Cayenne Maple Glazed Walnuts

walnuts glazed and candied with maple syrup and cayenne pepper

I get some really bad cravings from time to time. Okay, like every day.

But seriously, these cravings are ridiculous. The worst is when my body decides to crave something I can’t make at home, like Cheetos or Reese’s Puffs (I can’t believe I just wrote that on here). When I get cravings like that, I know I have no choice but to go on my “drive of shame” and buy what I need in order to avoid potential crabbiness, or cleaning out the entire fridge and still feeling unsatisfied.

But then there are times when I’m fortunate enough to crave something that I can make at home. Thank goodness for those times. Probably my most frequent at home craving is for these Cayenne Maple Glazed Walnuts.

walnuts candied with cayenne and maple syrup

They are deceptively simple, and might seem like they aren’t anything special because they only have a couple ingredients. But trust me, they are delicious and are one of my absolute favorite snacks.

They’re the kind of snack that you pop into your mouth, one after another, and then look down in the bowl 2 minutes later and wonder where they all went.

Heat up a pan over medium heat and throw in some walnuts. Toss them frequently and let them toast up, and add a bit of cayenne and salt.

toasting walnuts to be glazed in maple syrup

After the walnuts have toasted for a few minutes and the pan is super hot, add the maple syrup:

glazing walnuts with maple syrup for a bar snack

As you can see in the edge of the pan below, the maple syrup will bubble up ferociously and that’s when you toss around the walnuts like mad.

maple syrup glazing walnuts for a snack

The maple syrup caramelizes around the walnuts and coats them with sweetness and slight crunch:

skillet glazed maple walnuts

Let them cool slightly, then eat! Then, make them again, 10 minutes later ;)

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Cayenne Maple Glazed Walnuts

Yield: Serves 2

Cayenne Maple Glazed Walnuts


  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/16 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1/16 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup


  1. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat, then add the walnuts. Let them toast for 6-8 minutes until they brown slightly. Add the cayenne and sea salt, and toss it around. Add the maple syrup, and turn off the heat. The maple syrup will bubble ferociously, so toss those walnuts around to let them coat evenly in the sputtering maple syrup for 60 seconds. Remove the walnuts to a dish, and let them cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.

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Leave a Comment

  • avatar mallory @ totalnoms November 13, 2012, 10:29 am

    YUM! these look awesome – what a perfect snack! I was in Sonoma over the weekend and one of the wineries was serving something similar, with almonds. Went through 2 or 3 (complimentary) bowls of them… oops!

  • avatar Vicki Bensinger November 13, 2012, 10:50 am

    These sound delicious. I love making candied pecans this time of year to add to salads, snack on or give as gifts. This recipe will be a nice change to add to the mix. I love the combination of the cayenne and maple syrup – sweet and spicy!

  • avatar Jessica@AKitchenAddiction November 13, 2012, 11:00 am

    I would love to have these around to munch on!

  • avatar Suzie November 13, 2012, 11:19 am

    I can see this is dishes around my house :) I love the hint of cayenne…perfect!

  • avatar Courtney montgomery November 13, 2012, 11:48 am

    This recipe is a must have.;-)

  • avatar Averie @ Averie Cooks November 13, 2012, 1:24 pm

    A little bit of cayenne + maple is the best! I love the combo and I could go to TOWN on nuts like these!

  • avatar Meg November 13, 2012, 3:42 pm

    Looks like a delightful snack!

  • avatar Jen November 14, 2012, 1:29 am

    Yummmm, Reese’s Puffs. Glad I’m not the only one! ;) These look delicious, by the way. Plus I just tried your acorn squash recipe (YUM!), so I’ve got tons o’ maple syrup.

  • avatar Tommy November 14, 2012, 8:05 am

    What a great snack! Looks so simple to make, too, so it’s even better. Wonder how it would be with pecans … hmm :D


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