These German Gebrannte Mandeln (almonds roasted in cinnamon and sugar) taste just like what you’d find at a German Christmas Market!
They’re quick and pretty easy to make on your stove at home. Whether you miss the German Christmas markets or just want to make something new, try these almonds. You’ll love them!
When I lived in Germany, I’d often splurge on a packet of warm German almonds roasted in a blend of cinnamon and sugar at the Christmas Market. It was impossible to simply walk past any stand selling them because they smelled SO good. The crunchy, warm, sweet nuts always hit the spot on cold days. Here’s what they look like in Germany:
- 0.1 5 Tips for Making German Cinnamon Roasted Almonds:
- 0.2 Two Notes About Sugar
- 0.3 What You Need to Make German Gebrannte Mandeln (Cinnamon Sugar Almonds)
- 0.4 Do I Need a Cast Iron Skillet?
- 0.5 How to Make German Gebrannte Mandeln
- 0.6 Gebrannte Mandeln Recipe
- 1 German Gebrannte Mandeln (German Cinnamon Roasted Almonds)
- 2 Gebrannte Mandeln Ice Cream
I’m super excited that I can now make them at home in about 15 minutes! And if you use my easy Gebrannte Mandeln recipe below, you can, too.
Gebrannte Mandeln literally mean burned almonds (or burnt almonds) but they are anything but burned. These cinnamon roasted almonds not only taste delicious, they make your house smell so good.
Make a batch for snacking during a holiday game night, add some to a cheese board or bring a bowl to a holiday party. If you’re looking for a vegan, gluten free or egg free holiday treat, this is a good one!
Or scoop these cinnamon almonds into cute boxes, jars or paper cones to give as delicious holiday gifts!
5 Tips for Making German Cinnamon Roasted Almonds:
- Read the entire recipe so you have a good idea what the process is. Once you get started it goes quickly and you need to give the almonds your complete focus.
- Have all ingredients measured and ready to use before starting. You’ll need to stir the sugar and cinnamon almonds the entire time. To make it super easy, I like to line up my ingredients in the order I’ll use them right next to the stove.
- Keep an eye on the heat. When I used my old stove, I had to turn it up to medium/high heat. With my new stove? I keep it at medium and bump it up a bit or turn it down a bit as needed. Watch your almonds and adjust the temperature as you go.
- Use a cast iron skillet if you have one. I’ve used a saucepan and my Le Creuset dutch oven and have had the best results with my cast iron skillet.
- Don’t touch the sugared almonds with bare hands until they’ve cooled because the hot sugar will burn you.
Two Notes About Sugar
I’ve used both white sugar and organic cane sugar and they’ve both worked great. I haven’t yet tried a sugar alternative.
I use 1 cup + 1/2 cup [198g + 99g] sugar. I find that this amount gives my almonds the right flavor without making them overly sweet. If, however, you want your almonds really coated or prefer a sweeter treat, use 2 cups + 1/2 cup sugar. If you do increase the sugar, you may also want to double the cinnamon.
What You Need to Make German Gebrannte Mandeln (Cinnamon Sugar Almonds)
- Sugar (divided)
- Cinnamon (ground)
- Raw, whole, unsalted almonds (I get mine at Trader Joe’s)
- Vanilla sugar (I find vanilla sugar easier in this recipe but you could also use vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. Click here for my easy vanilla sugar tutorial. )
- Cast iron skillet (see note below)
- Wooden spoon
- Baking tray lined with a Silpat mat or parchment
Do I Need a Cast Iron Skillet?
I’ve made these almonds many times now, and while I’ve used my Le Creuset dutch oven and a saucepan, I’ve had the best results with my fairly new Le Creuset cast iron skillet. If you have a cast iron skillet, I recommend using it.
If you don’t, you can try a non-stick frying pan, a saucepan or a dutch oven. Depending on the pan you use, you might need to adjust the temperature as you go.
How to Make German Gebrannte Mandeln
Before we get started, I want to mention a couple things:
- To make this recipe I used a cast iron pan. If you use a different kind of pan, you might need to adjust the stove temperature.
- There’s just 2 of us in my house, so I typically just make a half-batch. What you see in the photos below is a half batch. I also find that amount works great in my cast iron skillet.
Ok, let’s start!
First, measure all ingredients and gather your kitchen tools. Once you start this recipe you’ll need to stir the almonds the entire time and you won’t be able to stop to measure out the ingredients.
Set your pre-measured ingredients within reach of the stove, and set your lined baking tray near your skillet so you can easily transfer the hot almonds to the tray to cool. Don’t forget to have an oven mitt nearby.
Set the heat to medium and add the water, sugar, and cinnamon.
Stir to combine the ingredients and dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil. This only takes a few minutes with my stove and cast iron skillet. Depending on your equipment, you might need to bump the heat up a bit (I did when I had my old stove).
Once the water has come to a boil, add the almonds and keep stirring.
(Remember, these photos are showing a half batch of almonds. If you make a full batch, you’ll have more almonds in the skillet.)
At this stage, you’re looking for the sugar to turn a darker color and for the water to boil out so the sugar will stick to the almonds. Adjust the heat as needed to keep it simmering.
On my old stove I had to crank the heat up quite a bit to keep the water simmering. On my new stove, medium or just a bit above at this stage does the trick.
The sugar will start to get darker and thicker as the water boils away. It will get harder to stir but keep stirring!
Soon, the almonds will start to look dry and fuzzy. Keep stirring!
Then, the almonds will look really fuzzy and dry and will be hard to stir. The sugar is starting to stick to the almonds, which is exactly what you want. Keep stirring so the sugar doesn’t burn!
When the almonds are dry and fuzzy, turn the heat down a bit (just below medium) and keep stirring. Soon, the almonds will look shiny again as the sugar melts. Keep stirring so the almonds are evenly coated. Enjoy how delicious your kitchen smells. 🙂
If the sugar isn’t melting again, bump the heat up a bit. If it starts to smoke or smell burned, turn it down a bit. Keep stirring!
Once the sugar has melted again and the almonds are shiny, turn the heat down to low and add the rest of the sugar and vanilla sugar.
Keep stirring for another minute or so. You’re almost finished! Keep stirring until the sugar has melted and formed clumps on the almonds. You don’t need to stir them too long once you’ve added the sugar. If the sugar isn’t melting and forming clumps, bump the heat up just a bit.
Then, carefully transfer the almonds to a lined baking tray to cool. Be very careful here because these almonds are HOT and will burn you.
Use a wooden spoon to spread them out on the tray and separate the clumps. Work quickly, because the sugar dries fast. Do not touch them with your fingers until they’ve cooled!
Here’s a close-up…yuuuum.
If your Gebrannte Mandeln cool in clumps, use a wooden spoon or your fingers (once they’re cool) to break them up.
These almonds are delicious warm or at room temperature. You’ll want to store them in a cool, dry container…but I doubt you’ll have any left over to store!
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
Gebrannte Mandeln Recipe
Looking for more German Christmas recipes? Try my German Stollen Bread!
Gebrannte Mandeln Ice Cream Recipe
If you like German cinnamon almonds, you’ll love this ice cream recipe! It’s easy to make and all you need is a small jar and spoon – no ice cream machine needed. This recipe makes 1-2 portions so it’s perfect for those times when you want a treat but don’t want to make an entire batch of Gebrannte Mandeln. Enjoy!