DIY Brown Sugar Candied Walnuts

Overhead view of brown sugar candied walnuts in a jar, with more walnuts scattered on a sheet of parchment paper below.
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4.3 from 10 reviews

Brown Sugar Candied Walnuts make a quick & easy garnish for your favorite dish, or a delicious homemade gift for the holidays. They have a sweet, rich taste and crunchy texture you won’t be able to get enough of, and they’re SO much less expensive to make than purchase pre-made!

  • Author: Alexandra
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups candied walnuts 1x
  • Category: snack
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1 1/2 cups (5 5/8 ounces) raw walnut halves*
  • 1/2 cup, packed (3 3/4 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste (optional)


  1. Prep baking sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine walnuts and brown sugar: Mix walnuts and brown sugar together in a large saucepan and set on a stove-top over medium heat (or just below).
  3. Cook: As the brown sugar melts, use a wooden spoon to move the mixture around in the saucepan, making sure that all of the nuts get coated and none of the sugar stays in one place long enough to burn. Don't walk away from the stove; this will happen very quickly! Cook for about 5 minutes at the most, until all of the sugar has melted and all of the nuts are coated (or immediately if you smell anything burning).
  4. Transfer to baking sheet: Remove pan from heat and quickly spread the nuts out on the lined baking sheet to prevent them from drying in a clump.
  5. Garnish: Sprinkle nuts with sea salt, if desired, and allow to cool for a couple minutes before eating or using in a recipe.


*Shelled walnuts are typically sold as halves, but if you happen to have whole ones, simply cut them in half before mixing with the brown sugar.