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Easy Pecan Brittle Recipe

Pecan brittle recipe is the perfect candy treat for the holidays with a deep buttery flavor. The brittle recipe, made with only a few ingredients adds a fun dish to your dessert table.

An Easy Recipe

Pecan brittle on a cookie sheet

Butter pecan brittle is an easy recipe that is great for parties and gifts. I am going to go so far and say I think this is the best pecan brittle recipe.

If you’re nervous about making the brittle, have faith. Candy making doesn’t have to be hard. It’s a recipe that is easy to make.

What Is Pecan Brittle?

Pecan brittle is very similar to peanut brittle, but with pecans. The pecans give it a bit of a different flavor. And if you love pecans, you will love this recipe.

Pecan brittle on a cookie sheet

Pecan Brittle Ingredient List

  • Granulated sugar
  • Light corn syrup
  • Water
  • Chopped pecans
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Baking soda

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

How To Make The Pecan Brittle

  1. Combine sugar and light corn syrup in a medium or large saucepan and cook on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the chopped pecans and stir to coat.
  3. Next, pour the water into the pan and mix.
  4. Add the salt and mix well.
  5. Place the thermometer in the pan and cook until the mixture reaches 275-degrees, stirring often.
  6. Once the candy reaches 275-degrees, remove it from the burner and stir in the butter and baking soda.
  7. Pour mixture onto a greased baking sheet pan and spread out.
  8. Leave the cookie sheet on a heat-safe counter or stovetop, until the brittle cools for at least one hour, or until it is room temperature.
  9. Break the pecan brittle recipe into pieces.
Sugar in a saucepan

Start by adding the sugar to a medium saucepan or a large saucepan. You will want to cook on medium-high heat for this recipe.

Be sure you have a medium or large saucepan because as the brittle cooks, it will bubble up and you don’t want it bubbling over.

Adding corn syrup to a saucepan

Next, pour the light corn syrup into the saucepan with the sugar and stir the sugar mixture together.

The sugar dissolves as it cooks.

For this recipe, I used a spatula to stir the ingredients. A wooden spoon will work, as well.

Pecans in a saucepan

Add the pecans to the pan and give it all a good stir.

If this is your first time making pecan brittle, it will seem like there’s not enough liquid. But, it will begin to bubble up more as it cooks and once you add the butter and baking soda at the end, it will grow and there will be plenty.

Pouring water into a saucepan for pecan brittle

Pour the water into the pan.

Adding salt to a saucepan

Sprinkle the salt into the pan.

A thermometer in a saucepan for checking candy temperature

Place the candy thermometer on the side of the pan.

Be sure not to allow the thermometer to touch the bottom of the pan or you will get an incorrect reading.

Pecan brittle boiling.

You are going to cook the recipe until it reaches 275-degrees, which is getting up into the candy stage.

You are getting it a little hotter than the hard ball stage, but not quite as hot as the crack stage.

If your candy isn’t boiling, go ahead increase heat a little more.

It’s going to take about 10 minutes or so to get to 275-degrees.

Be sure to stir often so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

If you don’t have a thermometer you can use the cold cup water method to test the doneness of the candy by dropping some in as it gets hotter.

I am not great at this method, so I like to use a thermometer.

Adding butter to a pan with pecan brittle

Once you reach 275-degrees, remove the pan from the stovetop and add the butter. Mix until the butter is melted.

Finally, add the baking soda to the saucepan and mix. For this step, you need to stir fast and get it mixed in well.

Once the baking soda starts working and it foams up you need to get it onto the cookie pan and spread out fairly quickly.

Pecan brittle cooling on a cookie sheet

Spread the pecan brittle onto a greased cookie sheet.

You don’t need to spread it to the edges or it will be too much of a thin layer. It’s pretty bubbly at this point but starts to cool down fast, so don’t get sidetracked by anything (speaking from experience).

It will be foamy looking, but will get shiny and smooth as it cools.

I usually use a 9-inch by 13-inch prepared baking sheet or one that is a little smaller. Either one will work well.

I also used a rimmed baking sheet so I didn’t have candy oozing off the sides.

Before I even start cooking the brittle, I get the cookie sheet ready and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.

You can use parchment paper if you’d like to, but it is a little harder to spread the candy and not fight the paper at the same time.

Be sure you have the cookie sheet on a counter that can handle the heat because the cookie sheet will get very, very hot on the bottom and the sides.

And, don’t be tempted to touch it until it totally cools off because you will burn your finger.

Pecan brittle cooling on a cookie sheet

Allow the pecan brittle recipe to cool. I usually give it at least an hour to get to room temperature and harden.

If you go to break the brittle and it’s kind of bendy, give it more time to cool and harden.

The brittle will be a dark golden brown color.

I’ve had a few people ask if I used brown sugar because of the darker flavor. Amazingly, we only use white sugar in this recipe.

After talking with someone, we thought the oils from the pecans gave the recipe a deeper flavor and added to the darker color.

Pieces of pecan brittle

Once the candy pecan brittle cools, you can break it up into small or large pieces.

