Gluten Free Austrian candied almonds are known as Gebrannte Mandeln (Burnt Almonds) in Austria. They are a staple at every Austrian Christkindl Market and along with Gluehwein, roasted chestnuts, and Kiachl (a deep-fried dough which is served with sauerkraut or lingonberry jam). Gebrannte Mandeln are a MUST GET. They are served warm in a brown paper cone and you can’t just have one.
Those cinnamon roasted almonds not only taste amazing but the smell is what gets me every time. Clearly, gluten-free Austrian candied almonds can be enjoyed year-round and are a fabulous addition to any charcuterie board or used as topping for baked goods or chocolate bark. I always love making them around the holidays for gifts along with my Spiced Pecans and Almond Toffee Bark. They are not only gluten-free but also vegan.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Almonds: Use raw, whole almonds in this recipe for gluten-free Austrian candied almonds
Sugar: Please use 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 around.
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.
Tools needed to make Austrian Candied Almonds
I have made candied almonds with 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 or a 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 65 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!)
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use any pan to make 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.
Can I use different nuts for this recipe?
If you don’t like Almonds, you clearly can make this recipe with other nuts such as pecans or hazelnuts
Can I use a sugar substitute?
I have not nor am I planning on testing this recipe with sugar alternatives.
How should I store my Gebrannte Mandeln?
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. They make great holiday gifts.
How can I serve those 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. I love chopping them up and using them for decorations for my Gluten Free Chocolate Donuts or top my Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with them.
Baking in grams
My recipes are posted in grams since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and can be found on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to baking. 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.
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. My recipes have been tested several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe found on our website.
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- 85 grams water
- 200 grams granulated white sugar
- 65 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 granulate white sugar, cinnamon and salt to your pan and bring to 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 string your almonds until the sugar coasting has turned shiney.
- NOW add the rest of your sugar (65 grams) and Vanilla extract and you guessed it, keep string 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 you 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