Appetizers & Snacks Recipes

Spicy Maple Cinnamon Pecans

I saw a simple recipe last year over at Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Naturally! for Spicy Maple Pecans. I thought it looked interesting so I bookmarked the recipe but then forgot all about it until recently. I found that bookmark a little while ago, and since I had a bag of pecans in my fridge, I decided to give it a try with a couple additions of my own. I love a hint of vanilla so I added some to the maple syrup. The cayenne pepper and a little black pepper give these maple cinnamon pecans a nice kick (but not too spicy for my toddler).

Great googly moogly! These are a-ma-zing!

These delicious spicy maple cinnamon pecans are the perfect treat! #paleo #recipe #dessert

I’ve looked at other recipes for candied nuts before, but they all seem to use so much sugar – whether honey, syrup, brown sugar, or other sweetener. This recipe uses only 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, so it doesn’t shoot my sugar levels through the roof (which is a good thing because I could eat the whole batch myself!). It’s exactly as sweet as it needs to be though – you won’t feel deprived. While not exactly paleo, the moderate sugar content makes it a perfectly acceptable treat once in a while.

Melt two tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add three tablespoons of maple syrup, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper, then stir it all up.

Spicy Maple Cinnamon Pecans

Once the mixture starts to bubble, add two cups of pecan halves. Stir the nuts around so they’re well-coated and cook for about five minutes, stirring constantly. Watch them closely to make sure they don’t burn!

Spicy Maple Cinnamon Pecans

Pecans are my favourite, but I’ve made this with raw almonds, walnuts, and cashews as well, so feel free to substitute other nuts as you like. Whole almonds will need about ten minutes to toast all the way through though, so just taste test to see when they’re done.

Once the nuts are nicely toasted (but not burnt!), take the pan off the heat and add three teaspoons of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of sea salt, and half a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Toss the pecans well so they’re evenly coated in the spices. Transfer the pecans onto a piece of wax paper or parchment paper to cool before serving.

These delicious spicy maple cinnamon pecans are the perfect treat! #paleo #recipe #dessert

Pour some into a mason jar for a nice homemade present, or layer them with warm apple sauce on vanilla ice cream. Heaven on earth, I tell you!

Spicy Maple Cinnamon Pecans


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Melt coconut oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Mix in maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cayenne pepper. When mixture is bubbling, add pecans.
  • Stir pecans well so they're completely coated in the maple syrup mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes being careful that they don't burn.
  • Take the pan off the heat and stir in cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Mix well so nuts are evenly coated with spices.
  • Transfer pecans onto a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and allow to cool before serving.


Other nuts work well too. Raw cashews and walnuts can be subbed in with no changes. Whole almonds need a few more minutes to toast all the way through.
Adapted from Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Naturally!
This post is linked up to some fantastic recipe link parties. Check out my Link Parties page to see where I’m linking up and to find some wonderful blogs and more amazing recipes!

Leave a Comment


  • Hi Olivia,
    These look yummy! Thank you for linking up at Tasty Tuesdays! Your post has been pinned to my Recipes from Tasty Tuesday board. I can’t wait to see what you link up next week! I’m following you on G+, Instagram and Twitter now.
    Have a terrific week!

  • Holy cow do these look good! I love that they are lower sugar than most recipes. I can’t wait to make a batch and portion them out for weekday snacks at work. Thank you for sharing with Delicious Dish Tuesday. I have pinned it to the hop board. Make sure you follow to find all the great recipes linked up each week πŸ™‚

  • I love tasty coated nuts. These look fantastic! I can’t wait to give them a try. πŸ™‚


  • Oh, I love your recipe Olivia. I know I am going to over-indulge in these nuts because I know they will be awesome. Totally agree with you that other recipes for candied nuts have way too much sugar. Going to try this with almonds πŸ™‚

    • It’s hard to stop with just a few when I make these! Pecans are my favourite, but the almonds are really nice too. I’d love to hear how it works for you.

  • These pecans look incredible! It would be very easy to eat the whole batch myself. The maple syrup-vanilla flavors sound so good with roasted pecans. Thank you for sharing, Olivia.

  • Yum these look delicious! Thanks so much for linking up with <a href="" Delicious Dish Tuesday last week. I hope to see another delicious dish from you again this week πŸ™‚

  • They sell similar to these at Costco and I always want to buy them… Now I don’t have to! Thank you for the recipe; I can totally make these at home! YUM!!
    Thanks so much for linking up to DDT!! I’m a little late again today, but it’s up on my blog now. Hope to see another awesome submission this week!

    • Yup! I buy the raw pecans at Costco – so much cheaper in the big bag – and make my own. Fresher, less sugar, and it makes the house smell heavenly!

  • These look great! I always love the smell of stuff like this that they sell in the mall around christmas πŸ™‚

    • I make these to sprinkle on vanilla ice cream and it’s divine, so I think you should absolutely go for it. Mmm!

  • I used your recipe tonight for these cinnamon pecans. Mine didn’t turn out as pretty; they were almost white, but they are mighty tasty and are making a good snack, thanks. I will use this recipe again

    • That’s strange! I don’t think there’s anything in the recipe that would make them white. Glad you’re enjoying them though!

  • Oooh, gotta try this with cashews. I wonder how’d this taste on top of some coconut milk ice cream? I think some experimenting is gonna happen!

  • These look delicious. The ingredients that I don’t already have just went onto the grocery list and these will accompany us on a hike this weekend. Thanks!

  • I made these, but by mistake, added the cinnamon to the rest of the ingredients and cooked altogether, still turned out great. These are by far my favorite snack right now!

  • Oh man, these look amazing! I might have to remember this recipe for Christmas gift season. πŸ™‚

  • Just made these and I am munching on them now. They are a perfect combo of everything! Salty, sweet, spicy, nutty, slightly crunchy. Thank you! I’ve been looking for a spiced pecan recipe that didn’t contain egg white. This is a keeper for sure.

  • I just made these and I have to say- these are AMAZING. I will be making them as gifts for all my coworkers! Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

  • Excellent! Me and my husband loved these. I was skeptical of the black pepper but it just put it over the top!! Yummy!!!

  • Oh these sound really, really good. And look delicious. Will be making these. Will package a few up for friends at Christmas, along with your Paleo Granola. (hands down our fave granola ever!)

  • Perfect, easy recipe! For batch #2, just for variety, we left the pepper out, added some ginger, and used cashews. Also fabulous! I was looking for a recipe to replace an all time favorite that used animal by products, so I’m very happy to have found this! Thanks so much!

  • I just made these. Very rich and yummy. I might put in a little less oil next time, but great recipe!