5 Minute Caramel Walnuts

There’s something truly magical about the combination of nuts and caramel. The rich, buttery flavor of caramel paired with the crunchy, earthy texture of nuts creates a treat that’s both indulgent and satisfying. This magic is fully realized in the recipe for 5 Minute Caramel Walnuts, a simple yet delightful concoction that has quickly become a staple in my snack repertoire. Whether I’m hosting a gathering, looking for a sweet snack, or simply want to add a special touch to salads or desserts, these caramel walnuts never fail to impress. Their ease of preparation and irresistible taste make them a hit among all who try them.


  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar, packed (important to use golden brown for its lighter flavor)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ⅛ teaspoon + 2 pinches salt


  1. Begin by preparing a plate with parchment paper sized to fit; this will be where the caramel walnuts cool.
  2. In a medium non-stick skillet, combine the walnuts, golden brown sugar, water, unsalted butter, and ⅛ teaspoon of salt.
  3. Heat the skillet over high heat, stirring occasionally. As the cooking process progresses, especially in the last minute, stir constantly and reduce the heat to medium. This is crucial for ensuring the mixture reaches the perfect consistency.
  4. The goal is to cook until all the moisture evaporates, leaving the nuts coated in a dark, glossy caramel that begins to clump. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Once the caramel has formed, quickly transfer the nuts to the prepared parchment paper, spreading them out into a single layer. Immediately sprinkle the remaining 2 pinches of salt over the nuts.
  6. Allow the caramel walnuts to cool to room temperature, then break them apart.
  7. Store the caramel walnuts in an airtight container for several days—if they last that long!

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings: About 4 servings
  • Calories per serving: Approximately 300-350 calories

Preparation Time

  • Total Time: 5 minutes

Additional Tips

  1. Non-Stick Pan: A non-stick skillet is essential for preventing the caramel from sticking and ensuring easy cleanup.
  2. Stirring: Constant stirring in the final minute is crucial to prevent the sugar from burning and to achieve an even caramel coating.
  3. Cooling: Spread the nuts in a single layer to cool; this prevents them from sticking together into a large clump.
  4. Salt: The addition of salt at the end enhances the flavors, creating a delightful sweet-salty contrast.
  5. Variations: Feel free to experiment with different types of nuts such as pecans or almonds for variety.


  1. Can I use dark brown sugar instead of golden brown? It’s best to stick with golden brown sugar for its milder sweetness and to prevent the caramel from getting too dark.
  2. How long can I store these caramel walnuts? Stored in an airtight container, they can last several days at room temperature.
  3. Can I double the recipe? Yes, but you may need to adjust the cooking time slightly. Keep a close eye on the caramelization process.
  4. Why do my walnuts stick together? Ensure you spread them out quickly and evenly on the parchment paper before they cool to prevent sticking.
  5. Can this recipe be made with sugar substitutes? Sugar substitutes may not caramelize in the same way as regular sugar, so results can vary.
  6. Is it necessary to use unsalted butter? Yes, to control the amount of salt in the recipe and balance the sweetness of the caramel.
  7. Can these caramel walnuts be used in baking? Absolutely! They make a great addition to cookies, brownies, and even salads.
  8. How can I prevent burning the caramel? Stir constantly, especially in the last minute, and watch closely for when the moisture has fully evaporated.
  9. What can I do if my caramel didn’t set? Ensure all moisture is evaporated before removing from heat. If it’s too late, you can try reheating and stirring until thicker.
  10. Can I use this method with other types of nuts? Yes, this method works well with pecans, almonds, and even mixed nuts for variety.

The 5 Minute Caramel Walnuts recipe is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in cooking. With just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes of your time, you can create a snack that’s both elegant and comforting. Whether you’re making a batch for a cozy night in or as a thoughtful homemade gift, these caramel walnuts are sure to delight.