Gluten Free Austrian Candied almonds are known as Gebrannte Mandeln (Burnt Almonds) in Austria and Germany. They are a staple at every Austrian Christkindl Market and along with Gluehwein, roasted chestnuts, and Kiachl (a deep-fried dough that is served with sauerkraut or lingonberry jam).
Gebrannnte Almonds can be enjoyed year-round and are a fabulous addition to any charcuterie board or used as a topping for baked goods or chocolate bark. I always love making them around the holidays for gifts along with my Spiced Pecans (made with egg white). They are not only gluten-free but also vegan. Oh, and there is no need to turn on the oven since this delicious treat is made stovetop.
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- What are Gebrannte Mandeln?
- Tools needed to make Austrian Candied Almonds
- How to make Austrian Candied Almonds
- How to serve Candied Almonds
- FAQ about Gluten Free Austrian Candied Almonds
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Almonds: Traditional Austrian Cinnamon Roasted Almonds are made with raw, unsalted Almonds.
Sugar: This recipe is made with white, granulated sugar. Sugar substitutes won't work. Also, be aware that the sugar is split in this recipe. What makes Austrian Candied Almonds so special is that they are coated twice which gives them their crunchy, sugary coating.
Cinnamon: Use high-quality ground cinnamon for this recipe such as Vietnamese cinnamon. This is the strongest, richest, and sweetest cinnamon with the best flavor.
Vanilla Extract: While I normally love Vanilla Paste, I prefer using Vanilla Extract to make candied almonds.
What are Gebrannte Mandeln?
"Gebrannte Mandeln" translated from Austrian means "burnt almonds". They are not "burnt" at all, but rather roasted, with a delicious crunchy cinnamon-sugar crust. Traditionally they are cooked in large copper kettles at Christmas Markets, fairs, and open-air events. They are especially popular at Christkindl Markets along with roasted chestnuts and gluhwein. Cinnamon Almonds also make wonderful Christmas Gifts wrapped in cute bags or in mason jars.
Tools needed to make Austrian Candied Almonds
I have made candied almonds with well-loved nonstick pans or in a well-seasoned cast-iron pan. The most important part is that your pan is big enough to hold 2 cups of almonds and has tall(ish) sides to avoid splattering on your stove. I use a $10 nonstick pan I bought at a discount retailer. You will also need a wooden spoon that is heat-proof.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT PANS: Some nonstick pans are too slippery to make candied almonds. If you have a cast-iron pan, I recommend using a cast iron pan. Or a sautee pan that has been used for a bit. If your non-stick pan is too slippery, the sugar will never crystalize and you will end up with a pan of burnt sugar or brittle. I have never tested this recipe in ceramic pans therefore I don't know if they would work.
How to make Austrian Candied Almonds
I don't recommend multi-tasking while making this recipe. You don't want your candied almonds to burn! Please read the whole recipe before starting. Yes, there are TWO amounts of sugar in this recipe. 200 grams will be cooked with the water while the additional 50 grams will be added at a later step!
(Pardon the low-quality pictures but taking pictures while dealing with a bubbly hot pan of sugar isn't that easy!)
Step 1: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Make sure to keep it close by to transfer the almonds from the pan to the baking sheet once they are done.
Step 2: Add the water, 200 grams of white sugar, ground cinnamon, and kosher salt to the heavy bottom saucepan and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Step 3: Once the sugar is dissolved, add your raw almonds, raise the temperature to medium/high heat and stir CONSTANTLY with your wooden spoon until the sugar mixture is boiled away and starts to look like a syrup. This can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes.
Step 5: Once the water has evaporated, the sugar will crystallize and start to stick to the Almonds and the sides of the skillet. The sugar will start to look dried out and coat the almonds. You will see the sugar start caramelizing on the bottom of the pan.
Step 6: Quickly reduce the heat to medium heat (on the lower end) and add the remaining 50 grams of granulated white sugar and the vanilla extract. Don't be surprised if you hear some noise coming from your almonds - that's water evaporating from the almonds. Really fresh almonds will make a popping noise and the coat may start to crack. If the almonds are older, there won’t be as much of that!
Step 7: Keep stirring until the almonds are fairly shiny, but still a bit lumpy. You don’t want them completely smooth. The best ones are the ones that are shiny in some areas with some delicious lumps of cinnamon sugar on other parts of the almond.
Take them off the heat and transfer the almonds to the prepared baking sheet. Use a wooden spoon or two regular spoons to spread them apart but it's okay if some of them stay in clusters. Do NOT use your fingers - the nuts will be very hot. Sprinkle with some flaky sea salt if you would like.
I recommend storing them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. I do NOT recommend freezing them since the moisture will ruin the sugar coating.
How to serve Candied Almonds
They are a perfect addition to charcuterie boards and cheese platters. They make a great "cocktail hour snack". Traditionally they are eaten on their own as a snack. They make a great addition to salads as well as make a wonderful ice cream topper. I also love chopping them up and using them for decorations for my Gluten Free Chocolate Donuts.
