Candied Pecans are a perfect sweet afternoon snack or topping for salad. With rich toasted pecans and a sweet caramel glaze, these keto candied pecans are a joy with every bite! This easy recipe is low carb, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, and Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
Candied Pecans are one of my favorite treats. I put them on salads, incorporate into ice cream and desserts, and I especially love sneaking a handful in the afternoon when I just want a few bites of something sweet. Plus, keto candied pecans are a must-have during the holiday months. It feels good to eat something so decadent and sweet that it isn't made with refined sugars.
You can add these candied pecans to a homemade trail mix, munch on a handful for a low carb snack, or eat them any other way you can think of. They are truly incredible, and I have a feeling you are going to love them as much as we do.
Not to mention the fact that this candied pecan recipe only takes 15 minutes to prepare! You already know how much I love making fast treats. There isn't' anything wrong with stuff that takes forever, but if you can prepare something amazing that only takes a few minutes, it's a no-brainer. Okay, let's get started on the good stuff!
How to Make Keto Candied Pecans
I don't think you will ever find an easier sugar free candied pecans recipe. Three steps and you can indulge in these babies in no time! Let's take a look at the simple steps.
Step 1: Begin by combining 2 tablespoons of butter, heavy cream, and sweetener together in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sweetener has dissolved, then mix in the vanilla and cinnamon.
Step 2: Continue to cook until the mixture is a deep golden brown color. Once it reaches this color, you will need to remove it from the heat and add in the additional tablespoon of butter. Stir until smooth.
NOTE: Once it reaches the deep golden brown, you need to remove it from the heat. When this happens, if you cook it a little longer, it will burn.
Step 3: Stir in the toasted pecans. Sprinkle on some salt and drop the mixture by the spoonful in a single layer onto some wax or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until they are firm.
Candied Pecans Tips & Variations
These candied pecans are incredible just the way the recipe is written. I wanted to share some of my favorite tips and ideas in case you want to try out some additional flavors.
Stick with pecan halves, not pecan pieces. You will end up with a more uniform result than if you use pecan pieces. Pecan pieces tend to stick together and create clusters, and they aren't as easy to separate or eat.
You can use this recipe for other candied nuts. Yep! It's true; you can try it out with hazelnuts, almonds, or even cashews. Try them all for a fun mix. Check out my recipe for keto candied walnuts.
Try out other spices. Using pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice is a yummy way to adjust the flavors. Just swap the cinnamon or use it in addition to the cinnamon to taste.
Add molasses. Really. Add a couple of drops of molasses for a brown sugar flavor. You don't need much as you are using it for flavor and not as the sweetener.
This recipe for candied pecans cooks very quickly. It's vital to stir it and stop cooking before it burns.
They are great for making ahead of time. You can even freeze them for up to 1 year! Just keep them airtight, and you will have them whenever a need or craving comes up.
Should I Toast My Pecans First?
Please take the time to toast your pecans first. It deepens the flavor of the nuts. I recommend toasting them at 400 degrees F. until they are lightly browned.
How to Use Keto Candied Pecans
There are tons of ways to use candied pecans. They are excellent on spinach salads with blue cheese, basil balsamic vinaigrette, and fresh berries. You can also toss them in with almonds, walnuts, sugar-free chocolate chips, and other ingredients to make an incredible trail mix. It's great for on-the-go snacks too.
If you love ice cream, try topping your favorite keto ice cream like my Keto Vanilla Ice Cream or Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream with Cream Cheese Swirl, with a few candied pecans. Pure keto diet heaven! You have to try it to believe it.
Oh, and the best part is that you can even give these lovely candied pecans away as gifts. Put them in a cute little glass jar, add some ribbon, and you end up with an adorable gift no one can resist.
What Are The Health Benefits of Pecans?
These candied pecans are much more than a crunchy little sweet treat to get you through the day. They are also nutritious and have lots of yummy nutrients your body needs.
In addition, to being heart-healthy, pecans also help with digestion too. Not to mention that they are anti-inflammatory too.
Each pecans serving has fiber, protein, vitamin E, vitamin A, potassium, calcium, and zinc.
So, when you are on the hunt for a snack or treat that is sweet, but is still healthy, reach for these candied pecans. Don't let the word "candied" scare you! Just be careful not to eat too many because they are highly addictive. And you can have too much of a good thing if you aren't careful.
How to Store Candied Pecans
Store keto candied pecans in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the fridge for 3-4 months.
Additionally, you can keep the pecans in a freezer-safe container that's airtight for up to 1 year. It's nice to have them on hand when the holidays hit or whenever you want a simple snack that you don't have to cook.
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- 1 cup pecans toasted
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter divided
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream
- ¼ cup Joy Filled Eats Sweetener (or see alternatives in recipe notes)
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon optional
- pinch of salt
- Combine 2 tablespoons of the butter, sweetener, and cream over medium heat. Stir until sweetener is dissolved. Add vanilla and cinnamon, if using.
- Cook until it is a deep golden brown. As soon as it reached that deep color (right before burning) remove from the heat and immediately add the other 1 tablespoon butter. Stir until smooth.
- Add salt and toasted pecans. Drop by spoonfuls or spread on wax paper. Refrigerate until firm. If you spread out the mixture you can just break it into pieces.
