Caramel Nougat Pecan Rolls

The sweetest vanilla nougat, wrapped up in soft buttery caramel, with a layer of pecans on the outside to make a perfect candy log. This is Christmas at it’s finest! Perfect for host or neighbor gifts. 

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

So how was everyone’s Thanksgiving?? My turkey was raw. No, I’m not kidding. You think I’m joking when I call myself a charlatan? RAW TURKEY PEOPLE. First time hosting.

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

I can laugh about it now. I was not laughing on Thursday. (It was still really tasty, btw. Hard to go wrong with Sage Butter Turkey…even if you have to wait a little longer for it.)

But now that we’ve got Thanksgiving out of the way (sorry Thanksgiving) it’s time for CHRISTMAS!!! Specifically Christmas in the form of this Pecan Log.

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

Guys. I have been waiting for this recipe for years. My cousin’s wife (hi Emily!!) makes these Pecan Rolls every year as gifts and I EAT THE WHOLE THING. Every year. Eric gets maybe one slice (forget the kids) and I eat the rest. It is SO GOOD.

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

Let’s get one thing straight, I am not a candy maker. (RAW TURKEY, PEOPLE.) Candy making is not for the faint of heart, I know. I’ve never even attempted it, besides the occasional caramel sauce. But I did it! And you can too! You must! It’s so good.

First you make the nougat. It is the best part. It is creamy and rich and vanilla-y and a little bit grainy but not in a weird way. Then you let that chill while you make the caramel. Then wrap the caramel around the nougat (it takes some practice but it’s really not bad. I took pictures for you! (below the recipe) There is still caramel on my camera. You’re welcome.) Then you place pecans on the outside and chill for a bit, then slice and eat!

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

I know what you’re thinking. Ain’t nobody got time for that. And it’s certainly not an every day treat (like these 30-minute Almond Roca Bars, or these 2-Ingredient Nutella Puffs) but if you can’t spend an afternoon making candy  at Christmas time, then when can you? These keep great in the fridge or freezer, so you can make them well ahead of time. Mine are already in the freezer and I will gift them to my neighbors as the holidays get closer.

You have to tell me if you try this! Snap a quick photo and share on social using #thefoodcharlatan so I can see it!

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Caramel Candy Pecan Roll

Yield: Makes 7 pecan rolls


    For the nougat:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, for greasing (plus more if necessary)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter (from the stick you used to rub the pans)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • For the caramel
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7-10 cup pecans, toasted if you like


    For the nougat:
  1. Use 1 stick of butter to rub the bottom and sides of a heavy 3 quart saucepan, all the way to the top. Don't be stingy.
  2. Use the same stick of butter to rub the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch pan. Set aside the rest of the stick of butter, you will need it later.
  3. Add 1 and 1/2 cups cream, 3 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the buttered pan. Stir together over high heat. Attach your candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and make sure the bottom of it is not touching the pan.
  4. Let the mixture boil until it reaches 238 degrees F. I stirred pretty frequently, but I asked Emily and she said she doesn't stir at all. The mixture will rise up to the top of the pan. I didn't time this part, but it was at least 10-15 minutes.
  5. When the mixture reaches 238, pour it into the prepared 9x13 pan.
  6. Let cool for a minute or two, then add 3 tablespoons of butter cut from the stick that you used to rub the pans.
  7. Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and stir.
  8. Cover and refrigerate until the nougat is hardened enough to be molded. Divide the mixture into 7 logs that are about 6 inches long. Continue refrigerating covered.
  9. Meanwhile, make the caramel. Wash and dry the 3 quart heavy saucepan. If there is any butter left in the original stick that you used to grease the pans, use it to grease the pan again, all the way to the top. Grease a second 9x13 pan.
  10. Combine 1 cup cream, 1 stick butter, 1 cup dark corn syrup, and 2 cups sugar.
  11. Bring to a boil over high heat. Attach your candy thermometer and boil until it reaches 238 degrees F. (Again, I stirred, Emily doesn't).
  12. Measure out another cup of cream. Once it reaches the 238 mark, slowly pour in the cup of cream and stir.
  13. Continue boiling over high heat until it reaches 238 degrees again.
  14. Pour the mixture into the buttered 9x13 inch pan. Wait a minute or two, then stir in 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.
  15. Let the caramel sit at room temperature until it is cool (or I suppose you could refrigerate it)
  16. Use a spatula to slice the caramel into 7 strips. Work the caramel off the pan using a rubber spatula. Mold each strip of caramel around each nougat roll.
  17. Press pecans into the sides of the roll and on the ends. I like to leave them whole, but you can chop them if you want. They are really delicious toasted too.
  18. Wrap each roll in wax paper and secure with scotch tape. Roll in cellophane and tape. Tie the ends with ribbons.
  19. Store the rolls in the refrigerator. Let them sit out for about 10 minutes before slicing with a sharp serrated knife.
  20. If you are going to freeze or refrigerate for an extended period of time, store the wrapped rolls in a ziplock bag.

