Microwave Peanut Brittle – Homemade Nut Brittle with a Delicious Crunch

This microwave peanut brittle is simple to make but looks like you made a trip to the candy shop. It comes together in just minutes and tastes amazing. Homemade nut brittle is one of our favorite Christmas recipes.

Peanut brittle is not just for the holidays. Keep that tastes coming in January, too, by celebrating National Peanut Brittle Day on January 26! We’ll be honoring the day with some microwave peanut brittle.

This microwave peanut brittle is ready to set in less than 20 minutes and tastes amazing.

Nothing says Christmas to me quite like walking into a candy store and buying a box of peanut brittle.  The sweet, hard caramel surrounding crunchy peanuts is a real treat!

Christmas is such a busy time of the year, and most homemakers spend a lot more time in the kitchen than normal. Having a microwave version of a traditional holiday classic sweet treat saves time and tastes just as good as the stove part recipes do.

For a decadent touch, try dipping the peanut brittle pieces into melted dark chocolate.  Your party guest will love this version!

There are lots of recipes for making peanut brittle at home, but most of them need a candy thermometer or have a water drop step as part of the instructions.

This recipe for homemade peanut brittle is an updated version of the traditional stove top classic but is made in the microwave. Gone are the days of making candy like this:Candy thermometer

Making Microwave Peanut Brittle

The difference with this recipe is that the brittle is made in the microwave, not on the stove top, so there is no need for the old fashioned water drop method, that I must admit I do not care for.  Soft ball?  Hard ball?  I never seem to get it just right.

I like the taste of dry roasted peanuts, so I used them in this recipe, but really any sort of nut that is your favorite will work as well. The recipe is faster with shelled nuts but whole nuts give a fresher taste, so they could be used, too.

Raw peanuts can also be used, but they normally have no salt, so extra salt (or salted butter) would be great additions to the recipe.raw nuts in shells

One of the great things about making this homemade nut brittle in the microwave is how quickly it comes together.  20 minutes and you are ready to let it harden!

Start by heating the sugar and corn syrup in the microwave for 3 1/2 to 5 minutes. I give it all a good stir after the first 2 minutes.

Mix in the peanuts and continue heating for another 2-4 minutes. The mixture will get a golden brown color and you know that it’s just about ready.

Add the butter and vanilla and cook for another minute.

The last step is to stir in the baking soda.  You’ll be surprised to see the whole thing foam with this step.

Spread the mixture onto a large baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, and let it harden.peanut brittle layer

Once the homemade nut brittle has hardened, break it into pieces.

Tasting the homemade nut brittle

This is the best microwave peanut brittle recipe ever!

The recipe for homemade microwave peanut brittle has so much going for it.  It’s sweet and crunchy and salty – everything a good nut brittle should be!microwave peanut brittle

This microwave peanut brittle makes a great Christmas gift too.  Just line a pretty festive box with holiday tissue paper and add the brittle. Your friends will love both the brittle and your thoughtfulness.

The mixture makes about 1 pound of peanut brittle.

This microwave Peanut Brittle recipe is a really easy and simple recipe that comes together in 30 minutes with no fuss. Your party guests will think you spent all day working on it!

Wrap some in colorful plastic wrap with pretty ribbon for quests to take home. Be sure to attach the recipe. They will want it, for sure.

Why is my microwave peanut brittle chewy?

If you find that the texture of your peanut brittle is chewy and not crisp and firm, the reason is most likely that you didn’t cook it long enough.

Even in the microwave, the peanut brittle has to reach the hard crack stage, so that the sugar strands will break easily and not feel sticky.

The next time you make it, cook it for a little longer.

A note on cooking times:

Microwaves vary a great deal as to how long to cook sugar.  Start with less minutes than I ask for and heat in increments.  It is easy to burn if your microwave heats more quickly than mine does.

Would you like a reminder of this recipe for microwave peanut brittle?  Just pin this image to one of your cooking boards on Pinterest.Homemade microwave peanut brittle

Admin note:  This post for homemade nut brittle first appeared on the blog in November of 2013. The post has been updated with new photos, nutritional information and a video for you to enjoy.

