Made with just 4 ingredients, these vegan candied pecans are free from refined sugar but big on crunch. Swap in pumpkin seeds to make this recipe completely allergen-friendly.
Cinnamon-Spiced Pecans & Pepitas make an easy holiday appetizer, snack, or food gift! With 4 ingredients, these vegan candied nuts are ready in 25 minutes!
I shared this recipe at my December demo at Sprouts. The theme was all about healthy baking. I shared tips on healthy swaps like using pumpkin puree or applesauce to add moisture to recipes or swapping healthier flours like oat or almond flour for regular white flour. I shared this recipe as a standalone appetizer, food gift, or topping for baked pears or apples.
To make this recipe, you’ll need raw pecans or pepitas (baby pumpkin seeds), pure maple syrup, a granulated sugar like turbinado or coconut sugar, ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
NOTE: It’s important to buy raw, unsalted nuts or seeds since you’ll be baking them and adding other ingredients.
Many candied pecans or spiced nuts recipes use egg whites to help the glaze stick to the nuts. When I first made these Gingerbread Glazed Almonds, I realized that the egg whites are not necessary. Yay for one less ingredient and extra step!
I warmed the maple syrup slightly then whisked in the sugar and cinnamon to make a smooth glaze that sticks to the nuts with ease.
Here’s a tip: Leave space between the pecans on the pan. This will allow the pecans or pepitas to get nice and crunchy.
Allergic to nuts? Try pumpkin seeds?
You’d follow the exact same process using pepitas (or baby pumpkin seeds). Because they are smaller, you can add a few more to the mix – 3 cups versus 2 ½ cups of pecans. The sweet, spiced pepitas are perfect as a food gift.
Because nut allergies are so common, pumpkin seeds are a safer bet if you don’t know if the person has a food allergy in the family. You can also try sunflower seeds if they are more accessible where you live. I find both pecans and pepitas in the bulk bins section at Sprouts.
ad: Make these Cinnamon Spiced Pecans & Pepitas for a holiday appetizer, snack, or easy food gift!
Ways to enjoy candied pecans
I served these spiced pecans as an easy appetizer but you can use them in many different ways.
- Top a fall or winter salad with sweet, crunchy pecans for flavor.
- Use them as a crunchy topping to baked pears or baked apples.
- Make a big batch to put in jars for an easy DIY holiday gift.
- Enjoy a couple for a not-so-sweet dessert.
How would you use them? Please tag me on Instagram to let me know when you make this recipe!
Cinnamon Maple Pecans and Pepitas
- 1 tablespoon turbinado or coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoon pure maple syrup, warmed
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2½ cups raw pecans or 3 cups pumpkin seeds (bulk bins)
- pinch pink Himalayan salt
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare a large baking sheet fitted with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon until the sugar dissolves and the glaze is smooth. Add the nuts or seeds. Toss to coat.
- Spread nuts onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast 20 minutes, turning once. Remove from the oven, add the salt evenly and stir the nuts to prevent from sticking to the parchment. Let cool completely. Store cooled nuts in a sealed glass jar.