These sweet and spicy candied pecans are so incredibly easy to make and have a unique flavor that is downright addictive!
Flavors of cumin, cayenne, and maple syrup come together in the most incredible way to make these pecans and they're ready in just 20 minutes.
Soon after Ritz-Carlton opened its beautiful hotel on Lake Oconee, Georgia, we stopped by to check it out.
We toured around and then stepped into the bar for a glass of wine and there, sitting on the bar, were a bowl of the most interesting and delicious spicy candied pecans ever.
I was apparently not the first person to feel this way, because the bartender had the recipe printed up on cards behind the bar.
In our house we call this easy recipe "Ritz Carlton Pecans", but, officially, the name is Ritz-Carlton Lodge Spiced Pecans.
If you love pecans, you're going to love us because we do, too! Check out our Homemade Chocolate Covered Pecans, our Baked Camembert with Honey, Pears & Pecans, our Banana Buttermilk Pancakes with Pecans and of course our Classic Pecan Pie.
Why you'll love these sweet and spicy pecans
- They are delicious- I've made these easy candied pecans many times over the years and everyone loves them. Recently I had a group of friends over and they all went nuts over these nuts!
- You can adjust the spice- It is very easy to change up the amount of cayenne you use to make these pecans more or less spicy.
- They are super versatile- We love to set these spicy candied pecans out on a charcuterie board or just in a bowl for happy hour as a sweet snack, but they're also a great addition to a salad. Be sure to make a big batch!
Ingredients for Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans
- Pecans- We use pecans halves, which are one of our favorite Southern ingredients
- Maple syrup- Be sure to use actual maple syrup and not "maple flavored" syrup
- Cumin- This gives these sweet and spicy pecans their unique flavor
- Cayenne- The cayenne is what adds the kick, so adjust it according to your preference. We think they have just the right amount of heat.
- Kosher salt- Just a dash of Kosher salt brings out all the flavors.
For the full recipe and instructions, check out the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations
If you prefer less heat, just cut back on the cayenne accordingly.
This candied pecan recipe has the perfect balance of sweetness and cumin which is amazing all on it's own, so if you want to make your batch without the cayenne, that would be great, too.
How to make Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the spice mixture, the pecans, and the maple syrup and mix well.
- Arrange the pecans in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, and then stir.
- Bake an additional 5-10 minutes, watching carefully for brownness.
- Allow pecans to cool 5 minutes, then stir to loosen.
- Fair warning: Maple syrup will burn if you let it. Be sure to monitor your pecans closely after the first 10 minutes and if they start to get dark, remove them from the oven.
- Maple syrup is also sticky! Lots of people are surprised the first time they make them when their pecans are a little hard to get off sheet pan, even with parchment paper- Your fingers will be sticky when you're done, but I promise these sweet and spicy pecans are worth it.
- The size of pecans can vary pretty significantly which would most certainly affect cooking time, so be mindful of that when making this spicy pecans recipe.
How to serve spicy pecans
We also love to give these as a gift during the holiday season and this spicy candied pecans recipe makes a great addition to any appetizer tray that you might take to a Christmas party.
More edible gifts
If you love making homemade edible gift for your loved ones, we're right there with you! These sweet and spicy pecans are a perfect gift! Here are some other edible gifts you'll love:
- Chocolate Covered Pecans
- Pineapple Preserves
- Sweet Potato Butter
- Bacon Bourbon Jam
- Quick Pickled Asparagus
Absolutely! The amount of cayenne in the recipe will give them quite a kick, but feel free to tone it down if you prefer.
They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
You have to check your pecans after the first 10 minutes and keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't burn! Everything from the temperature of your oven to the size of the pecans and even whether or not you used cayenne can affect the cooking time, so your eyes are your best weapon!
For a quick and fun look at this recipe check out the Google Web Story.
The Best Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans
- 1 lb pecan halves
- ½ cup maple syrup not "maple flavored" syrup
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper use less accordiing to taste
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
- Arrange pecans in a single layer on parchment paper. Bake 10 minutes.
- Stir, then bake an additional 5-10 minutes watching carefully for brownness.
- Allow pecans to cool for 5 minutes, then stir to loosen from one another and parchment paper.