Mexican Hot Chocolate Spiced Nuts

Spiced Cocoa Nuts

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizer, chocolate, healthy snack, holiday, nuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 220kcal
With a subtle cocoa flavor and the tingly spice of cinnamon and cayenne pepper, these spiced nuts are a holiday favorite!
Print Recipe


  • 2 cups pecans
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white from an extra large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • Arrange oven racks to the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together to combine, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar.
  • Add the egg white and water to a large bowl and whisk vigorously until foamy and light. Add the nuts to the egg white mixture and use a large spatula to mix the nuts until they are completely covered in egg white -- but not gloopy. Nuts should be glossy and tacky -- and there shouldn't be any liquid remaining at the bottom of the bowl -- it should all be on the nuts. If there is excess liquid, add more nuts and continue to toss until they are completely coated. Add the spice mixture to the nuts and fold the spice into the nuts until completely coated.
  • Divide the nuts between the two baking sheets and spread evenly into a single layer. Place one pan on the upper rack and the other on the lower rack and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the nuts and stir or flip them. Spread into a single layer and move the baking sheet that was on the top rack to the lower rack and vice versa. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Cool the nuts on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a heat proof bowl to finish cooling. They harden and crisp as they cool. Store in an airtight container.


You can use any type or blend of nuts in this recipe --peanuts, macadamia, brazil nuts, pistachios -- you name it, this is just what I had on hand
These nuts make great holiday gifts! You can find clear jars at TJ Maxx, Homegoods or Marshall's and fill them with the nuts. Add a bow or ribbon and gift them to friends.


Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1.5mg