These spiced pecans have everything you want in a spiced nut. They are sweet, crunchy, spicy, and unbelievably addicting.

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: Spiced pecans are a great snack but you can also enjoy them on salads, desserts, pancakes, or even oatmeal.

How long it takes: 15 minutes, allow another 30 minutes for cooling
Equipment you’ll need: skillet, large shallow pan or tray for cooling, parchment paper
Servings: makes 4 cups, about 16 servings

Spiced peans in a white dish.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Toasted pecans, lightly glazed with brown sugar and butter, and warmly spiced with cinnamon, cumin, cardamom and cayenne, are a pretty irresistible snack. For some reason, I always associate spiced nuts with the holidays, especially Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but you can enjoy spiced nuts any time of the year.

Pecans are not just a snack. Spiced nuts are a wonderful (and nutritious) addition to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, or pancakes.

About these spiced pecans

These spiced pecans have amazing flavor. First of all, toasted pecans merely on their own are phenomenal. Add butter, brown sugar, and a medley of warm spices and you’re pretty much in off-the-charts amazing flavor territory.

They are easy to make. You’d think something that tastes this good would be difficult to make but they are super easy. Spiced pecans only take about 15 minutes and you don’t even have to turn the oven on.

Pecans are good for you. Pecans have lots of vitamins and minerals, and very little saturated fat. According to the Georgia Pecan Commission, pecans have “so many health benefits, they are referred to as nutrition in a nutshell.” The plus side to eating nuts is that you get a lot of bang for your buck; a small amount is filling and will leave you satisfied. A quarter cup of these pecans (which is a pretty good-sized serving) is just 239 calories.

Pecans in a single layer on a white background.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Pecan Halves: You’ll need a pound of pecans which is about four cups. Look for the freshest pecans you can find. Stale pecans don’t taste good; the oil in nuts tends to become rancid over time. Halves, rather than pieces, are best for snacking.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter if you can. If you only have salted butter, halve the amount of salt added.
  • Brown Sugar: Either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar will work. I prefer light brown sugar for this recipe because the flavor doesn’t overpower the spices.
  • Cinnamon: This warm spice is always so good on roasted nuts. We love cinnamon roasted almonds (with no sugar!) and even chickpeas can be roasted with cinnamon for a really tasty, healthy snack.
  • Cumin: Cumin is more often seen in savory dishes but it’s so good combined with other warm spices in a sweet snack like this.
  • Ground Cayenne Red Pepper: Cayenne pepper gives a nice little surprising tingle of heat. You don’t need much; just a subtle touch of fire is enough.
  • Cardamom: Cardamom is probably the least familiar of the spice quartet to some of us. It’s often seen in Indian or Middle Eastern cuisine, and you may recognize it as one of the ingredients in chai tea. You can buy cardamom in pods, seeds, or ground; ground cardamom is the most mildly flavored.
  • Salt: There’s exactly the right balance between sweet and salty in these spiced nuts.
  • Water: Helps distribute the sugar.
Ingredients in separate dishes.

How To Make These Spiced Nuts

Make the spice mixture. Mix the salt and ground spices in a small bowl and set it aside for now. Measure out the brown sugar and set it aside too.

Spice mixture in a bowl.

Get the pan ready. Line a shallow baking sheet or tray with parchment paper. It doesn’t have to be oven-safe because you won’t be baking these nuts on the pan, just spreading them out to cool.

Toast the pecans. Next, put the pecans into a medium sized skillet. I like to use a nonstick skillet so the butter/sugar mixture sticks to the pecans and not the pan.

Pecans in a pan.

Toast the nuts over medium heat for four to five minutes, stirring nearly constantly. The pecans should be lightly browned and smell toasted. Don’t try to rush them by toasting them on high heat. It’s better to go lower and slower when toasting nuts.

Add the butter and spice mixture. Add the butter, stirring until the butter is melted and the pecans are coated. Sprinkle the roasted pecans with the spice mixture, tossing lightly to distribute the spice.

Pecans with spices and sugar.

Add sugar and water. Add the brown sugar and water and stir well. Continue stirring and cooking for three to five minutes or until the sugar melts and the mixture is thickened slightly, glazing the pecans.

Close up of glazed pecans.

