This spiced pecans recipe gives you everything you want in a spiced nut – sweet, crunchy, spicy, and unbelievably addicting.

Partial image of spiced pecans in yellow heart shaped bowl, on burlap and orange plaid background.

The holiday season typically involves a lot of great snacking. For some reason, I always associate spiced nuts with the holidays, especially Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I mean, you could enjoy spiced nuts any time of the year but I especially love snacking on spiced nuts with holiday cocktails, like an Apple Cider Mule or a Pomegranate Mojito.

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. Plus you can be reassured that pecans also 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.”

And the butter in this spiced pecan recipe, well…butter just tastes good.

Partial image of spiced pecans cooling on baking pan lined with parchment.

About these spiced pecans

These spiced pecans have amazing flavor. First of all, toasted pecans on their own are phenomenal. Add butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and a touch of dried orange peel and you’re pretty much in off-the-charts amazing flavor territory.

You’d think something that tastes this good would be difficult to make. Good news, these are super easy! They only take about 15 minutes and you don’t even have to turn the oven on.

Simply toast the nuts in a large skillet for a few minutes, add butter and melt it all over the pecans, then sprinkle with a brown sugar and spice mixture, coating them completely. Toast until the pecans are glazed with the butter/sugar/spice combo.

Spread the toasted pecans out to cool and they’re ready! Make sure the pecans are completely cool before storing them in an airtight container. They’ll keep for a week or so on the counter, a month in the fridge, and a few months in the freezer.

Warning: I actually give most of these away because there is no doubt in my mind I would eat the entire batch.  They make a great gift, placed in a jar with a pretty ribbon tied around the top.

Make it your own

  • Substitute walnuts or almonds for the pecans.
  • Don’t have brown sugar? Use white granulated sugar instead.
  • Try different spice combinations. Pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice mixes are super yummy. 
  • Substitute orange zest for the dried orange peel. Or leave it out altogether.

Front view of spiced pecans in yellow heart shaped bowl.

Craving more?

Try these other recipes for glamorous nuts (never thought I’d say “glamorous nuts” on Rachel Cooks):


Partial front view of spiced pecans in yellow heart shaped bowl.

Spiced Pecan Recipe

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This spiced pecan recipe gives you everything you want in a spiced nut – sweet, crunchy, spicy and unbelievably addicting.


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ground orange peel
  • 1 pound pecan halves (about 4 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Mix the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and orange peel together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Transfer the nuts to the prepared pan and separate them with a fork. Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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