Easy Pecan Brittle Recipe - CopyKat Recipes (2024)

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by Stephanie Manley, Last Updated 1 Comment

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Pecan brittle is a delicious and crispy candy enjoyed for generations. This buttery, nutty candy is great for homemade gifts from the kitchen.

Easy Pecan Brittle Recipe - CopyKat Recipes (1)

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Why Homemade Pecan Brittle Is So Good?

For many people, brittle has a strong connection to the holidays. Whether it’s Christmases spent with the grandparents or the family’s annual vacation to a seaside town, the snack brings back a flood of happy memories.

Share the experience of making homemade brittle with the ones you love any time of the year with this classic recipe for Pecan Brittle.

Why You Should Try This Pecan Brittle Recipe

Pecan Brittle may not be something you often, if ever, make, but hopefully, this recipe will change that. Pecan Brittle is not only simple to prepare and delicious to eat, but it’s incredibly versatile and makes a wonderful handmade gift that the person you give it to will really appreciate.

This recipe is an extra buttery version that doesn’t use any vanilla extract or cinnamon and allows the natural flavor of the nuts to shine through.

Ingredients For Pecan Brittle

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Sugar
  • Light Corn Syrup
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Pecan pieces
  • Baking soda
  • Butter Flavoring

This recipe uses a liquid butter flavor likeWatkins Butter Extractand not powdered butter flavoring.

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Equipment You Will Need

There are only a few must-have items to make homemade Pecan Brittle. The most essential piece of equipment is a clip-on thermometer. While you can use a deep-fry thermometer, one specifically designed for candy-making with the seven stages of candy-making clearly marked on the side is ideal.

In addition to a candy thermometer, you’ll need a wooden spoon. Wood is an excellent material for candy making because it won’t melt or conduct heat.

A silicone mat works best as the liner for the cookie sheet, but it is not a requirement. You can lightly grease the cookie sheet with butter or cooking sprayif you don’t have a silicone baking mat.

How To Make This Pecan Brittle Recipe

To prepare this recipe for Pecan Brittle:

  1. Place asilicone baking maton a cookie sheet or grease the cookie sheet to prevent sticking.
  2. Place a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a lid over medium heat. Wider saucepans without a non-stick coating work best.
  3. Carefully add the sugar, light corn syrup, water, butter, salt, and butter flavoring to the saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon. Avoid getting any ingredients on the sides of the saucepan because they can easily burn.
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  1. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cover the saucepan. Cook for about a minute. Covering the saucepan creates steam that will help to rinse any ingredients off the sides of the saucepan.
  2. Remove the lid and attach acandy thermometerto the side of the saucepan.
  3. Stir the sugar mixture with a wooden spoon until the temperature reaches the soft crack stage (from 270 to 290 degrees Fahrenheit).
  4. Add the pecan pieces to the saucepan and stir them into the sugar mixture.
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  1. Continue heating until the sugar mixture reaches the hard crack stage (from 300 to 310 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Be aware that the sugar mixture will foam slightly. It is this foaming action that creates all the tiny bubbles in the brittle.
  3. Pour the sugar mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out until it’s about a quarter of an inch thick. Work fast because the brittle will set quickly.
  4. Let the Pecan Brittle cool. Break the brittle into pieces using the back of a metal spoon.
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How To Store Pecan Brittle

The best way to keep your Pecan Brittle from getting soft is in an airtight container. Place a layer of wax paper between each layer of brittle to allow air to circulate.

Fun Ways You Can Serve Pecan Brittle

Besides eating Pecan Brittle on its own, it makes a great garnish for other desserts. Try:

  • Crushing a piece of brittle and sprinkling the crumbs over ice cream, custard, or a slice of pumpkin pie.
  • Sticking a piece of brittle into the whipped cream on top of a slice of pecan pie.
  • Dipping a banana in melted chocolate and rolling it in crushed Pecan Brittle. Eat immediately or freeze for a great summer snack.

How Long Does It Last?

Pecan Brittle lasts a long time. The main factor determining the length of time you can keep brittle is how well you prevent moisture from getting to it. Depending on the weather, brittle will last up to two months in a sealed container in the pantry.

Easy Pecan Brittle Recipe - CopyKat Recipes (6)

Favorite Candy Recipes

  • Almond Brittle
  • Buttermilk Fudge
  • Haystack Candy
  • Microwave Peanut Brittle
  • Peppermint Bark
  • Peppermint Patty Candy
  • Rocky Road Candy
  • Rum Balls Recipe
  • See’s Fudge Recipe
  • Spiced Pecans

Yummy Christmas Treats

  • Corn Flake Wreaths
  • White Chocolate Covered Oreos
  • White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Check out more of my easy candy recipes and the best recipes for Christmas on CopyKat!

Pecan Brittle

Homemade pecan brittle is a buttery, crispy, and delicious candy to make and share with family and friends.

5 from 2 votes

Print Pin Rate Add to Collection

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Pecan Brittle

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 185kcal

Author: Stephanie Manley


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons butter flavoring
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • Place the sugar, corn syrup, water, butter, salt, and butter flavoring in a medium pot and stir to combine.

