Healthier Maple Candied Walnuts

These healthier maple candied walnuts couldn’t be easier! They only take 2 ingredients and 5 minutes.

I’ve said this several times in the past but I don’t like nuts – unless you candy them! I’ve made maple cinnamon candied almonds before, which are diabolically addictive, but they’re a tiny bit more complicated than these. You just need walnuts and maple syrup for these maple candied walnuts. You heat them together in the pan and that’s it.

Maple Candied Walnuts – all you need is a pan, walnuts and maple syrup! Incredibly quick and easy and  naturally paleo, gluten-free and vegan.

If you want to get all fancy, some vanilla is a nice addition. So is salt. Being the salt addict I am, I added a fourth teaspoon of salt. I also tried them with pumpkin pie spice, thinking that I’d created the best candied nuts ever, but those just tasted weird. They tasted less strange with just cinnamon, but I oddly preferred them without. One time, I toasted the walnuts first, thinking that the final product would even be yummier but they just tasted too roasted after the candying process.

Are you enjoying the acorns in the background? Mr. Texanerin was so frustrated that I didn’t go out and gather fall props like leaves, acorns, and chestnuts that he went out and gathered them himself and came back with a little bag full of stuff I was to use in my pictures. He so wanted me to use them that he styled these pictures himself. I don’t know why, but he seems to be wanting to take a more active role in the blog as of late. Fine with me. Perhaps I can coax him into making another Even He Can Do It post. :D

Maple Candied Walnuts – all you need is maple syrup, a pan, and walnuts! Super quick and easy and naturally paleo, gluten-free and vegan.

I made these candied walnuts as a topping for a cake that I’ll be posting on Tuesday. To maximize the amount of maple syrup covering, it’s important to chop the nuts first (leaving behind any dusty remains) and then candy them. If you candy them first and then chop, you’ll have a lot of exposed walnuts and not enough coating.

I’ve only tried this method with walnuts but I imagine it’d work with other types of nuts – but I’m not positive. If you try it out, let us know in the comments! Do note that it makes a thin coating. It’s not like other candied walnuts where you have a thick sugary coating. Those are definitely nice but not what I was going for here. I was going for healthy, or at least healthier (though they don’t taste healthy!) Sugar is sugar is sugar but I’ll take these over the traditional version any day. Feel free to use more maple syrup or fewer nuts if you want them more sugary!

Maple Candied Walnuts – all you need is walnuts, maple syrup and a pan! So quick and easy.  Naturally paleo, gluten-free and vegan. Maple Candied Walnuts – all you need is maple syrup, a pan, and walnuts! Super quick and easy. Naturally paleo, gluten-free and vegan.

Here are some ideas on what to do with them, although I doubt most of these will nuts will get past the snacking stage. ;)

A super moist apple butter bundt cake full of fall flavor and with maple cinnamon almond butter glaze! Grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free
Apple Butter Cake (grain-free, dairy-free)
Baked Apple Butter Donuts (100% whole grain, dairy-free)
Baked Apple Butter Donuts (100% whole grain, dairy-free)
This slightly healthier white chocolate pumpkin fudge only takes a few minutes to make and is made in the microwave. The best and easiest pumpkin fudge ever!
No-Bake White Chocolate Pumpkin Fudge

Healthier Maple Candied Walnuts

  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 1/2 cups (165 grams) walnuts1
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (plus up to 1/8 teaspoon more)


  1. Get out a Silpat or a piece of parchment or wax paper.
  2. Preheat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. It's important to preheat it first so that the maple syrup caramelizes properly.
  3. Add the walnuts, maple syrup, vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon salt to the pan.
  4. Stirring almost constantly, cook for 2-5 minutes or until the syrup has caramelized. There should be no liquid left in the pan. The maple syrup coating will seem soft but will harden as it cools.
  5. Spoon the walnuts evenly onto the Silpat and spread. Test one now (making sure that the maple coating isn't so hot that you burn your tongue!) and if it's not salty enough, add more salt. If you don't want the nuts to be clumped together after cooling, make sure to separate them now.
  6. These harden within about 20-30 minutes but let them cool for about 2 hours before placing them in an airtight container. When not kept in an airtight container, they start to get a little sweaty. Can be kept at room temperature for several weeks.