Originally Published November 26, 2015. Revised and Republished October 26, 2020.
Came across this searching for a recipe to recreate my favorite salad in a THM way - these are perfect! Sooooo good and easy to make. I've been eating a huge salad every day for lunch, which is very rare for me, and I believe these are to thank 🙂 A+ recipe!
LOVE that you're using heavy whipping cream! Suggestions to make any modifications if I want to use a slow cooker? YUM!
Sorry, I haven't tried this in a slow cooker. As long as it gets to the color and thickness in the photos it shouldn't matter what you cook it in.
If I use monk fruit for the sweetener how much would I want to use?
I assume you mean a blend with erythritol like lakanto? Pure monk fruit extract powder will not work. For this recipe, I would try 1/3 cup lakanto.
This was so delicious! Thank you so much and these were kid approved!
Joyce K says
These should be illegal - they ae THAT GOOD! I am glad I made a double batch of them after reading through the recipe. I made some to use on a salad. Then I made some pralines & cream ice cream with some of them and it is AWESOME with the candied pecans in it. And I managed to set a few aside just for snacking. Today I went to the store to get more pecans so I can make more, they are SO DELICIOUS!!!! I used erithrytol for my sweetener as that is all I had on hand and it came out perfect - love, love, LOVE these! Thank you for sharing = )
These turned out great! I make candy often. this was my first attempt using sweetener instead of sugar so I wasn't sure how dissolved it would get and how caramelly. (is that a word?) I didn't stir as much in the beginning so as not to disrupt the temperature as with regular candy. I may try stirring a little more next time to get rid of some of the graininess. But otherwise, I wouldn't change a thing. I cannot stop eating them!
I followed this recipe to a t and it never crystalized, I have had it in the fridge uncovered for over a day now. I think I undercooked the caramel; how long do you cook it for? Adding the cinnamon made it hard to tell what the mixture's proper color was. It tastes good, though!
It should be deep brown and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. That small of a quantity of cinnamon won't really change the color. If you look at my photos (especially the one of the nuts on parchment) that is the color you are going for.
Have you ever tried making a hard candy with Gentle Sweet?? Does it get to a hard stage when cooking? I want to make elderberry cough drops with gentle sweet instead of regular sugar.
Thank you! I LOVE your recipes!!
I have not tried. It does crystallize though. I'm not sure it would get hard enough to be similar to a cough drop.
How many of these can you eat at a time??? They are so good I wanna eat the whole batch!
I think the limit would be 1/4 cup if you are trying to lose weight. Nuts are fairly high in calories.
What kind of cream to use?
Heavy Whipping Cream
This is the "game-changer" recipe for sure! Our THM group is getting together in our town and our next "Meet & Eat" is for these kind of recipes that EVERYONE loves! My husband even loves this and he's picky. THANKS!
Oh my goodness! These are wonderful. I am very familiar with pralines as I lived just an hour from New Orleans most of my life. These sure bring back great memories and they will be on my dessert menu from now on! Thank you so much for sharing!
I made a batch of these today and husband and I had them for our lunch dessert. They are so easy and just delicious! We have lots of pecans we picked up at our friends pecan orchard.
I used Pyure, bought at Walmart, for the sweetener. I believe it substitutes equally for Gentle Sweet.
Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe. I will be making them often.
Just a PS, I grew up in Texas and these pralines are not identical to the super sweet ones sold at Mexican restaurants but they are a delicious treat for non-sugar eaters.
I didn't know pralines were a Mexican restaurant thing. I only know of the ones from New Orleans. It can difficult to replicate recipes using non sugar sweeteners but I'm glad you liked this one!
Could you come up with a pecan pie? It is my husbands favorite. Thanks
Sounds like a challenge 😉 I'll think about it.
Becky Chastain says
My sister is wonderful baker and uses Whey lo in her desserts and you can't tell the difference from sugar...except I can in her buttermilk pie, but I ate it anyway! lol! Whey lo has powdered sugar and brown sugar that you use in measurements the same as the regular kind. Sis has used them for years. She's won many blue ribbons with her baking.
Cammi Lewis says
This recipe has been a lifesaver. THANK YOU!
Do you think you could use full fat co out milk in place of the heavy cream if you are dairy free?
I *think* it would work if you chill the coconut milk first and only use the cream. The same way you can chill it and then whip the thickened part to make whipped cream. If you try it let me know how it turns out!
Ferocious Cantaloupe says
This looks delish! I tried making roasted peanuts with xylitol, cinnamon and butter last week and it turned out great. I found that stirring until the mixture got thick was very important, and then I poured it all into a big ziplock baggie once it was cooled and left it overnight. Turned out fantastic, much like peanut brittle. These sound like they will be even better! I'm so excited to find a sugar-free option for caramel goodies. 🙂
I made these yesterday and they were absolutely DELICIOUS!!! My favorite THM recipe ever! Thank you so much for sharing!
Danelle McCoy says
Love pralines, these look as if these were not stirred enough before plopping onto paper. They should be lighter looking. Stir until it is very thick, incorporating air as it cools. Results in a much better candy.
This is one candy that took a few tries to learn as a new bride thirty years ago.
Thanks for the tip Danielle. I'll try that next time. I wonder if they will lighten using the gentle sweet instead of cane sugar though. Have you tried making them with a sweetener other than sugar?