Source: This recipe is from my cousin Emily’s mom.

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

Butter that pan really well. And make sure you use a good candy thermometer.

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

This is the nougat layer. It will start out thin but get thicker as it cools.

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

When it is cool enough to work it with your fingers, form it into 7 logs about 5-6 inches in length.

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

Here is the caramel layer. When it is cool enough that you can make cuts, slice into 7 strips.(I know there are only 6 here, I forgot the first photo).

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

The caramel is pretty sticky at room temperature.

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

Shape it into a log, line it with pecans, then wrap it in wax paper and tape it shut.

Caramel Candy Pecan Roll from The Food Charlatan

Wrap it in cellophane and tie the ends! You will be everyone’s favorite neighbor this year.

Here are some other neighbor gift ideas!

Cinnamon Honey Butter: <<this is a HUGE reader favorite! 4 ingredients and done in 5 minutes!

Cinnamon Honey Butter from The Food Charlatan

The Best Lemon Curd << no one can say no to this :)

The Best Lemon Curd from The Food Charlatan

Easy Sugared Cranberries: << these are so festive!

The Easiest Sugared Cranberries Ever from The Food Charlatan

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies << If you are going to gift cookies, make these ones!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Food Charlatan

Maple Pecan Granola with Cherries << a not-so-sweet gift idea

Maple Pecan Granola with Cherries from

Maple Bacon Fat Caramels from Snixy Kitchen
Crockpot Candy from Fake Ginger
Praline Crack from Cookies and Cups





  1. says

    OMG that’s my worst nightmare! BUT it’s better to undercook than overcook, since you can just stick it back in the oven right??? I’m allll about going above and beyond for the holidays, cookies, candies, homemade gift tags and gifts, I want to do it all! These look insanely delicious and are the perfect food item to gift to friends and family. LOVE!

  2. says

    Oh my goodness. They used to sell something similar to this at the Minnesota Renaissance festival when I was a kid. Pretty sure it was meant for two people to share. Nope. Ate it all myself. The nougat looks amazing. I’m so happy I found these. I am totally making them.
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  3. Teri Giese says

    Aaw,now I have to remember what witty things I said, when I tried to comment on the facebook area. Fail. In part, I felt bad about the turkey. At 54,am touchy in a prideful way in regards to. FAILS. Well, we had no dessert Thanksgiving. We did not want pumpkin or apple anything cuz had tons already. So saw a recipe for slutty brownie pie. Made the cookies and the bar form, so sure. NOT! Did not read the fine print. DEEP dish. Can we say lava pie? Flowing all inside oven? Made a lovely apple cake the next day per Jen at Carlsbad Cravings, just a day late, all were full, so was all good… having dessert for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, I did. Baked it Thanksgiving night.

  4. Malowa says

    I wonder if I could pour caramel in a jelly roll pan, then make and pour nought over that? I would then sprinkle with nuts and after it had it had cooled, cut it in small pieces. I know that is very lazy, but wondered if you thought it would work? Thanks in advance for any response. I realize that this is an older post.

    • says

      Hey Malowa! I wouldn’t count on it working, unless you are very familiar with the kind of caramel you plan to use. Will it hold it’s shape at room temperature? Try it out and let us know!

  5. Lori says

    These look amazing!! This might be a silly question but for the nougat, you say heavy cream. Then for the caramel it just says cream. Do I use heavy cream all the way through?

    Thanks. Can’t wait to try these.

    • says

      Hey Lori! I always buy the heaviest cream available at the store. No, there is no difference between the cream I used in the nougat and the caramel. I’ll go change it! Thanks for pointing that out!

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