Candied Cacao Nibs

A silver spoon taking a scoop of cacao nibs

ma-no / Getty Images 

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
184 Calories
11g Fat
20g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 184
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 150mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cacao nibs are the roasted, chopped bits of cacao seeds that are the basis of chocolate, and they've become a very popular ingredient in candies and desserts. They add a great crunch and a strong chocolate flavor to many recipes, but since they're unsweetened, they bring balance to a lot of sweet desserts. Cacao nibs can be found at many cake and candy supply stores, gourmet markets, or online retailers.

In this candy, cacao nibs are mixed with darkly caramelized sugar to produce a crunchy, sweet treat. Break it into pieces and eat it on its own, like toffee or brittle, or use it to top truffles, brownies, cakes, or cupcakes


  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) sugar

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

  • 1 cup (3.75 ounces) cacao nibs

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Stir well until the sugar is moistened.

  2. Place the pan over medium heat, and continue to stir as the sugar dissolves. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any stray sugar crystals.

  3. When the sugar syrup comes to a boil, insert a candy thermometer. Cook the candy without stirring until it is a medium amber color—this should be around 330 F / 165 C. The sugar syrup will be a dark gold color and will start to smell like caramel.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cacao nibs. Once they're coated with the caramel, add the butter and stir it in as well. The butter will help the cacao nibs separate a little bit and will make the mixture easier to spread.

  5. Scrape the candy out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into a thin, even layer. Allow it to cool completely at room temperature until cool and hard.

  6. Break the candy into small pieces to eat, or chop it up to sprinkle it on top of candies or baked goods. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.