or an after-school snack board all season long (like we do, any chance we get).

These spiced candied walnuts are just as delicious sprinkled over a farro salad or a warm kale salad for an irresistible light meal or side dish. They’re also a creative topping for a sweet potato casserole.

As an easy dessert topping, crumble candied walnuts over classic vanilla ice cream or cinnamon ice cream. Candied walnut recipes make great gifts, too. Combine these pumpkin-spiced walnuts with vanilla bean candied walnuts in a jar with a ribbon tied around it for some tasty holiday gifting.

How to Store Candied Walnuts

  • To Store: Store candied walnuts in an airtight container in a cool, dry place (like a pantry) for up to 1 week. Make sure the nuts are completely cool before covering.
  • Freezer: You can freeze these pumpkin spice candied walnuts for longer-term storage. Keep them airtight in the freezer for up to 1 month. Defrost the nuts at room temperature before serving.
  • Candied walnuts tend to get a bit sticky as time goes on. To dry them out again, spread them out on a baking sheet and bake at 325°F for 5-10 minutes.

More Nuts Recipes

Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Candied Walnuts Recipe

4.75 from 4 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
These pumpkin spice candied walnuts are addictively delicious. They're coated in sugar and cozy spices and perfect to add to a fall charcuterie board or devour by the handful!
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Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ cups raw walnut halves and/or pieces
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions 

  • Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or Silpat.
  • Toast walnuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5-7 minutes or until fragrant. Immediately spread onto prepared baking sheet (see note).
  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and sea salt. Cook on medium until sugar melts and is no longer grainy. Remove from heat immediately, add walnuts, and stir to coat. Work as quickly as possible as the sugar hardens quickly.
  • Pour walnuts back out onto prepared lined baking sheet and separate walnuts with two forks, again working quickly. If you don’t get them all separated, it’s no big deal, you can cut or crack them apart once they cool.
  • Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. If there are any left — these are irresistible!

Notes

  • After toasting the walnuts in the frying pan, you may be tempted to leave them in the pan while you continue to step 3. DON’T! The walnuts will continue to toast in the hot pan and will get too dark. When they’re toasted, immediately pour them onto the baking sheet to cool and then proceed to step 3.
  • These are salty — I like the salty sweet combination. If you’re not a huge salt fan, decrease to 1/4 teaspoon or omit completely.
  • Nutrition information based on 1 oz. walnuts, which is approximately 1/4 cup.

Nutrition

Calories: 257kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 195mg, Potassium: 132mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 7IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.75 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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11 Comments

  1. DessertForTwo says:

    These sound incredible!

  2. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says:

    I could seriously snack on these all day long! They look SO good!

  3. Megan @ MegUnprocessed says:

    Looks incredibly good!

  4. shelly (cookies and cups) says:

    These would be super dangerous in my house!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Ours too! But oh so good!

  5. Alice @ hip foodie mom says:

    ooh! I want to try this on salad with cranberries! Can’t wait. Thank you!

  6. Shadi HasanzadeNemati says:

    These sound so amazing. I love walnuts but never had them candied . Will definitely try this!

  7. Rebecca {foodie with family} says:

    I bet these would be fabulous scattered over a bowl of oatmeal!

  8. katerina @ diethood.com says:

    My new favorite snack!! I can’t wait to try these! They look really GOOD!!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Hope you love them!

  9. Sues says:

    These are such a great idea to have as a little pre-Thanksgiving dinner snack (while cocktailing, of course!). I love candied walnuts and think I’d love pumpkin spice ones even more :)