  1. If you want to use these as a topping for a cake, cupcakes, etc., chop the nuts before candying.

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54 comments on “Healthier Maple Candied Walnuts” — Add one!

1 comment is awaiting moderation!

  • Angeline says
    October 13, 2018 @ 5:21 pm

    I just made these – soooo goood!!! Not sure there will be enough left before I can put them in the air right containers 😅

    • Erin replies to Angeline
      October 14, 2018 @ 8:25 pm

      Haha. I hope there were a few left. ;) Thanks for your comment!

  • Shafia says
    December 8, 2017 @ 4:37 am

    Hi! I was wondering if I can use dark corn syrup instead of maple syrup, would they still turn out fine?

    • Erin replies to Shafia
      December 8, 2017 @ 5:36 pm

      I’ve never used corn syrup so I’m really not sure. It’s quite a bit stickier and thicker than maple, so I’m not very hopeful. Sorry I don’t have a more definite answer!

  • Kathy says
    December 14, 2016 @ 12:58 am

    When the nuts cooled I put them an airtight container but they all stuck together. Is there a way to fix this?

    • Erin replies to Kathy
      December 14, 2016 @ 10:13 am

      Hmm. I’m stumped! If they were totally cooled and you used an airtight container, that shouldn’t have happened. Had the maple syrup mixture cooked away or was it still very liquidy / sticky? The only thing I could think of is to cook them a little longer and then refrigerate the nuts.

  • Cindy says
    October 25, 2016 @ 3:15 pm

    I bet if you make these, put them in either a tissue lined Christmas tin or those pretty Christmas food gift bags they’d make great gifts😉 OR a great hostess gift if your traveling to someone’s house for Thanksgiving😊
    Thank you for all your fantastic recipes!!💕

    • Erin replies to Cindy
      October 25, 2016 @ 6:50 pm

      I love your ideas! I’ll have to try that this year. :) Thanks so much for the tips and your nice comment!

  • Terri says
    October 24, 2016 @ 12:02 am

    Thank you so much for this yummy maple syrup candied nut recipe. They are so delicious and so healthy! I like to eat them as a snack😋 I also tried this recipe with a curry powder and it was also very yummy and tasted great in my salad!

    • Erin replies to Terri
      October 24, 2016 @ 8:16 pm

      Yum! I love your curry powder idea. And I’m so happy you enjoy the nuts. :) Thanks for the tip and your comment!

  • Mary says
    October 20, 2016 @ 9:34 am

    Can or.tripled?

    • Erin replies to Mary
      October 20, 2016 @ 1:44 pm

      Yes, it can! :)

  • Sunita Pradhan says
    July 13, 2016 @ 8:28 pm

    Hi there. Can I use honey instead of maple syrup? Does the procedure remain the same?


    • Erin replies to Sunita Pradhan
      July 14, 2016 @ 7:02 pm

      I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure. Maple syrup is much runnier than honey so it may not work. If you decide to try it out anyway, let us know how it goes. :)

  • Tana says
    February 24, 2016 @ 10:47 pm

    This is the 4th time I made these, this time used a mix of pecans, walnuts and whole salted almonds, and used dark maple syrup. Pretty sure they won’t last the day!

    • Erin replies to Tana
      February 25, 2016 @ 8:25 am

      Yum! That sounds delicious. :) I’m so happy you’ve been enjoying them! Thanks for your feedback.

  • Naomi Bullis says
    June 12, 2015 @ 10:34 pm

    Made this recipe with pecans instead and they turned out great!

