This easy homemade Peanut Brittle is an old-fashioned sweet, hard candy made on the stovetop with six simple ingredients and roasted peanuts.  It’s a family favorite during the holidays but can be enjoyed any time of year!

There’s just something special about old-fashioned recipes like peanut brittle.  My other favorite old-fashioned recipes include Grandma’s Oatmeal Cake, Baked Apples and Baked Rice Pudding.

A plate with pieces of peanut brittle stacked on it.

Peanut Brittle

Every holiday season my grandmother used to make a few batches of peanut brittle.  She always dropped a container at our house and it lasted all season.  I can’t help but think of her when I think of this Peanut brittle recipe.

Peanut Brittle is a smooth, flat candy (similar to toffee), with peanuts in it, that is cooked on the stovetop and poured onto a sheet pan to cool.  Once it cools it’s broken into small individual-size pieces of hard candy and lasts at room temperature for several weeks.

Homemade Peanut Brittle in 6 steps:

  1. Cook sugar mixture.  Add sugar, and water to a medium saucepan and stir well. Stir in corn syrup. Cook mixture over medium heat (don’t be tempted to turn the heat up!), stirring occasionally, until it comes to a gentle boil. Cook until temperature reaches 250F.
  2. Stir in peanuts.  Add peanuts and stir the mixture constantly until the candy thermometer temperature reaches 300 degrees F.
  3. Remove from heat. 
  4. Add remaining ingredients.  Immediately stir in butter, baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will foam and change texture.
  5. Pour into sheet pan.  Carefully pour the hot mixture onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Use a knife or spoon to quickly (and carefully!) spread the mixture into an even layer.
  6. Cool and enjoy. Allow to cool completely (at least 30 minutes) before breaking apart and eating.

Process photos for making peanut brittle in a saucepan with a candy thermometer, and the finished peanut brittle poured onto a baking sheet.

Important Tips:

Temperature is Key!

You will definitely want to use a candy thermometer to make peanut brittle as the proper temperature of the candy is crucial to ensure you have peanut brittle that’s not too soft or chewy and not too hard.

Baking Soda?

Baking soda is a crucial ingredient that can’t be substituted in this recipe.  Just as in homemade syrup or caramel corn, baking soda causes a unique chemical reaction (basically a lot of rising foam) that is crucial in creating the right texture in peanut brittle.  If you make it without baking soda but you will notice the brittle is a bit harder to bite through.

Precaution!!

Wear gloves and be CAREFUL! The candy gets VERY hot and can easily spill onto your hands or wrists during pouring if you’re not careful.  Make sure to use cooking/oven mitts (that you don’t mind getting dirty) and be sure to tilt the pan away from you and use a spatula to scrape the hot mixture onto the sheet pan.

Overhead view of cooled peanut brittle in a half sheet pan.

Corn Syrup Substitutes:

If you need to substitute corn syrup in this peanut brittle recipe, you can substitute cup for cup of:

  • honey
  • light molasses
  • agave nectar
  • brown rice syrup

You could also substitute a combination of these ingredients and please note that with any of these substitutions, the peanut brittle will have a lightly different taste, texture and consistency as well.

Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing Peanut Brittle:

To make ahead: Peanut brittle can be made several days or even weeks in advance.  It stays fresh at room temperature for 6-8 weeks.

To store: Once it’s completely cooled, store peanut brittle in an airtight container at room temperature.  Do not refrigerate as the moisture from the fridge will cause the brittle to soften. Store for 6-8 weeks.

To Freeze: Peanut brittle can be frozen and stored up to 3 months.  Allow the brittle to cool completely and store it in a freezer safe, airtight container.

A baker's half sheet pan filled with broken up pieces of homemade peanut brittle.

