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These candied cashews are addictive! They make the perfect homemade gift or topping for a salad. The best part? Only 3 ingredients are needed and they’re ready in 15 minutes.

candied cashews in a bowl

These caramelized cashews are really tasty. Dangerously so. I only made a fairly small quantity, but the recipe easy doubles, triples, etc. if you need to feed a crowd.

The recipe is written for 1 cup of nuts. I used a pretty small saucepan to make these. Just use a skillet or larger pan if you are doubling/tripling/etc. the recipe.

loose candied cashews on counter

This recipe is pretty foolproof as long as you watch the nuts closely. At first it won’t seem like they’re really doing anything, but it’s important to keep stirring them or else you will end up with a mess that is NOT fun to clean. Don’t ask me how I know this. 😉

Candied nuts always scream Christmas to me, but really they’d work for any occasion where you want candied nuts haha.

bowl of candied cashews with a few loose cashews beside it

How to make candied cashews

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the sugar and nuts.

You will see the sugar begin to melt after a few minutes. It then melts at a faster rate, and you need to keep stirring to ensure they won’t burn.

Once the sugar is totally melted and the nuts are coated, they’re done! This process takes about 10-15 minutes total. Possibly a little longer if you’re doing more nuts.

close-up of loose candied cashews on a flat surface

I used cashews for this recipe, but it would also work with most nuts. Go nuts! (See what I did there?).

You may also like my maple roasted pecan recipe.

Hope you love these candied cashews!

These candied cashews are addictive! They make the perfect homemade gift or topping for a salad. The best part? Only 3 ingredients are needed and they're ready in 15 minutes.
4 from 13 votes

Easy Candied Cashews

These candied cashews are addictive! They make the perfect homemade gift or topping for a salad. The best part? Only 3 ingredients are needed and they're ready in 15 minutes.
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 14 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 cup


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt (optional)


  • Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat and let it melt.
  • Add the sugar and cashews.
  • Stir the mixture frequently (it burns easily so watch it closely) until the sugar melts and caramelizes over the nuts. Once all the sugar has melted and coated the nuts, they're done.
  • Spread them onto a plate or piece of parchment paper so they don't all stick together. Some will clump together, which is fine.
  • Allow them to cool then store them in a sealed container. 


  • Recipe easily doubles, triples, etc. 

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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4 from 13 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Millerroom says:

    5 stars
    This is my go to recipe for quick candied nuts. I’ve made it with several types of nuts, and it turns out consistently perfect. Sometimes I change things up- adding dried herbs like rosemary, swapped brown sugar for white, add salt, chili flakes, etc. The sky is the limit!! Thanks for an awesome recipe.

    1. Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says:

      We love those creative additions! Thrilled you enjoy the recipe 🙂

  2. liz says:

    1 star
    proportions seemed to be way off…

    1. Natasha says:

      It worked for me?

  3. Linda K Ponce says:

    I made this recipe and this was No where near enough butter, I trip l Ed the recipe and it took 2 cubes of butter, 1 Tablespoon of butter per cup of cashews won’t even melt the sugar, after adjusting the butter, it turned out delicious

    1. Abby says:

      The butter doesn’t melt the sugar. Sugar melts on its on, you technically wouldn’t even need the butter but it adds flavor and makes it less likely to burn/cook unevenly. Glad it worked out for you tho, not my recipe but just trying explain a little of the science behind it in hopes it helps. I’m an avid caramel maker so I know a good bit about sugar and it’s caramelization properties.

  4. Rachel says:

    5 stars
    I kept my burner on 3-4 heat (medium low) and these turned out great! Slow and steady wins the race here. Keep stirring, it’ll feel like the sugar won’t ever dissolve, but then it’ll start caramelizing and that’s when you need to keep stirring! Before you know it you’ll have completely caramelized cashews. I like to add black lava salt to mine for a nice texture.

    1. Natasha says:

      So happy they worked out, Rachel! 🙂

  5. Elyza C says:

    When I made these, the suger would not melt after I added it. I don’t blame the creator of this recipe at all though! The only reason I could think of why this happened was because of the butter I used, which was salted, but then I just added a few teaspoons of water and the suger immediately melted and they turned out great! Thank you so much!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s very sweet of you! I am glad that you were able to find a workaround, Elyza 🙂

    2. Megpie says:

      Same here. I added two capful of vanilla and they’re perfect!

  6. Emma says:

    How long will they last do you recon? Gonna make them with my daughter for her to give to her dad for father’s day

    1. Natasha says:

      Hmmm there’s no preservatives, so it’s hard to say. What country are you in? In USA and Canada (I’m in Canada), Father’s Day was back in June… so I’m not sure how long you were planning on keeping these? I would say a couple weeks should be fine, but they will likely start to taste stale at some point, especially since they won’t be properly sealed in an airtight container like you would if you purchased them.

      1. Emma Lee says:

        I am in Australia so pretty far away haha
        Our fathers day is in 2 weeks time
        I might make a small batch and see how it is in a week and then make more if I need too
        Thansk heaps

        1. Natasha says:

          You’re welcome!! Let me know! 🙂

  7. mary bell says:

    2 stars
    The sugar mixture did not coat the nuts, it just separated into lumps and they are very greasy.
    Didnt turn out at all.

    1. Natasha says:

      Hmmm that’s odd… it worked for me and other readers. Sorry that happened. 🙁

    2. Abby says:

      It sounds like either 1 your sugar crystallized which can happen if the sugar doesn’t dissolve evenly and a sugar granule ends up back into the dissolved sugar mixture and turns the whole thing back into sugar crystals or 2 sometimes the fat and sugar can separate if it is heated too quickly and not stirred enough. Normally if it crystallized you would just put it back on the heat add water and redissolve the sugar but idk how that would work since the cashews were already added. Don’t blame the recipe tho, it’s not her fault that it wasn’t done properly and I think that’s a little harsh to give her a 2 star review because of something caused by how you carried out the recipe.

  8. Amelia Spaulding-Carlton says:

    Could I use Splenda?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Amelia! Honestly, I’ve never worked with Splenda, and I have no idea if it will melt/behave the same way as sugar.

      1. Abby says:

        Hi sorry for commenting so much I’m just bored and thought I could help but Splenda won’t work because it doesn’t have the same caramelization properties as sugar so they would have to find a recipe specifically catered to using Splenda. The exception being Splenda allulose which I have used and can verify works perfectly in place of sugar when making caramel.

  9. Colleen Geis says:

    I stirred continuously and it still burnt. Possibly making the caramel first, as in dissolving the sugar in the butter before you add the nuts may have helped.

    1. Natasha says:

      Sorry to hear that! Maybe it was at too high of a heat?

  10. twee says:

    4 stars
    Do you have any idea if I can substitute coconut oil? Also, what kind of sugar? Also, I have raw cashews. Should I roast them first? Thank you so much.

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! I haven’t tried coconut oil, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I used granulated sugar (white sugar). You can roast them first if you want that roasted taste. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

    2. Aimee says:

      Made these with planters salted cashews and it was amazing tasted very much like a payday candy bar!
      Tonight I used pecans and they caramelized much nicer tonight.
      I substituted butter for dairy free margarine!

      Absolute new favorite snack 🙌☺️

      1. Natasha says:

        Yay that’s awesome! Thanks for letting me know, Aimee! 😀