Yield: 1 pound

Homemade Microwave Peanut Brittle

Homemade nut brittle

This microwave peanut brittle is simple to make but looks like you made a trip to the candy shop. Homemade nut brittle is a favorite of ours at the holidays.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups of dry roasted peanuts (other nuts such as almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, or hazelnuts will work too.) I used the salted dry roasted peanuts.
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • melted dark chocolate


  1. Heat the sugar and the corn syrup in the microwave on high for 3 1/2-5 minutes, stirring after the first 2 minutes.
  2. Add the peanuts and continue heating for another 2-4 minutes until the mixture is a golden brown color.
  3. Add the butter and vanilla. Stir until the butter is melted and microwave another minute.
  4. Stir in the baking soda (the mixture will foam with this step.)
  5. Spread the mixture onto a large baking sheet. Cool completely and then break into pieces.
  6. Optional: dip the peanut brittle in melted dark chocolate for a decadent touch to the peanut brittle recipe


Please note: microwaves vary a great deal as to how long to cook sugar. Start with less minutes than I ask for and heat in increments. It is easy to burn if your microwave heats more quickly than mine does.

The range of cooking times that I give is for microwaves in the 900-1100 power range.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

38 g

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1.9gUnsaturated Fat: 7.7gCholesterol: 2.6mgSodium: 17.8mgCarbohydrates: 31.5gFiber: 1.5gSugar: 28.1gProtein: 4.3g

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  37 comments for “Microwave Peanut Brittle – Homemade Nut Brittle with a Delicious Crunch

  1. Patty DeGroff
    12/21/2014 at 2:24 pm

    We microwaved sugar & corn syrup for 2 min, stir, micro 2 min more
    Then we added peanuts & shaved coconut Micro 3 min
    The shaved coconut was our own addition. Try it!
    Very good recipe

    • admin
      12/21/2014 at 6:28 pm

      Hi Patty. Thanks for the tip. The addition sounds delicious! Carol

  2. teacy
    12/23/2014 at 10:42 pm

    Thank u for this recipe just made it. Best and easiest peanut brittle I have had in a long time!!

    • admin
      12/23/2014 at 11:24 pm

      Hi Teacy. so glad you liked it and found it easy to make! Carol

  3. Eugenia
    12/15/2015 at 12:17 pm

    First time making peanut brittle and it was easy! Used pecans. Great!

  4. Carol
    12/16/2015 at 11:05 am

    Glad you like the recipe Eugenia!

  5. terry
    12/01/2016 at 8:19 pm

    your directions burned the whole batch, is the microwave on high or what

    • Carol
      12/01/2016 at 10:03 pm

      Hi Terry. I am sorry to hear that this happened. When I cooked mine it turned out fine. Microwaves to vary a great deal as to how long things cook. I’ll update my directions so that readers won’t have this happen to them. Thanks for letting me know.

  6. Delilah
    12/05/2016 at 6:49 pm

    I have been making a version of this recipe for years with 3 different (1000 watt) microwaves with perfect results. Measurements are the same with the addition of 1/2 t. salt with the peanuts. Cook times are, sugar & syrup for 3 1/2 min, add peanuts and cook another 2 1/2 min. add butter & cook for another minute. Add sofa & pour into pan.

    • Heather
      12/22/2017 at 10:43 am

      On the first microwave round, with only the sugar and syrup, when your heating for 3 1/2 minuets, do you stop and stir after 2 minuets like she says in the recipe?


      • Carol
        12/22/2017 at 10:52 am

        Hi Heather, I always stir every so often when I make anything with sugar in it in the microwave. Carol

  7. Rita
    12/11/2016 at 2:34 pm

    This brittle is perfect & I promise you it’s very quick & easy! I’ve made this (or similar) for a few years, & the only suggestions I would make are: 1. REALLY grease your pan beforehand with butter (makes it a lot easier to get out). 2. Make sure you have all your ingredients PREMEASURED & close to hand, (you’ll thank me later!) 3. Use a large GLASS bowl to heat your ingredients. My first time making this I used a plastic bowl & the bowl MELTED!!! A waste of ingredients & a real mess to clean up. ( I personally use a 2 qt.- size measuring cup. These are only suggestions, the REAL praise goes to CAROL & THE GARDENING COOK!!! ?

  8. Hope
    12/11/2016 at 8:03 pm

    This was simple to make and tasted amazing!!!