  • Bring the mixture to simmer over medium heat. Place a lid on the pot for one minute, and then remove the lid. This will steam any sugar crystals that have formed on the sides of the pot and allow them to slide back down into the mixture.

  • Place a candy thermometer into the pot and continue to cook on medium heat, stirring frequently until the candy reaches the soft crack stage.

  • Add the pecans, stir to combine, and continue to cook until mixture reaches the hard crack stage.

  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the baking soda (the mixture will foam). Make sure you blend baking soda into candy completely.

  • Pour the mixture onto a nonstick cookie sheet or lightly buttered baking sheet.

  • Working quickly, spread the mixture out until it is 1/4 inch thick (or thinner). The candy will start to harden quickly.

  • When the candy has cooled and set, break it into pieces and store it in airtight container.


Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 321mg | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Calcium: 3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Liz Nelson

    Easy Pecan Brittle Recipe - CopyKat Recipes (9)
    I love Russell Stover’s Pecan Brittle! I will try this at Christmas I’m sure it will be wonderful!


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Easy Pecan Brittle Recipe - CopyKat Recipes (2024)


Why put baking soda in peanut brittle? ›

Baking soda is a key ingredient in peanut brittle. It's what aerates the candy, giving it a nice light crunch. Why didn't my homemade peanut brittle get hard? The main reason why peanut brittle doesn't get hard and have the crunch we expect is because the sugar was not cooked long enough.

Why is my pecan brittle chewy? ›

This is a temperature issue. Make sure the candy reaches exactly 300ºF / 149ºC, which is hard crack stage, before pouring onto baking sheet. See “Equipment Used to Make Peanut Brittle” for my recommended thermometer. If you're peanut brittle is still chewy after it cools, you may be able to save it!

Can you use parchment paper when making peanut brittle? ›

You will want the cookie sheet to be non-stick. Use parchment paper, a silicone baking sheet or a greased cookie sheet. Spread the peanut brittle as thin as you can. Immediately add your sea salt.

What makes homemade peanut brittle sticky? ›

Whether it's during the cooking, cooling, or storage process, moisture and humidity can ruin the best batch of brittle in minutes, leaving you with a soggy, sticky mess. This is why eliminating moisture anywhere you can is our top tip on how to store peanut brittle.

Why didn't my homemade peanut brittle get hard? ›

Didn't get it hot enough. You have to hit hard crack stage heat or it's not going to harden. From internet: Hard-Crack Stage is a cooking term meaning that a sugar syrup being heated has reached 149 – 154 C (300 – 310 F.) It is a test of how hot a sugar syrup is, and of how much water is left in it.

Why is my peanut brittle not crunchy? ›

This is because you did not cook it long enough in the microwave. If the texture of the peanut brittle is sticky, and not crunchy, this means that you need to cook the mixture longer, until it reaches 300°F.

How long can you store pecan brittle? ›

The brittle can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Can you redo peanut brittle? ›

Reviving stale peanut brittle is possible to some extent. You can try placing the stale peanut brittle on a baking sheet and gently heating it in an oven at a low temperature, around 250°F (120°C), for a few minutes. This can help to soften it a bit and restore some of its original texture.

How long should pecans dry before cracking? ›

Allow the pecans to dry in the shell for a couple of weeks or so. Once the nuts are dry enough, you'll be able to break open the hulls without much effort. Rounding up, always ensure to pick your pecans during the late fall. After all, you'll be able to snap the kernels effortlessly only when the nuts ripen.

Should homemade peanut brittle be refrigerated? ›

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.

Can I freeze homemade peanut brittle? ›

Absolutely! If you want to extend the life of your peanut brittle, you can freeze it. But, make sure it is completely cooled, as moisture is an enemy of peanut brittle. Ensure the brittle pieces are separated by parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.

What is the best pan for making peanut brittle? ›

Heavy 6 quart Dutch Oven pot. Mine is an old 1970's Club Aluminum. It's perfect! You need a heavy THICK pot so it won't scorch.

Why is my peanut brittle not airy? ›

Working quickly, pour into prepared 10×15 pan. To keep the brittle light and airy, do not spread or flatten the mixture. Instead, let it flow freely. Place in a cool area and leave until completely cooled, about 2-3 hours.

Why is my peanut brittle bitter? ›

I don't recommend substituting honey, molasses, or agave for the corn syrup. Those other liquid sugars have impurities that will burn at the higher temperature of making caramel, leading to a bitter-tasting brittle.

Can peanut brittle go bad? ›

Does Peanut Brittle Go Bad? Properly stored peanut brittle can last for several weeks to a couple of months.

What is the purpose of baking soda in candy making? ›

Baking soda helps to aerate brittle — it literally makes the molten candy bubble in the pot — to create a brittle with an airy, almost honeycomblike texture that crunches easily when eaten.

How do you keep peanut brittle from sticking together? ›

Store in an airtight container or a plastic freezer bag as this will prevent the brittle from becoming sticky and breaking down.

What does baking soda do in candy making? ›

The soda reacts with the acid to make bubbles, and the syrup foams. When the cooked syrup is poured out and begins to harden, many of the tiny bubbles are trapped before they can escape (another reason the baking soda is added at the end).


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