Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: These are easy to make and everyone LOVES them. Picture them sprinkled on top of ice cream, cheesecake, or a salad.

How long it takes: 35 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: mixing bowl, whisk, shallow baking pan
Servings: 12

Candied bourbon pecans in a jar.
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Sugar. Bourbon. Pecans. These suckers are dangerous.

Dangerously good.

I’m picturing these candied bourbon pecans sprinkled on top of vanilla bean ice cream, especially with a drizzle of bourbon caramel sauce. They’re so good topping this baked Brie with cranberries appetizer. Arrange them on top of a pumpkin cheesecake or banana cake with cream cheese frosting. Or heck, throw them on a salad, like this shaved Brussels sprouts salad! The possibilities are endless.

Bourbon pecans are a welcome addition to any charcuterie board. They go great with cheese, fruits, meats, and pretty much anything.

Let’s not overlook the fact that they are really good on their own, too. Or as a simple snack with a vanilla bourbon fizz or a maple old fashioned. Or as my husband said, “I wish I had a beer to go with these!”

These are SO good: perfect for gifting, perfect for holiday parties, perfect for anything.

About These Bourbon Pecans

Bourbon pecans have a lot of nuanced flavor. The candied nuts are nice and sweet, with the toasted flavor of the pecans really shining through.

There’s just a touch of cayenne and salt so you aren’t overwhelmed by the sweetness of the sugar and bourbon. You wouldn’t call the pecans spicy hot by any means but they do have a teeny tiny after-burn.

And then the best part: the bourbon! It’s a subtle flavor but it’s noticeable and really sets these apart from standard candied nuts. 

What you’ll need: pecan halves, an egg white, a splash of bourbon, sugar, salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Candied pecans in a jar.

Make This Recipe Your Own

  • Substitute another nut. Instead of pecans, try walnuts or another nut of your choice.
  • Change the spice. Omit the cayenne pepper, if you don’t want the “spicy” aspect. You can replace it with a hint of cinnamon instead.
  • No alcohol. Rather skip the bourbon? Substitute a tablespoon of water.
  • Change it up. Try my pecan pralines (they’re amazing!) or easy spiced pecans.


Are glazed and candied pecans the same?

Although both glazed and candied pecans are sweet and great for snacking, they are made differently. Glazed pecans may include corn syrup as one of the ingredients, often aren’t baked, and they have a shinier appearance. Candied pecans are made with egg whites, they are baked, and have a sugary coating.
You may notice that the two terms are used somewhat interchangeably.

Why are my candied pecans soft?

Underbaking the pecans can cause them to be soft. Bake them until they are dry to the touch, not sticky (watch them closely so they don’t burn).
Be sure to cool the baked pecans completely before storing them in an airtight container or condensation may form on the inside of the container, making the pecans soft.

Sugared pecans in a jar.

Storage Tips

Once the pecans have completely cooled, store them in an airtight container. They’ll keep for at least a week at room temperature and even longer if it’s cool. For longer storage, up to a month, refrigerate them. Bourbon pecans can be frozen for up to two months.

More Nuts & Seeds


Sweet and Spicy Candied Bourbon Pecans

4.45 from 56 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Sugar. Bourbon. Pecans. These bourbon pecans are dangerously good. Picture them sprinkled on top of ice cream, cheesecake, or a salad.
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  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 3 cups pecan halves (12 oz. package)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil, parchment paper, or Silpat.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk egg white with bourbon until frothy. Stir in pecans, mixing until moistened.
  • In a separate small bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cayenne until combined. Sprinkle over moistened nuts, gently stir to combine and spread onto prepared pan evenly in one layer.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. They burn quickly so keep an eye on them! I stir them after 10 minutes, then 10 minutes again, then 5 minutes, and after another 5 minutes, they are typically perfectly browned. The pecans should look dry, not sticky.
  • Cool completely. They will crisp more as they cool. Store in an airtight container.


  • Serving size: approximately ¼ cup.
  • If you prefer, skip the bourbon and substitute a tablespoon of water.
  • Instead of cayenne, add a ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • To prolong shelf-life, store nuts in the refrigerator or freezer.



Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 208kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 101mg, Potassium: 108mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 23IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 1mg

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

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4.45 from 56 votes (56 ratings without comment)

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  1. Linda Dyer says:

    Has anyone made these with pecans and walnuts?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I haven’t tried that, but it should work great!

  2. Charlie says:

    Love this recipe! I always tweak them a bit to add my own twist, so I put some vanilla extract and used brown sugar instead of white. Damn delicious!!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you like these! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  3. Emily says:

    How long do these last? I’d like to mail them to family as a gift…

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      That should be fine! They should last a week or two.

  4. Jeff says:

    Great recipe.  We modified it to have a scant 1/8th teaspoon of cinnamon, and a little less cayenne, also super tasty.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked these, Jeff! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  5. Ken says:

    How about melted butter instead of egg whites?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I haven’t tried it that way so I can’t promise results, but let me know if you try it and how it turns out! It would definitely taste great, I know that!