  9. Minnie
    02/15/2017 at 10:30 am

    I have made this a lot and it is very good but I would like to try the coconut in it so how much do you put in the recipe

    • Carol
      02/15/2017 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Minnie. I have never made it with coconut so I’m not sure how much to add. It would be a question of trial and error to get it the way you like it. Carol

  10. Val
    11/27/2017 at 7:58 pm

    I always use parchment paper for candy making instead of butter- personal preference. It’s easy cleanup and the candy doesn’t get the greasy bottom. This is a great recipe and I’ve been making it for years.

    • Carol
      11/28/2017 at 11:25 am

      Thanks for the tip Val. Carol

  11. Betty C.
    12/14/2017 at 11:54 am

    I make micro always, my micro is 900 watts, and my recipe is for 900 watts
    Peanut brittle very good .I have hard time pouring out to get it thin enough,
    You have to work so fast ..

    • Carol
      12/14/2017 at 1:14 pm

      I find that too, Betty. But working fast is also a sign that it will set well! Carol

  12. Gloria
    12/21/2017 at 1:20 pm

    So easy and tastes great! Thanks!

  13. Edwina
    12/21/2017 at 2:29 pm

    Dry roasted…salted or unsalted?

    • Carol
      12/21/2017 at 3:12 pm

      HI Edwina. Either works fine, but I used the salted ones. Carol

    12/23/2017 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you so much. We use an 1100 watt and used 3 1/2 on the first then 3 on the peanuts and 1 on the butter and Vanilla. I loved the way it foamed up I was like a kid. This is the easiest we tried the old fashion way it id did not taste good. My husband said it taste like I bought it at an old time candy store.

    Thank you so much.

    • Carol
      12/23/2017 at 10:09 pm

      Hi Kathy. Thanks for your time and wattage. So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Carol

  15. Linda
    02/22/2018 at 7:33 pm

    We use an 1200 watt microwave not sure how long to cook it with that wattage. Carol could you address my question please.

    • Carol
      02/23/2018 at 11:21 am

      Hi Linda, I can’t say for sure sine my oven is a bit lower than yours. I”d try it at 3 minutes for the first step with sugar and corn syrup and then maybe 1 1/2 minutes for the second with the peanuts and 30 seconds for the third step with the vanilla and butter.

  16. Mary
    05/24/2018 at 11:00 am

    I want ti try this but ,do I use raw
    peanuts like regular recipes call for?

    • Carol
      05/24/2018 at 12:40 pm

      You can if you would like too. It should still work. Carol

  17. Katie
    11/17/2018 at 2:49 pm

    I just want to express my gratitude for this recipe. I have been using it for the last 5 years now and my dad requests it for his birthday, Christmas, and fathers day- it’s his absolute favorite and I always catch other members of my family sneaking into his stash. Thank you!

    • Carol
      11/17/2018 at 7:07 pm

      Hi Katie. Thanks for the kind message. Your day likes my favorite too! Carol

  18. Cathy K Henderson
    11/24/2018 at 9:53 am

    I have been making microwave peanut brittle for several years. This year it came out too hard, not crunchy. What causes it to be too hard vs crunchy? I tried several changes, but to no avail.

    • Carol
      11/26/2018 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Cathy. It’s likely to be caused by cooking too long or too high a temperature. Candy gets harder the hotter the temp is that the sugar is subjected to. Carol

  19. Carrie
    12/08/2018 at 12:58 pm

    Just tried this recipe and it came out great! Delicious and so easy to make in the microwave!

    • Carol
      12/08/2018 at 9:40 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it Carrie. Thanks for including your photo! Carol

  20. Carol
    12/23/2018 at 9:31 pm

    I use Pam to spray everything a wood spoon works better have a 6 quart glass bowl sugar water syrup cook 4min cook 4 more min add butter cook till hard ball add peanut cook 1minadd soda pour in bread pan shake pan to spread

  21. Janice
    11/22/2019 at 1:58 pm

    Cooling time at end. Do u just let it set out on counter or do u put in refrigerator? Roughly how long does it take to cool?
    Thank You

    • Carol Speake
      11/22/2019 at 3:28 pm

      One the counter is fine. It sets in about 15 minutes or so.

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