You no longer need to be intimidated by homemade candy recipes! This peanut brittle recipe is made in just 5 simple steps, complete with all my best pro candy-making tips. Plus, I’m even sharing my tried and true way to clean your pot!

a plate full of peanut brittle on top of a red and green plaid towel with more brittle spread around it

This is the BEST Peanut Brittle

This family favorite has been around for generations, and chances are you had it a time or two growing up.

While my version doesn’t stray from the traditional ingredients, I’ve perfected the process into five easy-to-follow steps to make cooking homemade peanut brittle easy for you, even if it’s your first time.

And since I know that candy making can not only be intimidating, but also messy, I’m going to walk you through my step-by step guide to cleaning your pot.

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You only need 25 minutes total to make this peanut brittle, and the hardest part is waiting for it to cool so you can start eating it!

a stack of peanut brittle on a white plate on top of a green green and white towel

What is Peanut Brittle?

Peanut brittle is a popular candy traditionally made with sugar, corn syrup, butter, baking soda, and roasted peanuts. It is sweet, crunchy and has a brittle texture, hence the name. It is even ore popular around the holiday season, when it is often given as a gift.

a red christmas tin full of peanut brittle with a green christmas tin in the background, red, white and green string, all sitting on top of a red, green and white kitchen towel.

Why you’ll love this Recipe for Peanut Brittle

  • Just 6 simple ingredients
  • Perfect for holiday gifts
  • Buttery, sweet peanut flavor
  • Complete with tips and tricks, including how to clean the candy off your pot!
over head shot of peanut brittle ingredients including peanuts, granulated sugar, butter, vanilla extract, baking soda, corn syrup and water

Homemade Peanut Brittle Ingredients

Just a handful of ingredients to make old-fashioned peanut brittle at home! Keep reading for all my best peanut brittle tips and tricks, and get the full recipe in the recipe card below.

  • Granulated sugar
  • Light corn syrup
  • Water
  • Unsalted butter
  • Salted roasted peanuts
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla extract 
peanut brittle broken into pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Best Peanut Brittle Recipe Substitutions

Here are some ideas for swapping out or adding ingredients to change this brittle up a bit:

  • Substitute a different nut: If you are allergic to peanuts or just prefer a different nut, swap the peanuts out for almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, or whatever your favorite nut is.
  • Substitute honey for corn syrup: While this will alter the flavor, you can substitute the corn syrup with honey at a one to one ratio.
  • Add spices: Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to enhance the flavor profile.
  • Extracts: Enhance the taste by adding a teaspoon of the extract of your choice to the mixture. This recipe uses vanilla extract, which you can swap out or add to.
  • Sea salt: Sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top of the brittle before it cools for a sweet-salty contrast.
close up of a pile of peanut brittle pieces on a countertop surface

How to Make Peanut Brittle Candy

This easy homemade peanut brittle only has 5 steps! Get the full recipe with measurements and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Prep sheet pan. Line a rimmed half sheet pan with parchment paper. 
  1. Prepare and measure out all the ingredients. It’s important to stir frequently and move quickly once the brittle reaches temperature, so have everything ready. 
  1. Combine and cook initial ingredients. In a medium saucepan, fit with a candy thermometer, over medium heat, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir occasionally until the mixture reaches 280ºF then add in the butter and peanuts. The mixture will get thicker and initially drop in temperature. Keep boiling until the temperature reaches 280-300ºF and is light golden, about 5 minutes. 
  1. Add baking soda and vanilla extract. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. The candy mixture will bubble, foam, and be frothy. 
  1. Pour onto prepared cookie sheet, cool, and break into pieces. Carefully pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, and use a silicone spatula to spread it into a thin, even layer. Let the brittle cool at room temperature for a few hours. Once cooled, break the candy into pieces. Store in an airtight container. 
peanut brittle mixture poured onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Homemade Peanut Brittle Recipe Tips

For best results, follow these tips:

  • Use a candy thermometer: candy thermometer is key for knowing when your sugar mixture has reached the right temperature. Having the proper temperature is crucial making peanut brittle that is the perfect texture.
  • Don’t skip the baking soda: Baking soda helps to create the chemical reaction that is necessary to creating the brittle’s texture. Without baking soda, your peanut brittle will likely be too hard to bite through.
  • Preparation is key to success: When you’re cooking the brittle you will have to move quickly. Having everything measured out and ready will help your timing. As they say, timing is everything!

