Sugared Pecans: Texas Tradition

Amber Bracegirdle | Bluebonnet Baker

Sugared pecans are a time honored tradition in Texas, for just about every holiday. This spicier version is super fun for Christmas!

Sugared Pecans Photo

Sugared pecans are a time honored Texas tradition. They’ve been on many a holiday table in my lifetime, though this spicier version is new to me. New, and completely addicting! I’m especially excited to share this Texas tradition with the Food Fanatic family on Christmas day.

I know that many folks think of pecans and Georgia in the same thought, but pecans are one of Texas’s largest crops. Growing up, my nan had a giant pecan tree in her backyard, and every summer, my sister and I spent hours combing the grass for those precious brown and black shells.

I can smell them now - the woodsy, smoky smell that accompanies the outer shell. And the hours spent at my grandparents’ kitchen table, shucking those shells so the pecans could be preserved for the rest of the year. Precious hours in the company of grandparents passing on the importance of gathering what nature gives us, and using it all year long. It’s a lesson I hope to pass on to my son in spades, as well as an appreciation for all flavors native to Texas.

Sugared Pecans Picture

Cinnamon and cayenne are a match made in heaven, especially to a Texan palate. You’ll find them paired with chocolate most of the time, but they marry so well that you can add them to anything – cream cheese frosting, roasted nuts, even cookie dough – and find yourself falling head over heels for the creation.

What I love most about these sugared pecans is how quick and easy they are. You can package them up in sweet little sacks with ribbon for homemade Christmas gifts, or simply put them out in strategically placed bowls for your Christmas party. Your party guests will find themselves coming back again and again for handfuls.

They’re excellent atop cakes, in cookies, and could even be used in pecan pie. They’re so quick to make, you’ll be putting them in everything! Toss them in Erin’s gluten free granola recipe or even chex mix to kick things up a notch.

Happy Christmas, Food Fanatics!

Sugared Pecans Recipe

    12 Servings


  • 3 cups Pecan Halves
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a jelly roll pan with foil.
  3. Pour pecans into a medium sized bowl. Melt butter in the microwave, and pour over pecans.
  4. Stir pecans so that they are completely covered in butter.
  5. Add brown sugar to pecans and stir again, until the pecans are covered evenly.
  6. Pour pecans onto the jelly roll pan and bake for 5 minutes.
  7. While pecans are baking, add granulated sugar, cinnamon and cayenne to the same medium bowl the pecans were in before. Stir to evenly combine the spices and sugar.
  8. Remove pecans from the oven and add back to the bowl with the sugar and spices.
  9. Stir the pecans and sugar together until all are well coated.
  10. Pour back onto the jelly roll pan and bake an additional 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on the tray.
  12. May be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight bag until ready to serve.


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Amber Bracegirdle

About Amber

Amber is a native Texan, born to a family of fabulous cooks. She shares her love of all things Tex-Mex and Southern both on her blog, Bluebonnet Baker, and here on Food Fanatic. She heavily endorses the use of the contraction "y'all".