CONSIDER TRYING THESE HOLIDAY TREATS:

 

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Recipe

A plate with pieces of peanut brittle stacked on it.
Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins
Cool time 30 mins
Total 55 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups salted roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Measure out peanuts, butter, baking soda and vanilla and have them ready.
  • Add sugar, and water to a medium saucepan and stir well. Stir in corn syrup. Cook mixture over medium heat (don’t be tempted to turn the heat up!), stirring occasionally, until it comes to a gentle boil.
  • Attach your candy thermometer to the edge of the pot, and make sure it is submerged in the liquid, but not touching the bottom of the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally until temperature reaches 250°F (121°C).
  • Add the peanuts and stir the mixture constantly until the candy thermometer temperature reaches 300 degrees F.
  • Remove mixture from heat and immediately stir in butter, baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will foam and change texture.
  • Carefully pour the hot mixture onto the prepared pan and use a knife or spoon to quickly (and carefully!) spread the mixture into an even layer.
  • Allow to cool completely (at least 30 minute) before breaking apart and eating.
  • Store the completely cooled peanut brittle in an airtight container.

Notes

To make ahead: Peanut brittle can be made several days or even weeks in advance.  It stays fresh at room temperature for 6-8 weeks weeks.
To store: Store peanut brittle (once it's completely cooled) in an airtight container at room temperature.  Do not refrigerate as the moisture from the fridge will cause the brittle to soften. Store for 6-8 weeks.
To freeze: Peanut brittle can be frozen and stored up to 3 months.  Allow the brittle to cool completely and store it in a freezer safe, airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 34mgPotassium: 45mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 14IUCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. I prepared the mixture in a 2 qt. sauce pan, but could not get the temperature above 220.
    Any thoughts as to what the problem might have been?

  2. 5 stars
    This is the first recipe if found that turned out perfect. The flavor is amazing. Anyone saying it turned out “gummy” and blames the recipe just doesn’t understand how to read a recipe. “cook to 300 degrees” means you cook the brittle to 300 degrees. It takes patience and a candy thermometer.

  3. Tried this and wyse guy. Both tasted good but preferred this one. It did not take that long to go from up to 300° as other reviewers have had issues with. I did get a new thermometer, the one that is often used for meats. It was more accurate and that really helped.
    Crocs I stand for approximately 10 minutes to go up to 300° once I added the peanuts. I recommend adding the butter first before the baking soda and vanilla so it can get melting. Tasted great!

  4. 5 stars
    Just made this for my dad for Christmas. It was super easy, fast and fun to make. Most importantly, he loves it! I don’t even like peanut brittle and I’m eating it!!

    If I was to make it again, I would add a little sea salt on top before it hardened. Great recipe!!!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this for my family as a little Christmas gift. Best recipe ever!!! The only remotely “hard” part is mixing in the butter, baking soda, and vanilla once the mixture hits 300 degrees and even then it’s just about focus.

  6. 5 stars
    This was my first attempt at making Peanut Brittle and it turned out fantastic, thanks to your easy-to-follow recipe!! The only snag I encountered was in trying to reach hard crack stage over medium heat- I turned it up ever so slightly and it finally reached 300°

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe works every time. It’s great with pecans, pistachios and peanuts. Take your time and have an accurate thermometer. I use Kerrigold unsalted butter.

  8. Hi I just made your peanut brittle. It’s cooling. Please tell me if you turn the heat up to reach the 300 degree mark? How long should this take? I hope it turns out. My Aunt made brittle for me every year and shipped it from New Mexico to New York State well into her 90 when she died. This is the first time I’ve tried it! Thanks

    1. I just made this, it took forever to get up to 300. However I never moved my stove (its a decent gas one) from medium to reach it. Also my candy therm isn’t good enough apparently, as it was off, but close enough to let me know when to use my instant read javelin one.

      First time making it, came out perfectly as the recipe is.

  9. Doubled recipe and it was a failure – maybe the reason. No corn syrup available so used honey substitute. Peanuts went black and it took all morning to reach the correct temperature.

  10. Dustin, I wonder if your candy thermometer isn’t giving you an accurate temperature read? I’ve made this recipe twice in the last two weeks and it turned out perfect both times.

  11. 4 stars
    Made it – I’d never made peanut brittle before – it turned out great, but it stuck to the parchment paper in several spots.

  12. 1 star
    Tried makig this 7 times and every time the brittle never got hard. It was bendable or gooey. Terrible recipe! Do not make this recipe. You will lose so much money!

    1. Double check your thermometer and make sure it’s reading correctly. I tried this for the first time the other day and it came out perfect at 300 degrees.