How to Clean the Pot

Have you ever avoided making a certain recipe just because you don’t want to deal with the mess it makes? I know the feeling. You don’t have the worry about that with this recipe though, because I have an easy trick for cleaning the pot after you make your brittle mixture.

  1. As soon as you finish using the pot for making candies like english toffee or peanut brittle, fill it with hot water, ensuring all sugar residue is submerged. I fill my pot all the way to the rim. Add used utensils like spoons or thermometers into the pot too. Place the pot on the stove and let the water simmer over medium heat.
  2. The warmth will gradually dissolve the sugar residue from the pot’s sides effortlessly, requiring no scrubbing. This process also prevents the sugar from re-crystallizing onto the pot.
  3. After simmering, discard the water and any dissolved residue.
  4. Proceed to wash the pot with dish soap, scrubbing any remaining residue gently. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
a put on the stove full of water and leftover candy from making peanut brittle with a rubber spatula in it
Fill the pot full with water and allow it to simmer – the hot water will gradually dissolve the sugar!
a green Christmas container of peanut brittle with red and green christmas string and a red, green and white plaid towel underneath

Storing and Gifting Peanut Brittle Candy

One of perks of peanut brittle is that it stores well and lasts a long time.

To store it, first allow the brittle to cool completely. Then simply store in an airtight container at room temperature. I do not recommend storing peanut brittle in the refrigerator. The moisture from the fridge will cause the brittle to soften, ruining the texture.

Peanut brittle makes great Christmas gifts! You can tie some pieces up in a clear plastic baggie with a festive ribbon, put it in a Christmas tin, or a box tied with a bow. You can also mix this in with Christmas cookies! Gift these Christmas treats to your friends, family, teachers or neighbors. Just don’t be surprised when they beg for more!

How long does Peanut Brittle last?

When stored in an airtight container at room temperature, you can enjoy this homemade peanut brittle for up to 2 months!

Can you freeze Peanut Brittle?

Yes, you can freeze peanut brittle in an airtight container or freezer-safe storage bag for up to three months. When ready to enjoy, thaw it in the refrigerator over night or on the counter at room temperature. Freezing it may slightly change the texture.

peanut brittle pieces piled up on a countertop surface

More Peanut Recipes

peanut brittle pieces piled up on a countertop surface

Peanut Brittle Candy

4 from 3 ratings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 4 hours
Yield: 40 pieces
You no longer need to be intimidated by homemade candy recipes! This peanut brittle recipe is made in just 5 simple steps, complete with all my best pro candy-making tips. Plus, I'm even sharing my tried and true way to clean your pot!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups salted roasted peanuts
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Line a rimmed half sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Prepare and measure out all the ingredients. It’s important to stir frequently and move quickly once the brittle reaches temperature, so have everything ready.
  • In a medium saucepan, fit with a candy thermometer, over medium heat, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir occasionally until the mixture reaches 280ºF then add in the butter and peanuts. The mixture will get thicker and initially drop in temperature. Keep boiling until the temperature reaches 280-300ºF and is light golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. The mixture will bubble, foam, and be frothy.
  • Carefully pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, and use a rubber spatula to spread it into a thin, even layer. Allow the brittle to cool at room temperature for a few hours. Once cooled, break the candy into pieces. Store in an airtight container.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Beth
Calories: 120kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 51mg, Potassium: 58mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 52IU, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 0.2mg
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