Homemade Maple Candied Pecans

This Homemade Maple Candied Pecans recipe is one that I’m very pleased to present to you. It is a wonderful introduction to candy making and candied nuts in general make such a perfect small treat. This is a very unique candied pecans recipe that I can’t wait to share because it delivers rich full flavor and it’s made with one of my all-time favorite nuts.

Candied pecans on a white plate with a white bowl of pecans in the background and a small white bowl of maple syrup and another bowl of brown sugar.

This unique recipe is a blend of a variety of techniques that yield different results. I especially love the formula I came up with and I consider these the best kind of candied pecans. These rich flavorful sweet nuts will keep you grabbing for more until you have to get back in the kitchen to make another batch.

Are Glazed and Candied Pecans the Same?

You may see the terms glazed and candied interchangeably used from time to time. However, there is an important distinction. Although some candied food items take on a glazed appearance, candied nuts and glazed nuts are actually two different types of food. Even though both types of nuts make for a sweet snack or dessert, candied nuts are made from different ingredients and yield different results.

Candied pecans typically come from white sugar and egg whites. Understandably the result could be confused with a glaze, although glazed pecans are made with brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Therefore, glazed nuts have more complex characteristics and depth of flavor than their candied counterparts, which are simply sweetened with a sticky layer of sugar. It’s almost the exact opposite of what you would intuitively expect.

However, these candied pecans take things much further in the flavor department, borrowing more from glazed recipes to bring about a more robust blend of flavors thanks to the use of brown sugar, maple syrup, and a little bit of salt.

Close up photo of maple candied pecans on a white plate.

Candied Pecans VS. Pralines

Even after determining the stark contrast between candied and glazed nuts, the distinction debate is far from over! It turns out, people love sweet nuts and will get them any way they can. Enter the praline.

Pralines are a type of “candied” nut that is specific to pecans. Even more complicated is that there are praline pecans and pecan pralines. What do we do with this information?

Basically, pecan pralines are a type of candy with pecans in it. Praline pecans are a type of doctored pecan more similar to glazed pecans than candied ones. The key difference is that praline pecans also use a cream which makes the candy mixture into a caramel.

Even though my homemade candied pecans are not pralines, they borrow more from this idea by incorporating maple and using brown sugar instead of white sugar. The result is something very unique that given all of these distinctions almost belongs in its very own category.

How do You Fix Sticky Candied Pecans?

One of the common problems when you make candied nuts, especially homemade candied pecans, is getting them not to stick. Sticky pecans can pose a big threat to the finished product.

You want your nuts to be snackable. That means the nuts must remain separate from one another and avoid clumping. Sticky pecans can quickly turn the whole recipe into a big mess. The cause of sticky candied pecans is usually that the sugar did not get hot enough to form a hard brittle.

Luckily, this is an easy fix. Just set the oven to 350 and when it’s heated, bake the nuts for about 15 minutes. The coating will boil and bubble, signifying that the fix is working. After your pecans have a chance to cool, they should reach their necessary hardened state.

Gluten in Candied Nuts

Although it’s obvious that those with nut allergies should refrain from making these homemade candied pecans, there are other not so obvious allergies that affect those who would purchase store-bought versions. If you have learned or been told to avoid candied pecans because of a gluten allergy, that’s because these manufactured goods often do contain gluten in the recipe. However, it is not a necessary ingredient and there are no ingredients containing gluten in this recipe.

Therefore, if you have a gluten allergy (but not a nut allergy) it’s perfectly safe to make these homemade candied pecans with no alterations. Because of this, you can enjoy the nuts as intended without having to substitute a gluten-free version.

Is Maple Syrup Healthy?

Maple syrup comes from tree sap and it contains nutritive properties. However it is also a natural sweetener and basic sweeteners are not known to be especially healthy for consumption. Maple syrup can effectively be used as a sugar substitute, just like honey or agave nectar. As a substitute it does have superior health benefits, or at least it’s not as bad for you as sugar.

However, I must warn you that candied anything (big surprise) should never be considered healthy. As a substitute sweetener, maple syrup is better for you than sugar is, but when added to sugar, any perceived health benefits quickly become marginal at best. It definitely does more harm than good.

With that being said, there are minerals found in pure maple syrup or real maple syrup that are actually good for you rather than just not-as-bad for you. It also contains some antioxidants. If you want to maximize the health benefits of maple syrup, the darker the better.

The way you get dark maple syrup has nothing to do with the cooking process. It’s a matter of harvesting. As the seasons change and the weather warms, bacteria cause the sugary sap content to transform from sucrose to fructose and then glucose. The latter two are broken-down versions of the disaccharide sucrose, which means it’s easier for your body to handle.

Easy Candy Making

If you have always been curious about candy making or wanted to try it out at home, these homemade maple candied pecans are the perfect starting point. They are very easy to make and well worth the minimal effort it takes to enjoy this phenomenally delicious treat and they make the perfect holiday gift. Here is how to do it…

Ingredients To Make Homemade Maple Candied Pecans

  • Pecans
  • Maple syrup, 100%
  • Brown sugar
  • Sea salt

(Actual measurements are listed in the recipe card below.)

A two picture collage with candied pecans on a white plate with 2 small white bowls full of syrup and brown sugar.

How To Make Homemade Maple Candied Pecans

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  • Toast pecans in a pan over medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • In a small bowl, mix syrup, brown sugar and salt together.
  • Pour syrup mixture into pan and stir to coat pecans.
  • Cook over medium low heat until all of the liquid starts to crystalize and is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat, immediately pour onto prepared baking sheet, separate nuts (so they do not stick together) and let cool.

A three photo collage of candied pecans on a white plate with small bowls of brown sugar and maple syrup in the back.

If You Love Candied Pecans, Try This Delicious Homemade Maple Candied Pecan Recipe

Here are a few more recipes that can be found on the blog:

Homemade Maple Candied Pecans

Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 10 mins

Course Snacks

Cuisine American


  • 2 cups pecans
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, 100%
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • tsp sea salt


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

  • Toast pecans in a pan over medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  • In a small bowl, mix maple syrup, brown sugar, and salt together.

  • Pour syrup mixture into pan and stir to coat pecans.

  • Cook over medium low heat until all of the liquid starts to crystalize and is absorbed.

  • Remove from heat, pour onto prepared baking sheet, separate nuts so they do not stick together and let cool.

Keyword Candied Pecans, Maple Pecans, Toasted Pecans

Here are a few pictures that are the perfect size for pinning to Pinterest.

two photos of maple candied pecans on white plate.

Close up photo of maple candied pecans on a white plate.Enjoy!

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