Old-Fashioned Homemade Peanut Brittle is a crispy, crunchy homemade candy loaded with roasted peanuts in a buttery, sweet candy coating. It's the best peanut brittle EVER and perfect for homemade gift-giving. Be sure to check out the video in the recipe box to see me demonstrate how it's done!

If you love making homemade candy during the holidays to share with friends & family, be sure to also check out my Southern Pecan Pralines, Easy Homemade Peppermint BarkRocky Road Fudge, and Old-Fashioned Divinity (my most popular candy recipe!).

broken pieces of peanut brittle in a baking sheet

I love making and giving homemade candy around the holidays.

The process of making candy is just so interesting and different from baking Christmas cookies, and as long as you have a candy thermometer (affiliate link), it's really a cinch to create some pretty phenomenal candy confections to delight friends and neighbors.

This homemade peanut brittle recipe is made the old-fashioned way on the stove-top, using sugar, corn syrup, butter and roasted peanuts.

An image of old-fashioned peanut brittle in a Christmas tin for gift-giving.
An image of homemade peanut brittle being broken up with a mallet.
An image of homemade peanut brittle being broken up with a mallet.
An image of a festive tin full of homemade peanut brittle candy.

How to make Peanut Brittle

Peanut brittle is a lot easier to make than you might guess. It's just a matter of combining a handful of ingredients and then stirring until they reach 300 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. Here's how to make peanut brittle:

  1. Combine corn syrup, sugar, water, and a little salt in a large pot, heating over medium heat and stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until it comes to a boil and reaches 280 degrees F.
  2. Add cubed butter and unsalted roasted peanuts and stir, stir, stir until the butter is melted and the peanuts are completely coated in the candy mixture. The candy gets thick and takes a little muscle, but it's easier if stir while pouring the peanuts in (I get one of my kids or husband to pour the peanuts in while I'm stirring).
  3. Keep cooking the candy until it has reached 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer (affiliate link) and a rich and golden brown candy the color of peanut butter has formed. 300 degrees F is also known as the "hard crack" stage in candy making.
  4. Lastly, add a little vanilla and baking soda. This will cause a reaction and the candy will bubble up a bit, which is why you want to make sure you are working with a large enough pot to contain the candy. Stir quickly and pour the hot peanut brittle mixture onto a prepared sheet pan, then let it cool completely before breaking into pieces.
An image of a pan of sugar, water, and corn syrup for making the base of a classic peanut brittle recipe.
An image of a bowlful of unsalted roasted peanuts for homemade peanut brittle.
An image of a pot of boiling peanut brittle at 300 degrees F in a step-by-step peanut brittle recipe.
An image of a pan of peanut brittle before it has been broken up into pieces.

Why do you use Baking Soda in Peanut Brittle?

Just like in my favorite english toffee recipe, this homemade peanut brittle recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking soda to be added right at the end of the cooking process. This is important because of a chemical reaction that results in the perfect peanut brittle texture.

Baking soda creates lots of little air bubbles in the brittle, giving it that perfect crunch that I love. Some peanut brittle recipes use it, some don’t.

But I really think it's what puts this peanut brittle over the top and makes it the best.

Tips for the Best Peanut Brittle

  • Break the brittle into bite sized pieces for easy eating, or larger shards, which look pretty packaged in festive tins for gift-giving.
  • Some people store nuts in the freezer for longer keeping. If you keep your peanuts in the freezer, be sure to pull them out at least an hour or two before making this peanut brittle so they aren't cold when added to the hot melted sugar or it will freeze up really fast.
  • I HIGHLY recommend investing in a candy thermometer (affiliate link) before undertaking this homemade peanut brittle recipe. They are inexpensive and you can just pick one up at Target or order on Amazon if you don't already have one. It's so important because if you cook your brittle much beyond the 300 degree F point, it could burn, and if you don’t cook it long enough, the peanut brittle won't set as hard and be more sticky and chewy than crunchy and, well, brittle.
  • Be ready to move quickly once the temperature reaches 300 degrees F. Have your pan ready ahead of time so that you can pour and spread the brittle immediately. I actually tend to just tilt and shake the pan around to spread it rather than using a spoon or spatula.
  • If you have peanut allergies or just plain don't like them, you can always sub an equal amount of any other nut like cashews, macadamia nuts, or almonds, if you prefer.
  • Store your peanut brittle in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. If you leave it out, it will get sticky on top.
An image of a tray candy made from a classic homemade peanut brittle recipe.
An image of a festive tin full of old-fashioned homemade peanut brittle candy made from scratch.
An image of a festive tin full of easy peanut brittle candy made from scratch.

