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German Gebrannte Mandeln (German Cinnamon Roasted Almonds)

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: 

CC Photo credit: Marco Verch

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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)

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • 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. )

Kitchen Tools:

  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!

🎄Looking For More German Christmas Recipes?

Gebrannte Mandeln Recipe

Yield: 2 cups

German Gebrannte Mandeln (German Cinnamon Roasted Almonds)

German Gebrannte Mandeln (German Cinnamon Roasted Almonds)

Delicious Christmas Market-worthy cinnamon sugar almonds in less than 15 minutes! 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cups + 2 TBSP [75ml + 2 TBSP] water
  • 1 cup + 1/2 cup [200g + 100g] sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups [300g] raw, whole almonds

Instructions

  1. Heat water, cinnamon, and 1 cup [198g] sugar over medium heat. Stir continuously. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add almonds. Turn temp up a bit if needed to keep water simmering. Stir continuously until the water has boiled out and the almonds look dry and fuzzy.
  3. Turn the heat down to just below medium and keep stirring until the sugar has melted and almonds are shiny and are evenly coated. 
  4. Turn heat down to low. Add the rest of the sugar and the vanilla sugar. Stir until the sugar has melted and almonds are evenly coated with clumps of sugar.
  5. Carefully transfer almonds to a lined baking tray. Work quickly to spread out the almonds and separate the clumps. Use a wooden spoon to do this - not your fingers (you'll burn yourself)! Let almonds cool a bit. Once cool to the touch you can break up more clumps if needed.
  6. Store in an airtight container. 

Notes

Based on this recipe

Want more recipes?

Click here to get 25 European favorites!

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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!

Yield: 1-2 servings

Gebrannte Mandeln Ice Cream

Gebrannte Mandeln Ice Cream

If you like Gebrannte Mandeln (German cinnamon sugar almonds) you'll love this easy, easy no churn ice cream recipe!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Freeze Time 2 hours 1 second
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes 1 second

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup [120 ml] heavy cream
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP sliced or chopped almonds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt (see note below)
  • whole salted almonds (optional)

Instructions

    1. Pour all ingredients into a small jar that has a lid. (I typically use an 8oz jam jar.)
    2. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
    3. Add the lid and then shake the jar several times until the cream has thickened. (I usually shake it 20-25 times.)
    4. Place jar in freezer for 1-2 hours.
    5. When you're ready to eat the ice cream, take the jar out of the freezer and let it warm up for a few minutes.
    6. Top with whole almonds (optional).

Notes

1. If your almonds are salted, taste the ice cream before adding the pinch of salt.

2. Click here for my German Gebrannte Mandeln (German cinnamon sugar almonds) recipe.

Want more recipes?

Click here to get 25 European favorites!

😍 What Can I Help You With Next?

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Becka

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Hi, I was just wondering if you used caster sugar or just regular granulated sugar for these? Thanks!

Cate, International Desserts Blog

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Just regular granulated sugar!

German Christmas Markets: An Introduction and How To Create One at Home, PART TWO - Dock Line Magazine

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

[…] No German Christmas market is complete without the smell of these candied, roasted nuts (usually almonds) making your mouth water. Make them yourself and fill your home with the best […]

Finbar

Saturday 21st of November 2020

Great recipe, hard work but definitely worth iy

doxymama

Monday 5th of October 2020

I know I did something wrong, but can't figure out for the life of me what! I tried this recipe two times, and had the same result both times. Everything looks exactly like your pictures, until I get to the part where you are supposed to turn the fuzzy almonds down to medium low and keep stirring until shiny. Both times, instead of turning shiny, I just ended up with almonds with a very small amount of sugar stuck to them, and about 3/4 cup dried sugar in the pan. And, I stirred ferociously and continuously both times. I just kept stirring, thinking it would come together eventually, but it did not. The dry sugar just started clumping to the bottom of the pan. The only thing I can think of that is a variable from your directions is that my almonds were stored in the refrigerator. But, obviously they got extremely hot before the sugar syrup dried up to just sugar, so not sure that's the problem. I just don't understand - any ideas what I did wrong?

Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles - International Desserts Blog - Dessert, Sweet & Snack Recipes from Around the World

Tuesday 22nd of September 2020

[…] holiday party this weekend…if I can manage to not eat them first. I’m also bringing German Gebrannte Mandeln (cinnamon sugar […]

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