    • Erin replies to Naomi Bullis
      June 14, 2015 @ 9:54 am

      Yum! Pecans sound even better than walnuts. Pecans are so extremely expensive here that I never even thought about it! But once I find a cheaper source, I’ll have to try that. Thanks for letting me know that they came out well! :)

  • Kaitlin @ TheGardenGrazer says
    April 5, 2015 @ 11:57 pm

    Love these

  • San says
    November 17, 2014 @ 1:01 pm

    Do you use pure maple syrup or artificial syrup?

    • Erin replies to San
      November 17, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

      Pure maple syrup.

  • Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) says
    October 24, 2014 @ 5:08 am

    I’ve never met a candied nut that I didn’t love. These sound amazing. YUM!

  • Meseidy says
    October 17, 2014 @ 2:42 pm

    These look like addictive little treats!

  • Lauren Kelly Nutrition says
    October 16, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

    I love everything about these! I bet they are amazing on salads too. I can’t wait to make them!

  • Nutmeg Nanny says
    October 16, 2014 @ 5:08 am

    I would happily eat these nuts plain, on a cake, on ice cream…well you get the idea :)

    • Erin replies to Nutmeg Nanny
      October 17, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

      Oooh! I’m making ice cream soon and these would be amazing on it! Thanks for the idea. :)

  • Ginny McMeans says
    October 16, 2014 @ 4:36 am

    I love candied nuts and the fact that your husband has decided to help you. :)

  • Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet says
    October 16, 2014 @ 3:00 am

    We are nut eaters around here, but you are right they are awesome candied!

  • Paula - bell'alimento says
    October 16, 2014 @ 1:42 am

    Hello sweet and salty deliciousness!

  • Lauren @ Healthy Delicious says
    October 16, 2014 @ 1:23 am

    YUM! I bet these would be great on a salad! (you know, so you don’t feel guilty about a giant slice of that cake. ;))

  • Stephanie @ Back For Seconds says
    October 15, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

    The photos are styled beautifully – great job to your hubby! Also, These walnuts look dangerous. I would eat way too many!

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says
    October 15, 2014 @ 7:42 pm

    I’m also not huge on nuts unless they are candified :) So THESE I love :)

  • Brenda@Sugar-Free Mom says
    October 15, 2014 @ 7:42 pm

    I love that you used so little maple syrup but just enough to give it that traditional taste!

    • Erin replies to Brenda@Sugar-Free Mom
      October 17, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

      Thanks, Brenda! I have to admit that when I make them again, I may use more syrup, just to see what they’re like. :)

  • Cookin Canuck says
    October 15, 2014 @ 4:43 pm

    I am also a certified salt addict, so love that you did the salty-sweet thing here. And the maple syrup is a great substitute for brown sugar!

    • Erin replies to Cookin Canuck
      October 17, 2014 @ 5:53 pm

      Agreed! I would like to put maple syrup in everything (especially in the fall!)

  • Heather // girlichef says
    October 15, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

    I love nuts no matter what, but candied nuts are definitely a bonus. The maple flavor would totally make these my nemesis, I’m sure (looooove). And I’m thinking these are the perfect use for the vanilla salt beckoning me from the counter!

  • Medeja says
    October 13, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

    I don’t think there would be any of such walnuts left for the cake if I would be making them :D

    • Erin replies to Medeja
      October 13, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

      Haha. Yeah. It’s pretty difficult to put them down. ;)

  • Charlotte Moore says
    October 12, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

    These sure look yummy.

  • Sam @ Pancakewarriors says
    October 12, 2014 @ 5:31 pm

    oh I love candied nuts but shy away because they are so addicting. These only having a little maple syrup shell sound amazing and a tad healthier like you said. I bet they are amazing with Brie and berries or apples. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Erin replies to Sam @ Pancakewarriors
      October 13, 2014 @ 8:40 am

      Yes! Exactly. Candied nuts are just way too addictive. And ooh… I need to try combining these with apples! Thanks for the idea. :)


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