More Candy Recipes for the Holidays

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Old-Fashioned Homemade Peanut Brittle

4.96 from 43 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Old-Fashioned Homemade Peanut Brittle is a crispy, crunchy homemade candy loaded with roasted peanuts in a buttery, sweet candy coating. It's the best peanut brittle EVER and perfect for homemade gift-giving.

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter cubed
  • 2 ½ cups unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions
 

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat, or butter it well.
  • In a large, heavy bottomed pan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until the temperature reaches 280 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  • Add the butter and peanuts and continue to cook, stirring constantly another 7-10 minutes until the temperature reaches 300 degrees F.
  • When the candy reaches 300 degrees F, immediately remove from heat and add the baking soda and vanilla, stirring vigorously to combine.
  • Immediately pour the hot brittle mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, then tilt and jiggle the sheet to help it spread covering the entire pan from corner to corner.
  • Let the peanut brittle set until completely hard, then use a mallet or back of a spoon to crack the brittle into chunks or bite-size pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Video

Notes

  • If using salted peanuts, omit the salt in the recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 619kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 279mg | Potassium: 16mg | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 1418IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I make homemade foodie gift baskets for family for the holidays and this would be such a yummy addition. Would definitely have to make some for myself too 😉

  2. 5 stars
    I'd love to make this peanut brittle! I wonder if I need to adjust the temperatures for high altitude in the same way that I do when making jam.

    1. We used to live in Winslow AZ and that is high altitude....I made p'nut brittle there and never had a problem....didn't have to adjust for altitude...

  3. I've made p'nut brittle for over 40 years and this looks good, but a little overdone.....also, I use raw Spanish p'nuts, stir all the ingredients together before starting to cook....gives the p'nuts a wonderful toasted taste and it's amazing what it does to the candy taste....mine is never this dark. Cook to hard ball stage then pour up...I actually dip it into aluminum pie tins. place the round patties in baggies, tie with festive ribbon....makes nice gift.....

  4. Hi my name is Sarah and I wanted to know if you could stitute honey in place of corn syrup? I'd like to try this recipe but cannot use corn syrup.

    1. Hi Sarah! I haven't tried it myself, but yes, I think you can replace the corn syrup with honey. If you do try, please let me know what you think!

    1. I always use light corn syrup for peanut brittle. I think dark would also work, the color of the brittle might just be darker and the flavor would be slightly different.

  5. I just now got finished cooking my First Batch of Peanut Brittle, Nash Recipe. Now, its a sit and wait thing to find out if it turned out Right. It sure does look Good.

  6. Has anyone tried using brown sugar and/or dark corn syrup instead of white to add additional flavor? This brittle doesn't taste as buttery or have much flavor.

    1. I've never gone under a cup of butter in a brittle recipe. The syrup wouldn't change the taste that significantly—think dark brown sugar vs light brown—but you can add a heap more butter. Your final product will be chewier toward the end of the bite. This recipe goes for crisp rather than rich.

  7. First time making peanut brittle and it came out perfect with your recipe! It’s honestly the best peanut brittle I’ve ever had. Perfectly crunchy and doesn’t get stuck in my teeth. The only changes I made were using half brown sugar, because I ran out of white 🤦‍♀️, and I added a tablespoon of bourbon in the beginning for fun. But I don’t think it made any difference.  Thanks for a great recipe! It was a birthday gift for my dad. So glad it turned out. 😊

    1. I wouldn't touch the sugar in the recipe because it will affect the texture of the brittle itself. I think you could still use toffee flavored peanuts and this would turn out just fine.

  8. I have never made peanut brittle before and I'm looking forward to using this recipe, but it would be very nice to know the exact size of the baking sheet. Baking sheets come in different sizes and I have three different sizes so can you tell me which size is appropriate for this recipe?