FAQ about Gluten Free Austrian Candied Almonds
Some nonstick pans are too slippery to make candied almonds. If you have a cast-iron pan, I recommend using a cast iron pan. Or a sautee pan that has been used for a bit. If your non-stick pan is too slippery, the sugar will never crystalize and you will end up with a pan of burnt sugar or brittle. I have never tested this recipe in ceramic pans therefore I don't know if they would work.
If you don't like Almonds, you clearly can make this recipe with other nuts such as pecans, cashews, walnuts or hazelnuts
I have not nor am I planning on testing this recipe with sugar alternatives.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and very affordable. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
Candied Almonds (Gebrannte Mandeln Recipe)
Gluten Free Austrian Candied Almonds are a holiday must but clearly can be enjoyed year around. Those cinnamon-coated almonds are addictive.
- 85 grams water
- 200 grams granulated white sugar
- 50 grams of granulated white sugar
- 375 grams whole, raw almonds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Flaky Sea Salt for finishing
How to make Gluten Free Austrian Candied Almonds
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the water, 200 grams of granulated white sugar, cinnamon and salt to your pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Once the sugar is all dissolved, add your raw almonds, raise the temperature to medium/high heat and stir CONSTANTLY with your wooden spoon until the water is boiled away. This can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes.
- The sugar-water mixture will start to dry out and stick to your almonds. It almost looks like the mixture seized - don't panic. This is what we want.
- At this point, it looks like something magical happened - the sugar/water mix has turned to sugar again (it crystalized!)
- Reduce the heat to medium again and keep stringing your almonds until the sugar coasting has turned shiny.
- NOW add the rest of your sugar (50 grams) and Vanilla extract and you guessed it, keep stringing your almonds.
- Don't be surprised if you hear some noise coming from your almonds - that's water evaporating from the almonds. Really fresh almonds will make a popping noise and the coat may start to crack. If the almonds are older, there won’t be as much of that!
- Keep stirring until the almonds are fairly shiny, but still a bit lumpy. You don’t want them completely smooth. The best ones are the ones that are shiny in some areas with some delicious lumps of cinnamon sugar on other parts of the almond.
- Take them off the heat and transfer the almonds to a sheet of parchment paper. Use your wooden spoon to spread them apart but it's okay if some of them stay in clusters. Do NOT use your fingers - the nuts will be very hot. Sprinkle with some flaky sea salt if you would like.
- Once they are cooled, hide (ahem, I meant store) them in a dry, closed container. Rumor has it they last for weeks but I never had any around for that long
RTANT NOTE ABOUT PANS: Some nonstick pans are too slippery to make candied almonds. If you have a cast-iron pan, I recommend using a cast iron pan. Or a sautee pan that has been used for a bit. If your non-stick pan is too slippery, the sugar will never crystalize and you will end up with a pan of burnt sugar or brittle.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322
These are one of the best snacks I’ve ever made! They’ll be perfect for the holidays and so easy to make!
Can we use brown sugar instead of white sugar in this?
Daniela Weiner says
Absolutely! That's no problem at all. Brown sugar and white sugar are normally interchangeable
I just tried this but my sugar turned more to like a stinky coating, did I let it get too hot or maybe not hot enough? I added the sugar in the two batches
Daniela Weiner says
It sounds like the sugar got too hot. What kind of pan did you use?
I used a ceramic non stick pan
Attempt number 2 turned out a lot better, I think the first attempt I just didn’t wait long enough for the sugar to fully crystallize.
Daniela Weiner says
YAY! I am glad you are getting the hang of it. I should do an Instagram live how to make them but I have no idea how to film myself and make them
Let me first just say, READ the instructions and take the suggestions - it will save you time and frustration. Made these 3 times - the first two times was in my hard anodized nonstick pan with a silicone spatula and each time they came out like brittle. The third time I switched to the cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon and amazed at the difference it made. Made these for Christmas cookie boxes as gifts but not sure they will last that long! Also going to try them with pecans.
I am so glad you messaged me and I was able to help with this. I also updated the recipe and added a note about the pans. I am so glad you mastered this recipe
Vayouna Gungadin says
This way absolutely delicious to make during Christmas time. I added this in a little jar for all the customers who ordered over Christmas. They all loved it. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
I have made 2 batches of these to give as gifts. The first batch turned out great. The second batch is like almond brittle 🤦♀️. I’m not sure what went wrong. I used cast iron skillet for both batches. The first batch tasted great the second is ok. I’m going to mix the 2 together and hope for the best.
Since I was not there when you made them, it's very hard for me to pinpoint what went wrong with the second batch.
Of course. Like I said, the first batch turned out great! I think I was just having one of those days.
I will definitely make them again!!
I have to update the recipe anyways with new photos and will do some thinking why this could have happened.
I made this recipe with pecans instead of almonds. Brought it to a friends party who is vegan. They were delicious! Everyone really liked them. They did not take that long to make. Start to finish for me took 25 minutes. I used a cast iron frying pan and it worked great. I think the cast iron really helps keep the heat even so it doesn't burn.
Daniela- Have you thought about doing a Buch de Noel recipe? 😀