    2. Double check your candy thermometer and make sure it’s reading correctly. I tried this for the first time the other day and it turned out perfect at 300 degrees

  13. 4 stars
    Great recipe but it took FOREVER, I’m talking 3 HOURS to complete this dish at the temp recommended. Maybe I just have a crappy stove idk. Either way I will ended up turning up to medium high heat after it hit 275 because 3 hours was already way too long, especially considering the instructions say this recipe takes 30 min to cook.

    I’d say be patient until you get to 250 and then turn it up. Just keep an eye on it, which you should be doing since you’ll be stirring constantly, until it reaches 300. This recipe shouldn’t take forever to make.

  14. 4 stars
    The flavor is delicious. But the cook time is vastly wrong for the 3X recipe. I stood at the stove for about 2 hours and ended up turning it off before it reached 300°. Note: don’t do that! It remains sticky and you end up with chewy brittle instead of hard!

    I accidentally added the peanuts when the soft boil started, instead of at 250°. That might have also contributed to the stickiness?

  15. I adapted this recipe and made it in the microwave; just made two batches with my microwave and I had the one that fit with my microwave. I looked on line to see how to do this. I like to use sunflower seeds too.

  16. 5 stars
    Just so you know… The “stir constantly” part between 250 & 300 is no joke. I burnt a few peanuts by slacking a bit on this one. Stilll excellent! Could probably add the peanuts at 275 and save a bit of pot watching.

  17. 5 stars
    I made this using cashews instead (since that’s more my families style) and it was deemed FANTASTIC! Definitely takes a while to come to temp, but let it happen. A thermometer that actually hangs on the side of the pot would have been a smart idea too! Lol

  18. 5 stars
    Great recipe and easy to make! in fact, so great that I am making another batch right now because my husband hit the one that I was making for holiday gifts!

  19. For the first time candy makers. The only thing that I would add is if someone doesn’t have a candy thermometer, is to get a small glass of cold water and test the mixture once in a while, with a small spoon and drip a little into the glass until you get a hard crack. That means that it will be hard and not flatten to the touch.

  20. 5 stars
    I made this recipe over the weekend for the first time ever making any kind of candy anything. By far the best peanut brittle I have ever had! The only thing I would change about the recipe is maybe giving an estimation of time from adding the peanuts until temp reaches 300 degrees on thermometer. It was taking so long on medium heat, I thought I was doing something wrong. Also I need to spread it out a little thinner when I pour it out because while good 1/2″ is a little thick and the recipe didn’t say how thick or thin to spread it. Needless to say it worked out and my patience was rewarded. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Excellent recipe with clear instructions. Delicious! Thank goodness I only made half a recipe because I ate most of it on the first day, ugh.

  22. 5 stars
    This is the best peanut brittle ever. Better than See’s or any other fancy brittle. Just make sure you get your temperature to the exact degree the recipe calls for. I did exactly what the recipe called for and I truly could not be happier with the results – – especially since this was my first attempt ever at making peanut brittle. Thanks for a great recipe

    1. Spray the pan with Pam, olive oil etc. I cook mine in the microwave then drop pan or dish into really hot water. Let soak for a few minutes and viola. Clean pan

    2. Let the pan cool off and then fill with warm soapy water and let it sit. The water will melt off the candy.

  23. 5 stars
    Made this for first time. Recipe easy to follow. Came out perfect. Would have been nice to know that it would start turning brown until nuts were added I was getting concerned when it got up to 250° and was still clear. Also was concerned because it took way longer than I thought it would to get up to 250° and then to 300°. Thought something was wrong with my candy thermometer. I think I was stirring too much. It ended up turning out perfect and I will make it again. Thanks for the recipe.

  24. I’ve been wanting to do peanut brittle for years. My grandma used to make it at Christmas as well. I really miss that tradition and her! Thanks for posting! Excited to try it out.

  25. 2 stars
    Not the best. It lacks flavor. My Betty Crocker recipe is MUCH better, it tastes like what you buy. I will not use this recipe again.

  26. This was much easier than I thought it would be, with the excepting of stirring until my arm wanted to fall off. Yum!! I would like to try it with pecans.

  27. I don’t have a thermometer but am doing the old fashioned drop some in cold water hard crack stage. Wish me luck 😃

  28. 5 stars
    I have made this every Chritmas for my family for over 50 yrs and if I don’t one yr I am in the doghouse with them. They love 💘 it