    1. It's a half baking sheet. The three sizes I'm aware of are the really large ones, the half size (which is kind of the middle ground), and jelly roll. I'm fairly certain the half size is the most standard size baking sheet that most people use.

      1. Cook it to the specified temperatures using the method provided. Otherwise science will not occur and the desired candy will not be realized....

  9. I know it's a fairly simple recipe, but it always comes out PERFECT. Every time I make it, my friends and coworkers get so excited! What a scrumptious recipe, thank you!

  10. Keep a close eye on when cooking, I'm not super experienced, but it seemed like my candy thermometer was stuck at 260 as it seemed to stay at this temp for quite a while, but it then began to rapidly climb again reaching the 280 rather quickly, the end results were fabulous, I tried a recipe prior to this using the microwave and was not impressed. I will definitely make this again.
    Thanks.

  11. Did this recipe twice.
    1st time turned out great, similar to store-bought but with a creamier taste.

    The 2nd time I created a fan favorite. 6 different types of nuts. Also instead of using regular butter, cannabutter was used. Turned out just like the regular batch, with a twist.

    It is 2020 after all, so making and elevating edibles in fun.

    Thanks so much for your page

  12. Turned out awesome! My dad is a huge peanut brittle fan so I decided to find a recipe to make him some more since I'm flying to see him in a few days. He'll be very happy! It was crunchy but to too hard, had a perfect texture and taste!

  13. Love this recipe. I make it using different nuts to sell for funding our ministry. I got a request for coffee flavored brittle. I intend on using hazelnuts but can't figure out what to do about getting the coffee flavor. Any ideas? I thought maybe subbing the water with strong coffee?

    1. That's an interesting idea! I don't drink coffee or use it in my baking so I don't really know what might work best! I would love to hear what other readers think though!

  14. I’m so excited I just need the peanuts I will make this tomorrow thank you so much for the video you made it look so simple the last time I made it it didn’t come out right but I will be doing it tomorrow and will respond then.

  15. FANTASTIC recipe - first time in my life making it and it turned out PERFECT! We decided not to use "lightly salted" peanuts next time - we like regularly salted peanuts so will give that a go - but absolutely great! 🙂

    Although stressful the first time - not hard at all!

  16. My wife and I love brittle. I am a 59.5 year old man that was bored and thought I'd try my hand at some homemade brittle, since you can't find it in July. I didn't know it was considered a seasonal treat. I was going to use cashews, since my wife loves cashews. I could not find a large amount of cashews, so I used pecans. I roasted them first. After reading and studying the instructions you had online many times, I set out to make the brittle. The instructions were very good. Yes, it was very easy to follow and make.

    I don't leave comments, but the response to the outcome is amazing. The brittle is an outstanding hit! I will be making a lot more.

    Thank you, James

    1. James, I'm so glad you commented and I apologize for taking so long to respond! We were traveling and taking some time off for a month to go camping and spend time with family. I'm so glad you had great success with this brittle recipe and hope you enjoy making it again and again! I agree that it shouldn't be reserved only to the holiday season!

  17. 5 stars
    I’ve tried at least 4 different recipes and this one is spot on! I use a digital candy thermometer and swear by it. Thanks!!

  18. 5 stars
    Perfect as is! Great directions. it will make great Christmas gifts for colleagues along with some homemade caramels. Pinning this so I can make it every year!

  19. 5 stars
    Never made peanut brittle before but I love it and have paid for others to make it for me. I tried this recipe and it is the very best peanut brittle that I have ever had! Since I love pecans too, I simply added half of the nuts with fresh pecans. I will use this recipe when ever I need peanut/pecan brittle again!!

  20. Last night, I made my first peanut brittle, using your recipe, for a coworkers bday today. They were a big hit!! There were some left over and I left them at work, so my coworkers can enjoy a second time.
    In a couple weeks, I will be making your divinity for another coworkers bday.

    1. I would like to give an update on the peanut brittle. This morning, when I walked into the office, at 7:30am, a coworker informed me that everyone was raving about the brittle I had made. Then about 3pm, another coworker, informed me that everyone cannot get over the peanut brittle. In fact, she said that I need to make it for every party we have.
      so, I guess I won't be making the divinity in a couple weeks, but more peanut brittle.