African Sugared Peanuts

A little taste of Africa from World Gospel Mission’s International Cookbook

Originally native to the Americas, peanuts were imported to Africa by the Portuguese in the 1600s and have become a mainstay in many African cuisines. This snack is found throughout Africa—and Latin America—often at roadside stands. This recipe takes some time to prepare, but it makes a lot and is well worth the effort! As with many recipes with a small list of ingredients, it’s all about the preparation technique. Enjoy making this fun, salty-sweet snack!


  • 5 cups raw peanuts, with skins
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Salt to taste


Ingredients for African Sugared Peanuts

Raw, unroasted peanuts are apparently not the most popular nut choice at our local megamart, but we finally found some at the bottom of a shelf. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Ingredients combined in a skillet

Using a large, 12-inch skillet, combine peanuts, water, sugar, and cinnamon on medium-high heat.

Stirring the ingredients

Stir a couple times a minute for about 20 minutes.

Syrupy liquid and slightly darkened peanuts

At around the 25-minute mark, the liquid becomes more syrupy and the peanuts will start to darken slightly. Now is when you’ll start stirring almost nonstop to keep the peanuts coated in the mixture.

Keep stirring until the sugar crystalizes on the peanuts.

Keep going! The goal is for the sugar to completely crystalize on the peanuts. Add vanilla. (This was not part of the original recipe, but vanilla helps round out flavors in any sweet dish.)

Sugar crystalizing on the peanuts

You’ll start noticing sugar crystalizing on your pan, and before you know it, the consistency of the syrup will change completely and harden onto the peanuts. Keep stirring until the liquid has completely evaporated.

Peanuts in a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

Place peanuts into a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Salt to taste. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir and bake for another 20 minutes. This step will help the nuts stay crisp. Check frequently to ensure they don’t burn.

African Sugared Peanuts, ready to enjoy

Allow to cool. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. Enjoy! Store in an airtight container.

RECIPE: pin or print

RECIPE: African Sugared Peanuts