German Gebrannte Mandeln ( Burnt Sugar Almonds)

JoSele Swopes


This is one of many all time favoites I tried in Germany. I went to the Strawberryfest and you could smell them all the way down the fairway OMG!...served hot out of a huge copper a big paper cone....They smell awesome and taste juust as awesome. I hope you enjoy this little taste of Deutchland!
Not often found in the US, burnt sugar almonds are called "gebrannte Mandeln" in German and are most often bought at open air markets such as "Kirmes" "Schuetzenfeste" or "Weihnachtsmaerkte".
I happened upon this recipe a while back on the internet, loving it......


★★★★★ 1 vote

20 Min
30 Min


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1 3/4 c
almonds, whole (raw)
1/3 c
cane sugar (plus)
3/4 c
cane sugar (plus)
vanilla bean (scraped)
1 tsp
cinnamon (ceylon)true cinnamon more dense
1/3 c


6 qt
wooden spoon

How to Make German Gebrannte Mandeln ( Burnt Sugar Almonds)


  • 1First, scrape the inside of the vanilla bean and add it to the 1/3 cup sugar. I use a sifter with the sugar to break up the sticky seeds and mix it well. Set aside.
    Instead of throwing it away, you can always put the rest of the vanilla bean in with your vanilla sugar to boost its aroma.
  • 2Add the 3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the heavy saucepan and set it over medium heat. Stir to mix, then bring it to a boil before adding the almonds.
  • 3Add the almonds to the pan after the sugar water comes to a boil. Stir over high heat, to boil the water away.
  • 4The sugar will finally dry out and the almonds will take on a grey-brown tinge. Keep stirring, so that the almonds do not burn on the bottom of the pan.
    Turn the heat under the pan to medium or medium-low, to keep the sugar from browning too fast and burning.
  • 5Turn burner to medium-low.
    At this stage, the sugar heats up and starts to melt. It is already brown from the cinnamon, so it is hard to see the color change. Just keep stirring, so that the almonds become evenly browned and about half of the sugar is melted and gives the almonds a shiny coat.
  • 6A second coating of sugar is added at this point.
    Pour the reserved 1/3 cup sugar over the almonds and stir. Keep stirring, watching the sugar melt and coat the almonds.
    Fresh almonds will start crackling or popping about now. This is residual water in the water expanding or escaping. If the almonds are older, there will not be as much noise.
    Keep stirring until the almonds are fairly shiny, but still a bit lumpy. They will stick together but you will separate them later. When they are shiny, but not burnt (this takes careful watching and decisiveness) remove from heat.
  • 7Spread the almonds on a cookie sheet. They are very hot, so only use a spoon. You may also use buttered foil or a buttered cookie sheet, but here I used a non-stick cookie sheet.
    While they are cooling, keep breaking them apart. When they are cool enough, continue breaking them apart with your fingers until they are all separated.
  • 8The burnt sugar almonds can be eaten warm, but when they are fully cooled, the candy coating hardens to a nice crunch. Store them in a dry, closed container. They keep for several weeks, if you can refrain from eating them, but almonds will eventually go rancid, so do not keep them too long.
    Here is a 3 minute video of almonds being prepared for sale in a copper kettle and a fancy mixer. It shows a third coating of sugar on the almonds but they explain that this if difficult to recreate at home.
  • 9If you need a thicker coating, remove the almonds to a colander, melt another cup of sugar in the pan and return the almonds to the caramelized sugar, stirring well. Add several spritzers of water to help the sugar coat evenly. Spread on a cookie sheet and cool as described.
    The clean-up is very easy. Fill the pan with water and let it soak a few minutes. The sugar dissolves in the excess water and is simple to remove.

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