The recipe makes quite a bit and you can hand out at least four or five small Ziplock size bags as gifts.

You can also go to the dollar store and find some cute holiday tins to store the brittle in for friends and family.

How do I store the easy pecan brittle recipe?

Store the recipe in an airtight container on the counter. You can use Ziplock bags, a Tupperware container, or any container that seals.

Can I make a second batch at the same time?

Yes, you don’t have to stop with the first batch! You can double the ingredients for a second batch and make it all at the same time.

Just make sure you have a large saucepan to cook the ingredients, as well as a second cookie sheet to pour the brittle onto.

Pieces of pecan brittle on a cookie sheet

More Delicious Dessert Recipes

  • Peanut brittle – this recipe is almost identical to the pecan brittle. It’s super easy to make and perfect for gift giving.
  • Maple syrup fudge with walnuts – the recipe is a rich and decadent treat for the holidays.
  • Easy Christmas Toffee – the recipe is made with brown sugar, crackers, and a few other simple ingredients for a candy treat that is fantastic.
  • Rock candy – this is such a fun recipe and you can create all different types of colors.
  • Turtle candy recipe – The recipe is made with three ingredients for a chocolate, caramel, and pecan combo that’s super delish.
  • Southern praline pecans – praline pecans are a wonderful treat any time of year, but especially around the holidays.
  • Homemade toffee bits from Handle The Heat – this fun recipe is easy, delicious, and the kids will love it.

Easy Pecan Brittle Recipe

Check out the pecan brittle recipe below, grab those ingredients, and start cooking! The final product is a delicious treat that everyone will love, especially on special occasions.

Then, share your comments below and share a picture of your pecan brittle on the Pinterest Pin!  If you made any changes or added something different, be sure to share it with us so we can try it, too!

Pecan brittle on a cookie sheet

Easy Pecan Brittle Recipe

Yield: 30 pieces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Pecan brittle recipe is the perfect candy treat for the holidays with a sweet buttery flavor. The brittle recipe, made with only a few ingredients adds a fun dish to your dessert table.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 12 ounces chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda


  1. Grease a cookie sheet and set it aside.
  2. Add the sugar and light corn syrup to a medium to large saucepan and mix. Turn the burner on medium-high heat.
  3. Next, add the chopped pecans, water, and salt and stir to coat.
  4. Place the candy thermometer into the pan and cook until the thermometer reaches 275-degrees, stirring often.
  5. Once the thermometer reaches 275-degrees, remove it from the pan, remove the pan from on top of the burner, and stir in the butter until melted.
  6. Add the baking soda and mix well (it will foam up some).
  7. Quickly pour the pecan brittle onto the prepared cookie sheet and spread it out.
  8. Allow the pecan brittle to cool for at least one hour. (It will smooth out and get shiny as it cools).
  9. Break the pecan brittle into pieces.


TIP: Be sure to use a medium or large saucepan for the mixture as it will boil as it cooks.

TIP: Make sure you place the cookie sheet on a heat-proof counter or on a safe place as the mixture will be very hot.

TIP: Make sure the candy thermometer doesn't touch the bottom of the pan as it will give you an incorrect reading.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 1g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest


Tuesday 9th of January 2024

This recipe looks amazing! Can't wait to try it!

Julie Pollitt

Tuesday 9th of January 2024

Thanks, Debby!


Saturday 23rd of December 2023

I made one batch of this and my husband said this is the best stuff you have ever made . Hade to make another batch and doubled it ! Easy to make and 275 is the correct temperature!


Thursday 1st of February 2024

@Julie Pollitt, when I make Rnglish Toffee I don’t use thermometer just stir until it’s the color of peanut butter. Perfect everytime. And I don’t have to worry about thermometer slipping into pan or being inaccurate. What color would you say it is before adding butter and baking soda?

Julie Pollitt

Sunday 24th of December 2023

Love to hear this! Thanks so much and so glad you both love it!

Pam johnston

Saturday 25th of November 2023

Just made this tonight!! So quick and easy! Our new favorite movie snack!! Thank you!

Julie Pollitt

Sunday 26th of November 2023

Awesome! Love to hear that!


Thursday 22nd of December 2022

I couldn’t get the temperature higher than 230. Help!!

Julie Pollitt

Friday 23rd of December 2022

Hi Bill,

It could be a couple of things. Your thermometer might not be working right (I have to buy a new one every couple of years) or your stovetop is not getting hot enough. You can drop some of the brittle in a glass of cold water. If it hardens then your brittle is done. Hope that helps!


Thursday 14th of July 2022

Isn't brittle supposed to be clear, not cloudy? It is the baking soda that does that. Is it really necessary?

Julie Pollitt

Friday 15th of July 2022

Hi Lou,

Brittle is usually not clear. The baking soda definitely helps create that cloudy color throughout. The baking soda is necessary because it will expand the amount of brittle and it will help make it crunchy. If you leave it out it will be chewy and hard. Not as tasty. Great question!

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