Cool the pecans. Spread the toasted pecans on the prepared pan, using a fork to separate them. Allow the spiced pecans to cool completely before storing them.

Spiced pecans on a sheet pan.

How To Use Spiced Pecans

  • Appetizer: Serve spiced nuts in a fancy dish at your next party. Add them to your charcuterie or cheese board. They go so well with cocktails like a vanilla bourbon fizz, an apple cider mule or an orange G & T with cinnamon. And yes, they also would go down pretty well with a craft beer or your favorite wine.
  • Salads: Spiced pecans add pizzazz to most salads. Try them on this shaved Brussels sprouts salad with grapes and Parmesan. Add them to a simple green salad with fresh sliced strawberries and homemade poppy seed dressing.
  • Breakfast: Why not add spiced pecans to warm oatmeal or Greek yogurt, along with fresh fruit? That will start your day off in a pretty awesome way! Pancakes or waffles drizzled with maple syrup and topped with spiced pecans are amazing too.
  • Desserts: Sprinkle spiced pecans on vanilla ice cream, homemade vanilla pudding, or pound cake with homemade hot fudge or caramel sauce. So good!
  • Gifts: I actually give most of these away because there is no doubt in my mind I would eat the entire batch. Place the nuts in a jar with a pretty ribbon tied around the top and give them to your favorite people. (P.S. Homemade caramel corn makes a great gift too!)


Are glazed pecans the same as candied pecans?

Glazed pecans are made with a mixture of brown sugar and butter. They may appear more glossy and aren’t usually baked.
Candied pecans are made with egg whites and white sugar, and may look more sugary. They are usually coated with egg white, tossed with white sugar, and baked until crisp.

Why are my spiced nuts sticky?

Spiced nuts will be a little sticky until they are completely cooled. As they cool, the sugar coating will harden.
It could be that they weren’t entirely cool when you stored them. The condensation inside the airtight container can make them sticky.
If the pecans are sticky, spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them at 325°F for 5 to 10 minutes.

Should nuts be stored in the freezer?

The oil in nuts can become rancid and make the nuts taste bad. To extend the shelf life of nuts, store them in the freezer in an airtight container. They will keep for up to a year. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to six months.

Make it your own

  • Substitute walnuts or raw almonds for the pecans.
  • Don’t have brown sugar? Use white granulated sugar instead.
  • Be creative with spice combinations. Pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice mixes are super yummy. 
Close up of pecans.

Storage Tips

Cool pecans completely before storing them in an airtight container. If they aren’t completely cool, condensation will form on the inside of the container and they will get soggy.

Spiced pecans will keep for a week or so on the counter, a month in the fridge, and a few months in the freezer.

More Nutty Snacks


Spiced Pecans

4.35 from 84 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
These spiced pecans have everything you want in a spiced nut. They are sweet, crunchy, spicy, and unbelievably addicting.
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 16 ounces pecan halves (about 4 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Mix the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and cardamom in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Place the nuts in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring nearly constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes until they start to brown and smell like they are toasting.
  • Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the spices and stir until combined. Add sugar and water, stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the nuts, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the nuts to the prepared pan and separate them with a fork. Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.


  • Makes 4 cups or 16 servings (¼ cup each).
  • Cool completely before storing in airtight container. Spiced pecans will keep for a week or so on the counter, a month in the fridge, and a few months in the freezer.
  • Substitute walnuts or raw almonds for the pecans if you prefer.
  • Don’t have brown sugar? Use white granulated sugar instead.
  • Be creative with spice combinations. Pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice mixes are super yummy. 



Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 239kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 147mg, Potassium: 125mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 117IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg

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

Did You Make This?Share a comment and rating below! I love hearing what you think!
Holiday Quick-Start Guide

Get my Holiday

Quick-Start Guide!

Free email series of my best tips!


4.35 from 84 votes (80 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

The maximum upload file size: 1 MB. You can upload: image. Drop files here


  1. Mary says:

    5 stars
    These are delicious. Just made.thanks for an easy stove top recipe as my oven died over the weekend

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked them! Sorry to hear about your oven!

  2. Bridget says:

    I don’t have the cardamom . Can I up the other spices or substitute with another spice. I don’t want to buy a spice I will probably never use again

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      You can just leave it out, they’ll still taste great!