Recipe: Vanilla Cashew Clusters

updated May 1, 2019
Vanilla Cashew Clusters
A recipe for lightly sweetened cashew clusters that make a healthy snack or topping for yogurt or ice cream.

Makesabout 3 cups

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I am not lying when I tell you I was genuinely sad when I poured out the last cashew cluster from the tall jar I was storing them in. These nuts have a way of working their sweetness into your heart, so it’s truly a travesty when they’re finished. You might want to make two batches to prolong this. The crunchy clusters are extra fragrant due to the healthy dose of vanilla, and just a touch spicy thanks to the cinnamon. Eat them out of hand whenever the desire for a snack hits, be it at your desk or when you’re out and about on an adventure. Then sprinkle the rest on your morning yogurt or even finish off a bowl of ice cream with a handful.

The Sweetest Snack to Eat from Morning to Night

What I love about these cashew clusters is that they are adaptable. They are, first and foremost, a crowd-pleasing snack. They can be tossed into a bag to take on everything from a road trip or long flight, to a hike or a day at the beach. If none of those fun adventures are in the cards, they also taste pretty great eaten in front of your computer or when you’re sprawled on the couch.

Beyond snack territory, though, you’ll forget all about granola when you’ve replaced it with a big handful of the clusters. Or reward yourself at the end of the night with a bowl of your favorite ice cream (I suggest vanilla, chocolate, coffee, or strawberry) that’s topped with a healthy sprinkling of clusters. Consumed this way, you’ll definitely finish off a batch in next to no time.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Vanilla Cashew Clusters

A recipe for lightly sweetened cashew clusters that make a healthy snack or topping for yogurt or ice cream.

Makes about 3 cups

Nutritional Info


  • 1/4 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1

    large egg white

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1 pound

    whole raw cashews (about 3 cups)


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

  2. Place the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix to combine, making sure there are no clumps.

  3. Whisk the egg white and vanilla in a large bowl until very frothy, about 2 minutes. Add the cashews and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the nuts and toss until evenly coated.

  4. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring once or twice, until the nuts are golden-brown, about 30 minutes total.

  5. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the nuts cool completely. Use your hands to break up the nuts into small clusters.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The nuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.